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Just Reassure Me…

June 24th, 2009 · 23 Comments

…that this is self-evidently stupid enough that I don’t need to waste time commenting on it. I’d assume it was, but it’s getting linked enough that someone must have read it and not found it embarassing.

Tags: War



23 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Fin Fang Foom // Jun 24, 2009 at 6:50 pm


  • 2 ck // Jun 24, 2009 at 7:11 pm

    It’s stupid and you don’t need to waste time commenting on it. OTOH, the flag-painted horse is pretty funny.

  • 3 RickRussellTX // Jun 24, 2009 at 10:32 pm

    “Mr. Limbaugh, Mr. Romney, Mr. Huckabee. We’ve just received a telegraph from the Iranian democratic movement.”

    “TEHRAN 0600 GMT

  • 4 Gil // Jun 25, 2009 at 1:11 am

    It’s so stupid it didn’t deserve your link.

    I want my five minutes back!

  • 5 Eric Dondero // Jun 25, 2009 at 6:21 am

    I’ve never heard of you nor your blog. Obviously, you’re some leftwing punk who hates Libertarians. Fine.

    But next time try to learn a little bit more about our movement before you start attacking us.

    Pro-Defense is an entirely consistent view within the libertarian movement, and has been for decades starting with Goldwater, Rand and Friedman.

    You shouldn’t buy into the far leftwing media spin, that seeks to paint us libertarians as somehow non-interventionist, and in line with the Girlie Man view of surrender to fascism and terrorism.

    The Libertarian Defense Caucus and other Pro-Defense libertarians have been battling for decades with this misconception of the libertarian movement.

    Before you start slamming all libertarians, perhaps you should do a little research.

    Eric Donder, Publisher
    Libertarian Republican
    25+ Year Libertarian Political Activist

  • 6 Greg N. // Jun 25, 2009 at 7:39 am


    It’s too bad you missed Julian’s (and Dave Weigel’s) Reason piece on the Ron Paul newsletters from last year. You’re quoted!


    I’m surprised you missed the piece. It was pretty widely circulated among libertarians, and it won honorable mention at the L.A. Press Club Awards this year.

  • 7 Professor Coldheart // Jun 25, 2009 at 7:54 am

    “Obviously, you’re some leftwing punk who hates Libertarians. Fine.”

    Obviously. I mean, it’s just dripping off the masthead.

  • 8 Ross B. // Jun 25, 2009 at 9:11 am


    I don’t think Julian is attacking your movement. It seems considerably more likely that he has a problem with the particular post he linked to.

    He also doesn’t much fit the stereotype of leftwing punk, which you probably could have gathered with a cursory reading of some of his earlier posts.

  • 9 ck // Jun 25, 2009 at 10:33 am

    Ross B,

    Dondero is fully aware of who Julian is. His “I’ve never heard of you…” line is just his infantile way of saying “I’m bigger than you are!” He’s an incredibly childish person.

  • 10 the teeth // Jun 25, 2009 at 10:34 am

    I consider myself a schmibetarian, and I hold a view that most other schmibetarians disagree with. In fact, many schmibetarians have had the gall to avoid making public pronouncements on the issue altogether. It’s pretty clear that the schmibetarians have abandoned the schmibetarian movement, and the true schmibetarians are those who disagree with them. Pretty damn clear.

  • 11 Barry // Jun 25, 2009 at 11:14 am

    Well, there’s bit on the right-hand side of that blog, saying that they broke the Chrysler dealer story. That tells me a lot right there.

  • 12 Patrick // Jun 25, 2009 at 11:42 am

    “leftwing punk.”
    Paleo-libertarians… (shakes head).

    I think there is room out there to make a solid critique of the arguments put forth by say Wilkinson (The I am ignorant of Iran therefore I cannot make a moral claim), or the anti-neo-con attitude that just permeates their language and works. I think one could easily defend the claim that Wilkinson and other liberals, for example, cares more about not being seen as associating with Neo-Cons, then he does about activist and democracy movements.

    I think there’s a very serious critique in there, but Eric, you don’t make that critique or if you tried, you don’t do it convincingly enough. More importantly, I don’t think it’s worth winning points on this issue. Even if you’re right, it’s clear that the liberals and liberalitarians, the ‘left-wing punks’ you condemn, they mean well, and they think you mean well, and they’re trying really hard to not shove it in your face.

