Chatting With A Libertarian

Greeting and Salutations;

      It is the season of politics, of course,  and one interesting thing that has happened is that there is a surge of interest in third-party candidates.   One of the bigger parties has been around a LONG time, and this year the Libertarians may get significant numbers of votes.   Now,  will that produce a viable President Elect?   Or will it just act as a spoiler,  causing either The Donald, or HRC to lose enough electorial votes that the other one takes the office?   Only time will tell.
     In my discussions with a wide range of poltical views,  I happened to end up interacting with a gentleman who is a Libertarian,  and believes that the bible of politics should be the collected words of Ron Paul.   We have had some interesting discussions,  so I thought I would add them to the collection of non-beekeeping posts  (yes I am still a beekeeper…although thanks to a variety of factors it looks like this year is going to be a maintenance and rebuilding year for my hives…)   I have interspersed my comments with his here, to make it easier to tell what, exactly I am talking about….

“Seems to me that if there is any relevance in this quote to the situation today, it’s that the “great power” that “some believe can hold evil in check” is almost without question the ever-growing, omni-present, all powerful government. It literally seeks to “keep evil in check” in every facet of our lives, even by invading foreign countries to kill anyone who may ever think an evil thought. Even in the midst of the mighty expansion of power by the government, “progressives” plead with the population to give it more and more; progressives assert to the masses that any societal problem is really just a lack of government, in the same way the progressive doctor insinuates to his patients that their symptoms are from a lack of some prescription drug, rather than advocating personal responsibility.

If fact, in relation to the relevance of Gandalf’s quote to our current situation, there is no greater power than the US government, and that is an extremely scary thought to us libertarians who know that it is actually the “small, everyday deeds of ordinary folks that keep the darkness at bay. Small acts of kindness and love” and charity and goodwill, coming altruistically and in the absence of a great power forcing us to act with such empathy. Gandalf’s quote is the libertarian’s fundamental position.

~Long live Dr. Ron Paul.”

 One of several fallacies of  the Libertarian is that EVERYONE will behave in an altruistic and humanitarian way. History shows us that this is NOT the case. For a couple of examples….Without the testing required by the FDA, the American market would be flooded with so-called “Cures” that have NO efficacy. In the 1800s, before regulation, there were tens of thousands of “doctors”  and traveling Medicine Men, selling bottles of liquid that would cure all your ills. They got rich off of selling bad whiskey, at inflated prices. I do have to ask you….”in the same way the progressive doctor insinuates to his patients that their symptoms are from a lack of some prescription drug, rather than advocating personal responsibility”  What in the WORLD do you mean by this? It sounds as if you are supporting faith healing over modern medicine. Want a more precise example? I found out a few years ago that I had Hep C and it was on the verge of killing me. I had gotten it from contaminated blood that I had been infused with before there was even a test for the disease. The ONLY reason that I am alive today, and still have my own liver, is because I was lucky enough to get on one of the new treatments, and have it paid for by that government you hate. Should I be dead? And how would my taking personal responsibility have cured this disease?
To move to a financial arena…what about the financial crash of 2008? The financial industry had been deregulated (too much in my opinion) because of this sort of attitude. Did they do the right thing and help America grow by careful application of funds, loans, etc? NO! They went on a rampage that culminated in the crash of 2008, and in the process made BILLIONS of dollars for themselves. They even worked to keep the financial bubble going a year longer than it should have, in order to make more money for themselves….which made the crash even worse and the following recession (or depression…) that much worse and harder to get out of.
Again, a personal example. We had decided to move and build a new house and had started the process in 2007. We had been cautious investors, and had a solid financial plan that would have allowed us to live comfortably while building the new house. Well, the crash came and almost OVERNIGHT, 70% of our investment value went away….vanished in the winds. Since then, we have been struggling to keep our heads above water, and while we are continually close to the edge, thanks to the help of family and cutting the cash burn where we could, we are keeping above water.
So…your libertarian attitude that government control is a bad thing is again brought to question, as it was the lack of good government control that allowed this financial bubble to happen and burst, causing great hardship for MANY Americans.

“What other power on earth is greater than the US Government? What other central power structure has more authority, more oversight, and more power than the US Government?

Progressives obviously think that the Federal Government should oversee and conduct: Planned Parenthood, healthcare in general, education, mass surveillance, defining food, growing food, pre-emptive aggressive warfare, feeding the poor in America, feeding the poor abroad, having/raising the minimum wage, bailing out banks and investment firms, bailing out industries in general which are “too big to fail”, and many other duties. These are all things which “progressive” politicians like Obama and Hillary have advocated for or directly done. No offense, but progressivism is almost a complete adulteration and dismantlement of our original governmental structure, which clearly defined the President’s duties as well as the Federal Government’s duties, none of which I listed above are granted to them.

