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A Doctor in the House
March 15, 2007 3:51 PM   Subscribe

Ron Paul is now officially running for President. Some say his views, especially on Foreign Policy, make him a longshot.
posted by Gnostic Novelist (144 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
Well, libertarianism is fit only for small children and obsessive-compulsives.

Obsessive-compulsives pull the lever too many times and void their votes. And small children aren't allowed to vote.

So, yeah, I'd say his chances are minimal.
posted by ibmcginty at 4:01 PM on March 15, 2007 [5 favorites]


Are you a troll or something? If you disagree with libertarianism then actually voice disagreement and backup an argument, otherwise, ironically, you are behaving in a manner similar to a small child.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 4:09 PM on March 15, 2007 [5 favorites]


Libertarianism: defending one's individual liberty to take jokes seriously.
posted by Falconetti at 4:12 PM on March 15, 2007


This whole Ron Jeremy fad is getting tiresome, as is libertarianism.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:14 PM on March 15, 2007


Also: Paul should run on a platform of having US citizens to buy Peruvian passports, which I believe he has encouraged in the past.
posted by Falconetti at 4:15 PM on March 15, 2007


Yeah, seriously. Libertarians are so fucking uptight. Anarchists have a sense of humor, at least.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:16 PM on March 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


Capital-L Libertarianism is capital-R retarded, but libertarian ideals are useful guidelines when tempered by common sense and compassion.
posted by Falconetti at 4:16 PM on March 15, 2007 [10 favorites]


Also rumored to be running: Law and Order guy.
posted by Rhomboid at 4:17 PM on March 15, 2007


libertarians are pretty lol
posted by keswick at 4:18 PM on March 15, 2007


Don't libertarians have to wear special underwear or something?
posted by KokuRyu at 4:20 PM on March 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


Capital-L Libertarianism is capital-R retarded, but libertarian ideals are useful guidelines when tempered by common sense and compassion.

Like the Founding Fathers?
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 4:24 PM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


By the way, can people who seem intent on straw men actually name 3 of Ron Paul's views that are out of line with the constitution or otherwise exemplary of the strawmen being offered?
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 4:26 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Stemcell researched - opposed
Affirmative action - opposed
Minority educational funding - opposed

I'm not American, so I have no special love for the "Founding Fathers". Hamilton is sorta scary. And I must say that that Thomas Jefferson guy was...a slave owner. And a libertine.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:29 PM on March 15, 2007


And libertarians take note: without big government, there would be no Metafilter.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:31 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]



Stemcell researched - opposed
Affirmative action - opposed
Minority educational funding - opposed


1. There is no constitutional right to stemcell research.
2 & 3. Thank heavens. Racial preference is highly racist and the government has no business supporting such policies.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 4:33 PM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


KokuRyu, there might be a Metafilter that had to pay AOL for the privilege of existing.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:34 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


And the constitution is important...how?
posted by KokuRyu at 4:35 PM on March 15, 2007


As much as I love the guy (except his views on abortion) and see him get elected, he probably won't make it. He's the Republican Party's equivilant of Dennis Kucinich or Al Sharpton.

Frankly, I'd rather have him over Obama or Clinton though (and no, it's not because "OMGZ THEYRE LIBRULS").
posted by champthom at 4:37 PM on March 15, 2007


And libertarians take note: without big government, there would be no Metafilter.

Not this argument again (welcome to 1999). The sides are rather tiresome on this issue.

Government Did Invent the Internet, But the Market Made It Glorious
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 4:39 PM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Who said Paul's views are out of line with the Constitution? You're just spoiling to start a conversation on the Constitution, which I bet you have some interesting views on which you'd like to share. (Danger! Danger! Ninth and Tenth Amendment discussions imminent...)

Anyway, Paul is a faint-hearted libertarian and often votes in ways that severely limit individual liberty, contravening the central tenets of libertarianism. The recent profile I read about him in Reason was not reassuring to anyone serious about libertarianism. The whole libertarian digression was started by your oversized reaction to a joke about libertarians (and it continued so far because its funny).

I am not sure what your Founding Fathers comment was supposed to accomplish...to point out that what I like about libertarianism tracks sentiments expressed by the Founding Fathers? Great, good for me.
posted by Falconetti at 4:40 PM on March 15, 2007


And the constitution is important...how?

Well, if one can't see how the supposed operating manual for the American Government is important then I suppose there is nothing to debate, as core values are divergent.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 4:41 PM on March 15, 2007


Some say...

that reeking piece of excremental Fox News-ism must die. who says? when?
posted by quonsar at 4:42 PM on March 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


There is no constitutional right to stemcell research.

How on earth is this a relevant response? Neither is there an express constitutional prohibition on stem cell research. It is neither prohibited nor required, so we look to other criteria.
posted by Falconetti at 4:44 PM on March 15, 2007



Who said Paul's views are out of line with the Constitution? You're just spoiling to start a conversation on the Constitution, which I bet you have some interesting views on which you'd like to share. (Danger! Danger! Ninth and Tenth Amendment discussions imminent...)


Did I say anyone did?

My views on the Constitution are fairly middle ground. Mistakes, big mistakes, have been made (16th, 17th, 18th, 22nd, amendments) but of course it is not a perfect document, but in times of crisis having a guide is better than an adhocracy, which is why Fascism and Communism could not take hold here like in Europe, even though precursors were present.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 4:45 PM on March 15, 2007


Not this argument again (welcome to 1999). The sides are rather tiresome on this issue.

So true. My comment was meant to be a glib red herring...because I can't take humorless librettos or whatever seriously.

But I guess my attempt at silliness is actually based on a genuine core belief: government is essential in this complex, crazy, fucked-up world. Probably the smaller, the better - say at the state level, like California. Somebody also has to advocate and enforce laws like gun control and the investigation and prosecution of Bad People like pedophiles.
posted by KokuRyu at 4:45 PM on March 15, 2007


quonsar writes "that reeking piece of excremental Fox News-ism must die. who says? when?"

Yeah, this is really starting to get under my skin, too. This is a really ugly construction.
posted by mr_roboto at 4:46 PM on March 15, 2007


GN, your obsession on viewing everything solely through the lens of the Constitution only brings to the very first step of the analysis of any law. There is an almost infinite potential field of laws that are Constitutional but have not been enacted.
posted by Falconetti at 4:47 PM on March 15, 2007


If you disagree with libertarianism then actually voice disagreement and backup an argument

*waves hand slowly*
These are not the internets you're looking for.

But seriously, folks, I'm more or less on board with Falconetti's take on it. As to why it's not an ideal governing philosophy, you can start here and here.

Libertarianism doesn't accurately describe, explain, or predict the behavior of humans.

I cannot dispute, however, that it is wholly applicable to lines drawn on a graph.

When I'm in the mood to be contrarian in a class discussion, it's a blast to take up the libertarian perspective. It's intellectually airtight, and irrefutable in its irrelevant, easy answers to every question. It's a brainier, but simpler, version of biblical literalism that way.
posted by ibmcginty at 4:47 PM on March 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


How on earth is this a relevant response? Neither is there an express constitutional prohibition on stem cell research. It is neither prohibited nor required, so we look to other criteria.

Exactly, hence I fail to see how that is anyway close to the strawmen that are put forth. Some politicians oppose the exploitation of life.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 4:47 PM on March 15, 2007



So true. My comment was meant to be a glib red herring...because I can't take humorless librettos or whatever seriously.

But I guess my attempt at silliness is actually based on a genuine core belief: government is essential in this complex, crazy, fucked-up world. Probably the smaller, the better - say at the state level, like California. Somebody also has to advocate and enforce laws like gun control and the investigation and prosecution of Bad People like pedophiles.


