Tag Archive | Austin Petersen

Libertarian Developments

In a series of awesome developments, Austin Petersen defected (I wish him well but I’m glad he’s gone) from the Libertarian Party to the Republican Party, as I and countless others predicted he would, while Vice Chair Arvin Vohra signed up for the Audacious Caucus and announced his own Senate campaign, and while the Audacious Caucus released its proposed platform.

Show them no mercy, my dude.

There unfortunately is little that I can do to help Arvin Vohra with his campaign, but I’ve signed up to do so as a general volunteer and offered my services as the owner of a tech consultant firm. My only regret is that he’s not running for my state, because I can think of no one better suited to be in the Senate than Arvin “Pull No Punches” Vohra.

Transphobia

I’ve seen many people accuse Arvin of being transphobic. This is abject nonsense stemming from the idea that anyone who doesn’t toe the social justice warrior line is some kind of phobic. Arvin is not and has never said anything that was remotely transphobic.

The primary point of contention is that Arvin dared point out the glaring conflict of interest that pharmaceutical companies have regarding transsexualism. This is an observation, not a judgment. Getting medical advice from pharmaceutical companies is like getting diet advice from Burger King. Pharmaceutical companies are trying to sell people stuff, and their advice is going to be biased toward selling people stuff.

It’s true that pharmaceutical companies would love the entire population to be lifelong purchases of cheap and easy-to-produce hormones. A transsexual person is a lifelong customer, and that’s going to remain the case until medical science advances to the point that we can use stem cells to grow a person their own replacement testicles or ovaries or whatever. In other words, it’s going to remain true for a very long time–decades, at the very least.

John McAfee once remarked that he spent an evening wining and dining a stunningly beautiful woman, whom he described as, “One of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen.” And she turned out to be a drag queen. Although McAfee didn’t say, it was left implied that he walked away, and he remarked about it, “Once you’ve experienced that, you realize how mercurial perception really is,” or something to that effect. I’m sure some lunatics accused McAfee of being transphobic, but he clearly isn’t.

Earlier today I saw an article written by a trans woman about how straight men “should” be attracted to transsexual women, and that they’re homophobic if they aren’t. That’s the sort of SJWism that runs rampant, and anyone who disagrees with any aspect of their worldview becomes some kind of phobic. However, it’s bullshit. I’m not attracted to guys and find the notion of two guys kissing to be gross. It’s not because I’m homophobic; it’s because I’m not attracted to one guy, much less two. Meanwhile, there’s nothing more awesome to me than two women kissing.

I love chicks. I consider myself a lesbian. Technically, that makes me both sexist and homophobic. Although the reality is that everyone who isn’t omnisexual is sexist. If you’re a straight man or woman, then you’re sexist. If you’re a gay man or lesbian, then you’re sexist. The trans woman who wrote that article is sexist, because she didn’t point out that women should be interested in trans women. That sort of thinking is a rabbit hole of hypocrisy, because the truth is that everyone is sexist, and it doesn’t really matter. Why would she specify that men should be interested in trans women? Such a contention is automatically sexist itself, and an attempt to dictate her sexual preferences (noting her usage of that terrible word “should”) of heterosexuality (with her provision that trans women “should” simply be considered women) onto others. In effect, she was stating that men should be straight. So how dare she accuse anyone of homophobia while arguing such a blatantly homophobic thing.

And those are the kind of people who accuse Arvin of transphobia, so it’s best to take their accusations with a grain of salt.

Audacity

Arvin will fit in well with the Audacious Caucus. I’m up for Full Membership right now and expect to be voted in successfully, although I’m worried that my disagreements about identity politics with Outright Libertarians is going to hurt me. It shouldn’t, since the caucus exists to inspire audacity and not force 100% agreement among its members (if anything, one’s willingness to disagree should earn “Yea” votes, as long as the disagreement isn’t about the NAP), but one never knows.

The provisional platform is:

Platform of The Libertarian Party Audacious Caucus

Preamble

The Libertarian Party Audacious Caucus (LPAC) is an audacious group that puts principles first, setting personalities free. We assert the primacy of the Principle of Non-aggression enshrined in the Libertarian Party’s Statement of Principles. Our silence here pertaining to any particular subject should not be interpreted as indifference, but rather as an acknowledgement that our stance on the issue can be easily derived from our firm stance of non-aggression.

Instead, we choose to use this platform as a tool to set ourselves apart from other factions within the party. We choose to use this document to boldly proclaim what other Libertarians dare not whisper. The intent of the planks found here is to provoke and inspire those who fear a world set free in our lifetimes. Our goal is not to parrot those who have come before us, but to delineate what makes us unique.

We, the members of the Libertarian Party Audacious Caucus, proudly adopt the following platform:

Statement of Principles

The Libertarian Party Audacious Caucus holds firm to the Principle of Non-aggression. Around the globe, people live, work and die under the shackles of the state. We stand as not only a challenge to the cult of the omnipotent state, but a threat to it.

We hold one goal above all others, a world set free in our lifetimes. We will not limit ourselves to one tactic, instead, we set individuals free to choose their own paths, asking only that they hold firm to the Non-aggression Principle.

We wish to see the Non-aggression Principle as a valuable vehicle for reshaping society into one that respects the rights of individuals. We know that replicating the failed ways of the old parties that dominate political discourse is a recipe for stagnation, not growth.

All we ask is that you lose your chains, and join us in our fight to liberate mankind. Be audacious!

I. Rothbard’s Button

The Audacious Caucus accepts incrementalism only as a last resort. Recognizing that social change can occur gradually, or through massive upheaval, we favor the method of change that gets us to our goal as quickly as possible. If we are to achieve a world set free in our lifetimes, we cannot fear change, we must embrace it. While the abrupt elimination of the state may have a negative impact on many of those who depend upon it, we see this as an acceptable trade for eliminating it as an impediment to achieving liberty. We advocate maximum freedom, achieved as quickly as possible, by any means necessary. The Libertarian Party Audacious Caucus considers temporary chaos to be an acceptable risk, if the reward is a chance at a world set free from the tyranny of the state.

II. Criminal Justice

We believe that the state is an invalid institution, and thus we believe all convictions and punishments meted out by a state sponsored criminal justice system are equally invalid. We call for the immediate release of all persons currently incarcerated by the state and federal government, regardless of the nature of the offense for which they were convicted. We also demand the immediate expungement of all criminal records created by state and federal courts.

III. Drugs

The LPAC supports an end to the war on drugs. Our support is not limited merely to legalization of marijuana, we support the full removal of all government intervention in any drug usage, production, sale or distribution. We encourage individuals to reject the war propaganda that surrounds drug use. We support the individual right to experiment with any substance consumed voluntarily.

IV. Unions

We support the right of the people to voluntarily associate in, or to establish, labor unions. We believe that an employer may recognize a union as the collective bargaining agent of some or all of its employees. We oppose governmental interference in bargaining, such as banning of closed shop contracts. We demand that so called “Right to Work” laws be repealed. We recognize voluntary contracts between employers and labor unions as being legally and morally binding on the parties to such contracts.

V. Immigration and Borders

The Libertarian Party Audacious Caucus is not for closing or opening national borders, it is for eliminating national borders. Borders exist only as the limit of the jurisdiction of gangs, competing over control of territory, resources and people. Until those gangs are tossed into the trash bin of history where they rightfully belong, we will tolerate them staying out of the movement of people across these arbitrary lines. We will fight against any attempt to enforce the tyrannical dictates that tear apart families and punish peaceful people for not asking permission to cross an imaginary line.

VI. War, Violence and Military

War, being state sanctioned mass murder, is steadfastly opposed by the LPAC. Its ramifications, economically and morally, are never justifiable. We do not accept the need for violence outside of defense, and disavow all those who voluntarily support the military, war or who participate in violence outside of defense.

VII. Policing

The police exist as the domestic enforcement arm of the gang known as the state. Without their constant aggression, the state would be powerless to enact the theft, coercion and degradation that is it’s modus operandi. There is no such thing as a “good cop” because by their very nature police are compelled to enforce edicts that even full blown statists would consider immoral. The LPAC rejects the Nuremberg Defense that “just following orders” is a valid excuse for immoral actions.

VIII. Children’s Rights

We believe that “children” are human beings and, as such, have the same rights as any other human beings. Any reference in this platform to the rights of human beings includes “children.” We believe that “children” have the moral authority to live their lives independent of externally imposed authority, and challenge the right of anyone to impose restrictions on them based solely upon their age.

IX. Reproductive Rights

Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good faith views on all sides, we believe that the state should be kept out of the matter. The state must repeal all existing laws that restrict, regulate or impose civil or criminal penalties on providers and patients for the production, distribution, or use of contraceptives, abortifacients or abortion procedures. Additionally, the state must not require medical professionals to provide their patients with any controceptives, abortifacients or abortion procedures. Furthermore, we oppose public funding of any controceptive or abortion procedure for the same reason we oppose public funding of any medical procedure or service.

X. Sex Worker’s Rights

Sex workers are the unsung heroes of freedom in America, many of our social freedoms were pioneered by prostitutes, strippers and porn stars throughout our history and continue today as the sex industry moves to capitalize on modern innovations. As such the Libertarian Party Audacious Caucus will take up the banner of sex work as a genuine and worthwhile profession that puts food on the table in thousands of American households. We oppose the regulation and banning of any area of this industry by moralizing busybodies. We support the repeal of all laws regulating or prohibiting the possession, use, sale, production or distribution of sexually explicit material. We reject the tying in of human trafficking with sex work and recognize that by pushing what could be a lucrative industry for millions of Americans into the shadows, it is those who oppose it that fuel human trafficking.

XI. Intellectual Property

Intellectual property exists as a form of government fiat over the ideas and property of all those under its jurisdiction. As technology advances through the innovative sharing of ideas and digital goods, it is up to those creating such goods to innovatively guarantee their own revenue stream, without reliance on government to protect their monopoly. We support an end to the war on file sharing and “piracy” which is both an immoral, and an ineffective, means of preventing the sharing of ideas.

It’s a thing of beauty, isn’t it?

I included links to show that my position on these issues predates my membership in / exposure to the Libertarian Party Audacious Caucus, and to provide my reasoning to support those positions. Others may provide better reasons, but those are mine. I’ve intentionally not written about sex here, since I’m using the alias “Anarchist Shemale,” it’s important to me to maintain that distance, but I suppose I’ll have to now.

Anyway, so awesome stuff is happening! Join the Libertarian Party today. Our Vice Chair is about to rock the political arena.

Gary Johnson Has Made Us All Heretics

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I strongly dislike Gary Johnson and strongly disapprove of the “Libertarian” Party’s choice to nominate him (again) for President, just as I strongly disapprove of the direction that the libertarian party has taken in recent years. It is increasingly the party of classical liberals and liberty-leaning Republicans, and I know a lot of “libertarians” who support Rand Paul and wanted him to be Gary Johnson’s Vice President.

bill weld

I mean… What do you even say? What do you even say to people who claim to be libertarians without knowing the first thing about libertarianism?

Libertarianism: What is it?

Libertarianism is the political ideology that liberty is the best method of solving almost all problems, and that force, violence, and coercion are only acceptable to defend liberty and as a response to force, violence, and coercion. Force, violence, and coercion are the only way that rights can be violated; in fact, force, violence, and coercion instantly and by definition violate the rights of the person who is a victim of force, violence, and coercion. Libertarianism is the ideology that the state should exist only to protect liberty, and should only use force, violence, and coercion to protect liberty. I go one step further and am an anarchist, because I don’t believe that the state can protect liberty, and I hold that its very existence is counter to liberty. Anarchism aside, there is no ambiguity in this platform, and a libertarian’s position on any given matter should be easy to guess.

Does the issue utilize force, violence, and/or coercion?

If yes, then the libertarian rejects it. If no, then the libertarian doesn’t give a shit about it.

