Currently viewing the tag: "libertarians"

I wrote of my adventures at the RNC, which included politely crashing Yianopoulos’ event over here at Playboy. Read that. Give them and me the clicks. However, considering that the professional troll has once again caused a university kerfuffle, I figure I’d post this to provide some helpful hints as to how unlibertarian this man is. My Playboy piece doesn’t include all.

Yes, much of the time college students seem to give him just what he wants, attention and horror. But that doesn’t make him worthwhile. Have you ever seen his writing? It’s juvenile, dull, makes Ann Coulter look like Christopher Hitchens, and it’s allegedly not even written by him. Yeah, he’s got a posh voice. Yeah, he can be perfectly polite in person, and was to me.

He still used to wonder if “Internet is Turning Us all Into Sociopaths” and then became one for attention. He actually turned off his sycophantic fans by taking a photo of someone overweight who was working out at the gym. And best of all, after being hosted by Young Americans for Liberty University of Wisconsin Milwaukee, he allegedly used a photo of a trans woman and named her and mocked her in front of an audience. Yeah, she might be a liberal, so no doubt libertarians disagree with some of her goals and expectations. But yeah, she had the audacity to want to use the locker room of her identity at her college. Yeah, she noted the contradiction in policing that— if you’re female-identified, are growing breasts, but still have a penis, where would they like you to change? Male locker room? Female? A broom closet? Far away from the scared, scared administrators?

You can say what you want, bring who you want to you college. yes I am glad the ACLU defended the right to march to Skokie. Yes, I am a worried about some college students’ respect for free speech. Booking a sociopathic bully, a professional troll, a man who speaks well enough to fool people into thinking he’s intelligent is not how you do that. Try harder. Expect more from people.

Or, you know, if he comes to your college, ignore him. Just ignore him. He loves the chaos of the event, and the hatred. It’s hard to know when to ignore, and when to challenge. If the person in question is a whore for attention, I lean towards ignoring. But it’s also good to know what he actually believes (well, nothing, but professes to believe).

In closing, here is my nine minute exchange with Yiannopoulos at his RNC party. I tried to neg him at the end about his accent, but he didn’t take the bait. He’s a completely disingenuous person who pulls off a sincere persona in person. He’s good. He’s not that good. I was three beers in.

*****

LS: I missed your remarks today, but can you talk about how you feel with Donald Trump as the official, not-presumptive nominee?

MY: Yes, it’s wonderful news. It’s wonderful news for gay people. He’s obviously the most pro-gay candidate in American electoral history.

LS: That’s a bold statement.

MY: Yeah, it is. But Hillary Clinton is funded by people who murder homosexuals. She has shown no indication whatsoever of stemming the tide of Islamic immigration, or stopping our mollycoddling, and pandering to Islam. These things are direct threats. Not just to culture, but to the lives of gay people in America. Donald Trump is the only person who has shown any indication — and not just out of the two of them, out of anybody who ran for president this year — that he is going to be tough enough to stop it. And his speech after Orlando, frankly, was magnificent. To be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t know he had a speech like that in him. He really nailed it. And that’s when he completely won me over.

LS: So when you say tough enough, what do you want him to do? Not get funding like Hillary Clinton, obviously, but what do you — ?

MY: Close the walls.

LS: Entirely?

MY: Yes.

LS: How’s that going to work practically? That’s going to take a lot of government work.

MY: You know what, the government does a lot of stuff that it shouldn’t do — the Department of Education, for instance. Most of the federal government could be shut down. I don’t think — TSA hasn’t worked for a very long time, nothing about immigration in this country — the whole Homeland Security system in this country is totally fucked. The best thing that could possibly happen is it’s swept away and replaced by something smarter, and better, and probably more expensive, and a lot tougher. And a points-based system like Australia has zero Islamic racial immigration

LS: Do you think the government is capable of pulling that off?
MY: I think it should try for the sake of women and gays, yeah.

LS: What do you think about —

MY: Unless you want this country to turn into Sweden, or Germany, where no woman can walk out on the street beyond 11 o’clock without the risk of being raped now. In Western European countries, that is a daily reality for women in Germany, a daily reality for women in Sweden, it isn’t for the women in America, yeah? College campuses in America — these hysterical centers of crazy conspiracy theories about rape culture — are the safest places for women to be anywhere in the world. Now, some of the most dangerous places for women to be in the world are modern, Western, rich European countries. Why? One reason. Islamic immigration — it’s got to stop.