What is a liberetto? I have a sense of humor, but I hope one isn't suggesting that I am a Libertarian. I am a Goldwater Conservative.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 4:49 PM on March 15, 2007


I'm a whig!
posted by mr_roboto at 4:50 PM on March 15, 2007


KokuRyu: I'm not American, so I have no special love for the "Founding Fathers". Hamilton is sorta scary. And I must say that that Thomas Jefferson guy was...a slave owner. And a libertine.

If you're really talking about classical liberalism - the ideals enshrined in the American Constitution - you'd count Bentham, Locke and Smith among the founding fathers. You'll notice that none of them are Yanks, either.

Gnostic Novelist: name 3 of Ron Paul's views that are out of line with the constitution or otherwise exemplary of the strawmen being offered?

KokuRyu: Affirmative action - opposed [...] Minority educational funding - opposed

Are you suggesting that race-based quotas and government grants couldn't possibly conflict with the Fourteenth Amendment?
posted by kid ichorous at 4:51 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


A Goldwater Conservative is just one species of genus Libertariana. It was thought to be extinct, dying out in the early- to mid-1980s, although there are occasional reports of its existence in the wild. If you encounter one, beware, they are known to be stubborn and will charge red flags. To defend against them, it is important to carry a copy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the stench of which wards them off. Do not accidentally use a copy of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 or 1960, which perversely will attract the Goldwater Conservative.
posted by Falconetti at 4:58 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I'd be curious to hear what Canadians, Brits and other Commonwealth countries think about the constitution. We all have one. But the constitution doesn't seem to occupy the same place in the national polity in these constitutional monarchies as it does in the United States. It's just a mechanism that guarantees our right to peace, order and good government. And the right to make money.

So, who cares what the Fourteenth Amendment is? Isn't affirmation action absolutely more beneficial?
posted by KokuRyu at 5:00 PM on March 15, 2007


A Goldwater Conservative is just one species of genus Libertariana. It was thought to be extinct, dying out in the early- to mid-1980s, although there are occasional reports of its existence in the wild. If you encounter one, beware, they are known to be stubborn and will charge red flags. To defend against them, it is important to carry a copy of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the stench of which wards them off. Do not accidentally use a copy of the Civil Rights Act of 1957 or 1960, which perversely will attract the Goldwater Conservative.

The CRA of 1964 was one of the worst decisions in the history of America. It should have been burned before ever coming to a vote.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 5:03 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


So, who cares what the Fourteenth Amendment is? Isn't affirmation action absolutely more beneficial?

Yes, ironically, in a racist way. Not to mention it contributes to the notion that certain minorities are incapable of achieving success on their own without a nanny
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 5:04 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


it contributes to the notion that certain minorities are incapable of achieving success on their own without a nanny

Nah. It recognizes that the past and present situation of blacks is such that it's worth making an extra effort to reach out.

I'm far from affirmative action's most eager defender, but that's not a fair characterization.
posted by ibmcginty at 5:08 PM on March 15, 2007


Not to mention it contributes to the notion that certain minorities are incapable of achieving success on their own without a nanny

I think it's based on the assumption that economic success in North America has depended on your skin color and where you're from. An African American three-year-old from New Orleans (now living in a refugee camp outside of Baton Rouge or Dallas) does not enjoy the same advantages - and you can hardly argue that racism does not exist, and that racism is not a structural problem - that the child's white counterpart in Cupertino does. But the potential is the same, and it must be nurtured.
posted by KokuRyu at 5:11 PM on March 15, 2007


Also rumored to be running: Law and Order guy.

Law and Order guy was another dickheaded southern Republican Senator until not too long ago. If he thinks he's actually got some new ideas about things, he's been huffing the turpentine at rehearsal.
posted by psmealey at 5:11 PM on March 15, 2007


ibmcginty writes "I'm far from affirmative action's most eager defender, but that's not a fair characterization."

I dunno. I think there's a legitimate case to be made for the argument that affirmative action fuels resentment, and I think any such resentment is often accompanied by an attitude like the one GN describes.
posted by mr_roboto at 5:12 PM on March 15, 2007


it contributes to the notion that certain minorities are incapable of achieving success on their own without a nanny

Take the families from all races, and level the playing field. Make it so that they have equal access to education, jobs, protection under the law, and so on.

Ready? Good.

Now, take away those things from one of the races for, oh, two hundred years. Keep 'em poor. Make 'em slaves. Create laws that prevent them from being taught to read.

Did that? Good.

Okay, now give 'em back the level playing field. Do you think they can get back in full swing in a single generation, or do you think it might take a long, long time? And if it does, do you think it's fair to give 'em assistance if you were the ones who kept 'em disadvantaged for 200 years?

Just askin', you know, rhetorically.
posted by davejay at 5:18 PM on March 15, 2007 [9 favorites]


I think it's based on the assumption that economic success in North America has depended on your skin color and where you're from. An African American three-year-old from New Orleans (now living in a refugee camp outside of Baton Rouge or Dallas) does not enjoy the same advantages

The same advantages as who? A poor white 3 year old from a trailer park in rural Louisiana? There is a class issue, not race (do you really think the children of Black millionaires are able to culturally relate to a poor black just because they are black? This whole Barack Obama debate shows the emergent stupidity of America's race obsession)

and you can hardly argue that racism does not exist, and that racism is not a structural problem - that the child's white counterpart in Cupertino does. But the potential is the same, and it must be nurtured.

Racism exists like bigotry against fat people exists. Racism from government officials and law enforcement is a problem because they have the power of life and death and citizens must pay taxes so it is reasonable to expect certain things, but affirmative action ends up persecuted a certain segment on behalf of another, for things done before either was born. That is the main form of racism currently. Otherwise people are just complaining that "X doesn't want to be my friend or have sex with me."
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 5:19 PM on March 15, 2007


Take the families from all races, and level the playing field. Make it so that they have equal access to education, jobs, protection under the law, and so on.

Ready? Good.

Now, take away those things from one of the races for, oh, two hundred years. Keep 'em poor. Make 'em slaves. Create laws that prevent them from being taught to read.


A person is not a race. The Jews have been more oppressed, by more culture, and for a longer period of time than just about anyone else, and aside from a few activists groups you simply don't see the same excuses. 200 years is a long time and what was done in the past is no justification to punish people who were not even alive.


Okay, now give 'em back the level playing field. Do you think they can get back in full swing in a single generation, or do you think it might take a long, long time? And if it does, do you think it's fair to give 'em assistance if you were the ones who kept 'em disadvantaged for 200 years?


There is not supposed to be a level playing field. People start from different places and will end up at different places. My father is a brilliant man, we were lower middle class, but he was a member of Mensa, and of course this means I am endowed with certain genetic gifts. Nature does not believe in a level playing field, and in order to create one a government must take from someone else, and create a host of other problems. It's the simple victim mentality that American's love so much. For once it would be nice to hear "Life isn't fair, it's pretty shitty in fact, but as long as the government isn't actively persecuting me, I, as an individual, must bust my behind to succeed like my neighbor and then my kids won't have to worry so much and they will have it better."
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 5:25 PM on March 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


His stance on the Federal Reserve Bank is uncomfortably extreme. It is an extraordinarily paranoid position at best (that the creation of paper money backed by anything other than Gold gives big government/business some sort of stronger power-hold) and incredibly dangerous at worst. His belief that getting rid of the central bank would help to rid the world of extreme inflation is dangerously delusional.
posted by aburd at 5:25 PM on March 15, 2007


Should a man who six-feet tall have his legs cut off to make the man that is five-feet tall feel more comfortable? Because being tall, intelligent, and beautiful is a HUGE advantage in almost every aspect of social interaction.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 5:26 PM on March 15, 2007


His belief that getting rid of the central bank would help to rid the world of extreme inflation is dangerously delusional.