    I think there’s a golden-rule to be had here, imagine they are right and you are wrong, and that you’re really just hurting the people of Iran you claim to want to defend and that it really does look like you’re being malignantly narcissistic about your moral system. You don’t even care if you hurt the people you want to support, you just want to ‘feel righteous and just’.
    Imagine for a second that their claim is right, how would you go about disproving it? How would you know? What should you do? How do you want them to treat you? Do you think it’s right for them to say you don’t care about the people of Iran, when clearly, deep down, you really do? You would wish them to quietly and patiently take you aside and ask you to look at the bigger picture, to quietly point you away from your innocent harm.

    And if you’d like them to do that to you, how should you treat them. Because these libertarians and ‘left-wing punks’, and liberals you condemn they are paralyzed into inaction by their fear. Fear of doing more harm then good. Fear of supporting terrible men both here and abroad. Fear of being manipulated and used and their emotional investment just used for some greater evil they would never support. Most importantly, a fear that nothing they do really matters.
    These aren’t baseless fears. There is evidence to be found to support any of these assertions, if one chooses to look for it.

    But posts like yours, they don’t help. It’s like you’re yelling at them, “You’re just a bunch of cowards and apathetic losers who care more about your lives and identities then about goodness and righteousness.”
    You’re calling the coward a coward, a hypocrite a hypocrite. And? What forgiveness comes from that? What goodness? Have you never been without fear? Without hypocrisy? Have you never had to contend with these deep struggles and moral issues, to feel trapped between conflicting desires? How did it feel when others condemned you for your indecisiveness? Or, when after hours of deliberation and internal debate, you come to a conclusion, only to have a stranger say “Well you’re just a terrible person for thinking that.”
    This is a deep and hard issue that requires people to be courageous. A courage to either stand for what we believe in, OR to put aside our narcissism. You shouldn’t throw this hate and spite towards others because they choose to not wear their values on their sleeves.

    To put in the words of a famous philosopher, “When you pray, you are not to be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and on the street corners so that they may be seen by men. Truly I say to you, they have their reward in full.
    But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong at all about libertarians who pray for the Iranians in secret. It is not the action I would choose, but I understand it. I certainly wouldn’t go on their website and call him or her a left-wing punk, even if they called me stupid.

    And Julian? “Self-evidently stupid enough that I don’t need to waste time commenting on it”, is a terrible thing to call someone’s work.
    Libertarians have a very very strong tradition of standing for the things we believe in, even if it’s stupid. Everything from not paying taxes to trying to sneak into presidential debates, to living out in Idaho on our own farm making our own electricity and invent our own electronic currencies. We’re a party of activists. We’re the only ones who ever say things like “Lincoln was a terrible President” and “The civil war was unjustified”, or “Capitalism is an unknown ideal!” We’re willing to go out on a limb and say batshit insane things and stand for what we believe in. To defend assclowns, where no one else will defend them. It was the libertarians, not the republicans, who started the tea-party movement (that was later hijacked).

    We have a tradition of standing for freedom and democracy and human life in all other cases. Why not here?

    To put it in the words of Ayn Rand, “I will name only one principle, the opposite of the idea which is so prevalent today and which is responsible for the spread of evil in the world. That principle is: One must never fail to pronounce moral judgement.”

    This default-to-silence from libertarians was very odd and I can see why one might think it’s out of character. While I don’t think Eric made a very good argument, his points aren’t ‘self-evidently stupid’. Libertarians haven’t /actually/ been /that/ silent, but that’s not a self-evident claim, and it should be addressed. And I think the arguments put forth by say Wilkinson this past week are so extremely complex and intersect with the Libertarian philosophy on meta-ethical levels that it abstracts it in very hard ways.

    Answering the question of /WHY/ are the libertarians are contorting themselves, when a much easier stance can be made. In a way it looks like they’re bending over backwards to fight off self-imagined ghosts of neo-cons, when there is a much simpler and easier (and correct and satisfying) solution at hand.
    I think even if Eric’s post was unconvincing, the threads he’s pulling on need to be addressed. This is why I feel Wilkinson’s blog has improved since his initial posting. He has gone back and readdressed the criticism and explained better his position, which is, “I will not make a hollow-stance here because I *know* I am ignorant, it is unlikely that you are knowledgeable either.”
    Personally, I think he’s projecting his own ignorance, which is a common error, but his position makes more sense to me, and it is a more defensible position then his initial stance.

  • 13 Barry // Jun 25, 2009 at 2:19 pm

    “Obviously, you’re some leftwing punk who hates Libertarians. Fine.”

    Professor Coldheart: ” Obviously. I mean, it’s just dripping off the masthead.”