It’s really that simple.

There’s no room for disagreement on this matter or that issue, because force, violence, and coercion (collectively: aggression) can always be demonstrated, and must always be rejected. In fact, to even join the Libertarian Party, one is required to sign what is basically the Non-Aggression Pact:

I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals.

Recent years have seen an influx of disaffected Republicans and liberty-leaning conservatives who do not understand that the Libertarian Party is built from principles, not ideas, and there is a difference. The Republican Party is a party of ideas, a party where issues and solutions can be discussed, suggested, picked apart, accepted, and rejected. The Democrat Party is a party of ideas, where issues and solutions can be discussed, suggested, picked apart, accepted, and rejected. But the Libertarian Party is a party of principles, and those principles are set in stone. They are not up for discussion, and they cannot be put up for discussion without violating the very core of the libertarian party: that force, violence, and coercion are not acceptable.

Take the question of marijuana, for example. Should it be illegal, should it be legal? Some people within the Libertarian Party would discuss this and have a debate about it, and that’s nonsense, because the question has already failed at the first hurdle. Does possession or usage of marijuana entail force, violence, and coercion? No. Everything else is completely irrelevant, and the government has no right to weigh in on the subject. Prostitution is another area that “libertarians” are debating. Should it be legal? Should it be illegal? Should it be legal, but regulated? Again, this is a discussion that is not warranted under libertarian principles, as prostitution (when taken out of the black market, obviously) does not involve force, violence, or coercion, and the state therefore has no right to weigh in on it.

Gary Johnson is against the notion of religious freedom and wholly rejects the idea that businesses should be allowed to discriminate on religious grounds. Gary Johnson fails to realize that saying “I don’t want to do business with you or people like you” in no way, shape, or form involves aggression, and thus the government has no right to weigh in on the matter. This is just one of many areas where Gary Johnson abides libertarian principles until they’re no longer convenient and easy, at which point he rejects them in favor of his own ideas. Because he thinks discrimination is really, really, really wrong, he is okay with the government legislating against it, even though it involves no violation of anyone’s rights, and thus he has his own morality that guides him in deciding when to apply libertarian principles and when not to.

In effect, Gary Johnson wants to legislate his morality. Unless he doesn’t care about the behavior, in which case, “No, he’s a libertarian.” But if he dislikes the behavior, then he’s every bit as authoritarian as the people who banned sodomy.

Johnson’s pledge would be:

I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals… as long as the goal isn’t “to end discrimination.”

Ron Paul

I have to blame Ron Paul for all the “new” libertarians who don’t know the first thing about libertarianism, though that isn’t Ron Paul’s fault. These people were brought into the folds of liberty by Ron Paul (as was I), but they stopped with Ron Paul and assumed that he was Mr. Libertarian. They may not have ever even read any of Ron’s books. They certainly never read Mises, Rothbard, Nock, or Hayek. Their understanding of libertarianism comes from Ron Paul, and so that’s what they think a libertarian is.

Ron himself would tell you that he’s a classical liberal, though, and he explicitly wrote that in Liberty Defined. There’s a reason that Ron Paul only ran for President as a Libertarian once, and that was nearly three decades ago. I’m not knocking the guy–no one loves Ron Paul as much as I do. He was the guy who introduced me to liberty, after all. I’d also vote for Ron Paul in a heartbeat, even though I disagree with him on a few things just as much as I agree with Johnson. There are more areas where I disagree with Johnson, and…

That should be a pretty big indicator of how bad Gary Johnson is. Republican Ron Paul is more libertarian than the current Libertarian Party Presidential candidate. Worse still, Gary Johnson is only marginally more of a libertarian than Rand Paul. Rand Paul. The guy who slightly leans toward liberty but is otherwise a Republican to the core. Does anyone out there really think that Rand Paul is a libertarian? Does anyone out there who knows what libertarianism is really think that Rand Paul is a libertarian?

I just answered my own question, didn’t I?

The more people understand liberty and libertarianism, the more glaringly obvious it is that neither Rand Paul nor Gary Johnson deserve the label. Ron Paul deserves the label far more than either of these two, and Ron Paul refused to accept the label. Granted, he has become more libertarian since his retirement, and he has always been a champion of liberty and libertarianism. The same cannot be said of Johnson and Rand.

But Johnson is Bringing In New People!

Yeah, and I addressed that in my podcast.

The problem is that these “new people” brought in by Johnson who think that libertarian means “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” not only outnumber us (obviously) but also pick the presidential nominee. Do you see the problem? Johnson brings in people like him who have no idea what a libertarian even is, and they nominate more people like Johnson. When people like me point out that there’s nothing libertarian about any of these people, we’re told to shut up, that we don’t know what we’re talking about, that we just don’t want the party to be successful, that we need to fall in line, and that they are what a “true libertarian” looks like, while we’re just spiteful.

Johnson literally stole the Libertarian Party right out from under us, and these endorsements he is getting by big-name Republicans is not going to help matters, and neither is the influx of more disaffected Republicans who hate Donald Trump. I think it’s great that the party is growing. But as it grows, the education must also grow, or the LP will just become the GOP. It’s already happening, after all. Look at our presidential nominee and the endorsements he is getting. With libertarian principles slain on the altar of mass appeal, what, exactly, distinguishes the Libertarian Party from a party of unhappy liberty-leaning Republicans?

Nothing.

These people must be made to understand that they have no idea what they’re talking about, and that Gary Johnson is not Mr. Libertarian. They don’t have time to read Anatomy of the State, End the Fed, Human Action, The Road to Serfdom, On Intellectual Property, and whatever else? Fine. That means it’s our job to educate them. And I don’t think any of us mind that.

The problem is that they aren’t willing to listen, because they think they know what libertarian means, and it means “fiscally conservative, socially liberal.” They think it means “Basically like Ron Paul” and “Basically like Gary Johnson” and our bemused head-shaking does nothing to reach them.

So what, in a sentence, is my issue with Gary Johnson?

Gary Johnson has made me a heretic to my own party.

And let’s not even get into the fact that he claims to be a champion of the Fourth Amendment, and wants to let in Syrian refugees–except that he wants to spy on them and monitor them based on their religious beliefs and their nation of origin, even though he has no probable cause or justification or warrant! How can this guy claim to be a defender of the Fourth Amendment?

“I defend the Fourth Amendment sometimes,” is what you mean to say, Johnson. “As long as you’re not a Muslim from Syria.”

That’s the exact mentality that gave us the Patriot Act! And you dare claim to be a libertarian? This is exactly the sort of “I’m a libertarian… unless I’m not” crap that Johnson is notorious for. One either supports the Fourth Amendment or one doesn’t. Gary Johnson wants to have it both ways. Either people have the right to privacy without being spied upon by the government until they’ve demonstrated probable cause and the state has gotten a warrant, or people don’t have that right. Gary Johnson, however, would say “People have that right, unless I think they shouldn’t.” That is not a libertarian position. And, again, by what hidden criteria does he use to determine when people should be protected by the Bill of Rights and when they shouldn’t be?

That is how badly statism has conquered the world. Even the Libertarian Party’s presidential candidate uses a non-principled metric to determine who gets rights and who doesn’t.

Libertarians, I implore you: kick Gary Johnson and his ilk from the party. If he was willing to learn, that would be one thing. But he has demonstrated that he is not. He has had this glaring contradiction (“I believe in the Fourth Amendment, unless you’re a Muslim refugee from Syria”) brought to his attention, and he waves it away. He knows that he is not following libertarian principles. Why are we still discussing this “fiscally conservative, socially liberal” clown? Kick him from the party and nominate an actual libertarian. Kick Austin Petersen while you’re at it, because he openly says that the Non-Aggression Pact is stupid. That’s the VERY BASIS of the party!

What is going on? Kick these people out until they’re willing to follow the principles. The GOP and Democratic Party are what happens when you let people in who don’t give a duck-squatting shit about the principles.

In No Woman’s Land

I am ceasing active support for Libertarian candidate John McAfee. I want to stress that he’s still my candidate of choice by a wide margin, but increasing exposure to him has revealed that he is not as in-line with my principles as it seemed. Seeking clarity, I asked him in his live feed that took place on Facebook earlier tonight:

Speaking of other candidates, you seem to be more anti-Johnson than anti-Petersen? Do you see severe issues with Petersen’s platforms (albeit different ones than those that plague Johnson) as well?

His answer…

No.

That’s it. Just “No.”

I feel pretty confident that McAfee knows exactly the issues I’m alluding to, because there have been numerous comments, retweets, and likes across Twitter and Facebook in the past few weeks, and my issues with Petersen are the same ones that most people’s issues are: Petersen is Pro-Life and anti-NAP (a contradiction that gets funnier every time you think about it).

I insist that Petersen has quite a lot of explaining to do, and I cornered him weeks ago on Twitter and attempted to corner him into doing that explaining. He showed intellectual dishonesty and overall juvenile behavior. But I don’t mean to get off onto the problems I have with Petersen. The simple matter is: many Libertarians have a problem with Austin Petersen, and I’ve enumerated those in the past–as have many others.

I abide a certain set of principles. They are clear and concise principles:

An individual should be able to do whatever the individual wants to do, as long as the individual doesn’t use force, violence, and coercion.

From that, quite a lot can be extrapolated. Positions on gay marriage, transgender equality, immigration, national defense… Any and every issue can be tackled by the application of those principles, and, indeed, that is how I feel my way through the world. This principle is rigid, set in stone, and unyielding. If it ever fails, then I will amend or abolish it, whatever is necessary, and continue my search for a set of principles that can be universally applied.

It seemed, from the experience I had with John McAfee, that his principles were the same, with the only difference that he added “Keep your word” to the principle. That’s something I’m okay with, because we should keep our word, but I think that’s more of an internal thing than an external one, so I don’t apply it in my principle. In short, it was a non-issue that he added those three extra words.

McAfee’s failure to disavow the positions of Austin Petersen, however, reveal that McAfee cannot abide the same set of principles that I abide. My principles leave no room to tolerate aggression, and a refusal to pledge against aggression is a mandate to tolerate aggression. Under no circumstances will I tolerate aggression. Petersen, by refusing to adopt the NAP, leaves aggression on the table as an option. It is irrelevant what set of circumstances Petersen would detail as acceptable for the application of aggression; to me, there is no acceptable set of circumstances. I cannot and will not tolerate the notion that it is sometimes okay to exercise aggression.

And, again, using force, violence, and coercion to put a stop to the exercise of force, violence, and coercion is not an act of aggression; it is an act of defense. The Non-Aggression Pact is not a vow to pacifism; defense is wholly acceptable. Aggression is not. Moreover, the NAP certainly leaves room for the protection of others–if I am walking down the street and see a man beating the hell out of his wife, it does not violate the NAP for me to intervene and put a stop to the violence.

We don’t even have to discuss the Pro-Life matter, and it’s probably best that we don’t, since Petersen could make the argument that abortion consists of violence against someone, and therefore it is acceptable to use force and intervene on behalf of the victim. He didn’t make that argument–he didn’t even attempt to–which suggests he has no true Libertarian basis for his Pro-Life position, but it’s irrelevant. His refusal to adopt the NAP is more than enough to disqualify him from the principles of liberty.

Many would say that I’m overreacting for withdrawing my endorsement of John McAfee over “such a minor thing,” and would say, “What’s the big deal? You still agree with him on 99% of things. You’re really going to let this one issue undo all of that?”

Yes.

Yes, I am.

Because I don’t think agreement with someone who is trying to be the leader of the country is something that should be quantified and reduced to numbers and percentages. I probably agree with Sanders 99% of the time, after all–on all of his social issues, and in a lot of his claims about separating business from the state. But that 1% of things with which I disagree… Those are pretty important things. I can say the same thing about Trump. I probably agree with Trump 85% of the time–on most of his economic positions (until he revealed that he is a Keynesian, at least)–but that 15% of the time I agree with him… That’s on some pretty important issues.

