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Skeptical Libertarians and LRC

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Bert Posted: Mon, Sep 10 2012 11:25 AM

For a few weeks now I've been following the The Skeptical Libertarian page (official site here).  They seem to be rather anti-conspiracy theory (for example; 9/11, vaccines, moon landing, FEMA, etc.)  They also enjoy breaking down LRC, and as of late Gary North.

They posted this link with the update: "More libertarian greatness from the Lew Rockwell crowd . Sorry that we have been so "pompous" and "hateful" when it comes to Lew Rockwell . We are obviously "pseudo" libertarians who care not for the advancement of liberty and should be more tolerant of the stoning of homosexuals and speaking at neo nazi events . We have concluded that CLEARLY it is us who are the divisive assholes in the liberty movement and we apologize"

As well as something posted last night:

It doesn't take much to provoke an outpouring of crazy from some people in this "movement." These tend to be the people who most loudly proclaim "Think for yourself! Don't appeal to tradition or authority! Tolerate diversity!"

But we criticize a sacred cow, and in mere seconds... "TREASON! PHONY! LIAR! STATIST! UNLIKE! Lew Rockwell is a HERO!!! Bush did 9/11! HIV-AIDS is a FAKE! Vaccines are POISON! FEMA CAMPS!!" It doesn't help that they always have Ron Paul profile pictures, either. Somewhat frustrating.

I know the LRC blog wrote an article on them a few weeks ago, and of course The Sketpical Libertarian retaliated.  I don't actually got to LRC anymore, so I haven't kept up if they are still having a blog war against one another.

Anyone else keeping up with this?

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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I don't know who Daniel Bier is, but he obviously thinks himself more important than he is.  He certainly doesn't have the political experience or libertarian credentials of the people he's going after.  Does he really think he's going to topple their credibility, when their credibility is practically the sole reason he and his site would even have a reason to exist?

And linking to Tom Palmer hardly makes a reliable point, as he has one of the most ridiculous axes to grind I've ever seen (despite the fact that he is a very intelligent and valuable resource to Libertarianism).

I haven't kept up with LRC as I had in the past, and, while the site is very accepting of people with opposing viewpoints when they have common ground, they aren't as tolerant as they let on.  But Bier and his 'The Skeptical Libertarian' site appears to be highly intolerant to the point of informally enforcing "pure hygiene" upon Libertarianism.  What, exactly, does Bier hope to accomplish through this?

If LRC's methods would serve to alienate the few from Libertarianism, Bier's methods will serve to alienate the many.  Not a smart move.

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Bert replied on Mon, Sep 10 2012 1:45 PM

TSL seems to be very "alienating" when it comes to religion.  Openly atheist with that sort of condescending charm that Sagan has when he writes down on religion.  So far I've enjoyed their FB posts, though.  I think their agenda is to make libertarianism more "serious," or at least trimming off a lot of it's attractors to only an agenda of policy (for example, removing the aspect of "conspiracy theorists" or any other skeptic that does not fit in their line of skepticism).

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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When anyone self describes as a sceptic, you should always ask sceptical of what?

The atoms tell the atoms so, for I never was or will but atoms forevermore be.

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Bert replied on Mon, Sep 10 2012 1:50 PM

Libertarians skeptical of libertarianism, but more so the state, I guess...

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Autolykos replied on Mon, Sep 10 2012 1:55 PM

Not to derail the thread, but...

Bert:
TSL seems to be very "alienating" when it comes to religion.  Openly atheist with that sort of condescending charm that Sagan has when he writes down on religion.

I've read many things written by Carl Sagan, and I don't believe anything I read by him about religion ever sounded condescending to me. Do you have any particular passages in mind?

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Bert replied on Mon, Sep 10 2012 2:07 PM

Sadly I cannot think of a direct source for anything, and it's been some time since I read anything by Sagan.  Mainly random quotes online.  I remember there were a few that pissed me off, but that was a year ago.

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Well it seems that I've found the article that lays out the ideas of the Biers and the smallest comment section I've ever seen that completely takes those ideas down.

While LRC and company could waste their time fighting with them, it's easy to see why they don't need to.  What the Biers are really saying strains (if not flies in the face of) what it means to be Libertarian, and those ideas will shoot them down faster than any LRC associate will.