I say that progressives and liberals in general crave more government because look at all the problems we have and look at what progressives and liberals ask for, government! Can’t afford healthcare? Government. Can’t afford college? Government. Can’t afford birth control? Government. These are serious problems, but the answer is not inevitably government and it is a terrible condition to perceive solutions through the lens of government. Our original government was structured such that the Federal Government protected our individual rights and the States’ rights and sovereignty. All other problems were left up to State governments, local governments, and free people to solve.

The trend I see is a sacrificing of rights and liberties for an increased sense of security and protection from the government. I agree government can be beneficial; small, local and state governments. The national government protects our States and our rights, that’s it, otherwise it messes things up. Clearly it messes things up. Look at our education after 40 years under the Fed. Look at our food after decades under the Fed. The solution is to strip power from where it should have never been put, not to give the hungry beast more.”

“Libertarians do not assume that everyone will act with altruism and morals. We fully expect that there will people who simply will be grumpy old codgers. Those people will likely have a harder time and will likely have fewer friends and helpers, but we libertarians acknowledge their right to be a grumpy old codger. With respect to crimes, we libertarians have developed a genius way to deal with those who try to take the rights away from others or harm them; the Justice Department. So it’s not a “fallacy” on the libertarian’s part; it’s just that you assume we think everyone will behave, when really we know everyone won’t, so we have safety measures in place.”
Ok…not quite what I meant.  I apologize for being unclear.  What I was trying to say was “So,  who is going to step up and take care of the tasks necessary to keep today’s society running?  And how will that work?”  More specifically,   Someone is going to have to pave the road in front of your house;  pull the power and data lines to your house;  have cops, firemen and/or  EMTs show up when you are in trouble  Then we move on to the infrastructure of the country.   Who is going to regulate this, and ensure that it is working and kept up to date?   All of these are functions that the government provides.   Would a Libertarian Administration support these services?   Or would it cut funding,  and require each of us to contract to have these services and such as a private citizen?
Now…According to my research over the years,   Libertarians have quite simple philosophical points they hope to live by.   These are summed up in this quote: “Libertarianism is the simple morality we learned as children: don’t strike first, don’t steal or cheat, keep your promises. If you inadvertently fail to live up to these standards, make it up to the person you’ve harmed. If someone harms you, you may defend yourself as needed to stop the aggressor and obtain reparations. This simple morality works group-to-group just as it works one-to-one to bring about a peaceful and prosperous world.” – Mary Ruwart, author of Healing Our World in an Age of Aggression”   The most important point of the philosophy I run across is this: “Libertarianism is a political philosophy. It is concerned solely with the proper use of force. Its core premise is that it should be illegal to threaten or initiate violence against a person or his property without his permission; force is justified only in defense or retaliation.That is it, in a nutshell. The rest is mere explanation, elaboration, and qualification.” – Walter Block, Loyola University Professor and author of Defending the Undefendable     That having been said….What exactly does the Justice Department do, and how would it go about that job?
‘With regards to the FDA, this is where there are fallacies but you see none. The FDA has completely adulterated “food.” It h”as allowed dozens if not hundreds of chemicals and “food-like-substances” to be put into the food supply. I’m not saying that it’s not the Federal Government’s job to keep people safe; I’m saying that it’s the Federal Government’s job to prosecute those who poison the food supply with such a severe punishment that nobody else will try to put aspartame, fluoride, aluminum, or any of the other poisons the FDA currently allows. By the way, please check out the “revolving door” between the FDA and the chemical companies. Big money runs the FDA.”‘
     Ok.   I know that there are many folks that are suspicious of the FDA.  However,  I believe that your analysis of the department is focusing on the small percentage of failures and ignoring the many successes of the agency.   The fact is that everything you eat is made up of chemicals,  some of which are pretty bad for you in quantity.  For example,   here is a PDF listing all the foods that contain varying degrees of Formaldehyde   There are other examples, but this is going to be long enough that I will hold off on listing others.   The job of the FDA is this: “FDA is responsible for protecting the public health by assuring the safety, efficacy and security of human and veterinary drugs, biological products, medical devices, our nation’s food supply, cosmetics, and products that emit radiation.Dec 7, 2015”  This does not mean that they test everything sold.   They would be the size of the Military budget if they could do that.   However,   The scientists there examine the studies given them from various sources,  and make their best recommendation about a given item.   Sometimes   those evaluations are followed exactly.  Sometimes,  political deals are made,  but, the bottom line is that very few really toxic things are allowed through,  and when they show up as causing problems,  they are removed from the shelves.   In short,  Aspartame,  Fluoride, and Aluminum that you mention are toxic in large enough quantities.   However,   there have been many, many studies that have shown that,  in the quantities allowed in food or drink,  these substances do not have enough impact on mortality to change the averages.   Yes…I can provide links – For Aspartame, as an example –   For Fluoride – According to the American Cancer Society “The researchers found “equivocal” (uncertain) evidence of cancer-causing potential of fluoridated drinking water in male rats, based on a higher than expected number of cases of osteosarcoma (a type of bone cancer). There was no evidence of cancer-causing potential in female rats or in male or female mice.Jul 28, 2015”  As for aluminum – this hard to read article digs into the actual studies and discusses the conclusions found – bottom line with this report is that to get brain damage from aluminum,  one would have to powder a 12″ cooking pan, and eat that volume of powder once a week for life.   In any case,  to say the FDA is the one putting anything into food shows confusion about the role of the agency.   It is the manufacturers of food that add a variety of chemicals to foods and remove others, in an attempt to make a more salable product.  It is a fact that the only   way to approach having “pure” food is to either grow everything yourself,   or purchase your food locally from people you know.   Neither option is a viable alternative for at least 80% of Americans.
     Now…as for your comment about the “revolving door” with industry.  I do agree that this is a problem.  I rather like the solution suggested by the New York Times