LS: I mean, stopping entirely like Trump said?

MY: Yes. I wish he hadn’t rolled back from it, I want him to do it. I want him to do it completely.

LS: Foreign policy-wise, what would you like to see happen?

MY: As little as possible. America has spent too long interfering oversees in too many other people’s wars, and too much other stuff. America’s got to look after America again. That means taking a realistic appraisal of who is actually at risk in this country, not whining feminists, or whinging Black Lives Matter activists, but gay people and women at risk from Islam. Also, so people in this country who have been treated badly, lied to and lied about. An honest appraisal of  who actually needs government attention in this country. And when all of that is done, then we can think about interfering elsewhere again.

LS: What about the fact that the Orlando shooter, a couple of the recent guys, have been American citizens? How do you resolve that, and how do you think Trump is going to resolve that?

MY: This is the other thing about Trump that’s great, the total anti-political correctness, it’s political correctness that killed in Sandy Hook, it is political correctness that killed in Orlando. People knew that these people were —

LS: What do you mean by Sandy Hook?

MY: People knew there was something wrong with this guy, and they didn’t report him. They said afterwards they didn’t report him for fear of being seen as racist or Islamophobic. People knew there was something wrong with this guy, and they didn’t say anything.

LS: Well, Sandy Hook the guy was kind of mentally ill, I think, but hadn’t done anything yet. That’s kind of a big civil liberties problem.

MY: Well, people said about him who hadn’t reported him said that the reason they didn’t was they didn’t want to be accused of Islamophobia and racism. That’s why they didn’t report him. They said that that themselves. The same thing with —

LS: San Bernardino. Sorry, you said Sandy Hook, so —

MY: Sorry, it’s been a long day, I apologize. Yeah.

LS: In terms of economics and trade, do you like Trump? You can argue that Clinton is actually more about free trade than Trump. He’s a bit more protectionist in some ways.

MY: Yes, but racial, globalist free markets hasn’t worked for everybody in America — hasn’t worked for at least the white working, or lower middle class in America don’t perceive that it has worked very well for them. It hasn’t served everybody, and a bit of protectionism — for many American voters — seems like quite an attractive thing. That’s not for me to decide, that’s for the voters to decide and many of them are saying, this slavish adherence to the cult of the free market that the Republican party has followed for decades isn’t what we want anymore. That’s not a question for me, that’s up to them. The voters seem to be voting with Trump.

LS: You like that, obviously, you’re —

MY: Yes, because I see it as wrapped up in the preservation of Western culture. And Western culture is what keeps women and gays safe, Western culture is what gave us Mozart, and Da Vinci, and Wagner, and Beethoven. Western culture is what is at risk from immigration from the Middle East.

LS: Doesn’t Western culture have a cosmopolitan, melting pot thing? If you get too isolationist, mightn’t you lose Western culture a bit?

MY: Well, the majority of Western culture came out of Europe, which is not comparable to America. It came out of nation states based on geographical and ethnic foundations. America is based on principles, a very different kind of country….The bottom line is Europe has an incredibly long, bloody history based on an excess of nationalism which has also created a lot of amazing art. The issue is that America also imported a lot of that wholesale, dropped it onto this other big continent over the sea, and that’s worked really well so far, but my view is that a little breather is necessary to make sure that — because Europe is about to fall, Sweden is going, Germany is going, France is going, America is going to be the preserver of that inheritance. And for that to happen, America’s got to take a break from foreign wars, and take a break from immigration.

LS: But again, what do you do with the Muslims who are already here — perhaps even citizens?

MY: If they’re citizens on terror watchlists, and there’s reason to suspect they might commit terrorists acts, they should be locked up or deported.

LS: But the watchlist and the no-fly list, the Democrats want to use that to ban guns and such, they don’t have due process.

MY: Yeah. My answer is lacking in subtlety, because I think the response has to be lacking in subtlety. There is a gigantic problem that an entirely new branch of government needs to be invented to fix. And I don’t know whether Trump’s the guy to do it, but he’s the closest of the field.

LS: What did you think about the rest of the convention besides Trump?

MY: Dull.

LS: Dull?

MY: Very dull.  Low energy. The fun things are the things I’m at, like this.

LS: How would you describe your politics? I know you’ve used different words over the years.