I don't think the WHOIS numbers have a reason to lie; the Biers are an extremely small fish, killing themselves in a very big pond:
 

SKEPTICALLIBERTARIAN.COM SITE INFORMATION

Alexa Trend/Rank: Down Arrow 1 Month: 3,316,698    3 Month: 2,780,145
Page Views per Visit: Down Arrow 1 Month: 1.0    3 Month: 1.2

LEWROCKWELL.COM SITE INFORMATION

Alexa Trend/Rank: Up Arrow 1 Month: 6,235    3 Month: 6,927
Page Views per Visit: Up Arrow 1 Month: 3.6    3 Month: 3.5

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I just read a couple of their articles. I actually agree with them more than I thought I would. For example I agree with them that Alex Jones blows things massively out of proportion. Like most so called skeptics however they are still too quick to defend the status quo, where the status quo doesn't deserve defending, a example being 9/11. We can't be absolutely certain if it was a inside job or not, seeing as how the evidence was destroyed (which was suspicious), but that doesn't mean the official story is true. In fact the evidence supports the conclusion that the official story is false, unlike some of Alex Jones' grand conspiracies, 9/11 could have been a inside job, but again I don't think we can ever be certain on if it was or not.  They also appear to defend Big Pharma more than they should, in that they assume that more often than not Big Pharma is a good thing, when it really is in Big Pharma's interest to keep people sick so they can sell even more meds. Their argument against this is that the people involved even give their own children the same medication. Overlooking the fact that they may not even be aware of the dangers, many intelligent people have accepted absurd views before, it doesn't stretch one's imagination to think that the doctors may be ignorant of the harm they cause as a result of indoctrination and cognitive biases.

As someone else in this thread mentioned, they want to make Libertarianism more "serious", which I don't have a problem with. (Even though I disagree with some of their positions.) They are going about it in the wrong way however. I'll continue to read their blog for now.

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I've been following the TSL page for a few months now and consider it one of the best libertarian pages on Facebook. Keep the libertarianism, but maintain caution all-around (hence the use of the term skepticism) with regard to any claim, whether it be from Lew Rockwell and the things posted on his site, or any other well-known libertarian, but also scientific claims as well (hence the vitriolic posts regarding the anti-vax and global warming-denying crowds).

It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. - Carl Sagan
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Wait, so TSL are skeptical about the skeptics? After all, LRC is skeptical about vaccines, nutrition, global cooling/warming/change, assasinations, etc.

 

To paraphrase Marc Faber: We're all doomed, but that doesn't mean that we can't make money in the process.
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Stephan Kinsella: "Say you and I both want to make a German chocolate cake."

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Clayton replied on Mon, Sep 10 2012 6:29 PM

Here's the root problem with TSL and others of their ilk.

As skeptics, we realize that the evil perpetrated by our government mostly results not from the plots of secret cabals, but from the unintended consequences of bad ideas. In the name of opposing those ideas, we must not let ourselves become a carrier for another set of malignant beliefs.

Compare to this. If the State is naught but a gang of thugs writ large, then the entire apparatus of government is a cabal whose actions - whether public or secret - can best be described as plots. Of course, this is leaving aside the entire question of the power elite analysis and revisionist history which is clearly outside the comfort zone of TSL, Reason, Skeptic, The Economist, the Libertarian Party, et. al.

Revisionist history is the application of thymological analysis to purported history. Naive history frequently overlooks the abundant reasons that people have to lie, especially when they are connected to major historical events. Thymology is simply the method that arises from asking simple questions: What was each actor's goal/end/purpose? What where they aiming at? Why did they choose these rather than those means to attain their ends? What motives did they have to conceal the truth, fabricate stories and destroy evidence? Supposing they told the truth, what did they stand to gain from that, rather than lying?

The LvMI covers the polite or charitable arguments that give the "benefit-of-the-doubt" to the government. Supposing they do have such wonderful, noble intentions, then what of their ridiculous plans? One could argue that the entire discipline of economics is superfluous but for the need to rebut the manufactured nonsense spewing out of the State's kept academics. "If only we had a better plan, things would be so much better in society." Sure, answering statist drivel on its own terms is one aspect of the debate. But it is a fatal handicap to restrict oneself only to answering statism on its own terms, giving the polite benefit-of-the-doubt. The fact is that the State is the parasite par excellence - ever-ready to employ any and all means at its disposal to maintain its sustenance, no matter how brutal, anti-human and grotesque - and closing one's eyes to this fact is not a mark of reasonableness and level-headedness. It's a mark of acquiescence to the State's propaganda and - when combined with the full knowledge of the nature of the State - can only be understood as willful acquiescence to its propaganda.

