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2014 midterm elections: keeping "Will Hillary Run?" off the front pages

(until wednesday). Yes, it's election day in the USA on Tuesday 4th November, with a projected cost of $3.67 billion. "During this midterm election year, all 435 seats in the United States House of Representatives and 33 of the 100 seats in the United States Senate will be contested; along with 38 state and territorial governorships, 46 state legislatures (except Louisiana, Mississippi, New Jersey and Virginia), four territorial legislatures and numerous state and local races." The betting markets currently have the Republicans significant favorites to take the Senate and overwhelming favorites to take the House. FiveThirtyEight indicates the same, but with many close Gubernatorial races. Electoral-vote.com currently project the senate at Dem 48, Ties 1, GOP 51. [more inside]
posted by Wordshore on Nov 2, 2014 - 257 comments

*Shrug*

Galt's Gulch Chile is (was) meant to be a modern and real-world replica of Ayn Rand's objectivist hide-out in Atlas Shrugged. Wealthy investors (or at least folks with a lot of bitcoin) envisioned a protected libertarian community where they could ride out the impending social and financial downfall of American society. Unfortunately for those taken in by the project, it appears now that the whole enterprise was a greed-driven scam.
posted by stinkfoot on Aug 27, 2014 - 185 comments

Trump This!

The Three Languages of Arts and Cultural Funding : It is a truth universally acknowledged that the public funding of arts and culture will cause political strife. Reasonable people just do not agree on this, and can be surprisingly quick to accuse others of ideological warmongering. An Australian application of The Three Languages of Politics [interview: podcast and transcript] by Arnold Kling. Via The Conversation.
posted by michswiss on May 7, 2014 - 6 comments

My name is Galt -- I'm a cop.

Years ago, a central banker killed my partner..... [more inside]
posted by Iris Gambol on Apr 5, 2014 - 82 comments

Liberalism, Libertarianism, and the Illiberal Security State

The defense of the illiberal activities of the actually-existing state cuts across superficial partisan lines, and the dominant political philosophy of both American parties is a venerable ideology of realpolitik imperial supremacy that deploys the rhetoric of liberalism as pacifying propaganda and recasts the completely mundane application of basic liberal-democratic principles–the kind at work in the activities of Wikileaks and Snowden–as irresponsibly adolescent, anarchical, and even libertarian (eww!) challenges to the very idea of the liberal state. “Liberal” apologists for the actually-existing criminal state spook actual liberals from the practice of actual liberalism by insinuating darkly that any doubts about the liberal legitimacy of the security state probably makes you a loathsome, possibly racist Paultard. Wil Wilkinson on why liberal critics of the "liberal" state seem "libertarian." [more inside]
posted by grobstein on Jan 21, 2014 - 49 comments

"The Republic of the Fittest"

Little Libertarians on the prairie. Book research by Christine Woodside suggests that Laura Ingalls Wilder's daughter, novelist Rose Wilder Lane, secretly ghostwrote the Little House books as an anti-New Deal fable, according to family journals and letters. Lane was also a friend of Ayn Rand and may have coined the term "libertarian." Tactical omissions in the massively popular frontier history of self-reliance include the land grant that gave 160 acres for a mere filing fee; the loss of their first homestead after borrowing money to save it, and Laura's blind sister receiving education funding from the territorial government (and not from Laura's job as a teacher).
posted by Brian B. on Nov 3, 2013 - 123 comments

The Case Against The Confederacy

Why “Libertarian” Defenses of the Confederacy and “States’ Rights” are Incoherent
There is a strain of libertarian contrarianism that holds that the Confederate States of America were within their “rights” to secede from the Union. Such contrarianism on this particular topic is detrimental to the larger cause of liberty because the logic of this argument relies upon relinquishing individual rights to the whim of the state. Indeed, as there is no legal or moral justification for supporting the Confederacy in the Civil War, it is impossible that there could be a libertarian one.
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jul 21, 2013 - 349 comments

China's Black Market City

Chen Mingyuan has lived here all his life, but he still gets lost every time he drives into Wenzhou. “All the roads in this town were built by businessmen, so none of them make any sense,” Chen says as we back out of what we just discovered is a one-way street. For the last 30 years, private citizens in this southeastern China metropolis have largely taken over one of the least questioned prerogatives of governments the world over: infrastructure. Is Wenzhou, the richest city in China's richest province, a libertarian paradise?
posted by shivohum on Jul 20, 2013 - 13 comments