Similarly, if I’m going to support a candidate with whom I disagree, why wouldn’t I side with someone more likely to win, like Sanders or Trump? If it’s just a matter of “Well, I do agree with this guy here and here, but not here and here… but I do here and here…” then why wouldn’t I support Trump or Clinton? Or Gary Johnson, or Austin Petersen himself? After all, Petersen and I really only disagree on those two things, right?

It’s a silly argument to make. It’s not about how much we agree or disagree; it’s about what we agree and disagree about. And that McAfee doesn’t see a problem with Petersen’s positions… means that McAfee and I disagree when it comes to principles. I have at great length talked of my principles and have demonstrated exactly how my principles conflict with Petersen’s positions. I am not going to guess what McAfee’s principles are or aren’t. I am simply making the observation that, ipso facto, we do not share the same principles.

That McAfee doesn’t see an issue with Petersen’s positions means that McAfee and I disagree as a matter of principle, and I can’t think of any issue that could possibly be more grave than that.

I have already pulled my endorsements down, though I’ve obviously left my podcasts up. I would never change a previously recorded podcast. At worst, I’ll record a new one, but I doubt that I’ll even do that.

I still have a great deal of respect for John McAfee, and he remains the candidate closest to my principles. This shouldn’t be taken as a statement of resentment, ill-will, or any other impeachment of him; it is a statement of fact. These are my principles. They do not coincide with John McAfee’s. Ergo, I do not endorse him.

It really is that simple.

So who do I endorse for the 2016 election?

No one.

I’ve been told that my search to find someone–much less a presidential candidate–who shares my principles is destined to be fruitless and is a waste of time, that I have to learn to accept 99% agreement. I don’t agree. I don’t agree at all, because I hold that my principles are very simple, and that the task of finding a presidential candidate who simply applies those principles should not be that freaking difficult.

I apply my principles no matter how uncomfortable and messy the result is. When my support for Mississippi’s religious freedom law had people asking me, “So you wouldn’t care if these businesses attempted to discriminate against black people?”

I answered, “I would care, yes. But I wouldn’t restrict their rights to stop them from doing it. They have the right to discriminate on whatever grounds they want.”

No one liked that answer. Even a lot of “Libertarians” hated that answer. I don’t care, because that’s a principled answer. The principle is that we should Liberty take its course–we should let the free market take its course. Because society leads government; government does not lead society. Segregation ended and systemic discrimination ended because we as a society cast it aside, not because the state told us to cast it aside. A business attempted to do that would face boycotts that would crush it. The free market would take its toll, and no one’s rights would have to be violated.

The left and the LGBT community really hated that answer. I was even called transphobic and homophobic by a few people. But I stand by that principle nonetheless, and I will continue to do. As Petersen himself said:

What’s right isn’t always popular. What’s popular isn’t always right.

And here I am in No Woman’s Land because of my principles and my refusal to tolerate wavering from those principles. That’s totally okay, because refusing to bend from my principles doesn’t keep anyone else from sticking to theirs. This isn’t the first time I’ve found myself in No Woman’s Land, and it won’t be the last. I take refuge in knowing that my fellow anarchists, terribly few in number though we are, agree with me.

But I don’t need validation; my principles don’t need validation.

#Liberty2016

Now if only we had a candidate who embraced the principles of liberty. :/

I did not ask McAfee the question because I wanted a pat on the back and for him to say, “Yeah, I see the problems with him, too.” I didn’t ask because I wanted McAfee to validate my positions on Petersen. I asked because Petersen and I conflict because of my principles, and because anyone who shares my principles will therefore conflict with Petersen. It was really the most direct way to find out whether or not McAfee shares my principles.

That’s probably what people are thinking–that I simply wanted him to validate my position on McAfee. When I tweeted a few days ago that McAfee is the only candidate I’ve heard with whom I agreed 100%, some unthinking person said, “We don’t want ‘Yes-men.'” And I had to actually point out that I held my positions long before I ever heard McAfee say them, and that’s why I was supporting him… He shared my principles and therefore I was supporting him. It was not “I’m supporting him, and therefore I agree with him.”

I don’t care what McAfee thinks; I don’t need his approval or validation. That wasn’t why I asked the question. I asked the question because I noticed he had said nothing negative about Petersen, yet he had repeatedly railed against Johnson. I have big problems with them both, but Johnson… I don’t even consider Johnson to be worth attacking any longer. He’s a statist; end of discussion. Petersen, however, falls closely toward classical liberalism.

So I wanted to know if he targeted Johnson because Johnson was the presumptive nominee, or if it was because he didn’t see a problem with Petersen’s positions. As I’ve pointed out, it’s a question of principle–does McAfee share mine or not? And the answer was as short and simple as McAfee’s own reply:

No.

And that cost him my endorsement. Does that matter? Who the hell knows? I have a tiny following–does that following matter? Who cares? I don’t withdraw my endorsement because I want other people to turn away from him; I withdraw my endorsement because… I won’t endorse someone who doesn’t share my principles. It’s nothing against him, it’s not out of anger or resentment, and it’s not bitterness that he didn’t validate my position. As I said on Twitter: I’ve held my positions since long before I associated McAfee with anything but that horrible scourge on the I.T. world that is McAfee Antivirus.

If I felt that I needed to be validated, I wouldn’t be an atheist in the Bible Belt. I wouldn’t be transgender in the state of Mississippi. I wouldn’t be antagonizing the LGBT community by supporting Mississippi’s religious freedom law. I wouldn’t be antagonizing the right by being transgender. I wouldn’t be antagonizing classical liberals by pointing out that they’re not libertarians. I wouldn’t be calling out Petersen as a conservative. So I repeat: I neither need nor want validation or vindication.

Trump Now Unopposed – Time To Get Real

With Cruz dropping out of the Republican presidential race last night, and Kasich dropping out today, Donald Trump has an easy path to the nomination. He is unopposed. Unless one of the previously-withdrawn candidates foolishly steps back in, the nomination is Trump’s; there is no longer any doubt.

With the host of superdelegates at her back, there is similarly no doubt (and never has been) that Hillary is going to secure the Democratic nomination. We are now certain that we face Trump v. Hillary in the 2016 presidential election.

It’s time for Libertarians to get serious.

There’s been a lot of talk among people recently, and they are saying the very same thing–except they seem to presume that all of this campaigning, debating, and discussion is irrelevant, and that it’s time to just hand Gary Johnson the nomination. This typically comes in three flavors.

First, there is the argument from tradition–“He was the nominee last time!” This, of course, works just as well as a reason why he shouldn’t be the nominee this year.

Second, there is the argument from experience–“He was a governor, so has credibility in politics.” Yes, at a time when Trump steamrolled the Republican Party, this is clearly an election where “political experience” is a primary deciding factor. Whatever experience Johnson has in politics is dwarfed by Hillary’s–the experience route is not one any wise Libertarian would take. If “experience in politics” is what matters, then Hillary is, by a long shot, the one deserving the presidency.

Third, there is the argument that he’s been a Libertarian the longest. This is probably the silliest of the reasons, and is another argument from tradition taken in a different way. The amount of time someone has been a Libertarian isn’t really a factor. It’s about as much of a non-issue as a thing can get.

The real question we’re faced with is much simpler:

Who can stand against Trump and Hillary?

As I wrote yesterday, the only answer to that question is: John McAfee. McAfee has a history of standing up to bullies, in addition to being “a real motherfucker.” It’s a documented fact that John McAfee has stood up to a bully, on the streets of South America, strong and unafraid. Do you think Trump stands a chance against McAfee?

There’s little doubt that Trump is a bully. He’s a political bully, but a bully nonetheless. And when you’re confronted by a bully, you don’t send someone like Austin Petersen or Gary Johnson. You send someone like John McAfee. If the situation was different, I would agree that this isn’t an important factor, but Trump’s bullying tactics work. Trump has toppled giants. Petersen would be nothing more than a speedbump at best to Trump.

And while I think Johnson would fare better against Trump, he simply lacks the fortitude necessary to take on Hillary. Hillary is a professional squirmer; she’s been squirming out of things a la Bill Clinton for two decades, basically repeating for twenty years the silly statement, “That depends on what the definition of ‘is’ is.”

The Libertarian candidate has his work cut out for him. He doesn’t just have to stand up to Trump; he has to nail down the notoriously slippery Hillary Clinton. It’s time we sent in the big guns. It’s time we sent in someone known to stand up, to not be afraid, and to put bullies in their place. It’s time we stopped being so focused on internal politics of the Libertarian Party and instead gave serious consideration to the next six months, and the fact that whoever we nominate is going to have to take on the biggest bully in politics and the slipperiest weasel in politics.

Just consider that. That’s all I’m saying. Do you really think that Austin Petersen, whether you agree with his politics or not, stands a freaking chance against Donald Trump? The man who left Rubio, Cruz, Kasich, Rand Paul, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, Jeb Bush, and more lying on the ground behind him? This man took on the Republican Establishment and won in a way that made the Ron Paul rEVOLution look weak and silly in comparison.

Don’t forget, Libertarians–we tried this in 2012. We tried to pull a coup on the Republican Party. Never forget. We tried to take on the Establishment, and the Establishment knocked us down repeatedly. We never stood a chance. We know what that Establishment is capable of. We know first-hand the lows to which it will stoop to protect itself. We know better than anyone. We watched them neglect to mention Ron Paul’s well-placed third in Iowa. We watched them fail to mention his victory. We watched them change the freaking rules specifically to shut out Ron Paul. We watched them retire Ron Paul and not invite him to his own retirement party. We watched this happen. We saw the Establishment’s power.

Trump took on that very same Establishment AND WON. Underestimate this man at your own peril. Trump succeeded gloriously where we failed abysmally only four years ago. Do not–I repeat: DO NOT forget that.

This man is a force to be reckoned with. He crushed the evangelical right. He crushed the evangelical right! Think about that! Process that! Understand it. Grasp it. Because he did it. He crushed the Tea Party. Understand that. He did all of this at a time when the Establishment fought tooth and nail against him, and when roughly half of his own party fought against him. And… he… won. That is NOT something to laugh at. That is not something to mock.

Respect what Donald Trump has done, because we know–we know firsthand–what it took for him to do it. We tried and failed with Ron Paul. And Trump swooped in and crushed the enemies that we fought against. If we fail to respect the magnitude of what Trump has accomplished, we are handing him the White House. The man is clever. I would even say “brilliant.” He knows exactly what he’s doing, and if we send in someone like Petersen…

No.

Don’t be silly.

Rand Paul, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Carly Fiorina, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, John Kasich–these people all had way more support than the Libertarian candidate will. Be honest. At best–at absolute best–we are about 10% of the population. Whoever we send in to square off with this man that conquered the Republican Party won’t have nearly as much support as Trump’s victims did when he left them lying in the dirt.

If we send in Johnson or Petersen, we are squandering this historic opportunity.

Look into these people, I implore you. Watch their videos. Look into them as people, as human beings, as individuals. Look into what they have done, what they have accomplished, and what they’ve done in their personal lives. And then ask yourself:

Which of these can stand against the man who just overthrew the Republican Establishment?

#M16

John McAfee.

How Things Change… And Don’t Change

I have to admit that Cruz dropping out of the race on the tail end of Trump’s victory in Indiana took me by surprise. I never expected Cruz to drop out; I thought he would fight to the bitter end, because he is really the only person who could fight to the bitter end. Kasich won’t keep Trump from hitting 1,237, and Cruz surely knows that. With Trump’s only real competition out of the way, Trump is assured the Republican nomination. There’s almost no way that he could lose at this point.

So moving forward, the Libertarian Party has to ask itself: who is best suited to square off against Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton? And I have to confess here… I don’t see anyone surviving an onslaught of Donald Trump’s notoriously childish attacks except John McAfee. As I said previously, there is a very real aspect to John McAfee–he is, as I said, “a real motherfucker.”