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Bert replied on Mon, Sep 10 2012 7:12 PM

It seems a bit naive to suggest the government is not a set of secret cabals, but actually people with the best intentions who simply can not calculate and plan the best method of achieving the best means and ends.  To them it's not a moral case, but appears to just be a scientific case, that simply, they just are not the best computer to solve the equation, and that all negative side effects, whether economic, political, or any other spectrum, was simply on bad policy, and not that those who work in the government may have their own agenda that's not so well known.

Thing is, I know of other people in other political spectrums (from conservative to liberal and whatever else) who are also skeptical of conspiracy theorists, that the title itself is something to be weary of.  Why do people prefer organic food over non-organic?  Why do people question 9/11?  Why do people question Big Pharma and vaccines?  Why would people question anything?

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Their anti-"conspiracy theory" stance mimics the mainstream media's attempts at whitewashing any government activity. It's like they say the government's bad, but this new thing they're doing? Don't worry about that.

And a porcupine with a hat and pipe is hardly taking libertarianism more seriously...

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The problem, Blueline976, is that the Biers have no standing on which to judge LRC or any other "well-known libertarians".

Daniel Bier has no significant Libertarian credentials (or political credentials at all for that matter) beyond his involvement in the Campaign for Liberty and the Young Americans for Liberty; I can imagine that his brother has about that much experience or less.  The combined political experience of those involved with TSL may not even equal that of Lew Rockwell alone, much less Ron Paul, and yet somehow they presume that they should be able to tell others with far more political experience and historical knowledge in this world what's what?

I appreciate their ambition, but they completely lack the historical background and perspective that informs a Libertarian worldview.  That is painfully evident when reading their moderator(s) discussing issues with others on FB; they don't want an intelligent discussion, they want their version of things to be the way things are.  Say what you will about LRC, but they are at least willing to put up viewpoints that may or may not be true or agreeable to all Libertarians and let them decide for themselves.

Unfortunately for TSL, LRC and all their other Libertarian targets don't need to do any work to undo them; they're going to undo themselves.

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myhumangetsme: Credentials don't appear to be relevant in this conversation. If you're teaching a class at school, for instance, and one of your students corrects you in some way (let's say you're teaching math and slipped up somewhere), would you put him down and ignore him on the basis that he doesn't have his bachelor's or master's degree in elementary education or mathematics?

Or maybe that's too extreme an example, I'm not sure. But either way, if a person can be shown to be wrong on something, does it matter if the person doing the criticizing has the necessary "credentials?" To me, no it does not; if the other person is wrong, then he's wrong. A kindergartener can show that the teacher is wrong just like how the Biers and the people following the TSL page can show that Lew and the things in the articles he hosts on his website are wrong.

It is far better to grasp the universe as it really is than to persist in delusion, however satisfying and reassuring. - Carl Sagan
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Blueline976:
Credentials don't appear to be relevant in this conversation. If you're teaching a class at school, for instance, and one of your students corrects you in some way (let's say you're teaching math and slipped up somewhere), would you put him down and ignore him on the basis that he doesn't have his bachelor's or master's degree in elementary education or mathematics?

Your point is what's not relevant, because history is not like math.  The "conspiracy theories" that tend to inform the skeptical perspective of Libertarianism require an understanding of the history and inner workings of the U.S. government and politics that the folks at TSL, quite frankly, don't have.  That kind of historical ignorance is not bad per se, but they also don't want to know that knowledge and history.  And yet, they presume to judge others based on what they don't know and don't want to know.

That in itself is ironic given their distinctly atheist bent.  Were a religious believer to dismiss their atheist point of view without knowing or even wanting to know what atheism is, they would rightly cast barbs at that person.  And yet they cast barbs and dismissals at others in full recognition of their own ignorance at what those people are talking about.

Sorry, but that mindset is far worse than any bad conspiracy theory one might believe.

So to correct your example: If you're teaching a class and one of your students attempts to correct you in some way, and it is clear they don't know what they're talking about and are going to make no attempt to be informed or understand, would you put him down and/or ignore him?