“We were for the Contras in Nicaragua; wary of affirmative action,”

Matt Welch, Reason: The Death of Contrarianism
Klein, then at The American Prospect, a progressive D.C. opinion magazine founded in 1990, wanted Peters, founder (in 1969) of The Washington Monthly, to answer for the way neoliberalism had degenerated into lefty-on-lefty contrarianism. “What has happened, at least to some younger folks like me,” Klein said, “is that at times this appears to have become not an honest critique, but a positioning device. The idea that it’s not about the quality of the argument, but the display: You show honesty by attacking Democrats, you show independence by attacking liberals. At times I think that has been a damaging impulse on our side.”
[more inside]
posted by the man of twists and turns on Jun 22, 2013 - 30 comments

I chose the impossible. I chose... Rapture.

In Golden Waters, Fatlantis and Libertopia are Something Awful goon-written short story collections (and a short story) about the predicted failure of libertarian separatist colonies. They're inspired by the Seasteading Institute, a group that wants to build a floating libertarian island (and yes, they did inspire China Mieville's 'The Scar'). They should serve as a warning to Glenn Beck, who intends to create a self-sustaining community called Independence Park. The Goon fiction has already started, but its more likely to succeed than The Citadel, a proposed survivalist gun fortress in Idaho. Bonus SA short story collection: Aluminum Sky, a series about the Malatorans, a group who wanted to build an island where they could put their brains into robot cyborg dragon bodies.
posted by Charlemagne In Sweatpants on Jan 22, 2013 - 75 comments

State of Nature

“When I spoke at the two Ron Paul events in Tampa, a young man kind enough to pick me up at the airport told me a fascinating story. The vast majority of young Ron volunteers in offices he visited all over the country were paleo. If a kid ordered pizza — which was always the primary or perhaps only campaign food — he was practically booed,” Atossa Araxia Abrahamian writes in The New Inquiry about the paleo diet, libertarianism, and the appealing idea of a healthy, undistorted state of nature to which we can return if we are only pure enough. [more inside]
posted by escabeche on Dec 29, 2012 - 208 comments

David Simon ReasonTV interview

Last week Reason Magazine posted a 20-minute video interview with David Simon (The Wire, Homicide, Treme and more) on its web site. On his personal blog Simon accused the Reason editors of "shanking" the interview by selectively editing the video in favor of "banter and quick reposite", and sacrificing context and complete arguments to the extent that the interview seems "incoherent." In response to Simon's comments Reason has posted the full 1 hour 20 minute audio of the interview. (direct link to mp3 audio)
posted by mediated self on Sep 23, 2012 - 21 comments

Posting from work

Let it Bleed: Libertarianism and the Workplace from Crooked Timber.
posted by klangklangston on Jul 2, 2012 - 184 comments

"MY WAVE!"

LearnLiberty: a libertarian Khan Academy. [more inside]
posted by edguardo on Feb 13, 2012 - 183 comments

Thrive

The heir to the Proctor and Gamble fortune has dropped a load of cash on a movie: Thrive: What on Earth will it take? The premise: We are killing the world because an invisible elite is withholding the secret of free energy, to prevent us from thriving. Transition Culture thinks it's dangerous tosh. Huffington Post thinks it's a reactionary, libertarian agenda that stands in jarring contrast with the soothing tone of the presentation. An Archdruid thinks it's what a narrative of progress must produce when the narrative no longer describes observable reality. But it's bound to be popular with the Consumer class. (Warning: evidence of toroidal energy devices that some viewers may find disconcerting).
posted by falcon on Jan 12, 2012 - 80 comments

Island Paradise

"My dear guests, I am Mr. Thiel, your host. Welcome to Libertarian Island."
posted by griphus on Aug 25, 2011 - 246 comments

Paging Dr. Kinte...

