It’s rare that my readers send me something that makes me laugh out loud, but this post did. I’ll give you a bit of background first, though. Lacking the science to back up their dangerous pseudoscience, antivaccine warriors tend to resort very early to ad hominem attacks. Apparently they figure that if they can discredit the messenger who promotes the message that vaccines are safe and effective (and don’t cause autism). One of their favorite techniques to accomplish this is something for which I originally coined a phrase way back in 2005: The Pharma Shill Gambit. You see it whenever someone like Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. calls, for example, Paul Offit a “biostitute.” You see it whenever antivaccinationists claim that defenders of science are hopelessly biased because they are completely in the thrall of big pharma, carrying it to ridiculous extremes, as Jake Crosby often does. Indeed, one time three years ago, egged on by The Young Master Crosby, a bunch of antivaccinationists tried to get me fired from my job because—get this—my university had accepted a grant from Sanofi-Aventis to do research completely unrelated to what I do. However, since one of the drugs I study in my lab is manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis, naturally Jake saw a quid pro quo and an undisclosed conflict of interest. It would have been hilarious if it hadn’t briefly caused me such agita. Fortunately, my university administration immediately recognized the charges for the nonsense they were, and my dean was so supportive that she asked me if I felt physically threatened by Jake’s minions. I didn’t, but maybe I should have.

Be that as it may, this is the background that will allow you to understand why I found the comments sent to me by some of my readers so hilarious. There’s one more thing that might help explain things. Yesterday, I wrote about the Canary Party, an antivaccine political party that was recently endorsed by that Internet Crank To Rule All Internet Cranks (well most Internet Cranks, anyway), Mike Adams of NaturalNews.com. Most recently, the Canary Party released a video narrated by the latest celebrity antivaccine crank du jour, Rob Schneider, that was chock full of lies and misinformation about the Vaccine Injury Compensation Program (VICP). Consistent with the embrace of Tea Party politics by the Canary Party, Ginger Taylor somehow managed to get a post about Schneider’s video published over at The Daily Paul entitled Comic Rob Schneider Explains That Americans Have No Right to Sue for Vaccine Injury pimping that very same misinformation-laden video. That’s not the hilarious part. Ms. Taylor’s post is simply a regurgitation of the same old lies claiming that the Vaccine Court is somehow an affront to justice. No, the hilarity comes in the comments, where one reader referenced my deconstruction of the dishonest Canary Party video (but I repeat myself). Ginger was not pleased at this. Not pleased at all:

Orac is a drug developer for vaccine maker Sanofi. And he hid that for more than five years while writing about vaccines and autism. While developing a drug for them with applications for autism. Until an expose uncovered his failure to disclose his very serious conflict of interest.

So yep… absolutely… he is a compromised source. Also a cancer surgeon, not an immunologist, neurologist, or autism specialist.

No, Ms. Taylor. I am not a drug developer for Sanofi-Aventis. I don’t receive any funding from Sanofi-Aventis. I don’t exactly do drug development, either. Rather, I use an existing drug that happens to be manufactured by Sanofi-Aventis to probe the molecular mechanism of glutamate signaling in breast cancer cells and find better ways to target certain glutamate receptors. Nor do I have a “very serious conflict of interest.” While it’s true that I am not an immunologist, neurologist, or autism specialist, I do know scientific methodology. Besides, Ms. Taylor is also neither an immunologist, neurologist, nor autism specialist. She has a masters degree in clinical counseling, which is not even a degree that would make one qualified to judge basic research; yet she thinks nothing of spouting off about vaccines and autism as though she were an expert on par with Paul Offit. Compared to Ms. Taylor, quite frankly, I am an expert.

But Ms. Taylor’s little broadside wasn’t the best thing about this post. Oh, no. The best thing about this post was that another commenter by the ‘nym of Delysid quite calmly and efficiently handed her head to her with a rebuttal so scathing that Ms. Taylor apparently couldn’t allow it to stand, as the comment is no longer there. However, my readers, ever watching my back, sent me a screenshot that I transcribed:

Based on the work I have read by you, you are extremely dishonest and manipulative with your arguments. I don’t give a damn if you are a fellow Ron Paul supporting freedom fighter or an “autism mother,” you are spreading false information relentlessly and irresponsibly, and I will not be silent about it.