He makes rational points about the FED. However, I disagree with it, I think the support for the Gold Standard needs to be discussed, but as a conservative, especially a fiscal one, baby-steps. I'm worried when I heard about "abolishing" anything tomorrow.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 5:28 PM on March 15, 2007


"heard" should be "hear"
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 5:29 PM on March 15, 2007


Social Darwinism, anyone?
posted by KokuRyu at 5:30 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


So, who cares what the Fourteenth Amendment is? Isn't affirmation action absolutely more beneficial?

So, you feel that instances of government-instituted racial discrimination can be socially beneficial. It so happens that other people believe that unwarranted wiretapping, legal endorsement of religion, or cruel and unusual punishments are also beneficial to society. Because centuries of legal tradition recognize these and other powers as hazards to good governance, we (the people) contractually withhold certain powers from the state.

Without a lease, there is nothing stopping your landlord from gouging your rent. Without a legal contract with your government, there are no clear limitations to the scope of state power.

If you feel that Affirmative Action is so indispensable to American society that it outweighs the hazards of other state-sanctioned race discrimination, by all means petition to amend the Constitution.
posted by kid ichorous at 5:34 PM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Yes, ironically, in a racist way. Not to mention it contributes to the notion that certain minorities are incapable of achieving success on their own without a nanny

While I am uncomfortable about some affirmative actions polciies in existence today, the irony is that a group that was collectively oppressed should be denied a collective remedy. Again, I am talking purely on the level of irony, not policy.
posted by Falconetti at 5:35 PM on March 15, 2007


Social Darwinism, anyone?

There should be safety nets, most definitely, but if we want our national consciousness to improve, I say these should be gradually replaced by charity (Americans already give over 200 billion a year to charity). We do have a moral obligation to help out orphaned children, the mentally ill, and those can't take care of themselves. But those type of people are not in the rat race. Simply noticing that, "Hey, the government is taking care of it, I can sleep tonight," is rather odious in my opinion. Once we have to deal directly with the problem instead of passing it off then I believe we can grow.

I don't however support abolishing social welfare tomorrow. This is the type of thing that would take a century or two, but gradually I believe that Americans can grow to meet the challenge of directly caring for our fellow citizens. Even then, I think an emergency social safety net should be reserved, just in case...
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 5:36 PM on March 15, 2007


If you feel that Affirmative Action is so indispensable to American society that it outweighs the hazards of other state-sanctioned race discrimination, by all means petition to amend the Constitution.

I'm not American, so...

I'm in ur kntry, eating ur constitution!
posted by KokuRyu at 5:37 PM on March 15, 2007


He makes rational points about the FED.

It isn't rational to believe that either getting rid of the Fed would lower inflation or that it is, for lack of better terminology, a tool of the man used to keep the people down. Because the government, with its guns and tanks and hundreds of thousands of armed forces, really needs a non-gold backed currency to keep the plebs in place.
posted by aburd at 5:37 PM on March 15, 2007



While I am uncomfortable about some affirmative actions polciies in existence today, the irony is that a group that was collectively oppressed should be denied a collective remedy. Again, I am talking purely on the level of irony, not policy.


Keep in mind that "the group" isn't actually receiving the benefit. Just because an individual is of a certain complexion or lineage doesn't really mean much. If he/she isn't actively being persecuted then the responsibility is on him/her. It is a severe case of the Nanny State when one suggests that a free individual is incapable of meeting certain standards because of things not done to him, but those he is descended from.

I use Barack Obama because that nonsense about him in the media (I love the guy) is a great example. Should someone like Obama be entitled to benefit from affirmative action?
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 5:39 PM on March 15, 2007


KokuRyu: I'm not American, so...

But you seem so woefully undereducated. I mistook you for one!
posted by kid ichorous at 5:40 PM on March 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


It isn't rational to believe that either getting rid of the Fed would lower inflation or that it is, for lack of better terminology, a tool of the man used to keep the people down. Because the government, with its guns and tanks and hundreds of thousands of armed forces, really needs a non-gold backed currency to keep the plebs in place.

Good point.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 5:42 PM on March 15, 2007


Libertarian != compulsory jurisdiction over fetuses. Sorry.
posted by Saucy Intruder at 6:01 PM on March 15, 2007


There is only one libertarian running this cycle who has my attention.
posted by Bookhouse at 6:11 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


I have to say, I approve of his stance on foreign policy. Honest, fair dealing with other countries, without military, financial, or covert interference? Excellent idea. Never been tried, not likely to be tried, but an excellent idea.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 6:11 PM on March 15, 2007


Racism exists like bigotry against fat people exists.

This sentence has the potential to inspire The Greatest MetaFilter Flame War EVER!
posted by the_bone at 6:36 PM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Ron Paul is pretty much the only politician I have even a tiny shred of respect for. That said, he does not stand a hope in hell of winning anything. Americans are only allowed to choose one of two sides of the same coin, anything else is unacceptable. It's all a thinly-disguised oligarchy.
posted by nightchrome at 6:37 PM on March 15, 2007


@gnostic novellist

"but affirmative action ends up persecuted a certain segment on behalf of another, for things done before either was born. That is the main form of racism currently"

what a crock of utter shit. Tell this to the one in eight black american males who will spend part of their lives in prison. Tell this to ordinary, law-abiding people who've been spreadeagled and searched at gunpoint one or several times in their lives etc. because of their race.

Saying that an official stance of civil rights is sufficient and nothing more needs be done to redress the inequality that is extant is just a subtle form of racism. You're saying that the situation minorities are in is good enough for them.

Affirmitive Action is not persecution. It seeks to apply economic and social forces to address a social situation that is out of balance. You can't balance an out of balance system with neutrality.
posted by lastobelus at 6:55 PM on March 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


Americans are only allowed to choose one of two sides of the same coin, anything else is unacceptable.

We bring it on ourselves. I have no sympathy for the argument that voters have limited options. It is our fault. And I can barely say "our". I have never voted for someone because everyone else was doing the same. The idea that a vote for a third party is a waste is senseless, and even more so when 10% of the voting population says it.

Some people do really agree with the Dem-Repub paradigm. I don't have a problem with that. I do have a problem with those that use ridiculous excuses to justify the status quo, yet never admit that in every election the excuse applies. Examples:

"I would vote for Candidate X, but if I do then Evil democrat/republican will win."

"I would vote for a third party but not this election because it is too important."

"Candidate X doesn't have a chance of winning so I can't vote for him"

These are just some of them. The American Voters are highly integrated into the herd mentality, but it isn't the fault of politicians. It is the fault of the population. Yet it is a population that is cynical about the people they elect. .I wish I had an answer other than groupthink and stupidity. I don't see myself as superior, I just don't base my voting habits on what others do.

I can't even join the Republican Party, because of groupthink anD in the party people actually dislike classical conservative ideals.

I am not religious (I am a spiritual person though)

I do not support oppressing homosexuals as they are citizens like everyone else

I oppose the drug war and don't care if another ADULT wants to get high on his/her own property, just don't expect taxpayers to fit the bill for medical care.

I don't support the Patriot Act, I believe the War on Terror should be fought via law enforcement and not via the military.

I disagree with atheism but believe they are citizens in equal standing who shouldn't be disparaged.

I like pornography when made and distributed by consenting adults.

I like to get drunk

I support reigning in police departments as they have become pathological, and cops have forgotten that they are servants and not above the population.

I oppose the existence of public schools.

I recognize that while family is important, single people exist.