"With regard to the idea of whether or not you have a right to health care, you have to realize what that implies... It means you believe in slavery." Senator Rand Paul weighs in on the notion of human rights at a Senate subcommittee hearing yesterday, equating the right to health care, as well as the right to water and food, as tantamount to a belief in slavery.
posted by Rykey on May 12, 2011 - 223 comments

PJ Shrugs

Atlas Shrugged and so did I. PJ O'Rourke has seen Atlas Shrugged (the movie - part 1) and ... [more inside]
posted by philip-random on Apr 7, 2011 - 201 comments

Atlas Flushed

"Frankly, my toilets don't work in my house. And I blame you, and people like you" [YT].Senator Rand Paul accused Energy Department official Kathleen Hogan yesterday of offering consumers more choice in reproductive decisions than in household appliances.
posted by Rykey on Mar 11, 2011 - 214 comments

Patriot vs. PATRIOT

"House Republicans...fell seven votes short of extending provisions of the Patriot Act, a vote that served as the first small uprising of the party's tea-party bloc." This vote also defies the intention of the Obama administration to extend portions of the USA PATRIOT Act to the year 2013. (Previously) [more inside]
posted by overeducated_alligator on Feb 9, 2011 - 95 comments

...and other affairs of plain living

From the Wikipedia article:
Founded by Eliot Wigginton in the 1960s, Foxfire has published Foxfire Magazine continuously since 1966, and the highly popular Foxfire books since 1972. Both the magazine and books are based on the stories and life of elders and students, featuring advice and personal stories about subjects as wide-ranging as hog dressing, faith healing, blacksmithing, and Appalachian history.
[more inside]
posted by hanoixan on Aug 28, 2010 - 30 comments

"Someone, somewhere, really likes setting things up."

Who are they? Jenny Turner looks inside the Institute of Ideas, one of Britain's strangest think tanks, composed largely of entryist Trotskyites turned radical libertarians.
posted by WPW on Jul 2, 2010 - 40 comments

In this time of Blackwater and Glenn Beck, a more classic kind of villain still persists.

"I wanted that kid to lose sleep that night," a grinning Xinos says Wednesday, as he invites me for a nearly two-hour interview in his Mercedes-Benz in the gated Oak Brook community where he lives. "This is the real world and the lesson, you folks who brought your kids here, is if you want something, pay for it." [more inside]
posted by ignignokt on Oct 8, 2009 - 114 comments

Once Rapture starts leaking, the old girl's never gonna stop.

The Seasteading Institute (previously) is the brain-child of former Google engineer Patri Friedman , and seeks to set up independent governments in international waters. In April 2009, the institute received $500,000 of seed funding from PayPal founder Peter Thiel. After reading it's revised manifesto, Brad Reed (of Sadly, No) remains unimpressed. [more inside]
posted by The Whelk on May 31, 2009 - 98 comments

REGULATION VACATION CELEBRATION!

Sick of all that socialism? Come to Somalia! Who needs health care, the rule of law or a central government? It seems to be a pretty minimal state, some Libertarians are eying it with interest and others think it's doing very well for itself. (via Fipi Lele)
posted by bshort on May 7, 2009 - 98 comments

First, we need to find out where he stands on legalizing Tickle-Torture...

Who is the mysterious Shadow Candidate for Shadow Senator of the District of Columbia? Marx Cafe Bartender Damien Ober, kind of. Ober wrote a series of campaign ads (which can alternate between provocative, sophomoric, and simply creepy, depending on your point of view) in response to D.C.'s lack of congressional representation, and hired an actor to sit in the darkness portraying his unnamed candidate. After viewing the videos on youtube, however, the D.C. Libertarian Party has decided to give him a for-real shot at the for-fake position.
posted by Navelgazer on Oct 16, 2008 - 11 comments

And the winner is...

Soon, state delegates will meet in Denver to conclude a contentious competition and nominate a presidential candidate. No, it's not the Democratic National Convention. It's time for the Libertarian National Convention! Check out the schedule of events and possible seminar topics. Some find the very idea hilarious. Others are watching with more serious interest to see how the outcome may affect John McCain's campaign.
posted by Tehanu on May 21, 2008 - 86 comments

Ron Paul Spam

When Ron Paul email spam started hitting inboxes in late October, UAB Computer Forensics Directory Gary Warner published findings on the spam's textual patterns and the illicit botnet used to spread it -- findings which were picked up by media outlets and tech websites like Salon, Ars Technica, and Wired Magazine's "Threat Level" blog, the latter in a set of followup posts by writer Sarah Stirland: 1, 2, 3. [more inside]
posted by brownpau on Nov 5, 2007 - 306 comments