The only way that Orac (who I have never met) is even remotely a conflict of interest is if the fantasy that vaccines cause autism is true. This isn’t true, and it makes your accusation ridiculous.

I’ve been doing some research on digital scanners and implatns. If you made the false accusation that “digital scanners and implants cause tooth decay,” and I blogged that this is nonsense, am I suddenly at conflict of interest? HELL NO.

Science is apolitical. You are trying to politicize science and you are manipulating others using dipshit celebrities to spread your propaganda.

That one’s going to leave a mark.

Ms. Taylor did, however, apparently reply:

Do you believe that the government should be able to pass a law removing the rights of Americans for redress of grievances?

Under any circumstances?

Even in the death or massive disabling of their child?

If so, how do you exactly belong on the Daily Paul?

Poor Ginger. So arrogantly self-righteous. So clueless. It’s a highly toxic combination, even more toxic than all the fantastical “toxins” Ms. Taylor believes to be in vaccines, and as Ms. Taylor believes those toxins to be, her arrogantly sarcastic self-righteousness is deadly threat to any neuron that is exposed to it. However, she can be quite amusing, albeit unintentionally. All she did was to give Delysid another opportunity to demolish her again:

It says here that not only have people been compensated for injury by vaccines, but the average payout is $824,462.

http://www.answers.com/topic/childhood-vaccine-injury-act

Orac claims that you are furious that the government and every other governming body declared that vaccines do not cause autism.

I think this is a fair assesment of the situation. You are determined to prove that vaccines caused autism in your child. Is this it?

You are making one dishonest claim after another. Fortunately for you people love a liar as long as they are cheering on the things they like.

Yes, it looks to me as though Delysid has Ms. Taylor’s number. The only thing he missed is her nauseating condescension and unearned sense of self-righteousness. Truly, Ms. Taylor is the living embodiment of the Dunning-Kruger effect and the arrogance of ignorance. Really, she should quit while she’s not too far behind, but you and I both know that she won’t. At least it will be entertaining. Poor Ms. Taylor, MS.

Comments

  1. #1 Delysid
    October 25, 2013

    @ORD

    There is more than one side of the story. I see you have chosen the side of the heroic government saving us because the greedy capitalists wouldn’t act like tree-hugging hippies, but the government was the most powerful defender of TEL for decades. It seems to me that government propaganda prolonged the inevitable decline of TEL. It’s the same situation with smoking. Progressives love to point out the dangers of smoking and how Big Tobacco lied, but the Surgeon General of the US defended it for decades. THE GOVERNMENT LIED.

    Also, there are environmental downsides to catalytic convertors (the main reason for removing tetraethyllead from gasoline). Again, there is more than one side to the situation.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Catalytic_converter#Negative_aspects

  2. #2 Gray Falcon
    October 25, 2013

    Delysid, don’t make claims without providing evidence from reliable sources. You have given us absolutely no reason to trust you or your sanity. The only claim you make in #1201 that has a source only shows that a catalytic converter can cause problems, but not nearly as severe as the ones they are meant to prevent.

  3. #3 JGC
    No, I'm not confused about teh meaning of the word 'rational'
    October 25, 2013

    You are confused about what is “rational.” Please tell me, how government work to ensure the “well-being of all members.”

    Numerous ways: by regulating commerce, by regulating the food and drug industries, by setting standards and licensing technical occupations, by regulating the creation, use and disposal of hazardous wastes, by levying taxes to underwrite the costs of regulatory bodies as well as providing funds to maintain the military, state and federal police agencies, emergencey responders (fire and medical), child protection agencies, OSHA, to underwrite SNAP programs, etc. Society as a whole benefits from all of the above.

    My idea of of the greater good is inevitably different from yours, or from Orac’s.

    From your posts it seems less that you have a different idea of the greater good than you don’t believe your personal behavior should be constrained in the interests of serving the greater good, or you should be required to contribute fnancially to provide for the greater good.

    So I drag Orac, who has had a good long life according me, and we kill him and harvest his organs, saving 3 lives in the process.

    Nice strawman–build it all yourself? Surely you’re not going to suggest that this is valid analogy which describes the operation of every government system either extant or possible. China, as you note, is an outlier, and is roundly condemned for acting unethically.