He’s an alpha male. There is no doubt about that. He looks and acts exactly like an alpha male, and he doesn’t take shit. The man has lived on the streets, escaped from an armed military, and confronted an abusive pimp directly. This is not the sort of man you insult in the way that Trump insulted Ted Cruz. It’s not because John McAfee would snap out his 38 and put a bullet in Trump; it’s just that Trump is smart enough to recognize that McAfee isn’t the sort of person one wants to mess with.

Beyond that, McAfee’s business credentials are too solid for Trump to assail. Without his television show The Apprentice, Donald Trump wouldn’t have become the household name that he is today. He was a real estate mogul, and that’s quite impressive, but it’s hardly something that is going to cause the average American to know your name. John McAfee has his name on the desktop of practically every computer in the United States–or at least has had his name on it at one point. “McAfee” is a household name in the way that Coca-Cola is a household name.

That is McAfee’s empire. Though he sold his ownership and retired, it changes nothing; it is still an empire that McAfee built, the software that dominates the anti-virus industry (and, no offense meant, Mr. McAfee, but McAfee antivirus sucks… Whatever it may have once been, it’s not worth a shit now).

Trump will find it impossible to derail McAfee in the way that he derailed Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio, Kasich, and Cruz. Bigger names than Gary Johnson have been paved over by Donald Trump, and, I’m sorry to say, I don’t think Governor Johnson would pose as much more than a speedbump to the Trump Trainwreck. The same is true for Petersen, who would be sidelined in ways that would make Rand Paul look like he hadn’t been neutered by Trump.

We have to think about these things. We have to act as though we will land a spot in the official presidential debates; we have to act as though it’s a given that the presidential debates will consist of Trump v. Hillary v. Libertarian candidate. And we have to ask ourselves, honestly and sincerely, who the best person to stand between these two titans really is.

And there’s only one answer.

This guy.

This guy.

Can you imagine how Petersen would fare against Trump and Hillary? No offense to Petersen, but he couldn’t handle me, and that was just on Twitter. The Libertarian candidate is expected to stay on track, on the issues, and on principles; standing tall and solidly against whatever comes. And Petersen fell back to the same banal generalizations and soundbites that the Republicans and Democrats are notorious for. That will not earn a third party candidate any support in a general election debate. At best, it will maintain existing support, but we cannot simply stand our ground in these debates. We must GAIN ground.

It will do not good for 11% of the Americans watching to be Libertarians and already siding with the Libertarian candidate before the debate, if only 11% of Americans watching side with the Libertarian candidate after the debate. And with an assured onslaught coming from Trump, and a likely one coming from Hillary, the work is cut out for the Libertarian candidate. Consistency, reliability, genuineness, soundness, and charisma are necessary. Yes, charisma.

Gary Johnson will fall to Hillary. I have very little doubt of that. He may or may not be able to stand against Trump–it’s hard to say, because Johnson does have his record as governor to point to. His business record, however, is meaningless to Trump, and any weakness there will be picked apart. Again, Trump cannot pick apart the business record of McAfee, because McAfee built an entity that makes Trump’s look quaint in comparison–regardless of the dollar figures involved.

Petersen will surely fall to Trump. Trump is a bully without moral or mercy, and Petersen is too similar, in national stature and political positioning, to Rand Paul, who was absolutely eviscerated by Trump. Rand Paul was left looking like a child, because Trump painted him as a child. One by one, Trump toppled his opponents, and finally eliminated Ted Cruz–who enjoyed far more support than Petersen is likely to have.

Because I won’t support Petersen, and I gather that many other Libertarians won’t. I simply can’t support Petersen. Even if he gets the nomination, and even if mine would be the deciding vote, I can’t support Petersen. Nor can I support Johnson after his Nazi Jew cake debacle, and that’s true of many other Libertarians as well. In fact, the only candidate who hasn’t been sworn off, to my knowledge, by a sizable chunk of Libertarians, anarchists, and classical liberals… is John McAfee.

I think that Johnson would come out okay against Trump, but would probably fall to Hillary. I think Petersen would probably come out okay against Hillary, but would probably fall to Trump. I don’t see John McAfee falling to anyone. His principles are too sound, his voice too reassuring, his demeanor too calm, his eyes to convicted, and his gaze too confident. I am not in love with the man or gushing over his physical appearance, but these things matter, and he has them.

And let’s be honest–Janice will only help him. One of the biggest weaknesses of the Republican Party is that it’s notoriously… how shall we say… of the Caucasian persuasion. The Libertarian Party doesn’t have that problem, but John and Janice McAfee damned sure don’t. At a time when racial issues are ripping up our country (I’m sure it’s offensive to someone, but I have no idea what Janice’s ethnicity is, and I don’t really care to look into it), her mere presence alone as his wife will be a tremendous help. And his genuine love for her is obvious to anyone who knows the story.

Hillary receives a huge chunk of her support from black Americans, but how might that change with John and Janice McAfee gaining the national spotlight? Hispanics also favor Hillary–how might that change? In a very real way, McAfee is not merely an alternative for the disenfranchised Republicans who don’t like Trump; he’s an alternative for the unhappy Democrats who don’t like Hillary.

We already know from experience that the millennials supporting Sanders won’t switch their support to Hillary–as the Democratic Party thinks they will. They won’t. They hate Hillary just as much as we do. And we already know that the message of liberty resonates with this group. These disaffected millennials will have an easy time switching their support to John McAfee, with his non-white wife (the millennials are notoriously filled with white guilt and self-hate… Seriously, it’s to the point where it’s just embarrassing. When you see things like this:

more white self hate

…coming from a white person, it kinda makes you wonder. It wasn’t just once, though, that this friend of mine shared and wrote something like this. He does it pretty often, in fact. It’s gotten so bad that someone even commented one of them and said “Aren’t YOU white?” He replied that yeah, he is, but he isn’t allowed to say things about any other races, so…

But yeah, dude. Yeah, you are allowed to say things about other races. Otherwise you are the one being racist. If you’re making honest-to-god jokes with no ill intent behind them, yeah… you are allowed to joke on other races. That’s the white guilt and self-hate we’re talking about. If you’re just consistently saying things like “White people are so fucked up…” though, then you don’t really… What is your… Do you… Bro. Why do you hate yourself so much?

Look, this is simple. If you feel that you can’t say jokes about other races, then… don’t make jokes about race. See? It’s that simple. Here, for example… I don’t want to make jokes about race. That’s why I don’t. I don’t make jokes about black people, white people, or any other ethnicity. You do. But you only target one race, and you purposefully don’t target other races. That’s… the very definition of racism.

Got off track there. That’s a complex issue that takes way more time to really get into than I have here.

Anyway, these white millennials who hate white people (What? They do. Don’t take it up with me. Take it up with them.) will throw their votes at anyone who either a) also hates white people or b) just isn’t white. Sanders fits “a” really well, with the endless pandering, and Janice fits “b” really well. Given they already have some penchant for liberty anyway, John is a very easy fit for them. I’m not being sarcastic or facetious–that’s pretty much how millennials work. They’ve been doing it for years; surely I’m not the only one who has noticed the trend?

While I think Johnson will get the nomination, I also think it would foolish for the Libertarian Party to give it to someone who has consistently failed to increase his support. If anything, Johnson has lost support. And I won’t support him, because I don’t think I have the right to whip out a gun and force people to sell me cakes.

I honestly don’t think Trump would assault McAfee in the way he’s gone after so many other people. Would you? If you saw all the past GOP hopefuls, John McAfee, and Hillary Clinton standing in a line, who would be the last one you insulted? This isn’t bravado or foolish naivety; it’s the simple recognition that McAfee is one of those people who has it written all over their face “Don’t fuck with me.”

Let’s just assume that we can get a Libertarian in the national presidential debate. Let’s assume that’s a fact. Realistically, do you see Petersen or Johnson coming out of those well? If you do, more power to you–vote for that person, if you see them coming out well and support their positions. But give serious consideration to that question, and keep in mind that Trump is a notorious bully and Hillary a well-known liar who is almost impossible to pin down on anything. The professional bully and the professional squirmer. Think about what kind of person it will take to step into that mess and not only put down the bully but also nail down the squirmer.

And to that, the choice is obvious, isn’t it? Johnson will never nail Hillary down, and Petersen will crumble beneath Trump. The only hope Petersen or Johnson would have would also lie in a fourth candidate being onstage, and that would be a disaster; we do not want a four-way debate. That simply fractures the vote further, and it is already going to be difficult to get people to cross the aisle.

Only one person can do that: John McAfee.

The Future of Liberty

We Libertarians* have had a fun year, because we’ve actually had a choice about who we select for the presidential nomination, and our choice has actually mattered pretty significantly. It’s pretty obvious that with a general election clearly coming down between Trump and Hilary, many voters will be fed up and seeking a third option. With the Libertarian Party being the only third party appearing on the ballot in all 50 states, there is a clear opportunity to gain some much-needed ground–ground that we had claimed 4 years ago, but lost when a huge number of people shifted from support of Liberty to support of Socialism.

There’s never been any doubt, though, that Gary Johnson is going to get the nomination. His lead in polls and name recognition are too great, and it didn’t hurt him that much to come out and say that Jewish bakery owners should be forced to bake a cake for Nazis. In reality, every Libertarian should have immediately rejected him in the way that I did–that’s a fundamentally anti-Liberty position to have, and many Libertarians did reject him. But not all.

ron paulAnd that’s because the party has been hijacked by an influx of classical liberals whose introduction to liberty was done by Ron Paul**. Ron Paul, of course, was not a libertarian, either–he said so himself in Liberty Defined. It’s true that classical liberals and libertarians are pretty closely aligned, but the fundamental question of the nature of the state is one upon which they disagree, and that’s a huge, critical question. But there are now far more classical liberals dominating the libertarian party than there are libertarians, and the result… is exactly what we’d expect to find: low support for McAfee, high support for Petersen, and an assured nomination for Gary Johnson.

I argued on Youtube recently with someone who got offended that I dared point out that he’s not a Libertarian. It’s sad that I have to point this out to people, and I guess it’s more related to my being a Nihilist than a Libertarian, since there doesn’t seem to be anything inherently libertarianish about calling out bullshit. However, classical liberalism and libertarianism are not the same thing–they are, in fact, mutually exclusive because the point of difference between them is on what the role of the state should be.

It’s without irony that I say libertarianism is the first step on the road to anarchy. I’ve never made that claim about classical liberalism, though if we consider the early United States to be pinnacles of classical liberalism, than we could certainly make the argument that classical liberalism –> libertarianism –> anarchism. However, to equate classical liberalism to libertarianism is to allow the conflation of libertarianism and anarchism.

How do I justify calling myself an anarchist yet interfering in the affairs of the libertarian party? To be clear, this is exactly why I admonish the classical liberals who are supporting people like Gary Johnson and Austin Petersen and ignoring a true Libertarian candidate like John McAfee. By doing so, they are redefining the Libertarian party, hijacking it and making it the Classical Liberal party. If they want to elect classical liberals, then that is fine, but they should do so for the Classical Liberal party, not hijack the Libertarian Party to do it.

Part of the issue is that they don’t understand libertarian principles, and they think the platform is some generalized one of “wanting small government.” I would kindly remind these people that such a platform is that of Conservatism, not Libertarianism. If the only thing that binds you to the Libertarian Party is your desire for small government, then rejoin the Republican Party and start electing conservatives who will actually fulfill their promises to limit the role of the state. To find out the principles and policies of the Libertarian Party, you need look only to the name:

Libertarian. Liberty. That’s the guiding principle of the Libertarian Party.