 “But consumer advocates are surely right that putting the industry in charge of supplement regulation is like appointing the fox to guard the henhouse. Clearly, the F.D.A. should not allow industry insiders to fill key positions. A permanent solution is for Congress to enact conflict-of-interest laws forcing employees above a certain grade level at any agency to recuse themselves from official actions that affect a former employer or client, including trade associations and their members.”

However, that requires action by Congress,  and for the past 7+ years  taking action has been a foreign concept to the Right-Wingers that control it.

“With regards to “modern medicine,” Hippocrates was the father of modern medicine. He said “let thy food be thy medicine and thy medicine thy food.” He also said that we should be able to doctor and cure ourselves by the age of 40. Obviously he could not foresee the terrible and dramatic deterioration of our diets and lifestyles. Maybe he was living in “utopia.” Hepatitis C is a terrible viral infection, but there are natural compounds in nature which effectively neutralize the virus and the damage it causes in the body. Of course, no doctor who was educated in western medical schools will know this because his curriculum is so strongly influenced by the trillion dollar pharmaceutical/biotechnology industry, in the very same way the agricultural curriculum is influenced by BigOil agriculture. I graduated from Clemson with a degree in Health Science; I can assure you that even this fine institution is very “western” in the way it views health, disease, and treatment options. I had many brief conversations in the classroom with professors over the myopic and segregated information being presented. Speaking of myopia, you say that “the only reason” you’re alive today is because of western medicine. That is quite an assumption, seeing as how many other protocols of medicine could very well have cured you, and indeed if it were not for a western way of life in the first place, you may have never contracted this virus; furthermore, if not for westernization spreading like a cancer on this earth, the Hepatitis C virus would likely not be so prevalent.”
     Oddly enough,   while I am open to the practices of other cultures (for example,  I do take Turmeric when I can afford it,  and I have been doing Tai Chi for close to 15 years),  I am  unwilling to accept ANY medicine or procedure without understanding what it intends to do, and without some fairly extensive clinical trials that PROVE that it will do what it claims to do.  As for Turmeric,  while some holistic healers claim great things for it,  I consider that to be whistling past the graveyard, or an attempt to scam money out of the gullible.  I have seen a significant number of real studies though, that show that the curcumin in it DOES have some positive effects on the body.   Simply because it comes from someone else’s culture does not mean that a belief in the palliative effects is justified.   For example,  thousands of Rhinos are killed every year simply so their horns can be ground up and used to cure all KINDS of illnesses.   Does it work?  Well,  as well as grinding a cow’s leg bone up would!  It is purely a placebo effect.  Hence,  one of the reasons it is not allowed to be sold or advertised for any of these uses in the United States.
     As for your comments on Hep C…They are without merit in my case.   When I was first diagnosed,  some six years ago,  I spent several years TRYING some of the alternative treatments.   The Results?   My viral load stayed high and the inevitable march of Death towards me was unhindered.   However,   a couple years ago,  I was one of the early  numbers of people treated with Sovaldi and another drug.  The end result was that by  the end of THREE MONTHS,  my viral load was undetectable.  I took the pills for another 90 days,  as the doctors wanted to make sure that all traces of the virus were gone.   Every blood test  since finishing the treatment has confirmed that  my viral load remains at zero.   I am, finally,  CURED.    While some of the alternative treatments and supplements  did make me FEEL a bit better for a while,  they did not remove the virus from my body,  nor did they slow the damage it was doing to my liver.  When I first presented symptoms some six years ago,  my doctor was blunt.  He told me that there was a less than 50% chance that I would survive more than four years,  considering my condition.   Since I am quite “internal” and am in contact with my body and aware of it,  I was quite willing to accept his diagnosis.   However,   being a stubborn German (with one HELL of a strong metabolism),  I also was not going to roll over and wait to die.  So,  I started a journey of taking control of my treatment,  and pushing for treatments.  If one was available,  there had to be a damn good reason why I should not have it.   Before the Sovaldi regime, though,  the treatments required many shots,  had terrible side effects,  took a  year,  and, only had about a 30% chance of eliminating the virus.