    But let’s consider your analogy as it would apply to your preferred unregulated free market society. In our current system, there are multiple state and federal regulations which would oppose this practice. In your unregulated, government-free, police-free, free market soceity what exactly would oppose individuals forming companies which hired thugs to abduct, physicians (who were not subject to constraint by licensing boards) to sacrifice individuals and harvesting their organs, and factors to sell those organs for whatever price they could command in a market without regulation or prohibition?

    Is it ethical for Delysid, the benevolent dictator voted in democratically, to forcefully confiscate other property, say a car or his bank savings, in order to give it to ORD, Gray Falcon, and JBC in for their well-being to help the greater good?

    In your imaginary would of benevolent dicatorship there may be no restraint on what president for life Delysid could do, but in the real world that isn’t the case. In some circumstances it might be ethical to compel the forfiture of a car or garnishment of wages–for example to return the car to a lienholder in the event of default on an auto loan, or garnishing wages if one owes mandated child support.

    Why in America is it considered ethical to take his money by force for redistribution but not his tissue.

    You keep referring to ‘taking money by force’—I’m not aware that the government is in the practice of mugging citizens on the street and taking their money. If by ‘take money by force” you are referring to the collection of tax revenues, in accordance with law, to underwrite state and federal policies established by the authorities they freely elected, then the answer is yes. After all, they accrue real material benefit from those policies.

    I’ll also note that it’s inappropriate to describe taxation as taking money by force by your own expressed libertarian standard: taxpayers aren’t being forced but are in voluntarily agreement to be subject to taxation. After all, as you’ve stated previously if someone doesn’t want to pay taxes he’s free to go elsewhere where he won’t be taxed, just as in your example an employee working for less than minimum wage in unsafe conditions is free to ‘go elsewhere’ to find employment.

    Same reason one can own a car but not a slave: you’re trying to suggest an equivalence btween two fundamentally different entities. You are rather than possess your body: you possess rather than are your money. Money is fungible, individuals and their tissues are not.

  4. #4 Lawrence
    October 25, 2013

    @JGC – as you pointed out, Delsyid is free to immigrate, if he hates the government so much to any of those other “libertarian” paradises that exist all over the globe, showing us how our “love” of the government is backwards & inept, right?

    I mean, I’m sure, if this theory is so fantastically self-evident, then there must be plenty of places around the world, both current and past, where we can point to where this has been tried and proven to be an outstanding success, right?

    I’m sure that Delsyid will have no trouble providing those examples to us for review, correct?

    Well, we’re waiting…….

  5. #5 Delysid
    October 25, 2013

    @Gray Falcon

    Do you mean “reliable” sources like hysterical anti-corporation left-wing propaganda? Literature about the history of TEL is overwhelming pro-government centered. This is a major problem of revisionist history. Finding criticism of the government’s role in negative public health affairs is practically impossible.

    Why do you think the government allowed the major oil corporations to use TEL as the anti-knocking agent until the 1960’s despite knowing the health hazards in the 1920’s?

    Here is a conspiracy theory for you. The American military war machines are powered by oil and benefited greatly by TEL as an anti-knocking agent.

    Of course if you read left-wing historical interpretations it is always the same story- Big Bad Evil Corporations profiting off of poison until the hero Federal government saved us all.

    I don’t have a source I will link to. I gathered the information from reading a few left-wing propaganda pieces and filtering out the blatant confirmation bias.

    Are the Big Oil corporations innocent? Of course not. But the government is every bit as guilty. Banning TEL was just them covering their own asses decades later when alternative anti-knocking agents could be used to power the war machine.

  6. #6 Gray Falcon
    October 25, 2013

    Delysid may try to claim that he does support having a public police force, but his post on #776 proves he isn’t very consistent about his beliefs:
    When should you shoot a cop? “That question, even without an answer, makes most law-abiding tax payers go into major conniptions.”

  7. #7 Gray Falcon
    October 25, 2013

    Sorry, that last part was a quote from him. Regardless, he seems to change his position whenever he feels like it, and tries to convince us, despite the fact that we can read the rest of the thread, that he always held that belief.

  8. #8 Gray Falcon
    October 25, 2013

    Finally, there’s Delysid’s rant at #1205. Several paragraphs of accusations, not one jot or tittle of evidence. Does he seriously think we believe him, especially since he can’t see the difference between fighting a city-wide fire and wiping oneself? I guess it can’t be helped that reality has a left-wing bias.

  9. #9 incitatus
    October 25, 2013

    #1204 Lawrence…do you mean emigrate?