Libertarians want a small government because the state and liberty are directly at odds; small government is incidental to the philosophy and is not the principle itself. This is more than splitting hairs, because Liberty involves a ton of connotations that “I want small government” simply don’t. For one, there is the Non-Aggression Pact, which is something that Austin Petersen and this Youtube person are against.

fvcAs I’ve pointed out before, it is impossible to violate someone’s rights without using force, violence, and coercion–that is, it is impossible to violate someone’s rights without using aggression. It’s simply not possible. It is also true in converse: as soon as force, violence, and coercion are used, then someone’s rights have been violated. Aggression and rights are at odds, just as the state and liberty are at odds (which is no surprise, since liberty is the maximization of rights and the state is the institution in society that achieves its aims solely through aggression).

The NAP, therefore, is a critical aspect of the recognition of rights, and the recognition that individuals have the right to not be victims of force, violence, and coercion; it is the expressed agreement, a pledge even, that one will not violate the rights of other people. This is the most fundamental question of liberty, and it creates an obvious slippery slope to allow aggression in some circumstances. I’d remind all of these classical liberals that the United States already has clear rules about when aggression is acceptable, and these rules have been consistently expanded, re-interpreted, and violated for well over a century.

This person said that it will all be okay when we restore our Constitutional Republic. I’m unable to comprehend what kind of insanity leads to that idea. We’ve already tried a Constitutional Republic. Look what happened. Restoring our Constitutional Republic would only guarantee that, 230 years from now, a new generation is fighting against a leviathan state that literally regulates how they can take a shit. Seriously, in the United States you can’t even take a shit without the state regulating it. It’s something we forget, but there are:

  • regulations on the toilet paper
  • regulations on the water
  • regulations on the toilet
  • regulations on the light bulbs
  • regulation on the electrity
  • regulations on skipping all that and trying to do it outside
  • regulations on the septic tank
  • …and more!

We dare call ourselves the land of the free and we literally can’t even take a shit without the state telling us how to do it. We’re not the land of the free. We’re the land of the regulated, the land of the licensed, the land of the permitted–today we purchase rights that our ancestors and fought and died to secure.

Sure, while we’re at it we can install a feudal monarchy and see if that plays out differently this time, too!

We won’t get a different result if we repeat the same experiment. The Classical Liberal experiment failed. Oh, and there’s no doubt: Jefferson, Washington, and all the others were classical liberals according to today’s terminology. The nation they built was a Classical Liberal nation, and we know that it wasn’t a Libertarian one because of its roles of the state: minting a currency, regulating foreign trade, regulating interstate commerce, even having a Supreme Court…

supreme court

None of these are Libertarian things to be doing. To the Libertarian, the state has no right to regulate commerce, to regulate international trade, to create or abolish treaties. And the “Tenth Amendment” argument that people are so fond of putting forward: “It wouldn’t be a big deal if we just left these matters to the states, instead of the Federal Government” is absolute nonsense. It doesn’t matter if it’s the Federal Government imposing its “pro gay marriage” position onto all 50 states, or if it’s a single state imposing that position onto 92 counties–it’s still anti-Liberty, at any level of government. That fewer people are marginalized doesn’t make the marginalization suddenly okay.

These are the things that made Ron Paul NOT A LIBERTARIAN. And he says so himself. To the Libertarian, the government (sorry–it was unavoidable) has no business regulating trade at all–not federally, not locally, not internationally. To the Libertarian, the government has no business making the currency–not federally, not locally, not out of gold and silver, not out of paper, not out of 1s and 0s. These are the ideas that DEFINE Libertarianism.

It is not a No True Scotsman fallacy to say that people who don’t hold these ideas aren’t Libertarians, because the Libertarian platform is clear and concise. The Libertarian platform is more or less codified, and all of it is extrapolated from the principles of Liberty. If you don’t agree with that platform, especially on the matters that literally define that platform, then you are not a Libertarian. It’s like someone saying “I’m a Christian, but I don’t believe in a god or Jesus.” It’s like–No. We literally define “a Christian” as someone who believes Jesus was the son of Yahweh, so you can’t say you’re a Christian if you don’t hold that position.

Classical Liberals are the people who think the government should do such things, and that’s a gross violation of the most basic of Libertarian ideas: the state should exist solely to protect the rights of the people. Classical Liberals add a few other things to that, and those few other things they add prevent them from being Libertarians, because… I mean, that’s what Libertarianism means. It’s what it literally is.

I recognize that we need the Classical Liberals on our side, if we are to ever win an election, and 2016 is shaping up to present an actual opportunity to do exactly that. People hate Clinton and people hate Trump; this is going to be the most divisive election of our lives, and it could only be worse if Sanders gets the Democrat nomination–but he won’t, obviously. Already the bandwagon has lost its momentum, and all the people who suddenly were like “I’m going to talk about politics, so if you don’t like it, then you can unfollow me!” have shut up again and descended back into their self-involved holes–the hibernating bear. The thing that bothers me about these people isn’t necessarily that they pop up every few years (at best) to make a political remark, it’s that they do so with some kind of self-righteousness, calling themselves activists and involved in politics, when they’re only jumping on a bandwagon.

About a year ago, I told someone that I’d been slacking off myself and hadn’t really been very involved in politics. Then I looked again, and I realized that my standard of “not very involved in politics” was drastically different from the average person’s. I was still writing all over the place, still answering Quora questions on liberty and anarchism–that was me not being involved. And I ran godlessandlawless.wordpress.com, which was an Anarchist Atheist page. So when I, who am active in politics and not jumping on a socialist bandwagon to appear more involved than I really am, see these people sanctimoniously mouth off like they’re actually trying to change the world, it irritates me. If they merely tweeted once or twice some stupid pro Sanders bullshit, I’d gladly ignore it. But to follow that up with bullshit assertions that they’re “going to be political” despite all evidence to the contrary and despite the fact that they’re just jumping on a bandwagon–that’s too sanctimonious for me to ignore.

Anyway, yes. To win the presidency, at the very least we need the classical liberals to vote for the Libertarian Party. But they should have the self-awareness and the decency to not attempt to influence who that candidate is, especially when the candidate they’re trying to pick is not a Libertarian at all and is a classical liberal. Instead of hijacking the libertarian party, they should have the decency to recognize that they’re classical liberals and that if they want a classical liberal candidate then they should start a classical liberal party. The Libertarian Party exists to nominate Libertarians, not Classical Liberals, and I can–and have–demonstrated that neither Petersen nor Johnson are Libertarians. They claim that they are, but I can claim to be an alien from the Horsehead Nebula, but it won’t make me an alien from the Horsehead Nebula. I judge them on their policies, principles, and positions, not their expressed associations.

I support John McAfee because he is a Libertarian. He’s the only one of the main three who can make that claim honestly. I don’t support McAfee because he’s an anarchist–I would never support an anarchist trying to hijack the Libertarian Party to push their anarchist agenda. Neither should classical liberals allow classical liberals to hijack the Libertarian Party to push their classical liberal agenda.

Nor am I alleging that Classical Liberals are an enemy, or that they shouldn’t be allowed to select the nominee. Not really. I am saying, however, that they should have the decency to put their classical liberalism aside and vote for a nominee who is actually a Libertarian. It’s just not right to hijack a political party with a pure philosophy with a corruption of that philosophy. It isn’t right for Sanders, an avowed Socialist, to run as a Democrat, either, but at least with him he has a reason: Socialism and modern American liberalism are not at odds, and the Democratic Party is one of the big two American parties. These two big parties do accommodate a wide range of views and positions.

The Libertarian Party, however, does NOT accommodate a wide range of views and positions. The Libertarian Party’s positions are set in stone as its principles, and always yield the same outcome when those principles are applied to a given issue. It’s not like the Republican Party, where disagreement is expected; its positions and principles are clearly outlined. And those positions and principles directly are at odds with classical liberalism and its pro-government positions.

If you support the Libertarian Party, you should do so for the reasons that I do: because it’s the closest party that there is to sharing your ideology and principles. You should not hijack that party with your ideology and corrupt it so that its candidates are in-line with your philosophy. I’m not trying to make the Libertarian Party more anarchistic; you shouldn’t be trying to make the Libertarian Party more classically liberal, either. You should respect the Libertarian Party’s right to nominate Libertarians, not interfere and impose classical liberalism onto the party. To refuse to recognize their “right” to nominate a candidate who is actually a Libertarian, because you want the Libertarian candidate to be a classical liberal, is a philosophical violation of the very principles of liberty. It doesn’t involve aggression, I freely admit (and it’s why I put “right” in quotation marks), but I’ll return to something else I’ve said recently:

We can’t ignore the wedge issues once they’re brought up, because it’s still critical to push people philosophically toward liberty and “Live and let live,” even though it’s a wedge issue. As long as a sizable chunk of the population is philosophically willing to push their views onto others, then we simply aren’t ready for liberty. All of these wedge issues must be sorted out, with people agreeing to live and let live, before we abolish the mechanism that prevents them from forcing their views onto others. Adopting Libertarianism or anarchism will not erase that underlying mentality that they can and should force their views onto others. Whether it’s a wedge issue to distract us from the state’s illegal actions or not, it still must be addressed.

* I’m not a Libertarian, but I’m ideologically aligned with them, in the same way that anti-theists are aligned with atheists and in the same way that anti-theists are also atheists. I want to go one step further and abolish the state, but a Libertarian society wouldn’t be untenable, and is, in fact, the first step to properly abolishing the state. I am not attempting to impose my anarchist views onto the Libertarian Party–I support John McAfee because he’s a Libertarian, not because he’s an anarchist running as a Libertarian. If, somehow, an anarchist attempted to run as a Libertarian, I’d speak against that, too.

** I supported Ron Paul in 2012, and I greatly admire him. I’m not knocking him. But he himself will tell you that he’s not a Libertarian; he’s a classical liberal. And, more importantly, Ron Paul advocates libertarian philosophy, and he does not (and never has) attempted to undermine the Libertarian Party with classical liberalism. Ron Paul was also a Republican at the end of his career, not a Libertarian, for precisely this reason, people. There is much to admire about him, and this refusal to corrupt the Libertarian party’s purely libertarian principles with classical liberalism is among those reasons. If only his followers had the same decency.

M16 – McAfee 2016

I’ve said a lot since the Stossel Debate in support of John McAfee, and I’m going to continue doing so, because there aren’t too many things that are more important than the right of individuals to exist and be who they are. It typically surprises people to learn that I’m a young transgender lesbian and I’m not a liberal, and I could go into a long rant about everything that’s wrong with the left. Indeed, I have done exactly that several times:

Everyone But Straight People (Podcast)

“Hateful Bigot,” the Go To Response (Podcast)

Religious Freedom Is Bullshit (Podcast)

Let’s just say that I can’t be aligned with people who are so narrow-minded.

I’ve talked about why I don’t support Petersen, and I’ve talked about why I don’t support Gary Johnson. Now I want to talk about why I do support John McAfee. While I did touch upon the subject in my First Analysis of the Stossel Debate, and then again in my Analysis of Part Two, there is still so much to say about John McAfee.

During my analysis if the second part of the Libertarian Debate, I said that John McAfee is real, and I meant that in two ways. Obviously, I meant that he is a real Libertarian. We can demonstrate this objectively, and I’ll come back to that. More importantly, I mean that… I don’t know how to say this without talking in cliches. But that’s a real motherfucker. Being a real motherfucker myself, I can see it in his eyes. The moment he speaks, it becomes clear. It’s the difference I’ve talked about before when I got into the fight in the parking lot at the pizza place: we don’t talk shit. We act. And we’re not people to cross, and definitely not people to double cross. It’s hard for me to really explain this without placing myself on the same pedestal, but there is only one way to recognize a real motherfucker, and that’s to be one yourself. If you’re not a real motherfucker, then you won’t comprehend what I mean when I say that McAfee is a real motherfucker.

When I was at a party in the 7th grade, a kid who was 17 pulled out a 9mm and put it to my temple. Then he said, “Get on your knees and beg for your life.”

