Libertarians Everywhere!

This weekend, the national Libertarian Party convention is in Portland - at the downtown Hilton Hotel. Lots of conference details here.

The Oregon Libertarians, of course, are running a candidate in the Oregon governor's race - and a handful of legislative races as well. What do they stand for?

A few items of interest from their platform:

Execution by the state violates the right of the criminal's victims to seek restitution. The history of government is so replete with errors and misconduct that it is exceedingly dangerous to place the power of such an irrevocable act in government hands. We therefore seek alternatives to the death penalty.

Ending tax supported "mental health" propaganda campaigns and community mental "health" centers and programs.

We demand repeal of all laws at any level of government requiring registration of or restricting the
ownership, manufacture, concealment, transfer or sale of firearms or ammunition by peaceable persons.

We support repeal of all laws interfering with the right of an employer to recognize or refuse to
recognize a union as the collective bargaining agent of some or all of his or her employees. Laws
requiring "closed shop" as well as "right to work" laws must be repealed.

Oppose all personal and corporate income taxation, including capital gains taxes;

We support the abolition of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality.

We urge repeal of all so-called "consumer protection" legislation that infringes upon voluntary trade.

We urge repeal of all compulsory education laws, and an end to government operation, regulation, and
subsidy of schools and colleges.

We demand repeal of all laws that impede the ability of any person to find employment -- including,
but not limited to, minimum wage laws, so-called protective labor legislation for women and children,
governmental restrictions on the establishment of private day care centers, and licensing requirements.

We oppose all laws restricting voluntary birth control.

We uphold the right of a woman to make a personal moral choice regarding the abortion of her
pregnancy; however, we demand elimination of tax supported abortions.

We urge repeal of any laws limiting marriage to a relationship between a male and a female.

We favor inclusion on the ballot in every election of public officials the choice of "None of the above."

The function of governments, where they exist, is to protect individual rights against violations by other
people, not to protect individuals from themselves or from natural disasters. It is appropriate for
government during a disaster to prevent looting and other crimes against life and property. It is not the
business of government to provide relief, rescue teams, disaster insurance, evacuation, or disaster area
parks or wilderness areas.

Discuss.

Comments

  • Sid Anderson (unverified)
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    No taxation. No representation. Doesn't Saudi Arabia's government practice the "no taxation" system?

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    Someone send the libertarian commenter over on my post over here to see what I meant by using a quote which said that Libertarians were both short-sighted and lacked compassion.

  • Jennifer W. (unverified)
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    Uh-oh....bad news for you granola crunchin huppies: the CEO of Whole Foods is a freaking LIBERTARIAN!

  • askquestions1st (unverified)
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    You gotta love those whacky libertarians. I hear they also support repeal of the law of gravity (all due credit to whoever I must have stolen that from).

    I always think of Libertarians as kind of like boisterous happy drunks: Great fun to have around at parties because they always have something off-the-wall, laugh-out-loud funny to say ("Ending tax supported "mental health" propaganda campaigns", "We support the abolition of the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality"), and there's always a quiet, sober friend happy to get 'em home before they pass out for the night because they are so much fun.

    Seriously though, even though I'm a proud member of the true Democratic wing of the Democratic party, one thing I've always appreciated about the Libertarians I've known is how they actually think about government, and about articulating a coherent (albeit it just a bit tilted) set of governing values. That's a level of intellectual seriousness that a lot of progressives and other commentators in these pages and elsewhere could do themselves well to try to achieve.

  • Ed Bickford (unverified)
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    Warning! Shelob lurks nigh!

    We should make clear that political differences aside, the Libertarians are quite welcome to convene in Portland. May they have a truly enjoyable time here.

  • rewolfrats (unverified)
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    WTF? Nothing about property rights and repressive zoning regulations? Unincorporated areas forced to join sewer systems? Neighborhood associations with regulations on house color, RV parking, and tree cutting?

  • rewolfrats (unverified)
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    nevermind, it's in the platform.

  • Ray (unverified)
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    There's nothing intellectually consistent (or perhaps even honest) about a set of political "beliefs" that, on the one hand, agree that it is ok for government to protect individual rights against violations by other people but, on the other hand, are opposed to consumer protection laws or the existence of environmental protection agencies.

    Libertarians do have a big point, however, when they warn of the dangers to human freedom and dignity posed by the accumulation of too much power in too few hands. It is their blind obsession with government as the sole locus of that dangerous power, however, that loses me. How are huge, multinational corporations any less a threat to human freedom than agencies of government? How does the marketplace protect one from the abuses of a monopoly - in this lifetime anyway?

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    It's always seemed to me that the point at which the libertarian philosophy falls apart is the point at which they fail to concede that unless we hit the reset button so that everyone gets to start with the same share of things, instituting libertarian non-governance would only serve to increase current inequalities and inequities.

    I don't necessarily find a fault in every aspect of their philosophy, but since we can't actually get there from here -- and since they never seem to care all that much that we can't get there from here -- then they're pretty much left to being self-absorbed market utopians.

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    How are huge, multinational corporations any less a threat to human freedom than agencies of government? How does the marketplace protect one from the abuses of a monopoly - in this lifetime anyway?

    Well, corporations very rarely invade countries or jail people. When they kill people (deliberately) it's on a scale much smaller than any major world government.

    Personally, I'd like to see a study of the factors that tend to sustain monopolies. (Preferably, one that I can understand with no training in economics!) I suspect, but cannot prove, that really dangerous monopolies - i.e. work for them, or you don't work, buy food from them, or you don't eat - are largely sustained through either direct coercion or illegitimate government power, and if that power were withheld, the monopoly would naturally collapse. This is pure belief on my part, so I'm fairly skeptical of it, but I'd like it to be true!

    For my part, I just favor anything I can that takes decision-making away from central, removed sources and puts it at the most local level possible. I think the results of that philosophy end up reasonably similar to the Libertarian planks listed above.

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    A few MORE items of interest from their platform:(I added bold) Only actions that infringe the rights of others may properly be termed "crimes". We urge repeal of all laws creating "crimes" without victims. In particular, we urge: a) Repeal of all laws prohibiting the sale, cultivation, possession, or use of drugs , vitamins, and similar substances. b) Repeal of all laws regarding consensual sexual relations between adults of whatever gender , including prostitution and solicitation.. c) Repeal of all laws regulating or prohibiting gambling. d) Repeal of all laws interfering with the right to commit suicide. We demand that the Federal Government cease interfering with Oregon laws related to physician-assisted suicide. e) Repeal of all laws that require an individual to use safety equipment for his own protection. We support holding adults accountable for harm to dependents under their care.

