Monday, July 22, 2013

You've Come a Long Way, Baby!

This morning I had to buy cigarettes at my local corner store. And yes, I mean "corner store". I live far enough out in the sticks* that I have a privately owned little sandwich, drink, snack and cigarette shop instead of a nice shiny 7-11 or Wa-Wa, High's, Royal Farms or Sheetz. (Those are the local versions, I know other areas have others, such as Little Sue, Rutter's and the like.) Anyway, in going to a small shop I ran into the common problem of cigarette smokers in such stores, the absence of my usual brand. Having to buy Marlboros for the first time in several months, maybe longer, I was struck by the strange writing on the little strip used to remove the cellophane. Instead of just being a normal white or gold strip, this one had writing along it reading "Nothing about this cigarette, packaging, or color should be interpreted to mean safer." over and over again.

Obviously, this was an attempt by Phillip Morris to avoid any lawsuit liability based on those silly claims that they had misled people into thinking "light" meant "safer", and thus shake down the big cigarette makers for yet another state and lawyer windfall, likely smaller than the first attempt at multistate extortion ("The Truth"), but still profitable. All of which led me to think about the legal theory behind such suits, and our thoughts on advertising and product liability in general.

The original law was simple, and consistent, though at times people might find the results of its application objectionable. Advertising was unlimited, you could say anything you liked. It was up to the customer to cut through the claims to judge which were likely true and which just hype. Or, if he could not, he had a second recourse, he could ask you to put it in writing. You see, despite the criticism of the principle of "caveat emptor" in sales, it did offer the buyer one protection. He could insist the sales contract embody the claims of the seller. If you said your tonic grew hair, he could ask that the contract guarantee hair growth. if you refused, then he had a pretty good idea how true your claims were.

Of course, the burden was symmetrical, the burden was on the buyer to also make sure the contract contained everything he wanted to buy, as the seller was only obligated to provide what was offered in the contract. ("In Praise of Contracts") If it wasn't in the contract, the assumption was that neither party had agreed to exchange it. It could be harsh at times, if you bought, say, medicine from a manufacturer and failed to notice there was no promise of safety in the contract, and thus suffered ill effects with no recourse, but it was the logical extension of contract law.

Contracts, for lack of a better description, were the means for creating private law. With the law itself covering a relatively small percentage of human interactions, mostly the criminal violation of rights and a handful of unintentional injuries occurring between strangers, the contract filled in to provide rules governing part of the remaining interactions. But, being consensual agreements between individuals the law had little to say about how contracts were written or interpreted. It required that both parties agree ("offer" and "acceptance" in contract terminology), that something of value be involved ("consideration"), at least if it was to be legally enforceable, but beyond that, the law largely left the terms up to the parties. However, one consequence of this was the assumption that the terms reflected the full intention of the parties, that they had discussed the agreement and that everything they wanted was embodied in its terms. And so, if something was omitted, then the assumption was made that neither party had agreed to that item. Presuming guarantees that were not written would have amounted to forcing parties to exchange something more than they had agreed, and that ran contrary to the whole concept, and so the courts decided if one party wanted such a guarantee, it would have been included.

It was a very simple law, and easily understood, and, most important of all, it was consistent. A contract written one hundred years ago could still be enforced today exactly as intended at the time, since the terms were entirely defined by the contract itself. But that was all to change, and consistency was about to fall before compassion. After a number of cases tailor-made to create public sympathy, from cars with collapsing wheels to medicines sold dissolved in a lethally toxic solvent, the principle of "caveat emptor" was strenuously attacked by those who sought to reform the law to make it more compassionate.

The argument offered was that, with the dawn of the modern industrial age, the buyer was not in a position to bargain for himself, he could not insist on contracts guaranteeing his security, and so it was in the interest of society to enact laws to protect him. The first step being the elimination of the old principle of buyer beware, and the substitution of certain legal assumptions, most notably the assumption of a an implied warranty of safety.

At this point, some readers may wonder what my objection is to this change. After all, it is simple a shift in the burden of the contract. Before we assumed there was no promise of safety unless stated, now we assume one unless excluded. How does this endanger the buyers, the sellers or the nation as a whole? After all, there were horrible problems, such as poisonous medicines and defective goods, why not protect against them?

For the moment, I will ignore the later consequences, though as I will show later, they were inherent in the assumption of safety. And for the moment I will also skip the other problems inherent in the principle adopted. Instead, I want to look at one other problem with this argument, the incorrect assumption that the state had no choice but to intervene, that caveat emptor was inherently dangerous and needed reform.

The problem was not so much caveat emptor, nor the size of the companies involved, not even the inherent nature of large scale consumer culture. The real problem was that we were in an age of transition, which also happened to correspond with an age of political activism, and thus problems arose which had never before been encountered, and before the market could adjust,t he government dove in and made changes.

For example, the common complaint of the reformers that buyers could not negotiate for warranties of safety shows nothing so much as an ignorance of the market. The fact was, these issues only truly arose with the much publicized cases in question. Prior to that, the public had not expended much thought on the generic sales contracts of the new age. However, once the problem of defective goods leaving no recourse for the buyer became common knowledge, the public would begin to ask for such changes, and, as the industrial sector grew and new sellers began to compete, these sort of guarantees would become a means of competition. If the public wanted such warranties, there would be a seller willing to provide them, they were only missing at the time as they had not previously been considered important.