I told him, “You’re just gonna have to shoot me, because I’m not doing that.”

I was held at gunpoint for a few hours (I no longer remember exactly how long it was, and I suspect my memory has inflated the amount of time it lasted) and had to drive a dude to a different state. But once we reached the interstate, I ordered him to put the gun away, because his life was just as much in my hands as my life was in his. He couldn’t shoot me while we were on the interstate at 75 miles per hour–it would be instant death for us both. And if I thought he was going to shoot me and that I was going to die anyway, a flick of my wrist would kill us both.

He put the gun away.

I’ve been around a couple of times. That’s my point. And I know the look in someone’s face when they’ve been around a couple of times. It’s in how they talk, perhaps. Was McAfee manufacturing drugs in South America? No. Because he wouldn’t lie about it if he was–he’s a freaking Libertarian, and was in a Libertarian Debate. Among the many personal choices he could make for which he wouldn’t be criticized at a Libertarian Debate, manufacturing drugs is one of them. We don’t care about that sort of thing. Wanna cook some meth? More power to you. The fuck do I care if you want to destroy your brain, body, and life? That’s on you, not me. Just don’t use the state to force me to pick up the pieces by incarcerating you, feeding you, clothing you, providing you health care, and all this other shit. Reap your consequences. It truly does not matter to me. But no. If he says he wasn’t manufacturing drugs, then he wasn’t, because there’s no reason for a Libertarian to hide that. He may have been–I’m not speaking definitively–but since I don’t care anyway, it’s a non-issue.

Besides, his story makes far more sense than the notion that he was manufacturing drugs. He fled Belise and returned here penniless. That’s not something that would happen to a drug dealer, because drug dealers at that level always have stashes of cash and drugs. Always. McAfee clearly had no stash. So… C’mon. If I was selling drugs in the order of millions of dollars, the first thing I’d do is hide a duffel bag of heroin and cash somewhere. Every drug dealer would. The events correspond perfectly with McAfee’s claim that he was targeted by the government there for refusing to pay $2.5m in protection fees.

But we don’t care about any of that, do we? We’re Libertarians. We don’t care what he gets up to in his free time.

mcafee

I’d almost bet that’s a Phillipines-made Firestarter 38 Special. I have one of those, and that looks identical to my 38. Of course, snubnose 38s all kinda look the same, so who knows, but look at those eyes. Yeah. That’s a real motherfucker.

I’d vote for him on that picture alone.

Okay, that’s not true. But still. That picture says quite a lot more than an initial glance would suggest.

On to the Issues

The Libertarian Platform is pretty simple:

People have the right to do whatever they want to do, as long as they don’t forcefully inhibit anyone else’s right to do whatever they want to do.

To return to Johnson, we can immediately spot a violation. Johnson thinks we should be able to force businesses to not act in accordance with their religious beliefs. The Libertarian Party recognizes that it is okay to use force to stop force, of course, but there’s no force here. A business owner saying “You’re not welcome in my store” does not involve force. If the person is told to leave and refuses, then it becomes a matter of trespassing (a violation of private property), and force is a suitable reaction at that point. But the act itself of saying “I don’t want to do business with you” doesn’t involve any force. Johnson’s attempt make it illegal to do that does involve force, and thus is counter to the principles of Liberty:

  • Don’t harm people.
  • Respect private property.
  • Keep your word.

Johnson violates it in two ways. First, he fails to respect the private property of the religious business owners. That property does belong to the person who owns the business, and they therefore have the right to sell it or keep it; they do not have to do anything with it. Johnson disagrees and says it’s okay to force them to sell it. This act of forcing people to do things they don’t want to do is a violation of their sovereignty and thus constitutes harm.

Petersen is pro-life, a position I’ve already dedicated enough time to ripping apart, so I won’t do it again here.

It occurred to me recently that I simply assumed that McAfee was pro-choice when I made a Tweet a few weeks ago, and that it never crossed my mind that he might be pro-life. Everything he said during the Stossel Debate showed unequivocally that he understands Libertarian principles, that he understands and values Liberty, and so I made the leap that he was pro-choice. Unsurprisingly, I was correct. That’s because it’s not hard to figure out what someone’s position will be if you know their principles.

Based on what you know of my principles, what would you say is my position on immigration?

If you said:

Who fucking cares? If they want to come here, then let them come.

… then you’d be correct.

I think it’s fair to say that I understand the principles of Liberty–so much so that I’m an honest-to-god anarchist. The only difference between an anarchist and a Libertarian is that a Libertarian accepts that some state is necessary in order to protect liberty. Being a fan of Rothbard, I dispute that it’s even possible for a state to exist for the purpose of protecting liberty, and I view Libertarianism as the first step on the road to anarchism, just as Pantheism/Agnosticism/Deism are the first steps to atheism.

No, our species is not “spiritually” ready for anarchy. That’s just the reality. At this point in our growth, we are only a century from having 4 year olds being permanently maimed by working in glass blowing factories, only a century or so from Company Stores and coal miners, from Wordsworth’s The Chimney Sweeper, the Chicago Fire that killed so many people because the company didn’t want to pay for fire exits… These are real aspects of our history that we cannot simply forget. We are not ready to unleash the kraken, so to speak. I accept that, and thus I accept that Libertarianism is what’s needed now, not anarchy. We’d only make a mess if we had anarchy today.

No, Anarchy is the goal for the year 2500. Libertarianism is the goal for 2016. We’ve become so dependent on the state that we can’t even fathom the idea that there are other ways of doing things–just view all the “But who will build the roads?” and “Who will build the schools?” questions. People forget that we had these things long before the U.S. government got involved with them. The idea that we can have roads without having the government put a gun to our heads and help itself to our wallet (a tax payment yesterday that I’d forgotten actually overdrafted my account and has left me $71 in the negative… Fucking thanks, Uncle Sam. I really, really needed the money in my account. You know, for food and stuff. Seriously–that was my food my money. I’ll be okay and I’ll come up with something, but that doesn’t change the fact that the government literally just stole money from me and left me unable to even buy food. Moreover, this was so that people can “get back” $3000-$10000 tax “refunds”) is inconceivable to them.

That doctors would obey the Hippocratic Oath without basically being forced to by the state is something they cannot imagine. Yet the Hippocratic Oath predates state interference in health care by centuries. Moreover, it is exactly the interference of the state that is currently allowing doctors to spit on that oath that they took. I have a friend who has a staph infection that needs surgery, and the surgeon refuses to do it because she doesn’t have the money to pay for it. While I wonder how that surgeon will look his kids in the eyes knowing that he is allowing a human being to suffer real physical pain over money, it’s also just a flagrant violation of the oath he took. I’m certainly not saying that he should be forced to do anything he doesn’t want to do, but his feet should still be held to the fire. But they won’t be; they can’t be. Because we accept it as normal. Instead of raging at this surgeon, “How dare you allow a human being to suffer because they lack money! How dare you extort their physical health for money!” we are saying, “Health care is too expensive! We need the government to pay it!”

There’s really nothing more that I can say about John McAfee. The whole thing is really very simple. We know the principles of Liberty (I’ve outlined them above). We know the candidates’ positions. All we have to do is compare their positions to what we would find if we applied the principles to various issues. John McAfee is the only one for whom there is no contradiction, no hypocrisy, and no violation. It is now up to Petersen and Johnson to demonstrate that they are Libertarians, but evidence is to the contrary. This is not a No True Scotsman argument, because the Libertarian platform is set in stone. It’s not really up for debate, and not much of it is open to interpretation. It’s like saying Mormons aren’t really Christians because they don’t actually adhere to the Bible (and they don’t)–it’s not a fallacy to say “These are the principles. People who agree with these principles are x. Therefore, people who don’t agree with these principles are not x.”

We can’t allow people who violate the principles of liberty to claim the Libertarian nomination.

P.S. I’ve seen a lot of people say “But Johnson has done more to advance the cause!” and things like that. Sigh. Don’t be stupid. It doesn’t really matter who has done what to advance the cause. Hitler did a lot to advance the cause of democracy, but I wouldn’t want to nominate him for anything. After all, seeing how bad Hitler was sent a lot of people away from totalitarianism. So by that measurement, it would be good to elect Hitler again, to push even more people toward democracy.

See? That argument just doesn’t hold up. It’s a silly position, made by someone stretching hard to find reasons to support a statist.

Austin Petersen Debates the Anarchist Shemale on Twitter

Now, look. I don’t have anything against this guy. I think he’s probably a fine (albeit misguided) human being, and he’s certainly a lot better than many other candidates, but “being better than people like John McCain and Mitt Romney” doesn’t really count for much with me. I won’t support someone just because they suck less than someone else–I’ll only support someone who doesn’t suck at all. Obviously, that person is the Libertarian Presidential candidate John McAfee.

But today I posed the question on Twitter:

I’d really love it if someone could explain how and are and not just very conservative. Any takers?

I tagged Austin Petersen because I want to give his supporters the chance to defend him and to explain how I’m mistaken and how he really is a Libertarian, and I’ve simply misunderstood his positions. But I got the man himself. Yep. Austin Petersen, presidential candidate, came at me personally.

Well first of all, I’m personally socially liberal. Being pro-life doesn’t mean you’re conservative. It means you respect life

I’m simply going to report here what was said, and I’m not going to criticize him for his position or his tweets–at least, not very much. There’s no point in doing that. I will, however, explain some of my positions, because Twitter isn’t a great place to be making well-reasoned arguments. I am going to edit nothing. To that, I replied directly:

And that doesn’t answer the question. How is controlling what >50% of the population can do with their bodies libertarian?

Taken by itself, a fair point, but obviously it invites further discussion and can’t just be left at that. Before we can say that’s a fair question, we have to analyze its details–right? No, not really. It’s a simple, direct question, and requires a simple, direct answer. I did not get one, which provides further credibility to my previous claims that Austin Petersen is more or less a Republican in a Libertarian hat. I added:

Surely you realize that your personal belief that the fetus is “a living person” is just that: Your personal belief?

This put me on shaky ground, but the issue is murky enough that I’m comfortable being on shaky ground here. He replied:

We can discuss the issue, but please admit you incorrectly labeled me as a conservative. Please read:

And provided a link that I’m not going to bother with. I’m not going to bother, because I don’t believe he would bother with mine. Plus, as I replied:

Policies speak louder than words. You’re also against the , right? I judge on your policy, not your expressed associations

Yes, exactly that. I don’t care that he says he isn’t a Conservative, and I don’t care that he says he is a Libertarian. I care about his policies, and where his policies fall on the political spectra. He can openly reject conservatism all day long, but if his policies are distinctly those of typical conservatives (small government, pro-life), then I’m going to call him on it, regardless of what he says. I also added:

While my facts may be wrong, I stand by my conclusion based on what I know. If I’m mistaken about your policy, I’ll gladly recant.

A beautiful statement, yes? If my facts are incorrect, I will gladly adjust my position so that my conclusion is in line with the facts. I will let the evidence dictate my conclusion, not allow my conclusion to dictate the evidence. We should all be so humble to say such things. Austin Petersen, unfortunately, totally missed the point:

If your facts are incorrect, how can your conclusion be right?