    JK: Does this blog disagree with the above? This stuff all seems pretty progressive to me. Or maybe you disagree with these:

    3. DUE PROCESS All persons accused of crimes must be accorded full respect for their individual rights. We oppose any reduction to safeguards of the rights of the criminally accused. Specifically, we are opposed to preventive detention, so-called "no-knock" laws, all prior restraints based upon a fear that certain actions may lead to a crime, and all other measures that threaten individual rights. a) We advocate repeal of all laws establishing any category of crime applicable to minors for which adults would not be similarly answerable and an end to the practice of involuntary detention of children accused of no crime. We demand an end to teen curfews, involuntary drug testing, and searches without warrant. b) We support full restitution of all loss suffered by persons arrested, indicted, tried, imprisoned, or otherwise injured in the course of criminal proceedings against them that do not result in their conviction or in which their conviction is later overturned. Law enforcement agencies must be liable for this restitution unless malfeasance of the officials involved is proven, in which case they must be personally liable. c) We demand repeal of all laws and regulations allowing property forfeiture before the owner is convicted of an offense. We demand the immediate return of all property presently held under these regulations to its owner or the compensation of the owner if that is not possible. d) We support the right of the accused, or his attorney, in any case where the government is the plaintiff, to inform the jury without contradiction from judge or prosecutor, of its power to judge the merit, intent and applicability of the law and to acquit based on conscience. e) We demand an end to racial profiling. f) Convictions by less-than-unanimous juries undermine the principle that the accused must be proven guilty beyond reasonable doubt. We demand restoration of the requirement that guilty verdicts in criminal jury trials be unanimous.

    Oh,, maybe it is their consumer protection position that you don’t like: 2. CONSUMER PROTECTION a) We support strong and effective laws against fraud and misrepresentation. However, we urge repeal of paternalistic regulations that, impose prices, define standards for products, or otherwise restrict free choice. b) We urge repeal of all so-called "consumer protection" legislation that infringes upon voluntary trade. c) We urge repeal of all laws banning or restricting the advertising of prices, products, or services. d) We specifically oppose laws forcing an individual to buy or use so-called "self protection" equipment such as safety belts, air bags, or crash helmets. e) We demand repeal of all laws specifying what substances (nicotine, alcohol, hallucinogens, narcotics, vitamin supplements, or other "drugs") a person may ingest or otherwise use.

    Maybe some more people should look at this party.

    Thanks JK

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    The great power of the Libertarians is that they breathe the tension of the Constitution. They teeter on the edge of coordinated self-determination, and godless anarchy. The common thread through so much of libertarian policy is that it should be OK, unless. And I think there are no two better words to describe the Constitution than OK, unless. The founders sought the document to be spare, providing only the guidelines for when government should get involved. Otherwise, the presumption was that government would NOT be involved.

    On a civil freedoms basis that principle works like a charm. On foreign policy it's less reliable, and on economic policy it's a pirate nightmare. But welcome anyway! You'll love it here.

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    I gotta say, much as I disagree with several planks of their platform, I have to hand it to the Libertarians; their philosophy is remarkably consistent. Quite frankly, I can voluntarily find more contradictions in my own Left-ish value system than theirs.

    The thing with Libs is that they respect personal freedom/liberty above all else. I can totally respect that. But the problem with traditional Libertarianism is that it still sees Government as the only major impediment to personal freedom (with other individuals being a recognized but relatively minor issue). However, I think the newer and less dogmatic Libs are beginning to realize that major corporations (particularly the monopolists, oligarchs, and massive conglomerates) have at least as much potential to restrict personal liberty as Government. Kos and others have written about the growth of so-called "Libertarian Democrats" (sorry, I'm too tired to dig up the links; maybe in the morning...) and I think this is a philosophy that I, myself, relate to quite readily. I wouldn't be surprised to see it be a growing force in the next dozen years or so.

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    The great power of the Libertarians is that they breathe the tension of the Constitution.

    The greatest myth of Libertarianism is that they have some sort of greater claim to supporting the Constitution that any other group. It's a myth because Libs are very good at pretending the Constitution's mission statement -- the Rreamble -- doesn't exist. They have to pretend this because the Preamble in essence describes a SOCIAL CONTRACT. Libs may love contracts, but not that one.

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    And, of course "the Rreamble" doesn't exist, because that should be Preamble, which does exist.

  • B (unverified)
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    Joel H., the natural state of the world is very much what it looks like when you open your eyes and go outside.

    The only time the world approaches the libertarian eutopia is during the early stages of territorial expansion -- say rural Oregon circa 1840. Once there is a concentration of people or a concentration of wealth, a power structure develops -- government, corporate, feudal lord, cult leader, etc. Each tends toward excess without constant vigilance.

    For some reason many modern libertarians are only afraid of government and think some gaia like market forces will keep everything else in check.

  • B (unverified)
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    Basically it seems to me that libertarians get away with defining themselves with a litany of things they are against. Some invoke a religious like belief in market forces to argue (without historical references) that the hypothetical world they discribe would be close to a utopia. Others simply imply that the resulting suffering would be a good thing (natural selection?) or would help those that had a work ethic. In other words entities outside government can't have a negative impact on society.

    Shorter B:

    Libertarians are unwilling to describe themselves in terms of affirmative beneficial government programs that they actually support.

    To the extent that they want to eliminate long standing government programs, they appear to have irrational religious beliefs about the nature of the outcome or callous feelings towards those that would be hurt.

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    B., do you only talk to libertarians who are still in high school? Libertarians may want to abolish the department of education but I assure you that grownup ones don't want people to go uneducated. Rather, they would encourage people to take responsibility for this and many other things themselves. And even in the astronomically unlikely case that we elect a Libertarian president in 2008, it's not as if she's going to be able to singlehandedly dismantle the entire government in the first month of office, even if she wanted to. You needn't fear on that front.

    Certainly if the Department of Education and all public schools suddenly ceased to exist, most people would have no idea what to do and their children might go uneducated. But if we get parents to participate in schools more and more, taking on progressively more responsibilities, at some point they might find that they now ARE the school, and somewhere along the line they might demand a little more autonomy from the feds.