  10. #10 Narad
    October 25, 2013

    How can that possibly be true? What does “well-being” mean? Who is defining this? Is well-being the same for every single person? You are the one being irrational.

    A hilariously ironic statement in the face of this intoning of occultist wisdom:

    Government is not burdened with the need to offer quality service, outdo competitors, or profit…. Private businesses are forced to offer constant quality or they are bested in the market.

    How can that possibly be true? What do “quality” and “bested” mean? Who is defining this?

    Emergent, universal absolutes are just fine in D.’s cosmology so long as he recognizes them as part of the cast of his preferred, spooky Ring Cycle, definitions most certainly not required (cf. “value”).

    (Leaving aside, of course, the fact that the core platitude is patently false, as a cursory examination of, say, the long-standing and deplorable retail, dining, and entertainment landscape in the very neighborhood of the Chicago School, the patrons of which have finally decided to go comically whole-hog with in the central planning department. Again.)

  11. #11 JGC
    October 25, 2013

    “Examples? Examples? We don’ need no steenking examples!”

  12. #12 Lawrence
    October 25, 2013

    @JGC – all Delsyid has done is pointed out the areas in which government has a “less than stellar” track record” as proof that his “ideal” would be better…….we’ve heard that story before – where quacks will point to failures in medicine as a means of “proving” that their way is better….again, without offering even a shred of proof that it would be the case.

  13. #13 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    October 25, 2013

    I don’t have a source I will link to. I gathered the information from reading a few left-wing propaganda pieces and filtering out the blatant confirmation bias.

    Translation: I ignored everything that I didn’t like and came to my own made up conclusions that agreed with my a priori opinions.

  14. #14 Delysid
    October 25, 2013

    Here’s a fun fact about government and cigarettes- military servicemen (including conscripts) were given millions of them as part of their rations from WWI until the Vietnam War.

    http://archive.lewrockwell.com/kirkwood/kirkwood39.html

    The Federal government didn’t publish the Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the United States until 1964, nearly 50 years after causal links between lung cancer and smoking starting becoming apparent. Nearly half of the US population thought that smoking caused cancer by the 1950’s.

    Now of course left-wing propaganda portrays government as the savior. Time magazine and other left-wing muckraking rags remind us of the Camel and Marlboro turn of the century tobacco advertisements, but fail to acknowledge the government’s role in tobacco use proliferation.

    Left-wing revisionist history is maniacal and relentless. It whitewashes anything that opposes left-wing agendas. Google searches are so one-sided for left-wing propaganda it is comical.

    No wonder so many people are enamored by the State.

  15. #15 Gray Falcon
    October 25, 2013

    Isn’t Lew Rockwell a creationist?

  16. #16 Gray Falcon
    October 25, 2013

    I should also note that Lew Rockwell his numerous links to articles by Sam Francis, a notorious white supremacist. Perhaps the reason Delysid keeps seeing people play the “racism card” is because he hangs out with racists:
    http://tomgpalmer.com/2005/01/21/racism-and-bigotry-delivered-courtesy-of-lew-rockwell/

  17. #17 Krebiozen
    October 25, 2013

    Delysid,

    Progressives love to point out the dangers of smoking and how Big Tobacco lied, but the Surgeon General of the US defended it for decades. THE GOVERNMENT LIED.

    The British Doctor’s Study strongly suggested a link between tobacco smoking and lung cancer in 1956. In 1964 the US Surgeon General reported (slow-loading PDF) that tobacco causes lung cancer and is a main contributor to bronchitis stating, “Cigarette smoking is a health hazard of sufficient importance in the United States to warrant appropriate remedial action” When were the decades that the Surgeon General defended it, knowing it was dangerous?

    catalytic convertors (the main reason for removing tetraethyllead from gasoline).

    Seriously? You really believe that this was why leaded gas was phased out, nothing to do with lead toxicity? Where do you get all this laughable misinformation from?

  18. #18 Gray Falcon
    October 25, 2013

    Yeah, I know this seems like a “guilt by association” fallacy, but many of Delysid’s sources have close ties to white supremacist organizations, and Delysid himself has been in favor of allowing discriminatory hiring practices. One wonders whose liberty these “libertarians” are really fighting for.

  19. #19 lilady
    October 25, 2013

    “Isn’t Lew Rockwell a creationist?”