This inane dribble received 3 likes–indeed, it’s the “most liked” reply in the conversation. This bullshit he spouted at me because he failed to understand what I said is the most liked tweet of the thread. That’s sad, isn’t it? It’s sad that Petersen’s reading comprehension is so bad that he couldn’t discern the meaning of what I said, but it’s also sad that at least three people didn’t bother to see if he was talking nonsense or not–and he was. Anyone who read my comment would immediately conclude that I was simply allowing the possibility that I was wrong, and allowing him the opportunity to clear the air. I was most certainly not asserting that I was right while simultaneously saying that I was wrong, and a presidential candidate should have the self-awareness and literacy comprehension to have understood what I meant. I would almost say that he did understand, and merely stooped to the lowest possible route by attempting to convince people I had admitted that I was wrong, when he knew damned well what I meant. I say that because it’s pretty obvious what I meant, isn’t it? “Based on what I know, that is my conclusion, but I might not know enough about your position for my conclusion to be accurate. If you would explain your position and if I am mistaken, I will gladly recant.” I mean, c’mon. That’s what I said–only within Twitter’s character limit. There’s no way he thought I was saying something so asinine as “My facts are wrong but my conclusion based on those facts is right.” That’s silly.

you seem to not understand. If my facts are wrong, I will change my conclusion to fit them. Are my facts wrong? 1/2

I’m allowing the possibility that my information, and therefore the conclusion derived from it, is wrong. That’s not saying I’m wrong

Yes, I actually had to explain to him what I meant, because the lightbulb didn’t go off in his head and he didn’t say “Oh! My bad. You were simply allowing for the possibility that you’re mistaken–you were being humble. My bad.”

When he said that, I began to sense something was amiss. Because, no, there’s really no way that he misconstrued what I said. It’s possible that he read it quickly and typed out his quick response, but he must have surely immediately realized that he’d just came to the silliest possible conclusion about what I’d meant. But that asinine reply got three likes.

Getting things back on track, I added:

Are you not pro-life and anti-nap? Very close to the policies of Rand Paul? These are fundamental questions of liberty.

For those unaware, the NAP is the Non-Aggression Pact and is the agreement that it is never justified to initiate the use of force, violence, and coercion. It is not a vow to pacifism; it is a vow to not be aggressive, and it is a fundamental pillar of the Libertarian Party. From Wikipedia on the matter:

The Libertarian pledge, a statement individuals must sign in order to join the Libertarian Party of the United States, declares, “I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals.”

So being against the Non-Aggression Pact, as I’ve heard that Petersen is (a claim he never denied, by the way, leaving me to conclude that I’ve heard correctly) outspoken against the NAP. He’s outspoken against the pledge that one must sign in order to join the Libertarian Party. So I repeat: How, exactly, is he a Libertarian? He is against one of the most sacred tenets of Libertarianism.

Petersen replied with:

I’m an agnostic, pro-science libertarian. The child has separate DNA, therefore it’s a separate human body. This is logic

Oi vey.

I ignored that unrelated, irrelevant remark, and said:

So if a woman could donate a kidney to save a child and she refused to, we’d be justified in forcing her to?

Since we have the right to make woman make sacrifices of their literal flesh for the sake of others.

Petersen replied:

If you’re familiar with DNA, you’d understand that if you are pregnant, the child is a separate person.

It was here that Petersen began tagging several of his tweets as #prolife. We all know why he did this. He did this because he wanted to bring in people who were pro-life; he wanted to bring in backup to help him out. There’s literally no other reason he would have added that to the end of his tweet. That’s what tags are for, after all.

So I replied:

No one is disputing that. That’s not at all what I’ve claimed, though that’s still your belief, and many disagree. Not the issue, tho

…which isn’t actually true. I do dispute that, because I think deciding that x number of cells that have the potential to grow into a living, separate being is not quite the same thing as a living, separate being. A fetus in the womb is clearly not a separate being–it is attached to the mother via an umbilical cord and resides in the womb. If removed from the womb and severed from the umbilical cord, the fetus would die. This is not indicative of a living, separate being. It is indicative of a parasite. That’s a term that a lot of people don’t like, but that changes nothing: until birth, a fetus absolutely is a parasite on the pregnant woman. The only way people escape this scientific classification is by saying that the parasite is the same species as the host. Yeah, that’s true, but my dad is still a fucking parasite on my grandmother.

What’s right isn’t always what’s popular. What’s popular isn’t always what’s right.

This riled me quite a bit, and I didn’t hesitate to show it. Plus, another pro-life tag. That’s really transparent, especially for a tweet that didn’t really have anything to do with pro-life things specifically. Besides, the pro-life position is extremely popular… among other conservatives. I dropped the hammer on that asinine statement:

You haven’t addressed the point. Don’t throw weak platitudes at me while dancing around the contention.

There’s nothing for me to add to that. It stands on its own. A weak platitude isn’t an argument. It’s a weak platitude. So I returned to my parallel:

By that reasoning, it must be okay to force a woman to donate a kidney. Abortion doesn’t kill a fetus; it terminates a pregnancy.

This is a critical point, and one that I expanded in subsequent tweets. As Petersen so gleefully points out, the fetus and the mother are separate beings. Ergo, the fetus has no claim whatsoever to the woman’s body; the woman and the woman alone has the claim to her body, to her womb, to her time, and to her umbilical cord. The fetus, as a living and separate being, has no right to claim these things that are part of the woman’s body.

No it’s not OK to force a woman to donate a kidney, since a kidney is not a separate human life. Logic evades you

Let it be known. Let it be inescapably clear. Austin Petersen, presidential candidate, threw the first insult here. And not only did he insult me, he completely missed the point.

Child needs kidney. Woman has kidney. Woman says no. Child dies. Petersen agrees: society can’t force the woman to give the kidney, and that refusing to give the kidney is not murder.

Child needs womb. Woman has womb. Woman says no. Child dies. Petersen disagrees: society can force the woman to give the womb, and that refusing to give the womb is murder.

The parallel is obvious, and it only gets stronger if we assert that the child is the woman’s son or daughter. It becomes:

Child needs mother’s kidney. Mother says no. Child dies. Petersen agrees: society can’t force the woman to give the kidney, and that refusing to give the kidney is not murder. But child’s need of a kidney is a direct result of the woman’s decision years earlier to get pregnant and have that child; the child’s need for the kidney today is absolutely a consequence of the woman deciding to have the child in the first place. Ergo, according to Petersen, she must accept her responsibility, and if she doesn’t, then we must force her to. That’s the only way for Petersen to be consistent. It doesn’t matter if the child is 5 months old or 5 years old when it needs part of the woman’s body–she is responsible for that need because she is responsible for getting pregnant and having the child.

How Petersen missed the parallel by such a wide berth that he concluded I was comparing a kidney (the organ needed) to a child (the entity in need) is something I can’t grasp. Again, I think he purposefully misunderstood in a weak attempt to wriggle away from the hammers bearing down on him. My parallel contains a woman, a child in need, and an organ the child needs that the woman can give. Petersen’s reply is blatant intellectual dishonesty or foolishness of such scale that he cannot possibly be qualified to be President.

The person who would receive that kidney IS, dude. The point has eluded you.

The umbilical cord and womb aren’t real people either. The logical parallel clearly escapes you. It begins with a simple statement,

and proceeds with a mightiness of reason you evidently cannot keep pace with.

I absolutely threw a condescending remark back, and did so by paraphrasing the master of such insults: Thomas Paine. Not only that, but the parallel did clearly escape him, and he came to the most outlandish conclusion about what I meant that he possibly could have.

Killing a child is murder, whether that child is born or unborn. Not your body. Not your choice.

More tags, eh? Really hurting for some support? Needing a pat on the back and a “Well done, Petersen”? Other than a few likes here and there, no one came to Petersen’s defense. I don’t blame them. I wouldn’t want to argue with me, either. So far I have trounced him at every turn, and now he’s back to simply stating his position because he’s been unable to justify his position. More to the point:

Do you not see the obvious contradiction there?

To clarify: the woman’s body is not the fetus’s body, either. To use the woman’s body is not the fetus’s choice, either. I mean, really. Did I have to point that out? This is why my point about “abortion is terminating a pregnancy, not killing a fetus” is critical. Unfortunate though it is–and it is unfortunate–the fetus cannot survive without the womb (see the kidney point above). But that womb belongs to the woman–it is part of her body, not the “separate” fetus’s. The woman and the woman alone owns her womb. The fetus does not. If the woman does not wish to share her womb, then that is her right, since it is her womb. It is unfortunate that she does not want to give her time and womb to a fetus/child/living molecule, but that is her right, just as it is her right to not give a kidney. The kidney and the womb, after all, belong to her.

The woman’s body–not your body, not your choice.

So, again, we’re discussing terminating a pregnancy, not killing a child. Unfortunate though it is, the child does general die. Still

it’s obviously the woman’s body and obviously her choice whether to give of her flesh to another.

Rock solid argument.

No, it’s not actually. It’s a separate body. Separate DNA.

Yet another pro-life tag??? Really, Petersen? Are you that desperate for support against the lone Anarchist Shemale? God, I honestly didn’t realize how many times he used that tag… It’s kinda funny, really. Anyway, who the hell knows what he’s talking about. The reply is to my last tweet above, which, you know… is rock solid. It is the woman’s body, the woman’s womb, and the woman’s umbilical cord. So what “No, it’s not actually. It’s a separate body.” is talking about is, again, anyone’s guess. Is he saying that the womb is part of the fetus’s body? Because that’s obviously and scientifically false. The womb is part of the woman’s body. That’s seventh grade biology. The umbilical cord, to be fair, could go either way–I’ll concede that. However, the bulk of the umbilical cord remains with the woman, not the fetus and birthed baby, so… it has to belong to the woman, as well. The womb, however, is certainly the woman’s independent of the existence of a fetus. So… No, Petersen. You’re simply wrong. The womb is part of the woman’s body, and therefore the woman has say-so in what happens with it.

That has literally nothing to do with what I said.

Pwned.

unfortunate, but it is morally wrong to FORCE a woman to give of her body for someone else’s benefit, even when the cost is death.

He replied:

No one forces a woman to get pregnant except in cases of violent crime.

I retorted:

You talk of it as though it never accidentally happens. It most certainly does. Not the point anyway.

To this, Petersen said the most banal, inconsequential, and irrelevant thing yet by quoting Michael Crichton at me:

“I don’t blame people for their mistakes. But I do ask that they pay for them.” -John Hammond

I finished the discussion with:

More banal platitudes. I expected better of you. Honestly, I did.

At any rate, thanks for the conversation. I’m still betting that you join the GOP by 2030, though. 😉

And so that’s the second Libertarian presidential candidate with whom I have had some sort of discussion, though this one was more of a disagreement than a discussion. Of course, I follow John McAfee on Twitter, and John McAfee follows me on Twitter. Man, when I got the email that said @eTheRealMcAfee had followed me… I was stunned, and extremely happy. It appears to be the real John McAfee, going off the tweets, how they’re written and expressed, and the positions expressed. It might not be, but, if it isn’t, then it’s a damned good fake.

In the greatest tragedy of this election, McAfee is polling only at 4% among Libertarians, which is exactly what we would expect to find, if the Libertarian Party had been taken over by liberty-leaning republicans. I mean, just think about it. How well would an actual Libertarian do in the party if it had been taken over by liberty-leaning conservatives?

Poorly is the answer.

And that’s exactly why McAfee, despite being the only Libertarian on stage in the Fox Business debates, is polling at 4%. I’m only thankful that I watched the debate and saw how bad Johnson’s policies actually are, and how horrendously bad Petersen’s policies are. I’m writing in McAfee’s name no matter who gets the nomination, unless there is a very strong chance that the LP nominee will win the White House. And even then, I’ll never vote for Petersen, because he’s the lesser of evils, at best. Johnson merely has one bad policy, and I’ve urged him to reconsider that position. A Johnson supporter did challenge me on that, and I tore him apart, too. Johnson himself, though, has been silent thus far. In seeing what happened to Petersen when he took on the Anarchist Shemale, I can hardly blame him for his silence.

But his position should be defensible if he wants my support, and it isn’t. Neither is Petersen’s. And, in the end, Petersen didn’t defend his position. He merely stated his position while I pointed out the flaws in it. He pulled a great deal of foolishness or intellectual dishonesty, and he repeatedly tagged his posts in order to bring in back up. If there was a slim chance before that I would one day support Petersen, that chance has since evaporated. If there was any possibility that I could have looked past his pro-life position–as I once did for Ron Paul–that possibility has been wholly undermined by the insults, intellectual dishonesty, and weak attempts to call in backup to gang up on the Anarchist Shemale.