MY: In some degrees, libertarian. I’m socially conservative in some things. I don’t know a label that fits, honestly.

LS: In person you seem incredibly sincere. Obviously on twitter you seem to be a bit trolly.

MY: No, I like whimsy and satire, and that’s what Americans like so much about Brits. We bring subtlety and sense of humor that you sometimes lack. We have a very long history of importing Brits like Christopher Hitchens who are better at it than Americans are.

[drunk rando]: You know John Cleese.

MY: No, but the point is there’s something whimsical, satirical, and silly about British humor, which Americans have always enjoyed, and lots of us come over here because we have an audience of people who enjoy it.

LS: Do you have lots of American fans because your accent sounds so fancy?

MY: No, I’m losing it! Honestly, I spend three weeks here and I go Mid Atlantic. I sound like Madonna in 2008. Honestly, I don’t think it’s anything to do with it.

A libertarian panel show hosted by Lucy Steigerwald, where ranting is encouraged, and smashing the state is mandatory.

This time around, we chatted about ebola, Rand Paul vs. Ron Paul, Ayn Rand, war, space aliens, and other vital libertarian topics. We did not chat about how my sopping wet hair made me look like a drowned rat, but we DID discuss the amazingness of my new t-shirt. We also talked about Bloom after he left, and made fun of him for having a blog url that nobody can say.

 Host: -Lucy Steigerwald: Columnist for VICE.com, Antiwar.com, Rare.us, and Editor in Chief of The Stag Blog; @lucystag

-Joe Steigerwald: Publisher for The Stag Blog, technical dude; guy in a band at www.actofpardon.com; @steigerwaldino

-Jordan Bloom: Opinions editor for the Daily Caller, previously at the American Conservative, blogs at The Mitrailleuse; @j_arthur_bloom

-Michelle Montalvo: Not an intern, sci-fi enthusiast, laconic individual; @michellemntlv

-Todd Seavey: New York human, libertarian writer and ghostwriter; blogs at ToddSeavey.com@toddseavey

Libertarians, those paranoid weirdos! Why do they believe that the government is out to get them? Well, it is, but libertarians are not thoughtless conspiracy theorists — we’re thoughtful ones! We know power is bad, and the state is the most powerful thing there is, so it is probably up to something. Join a delightful panel for a very special episodes of Politics for People Who Hate Politics, during which seven libertarians explore conspiracy theories, advocate for skepticism, but then get very distracted by how much they enjoy the stories for their sake.

Host: Lucy Steigerwald: Columnist for VICE.com, Antiwar.com, Rare.us, and Editor in Chief of The Stag Blog; @lucystag

-Jesse Walker: Books editor for Reason magazine and Reason.com, author of Rebels on the Air: An Alternative History of Radio in America and The United States of Paranoia: A Conspiracy Theory; @notjessewalker

-Dan Bier: executive editor at the Skeptical Libertarian; @skepticaldan

-Franklin Harris: assistant metro editor for the Decatur Daily; @FranklinH3000

-Seth Wilson: blogger at cultwestern.com; @TheJackalopeTX

-Zach Fountain: songwriter, blogger at rushmorebeekeepers.com; @rbeekeepers

-Joe Steigerwald: Publisher for The Stag Blog, technical dude; @steigerwaldino

Further reading/listening/watching:

The United States of Paranoia by Jesse Walker

“The Greatest Fake Religion of All Time” by Jesse Walker

“In Defense of Paranoia” by Lucy Steigerwald

“The Alien” song by Zach Fountain

A libertarian panel hosted by Lucy Steigerwald, where ranting is encouraged, and smashing the state is mandatory.

-Lucy Steigerwald: Columnist for VICE.com, Antiwar.com, Rare.us, and Editor in Chief of The Stag Blog; @lucystag

-Joe Steigerwald: Publisher for The Stag Blog, technical dude; @steigerwaldino

-Michelle Montalvo: Perpetual intern, sci-fi enthusiast; @michelle7291

-Cory Massimino: Student, writer for DL Magazine, Students for Liberty Blog, Center for a Stateless Society; @CoryMassimino

-David Lowenthal: blogger for The Forgotten Beard; @davidlowenthal1

Our cranky, liberty-loving panel discussed the Supreme Court ruling on cell phone warrants, the state of the Fourth Amendment, immigration and the border, and Gary Oldman, political correctness and libertarian celebrities. Takeaway question: does Pat Buchanan got to Mexican restaurants?