So on and so forth. The thing I can't stand is that the GOP pretends it is conservative, yet I have never met a Republican (and I've met 100s) who had studied or even knew who Edmund Burke was. It reminds me of those Christians who never actually read the Bible.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 6:57 PM on March 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


Tell this to the one in eight black american males who will spend part of their lives in prison.

They have no one to blame but themselves.

Tell this to ordinary, law-abiding people who've been spreadeagled and searched at gunpoint one or several times in their lives etc. because of their race.

I'm one of them. It happens, it's wrong, and one should sue if it happens. Sensible profiling is acceptable in my view (a 90 year woman is unlikely to hijack a plane, we have to be honest: it is just a waste of time to search here).

Saying that an official stance of civil rights is sufficient and nothing more needs be done to redress the inequality that is extant is just a subtle form of racism. You're saying that the situation minorities are in is good enough for them.


Minorities are not one in the same. Individuals misbehave and sometimes this is applied to a group. Jews, Asians, the list goes on. It's a cultural issue. Asian cultures tend to support studying hard, Jews tend to support community and certain harmony. Now that is a generalization. Not all Asians are good students and not all Jews care about community, but if we are talking about "minority" paradigms then moderate generalizations are bound to occur.

As long as any group wants/needs a nanny, they should expect to be subjected to the ire of those who face similar troubles but work through it without a Nanny.

The only "group" that is actively discriminated against on a massive scale are homosexuals. It is changing, but the marriage issue is a prime example.


Affirmitive Action is not persecution. It seeks to apply economic and social forces to address a social situation that is out of balance. You can't balance an out of balance system with neutrality.

Affirmative action is hardcore racism. Ironically, it justifiably creates rational hostility, and then just furthers the notion that the doctor/lawyer/etc didn't actually earn there position and isn't worth working with. Sadly, the ones who did earn it belong to the same group and must pay the price. They shouldn't have to, but society works in funny ways.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 7:06 PM on March 15, 2007


I lost interest in this thread when it became an interview with Gnostic Novelist.
posted by SPrintF at 7:09 PM on March 15, 2007 [6 favorites]


I'm a whig!

I'm an Afghan!

And Gnostic, for the record...I like Ron Paul, and I salute those in his district for supporting him. However, I'm going to have to call you for excessive comments in your own thread, since this isn't GnosticNovelistControlsAllDiscussionInTheThreadFilter, IMHO.

You gotta let the players play, homeslice.
posted by rollbiz at 7:13 PM on March 15, 2007


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We need some affirmative action for other Mefites to get a word in edgewise. :)
posted by Falconetti at 7:13 PM on March 15, 2007 [3 favorites]


21 comments out of 67. GN has posted approximately 31% of the posts in his own thread.

Just let the market dictate, man!
posted by papakwanz at 7:16 PM on March 15, 2007


We need some affirmative action for other Mefites to get a word in edgewise. :)

LOL. Sorry about that.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 7:17 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


There is not supposed to be a level playing field. People start from different places and will end up at different places. My father is a brilliant man Ron Jeremy, we were lower middle class, but he was a member of Mensa porn star, and of course this means I am endowed with certain genetic gifts.
posted by papakwanz at 7:19 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


MetaFilter is about links to awesome stuff on the web. These links are not very awesome, though I guess the post is barely passable. Everything else is tertiary, including your own personal political views on every conceivable issue, which--twenty plus of your comments in--we're all well aware of by now. Bad form, Mr. Novelist.
posted by Kwine at 7:20 PM on March 15, 2007


LOLibertarians.
posted by The Straightener at 7:23 PM on March 15, 2007


Finally! Drag queen representation!
posted by jimmythefish at 7:43 PM on March 15, 2007


...what? Oh, nevermind.
posted by jimmythefish at 7:44 PM on March 15, 2007


But about Ron Paul...

When the Texas Lege "Perrymandered" me into Paul's district a few years ago, I started receiving mail from him. A birthday card every birthday. A patriotic cookbook with photos of Dr. and Mrs. Paul on the cover. (No, it did not have fishstick recipes...)

Since I moved last month, I don't live there anymore. But I wonder, if his campaign were to take off, if those cookbooks might be coming to a mailbox near you?
posted by Robert Angelo at 8:08 PM on March 15, 2007


A few highlights from his alleged voting record:

Voted NO on allowing human embryonic stem cell research.
Voted YES on banning partial-birth abortion except to save mother’s life.
Voted YES on banning Family Planning funding in US aid abroad.
Voted YES on banning gay adoptions in DC.
Supports a Constitutional Amendment for school prayer.
Voted YES on barring website promoting Yucca Mountain nuclear waste dump.
Voted YES on keeping Cuba travel ban until political prisoners released.
Voted YES on continuing intelligence gathering without civil oversight.
Voted YES on preventing tipping off Mexicans about Minuteman Project.
Voted YES on reporting illegal aliens who receive hospital treatment.
Voted NO on establishing "network neutrality"
Voted NO on treating religious organizations equally for tax breaks.

. . . and people call this guy a libertarian? Maybe there are good libertarian reasons for voting against some of those that aren't hinted at in the one-line descriptions, but he seems a little too authoritarian for me to call him that.

On the other hand, "Rated A by VOTE-HEMP, Rated A by the NRA", consistent with the Guns and Dope Party agenda. And he has crazy ideas about the Federal Reserve. I kinda like this guy, though not in any way that could possibly lead to me voting for him.
posted by sfenders at 8:11 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Like the Founding Fathers? [were libertarian] -- Gnostic Novelist

The idea that the founding fathers had some super-duper plan they were all in agreement with is ridiculous. Here's the thing, the founding fathers disagreed with each other they disagreed at least as much as Nancy Peloci and George W. Bush. Some of them favored (and passed) sedition acts that made criticism of the government's war efforts illegal some of them favored the bill of rights and others opposed it there were originally more then 13 amendments in the bill of rights.


Finally I find the idea of a 30ker (Gnostic) and a 40ker (Koku) filling up the thread a little sad. damn kids get off mah lawn. Also Gnostic, moderating your own thread is considered poor form.

The CRA of 1964 was one of the worst decisions in the history of America. It should have been burned before ever coming to a vote. --Gnostic Novelist

Dude, segregation was TOTALLY SWEET! And everyone knows it. Also, fuck you.

Not to mention it contributes to the notion that certain minorities are incapable of achieving success on their own without a nanny --Gnostic Novelist

I don't know if you realize this or not, but it is actually very difficult to achieve success in life if the majority of people in your community are actively and unashamedly conspiring to keep you down. And don't for a minute think they weren't doing that in 1964. I'd rather have a chance to succeed attached to the "notion" that I got it because of my race then be actively oppressed. Who gives a damn what people think?

Also rumored to be running: Law and Order guy.

Let's not forget the other Law and Order guy, Sam Waterson promoting the Unity 08 party. How fucking awesome would it be to have both law and order guys on the same ticket!

Should a man who six-feet tall have his legs cut off to make the man that is five-feet tall feel more comfortable? Because being tall, intelligent, and beautiful is a HUGE advantage in almost every aspect of social interaction. --Gnostic Novelist

Are you saying that white people are genetically superior?

If you feel that Affirmative Action is so indispensable to American society that it outweighs the hazards of other state-sanctioned race discrimination, by all means petition to amend the Constitution. -- Kid Ichorous

The Constitution? Where in the constitution does it say you can't have race-based discrimination?
Tell this to the one in eight black american males who will spend part of their lives in prison
.They have no one to blame but themselves.
-- Gnostic Novelist

I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but innocent people go to prison all the time.
posted by delmoi at 8:23 PM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


It's too bad Paul's regressive views on abortion cancel out his common sense on foreign policy.
posted by davy at 8:27 PM on March 15, 2007


I heard John Stossel was going to sell the naming rights to his moustache
posted by interrobang at 8:49 PM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


Bad form, Mr. Novelist.