    …and a homophobic HIV denialist, a racist and a host of other “qualities” that the “soon-to-be-a-doctor/dental student/anarchist” reveres.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lew_Rockwell

    What about D’s 92-year-old grandmother, who has been the beneficiary of Medicare for at least 27 years. Does his aging grandma know how he posts filth at women on the internet?

  20. #20 Delysid
    October 25, 2013

    @lilady & Gray Falcon

    STOP POISONING THE WELL.

    Just because a person is wrong about X does not make him wrong about Y. Kary Mullis believes in aliens visiting Earth and astrology, does this make him wrong about PCR?

    God dammit stop with these terrible arguments. Orac pisses me off about some of his political views but I defend him without restraint when it comes to quackery. It’s the same thing with Ron Paul. Or literally anyone who is right about something. Occasionally I even agree with Mike Adams (not that often).

  21. #21 Krebiozen
    In a land without a spellchecker
    October 25, 2013

    Delysid,

    The Federal government didn’t publish the Smoking and Health: Report of the Advisory Committee to the Surgeon General of the United States until 1964, nearly 50 years after causal links between lung cancer and smoking starting becoming apparent.

    The history of tobacco is an interest of mine and has been for quite some time. I know about the Nazi research, of course, and how it was ignored, for obvious reasons. Where were the causal links between lung cancer and smoking “becoming apparent” before this? Apparent to whom? There’s nothing on PubMed earlier than 1946, and early reports were case studies and speculation, not solid evidence.

    Nearly half of the US population thought that smoking caused cancer by the 1950′s.

    Really? Evidence? Why would they have believed this? In 1950 in the US, Wynder and Graham published a study titled ‘Tobacco smoking as a possible etiologic factor in bronchiogenic carcinoma; a study of 684 proved cases’, which hardly suggests that the science was settled. A study in the BMJ the same year was similarly tentative in its conclusions, and pointed out that the apparent increase in lung cancer might not be a real increase, but could be due instead to improved diagnosis. These were all retrospective studies, strongly suggestive of a link, but with all the weaknesses this implies. It wasn’t until the prospective 1956 British Doctor’s Study was published that the evidence began to look more than suggestive.

    With the benefit of hindsight it’s easy to criticize various governments for dragging their feet about tobacco. I tend to think that the influence of Big Tobacco in this has been somewhat overblown. I can understand governments not wanting to do anything to reduce a significant source of tax revenues unless they are very sure of what they are doing. I can also understand companies trying to protect their profits, and interpreting any research in the best possible light.

    It’s hard to see how the tobacco story would have panned out any better in a libertarian society in which, if I understand you correctly, even heroin, cocaine and methamphetamine would be freely available.

  22. #22 Krebiozen
    October 25, 2013

    Sigh. I read and reread that comment at least three times and still borked the links. Take 2:
    In 1950 in the US Wynder and Graham published a study titled ‘Tobacco smoking as a possible etiologic factor in bronchiogenic carcinoma; a study of 684 proved cases’, hardly suggesting that the science was settled. A study in the BMJ the same year

  23. #23 AdamG
    October 25, 2013

    Three gems from other articles by R. Cort Kirkwood, the source of Delysid’s fun ‘facts.’ This is purely for amusement, not well-poisoning…Kreb has already demonstrated how this loony’s smoking history claims are demonstrably false.

    On human-chimp divergence:

    The latest claim that chimpanzees are closer to humans than other primates will undoubtedly warm the hearts of evolutionists everywhere. But they shouldn’t start swinging from the trees for joy just yet. It doesn’t mean much, for other animals also share the same genes as Homo Sapiens. In short, it isn’t as if we’ve learned anything new.

    On women in the military:

    As a practical matter, 99 percent of women are unsuited for combat, and that includes flying combat aircraft and serving on combatant ships. That women do these things doesn’t mean they should; it just means the military has been feminized and civilianized, as any military man will admit after a few shots of Jack Daniels at the Officers’ Club, and of course, after his commanding officer leaves.

    And my favorite, on the separation of church and state:

    The [Kitzmiller v. Dover] decision was based on the palpably absurd and well-worn notion that teaching something, anything, about religion in a public school is “unconstitutional” and violates the “wall of separation between Church and State.” Of course, it isn’t the Constitution or the First Amendment that prohibits teaching religion in schools. The real prohibitive agent in these cases is the steamer trunk of erroneous case law cited by the judge and hoked up by anti-Christian, leftist courts that would have no power if the locals refused to abide them.