Similarly, truth in advertising laws were adopted just slightly later, basically on the same principle, the assumption that the public was unable to demand advertisers reflect the true qualities of their goods. However, in this case, I think the state may have adopted a cause the public at large cared little about. If anything, the advertising of the early industrial age was tame compared to advertisements going back to colonial days. The new ads were much more common, and received more attention, but they were no more dishonest than advertisements had always been. And the public, for the most part, did not seem to care. They hardly avoided those who placed the most absurdly excessive ads, nor did they favor those whose ads were the most restrained. It seems, despite the claims of many reformers that the public was easily misled**, that the public, for the most part, could see through the hyperbole of advertisement, and didn't mind a bit of hucksterism.

However, had the public been unhappy, and wanted the reforms the government enacted, then the solution would have been, not to involve the state, but for the public to frequent those who offered the most honest advertisements, and eschew those who made excessive claims. History, and modern experience, shows the public is completely capable of organizing such boycotts on its own, or even doing so on an informal basis, with individuals deciding to avoid those sellers with whom they have complaints. So there was no need for the state involvement.

However, needless or not, did the changes do any harm? I would argue they did.

First of all, they introduced a certain amount of inconsistency into the law, an arbitrary decision. What is a safe product? What is a dangerous one? What is a defective good? At first this simply meant goods which deviated from the formal design, but that was too narrow for the reformers, and they declared certain designs inherently defective. However, this leaves the manufacturer in a bind. How can he know in advance if his design will be seen as unacceptably dangerous? Under the principle of caveat emptor, he knew what he sold, and knew what he was promising, but under this principle, he could be found liable even though he delivered precisely what he promised.

Which gives us the second problem. The law became a shifting target. A given design could be acceptably safe today, when I sold it, and even safe in a year, but in two years it be found unacceptable. Or perhaps the idea of what was promise din a sale might change and I might be found to have not delivered on some implied warranty. Suddenly, a contract could be acceptable one year and could support a liability suit the next. I could not know in advance if I was subject to a suit. And worse, I might think the courts had cleared me only to find in a future suit it was not true. By changing the law from a contract containing only what I promised to one containing implied promises, a seller could find himself on the hook years after the sale for an implicit promise he never made, and one he could not have waived as the principle upon which it was based was not known at the time of the contract.

And yet the laws became even worse. As I mentioned, truth in advertising was the next step, but that was just the beginning. After a time, implied warranties were not enough. Sellers began to add waivers and thus avoid liability. And thus, because it was assumed buyers could not protect themselves in this unequal bargain, the law began to ignore waivers arguing, on the same principles that justified ending caveat emptor, that buyers were either incapable of understanding the waivers, or else lacked the bargaining power to make a valid agreement. And so, sellers were not only on the hook for explicit promises they made, or for implied warranties, they also could not waive these warranties, even if they and the buyer wished to do so.

And it just gets worse from there. Year after year, based upon the assumption of a powerless, incompetent, easily misled consumer, the law extended ever wider the liability of anyone selling a good or providing a service. Eventually reaching the point where the assumption of incompetence leads to the disclaimer that started this all.

Think about that disclaimer and ask yourself what it means. It means, at its most basic, that Phillip Morris is worried that they will be sued without such a disclaimer. And on what basis? On the basis that the color or name of their product might, in the mind of some attorney, somehow hint that their product is safe, and thus they would be subjected to lawsuits dunning them for millions, even billions of dollars. It is something that no one would have even imagined a century ago, and yet today, it is largely ignored. We are so used to nuisance suits, to the presumption of consumer incompetence and the malevolence of sellers, that we mostly ignore the endless disclaimers, waivers and warning labels around us. It is a troubling fact to realize, how much we accept and how little we think about the true meaning of these things.

Then again, perhaps I am reading too much into a cigarette wrapper. Though I am not so sure. After all, if the lack of such a wrapper could cost a company billions of dollars, it seems that wrapper should deserve at least a little bit of thought on my part.

==============================================================

* Actually, when I lived in "the big city" (Baltimore), I had a corner store as well. It is funny that the backwoods and big city have that one thing in common, a preponderance of small, privately owned little convenience stores and grocers. To be fair, I am only 10 minute from downtown Annapolis (depending on traffic), but any Marylander (outside of Baltimore, where they seem to forget the rest of the state exists) will tell you, the South River divides Anne Arundel County neatly in half between the relatively developed northern half and my much more rural southern half. So, despite being in what amounts to an Annapolis suburb, it is still the sticks for all intents and purposes.

** As I have written elsewhere (eg "Liberalism, Its Origins and Consequences") the assumption that the majority is incompetent and needs to be told what to do lies at the root of most forms of intervention and modern authoritarian states.

============================================================

POSTSCRIPT

My earlier thoughts on liability law can be found at "The Virute of Novelty and the Value of Tradition",  "Still More on Liability Law", "Liability Law and Cost-Benefit Analysis", "Victim as Judge", "The "Right To Sue" As Our Only Right", "Skewed Perspective , or, How Big Government Becomes Inevitable".

ADDENDUM (2013.07.23)

Despite the obvious relevance, somehow I forgot to link my essay "Consumer Protection".