Well, wait, for all we know, it could be Ms. Novelist, a female libertarian.







Ha ha, just kidding.
posted by ibmcginty at 8:59 PM on March 15, 2007 [4 favorites]


It is an extraordinarily paranoid position at best (that the creation of paper money backed by anything other than Gold gives big government/business some sort of stronger power-hold) and incredibly dangerous at worst.

It's not quite like that. There's no question that the power to print money the way they do it these days gives them more power in that they can expand the money supply and create inflation. He's quite right about that. Or, they can make good use of this power to manage things wisely to the benefit of us all. Either way, it has certainly given the government and the fed power to do stuff they couldn't do before. That you wouldn't be likely to have so much inflation on a gold standard is pretty damn obvious, and can be easily confirmed by looking at the history of the US dollar when there was one.

The extreme, dangerous, and not-widely-shared part of his take on the subject is where he thinks that this means we should return to a gold standard. Most economists seem to think the present system has advantages that outweigh its dangers. It's a pretty complicated subject, but that "hard money" is the best long-term solution to the current monetary problems doesn't seem at all clear to me. I think he identifies the problem reasonably well, it's his solution that's a bit off. There are other, less dangerous options.

What bothers me more is that he's so famous for advocating this strict monetary ideal, yet he strongly supported the Bush tax cuts. If the government excess in "printing" money is so bad, you'd think he wouldn't want them making tax cuts that will force them to do so much more of it.
posted by sfenders at 9:17 PM on March 15, 2007


Dude, segregation was TOTALLY SWEET! And everyone knows it. Also, fuck you.

Strawman.


I don't know if you realize this or not, but it is actually very difficult to achieve success in life if the majority of people in your community are actively and unashamedly conspiring to keep you down. And don't for a minute think they weren't doing that in 1964. I'd rather have a chance to succeed attached to the "notion" that I got it because of my race then be actively oppressed. Who gives a damn what people think?


Once again, this would apply across the board and there is no need for it to be race based. A white guy's house burns the same way as a black's. If one doesn't care what people think (which is a good position to take in my opinion) the one can't use the excuse of racism holding them down. People, imo, have the right to not want to work with, associate with, or have anything to do with those of another race. The only problem I have with segregation is it being government supported. If people want to segregate themselves (Amish, separatists, et al) that is their choice.

"The man is holding me down" was an excuse that once had substance. Now it is the mantra of every lazy, embittered, and paranoid person with an ax to grind, and finds that blaming others is far easier than actually working to better one's own situation.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 9:18 PM on March 15, 2007


Once again, this would apply across the board and there is no need for it to be race based. A white guy's house burns the same way as a black's.

Yes, and as I'm sure you are aware, Arson is illegal.

"The man is holding me down" was an excuse that once had substance.

Yes, such when the civil rights act was passed, in 1964. An act you called "The CRA of 1964 was one of the worst decisions in the history of America."

Anyway, why don't you just go away you racist twit.
posted by delmoi at 9:39 PM on March 15, 2007 [2 favorites]


I am a Goldwater Conservative.

You know who else was a Goldwater conservative ?














...That's right: Hillary.

Booga booga.
posted by y2karl at 9:39 PM on March 15, 2007 [1 favorite]


Yes, such when the civil rights act was passed, in 1964. An act you called "The CRA of 1964 was one of the worst decisions in the history of America."

Anyway, why don't you just go away you racist twit.


Ah the "you're a racist card" I take it you don't have an actual argument. I'm black by the way.


...That's right: Hillary.

I wonder if anyone else will get the reference. She was one hot Goldwater Girl. LOL
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 9:41 PM on March 15, 2007


I like to get drunk

They make some great fake IDs these days, huh ?

I heard John Stossel was going to sell the naming rights to his moustache

Walmart Nose Caterpillar
posted by y2karl at 9:45 PM on March 15, 2007


I'm not sure if you're aware of this, but innocent people go to prison all the time.
posted by delmoi


Oh, he/she's aware of it; GN just chooses to ignore it where it becomes inconvenient. For example...

GN's response of They have no one to blame but themselves.
to the statement Tell this to the one in eight black american males who will spend part of their lives in prison.

Now, compare to these responses in a recent thread on Israel & corrupt police:

Cops are corrupt the world over. Just think how big of an asshole one has to be to dedicate their lives to destroying lives mindlessly.

The police don't actually protect anyone. Or else the news wouldn't be a litany of "rape, murder, theft". Police simply enforce the will of the state. Really, the 50%-60% of prison inmates that are in prison for non-violent (including theft and fraud) crimes, but instead of selling or doing drugs, are not a threat to me. They are as much of a threat as the bartender serving alcohol and the prostitute selling herself.

So, on the one hand, its your own fault if you're (black and) in prison, but cops are assholes who put people in prison for no good reason.
posted by papakwanz at 9:45 PM on March 15, 2007


Ah the "you're a racist card" I take it you don't have an actual argument. I'm black by the way.

Jesus Christ. That reminds me of the lame schoolyard comeback to a "your momma" joke: "Oh yeah? Well my mom's dead!"

I get it now.
This whole thread is an attempt at teh biggest troll evar. From the libertarian post to the 24 out of 87 comments (and GN only has 50 comments total, so almost half are in his/her own thread)... it all comes together now.
posted by papakwanz at 9:50 PM on March 15, 2007


Oh, he/she's aware of it; GN just chooses to ignore it where it becomes inconvenient. For example...

I don't deny that it occurs (I am a contributer to the Innocence Project. However, if you expect me to believe that a vast majority or even a solid percentage are intentionally imprisoned based on race then I would have to disagree. The statistics show blacks commit the most crime proportionally and justifiably make up a higher proportion of the prison population. An innocent man is an innocent man regardless of skin color. The system isn't perfect by any means. And cops (I do have a huge issue with them) are unnecessary but many departments need to reign in their officers. Notice I didn't say "white officers" the Cop problem affects white, black, male, female, whatever.

It's more of a class issue not race. One day Americans will have to be honest with themselves about it.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 9:52 PM on March 15, 2007


And the constitution is important...how?

The Constitution isn't just a good idea - IT'S THE LAW.
posted by champthom at 9:52 PM on March 15, 2007


Sorry typo: "are unnecessary " should be "are necessary "
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 9:54 PM on March 15, 2007


Ah the "you're a racist card" I take it you don't have an actual argument. I'm black by the way.

Prove it.
posted by delmoi at 10:34 PM on March 15, 2007


delmoi writes "Prove it."

This thread just got awesome!
posted by mr_roboto at 10:37 PM on March 15, 2007


Prove it.

Here is a pic of me and my girlfriend.

Here is a pic of me and my best friend
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 10:42 PM on March 15, 2007


If I were American, I'd happily vote for RuPaul.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 10:51 PM on March 15, 2007


Neither of the people you are with are black.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:54 PM on March 15, 2007


Some of my best friends are Matthew Perry.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:55 PM on March 15, 2007


Is there any popcorn left, or did y'all feed it all to the troll?
posted by rtha at 10:56 PM on March 15, 2007


What's that song I hear?
posted by Bookhouse at 10:57 PM on March 15, 2007


Okay, but seriously.

You complain about the "your a racist" card. and yet, you play the race card yourself. Obviously not a first-class thinker here. And to be honest, I don't think you're Black. It's obviously possible, but pretty unlikely.