  24. #24 Delysid
    October 25, 2013

    @Everyone

    Look, I’m in the middle of two worlds, both of which there are aspects in which I agree and disagree vehemently. These two worlds are the liberty movement and the science world. This is a result of politicized science. I despise when libertarians reject the principles science and I despise when scientists reject the principles of libertarianism.

    Science should be apolitical and politics should be ascientific.

  25. #25 AdamG
    October 25, 2013

    I despise when libertarians reject the principles science

    You mean like when they are unable to produce any coherent mechanisms through which a libertarian society would accomplish anything, let alone evidence that such mechanisms would actually work?

  26. #26 Gray Falcon
    October 25, 2013

    Delysid, you have no qualms accusing any source we use of bias, without any evidence I might add. Why shouldn’t we point out the biases of your sources? The reason why I bring them up is because there is another fallacy you seem to ignore: Argument from false authority. If it can be established that your sources are willing to lie about anything to make a point, then it is not fallacious to reject their claims.

  27. #27 lilady
    October 25, 2013

    I called the Troll out weeks ago for the phony “soon-to-be-a-doctor”/dental student/ignorant anarchist he is.

    He lied about the “dangers” of amalgam fillings/versus the real research about the dangers of composite fillings and could not even read the simple pie charts I provided to him about Federal Income Tax and Ohio State Income Tax.

    I’m tired of paying for the Troll’s financial aid education loans and his aging grandmother’s Social Security and Medicare, because she, according to the Troll, is destitute because of inflation.

    Perhaps the Troll doesn’t understand that this is a science blog and not an adult porn site. Does he get off by posting links to his favorite filthy porn sites and by calling random strangers “old c*nts” and tell us all to go “f*ck ourselves”?

  28. #28 Delysid
    October 25, 2013

    @AdamG

    “Mechanism” does not apply politics. You are proving my point by trying to politicize science. Acetylsalicylic acid irreversibly inhibits the enyzyme cyclooxygenase. That is a mechanism. (And yes this is the example on Wikipedia, but I knew this off of the top of my head and typed this before I did a Google search just to make sure).

    You are still projecting the premise of central planning onto what you expect from a free society. I don’t want one 1 plan by government bureaucrats, I advocate the opportunity for plans by the thousands, or millions, or whatever other number. I advocate for plans by the many, not by the few.

    I’ve explained this in as many different ways as I’ve been able. I’ll keep trying if you still aren’t getting it.

  29. #29 Gray Falcon
    October 25, 2013

    Delysid, there’s a good possibility one of those plans will involve the elimination of minorities than someone dislikes.

  30. #30 AdamG
    October 25, 2013

    “Mechanism” does not apply politics.

    Nope, try again.

    mech·a·nism noun \ˈme-kə-ˌni-zəm\
    — a piece of machinery
    — a mechanical part or group of parts having a particular function
    — a process or system that is used to produce a particular result
    — a way of acting, thinking, or behaving that helps or protects a person in a specified way

    I don’t want one 1 plan by government bureaucrats, I advocate the opportunity for plans by the thousands, or millions, or whatever other number. I advocate for plans by the many, not by the few.
    I’ve explained this in as many different ways as I’ve been able. I’ll keep trying if you still aren’t getting it.

    No. I get exactly what you’re saying. What you’ve completely failed to do is convince anyone here how these ‘plans by the many’ address larger societal issues like those laid out by JGC in #797.

  31. #31 Gray Falcon
    October 25, 2013

    Follow-up to last post: The Weimar Republic wasn’t exactly a strong government. Also, Hitler never did obtain power by democratic election, he used a series of backroom deals.

  32. #32 Delysid
    October 25, 2013

    @Kreb

    Here is one source about the 44% percent believing smoking caused cancer in 1958. It was a Gallup poll. The source I linked to is extremely biased towards government and said “A Gallup Survey conducted in 1958 found that only 44 percent of Americans believed smoking caused cancer, while 78 percent believed so by 1968” but I interpreted this differently.

    To me it is quite significant that nearly half of the population was already aware of the relationship between smoking and lung cancer years BEFORE these so called great achievements in public health via government.

    http://profiles.nlm.nih.gov/ps/retrieve/Narrative/NN/p-nid/60

  33. #33 Delysid
    October 25, 2013

    @AdamG

    What are the mechanisms of government programs exactly?