     While I appreciate Hippocrates and his huge leap forwards  in changing medicine from random superstitions to an actual, fact based science ,   are you advocating that we should walk way from the diagnostic tools and medicines that we have today,  and return to medicine as it was when he planted the roots of Western Medicine?   here, by the by, is an excellent, if short,  biography of him and his works 
     I would also appreciate your explaining a little further about your remark  “if it were not for a western way of life in the first place, you may have never contracted this virus; furthermore, if not for westernization spreading like a cancer on this earth, the Hepatitis C virus would likely not be so prevalent”   It rather sounds like a general condemnation of “Western Society”.   While,  Lord Knows, there are problems with Europeans and the rest of us,   this society has also produced some of the best art (in music,  theatre,  paintings,  writings,  etc)  seen on Earth.  I also have never seen any serious connection between a particular form of civilization,  and the spread of disease – especially a disease as unobtrusive as Hep C.
“With regards to the financial collapse, Ron Paul warned of this decades earlier; there are videos on top of videos that are decades old which are of Ron Paul clearly articulating the political, financial, and social holes we are digging for ourselves. To me, the single greatest thing any American can do to further his understanding of the events playing out in the world today and how they are being handled by world governments and financial institutions would be to listen to every word ever spoken by Ron Paul. I’m very serious when I say that. Furthermore, the collapse is not finished, we are still digging the hole, and it will be much worse next time. The deregulation was purposeful. It’s going to take a lot more independent research on your part for you to understand the argument I’m making but suffice it say that the goal all along was have the taxpayers bail out the “struggling” financial institutions. The collapse was planned; it was not an accident any more than 9/11 was an accident.”
     First of all,  your assumption that I have not researched these claims assumes facts not in evidence.   Simply because I say that this is starting to sound like the unfounded fantasies of a Conspiracy Loony  does not mean that I have no knowledge of that whch you speak.
     However,  I would like to see some links from reliable sources that support you say about the Finanacial collapse being planned so the taxpayers would bail out the financial institutions.  While it is true that the government LENT large sums of money to various corporations, to help keep them from crashing down and causing worse problems,   it appears that ALL that money,  plus interest has been repaid.   Rather than saying that the collapse was planned,  I would say that the junk bond games that CAUSED it were planned and propped up by the banks and hedge funds.  Perhaps one of the best reports I have seen on this is here   Note that without the efforts of Magnetar,  the bubble would have burst a year or so sooner,  which would have cause a lot of financial pain,  but,  far LESS than the world-wide crash it precipitated.   I am pretty sure, too,  that had Magnetar thought that there was a few more billion to squeeze out of the economy,  they would have propped things up for a bit longer.
     This economic crash that put a huge number of people into serious financial difficulties, was a DIRECT result of the financial lobbyists talking several administrations into doing what may have looked like “minor” relaxations of the regulations and oversight that would have kept this from happening.   This situation was purely out of greed,  and it worked for many of these wankers.   There were hundreds and hundreds of hedge fund managers and bankers who walked away with BILLIONS of dollars from this crash.  Know how many have gone to jail in the USA?   1 (ONE) sacrifical goat was thrown out so the Right-Wing congress could claim that they have “punished” the miscreants.   I still have a bad attitude about this because over one weekend,  we saw the investments we had planed to use to pay for retirement, and to build a house on the property we had bought lose 70% of their value.   We are still struggling from that hit.   Now…Libertarians talk about “personal responsibility”.   We had a conservative set of investments,  and we had a financial course laid out that would have tied up about 80% of that cash as collateral and such.   Where was OUR “Personal Responsibility” in losing all those resources?