    As for the corporate power thing, let's try a thought experiment. A group of people pound on your door late at night, announce themselves (or not, thank you Scalia) break your door down, accuse you of possessing marijuana, and drag you to jail. Now, are they representatives of Enron or the government?

    Another scenario: After cynically manipulating energy markets, someone overcharges you for your electricity service, perhaps sending you into debt. Is that Enron or the government?

    Either scenario may threaten your freedom. Which one's worse?

    I know, corporations are killing and jailing people in Iraq, but the government is providing the context and the contracts there. I also know that sometimes corporations kill union leaders, pollute water supplies, deforest hillsides, and conspire to drive their smaller competitors out of business. Surprise! Most libertarians are, to the best of my knowledge, against all of those things.

    As for positive action, you're right, libertarians are sort of like atheists in that they're mostly defined by what they're against.

    I personally think the federal government should exist largely to prevent a foreign invasion and address abuses of power by the states. This is far more restrictive than the Constitution. But I am rather more open in what I want state governments to do, and a lot more open in what I want county and city governments to do. I don't know if that's a common libertarian trait.

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    about 25 years, i went to hear Ron Paul speak at PSU; i believe he wa the Libertarian Presidential candidate at the time. what i came away from that talk with was the realization that Libertarians did not like democracy. they had a higher moral view of life than the rest of us, and what we really needed to do was get rid of most of our democratic processes so that they, the Libs, would be free to do as they pleased. i had had no previous knowledge of their beliefs prior to that, and i was not politically involved. i was looking for a way to become involved, and it was clear to me that was not what i was looking for.

    American history teaches us one thing very clearly: as much as we'd like to have a tiny, invisible govt, we cannot trust each other to behave like decent human beings. too many of us will try to take advantage of our fellow citizens. so the Federal govt frequently has two choices: follow Libertarian practice and do nothing, or protect the disadvantaged by using the might of govt power. if some Libertarian would like to explain to me at what point we can trust altruism to guarantee our rights and happiness, i'll be glad to change my mind. but the bigger and more overwhelming international corporations become, the more i'll look to my democratically elected government to protect me. at least with my govt, i can have some amount of influence, however small it may seem at times.

  • David Wright (unverified)
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    T.A. --

    I don't particularly favor hard-line Libertarianism myself, but...

    If we can not trust human nature, how can we really trust government either, as it is made up of humans?

    Sure, we have laws and regulations... but they're written by those flawed humans.

    The democratic process has produced many failures to protect the disadvantaged. Measure 36, anyone? The entire Republican legislative agenda for the last 6 years?

    You probably have as much influence with international corporations as a consumer, as you do with your federal government as a voter.

    I doubt that any Libertarian would claim that their system guarantees your rights without some government (they aren't actually anarchists, after all). And I doubt any would claim that it's anybody else's job but yours to guarantee your own happiness under our current system.

  • william (unverified)
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    It's always seemed to me that the point at which the libertarian philosophy falls apart is the point at which they fail to concede that unless we hit the reset button so that everyone gets to start with the same share of things, instituting libertarian non-governance would only serve to increase current inequalities and inequities.

    Precisely. Which is why we need a good ol' global Communist Revolution first. Only then can libertarianism be successful.

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    t.a.: a powerful central government doesn't necessarily work for you. Anything you have influence over, the millions of people in James Dobson's audience also have influence over. But, the FDA did finally release the HPV vaccine, didn't it? I guess they don't have total control quite yet.

    But, what I really came back to do was to point out this speech by John Mackey the previously mentioned CEO of Whole Foods. (I saw this link in what I suspect is the same place Jennifer W. saw hers.) I think it's a great example of modern, socially aware libertarian ideas.

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    I don't want to pollute this thread, but I've thought of a great example of how what T.A. suggests really does boil down to trusting the human nature of those in the government.

    I heard a show on OPB (June 18, I think, before noon, on the Eugene station) describing the plight of people living in trailer parks, when those parks are sold to developers and the residents are evicted. This is unquestionably a corporate threat to people's liberty, and I'll bet the official libertarian response is "Just buy your own property, problem solved" -- which obviously isn't very helpful.

    But when someone called in, saying "I live in a trailer park on the Prineville rimrock, with a million dollar view, which is likely to be sold off, the entire response from the talking heads on the show boiled down to "Just write your representatives and hope that someone saves you." That's even worse than the libertarian solution! (Though, I suppose, slightly better than just praying about it.) Do they think the developers haven't already lobbied the government or that congressmen won't back the parties with money? I don't personally have anything better to offer than "Just buy your own property" but were I in that situation, I'd much rather take the matter into my own hands than trust in the altruism of the state government.

  • B (unverified)
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    Joel H.

    Yeah, a lot of them are either still in highschool (or at least developed their political philosophy in high school). Very few have a grasp on the limitations of the free market when it comes to protecting consumers and investors or working toward a common good (Warren Buffet's 95% of problems are solved by the free market philosophy). Sometimes free market mechanisms are just too weak.

    The chances of me being screwed over by corporations is a lot higher than G-men breaking down my front door. . . and if the government over reaches, it is my government and I have the power to fight for reform.

    Although it might be hard to envision in today's political climate, there is such a thing as a well meaning constitutional democracy that is responsive to it's citizen's needs, rights, and freedoms. It's high time for a good government party that fights for efficiency, liberty, and fairness -- and against corruption, waste, and stupidity.

    As near as I can tell, libertarians are primarily the party of me (my money, my property, my gun, my penis, my drugs). That's all well and good, but the government needs a hell of a lot more than restrictions to become a good, effective, and efficient government. It needs your attention and your vigilance concerning the functions it actually serves.

    at some point they might find that they now ARE the school, and somewhere along the line they might demand a little more autonomy from the feds.

    You already are the school. You already have the power to fire the assholes pushing federal standardized tests and federal no child left behind crap. You have the power to push changes at the local level to remove teacher tenure or include seminal libertarian literature in the 6th grade curriculum.

    If this is about childless workers supporting other people's children, orphans, teachers, and administrators -- welcome to the real world. Your not alone in the wilderness, it's not 1840, and your roads, defense, police, fire department, jails, food, entertainment, social security check, etc. depend upon a functioning American society surviving until you pass on to that great libertarian utiopian drug and fuck fest in the sky.

  • B (unverified)
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    Is this Prineville story about eminent domain? If not I don't see how the government comes into play. Renters and lease holders generally have little say over the eventual sale or development of property they live on. Exceptions in SF and Berkeley are pretty controversial even amongst far left liberals.