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Since you're playing both sides of the fence Blueline976, it is only fair that your bent is put up for scrutiny here:

 

So let's point out the one very obvious thing here.  When you were directly challenged on what conspiracies Tom Woods has been spreading, you completely sidestepped the question and resorted to sloppy recollections (as did the mod, in effect, even though his response came before the question).  This sidestepping was a convenience for you, since a simple web search would've turned up that Woods said nothing at all about "regime libertarians"; Rockwell alone said it in reference to Woods' blog post.

Woods's blog post pointed out the silly, pleonastic nature of the phrase "skeptical libertarians", and that the users of this phrase, in trying to mean something that was exactly the opposite, were completely oblivious to this fact.  No conspiracies were involved, and yet there's this feigned outrage at Woods and his yet unnamed conspiracy theories for it?  Looks more to me like TSL threw a temper tantrum because Woods got them so easily.

I appreciate the passion for this idea, but the youth and inexperience that belies it is obvious, and Libertarians and Libertarian sympathizers are not the type of crowd you are just going to be pulling shallow, witty "a-ha" moments on.  The Libertarian deck is stacked with the upper echelon of intellectuals in many fields, and if you haven't done your homework (and don't intend to) you're going to lose one way or another.

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It's probably because it is a political label they are dealing with.  Labels deal more with tone, style, mood, and texture than anything really of substance.  in essence all political labels will seek to consolidate some type of power play to crush eventually, it's their nature.   None of them are any different than Fascisim or Marxism if one takes them too seriously - and this includes anarchism, "science" (how often do you see stupid scientific jargon where it doesn't need to be?), or 90% of the people in universities or "non political" politcal groups who say they aren't political - and yet have a hard on for burying your corpse under all these meaningless buzzwords and boogy men.

It's all tones, textures, and chincy sentimental psychologisms.  Politics is a sham.

"As in a kaleidoscope, the constellation of forces operating in the system as a whole is ever changing." - Ludwig Lachmann

"When A Man Dies A World Goes Out of Existence"  - GLS Shackle

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Bert replied on Tue, Sep 11 2012 9:29 AM

A friend had sent me this, Lew Rockwell: Bad for the Liberty Movement, Period

I had always been impressed by the fact that there are a surprising number of individuals who never use their minds if they can avoid it, and an equal number who do use their minds, but in an amazingly stupid way. - Carl Jung, Man and His Symbols
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Don't get me wrong, I have no problem with a changing of the guard.  But if you don't want to do your homework and earn it, no one (and especially with Libertarians) is going to just give it to you.

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ahall12 replied on Sat, Oct 20 2012 11:06 PM

Argument from authority.

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Groucho replied on Sun, Oct 21 2012 12:03 AM

Well I don't think anyone in the world is more skeptical than me, and while I may disagree with some things I read on LRC I have never done so on libertarian/free marketer grounds. I have a fair amount of doubt regarding primal diets, JFK conspiracies, vaccination dangers, etc. - but I don't know that I'm correct in disbelieving them. I could be wrong and I'm always willing to look at evidence.

The problem with "skeptics", in terms of groups defining themselves as such, is they are typically bound together only by atheism, doubt of "extraordinary" claims, and a sense of intellectual superiority. Religion and conspiracy theories are their hot-buttons and this unfortunately leads them, in many instances, to side with statism as the "lesser of two evils".

And if you want to see something interesting, look at how "skeptics" smeared James Randi for daring to question the global warming dogma! Look at the "global warming" entry in the Skeptic's Dictionary. It's insane! They've fallen into all the trappings of religious beliefs, but they are unaware of it because there's no supernatural deity aspect to make it obvious.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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I'm skeptical.

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Groucho replied on Sun, Oct 21 2012 12:16 AM

Me too.

Skeptic™ groups are a different story though.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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Jargon replied on Sun, Oct 21 2012 2:40 AM

 

This is after ten years of scientific analysis from every corner of the globe showing that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the US government did it. None. Zip. Nada. Nullius. Every theory floated that has the government as the perpetrator has been thoroughly and unequivocally debunked. Yet here is Lew Rockwell’s website, peddling that same conspiracy theory nonsense. From late 2001 to maybe mid-2004, I could see it. But this is 2012. And if anything, the last twelve years have proven that the government is far too incompetent to even be able to tell it’s butt from a hole in the ground. (It’s ironic LRC would say things like this too, considering they also feel the government is beyond incompetent on just about every other issue. So, 99.9999999% of the time, they can’t fix a toilet…but that .0000001% of the time, they manage to pull off an attack on US soil against US citizens without anyone knowing and keeping the majority of the public in the dark? Okay, buddy. Might be time to put the bong down now.)