“The most unfortunate thing I see today with regards to people who are fired up about social and political change is this: that they know there is “corruption” within the government but to know the true extent of the corruption, the true breadth and depth of the corruption, makes them so uncomfortable that they not only don’t want to research it, they don’t even want to consider it. There is an agenda in action right now. Most big names in politics are involved, and many secret societies and organizations are involved. The Clintons, the Bush family, Obama, Kissinger, Rockefeller, Rothschilde, the Bohemian Grove, the Bilderberg Group, the Council on Foreign Relations, the Tri-Lateral Commission. There is more information available than a dozen of the finest scholars could peruse. What I know is barely even the tip of the iceberg, but I’m damn sure not naive anymore. I’m not necessarily religious, but the Bible actually foretells what we’re seeing right now. To give a brief anecdote of my own, my dad’s best friend was in the FBI for 40 years. When asked about the FBI in general, he says it’s the most corrupt organization there is. Planting evidence, advancements made underhandedly, general negligence. They’re all like that, all the government organizations, which is why I can’t understand why people want to give it more money (we’re $17 trillion in debt by the way, $2 trillion more since Obama took office) and more power.”
    Ok…ALL of your claims about a world government, run by these “secret” societies”  has yet to have any actual documentation.   It falls right into that Conspiracy fantasy world that is used to push a variety of agendas.   Oh Yes…by the by…Reading rants without proof on a Conspiracy Website does not qualify as “more information”.   It has been my observation that some wild theory will get posted to a single website,  and then, like vultures to a carcase,  ALL the others will grab that story, and post it on their sites.  Some will take it directly.  Some will tweak it a bit, to fit the prejudices of THEIR audience. but, there are few examples of independent research.   Now,  I am NOT saying that some of these entities exist.  However,  they are hardly a world government, and they sure as the dickens are NOT secret.  After all,  The trilateral commission has a website where it talks at length about itself, why it exists, and what it does at the meetings.  Also, they post papers about what they discussed.   As for the Bohemian Grove…well,  I think this article pretty well covers it –   The Council on Foreign relations has a nice website –  and everyone and his brother knows about the Bilderberg Group.  The folks that go to these places are likely doing a higher end version of what we ALL do when we go to out of area conferences.  They are spending a bit of time sitting around arguing about issues, and listening to lectures detailing issues,  and the rest of the time, they are hanging out in rooms with a nice buffet, booze and cute servers,  networking and getting face time.
    Does any of this qualify as a nefarious plan to implement a World Government and enslave everyone?   Not by my standards.
    I do agree about the FBI, though.   Under that Cross-Dressing J. Edgar,  they did some pretty underhanded things and tended to act as if the rules did not apply to them.   Indeed, I am fairly sure that they still do that.   What can we do about that?   Same thing we need to do with every police department in America.   Go through and clean house.  Get ride of the sociopaths and bullies.  Keep the folks who believe in and try to live up to the oath they took when they joined the Bureau.   Easy to say,  but hard to do,  because the scum in the organization are also the ones that have been at The Bohemian Grove with high-resolution cameras and recorders,  and NO politician wants the truth revealed about some parts of their life.  For that matter we ALL have episodes in our life that we would prefer not to have splattered all over the News Channels.  These are also the folks that will use that information if they feel they are threatened.
     As for the debt.   I agree,  it is larger than it was when Pres. Obama took office.  However,  that ignores the more important facet of the problem…that of the deficit.   Since Congress holds the purse strings in our government,  The reason the debt was growing rapidly was because they had bought a LOT of toys and services,  by handing out IOUs (the deficit).  When ever one spends more money than one brings in, it causes the debt to rise…that deficit was HUGE when Pres. Obama took office.   In the 7+ years he has been in office,  he has managed, in spite of HUGE foot dragging by the Right-Wingers,  to bring that deficit down by more than 75%.  So…the debt is growing…yes…because Congress is still spending OUR money like a drunken sailor,  but, it is growing far more slowly than it would have if the deficit had not been dealt with.  Perhaps with the next Administration,  HRC,  since she is a white woman,  will get more cooperation,  and will do what Democratic Administrations ALWAYS end up doing…working Congress back to surplus building,  eliminating the deficit, and causing the actual debt to drop.   It shows a basic  misunderstanding on how economics works,  on the Governmental level,  to simply blame Pres. Obama for a total debt that is larger than it was when he took office.

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