    BTW, I find the argument; "corporations don't invade foreign countries and commit genocide, governments do" -- a little disingenous. Strong central governments are actually the main reason countries don't get invaded and their people decimated. In fact, strong central governments stopped Hitler, Ghengis Khan, Saddam Hussein, Milosovich, Hirohito. Countless other wannabe empires have been held within their own borders by strong central governments on the outside.

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    B- I have the power to use the public schools to indoctrinate students in my own politics? As I recall the OCA failed in their attempt 10 years ago (when I was at Redmond High, in fact) and let me tell you that had massive local support in many places, such as... Redmond. It still failed.

    I should say that if I had kids in school, I certainly wouldn't tolerate anti-gay, anti-evolution, etc. teaching there. But nevertheless, attempts to introduce these things into local schools are routinely overruled at higher levels, because the schools aren't really that decentralized. If they were, Redmond might be the OCA's flagship district. (Yes, this is a flaw in my philosophy, and I wish I had a solution to it.)

    As far as I know, there was no eminent domain involved in the trailer-parks story, but that's hardly an issue to bring up in favor of benevolent government power.

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    And by the way -- I don't think anyone stopped Genghis Khan, but otherwise, your examples are of central governments stopping more psychopathic central governments. Let's not forget that one of those you mentioned rose to power through democratic institutions. This, I think, fails to rebut libertarianism.

  • B (unverified)
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    Well you have to be smart about it. You can have a religion class and include readings from the bible, koran, torah, etc. You can have a political/social philosphy class and include readings from Rand, Chomsky, Descartes, Marx, (or even white supremicists and anti-gay biggots). Kids are smart enough to choose the one correct path toward libertarian paradise, right?

    I believe in the possibility of good government (not the trust in, or the assumption of), but I don't believe "benevelolent government power" has the right to read into 1 year trailer park leases -- rights that are not explicitly stated within them. Maybe I'm not understanding the case.

    <hr/>

    A question for libertarian property rights activists out there: Measure 37 was written such that zoning waivers can not be transfered upon sale or inheritance. The average citizen lives a few decades after purchasing land, but corporations just keep on existing as long as they stay in business. Doesn't this mean that a few decades down the road the only entities exempt from zoning regulations will be corporations? How much land do they own? Something like 10 million acres? Did you realize you were making them super-citizens, super exempt from regulation?

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    I voted against Measure 37, actually. (And I'm amazed it took 28 comments for someone to bring it up!) I thought it was poorly written, full of problems like that one. I like the general idea, but that particular bill was simply awful.

  • B (unverified)
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    Yeah but the Mamluks eventually kicked Hulagu Khan's ass. The same can not be said for the independent minded feudal lords of Eastern Europe.

    The point is simply that the absence of a strong central government is not necessarily a good thing. During times of war governments sometimes have to do pretty anti-libertarian things (conscript citizens, property, horses, monopolize industry and resources, restrict food rations). If they didn't the countries wouldn't survive. If that doesn't jive with your political philosophy, the philosophy doesn't respect reality. I think many libertarians understand this, but others are unwilling to believe that certain personal sacrifices are ever necessary to sustain a functioning community in the long run.

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    B - I think you've got the case right, but I don't remember the details. It wasn't just Prineville; this sort of redevelopment was presented as being a problem in many places. What annoyed me, though, was that when the woman called in asking what she, personally, could do to prevent being tossed out of her home, the only possible remedy given was to hope for government assistance. Which, as you say, probably won't be forthcoming.

    Here's a summary of the broadcast, (it was KLCC, not OPB) unfortunately without an audio stream.

    http://www.klcc.org/broadcast/broadcastdetails.html?broadcastid=23321

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    And, here's an example of some actual government assistance in that case! But, it's at the city level, which IMO is exactly where it should be.

    http://www.eugeneweekly.com/2005/12/08/views1.html

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    B:A question for libertarian property rights activists out there: Measure 37 was written such that zoning waivers can not be transfered upon sale or inheritance. The average citizen lives a few decades after purchasing land, but corporations just keep on existing as long as they stay in business. Doesn't this mean that a few decades down the road the only entities exempt from zoning regulations will be corporations? How much land do they own? Something like 10 million acres? Did you realize you were making them super-citizens, super exempt from regulation? JK:That is an outright lie from the land thieves that infest Oregon’s government. M37 says remove the rule or pay for the loss. What you describe is an incomplete removal. We will be seeing court cases on this.

    Thanks JK

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    Joel H: I don't want to pollute this thread, but I've thought of a great example of how what T.A. suggests really does boil down to trusting the human nature of those in the government.

    I heard a show on OPB (June 18, I think, before noon, on the Eugene station) describing the plight of people living in trailer parks, when those parks are sold to developers and the residents are evicted. This is unquestionably a corporate threat to people's liberty, and I'll bet the official libertarian response is "Just buy your own property, problem solved" -- which obviously isn't very helpful. JK: We must remember that ths reason so many of these cases are occurring is the same reason that we are getting skinny houses and giant apartments in your neighborhood: Oregon’s government created shortage of land. Our land uses system that restricts building with UGBs around every city.

    Thanks JK

  • B (unverified)
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    What's the lie JK? That individuals can't inherit waiver rights or that corporations can maintain them in spite of multiple Presidents/CEOs dying between the time of purchase and exemption request? Measure 37 does force a lot of things into the courts but I'm pretty sure those two items are solid.

  • B (unverified)
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    Thanks for the links Joel. The best long term solution in my mind would be to have significant tax breaks for properties used for affordable housing and perhaps a special zoning designation to ensure a certain percentage of city or county land is utilized for the purpose. Measure 37 complicates any zoning solutions unless it's upgrade of recently acquired agricultural land.

    It's a significant problem in California. Redevelopment in many urban areas has removed affordable housing from the local market. You end up seeing crazy things like janitors commuting 5 hours a day from Modesto to Palo Alto and back. It's not an example of a well planned community / local economy. Especially if oil markets continue to be tight.

    Of course you could argue (as I assume JK would) that the SF peninsula just has too much open space, wetlands, agricultural fields and they could be converted to housing if zoning laws disappeared and public entities had land auctions. That might keep things moving for a decade or so.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Ray: Libertarians do have a big point, however, when they warn of the dangers to human freedom and dignity posed by the accumulation of too much power in too few hands. It is their blind obsession with government as the sole locus of that dangerous power, however, that loses me. How are huge, multinational corporations any less a threat to human freedom than agencies of government?