Look, of course I don't have an argument. If people have different fundamental beliefs about the world, then debate is pointless. You've stated that you think people should be able to discriminate against people based on race as a personal choice. If, in 1964, people had been allowed to continue discriminating on the basis of race, then African Americans would continue to be repressed, locked out of jobs everywhere, unable to eat or shop at many locations, and so on. Ending this system of second class citizenship was the purpose of the civil rights movements.

Now, you believe, or claim to believe that if individual behavior only causes harm only in aggregate, it should be allowed in the name of personal freedom. I disagree with that, I simply have a fundamentally different world view then you do, and no middle ground can really be achieved. The other reason I don't really want to bother with debate is that people who believe these sorts of things are usually idiots, and any attempt to argue with them leads to circular arguments and a lot of wasted energy. They simply are unable to really think things through. I wouldn't bother debating this with you any more then I would bother seriously debating a 9/11 conspiracy theorist, or someone who doesn't believe in evolution. Ultimately, at the very end, you would most likely not be intelligent enough to understand what I'm saying.

I'll give you one example of your poor capacity for reasoning: You seem to believe that discriminating against black by refusing to hire them, rent them apartments, letting them by homes or letting them in restaurants should be OK. Yet, you do not believe that giving minorities a slight advantage in hiring, scholarships, etc is wrong. Discrimination against blacks is OK, but discrimination against whites is not. That seems like a strange position for a black person to have, and that's why I don't believe you are one.

In fact, I think you're just trolling, so I'm not going to bother responding to you unless you can somehow prove your black, which I think would be hilarious.
posted by delmoi at 11:01 PM on March 15, 2007


Neither of the people you are with are black.

What does that have to do with anything? I don't hang out with people based on their race/sexual orientation/gender, etc. I like people, but I judge them as individuals. Race/gender/orientation/political party/religion, etc are all irrelevant.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 11:02 PM on March 15, 2007


Here is a pic of me and my girlfriend.

Here is a pic of me and my best friend


Ah, sorry I didn't see the other comments before I posted my last one. I'm not sure what those pictures are supposed to prove, anyone can go grab random pictures of myspace and post them on an anonymous image host. You're really going to have to get a little more creative.
posted by delmoi at 11:09 PM on March 15, 2007


delmoi: The Constitution? Where in the constitution does it say you can't have race-based discrimination?

As I understand it, this is the modern interpretation (post Brown) of the Equal Protection Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment.
posted by kid ichorous at 11:09 PM on March 15, 2007


And to be honest, I don't think you're Black. It's obviously possible, but pretty unlikely.

Not the first time I have run into such assumptions, which is why I never lead in with that fact. It is a good life lesson for many ideologues : race does not dictate political viewpoint.


Look, of course I don't have an argument. If people have different fundamental beliefs about the world, then debate is pointless.

I agree

You've stated that you think people should be able to discriminate against people based on race as a personal choice

Once again it depends. We all discriminate, we don't date certain people, we don't hang out with certain people, we don't do certain things. It is a matter of degree. I personally find it disgusting that people discriminate based on inherent traits, but I don't want to force people to associate with people that they don't want to. Which is my main objection the CRA. The motivation to pass it was political and idealistic, but it ends up using force to dictate association, I oppose that.

If, in 1964, people had been allowed to continue discriminating on the basis of race, then African Americans would continue to be repressed, locked out of jobs everywhere, unable to eat or shop at many locations, and so on. Ending this system of second class citizenship was the purpose of the civil rights movement

There is nothing wrong with this. No different than people not wanting those who do drugs or smell to enter their establishment. When the government dictates that segregation is mandatory that is another issue. If a private citizen doesn't want me in their home or business then that is their right. I do believe that protests and such are valid means to let such people know that their behavior is despicable. And if it hurts profit they will be more inclined to change their policy. Maybe they don't care about profit, in such cases, it makes no sense to even deal with such people. Racists are becoming an oppressed group in America. One must always be on guard to not persecute people just because their viewpoints are despicable. Such is the nature of tyranny. Someone's views/beliefs are always despicable to at least one person in the world.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 11:10 PM on March 15, 2007


Ah, sorry I didn't see the other comments before I posted my last one. I'm not sure what those pictures are supposed to prove, anyone can go grab random pictures of myspace and post them on an anonymous image host. You're really going to have to get a little more creative.

Once again, you are free to believe what you want. I didn't have to provide my pics, but took the time to do it (granted I am on vacation for 2 weeks and have nothing but free time). I see no need to prove "race cred" to someone over the internet. It is your issue, not mine.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 11:13 PM on March 15, 2007




Look, I've been swatted on the nose in this thread for commenting too much (Christ, delmoi, your arguments would be so much more effective without the belittling, personal attacks - oh, the irony) but what the hell is this supposed to mean, GN?

Racists are becoming an oppressed group in America.

No...no...don't bother explaining.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:17 PM on March 15, 2007


Gnostic Novelist writes "Racists are becoming an oppressed group in America."

That's Solid Gold there, people! A-number-1 internet Awesome crazy shit!

You're like 19, right?
posted by mr_roboto at 11:24 PM on March 15, 2007


but what the hell is this supposed to mean, GN?

It is becoming fashionable to "denounce racism." People in every culture always feel a similar way towards certain groups and justify oppression based on that (i.e. said group is not really positive in anyway so let us do what we will). Yes I oppose racism, but I first and foremost recognize that I must stick up for everyone that I oppose, because it is easy to advocate suppressing opposing viewpoints, after all, what do I have to lose? Racists may or may not come around, but they have a right to see the world and feel the way they feel. They do not have the right (same applies to all) to initiate violence against another or defraud another, all in all, they are held to the same standards as everyone else.

I will always understand that just because I have a common opinion (opposition to racism) doesn't mean that oppression of odious opinions/lifestyles/positions must follow. Oddly enough, the period where racism was actually relevant was built upon similar foundations. I can only imagine what abolitionists had to go through in the 19th century, when common opinion was against them. We must recognize the fact that just because something is popular doesn't mean it is right. Otherwise we are tyrants who refuse to recognize the fact we are tyrants.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 11:29 PM on March 15, 2007


You're like 19, right?

No sir, I'm 32.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 11:35 PM on March 15, 2007


As I understand it, this is the modern interpretation (post Brown) of the Equal Protection Clause in the Fourteenth Amendment. --kid ichorous

Ah, I see. I was looking around for something in the 1950s-60s.

It is a good life lesson for many ideologues : race does not dictate political viewpoint.

Here good life lesson for you: Learn to read. People might be more willing to talk to you if you respond to what they actually write.

I see no need to prove "race cred" to someone over the internet. It is your issue, not mine.

You're the one who brought it up, dumbass. More sloppy thinking: You say your black, as if it means something, but when you can't prove it, you say it doesn't matter. It either matters or it doesn't.

I could care less, frankly. It's just as possible for a black person to be racist, and your skin color doesn't really affect your arguments. I just thought it would be funny to see you try to prove it.

Look as I said, you're stupid. You will always be stupid, and always be unable to grasp complex arguments. There is nothing that can be done about it. Arguing with you would be as fruitful as arguing with a creationist or the time cube guy. Look at what you wrote:

There is nothing wrong with this [continuing racial segregation through non government action].

No see you think there is nothing wrong with it. you don't understand the difference between reality and your opinion, and the reason you can't see the difference is because, in fact, you're an idiot. But lets look at the whole paragraph:

There is nothing wrong with this No different than people not wanting those who do drugs or smell to enter their establishment ... One must always be on guard to not persecute people just because their viewpoints are despicable. Such is the nature of tyranny. Someone's views/beliefs are always despicable to at least one person in the world

So on the one hand it's OK for people to persecute other people, and other hand... it's not. Your writing is full of contradictions, because you simply aren't smart enough to notice them.