Anyone wanna try to explain this? Not only the blatant lies, but also the visceral hatred of truthers? Why are truthers so viciously ridiculed?
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The Anarch is to the Anarchist what the Monarch is to the Monarchist. -Ernst Jünger

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Anenome replied on Sun, Oct 21 2012 2:58 AM
 
 

Jargon:

Anyone wanna try to explain this? Not only the blatant lies, but also the visceral hatred of truthers? Why are truthers so viciously ridiculed?

Probably because the easiest way to discredit libertarians is a false-flag attack as a truther that makes other libs look like weak-minded crazies by extension? Libertarians / anarchs are already on the margin of society, they need to cultivate credibility, not spend it on truther nonsense without any upside towards our goals, even if it implausibly turned out to be true.

 
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h.k. replied on Sun, Oct 21 2012 3:16 AM

Probably because the easiest way to discredit libertarians is a false-flag attack as a truther that makes other libs look like weak-minded crazies by extension? Libertarians / anarchs are already on the margin of society, they need to cultivate credibility, not spend it on truther nonsense without any upside towards our goals, even if it implausibly turned out to be true.

I pretty much agree with all of this.

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Groucho replied on Sun, Oct 21 2012 4:04 AM

Jargon:
Anyone wanna try to explain this? Not only the blatant lies, but also the visceral hatred of truthers? Why are truthers so viciously ridiculed?

It is a Pavlovian response. (pseudo)skeptics™ automatically react this way to their hot-button topics. Anything portrayed as a "conspiracy theory" is ridiculed, regardless of veracity, by the group.

An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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Marko replied on Sun, Oct 21 2012 4:35 AM

The problem with "skeptics", in terms of groups defining themselves as such, is they are typically bound together only by atheism, doubt of "extraordinary" claims, and a sense of intellectual superiority.


Yes, this I think is the key. Just at a first glance the Biers are elitists where Lew isn't. It's ironic because if somebody could be forgiven for being a snob it would be Rockwell, where's the Biers just come out pretentious and utterly deluded.

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Groucho replied on Sun, Oct 21 2012 6:45 AM

Ok, I just have to be a little sadistic here and pick apart the the quotes from the 'Skeptical Libertarians'... just to highlight how all their critical faculties are abandoned and argumentation is reduced to snarky rhetoric and logical fallacies:

 
This is after ten years of scientific analysis from every corner of the globe showing that there is absolutely no evidence whatsoever that the US government did it. None. Zip. Nada. Nullius. Every theory floated that has the government as the perpetrator has been thoroughly and unequivocally debunked. Yet here is Lew Rockwell’s website, peddling that same conspiracy theory nonsense.
 
Total hyperbole. What 10 years of "scientific analysis" is he talking about? From every corner of the globe? (hurr durr "globes don't have corners"-ok, that's a cheap shot). That is nothing but an appeal to Anonymous authority.
 
And how does a scientific analysis "show there is no evidence" for something? you can't demonstrate something is false by failing to locate evidence for it. Come on guys, say it with me: Absence of evidence is not evidence of absense. This is also called an appeal to ignorance.
 
Characterizing the Lew Rockwell argument as "the government did it" is both a sweeping generalization and a strawman. This is a rhetorical ploy to avoid stating ANY specific claims his fancied opponent actually made while also maintaining the illusion they have all been successfully refuted, summarizing them as "conspiracy theory nonsense" (an appeal to ridicule, btw).
 
From late 2001 to maybe mid-2004, I could see it. But this is 2012.
This is a total non-sequitor. What does it being 2012 have to do with it? I mean, unless he's refering to the Messiah we now have in the white house being a reason to have faith in the goodness of government once again.
 
And how could he "see it" up until mid-2004 - don't these ironclad scientific analyses date back to 2002 (10 years)? This implies the convincer was published about 8 years ago. Why doesn't he disclose which part of the canon enabled him to see the light and reject such suspicions?
 