    The answer to that question is found in the fact that such corporations (or even an industry made up of small to medium-sized firms) use government power to get what they can't on their own. For example, if a Latin America nation tosses out all McDonalds franchises and McD's wants to reverse that, it can't draft people on its own and send a McD's Army down there. It uses the government to do that and the phrase "protecting American interests" is used to mask the specific reason.

    But keep in mind that all kinds of people use government to obtain what it cannot on its own, including very small businesses and even individuals. A few years ago I read of a Mexican immigrant who had been renting a small lot in Hillsboro to park his Taco Truck during lunch times and weekends. A local restaurant owner didn't like the competition so he got the city council (and such councils, also being naive and poorly educated about the free market capitalism, often don't need to be prodded) to pass a law stating that no property can be rented to a food carts or trucks.

    Such laws are easy to pass since the 1930s thanks to the successful effort since then to water down both property rights and economic rights and to condition people to accept reams of regulations on both even though most have nothing at all to do with public safety (the Kelo decision from last year was the inevitable result of this mindset).

    How does the marketplace protect one from the abuses of a monopoly - in this lifetime anyway?

    Depends on what the monopoly is doing. If there was a maker of cookies so great that no one wanted to buy any others, so what? If new competitors popped up and did well because of similar cookies produced, that one big company must not be allowed to use the State to make the market harder to enter (usually under the guise of some abstract "public safety" concern), and cannot be allowed to get away with burning down its competitors (which isn't a market tool anyway). When force is used, we have mechanisms even in a limited government society to deal with that. Being held accountable didn't start with the New Deal or Great Society. When mechanisms don't help, it's because the bulk of the people no longer care (I know we're not there yet).

    By the way, who's protected by the taxi service cartel in Portland? Millionaire Sho Dozono, owner of one of the privileged companies? Some day this issue will be discussed here. I'll wait.

    Bob Tiernan

  • Robert Ted Hinds (unverified)
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    Firstly, I am not a libertarian. I don't belong to any political party anymore, because they all disappoint at this threshold level of what I need to see to be a party member. That said, I think it's a bit sad to see the mighty Democratic party taking shots like this at the Libertarians. In many respects, the Libs have exercised much more courage than the second most powerful party in the USA, by fighting vote fraud in Ohio with the Greens in 2004, to openly calling for impeachment of George Bush.

    Second, it should be said that all political parties have their extreme and moderate constituencies. Most Libertarian writers have not traditionally called for the end of ALL taxes, but taxes on individual income tax, which is consistent with the words of our Founding Fathers in the Declaration of Independence. Our founding fathers, in the year Adam Smith published ...The Wealth of Nations, didn't explicitly cite a problem with taxation of business entities. Unfortuantely, the Libertarian Party has been seized upon by the anti-taxation absolutists. A more pointed critique of this item of current Libertarian agendae would be to state the Libertarian claim that all taxation should be replaced by fees for services rendered, since there is a total absense of neo-Libertarian theses on how such governmental organizations designed to collect, digest, and disseminate "fees for services" would not eventually mimic the same bureaucracy neo-Libs claim to be the bain of government.

    Personally, I welcome Libertarians to Portland. Libs deserve as much respect as the Green Party (which suffers from its own internal factions as to policy). As other commentors have pointed out, Libs policies (especially when distinguished from the anti-tax-absolutist neo-Libs) are remarkably consistent. They are also the one party today that practices Jeffersonian concepts of non-interventionism, which is dialectically opposed to the imperial concepts of Washington's most powerful think-tank for 60+ years, the Council on Foreign Relations, which has been the main progenitor of U.S. foreign policy for both Republicans and Democrats.

  • School Marm (unverified)
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    RTH: I am a little confused with the structure of your paragraphs...

    Firstly (begins the first paragraph) Second (sans "ly" begins the second) Personally (sans "third")

    Shouldn't it be:

    Firstly Secondly Thirdly

    ?>?>?If your diction isn't consistent, how can your politics or intellect aspire to consistency?

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    Did that turn off the italics?

    Look, with Dubya's approval hovering at the light 30s, those other 19% people who voted for him have to have someplace to go to avoid looking like morons.

    Libertarianism is it, folks; all of the corporatism run roughshod, small ineffectual government party time, without that PITA Christian Sharia that none of the real Republican Party People followed or believed in, anyway!

    This has been in play at least since Papa Bush, friends. But here's a drinking game for my Blue Oregonians:

    For every person in common at the Libertarian conference and the latest Bush rally, take a sip. If someone can also tie that person into a Fred Phelps, "God hates fags" rally, you have to chug.

  • toast (unverified)
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    I would but my beer is warm. Only been in the fridge a half hour.

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    Robert wrote, it's a bit sad to see the mighty Democratic party taking shots like this at the Libertarians.

    Um, which mighty Democratic party do you speak of? If you're just talking about a handful of BlueOregon commenters on a holiday weekend, that's hardly the "mighty Democratic party" (even if such thing is alleged to exist.)

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    The only time the world approaches the libertarian eutopia is during the early stages of territorial expansion -- say rural Oregon circa 1840.

    Of course that libertarian utopia was a little rough on the natives, eh?

  • asdf (unverified)
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    Kari: Are you saying the anti-union, pro-corporate, anti-environment, anti-FEMA, anti-public school, and anti-public health positions outlined in the main post are items that the main stream Democratic party would not have a problem with?

    Frank: I think the majority of natives were killed by disease prior to the 1840's. Compared to other parts of the country, there was little conflict and generally plent of room for both early settlers and surviving Native Americans.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    B: The point is simply that the absence of a strong central government is not necessarily a good thing. During times of war governments sometimes have to do pretty anti-libertarian things (conscript citizens, property, horses, monopolize industry and resources, restrict food rations). If they didn't the countries wouldn't survive.

    Sure (up to a point), but they don't have to keep all of these mechanisms after the end of a war. Even many of the things done during a war (talking about the U.S. here) are overkill. Read up on Woodrow Wilson. Much of the way government controls the economy "for our own good" stems from WWI.

    Bob Tiernan

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    B: For some reason many modern libertarians are only afraid of government and think some gaia like market forces will keep everything else in check.