Global warming skeptic changes his mind

Global warming skeptic Ronald Bailey--Reason's science correspondent, adjunct scholar at CATO and CEI, and editor of the 2002 book Global Warming and Other Myths: How the Environmental Movement Uses False Science to Scare Us to Death--has changed his mind.
posted by russilwvong on Jan 16, 2007 - 92 comments

Libertarian Chief Wana Dubie runs for office

Chief Wana Dubie is the Libertarian candidate for State Representative in Missouri's 150th District. He has a marijuana leaf tattooed on his forehead and once painted bullseye on his roof so the 'government could find him.' After a 5-year sentence for growing marijuana, he's running for office and with hopes for a 2008 bid for governor: Dubie vs. Blunt.
posted by F Mackenzie on Nov 7, 2006 - 17 comments

Socially liberal, economically conservative

Libertarians, the forgotten voters (pdf) For those on the trail of the elusive swing voter, it may be most notable that the libertarian vote shifted sharply in 2004. Libertarians preferred George W. Bush over Al Gore by 72 to 20 percent, but Bush’s margin dropped in 2004 to 59-38 over John Kerry. Congressional voting showed a similar swing from 2002 to 2004. Libertarians apparently became disillusioned with Republican overspending, social intolerance, civil liberties infringements, and the floundering war in Iraq. If that trend continues into 2006 and 2008, Republicans will lose elections they would otherwise win. (via Andrew Sullivan)
posted by caddis on Oct 12, 2006 - 197 comments

The Libertarian Democrat

The Libertarian Democrat. Kos makes the case for the Libertarian Democrat for the Cato Institute.
posted by empath on Oct 2, 2006 - 79 comments

It's not just Democrats and Republicans, you know.

Haters! The Libertarian candidate for the 24th District of the Kansas House was canvassing the local Mission, KS Arts and Eats festival, speaking with attendees and distributing campaign literature. Suddenly, a councilwoman approached him with a police officer and informed him he had to leave and would be charged with trespassing if he returned, an action which the Mayor has publicly denounced and has launched an investigation into.
posted by deusdiabolus on Sep 30, 2006 - 31 comments

The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth

1000 Angry Monkeys, Blogging About Politics... The partisan political blogosphere has been humming along nicely for the last several years. But where the progressive and conservative ideologies intersect, at technology, they can possibly be best categorized as libertarian, particularly if limited to the development, growth, corporatization, regulation, and taxation of the internet. As such, there's much news worthy of our attention. More inside...
posted by rzklkng on May 4, 2006 - 21 comments

Bush vs The US Constitution

Power Surge: The Constitutional Record of George W. Bush Not much of this report from the Cato institute will be surprising to MeFites, but it is a great document [31 page PDF] that summarizes Bush's consistent disregard for the Constitution and drive for greater executive power.
posted by knave on May 3, 2006 - 27 comments

Reasonable Thoughts on Operation Iraqi Freedom

Hindsight on Iraq is 20/20 -- but views diverge. Reason magazine asks notable libertarians, conservatives, and academics -- from Instapundit Glenn Reynolds (one word: "win") to Illuminatus! author Robert Anton Wilson ("Bush has used [the invasion] as an excuse to destroy the last few tattered remnants of the Bill of Rights") -- if they would have chosen differently in 2003, knowing how the war would develop.
posted by digaman on Apr 3, 2006 - 97 comments

I love quizzes...

Are you a Neo-Conservative? Another well designed and researched quiz that gives results you might not expect. Even at only ten questions, it's surprisingly accurate because the density of possible responses serve to counter transparency. Consider taking some other less silly online quizzes when you're done. Try staples like the Myers-Briggs and World's Smallest Political Quiz or some Blue flashbacks like the BBC's Sex ID, Belief-O-Matic, or the Europa Dart game.
posted by trinarian on Apr 20, 2005 - 56 comments

Stephenson Expounds!

Reason interview with Neal Stephenson containing (among other things!) libertarian-statist-terrorist triangulation, the epidemiology of domination systems, praise for 17th century financial & philosophical sophistication and... oh and an apologia for his endings :D [via SE, also see :]
posted by kliuless on Feb 10, 2005 - 23 comments

Green and Libertarian Presidential Candidates to Demand Ohio Recount.