I don’t mind Petersen as a person. He seems decent enough, despite his insults, his underhanded argument tactics, and his attempts to bring in backup. But I adamantly disagree on his policies, and his intransigence in the face of well-reasoned arguments, his unwillingness to address counter points, and his strong similarities to republican Rand Paul mean that I cannot support him. And neither should you, dear reader. When I post this, it will go to Twitter, and it’s possible Petersen will see it and attempt to come here and challenge me further. That is not my goal. My goal here has just been to present my side of things, and he is more than welcome to create his own fleshed-out, 3500 word response.

And I’ll rip it apart, too.

Because the fact that there is a glaring contradiction in his position means that there is hypocrisy in his position. And what did I say about hypocrisy? That it is the duty of the rational person to challenge hypocrisy wherever it is found. And I will continue to do that whether the hypocrisy comes from a multinational corporation or a bloody candidate for President of the United States.

need I say more

lol, what?

Really, Petersen? These are the kinds of people who support you. Typical conservative pro-lifers. And you dare challenge my contention that you’re just a conservative? For fuck’s sake, that’s a Rubio supporter. A Rubio supporter.

Think about that.

In the interest of history, a few (presumably) Petersen supporters have carried on the debate. Here’s the best thing I’ve seen in the thread. For some context, he was specifically trying to tag in Gavin Whoever. Just like Petersen’s tags, I think it’s hilarious when people can’t take me on alone, without trying to call in help. And by his own admission, that’s what he was doing.

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From Johnson To John

One of the core tenets of everything that I am is that there is a fundamental difference between a belief and a conclusion. I’m not going to dedicate 3000 words to attacking beliefs right now (I’ll do that some other time), but one of the things that irks me most about religious people is that they act as though their beliefs are on equal footing to my conclusions. Meanwhile, they would assert that my conclusions are merely beliefs.

There is that fundamental difference, though, and that distinction is that conclusions are logical extrapolations of real phenomena and observable facts. This isn’t to say that a conclusion is 100% unquestionable truth–clearly, that is not the case. However, it does mean that, based on the available evidence, there is no reason to doubt the validity of the conclusion. If there is substantial evidence in support of the claim, then it is a conclusion; if there is insufficient evidence, then it is a belief.

This should be obvious, because religious people, of course, admit that faith is a critical part of their beliefs. This goes without saying. Faith can rightly be defined as “belief in a claim without evidence.” Why can we define it that way? Simply put: Because if there is evidence to support the claim, then faith isn’t necessary and beliefs aren’t necessary.

I don’t believe that the Earth orbits the sun. I have concluded that the Earth orbits the sun, through rational examination of the evidence and with information that was provided to me by the scientific community. Meanwhile, the scientific community has earned my trust by repeatedly providing rational explanations to phenomena that can be observed, demonstrated, and verified–jets stay in the air, after all, which is certainly something that lends credibility to the claims of science. The jet stays in the air; the priest does not.

But I don’t mean to get off onto religion again.

What I mean to discuss is that, not even two weeks ago, I was a supporter of Libertarian Presidential Candidate Gary Johnson. My Twitter feed had a pinned tweet saying, in essence, “Gary Johnson 2016,” and my site here had a note pinned to the right that said the same. Then something changed, though. What “something” changed?

The facts.

Actually, the facts themselves did not change; it’s not like Johnson really changed his position or anything like that. My awareness of the facts changed. It could certainly be said that I supported Gary Johnson out of ignorance, and that I simply was not aware how far from the principles of Liberty that Johnson was willing to stray. Once I became newly aware of these facts, I could not hold to the same conclusion.

Trump asked in a debate a few months ago, “If you’re driving and find out you’re going the wrong direction, what are you going to do? Just keep going the wrong way your whole life?”

Ed Wuncler of the animated series The Boondocks once said, “This is America! If we’re doing something wrong, we don’t just stop doing it! No! We keep doing it wrong until it turns out right!”

While I abhor Trump as a presidential candidate, he’s absolutely right about that. If you find out you’re wrong, stop being wrong. Change your position. Don’t just continue being wrong. There is nothing wrong with that, and these three words need to be said far more often in the United States than they currently are:

I was wrong.

I was wrong to support Gary Johnson, because he is vocally anti-religious liberty, going as far as saying that a Jewish bakery under the boots of Nazi Germany should be forced to bake a cake for Nazis. The slippery slope, invalid though it is, should have informed Johnson that there was something off about his position. The idea he holds also means that a Jewish person should have to bake a cake for Nazis. How can a Libertarian candidate cling to this idea in the face of such an immoral prospect? Surely, one would think it’s time to re-evaluate the position that could, in the worst of circumstances, lead to such a travesty?

Instead, Johnson doubled down on his position and asserted that: Yes, the Jewish bakery should be forced to bake a cake for Nazis. This is a bit of a critical issue for me, because I’m a resident of the state of Mississippi, which just passed a religious freedom law that allows business owners to discriminate against LGBT people on religious grounds, and I, as a Libertarian, am 100% in support of the legislation, as I’ve stated here:

Warning! Turn your volume down!

http://ariadimezzo.podbean.com/e/rr-ep-03-you-intolerant-bastards

Johnson should have changed his position, now that the abominable acts that could result from such a disastrous policy had been brought to his attention, but he did not. Instead, it was:

“I cling to my beliefs.”

He threw back his own slippery slope of how religious discrimination opens a blackhole, where Jews and Muslims will be discriminated against, forgetting, evidently, that Christians make up only 74% of the population. A majority, sure, but not enough to make up for the 26% of non-Christians who would obviously boycott the discrimination. But on what grounds would he ban Christians from discriminating against all non-Christians? Why can’t they do that?

The Christians in question would not be using force, violence, or coercion. They would simply be isolating themselves from all non-Christians, which would cause the on-the-fence Christians to stop identifying as Christians. Although the numbers say that 74% of Americans identify as Christians, that is before a huge mass of Christians mark themselves as allies of the Westboro Baptist Church. If Christian businesses all over the country were discriminating against non-Christians, you would very quickly learn that the number “74%” means more “we believe in a deity and were raised as Christians, but we don’t really do the church thing” for more than half of those people. The number of people who would identify as Christians in the face of such wretched behavior would be substantially lower–in the order of 15% of Americans, and those 15% are nowhere near enough to stay in business against a boycott that consists of 85% of the population.

It’s true in Mississippi that Christianity is more dominant, and that the majority of people who identify as Christians here would continue to do so in the face of Christian discrimination against non-Christians. While throughout the nation, the people identifying as Christians would drop substantially, in the south it would lower to only about 50%, which is more than enough to continue thriving.

C’est la vie.

C’est la liberté.

When I learned that Johnson would violate the religious liberty of a huge portion of the American population, and would do so knowingly and in the name of the same ol’ conceit we’ve been seeing for centuries (“We have to violate the rights of some people for the greater good!“), I simply could not continue to support him.

Austin Petersen had already lost my support by identifying as Pro-Life. There’s not much to say about that. How he reconciles calling himself a Libertarian while believing that more than 50% of the population shouldn’t be in control of their own bodies and what happens to them is anyone’s guess, but the Libertarian position is obvious, and McAfee said it best: “We are in control of our minds and our bodies.” Not according to Petersen! According to Petersen, it’s totally okay for a group that is predominantly men to legislate what women can and can’t do to their bodies, even though, ipso facto, the legislation could not possibly affect the men themselves.

Austin Petersen, people are saying, is the future of the Libertarian Party. Fucking Christ, I hope not. He’s not a Libertarian. He’s a Classical Liberal, like Ron Paul. Ron Paul, of course, I supported loudly and vocally, because he was part of the Republican Party yet clearly on the Libertarian side. He wasn’t like Rand Paul, who is just kinda a little bit Libertarian-ish. Ron Paul spent three decades walking the walk, and I was willing to look past his Pro-Life ideas in order to put such a strong Classical Liberal into the White House*.

Petersen wants to be the next Ron Paul, and he is also a Classical Liberal, but not a true Libertarian. Gary Johnson is also a Classical Liberal. The difference is subtle but important: Classical Liberals are no better than Republicans. They are against the state unless they can use the state to promote their own agenda. Petersen even looks like a Republican, and mark my words: in a decade or two, Petersen will be a member of the Republican Party. That’s the future of the Libertarian Party according to Petersen: republicanism.

John McAfee, on the other hand, goes to the three principles of Liberty and simply applies them.

  1. Don’t hurt one another.
  2. Don’t steal from one another.
  3. Keep your word.

Those are, really, the three principles of Liberty. Regarding any possible action, just ask those three questions: Does it harm someone? Does it violate someone’s right to private property? Does it involve deceit? If the answer is “no,” then it’s fine, it’s totally fine. And we can immediately see that religious discrimination, then, is fine. It doesn’t harm anyone, it doesn’t steal, and it doesn’t violate any promises.

There is some ground for Petersen to say that abortion is hurting someone because the fetus is a someone, but that is Petersen’s personal belief, and many, many people disagree (myself among them). Even if Petersen does believe that the fetus is a “someone,” he must see that this is his belief, and that the majority of Americans clearly disagree? By what anti-liberty facetious reasoning does he attempt to legislate his belief onto the majority of the American population?

Again, he is no Libertarian.

This is not a No True Scotsman fallacy, because one cannot be a Libertarian while violating the fundamental pillars of liberty; that’s simply what Libertarianism is: the reverence and application of these principles. By not adhering to and applying these principles, he is not a Libertarian, because a Libertarian is someone who adheres to and applies these principles. I’m saying “No color that is blue is truly red,” which is not a No True Scotsman fallacy, because “blue” and “red” aren’t the same thing. There is a clear, demonstrable way wherein Petersen violates Libertarian principles, and therefore is not a true Libertarian.

So who is? Among the people in the debates recently, there was John McAfee. A remarkable guy with a truly remarkable story (though, I must confess, I’m not a fan of the antivirus). What can I say? McAfee is clearly bad ass. He’s clearly real. And I can’t explain to you what I mean when I say he is clearly real, but he is. He’s real. He’s authentic.

And he does the same thing that I do: he simply applies those three principles to come to a sound, non-contradictory policy. That’s what’s so beautiful about libertarianism (actually, it’s what’s beautiful about anarchism, but Libertarianism is the first step onto that path): it’s not inherently contradictory. The Conservative platform is, and so is the Liberal platform. The Classical Liberal platform is, as I demonstrated with Austin Petersen and Gary Johnson. No one should hold an idea that contradicts another idea, and that’s a high goal to which to aspire. It’s necessary, though, because it’s the only pathway to truth and sound policy.

John McAfee is like Ron Paul, but better. Much better. He’s a true Libertarian, and this is without getting into his personal life that makes him an obvious choice for someone like me, with my own tattoos and love of rock music. Hell, I have a snubnose 38 Special too, and have spent my fair share of time with that barrel against my temple. I recognize a real person who wouldn’t tolerate any bullshit immediately, and that real person is John McAfee.

* I wasn’t very clear here. Ron Paul had a serious chance of winning the Republican nomination (and would have if there hadn’t been so many shenanigans by the GOP establishment to prevent it–from the media ignoring his victories to the Republican National Committee actually changing the rules specifically to prevent Ron Paul from getting the nomination, an act which caused Paul’s supporters to walk out, to holding a retirement ceremony in Paul’s honor without actually inviting Ron Paul…), and could certainly have secured the oval office easily. Ron Paul would have been a Classical Liberal running as a Republican, and thus would have had the support of the Republican Party, which, let’s face it, has put presidents in the oval office before. Petersen does not have that; he’s a Classical Liberal running as a Libertarian.