58 comments:

  1. And people wonder how we'd get by w/o govt...LOL...

    ReplyDelete
  2. Good post, Andrews. What this reminds me of is being back in grade school and the teacher would let the class have some unusual privilege, like having class outside or getting to work in groups with your friends. It would be great until a handful of kids had to misbehave and spoil it for everyone.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey, CW, still hanging around Andrew's blog, hoping for some circumcised sympathy sex?

      BWAHAHAHHAHAAA!

      Delete
    2. Moshe, look up "projection" sometime. Considering the fact that you tell me how horrible I am, that I publish nothing but lies and nonsense, that I am a Zionist tool, and yet you hang around, taunting me the way little boys pull girls' pigtails, I think you're the one with the sad little man-crush on me.

      Why, you're the one who felt the need to mention my genitalia. And not for the first time. From your mention of your desire to see me sodomized to your constant references to circumcision, I think there is more here than meets the eye.

      Delete
  3. Libertarians have put forth the most radical critique of the state ever posed. The Marxists claimed to favor the withering away of the state, it is true, but this can hardly be taken seriously. The coercive power of the state plays a central role in the Marxist transition from capitalism to socialism. As Rothbard put it, “It is absurd to try to reach statelessness via the absolute maximization of state power in a totalitarian dictatorship of the proletariat (or more realistically a select vanguard of the said proletariat). The result can only be maximum statism and hence maximum slavery. ...”

    “Limited-government” conservatives, in turn — who in practice favor an enormous government footprint, but for the sake of argument we’ll give them the benefit of the doubt — want to reform the system. If we try this or that, they say, we can transform a monopoly on violence and expropriation into the fountainhead of order and civilization.

    We libertarians are a million miles removed from either of these views. We do not view government officials as “public servants.” How sad to hear naïve conservatives speak of returning to a time when government is responsive to the people, whose elected officials in turn pursue the public good. The situation we face now, contrary to what these conservatives try to believe, is not an unfortunate aberration. It is the dismal norm.

    http://mises.org/daily/6488/The-Libertarian-Paradox

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Libertarians, at least those from the Lew Rockwell/Murray Rothbard school, are a million miles removed from reality.

      “Do not hurt anyone. Do not steal from anyone. Mind your own business.” These are “commonly shared principles,” the libertarians tell us, even as we can all observe the reality of tyranny here and everywhere else on this planet. Reminds me of Obama, always telling us that reality is something different than what we can see with our very own eyes.

      Rockwell discusses certain “rules” for how ownership in property is attained, and for how people can live together, and if we just follow the “rules” conflict will be minimized. “Do not hurt anyone. Do not steal from anyone. Mind your own business.” Okay. Those rules are simple enough and fair enough. But the fact remains that they are “rules,” and rules are meaningless unless they are enforced. So who’s going to enforce these “rules” and by what authority? And why is it not government when the libertarians decide what the rules will be and then enforce them on everyone else?

      “…liberty flourishes despite the state…,”Rockwell tells us. Where, I ask? I will believe you if you simply show me the stateless society where liberty is flourishing. You can’t because it does not exist.

      Murray Rothbard is a genius, we are told, because he developed a system for freedom that gets the statists out of our lives – except that the statists won’t let him put the plan into action. Personally, I see that as a pretty big flaw in the plan. The real genius is the person who can get the statists to cooperate.

      Delete
    2. All of this and you didn't make a single, actual, point...amazing...

      Delete
    3. You are a statist...which is simply a form of communism.

      I would never expect a communist to understand libertarianism or to INTELLIGENTLY be able to discuss these ideas; nor would I expect a statist/communist to admit statism/communism has been a disastrous failure.

      Keep ignoring reality and keep voting for Romney/McCain and we'll keep spreading the truth and helping society evolve...

      Delete
    4. That’s typical. You’re so brilliant and enlightened that you resort to the childish game of claiming that I made no points rather than debating. I’m used to it. Let me summarize my points to make it easy for you:

      1. If the principles of libertarianism are so universally shared and agreed to, as Rockwell claims, then why is it so difficult to spread libertarianism?

      2. If libertarians establish rules for society (i.e. their system), why is the enforcement of those rules not a form of government?

      3. If people agree that freedom (i.e. no gov’t) is great and if it’s so simple to attain, why are there no examples of it you can point to?

      4. If the only problem with libertarianism is that the statists won’t let you do it, why is that not a fatal flaw of the “system?”

      I’m not a statist or communist. I’m a limited gov’t conservative. That’s because I accept the reality that gov’t is inevitable; therefore the choice is not between gov’t and no gov’t. It’s between big gov’t and small gov’t, to the extent that we have any control at all. If that makes me a statist then by your own logic you are a statist too, unless you can tell me how the “rules” of libertarianism are going to be enforced without gov’t, which you can’t. And again by your logic, that also makes you a communist (ouch!).

      P.S.
      Every time you invoke Romney/McCain I’ll invoke Ron Paul who is a CONSTITUTIONALIST, not an anarcho-libertarian.

      Delete
    5. 1. Because most people can't--due primarily to govt. brainwashing--recognize that govt. violates these principles. Society suffers from what I would call "authority-worship"--a kind of mental illness. Society thinks that a small group of ruling-class elites should be allowed to violate basic moral principles for the 'benefit' of society--like I said, mental illness. We're seeing the ultimate results of this mental illness playing out before our eyes.