Green and Libertarian Presidential Candidates to Demand Ohio Recount. David Cobb and Michael Badnarik, the 2004 presidential candidates for the Green and Libertarian parties, today announced their intentions to file a formal demand for a recount of the presidential ballots cast in Ohio.
posted by ZenMasterThis on Nov 12, 2004 - 25 comments

Michael Badnarik on Slashdot

Libertarian Presidential candidate Michael Badnarik answers Slashdot's questions.
posted by bitpart on Sep 20, 2004 - 11 comments

how to become a libertarian

"Libertarianism is the hottest philosophy on the internet! Many famous people are libertarians, including John Stossel and Dave Barry. It seems like everyone is becoming a libertarian, and now you can, too! The answer lies in several simple steps, which anyone can learn. Read on, and you, too, can become a libertarian!"
posted by reklaw on Aug 22, 2004 - 60 comments

Perry for Kerry

A Libertarian for Kerry. John Perry Barlow, co-founder of the EFF and a former campaign manager for Dick Cheney, is taking his libertarianism into the Democratic camp. "...we need something -- and I think it’s governmental -- to reregulate the market and make it free, because the multinationals have taken it away." (More inside).
posted by liam on Aug 12, 2004 - 34 comments

Get ready for President Badnarik

With under four months left to the real election, the Atlas of Presidential Elections is holding a mock election (free registration required to vote), in which Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik holds a lead over John Kerry and George W. Bush. The real results may be a little bit different in November.
posted by RobbieFal on Jul 6, 2004 - 8 comments

Sonorus!

Harry Potter: The New Atlas Shrugged.
posted by Espoo2 on Nov 30, 2003 - 77 comments

Working against evolution?

In an article called "The Sociobiological Conceit", Gene Callahan says darwinism is logically flawed and inherently self-contradictory: "if moral ideas are simply an 'illusion' fostered on us by our genes then so are all of our other ideas – including the ideas of sociobiology!". Callahan, fyi, belongs to the ultra-libertarian circles of the Mises Institute and LewRockwell. Would any of the evolutionists among us care to politely refute him?
posted by 111 on Feb 7, 2003 - 20 comments

Health care and politics seem to be popular topics on MeFi;

Health care and politics seem to be popular topics on MeFi; here is a story that combines them both. It seems that the Libertarian senate candidate in Montana turned himself blue with a medically questionable remedy. He seems unconcerned; however, this lady is not too happy about her experience with colloidal silver.
posted by TedW on Oct 3, 2002 - 22 comments

Meet the "righteous babes" of the Libertarian Party

Meet the "righteous babes" of the Libertarian Party In a welcome sign of new marketing savvy, North Carolina Libertarians have announced the "Ladies of Liberty" calendar. The fundraising, uh, tool features Lib candidates from across the country in patriotic and Vargas girl [probably nsfw] poses, and is the brainchild of the very glamorous state House candidate Rachel Mills. After her company's scandalous accounting caused Playboy to come knocking, Mills decided against using naked erotica as a campaign strategy, opting instead for a semi-clothed version. Don't get too excited, though; fellow state House candidate Jennifer Medlock says all of the women wear at least lingerie. She herself stops at a modest tank top, shorts and boxing gloves.
posted by mediareport on Sep 20, 2002 - 27 comments

The Burqa Incident.

The Burqa Incident. British freethinker Sarah Lawrence dresses in a burqa to make a point at the US Libertarian Party Conference, and causes a hotel-wide security alert. Looks like one of those systemic sense-of-humour failures that conspire to spiral out of control these days. But isn't it a bit worrying when even Libertarian Party officials start threatening to report their own conference speakers to the FBI for suspicious dress sense?
posted by ntk on Jul 21, 2002 - 17 comments

Seven Libertarians elected to local office. Browne results similar to Reform party without benefit of matching funds.
It's a new day in America.
posted by thirteen on Nov 8, 2000 - 16 comments

Critiques Of Libertarianism is a good read. The kind of concerns raised on this light-hearted site is what keeps me off of the Libertarian party.
posted by tdecius on Nov 6, 1999 - 0 comments

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