I have to say though, you're an excellent spokesman for the Ron Paul campaign, and I'm sure your comments in this thread have really turned a lot of people around to your way of thinking, and they'll all vote for him in November. Congrats.
posted by delmoi at 11:37 PM on March 15, 2007


Here good life lesson for you: Learn to read. People might be more willing to talk to you if you respond to what they actually write.

I see no reason to continue this debate. I have tried to be nice (nicer than usual) yet you continue to resort to all sorts of sophistry. You have your opinion and I have mine. I have been debating online for years, but never have had to deal with someone who is so unpleasant. And I debate neo-nazis and communists all the time (not saying they are the same) yet they are almost able to remain civil during intense and almost universal disagreement. I am sorry sir, but this has become an exercise in futility. I only hope that one day you will encounter someone with more patience than I have. I am on vacation for the first time and years, and just can't waste time. Maybe I'm wrong, maybe the truth will show itself one day.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 11:44 PM on March 15, 2007


correction: "I am on vacation for the first time and years"

SHOULD BE:

I am on vacation for the first time IN years

my apologies for posting so much in this thread. I am used to the discussion forum format, and didn't know the subtle formalities of MeFi.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 11:45 PM on March 15, 2007


.
posted by KokuRyu at 11:57 PM on March 15, 2007


Prove it.
posted by delmoi at 10:34 PM PST on March 15


This is easily the dumbest thing written by a presumably rational person that I have seen on Metafilter. Well, may be this response beats it out after all: "And to be honest, I don't think you're Black. It's obviously possible, but pretty unlikely." He ain't black 'nuff fo ya, delmoi!

FWIW, I'm with ya, GN. Kudos for sticking around to battle with the Mefi liberal horde, whom I'm sure all voluntarily overpay on their income taxes because the government does such a bang-up job with all social engineering efforts.
posted by oncogenesis at 1:16 AM on March 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


It's a shame the discourse went where it did (that is, to bedlam), I think. Just as things started getting interesting, too.

GN (first off, do come back -- while I don't agree with you on a number of points, I appreciate your candor) I'm having a little trouble seeing the disaster that the Civil Rights Act of 1964 represents to you. It seems to be conflated in your arguments with affirmative action (which I'm less okay with), and I'd like to tease them apart again.

I'm just not sure it's a good idea to let market forces dictate whether or not businesses treat all human beings (provided they pose no overt threat) as human beings. Maybe that's the way things would naturally swing, maybe not -- but why leave it up to chance? All I see the Act doing is standing in for common disapproval that, for whatever reason, might not ever manifest in economic damage to a discriminatory business.

I think it's a PR matter as well. I find it a lot easier to consider the US a 'Land of Opportunity' knowing that pulling myself up by my bootstraps (or whatever equivalent phrase to "shut up, because I have been fortunate, entirely independent, and as such owe nothing to anyone" you prefer) won't involve, say, being unsure that I'll be able to buy food at a given market because of my skin color. The leisure of mobility that "you are free to patronize any business you choose, so odious practices ought to be tolerated" entails doesn't always exist. The vaunted pulling-up process has to begin somewhere, and ought to be able to begin anywhere. I believe the CRA of 1964 provides for this, and does not represent liberal decadence or ideological folly.

I don't want the free movement of potentially disliked groups to be predicated on the profitability, or lack thereof, of serving them.
posted by lumensimus at 4:01 AM on March 16, 2007


This did not wendell.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 5:08 AM on March 16, 2007


he was a member of Mensa, and of course this means I am endowed with certain genetic gifts.

Man, I can't believe y'all let this priceless bit of nonsense slide. MeFi is slipping.
posted by languagehat at 6:01 AM on March 16, 2007


I don't think GN is stupid, or that being a libertarian is necessarily stupid. Everyone is giving him a hard time because of those things.

Everyone should be giving him a hard time because his post is pretty lousy and it looks like he made it so he could get in an internet fight about his personal politics. Eye on the ball, people.
posted by Kwine at 6:08 AM on March 16, 2007


Reading this thread to the end caused my IQ to drop 27 points.
posted by syzygy at 6:24 AM on March 16, 2007


I see no reason to continue this debate.

I'm not trying to debate you, I'm trying to belittle you, because you're a joke. I'm also trying to explain my reasoning to other people who might be reading the thread.

I have been debating online for years, but never have had to deal with someone who is so unpleasant. And I debate neo-nazis and communists all the time (not saying they are the same) yet they are almost able to remain civil during intense and almost universal disagreement.

More like a Neo-Nazi is not something I aspire to be. If Neo-nazis are better then me in your mind, it's because your mind is warped.
posted by delmoi at 6:30 AM on March 16, 2007


Man, delmoi, you came off looking terrible by initiating all those personal attacks in the face of an opponent who refused to personally denigrate you. Touch a nerve or something? While GN was overmoderating his thread and expressing some unpopular views, those are not reasons to lower the level of discourse to schoolyard taunts and racebaiting.

As to a private right of discrimination in one's business, there is a long tradition of common carriers, like buses and trains, not being able to deny service to anyone for discriminatory reasons. You can even see that "right" cropping up at inns where travelers stop on their way from A to B. I don't find it a far stretch, once you realize the long legal history and firmly rooted Anglo-Saxon tradition behind it, that the govt can require businesses who hold themselves out to the public as being available to all the public.
posted by Falconetti at 6:36 AM on March 16, 2007


I bet going out to dinner with Tucker Carlson is a lot like this thread.
posted by The Straightener at 6:39 AM on March 16, 2007 [1 favorite]


Capital-T Tucker is capital-R retarded, but bow ties are appropriate fancy neckwear when tempered by common sense and compassion.
posted by Falconetti at 6:41 AM on March 16, 2007


If nothing else, this thread just confirms my belief that anyone who makes a point of basing their identity around a political sub-group (like, "As a Goldwater Conservative/Maoist/Reagan Republican/Trotskyite/Pillean Burritic Supremecist, I think...") is no one I want to talk politics with, even if I agree with them.

the exception being the Libation-tarians, who have their whole program worked out pretty well.
posted by COBRA! at 7:09 AM on March 16, 2007


I can't believe no one's ridiculed Paul for his most heinous sin--his site uses frames.
posted by MrMoonPie at 7:29 AM on March 16, 2007


Man, delmoi, you came off looking terrible by initiating all those personal attacks in the face of an opponent who refused to personally denigrate you.

I suppose.

those are not reasons to lower the level of discourse to schoolyard taunts and racebaiting.

I disagree. The thing is, while some words or phrases can be insulting. ideas themselves can be uncivil. When Michel Malken writes a book arguing that Japanese internment is a good thing and we ought to do the same with Muslims, civil discussion is impossible because the idea itself is uncivil. Similarly when this guy argues that segregation should be allowed he's already lowered the discussion. I'm all for free speech, people should be allowed to say what they want, but they do not have to be respected if they do.
posted by delmoi at 8:04 AM on March 16, 2007


I remember when we had actual discussions here. Snarks of the world unite!
posted by ahimsakid at 8:46 AM on March 16, 2007


.
posted by buzzman at 9:13 AM on March 16, 2007


languagehat, papakwanz riffed appropriately, so don't be so sad. I can see how you can miss something like that in this train wreck of a thread.

delmoi, what do you have against the time cube guy. Don't be a hater, por favor.
posted by peeedro at 9:48 AM on March 16, 2007


Man, I can't believe y'all let this priceless bit of nonsense slide. MeFi is slipping.