      2. Depends on how you define "govt", "society", and "rules". IMO, society can have rules w/o an agency that has the 'legal' right to aggress against innocent people--i.e., an agency that is allowed to violate the rules at will and w/o consequences.

      3. For the same reason someone, in the year 1500, couldn't point to a prior example of an industrial society. When humanity evolves to the point where its ready for freedom it will have it.

      4. This is like saying Obamacare proves the free-market in HC has been a failure and is unworkable/impractical.

      If you believe govt. is inevitable, then you also believe big-govt is inevitable. Like I said before, you don't understand human-nature well enough to understand why there can NEVER be such a thing as a sustainable form of "limited-govt". The failed American experiment in "constitutionally-limited govt" bears me out.

      P.S.

      I've already dealt w/the 'constitutionalist' label. It is meaningless w/o reference to the principles/record of the person claiming that label. Bottom line is that you and your fellow [neo]cons chose Romney/McCain over Paul--which indicates their 'constitutionalism' is more in line w/yours than Paul's.

      Ron Paul on Methods, Anarcho-Capitalism, and Understanding:

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZdKlFtxbt9o





      Delete
    6. 1. You said: ”Society suffers from what I would call "authority-worship"--a kind of mental illness.”

      I agree, but regardless of the reason, if most people “can't recognize that govt. violates these principles” then Mr. Rockwell is incorrect when he says that the principles of libertarianism are universally shared and agreed to.


      2. You said, “Depends on how you define "govt", "society", and "rules.”

      If you can’t answer the question without playing games with the meaning of ordinary words, the way leftists always do, then your answer doesn’t pass the smell test. What anarcho-libertarians like to do is to essentially propose something that is government, but then claim the high ground by pretending that it’s something else. If you’re going to have rules, you’re going to have gov’t. If you’re not going to have rules, or if you’re not going to enforce the rules, you’re going to have anarchy, i.e. each man for himself. Those are the only two options. So which is it?


      3. You said, “When humanity evolves to the point where its ready for freedom it will have it.”

      How convenient. So why are you picking on me or Andrews or anyone else? If we haven’t evolved we haven’t evolved.


      4. You said, “This is like saying Obamacare proves the free-market in HC has been a failure and is unworkable/impractical.”

      Huh? The only thing Obamacare proves is that the Left are racketeers. They create the problems which they then presume to “protect” us from – for a price.

      A truer analogy would be to say my cure for cancer would be a bestseller if only my patients didn’t keep dying from cancer. If libertarianism requires the absence of statists to succeed but you have no way of getting rid of the statists, then the so-called “system” supposedly “developed” by Rothbard for freedom does not exist except in your minds.


      >>”I've already dealt w/the 'constitutionalist' label. It is meaningless w/o reference to the principles/record of the person claiming that label.”

      You mean like when you denounce me for using the label ‘conservative’ without ever bothering to ask me anything about myself?

      Ron Paul: “We need to follow the Constitution:”

      http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gHE_0bCSIVM

      Delete
    7. 1. Most people learn by age 5 that hitting others and/or taking their stuff is wrong. After 12 years in forced govt. indoctrination camps (public school) they think hitting others and/or taking their stuff is OK when the words are changed to "law enforcement" and "taxes".

      2. I answered your Q, even w/my qualification. Anarchy LITERALLY means "without rulers", not "each man for himself", not "chaos". I don't know how much clearer I can make that for you.

      3. Yes, you haven't evolved. I'm creating a historical record for future generations to see how insane people like you are.

      4. Again, I don't know how much clearer I can make things for you. If the only problem w/capitalist-provided HC is that "the Left won't allow" it, then I guess capitalism is a failure and socialist HC is inevitable, eh?

      The rest I've dealt with.

      Dennis Kucinich and BHO also claim to "follow the Constitution". Clearly, Romney/McCain's idea of 'constitutionalism' is more in line w/yours than Ron Paul's.

      As GW (whom I'm sure you also supported) said: "The Constitution is just a piece of GD'd paper!"

      Delete
  4. @ CW

    Its incredible that you use the SAME EXACT ARGUMENTS that Democrat-voters use against the free-market...

    Communists of a feather...

    ReplyDelete
  5. @ CW

    As I said in a prior conversation we had...FORGET about "anarchy"...

    At this point, my expectations for [neo]cons are SO low that I'd simply be pleased if you could face reality...

    [Neo]cons and [neo]libs need to start libertarian kindergarden before they'll be of any use...

    ReplyDelete
  6. @ CW

    When is the 'conservative' movement gonna begin opposing actual, major planks of the Communist Manifesto which have ALREADY been implemented here in America?

    http://www.thedailysheeple.com/10-planks-of-the-communist-manifesto-in-america_032012

    The American people will never knowingly adopt socialism. But, under the name of ‘liberalism,’ they will adopt every fragment of the socialist program, until one day America will be a socialist nation, without knowing how it happened. -Norman Thomas, U.S. Socialist Party presidential candidate 1940, 1944 and 1948

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're preaching to the choir.

      Delete
    2. Well, from my experience, I've found that most 'conservatives' think opposing ACTUAL PLANKS OF THE CM is "too controversial".

      And yet you people claim to be for 'limited-govt'...LOL...