    Not just market forces, but our court system (and our own vigilance) dealing with actual rights violations by others (including business owners). If a company owner orders some of his workers to dump battery acid in a nearby river, that would be violating rights and was so even before environmental laws were passed. For some strange reasons, many critics of such a system go around saying that in a free market, businesses would be free to pollute all they want. That shows a real lack of understanding of many things, not just libertariansism.

    Bob Tiernan

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Joel H: Libertarians may want to abolish the department of education but I assure you that grownup ones don't want people to go uneducated.

    The myth here is that the US Department of Education is needed. We went without until the Carter Admin. The Department of Education exists to dole out money. It doesn't educate anyone nor does it guarantee it. At most it should be an agency within another department (like it once was), but even that would be axed by me if I could get my way. It's feel good bureaucracy, plain and simple. That so many people thinks it's necessary shows that the people favoring the big bloated beauraucratic state have won the propaganda war.

    Bob Tiernan

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Joel H: personally think the federal government should exist largely to prevent a foreign invasion and address abuses of power by the states. This is far more restrictive than the Constitution.

    Well, not really. One of the big myths is that the national government (including the Federal courts) have no business nixing any rights violations committed by state and local governments. It does, and practiced that more many decades ago. Things slowly took a turn for the worst, particularly with decisions like the Slaughterhouse decision in the late 1800s which gave a green light to state and local government squashing of individuals' economic rights (another forgotten right). This mindset, coupled with mindsets regarding property rights, led to the travesty of last year's Kelo v. New London decision (we needed one more Scalia or Thomas on that one).

    It would not have been activist at all for the USSC to rule against the City of New London. That's what a lot of people don't understand about activism and restraint. Idiots like Robert Bork accept the concept of the Federal courts not interfering with rights abuses by state and local governments (from a conservative POV) while other scholars and justices have their own POV of restraint when they see state and local government abusing ("controlling" for out own good) economic rights in ways they agree with. Likewise, both sides believe in activism when it's squashing a state or local law that they don't like but isn't exactly abusive of any rights.

    Kennedy's decision on the Texas sodomy case is one that should be read for it brought up the rarely used 9th Amendment. State's rights conservatives (as opposed to those conservatives who believe in a role for the USSC to stop state and local abuses) trashed the decision by claiming that Texans (thru legislative action or initiative if they have them) had a right to ban such acts. But since the act interferes with no one else's rights, Texas was wrong, and the USSC stopped it. It should also do that with a lot of economic rights but doesn't thanks to previous (and awful) precedents.

    But I am rather more open in what I want state governments to do, and a lot more open in what I want county and city governments to do.

    Still, no level of government can violate individuals' rights. The Institute for Justice acts as an ACLU for economic rights, defending people (many minorities being screwed by New Deal type controls) who want to earn an honest living but who are thwarted by the many state and local controls that exist not to protect people from big bad business peoplem, but to protect favored busines owners (under the guise of protecting everyone). Far too many buy into this crap.

    Bob Tiernan

  • jim karlock (unverified)
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    B: What's the lie JK? That individuals can't inherit waiver rights or that corporations can maintain them in spite of multiple Presidents/CEOs dying between the time of purchase and exemption request? Measure 37 does force a lot of things into the courts but I'm pretty sure those two items are solid JK:See: http://www.oregoncatalyst.com/index.php?/archives/207-Measure-37-Rights-are-Fully-Transferable.html This was written be one of the authors of M37. He should know what it does.

    Thanks JK

  • Joel H (unverified)
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    That so many people thinks it's necessary shows that the people favoring the big bloated beauraucratic state have won the propaganda war.

    Amen.

    ... and by the way, I don't agree with Bork on a lot of issues, but the man is unambiguously NOT an idiot!

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Joel H: ... and by the way, I don't agree with Bork on a lot of issues, but the man is unambiguously NOT an idiot!

    Sure, he's very intelligent. He didn't deserve the treatment he received after being nominated to the USSC. But I'm really glad he wasn't approved. He's an idiot because he's smart enough to know about Federalism but buys into the brand of states'rights conservatism that accepts rubberstamping (i.e. non-activism) of abuses of rights by state and local governments. He even refered to the 10th Amendment as "an ink blot" more or less. And the 9th as even less than that.

    The left leaners also have their own non-interventionist thinkers, particularly when the abuses in question are controls on economic activity, including land use. Both sides have people who know when the USSC can step in to protect rights of people from abuses by state and local governments, and both have people who think the opposite way or are selective (inconsistent) in the use of rights protection. All of this has confused the issue a great deal.

    Bob Tiernan

  • B (unverified)
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    JK,

    If measure 37 rights were fully transferable and retroactively so, all property in the state could be developed according to 1859 regulations. Land sales, inheritance, transfers, etc. wouldn't matter.

    Instead of having your multi-page ballot measure you could have just said -- all existing and future land use regulations are void. Is that what you are arguing?

    Thanks, B

  • B (unverified)
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    Bob Tiernan: Sure (up to a point), but they don't have to keep all of these mechanisms after the end of a war. Even many of the things done during a war (talking about the U.S. here) are overkill. Read up on Woodrow Wilson. Much of the way government controls the economy "for our own good" stems from WWI.

    Reasonable people will disagree. There are other threats to our society than Hitler and the whole point of representative democracy is to have a government that responds to them as a plurality believes is appropriate. There's definitely a lot of politicians trying to hang on to or grab excessive power. You don't have to vote for them. There are also some threats out there that you may think the government is ignoring (inflation, immigration, chinese militancy, whatever's your pet issue). You can vote for people that take these seriously too. Vigilance and an educated electorate would definitely improve (and maybe even reduce the size of) our government.

    B: For some reason many modern libertarians are only afraid of government and think some gaia like market forces will keep everything else in check.

    Bob Tiernan: Not just market forces, but our court system (and our own vigilance) dealing with actual rights violations by others (including business owners). If a company owner orders some of his workers to dump battery acid in a nearby river, that would be violating rights and was so even before environmental laws were passed. For some strange reasons, many critics of such a system go around saying that in a free market, businesses would be free to pollute all they want. That shows a real lack of understanding of many things, not just libertariansism.

    Court system? With laws written by a legislature? Enforced by an executive branch? Sounds suspiciously like a government to me. More citizen vigilance sounds like a good idea though.

  • PanchoPdx (unverified)
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    B,

    M37 only restored lost property rights for actual owners of property and for their descendents (so grandpa's property rights pass to his grandchildren).