What nonsense? Do you not believe in the field of genetics or something?
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 10:02 AM on March 16, 2007


:::falls off office chair laughing:::

This thread is awesome.
posted by rtha at 10:18 AM on March 16, 2007


35 comments and counting here, Gnostic Novelist--man, that is some extensive lordly disinterest.
posted by y2karl at 10:30 AM on March 16, 2007


35 comments and counting here, Gnostic Novelist--man, that is some extensive lordly disinterest.

I'm trying to remove myself from the thread, but it seems a little rude for me to ignore points someone makes or refuse to give them credit when they make a valid point. Then again, it is probably rude for me to post so much in the thread. I'm trying to find the right balance. I will not post in it, unless I have to offer a response.

Once again, sorry, I'll come around, at least I'm trying :)
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 10:45 AM on March 16, 2007


delmoi, what do you have against the time cube guy. Don't be a hater, por favor.

I don't have the time cube guy, the time cube guy is awsome. I just wouldn't want to debate him.
posted by delmoi at 11:00 AM on March 16, 2007


Ron Paul.

Endorsed in November 1988 as “The Pot Candidate” by High Times magazine.
And according to their MySpace page, they're behind him again for 2008.

In these troubled times, I'm sure the American people will look to such a trusted periodical for guidance when next they visit the polls, just as they did 20 years ago.
posted by grabbingsand at 1:17 PM on March 16, 2007


The American Voters are highly integrated into the herd mentality, but it isn't the fault of politicians.

It's the "fault" of the system. The way our constitution is set up, only one side wins. In a parliamentary system, you can have representatives from all sorts of smaller parties, but in our system, it's majority rule. That means that for a candidate to be sure they'll get elected, they have to capture 51% of the vote. No one is going to convince 51% of the population to agree with them on every single issue. We all have to compromise our ideals to various extents to accommodate one another in order to take a majority of the population in an election.

VOting for a third party in a two party system is only useful as a protest vote because we don't incorporate fringe voices into the official conversation the way parliamentary systems do (not to say it's necessarily better, as then it's the parliamentarians who have to compromise in order to get anything done - eventually there has to be compromise because we simply do not all agree on how we ought to run things)
posted by mdn at 1:53 PM on March 16, 2007


What nonsense? Do you not believe in the field of genetics or something?

I do not believe in the genetic superiority of members of Mensa. I've hung out with members of Mensa, and I have little desire to repeat the experience, thank you.
posted by languagehat at 1:55 PM on March 16, 2007


I do not believe in the genetic superiority of members of Mensa. I've hung out with members of Mensa, and I have little desire to repeat the experience, thank you.

I don't believe it makes one superior. I can't deny that some people are, by nature, better at certain things. Many people are more attractive than me, many are more athletic, many have more will power, many have a more open view towards religious belief etc. I didn't mean to imply anything other than illustrating that some people are naturally better at certain things. Sometimes hard work makes the difference, sometimes the gifts our God has endowed us with make the difference. I have absolutely no ability to draw, in fact, my drawings are on the level of a first grader. I lack the natural gift and the natural will to work to overcome it. While it is not the most politically correct of opinions, I don't see how it is not based in reality.

The only reason, I responded is because I have a tremendous amount of respect for you (I read your takedown of DFW quite a long time ago, I read your blog almost daily, and I bought a lot of books due to your account on librarything.) and I don't want to come off as some sort of elitist or worse: a prescriptivist. No need to worry about the latter, my grammar is so bad, it can never happen.
posted by Gnostic Novelist at 2:11 PM on March 16, 2007


I read your takedown of DFW quite a long time ago, I read your blog almost daily, and I bought a lot of books due to your account on librarything

Your sins are forgiven, my son! Go forth and buy more books!
posted by languagehat at 2:53 PM on March 16, 2007


I don't believe it makes one superior. I can't deny that some people are, by nature, better at certain things.

Yeah, but all members of mensa have shown themselves to be better at is taking quizzes. I have endless respect for brilliant, creative, interested minds, but being proud of your ability to score well on standardized tests seems like something a person should get over once they've made it to college, or whatever. At some point, get into a bigger pond by way of school or career, and start producing something, rather than pointing out percentile rankings, y'know?

Natural capacity is a small part of the story, in the end: it's the most classic way for someone to fail, really. If you start out thinking you've got something special, and then sort of wait for everything to fall together, you might wake up at 45 and wonder what the hell happened. Of course there are differences in capacity, but chance, environment, community, opportunity, motivation - all play a major role as well. And at this point, there's very little way to tell how much is affected by nurture.
posted by mdn at 3:39 PM on March 16, 2007


mdn: Very true. I remember scoring quite high on IQ tests when I was around 15 or so, which contributed to my already inflated ego and sense of being better and smarter than others (I probably was, but I was also lazier). The sense of inevitable success stuck with me into my 20s, and it's only now that I've gotten my act together to do what I need to do to get where I want.
posted by Joakim Ziegler at 6:21 PM on March 16, 2007


Ron Paul ran for president as a libertarian in 1988.
posted by Brian B. at 8:58 PM on March 16, 2007


Way too late to respond, but going to do it anyway:

A person is not a race. The Jews have been more oppressed, by more culture, and for a longer period of time than just about anyone else, and aside from a few activists groups you simply don't see the same excuses.

A person is not an island, either; their opportunities come not only from those theoretically available to everyone, but those that they create, and that their parents can enable. If your parents can't read, and your neighbor's parents can, what are the odds that your neighbor reads better than you? Better still: if your parents are poor, and your neighbor's parents are rich, which of you is going to get into the better schools, and have parents who have the time to nurture you, and teach you? Also, which one of you will have the "opportunity" to attend an overcrowded, underfunded public school?

And let's face it; when it comes to things like job opportunities, things like your ability to read and the school you came from MATTER. Right down at the lower levels of employment. Start late out of the gate because of your parents being disadvantaged, and it takes a rare individual to make up that ground in a single generation -- meanwhile, privileged children can coast through life by comparison and generally end up better off than those rare individuals who started disadvantaged.

Anyway, it still goes out the window when you remember this one, basic fact: Jews were not forbidden by law to learn to read in this country, and were not enslaved in this country. They weren't brought here against their will, either. If you don't think any of that matters in how disadvantaged their descendents are despite their best efforts, then I guess you're a person whose though processes are quite alien to me.

Everything I've said so far speaks only to the multi-generational impact of your ancestors having been oppressed and enslaved; it doesn't even take into account the impact of racism, both obvious and subtle, even today.

Here's a great example: my parents came from extremely poor families. My father pulled his family out of poverty into lower middle class. How? He was working late nights (at one of multiple jobs) at IBM, and taught himself how to program computers from the books they had on the shelves. Then, he applied for a job as a programmer -- and got it.

Because of this, I had opportunities I wouldn't have otherwise had; I might have ended up working on an assembly line like my poor cousin, for instance. Instead, I have a terrific, lucrative career -- and I can pin every single moment of "luck" that advanced that career squarely on the shoulders of the opportunities my father created for me.

And yet, I still didn't finish college, and neither did he, because we're still catching up from his parents being poor; neither of us could make enough money to put ourselves through college (we both tried) without our schoolwork suffering so much that it was being wasted. I hope my children will be able to go to college, but if they do it will most likely be because I married a women who went to college, and whose parents went to college, and odds are their college tuition will come from my wife's parents and grandparents.

Ask yourself, and be as honest as you can: do you think if he were an African-American security guard in the 50s, instead of the white security guard he was, that he would have been hired? And if not, where do you think I would be right now, and do you think my children would be going to college without government assistance?
posted by davejay at 12:30 AM on March 17, 2007


Ron Paul Accepts Debate Invitation
posted by homunculus at 9:26 AM on March 20, 2007


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