      Delete
    3. And you claim that enforcing the “rules” of libertarianism doesn’t amount to limited gov’t. LOL. You clearly haven’t thought that one through.

      Delete
    4. What does this have to do w/'conservatives' embracing major planks of the Communist Manifesto?

      Delete
  7. CW SAID:

    “…liberty flourishes despite the state…,”Rockwell tells us. Where, I ask?
    _________________________________________________________________________

    DEAR SLAVEY: JULY EDITION

    http://dollarvigilante.com/blog/2013/7/24/dear-slavey-july-edition.html#


    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Don't bother sending me links to the sources for your ideas. I'm not impressed. Try thinking for yourself. Let's see if you can. If you attempt to address my points above, then you can. If you don't...

      Delete
    2. For a person who voluntarily joined the Republican Borg--but who is "a conservative not a Republican" (LOL)--to support Romney/McCain this is rich...

      Delete
  8. @ CW

    In 2012, probably the major plank of the 'conservative' movement was "Repeal Obamacare". Sounded good to me. However, if repealing OCare was such a priority, why did 'conservatives' ultimately narrow the Republican Primary field down to (in order of preference):

    1. Romney (52%): The guy who's state-implemented socialist HC was a model for Obamacare?

    2. Santorum (20%): A guy who endorsed Arlen Specter (Obamacare's 60th vote)?

    3. Gingrich (14%): A guy who floated the idea of Obamacare around back in the early 1990's?

    P.S.

    Ron Paul--despite his incredibly principled career of ACTUALLY (not just paying lip-service) fighting for limited-govt, only got 10% of the Primary vote.

    How do you explain that the ONE candidate who could claim no connection to socialized HC whatsoever was rejected by 'conservatives' in favor of THREE w/significant baggage in this area?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Interesting, CW, that you didn't reply to this one...

      Delete
    2. That's because asking me to answer for all republicans when you've already conceded that they include a wide ranging spectrum of political beliefs, most of which I don't share, is stupid and gratuitous.

      Delete
    3. Or, maybe its because 'conservatives' are uniformed/ignorant/pro-big govt...?

      Delete
  9. @ CW

    BTW, most libertarians I know don't imagine we'll see a stateless society emerge next week.

    Its gonna be an ongoing, generations-long slog.

    The USA is the most influential nation on Earth right now. The USA can only be described as a Communist-Fascist hellhole at present. The USA is negatively impacting the entire world. Thankfully, the USA's prominence is slowly, but surely, ebbing. One day (hopefully in the near future) the USA will no longer be able to dominate global affairs like it currently does, and then at least the non-USA world will be able to advance.

    Libertarians' job is to keep the flickering flame of civilization (respect for person and property) alive until such time as humanity recovers from its current bout of authority-worshipping insanity. It isn't easy being a libertarian (VASTLY outnumbered, at present, by the Zombie Hordes)...but SOMEONE has to do right by future generations, eh?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. >>"The USA can only be described as a Communist-Fascist hellhole at present."

      And yet you're still here.

      Delete
    2. This is the most typical response of statists: "If you don't like it leave."

      As if emigrating to a foreign-nation is as easy as walking across the street...LOL.

      Its a way to dodge uncomfortable truths about your ideology. For [neo]cons who worship the American State its particularly upsetting when someone says the truth about the Fasco-Commie USA.



      BTW, I'm in the years-long process of obtaining residency/citizenship in a South American nation that is WAY freer than the USA (but, then again, most other nations are). In 5-10 years--when the American Collapse REALLY gets under way--I think I'll be very happy w/my decision.

      Delete
    3. I didn't suggest that leaving the country was easy but people living under facism or communism have been known to risk their lives and their fortunes to escape so it truly mystifies me when people who believe they live in a hell-hole don't make any attempt to leave when the door is open.

      I give you kudos for being the first I've known to actually take steps to leave. Do you mind sharing the name of this place that has no government and no constitution?

      Delete
    4. LOL...funny...

      Its also funny that the former USSR has lower income-tax rates than the land of the 'free'...

      And, believe it or not, there are many nations that don't even have an income-tax...so backwards, eh?

      Delete
  10. @ CW

    If you can't do anything but continue to re-state the points I've already addressed, then stop pretending to debate.

    OK?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The problem is that you "address" points the way Obama "takes responsibility" for things. You believe that just because you said you did it the rest of us are fooled into believing you did.

      Delete
    2. And your problem is that you don't understand logic/reason.

      Delete
  11. If the only problem with the constitution is that "the Left ignores it" or "we just don't follow it"....isn't that a fatal flaw in the system set up by the so-called 'founders'?

    ReplyDelete
  12. It may very well be. I already pointed out to you that the founders expressed doubts about the lasting power of the C.

    Does this question mean that you agree with me that the statists' rejection of libertarianism is a serious flaw?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The bottom line is that it was a stupid 'point' for you to make.

      If you believe in might-makes-right, just say so...

      Delete
  13. @ CW

    Like I've said MULTIPLE times, forget about anarchy...how about you 'conservatives' start by opposing the Communist Manifesto?

    Look at the debt and spending problems...it doesn't take a libertarian genius to do basic math and figure out that the current path is totally unsustainable.

    Why can't [neo]cons and [neo]libs see what's SO obvious for libertarians to see?