    Julian’s Deep, Dark Secret was probably blown by his link to the Church of Stalin; particularly when the lead item on the CoS’s website was “Today is ‘Kill a Libertarian for Stalin’ Day!”

  • 14 RickRussellTX // Jun 25, 2009 at 4:38 pm

    “This default-to-silence from libertarians was very odd and I can see why one might think it’s out of character.”

    I don’t think it’s odd at all. I would imagine that prominent Libertarians — like most people sensitive to international affairs and the unfortunate history of US involvement in Iran– realize that the democratic protesters in Iran have earned validity precisely *because they are not associated with the United States or US propaganda in any way*.

    The Iranian people have a deep and historically legitimate suspicion of US political motives. Obama and Ron Paul are carefully measuring their words and endorsing a non-interference stance not because they are afraid. They’re endorsing a non-interference stance because the slightest perception that the democratic protesters are acting at the behest of the United States would be an utter disaster, dooming the fledgling movement to failure.

    Memories in that part of the world run long. US interference gave the Iranian people 30 years of brutality under the Shah, then 30 more years of draconian Shia rule because that was the only way to get rid of the Shah and US control of Iran oil resources.

    The *last* thing the democratic protesters need is our support. They need our silence.

  • 15 Doug // Jun 25, 2009 at 7:21 pm

    Why wouldn’t a left-wing punk buy into left-wing media spin?

  • 16 Paul Wright // Jun 25, 2009 at 10:50 pm

    “self evidently stupid”

    I’m too stupid to see why. Julian, I depend upon you to explain why things I find reasonable are wrong. When you bail and say “I don’t have to explain this, I’m lost.

  • 17 Jennifer // Jun 26, 2009 at 3:39 pm

    Eric never heard of Julian Sanchez? Really? Since I am cataclysmically bored right now I did a quickie Google search of Reason.com pages containing the names of both people (I would’ve said “both men” but that would give Dondero a tad more credit than he deserves); among other things, I notice Julian Sanchez made a November 10, 2006 Hit and Run post titled “The Coming Libertarian Majority?” which Eric Dondero admired so much that three days later he posted a long comment starting with the phrase “Brilliant piece! I couldn’t agree more.”

  • 18 Timothy // Jun 26, 2009 at 4:08 pm


    It’s funny that you’re too stupid to realize that we know you’re lying about not knowing who Julian is. Then again, you couldn’t find your own ass in the dark with both hands and a flashlight. Silly Dondero. Blogs are for grownups.


  • 19 Jennifer // Jun 26, 2009 at 4:31 pm



    Dondero’s commentary on Sanchez’s post:

    Brillant piece! I couldn’t agree more. I’m afraid we libertarians are completely missing the message of this election.

    Two points: All Minimum Wage initiatives passed overwhelmingly, and a Socialist is now a US Senator from Vermont.

    How much else proof do we need. Americans seem to be sending us the message that they want more and bigger government.

    Even our conservative cousins seem to be misreading this election. They’re crying, “We need to become more Goldwaterite.”

    Great! I wish that were the case. But if we swing in that direction we may lose even bigger next time around.

    My suspicion is the exact opposite; We need to become more “Oprah Winfrey-ite” more compassion, more caring, more feminized, and yes, even more friendly towards government. It’s a hard pill to swallow. In fact, revolting for us of us who are rugged individualists, myself included.

    But our educational efforts for libertarianism have failed miserably. Americans reject us straight out.

    We need to change our appearance and message or face the possibility of extinction.

    Dondero definitely got the “more friendly toward government” part down pat. I do NOT want to know whether or not he got in touch with his feminine side. Maybe fucking Filipino hookers qualifies?

  • 20 Timothy // Jun 26, 2009 at 4:53 pm

    Jennifer – You think he actually fucked any of the hookers? By any reasonable accounting DONDEROOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! simply paid the money and spent the rest of the night sobbing.

  • 21 J sub D // Jun 26, 2009 at 5:13 pm

    Timothy, some of those bar girls in Olongapo get righteously angry if you don’t complete the deal.

    When the working day is done,
    They wanna have fu-un,
    Just wanna have fun….

    Or so I’ve heard.

  • 22 Shem // Jun 26, 2009 at 10:30 pm

    Why, in the year AD 2009, is anyone still reading what Eric Dondero says?

  • 23 Jennifer // Jun 28, 2009 at 1:51 pm

    Why do people slow down to view gory accidents on the highway, Shem? Humanity evolved a sick fascination with clusterfuckery, and Dondero’s got that to spare.