    Most of the property in Oregon was not subject to a pre-SB 100 claim, because it was later transferred to a new owner (not a family member). I would be surprised to discover if M37 claims exceed 5% of the total private property in Oregon (so it is hardly voiding all existing land use regulations).

    Regardless, after December 2006, there will be no more retroactive claims as the statute of limitations will have run on them.

  • B (unverified)
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    Thanks Pancho. You've sent lazy old me to the actual text:

    http://www.sos.state.or.us/elections/nov22004/guide/meas/m37_text.html

    Glad to read about the sunset. And you're right. Corporations have the same rights as families. I actually have a relative with 200 acres they could apply on. I didn't know that. Blogs are a good thing.

    Is there anything inhibiting Weyerhaeuser from applying for a waiver on their entire 1.1 million acres in Oregon (about 2% of the state)? Maybe the increase in property tax assesment?

    My grandfather used to own a few thousands acreas south of Eugene. If anyone wants to loan me a few hundred million I could buy some of it back and test out the measures definition of "prior ownership".

  • B (unverified)
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    BTW, is anyone testing out the constitutionality of the measure with respect to the fact that it distinguishes between the rights of "family members" and other entities that might acqurie a property. It seems the supreme court didn't touch on this.

  • why i'm not a libertarian (unverified)
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    i used to be a libertarian, but no longer.. it became time to grow up (to be fair, i feel the same about all other extremist ideologues). here's why i am no longer one: in their defense of "liberty", libertarians stop short of no government, and settle with minimal government. the "night watchman" state. this state is basically a security providing apparatus : courts, police, prisons, national defense, in order to protect individual liberty, the foundation of which is the right of self-ownership and private property (in land). the whole crux of the argument rests on that idea of private property being the root of individual liberty. and, while i do in fact beleive that private property is a very important tool in protecting individual liberty, it is also, quite ironically a a powerful force against individual liberty.

    how so? simple: private property, as granted and defended by government, is a priviledge, for property is exclusionary. a person's "right" to a plot of land, is also a right to exclude others from that land. this is an infringment against everyone else's "right" to mix their labor with the earth in order to provide for themselves. sure, in most cases it is a tiny infringment that is easily rectified by the availability of other land, but add billions of people, and scarcity becomes an issue.

    now there are anarchists out their that believe all land cannot be owned, or is first user has rights but must defend it themselves, or those who believe in usufruct--land can be "owned" only so far as it is being used. but these are anarchists, not libertarians.

    delve further into the libertarian philosophy, and you will find further instances of supporting of government granted priviledge. for example, the corporation: go try and form a limited liability company with entity status without the backing of a government, including a sympathetic legal system. it's simply not possible. you could form a partnership, or some kind of co-op though.

    now think about patents: government backed monopolies that many libertarians support.

    now think about copyrights: government backed monopolies that many libertarians support.

    i could go on. the only point is, that even in a system of very minimal government, said government is going to be responsible for forcing injustice upon some through priviledges granted to others. the best way to deal with the side effects of a strictly liberal government, is through a democratic society where the citizens get to influence outcomes. it's not perfect, in fact, it's grossly imperfect, but it's much better than anything else that has been tried.

    that said, keep it up libertarians. keep up the good fight. most importantly, stay away from the republican party, which pretends to adhere to your beliefs, while governing to the benefit of their wealthy masters. also, tell your comrades who are supporting the iraq war that they can no longer use your name. i think progressives and libertarians could create a strong alliance if each could get past their prejudices and just try to govern effectively. but that will never happen, either.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    B: Court system? With laws written by a legislature? Enforced by an executive branch? Sounds suspiciously like a government to me.

    Of course it is. Courts available for citizens to use when someone is a victim against some form of aggression, like you taking a business owner to court for dumping trash in your yard. No laws need to be written ahead of time to make that an offense you have a right to deal with. There is a big difference between what I describe, and a heavy-handed government that micromanages zillions of things (up to and including outright prohibitions).

    Bob Tiernan

  • blizzak (unverified)
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    progressives don't fear the government because (for the most part) the people who make up the porgressive movement (ow whatever) in Oregon and elsewhere are not the targets of the state and federal drug war. the drug war has incacerated millions of people in the united states. the convictions/incarceratons alone do not measure the impact of the drug war on certain segments of the population (largely poor and non-white) -- there are no accurate figures about how many stops, searches, etc. have been carried out on innocent people by the police. do the benefits of government programs outweigh the detriments of the drug war? is is possible to have a big government that doesn't abuse its power? they're tough questions and there are arguments either way; however, it's bulls**t for people who are not targeted by the police state to dismiss the damage that has been done by the drug war.

  • B (unverified)
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    Bob -- So everyone in LA could have sued everyone else for not having catalytic converters in the early 1970's. Maybe everyone in Bangledesh could sue everyone else for taking a crap in the river. If a company poisons the groundwater of a city and a large number of people drop dead from lymphoma, they can sue the company to cover unpaid medical bills. Great.

    I think the problem you face is that a majority of americans disagree with you and we live in a democracy. Most people favor proactive government action to prevent environmental problems that impact health. Sometimes that involves regulating non-point source pollution generated by a sizeable fraction of the population. One libertarian crapping in the creek doesn't have a huge impact, but if everyone in Portland crapped in the Willamette you could probably walk acrossed it or even set it on fire.

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    B: Bob -- So everyone in LA could have sued everyone else for not having catalytic converters in the early 1970's. Maybe everyone in Bangledesh could sue everyone else for taking a crap in the river. If a company poisons the groundwater of a city and a large number of people drop dead from lymphoma, they can sue the company to cover unpaid medical bills. Great.

    Your first example is a stretch. Your second example provides a good example of the problem with the commons (and it's not much of an improvement here where the government owns the rivers and thus sells permits to pollute them--but at least there's an owner to say no at times).

    The third example is a good one to talk about. What's to stop such a dumping now? It still happens. Point is that despite what many non-libertarians say, people like that company owner don't have a right to dump their poisons anywhere they feel like it. You act as if you cannot do anything about someone dumping poison in your yard (or where it harms you) unless there's a law saying a) you can, and b) he can't dump stuff in your yard.