    I'm sorry, but voting for the McCains, Romneys, and Reagans of the GOP just ain't cutting it...so, why do you still PRETEND it does?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Polls from all over the world consistently show that Israel and the US are regarded as the two greatest threats to peace and to life on earth. Yet, these two utterly lawless governments prance around pretending to be the “world’s greatest democracies.” Neither government accepts any accountability whatsoever to international law, to human rights, to the Geneva Conventions, or to their own statutory law. The US and Israel are rogue governments, throwbacks to the Hitler and Stalin era.

    The post World War II wars originate in Washington and Israel. No other country has imperial expansionary ambitions. The Chinese government has not seized Taiwan, which China could do at will. The Russian government has not seized former constituent parts of Russia, such as Georgia, which, provoked by Washington to launch an attack, was instantly overwhelmed by the Russian Army. Putin could have hung Washington’s Georgian puppet and reincorporated Georgia into Russia, where it resided for several centuries and where many believe it belongs.

    For the past 68 years, most military aggression can be sourced to the US and Israel. Yet, these two originators of wars pretend to be the victims of aggression. It is Israel that has a nuclear arsenal that is illegal, unacknowledged, and unaccountable. It is Washington that has drafted a war plan based on nuclear first strike. The rest of the world is correct to view these two rogue unaccountable governments as direct threats to life on earth.

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/2013/07/paul-craig-roberts/the-us-empire-prepares-for-war-on-china/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. What a moronic piece of garbage, but you anarcho-ibertarians lap this stuff up like hungry little sponges with no brains to think for yourselves. Why the hell should I care what polls from around the world say about the U.S.? Do you care what polls around the U.S. say about libertarians? A lot of people think you’re all a bunch of nutjobs, you know. Should you change what you’re doing in order to please those people? Because that’s what this moron is implying Americans should do.

      The moron goes on to say: “Neither government accepts any accountability whatsoever to international law…” He wants us to bow to INTERNATIONAL LAW and you, who calls yourself a libertarian, is okay with that? Help me understand the logic of someone who purports to want NO government sharing a post from a leftist who wants us all to submit to some world-wide governing body? That’s a mind boggling contradiction.

      What’s next? Will you be sharing pearls of wisdom from Noam Chomsky? Since you don’t have a name I’ve got one for you: Spongebob.

      Delete
    2. How DARE anyone criticize the US and Israeli govts!

      Delete
  15. @ CW

    Well, I want to thank you for taking the time to express your 'conservatism'...FYI, I've saved our conversation to a file on my computer. I'm compiling these kinds of talks I have w/[neo]cons and [neo]libs to use as material for an e-book I plan on writing. I intend to demonstrate the logical inconsistencies and basic insanity of [neo]con/lib-ism.

    Before I leave I want to give you ONE more chance to re-think your inconsistent positions.

    1. CW rejects libertarianism/anarchy due to the "fatal flaw" that it is defeated simply by statists "not allowing it to happen". However, CW--a "limited-govt constitutional conservative"--does NOT reject his own ideology even though it suffers from the SAME "fatal flaw" (it is easily defeated by "leftists not allowing it to happen") he asserts is an inherent failure of libertarianism/anarchy.

    2. CW essentially made the assertion that supporting Ron Paul is no different than supporting Mitt Romney or Barrack Obama since all explicitly claim to recognize the validity of the constitution.

    3. CW--again, a "limited-govt constitutional conservative"--thinks the best way to pursue his ideology is to support a political party which has, in principle, tacitly accepted many of the 10 MAJOR PLANKS OF THE COMMUNIST MANIFESTO.

    4. CW, someone who thinks of himself as a "realist", supports candidates and a political party whom have NO REALISTIC PLAN to address the out-of-control spending/debt disasters confronting the USGovt and American citizens.

    5. CW seems to believe there is some kind of astrological law that mandates the existence of the modern corporatized centralized nation-state, even though it is a relatively new phenomenon which has only existed for a few 100 years. Just like the masses once believed their king-rulers were physical incarnations of god, he believes in a similar view of the mystical nation-state--it being the incarnation of "the will of the people".

    6. Despite my providing a LITERAL definition of "anarchy" (derived from Greek "an"=no/without + "archos"=ruler="no/without ruler"), CW continues to redefine it as a belief in "chaos", "every-man-for-himself", "mayhem", "lawlessness", "no rules or social norms", etc.

    CW, this is your FINAL chance to renounce your own logical flaws. If you don't, you're going into my book as just another insane statist...

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. And I want to thank you for taking the time to express your special version of “libertarianism.” By all means, put me in your book. I’m sure that’s going to be a bestseller.

      What we’ve learned so far is that government is evil except when proposed by anarcho-libertarians in the form of a “system” of “rules” that will be enforced by some mysterious, unnamed authority. We learned that you like anarchy in theory, but distance yourself from it in reality (“like I said, forget about anarchy”), which allows you to assume a phony air of superiority over everyone else. We learned that libertarians deal with the same problem that constitutionalists deal with – statists; except libertarians are to be excused for not being able to get around the statists while constitutionalists are to be vilified. We learned that it’s a terrible sin for a constitutionalist to vote for a candidate who doesn’t represent our views but who at least has a shot at beating the candidate we hate; but it’s okay for an anarchist to vote for a constitutionalist who has no chance at beating the candidates he hates. We learned that people want freedom from government and that it’s very simple to get there (just nobody hurt anybody else) but that we just haven’t evolved to that simple state yet. We learned that gov’t = communism, therefore “Unknown” is going to move to another ‘state’ with…………government! We learned that when libertarians stand for what they believe in despite being vastly outnumbered by people who disagree, this is great; but when polls show that people in other countries don’t like Americans, Americans are supposed to change. We learned that government and laws are bad unless it’s global government and international laws. We learn that libertarians never question what they are told as long as it’s posted on lewrockwall.com. Have I left anything out?