1024px-1537_Braunschweiger_Monogrammist_Bordellszene_anagoriaWhen I was 12 or 13 years old, my mother mentioned that maybe weed wasn’t so bad, and police weren’t so good. Being homeschooled by libertarians has that benefit — the lessons are subtle and everyday, and occasionally they are explicit and in the moment, quite shocking.

Since that day, I’ve written and thought a great deal about the insanity of the war on drugs and the dangerous state of American policing. But, I haven’t written as much as I should about another harmful prohibition on a natural human action — one that also leads to outrageous laws, immoral punishments, and Puritanical shaming  — sex work. When Maggie McNeill prodded me into writing a piece for her Friday the 13 support for sex workers tradition, I was again reminded that I have not done my job in covering the issue. So, though I have a little post here, my real message for today is, I will do better on this. Because it is the same issue that makes me rant 1000 times a day, to my parents, boyfriend, friends, and literally anyone else who will listen. And the same innocent people are being punished.

Drug use is easy (at least for libertarians) to defend. Depriving people of medical marijuana or prescription drugs or punishing people for their choice of relaxant — it’s seems so simple and wrong to me after almost 15 years of thinking about it. I’ve been around people smoking weed, and nothing dire happened. I can see the smallness behind the prohibition of this supposedly great social ill and that yeah, Reefer Madness is a campy movie, not a policy guidebook.

Drugs are more familiar to me (in a manner of speaking), and they can be enjoyed without any kind of ruin to health or morals. But so too can selling (or buying!) sex. Drug use is a failing and a crime, so says the right; and to the left it is a health outrage to be paternalistically — but still forcibly — remedied with drug courts and mandatory rehab.

Sex work is the same. A fallen woman or a dirty whore in the right’s eyes might be to the left a a trafficked victim, perhaps one suffering from false consciousness if she declares she choose this particular carer.

I don’t often feel comfortable wielding such a lefty, workers of the world, etc.! word as “solidarity”, but when I think of the people who “don’t count” by the standards of society and law, I feel an urge to help them. Not because I know the first thing about how they lives should go, but simply because I know that the laws that oppress them, the cops that harass them, and the rest of us who tolerate or excuse it are all in the wrong.

Chatting with Maggie McNeill and once visiting a strip club are about the extent of my personal knowledge of the world of sex workers. I don’t see the appeal of stripping, whoring, escorting, or any of that for myself. I don’t disapprove of any of it, to be sure, but even if I did, I could — and should — write this same post, knowing that my personal feelings about selling sex shouldn’t mean a damn thing to anyone.

They certainly shouldn’t mean anything when deciding national, state, or local policies. The bedroom is the bedroom, whether money changes hands or not. And pro-woman, pro-sexual freedom liberals and small government conservatives should put their money where their mouth is and realize that laws against prostitution violate all manner of their professed principles. But libertarians, too, must take more notice of this, regardless of personal feelings about the work itself.

That’s the thing — the war on drugs, the war on the homeless, the war on immigrants, the panic over gun owners, religious weirdos, right-wing and left wing activists, all of this has lead to an out of control police force, and prisons spilling over with 2 million people. All of this is excused with, well, it’s not me getting my door kicked in at 4 am over weed, it’s not me schizophrenic and afraid of the police, it’s not me who wants to homeschool my kids in Idaho while owning a few guns, it’s not me being sprayed at protests, it’s not me photographed and held for hours at my work for a compliance check performed by armed police officers, so what does it matter?

Sex workers are judged, screwed over, and oppressed. The state and the busy-bodies have decided they — like so many other eccentrics or “immoral” actors — don’t get the same rights and protections good, upstanding citizens do. Their choices are wrong. Not just wrong, but against the law. And the law is the law, as the meaningless, malevolent tautology goes. Once that is declared true, all else so painfully familiar — jailing, “saving,” shaming, and ignoring people when they do need help — follows.

Check out my podcast with Reason TV’s Jim Epstein! I asked him about the sharing economy, education policy, cities, and why he’s a filthy, filthy minarchist. (Not so much that last one.)

Also go look at Epstein’s awesome Reason works, particularly his sharing economy article and videos.

Also! Here is kind of fuzzy video of the interview.

It’s in two parts because my Chromebook crashed!

(And then I bought a new laptop.)