    By the way, in the early days of the Industrial Revolution in America, businesses that polluted surrounding areas (ruining crops etc) were often taken to court by townspeople (in early examples of what we now call class action suits) where damages were awarded to them. This got turned around later when various lawyers, judges etc (of the same mindset and more sympathetic to the polluters) started ruling in favor of the business owners, citing their view that the growth of industry was good for the whole and this more important than the rights of individuals harmed by this. This was the group right trumping the individual right. Sounds collectivist to me. Seems property rights were being used effectively until someone had a "good for the whole" idea.

    Oh, if it means anything, I favor a number of environmental laws. I just think they have gone way overboard because they are given the biggest pass of all categories of laws.

    Bob Tiernan

  • B (unverified)
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    Actually the problems of unhealthy smog and and crap in rivers are easily and directly solved by minimal government regulations (requiring gasoline additives, catalytic converters, sewage treatment plants). You can simply regulate the output and let the free market figure out the best way to get there. In Bangledesh, the lack of money may require innovative techniques -- i.e rusty nails to remove arsenic from drinking water, and education programs to ensure the best latrine practices and that people do their best to avoid surface water after floods.

    The biggest problem with environmental pollutants is that they (or their hazards) are frequently not recognized till long after damage is done. Therefore, I don't have big problems with laws requiring a company to conduct research on the effects of pesticides and their degradation products (EPA registration process), or the effects of mining or industrial land use (environmental impact statements). A lot also depends on federal investment in basic science and analytical techniques. Without that we'd still be doing a he said she said song and dance on DDT, arsenic, lead, cigarettes, etc. Lawsuits and class action suits without sound peer-reviewed science won't help anyone. Just look at all the money Dow Corning lost on silicone breast implants. Maybe judges need to be able to consult scientific advisors outside of those the defense and prosecution bring in. Maybe they need to take courses on basic science.

    Have any good examples of bogus overboard environmental laws? I guess you might be talking about ones that don't impact public health? Endangered Species act? Wilderness protection? I'll grant you that they are concerned with moral values more than human health, but a majority in congress endorsed those values. I think a lot of Americans still have a lot of respect for wilderness, the complexity of life in natural systems, God's creation? I guess we'll see.

  • ScottLindsley (unverified)
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    You blue voters forget quite a bit,

    Libertarians believe in a socially tolerant and fiscally responsible government.

    So they are more buyer beware than your tastes are, so you let them whither on the vine?

    They won't support corporate fraud or corporate welfare (as in 'they would not have turned the other cheek to enron' as the federal govt did till late in the game).

    They DO want the environment to be protected but rather by using property rights protection of the landowners, schools, etc downwind - downstream instead of the incessant raising and lowering of acceptable toxins and pollutants (see Badnarik on c-span.org) you and the republicans keep fighting over.

    Sooooo, this means they don't care about the environment?

    You Blue State Bobbleheads have to stand by Senators that voted for a national ID card. Voted for the war (and or funding the war ie Cantwell). Voted for the ever eroding personal AND community rights into one centralized authoritarian system.

    And here's the funny part, rather than assisting Libertarians into office, you'd rather contend with your polar opposite republicans for eight frickin years. Brilliant plan.

    How can any of you read Jefferson and think THIS is what he had in mind.

    The entire thread of this post has been biased from the open. I don't care how many degrees you have or how well you have thought out your voting methods, the libertarians have one essential thing right that both of the two parties willfully ignore in their power lust, the notion that our individual rights are not subject to your vote!

    Look at the nation the lessor of evils built.

    Look at the road we are on in order for you to force your ideal system down everyones throat.

    Democrats want mandate compassion, republicans want to mandate morals, Libertarians want to mandate Liberty.

    You know what is even funnier than that, had you planned ahead, or cared to, you could have come to the Libertarians National Convention (gasp) and help restructure the way they work.

    You could have helped vote away and rethink some of the planks (did you know they voted away most of the platform?)

    Never forget that it is your two party system that very undemocratically keeps third party candidates off the ballot. It was easier -and equally pointless, I guess- to get on the ballot in Iraq than it is in the good ole U.S. of A..

    Never forget that it is the United States government that is THE largest polluter on the face of this Earth (and you want to throw MORE MONEY AT IT???).

    Never forget that people standing up for what they think is right should be admired and coached, not mocked and marginalized.

    You are welcome to not think of this country as 'free', but the Libertarians want it to be. I really would ask you to rethink how stupid they are.

    Scott~

  • Jeff Smith (unverified)
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    The DP does have a liberty (not libertarian) wing, called the Democratic Freedom Caucus. We take seriously the need to keep the state in check, the corporation in check, the ruling elite in check, etc. We also recognize that political liberty can not exist in an economic vacuum, and so propose an extra income for everyone, as many European parties propose, and as Alaskans enjoy. What's the point of liberty if you don't have the free time to enjoy it? In Oregon, we could make the kicker a fixture - a couple hundred dollars a month for every registered voter - were we to recover and share all the values of downtown lots, residential lots, forests, mines, utilities, etc (those values imparted by society rather than generated by individuals). If you want to reform the flow of public revenue, check out the DFC.

  • Steve Amy (unverified)
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    A Libertarian in a booth at the Wash. Co. fair showed me a chart on which Thoreau was claimed as a Libertarian.

    Well, here's a short passage from Walden: "I cannot believe that our factory system is the best mode by which men may get clothing. The condition of the operatives is becoming everyday more like that of the English; and it cannot be wondered at, since, as far as I have heard or observed, the principal object is, not that mankind be well and honestly clad, but, unquestionably, that corporations may be enriched."

    So, the Libertarian's confusion probably stemmed from Thoreau's famous: "I heartily accept the notion that that government which governs best governs least; therefore I'd say better still not at all"; which, of course, refers to Jefferson's famous quote.

    They should know that Jefferson opposed industrialization, on the idea that a person loses political freedom if forced to work for another, an idea which hints at Anarchism. And they should know thast Thorea was very much Anarchistic in his ideas.

  • Steve Amy (unverified)
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    sorry for typos in previous post

    I brought up this history in response to Scott Lindsley, who posted "How can you read Jefferson and think THIS is what he had in mind"

    We live in Alexander Hamilton's country, not Jefferson's. The modern Dem party was born in Jackson's term as response to the already long-dead Jeffersonian vision of a nation of "yeoman" farmers

    <h2>In other words, if the dominant economic model has most people dependent on wage or salary income, then that infers the need for big government. We have seen what happens under this model in a lassaiz-faire or mercantilist system (such as conditions of industrial workers during the Gilded Age, a problem which seems to be seeping back into society to some degree, such as regards number of hours worked).</h2>
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