      Delete
    2. OK...so no renunciation of your logically-flawed positions.

      Thanks.

      And, again, I don't really see what point you're trying to make in this latest re-gurgiation of prior-stated fallacies.

      I'm not sure how my making the best decision UNDER PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES by moving to a freer, safer, political jurisdiction w/more economic opportunity in any way negates my principles/arguments. I'm taking INDIVIDUAL action, whereas you're taking COLLECTIVE non-action (voting). I'd suggest that I'm doing something far more PRACTICAL than you are (put a checkmark next to Romney's name) to advance liberty and my own self-interest.

      YOU, not ME, made the fallacious point about "the fatal flaw" of libertarianism/anarchy. I say its a flaw in the way society is currently blinded to reality. Therefore YOU, not I, are being inconsistent.

      I posted the bit about the USGovt. & Israel to, again, illustrate how inconsistent [neo]cons and [neo]libs are in how they perceive reality. If other govts. acted like the USGovt. and Israel, you'd denounce them. However, since you worship "your" govt.--and also Israel--you turn a blind eye. You hew to the Hitleresque notion of "national greatness", "American/USGovt. exceptionalism".

      As the insane statist/war-criminal Madelaine Albright asserted: "If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future." THAT IS YOU. THAT is the insanity YOU ascribe to.

      Oh, and just to provide a real-world example of how "rules can be enforced w/o rulers":

      Travon Martin and Zimmerman.

      Zimmerman enforced his right of self-defense and a societal prohibition against violent, deadly assault on the part of Martin.

      He did this despite not being a part of "the state". Z did not have taxing, legislative, or judicial "authority" over M and, yet, enforced his right and a societal rule. If anything, "the state" (the institution you IMAGINE exists for these purposes) more often than not DENIES individuals basic rights like self-defense via laws which prohibit INNOCENT PEACEFUL PEOPLE from carrying firearms to use as protection against VIOLENT PREDATORY PEOPLE.

      Really, it isn't rocket-science...

      Delete
  16. "National Security"

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJRTqOvCaAg&feature=c4-overview&list=UUFeK8ZdHbCqAq3gekWs8aEQ

    ReplyDelete
  17. I think this quote bears repeating for how clearly and succinctly it summarizes the ABSOLUTE INSANITY OF AMERICAN STATISTS (and statists in general):

    "If we have to use force, it is because we are America. We are the indispensable nation. We stand tall. We see further into the future."

    --Madeleine Albright

    What's REALLY funny is that this came from the big, bad Clinton admin. whom 'conservatives' hated so much...and, yet, 'conservatives' have the SAME INSANE WORLDVIEW...

    You people are nothing if not amusing...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Mr. CW...be proud...oh-so-proud of your American Statism:

    Here is Josie Harris reading a letter from a prisoner of Guantanamo Bay, along with a "visual aide" by Mos Def, doing a real-life demonstration of the force-feeding practices (and other TORTURE) that are being imposed, right now, on people who have never been charged with any crime.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SO8yv1d8HvI&feature=c4-overview&list=UUFeK8ZdHbCqAq3gekWs8aEQ

    ReplyDelete
  19. Before I leave, I just want to point out that CW accepts my 6 points (posted today at 9:38 AM) revealing the gross inconsistencies in his logic.

    Like anyone losing a debate, he attempted to deflect/evade by attacking me.

    It didn't work, so now let me summarize his ridiculous positions:

    1. Doesn't hold himself to the same standard he wants to hold me to.
    2. Thinks Ron Paul, Mitt Romney, and Barrack Obama are identical.
    3. He is a "limited-govt conservative, but supports the communist-friendly GOP.
    4. Is a realist who doesn't support realistic solutions.
    5. Believes the nation-state structure is eternal.
    6. Asserts the word "anarchy" does not mean what it LITERALLY MEANS.

    ReplyDelete
  20. Unknown: >>“OK...so no renunciation of your logically-flawed positions.”

    I’m happy to let any readers you find decide for themselves whose logic is flawed.

    Unknown:>>”I'm not sure how my making the best decision UNDER PRESENT CIRCUMSTANCES by moving to a freer, safer, political jurisdiction w/more economic opportunity in any way negates my principles/arguments.”

    Because you claim that government = statism = communism. It’s all the same, according to YOU. So why waste the effort moving? Moving is your acknowledgement that it’s not all the same.

    Unknown: >>”YOU, not ME, made the fallacious point about "the fatal flaw" of libertarianism/anarchy. I say its a flaw in the way society is currently blinded to reality. Therefore YOU, not I, are being inconsistent. “

    Which is it: libertarianism or anarchy? Libertarianism is – according to Lew Rockwall – a “system” of “rules,” which means it’s government. But according to you, all gov’t = statism = communism. So there’s your contradiction. There’ s no point in talking about anarchy or the absence of gov’t. It never exists long enough to matter.