And if anything, the last twelve years have proven that the government is far too incompetent to even be able to tell it’s butt from a hole in the ground. (It’s ironic LRC would say things like this too, considering they also feel the government is beyond incompetent on just about every other issue. So, 99.9999999% of the time, they can’t fix a toilet…but that .0000001% of the time, they manage to pull off an attack on US soil against US citizens without anyone knowing and keeping the majority of the public in the dark?
This part is a real doozy - a biased generalization of a popular belief used to support an appeal to incredulity about a strawman! Whew! The government is plenty incompetent at providing services, but it's entire history (and don't forget revelations by Wikileaks) has shown the system has a penchant for pulling off dirty shenanigans that remain hidden for years if not decades. It hardly takes a rocket scientist to hijack a plane and crash it into something (we're not talking about something ridiculous like the 'Philadelphia Experiment') and, while I personally don't believe our government orchestrated 9/11, I can see a lot of areas to suspect them of reprehensible manipulation during and after the whole mess.
 
Okay, buddy. Might be time to put the bong down now.)
And at the end a snarky way to say his opponent is mentally defective. Um, that's an ad hominem, right? Combine that with the ex rectum analysis and you've got something that worthy of flushing down the toilet. Ladies and gentlemen, welcome to the Cult of 21st Century Skepticism.
An idealist is one who, on noticing that roses smell better than a cabbage, concludes that it will also make better soup. -H.L. Mencken
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Clayton replied on Sun, Oct 21 2012 12:01 PM

So, 99.9999999% of the time, they can’t fix a toilet…but that .0000001% of the time, they manage to pull off an attack on US soil

The Pentagon must have sent out a memo to all its disinfo agents because I run across this argument constantly nowadays. "When discussing conspiracy theories regarding 9/11, point out that the government is just too incompetent to have pulled it off. After all, we lost track of $2.3 trillion dollars as Rumsfeld announced the day before 9/11, on 9/10/2001. Actually, nevermind that. Shouldn't have put that in the memo. Damn. Oh well."

Here are the reasons for initial suspicion that any major headline event is the handiwork of the government or at least has the involvement of the government unitl proven otherwise:

1) The government is a gang of thugs. Their raison d'etre is parasitic subsistence. They and their clans live at the expense of the subject population. While scholarly economics is prosecuted on the pretense that government has noble motives, the fact always remains that the government is not just another part of the polite social order, they are a brutal gang of thugs who will use any and all means at their disposal to accomplish their ends.

2) Nobody says McDonald's is incompetent at making hamburgers or that Wal-Mart is incompetent at selling household wares. That's because the telos (purpose/design) of an organization is typically what that organization is competent at. The government is highly competent at accomplishing its purpose: parasitic subsistence. Many private individuals have trouble collecting the odd, small debt from a handful of debtors. The US government collects - every year! - trillions of dollars from hundreds of millions of people! In waging war, it is unsurpassed. Its weapons have killed tens of thousands of Afghanis and millions of Iraqis. It monitors virtually every square inch of the entire globe, spying from satellites. We could go on and on.

3) As the would-be monopolist of violence in a given territory and as a peer with other such monopolists, the State either wipes out or puts its fingers into every pie of private (gang/mafia) violence within its territory and specializes in detecting intrusions by the intelligence agents of foreign governments. When something big blows up - like the Twin Towers - the natural first question is, "who in the government knew about this or did it?"

4) As with any fundamentally criminal enterprise, the government actively covers up, suppresses and fabricates alternate histories regarding its crimes with all the means at its disposal. The greater the crime, the more elaborate the cover-up that is planned before the first action is ever taken. Wars, in particular, are the greatest crimes and their true origins are generally wrapped in the biggest and most sophisticated nest of falsehoods and fabrications. To take a wide-eyed, infantile "natural science" approach, saying that "we just follow the evidence wherever it leads" is as absurd as a murder detective who just "follows the evidence wherever it leads" without ever stopping to ask whether the murderer might have been clever enough to misdirect the investigation by wiping the crime scene, planting false evidence, and so on. It's a willful naivete and what's most offensive about it is its pretense of being guided only by facts and reason.

5) In summary, the government is guilty until proven innocent. This isn't a legal principle, it's a principle that follows from the corpus of the history of State. It's nearly always guilty. On occasion, history will evince a minor massacre at the hands of a true madman not affiliated in any way with the State. But the rule is, far and away, that nearly all murder, mayhem and destruction is the handiwork of the State.

Clayton -

http://voluntaryistreader.wordpress.com
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