    Unknown: >>”I posted the bit about the USGovt. & Israel to, again, illustrate how inconsistent [neo]cons and [neo]libs are in how they perceive reality. “

    Unfortunately for you it only highlighted your own inconsistencies and hypocrisies.


    Unknown: >>”THAT is the insanity YOU ascribe to.”

    If you say so. I know it’s very important for you to create this character you want to have a fight with. That’s why you tell me what my positions are rather than ask me.

    Unknown: >>”Oh, and just to provide a real-world example of how "rules can be enforced w/o rulers": Travon Martin and Zimmerman:”

    Yeah it’s a good thing the state didn’t involve itself in that case.

    I have a question for you: What if it turned out that Zimmerman had intentionally murdered Martin? How would we find this out and get justice for Martin? Who, under your “system,” decides whether someone is enforcing their own rights or depriving someone of theirs? Really, it isn't rocket-science...

    Unknown: >>”I think [Albright’s] quote bears repeating for how clearly and succinctly it summarizes the ABSOLUTE INSANITY OF AMERICAN STATISTS (and statists in general):”

    Albright doesn’t speak for me unless Bill Mahr speaks for you.

    Unknown: >>”Here is Josie Harris…:”

    Shall we follow your friend Paul Roberts’ lead and take a poll of Americans to see if they share your sympathy for the terrorists in camp Guantanamo? If they disagree, will you change your stand, as Paul implied Americans should do? I’m curious to see how much you really value Roberts’ wisdom.

    I find it hard to work up much sympathy for people who want to kill me. There are many other people far more deserving of my energies; but I agree with you, prisoners should not be force fed. Let them starve if they choose.

    Unknown: >>”Before I leave, I just want to point out that CW accepts my 6 points. …let me summarize his ridiculous positions:”

    If you were really confident in your case you would let my own words speak for themselves.

    ReplyDelete
  21. @ CW

    You really don't know how to debate or address points. Not uncommon for a statist who is out-of-touch w/reality.

    You're losing, so once again, you're attacking me.

    Again, thanks for the material.



    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Actually I do know how to debate but first I have to understand exactly what it is you stand for, and that’s a bit hard when you keep changing your positions in your desperate determination to “win.” If I challenge the meaning of anarchy, then you’re a libertarian. If I point out that libertarianism is a form of government, then you’re an anarchist. You want to make this all about me so you can criticize without exposing your own ideas to scrutiny, and even then it’s not my own positions you attack but all conservatism according to whatever definition is convenient to your argument. So it is you who doesn’t want to have a real debate.

      As for “attacking” you, I don’t think you know the meaning of that word. I have been called old, fat, ugly, stupid, murderous…... by people who claim to be debating, and those are some of the nicer things. If pointing out the flaws and contradictions in your arguments equates to an “attack” in your book then debating is not your game.

      Delete
  22. @ CW

    BTW, you trying to discuss libertarianism/anarchy w/me is like a 5/6 year old who's barely learned basic addition/subtraction wanting to discuss calculus w/a college math professor...

    Like I said, YOU need to forget about anarchy and figure out why your own self--a self-described "limited govt. constitutional conservative"--implicitly supports major planks of the Communist Manifesto.

    Chao!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Based on what I’ve seen so far your high opinion of yourself is completely undeserved.

    ReplyDelete
  24. @ CW

    Again, thanks for the material.

    There is a limit to how long I'll converse w/an insane person (or someone who refuses to engage in RATIONAL debate) and I've reached that limit w/you.

    Good day, sir.

    ReplyDelete
  25. I don't blame you for fleeing. Good luck in Chile or wherever.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Fleeing"...LOL...

      I'm no more "fleeing" from you than I'd "flee" from debating a Liberal Democrat who thinks Obamacare is the best HC option society can hope for and/or 'inevitable'.

      Thanks for the well-wishes (and not a bad guess for where I'm going)! Whenever I talk to an extreme authoritarian who worships the American state, I'm relieved to know I won't be stuck here for much longer. I have no problem admitting I'm fleeing from the USSA and its NAZI populace.

      Good luck to you living in a total surveillance state which takes 50%+ of your income in order to pay off an unpayable nat'l debt to fraudulent banksters and foreign govts...I'm sure you'll have a great time here in the "land of the free" when the economy/dollar collapses and some form of martial law is declared by Obama or Hillary (what do you THINK the DHS is buying all of those rounds of ammo and tanks for...why do you THINK the IRS is practicing w/AR-15s...why do you THINK local police have been quasi-federalized and heavily-militarized...why do you THINK the govt. is so intent on disarming you???)...maybe you'll have another wonderful major war (Iran, Russia, China--the USSA is trying hard, don't you worry!) to look forward to cheering for...keep waiting for Mitt Romney or your heroes in the military to come save you...as for me...

      Once I'm out of the USSA I couldn't care less WHEN (not if) it burns to the ground.

      You keep your eyes closed, now, and don't worry at all about the vultures circling overhead...remember, you're PRIVILEGED to live in the USSA!

      What a JOKE you [neo]cons are...







      Delete
  26. WOW!

    Unknown you kicked that old hag's azz!

    CW, girlfriend, stick to knitting Romney-McCain 2016 doilies...leave politics to the adults!

    ReplyDelete