    How does government work? How are they accomplishing the goals? They SAY there is improvement, but what is the evidence? How much money taken from government is actually to the destination and working once it gets there?

    “It is amazing that people who think we cannot afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, and medication somehow think that we can afford to pay for doctors, hospitals, medication and a government bureaucracy to administer it.” Thomas Sowell

  34. #34 Delysid
    October 25, 2013

    **Typo

    I meant to say “how much money taken by government actually makes it to the “intended” destination and works as intended once it gets there?

  35. #35 Krebiozen
    October 25, 2013

    Delysid,

    Here is one source about the 44% percent believing smoking caused cancer in 1958. It was a Gallup poll.

    That was just 2 years after the publication of the British Doctors Study which convinced a lot of people of the risks. Only 6 years later the Surgeon General of the US stated that “Cigarette smoking is a health hazard of sufficient importance in the United States to warrant appropriate remedial action”. I don’t see that as evidence that, “the Surgeon General of the US defended it for decades. THE GOVERNMENT LIED”.

    How would a libertarian society have dealt with a problem like that exactly?

  36. #36 Gray Falcon
    October 25, 2013

    Delysid@1233: Of course, it’s not like employment, crime rates, or fire damages can be measured numerically. Seriously, have you considered the possibility of thinking before posting?

  37. #37 Krebiozen
    October 25, 2013

    As someone living in the UK that Thomas Sowell quote made me laugh. I would rephrase it:

    “It is amazing that people who think that paying for doctors, hospitals, medication and a non-profit government bureaucracy to administer it would somehow cost more than paying for the same doctors, hospitals and medication, but also paying for hundreds of different bureaucracies to administer it, and paying the profits demanded by the shareholders of the various private companies and insurance companies providing these services.”

    Has Sowell not heard of economies of scale? Isn’t it likely that one organization can buy millions of doses of a drug, as just one example, more cheaply per dose than a private company can buy hundreds of doses? Isn’t this one reason that US health care is the most expensive in the world but one of the least efficient?

  38. #38 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    October 25, 2013

    It is rather amusing how Delysid keeps asking for evidence that a government can accomplish something, ignores the evidence provided, and then absolutely refuses to provide anything resembling evidence to support his own notions that some sort of Libertarian utopia could be at least as effective as a government.

  39. #39 Narad
    October 26, 2013

    That was just 2 years after the publication of the British Doctors Study which convinced a lot of people of the risks.

    Depends where you mean (PDF). Correlation of political leanings with propensity for THE GOVERNMENT to have LIED is left as an exercise for the reader.

  40. #40 Krebiozen
    October 26, 2013

    Narad,
    It’s fascinating that so many people in New Delhi believed that smoking caused cancer back in 1958, which suggests that smoking wasn’t common. When I was there a few decades later, it seemed that most men smoked*, and I remember a couple of Indians telling me that smoking was good for the health, except in “excess”. That still seems to be the case – Wikipedia tells me that, “According to a 2002 WHO estimate, 30% of adult males in India smoke”. I blame Bollywood.

    * That was at a time when I saw a fruit beer advertised with “no natural ingredients” as its tag line, so I wonder about the influence of western companies seeking a market.

  41. #41 Delysid
    October 27, 2013

    It’s a scientific fact that Cuba has a better healthcare system than the US. LOL. Opinion surveys and government collected and reported data is so scientific. LOL. The WHO, which openly promotes socialized medicine, is the gold standard of trustworthiness when reporting about US healthcare. LOL

  42. #42 AdamG
    October 27, 2013

    Opinion surveys and government collected and reported data is so scientific. LOL.

    How about Science? Are they unscientific as well? LOL.
    http://www.sciencemag.org/content/328/5978/572.full

  43. #43 Delysid
    October 27, 2013

    I’m surprised you didn’t link to Michael Moore .

    LMFAO.

    Communist Cuba is scientifically proven to be better. COMMUNISM IS SO GREAT. The US should do it!

  44. #44 Krebiozen
    October 27, 2013

    Delysid,

    It’s a scientific fact that Cuba has a better healthcare system than the US. LOL.

    Perhaps you would be willing to share the evidence that has convinced you this is so ridiculous it makes you laugh out loud. I could do with a laugh, as my country is apparently about to be flattened by Hurricane St. Jude. Here are some numbers:

    Life expectancy at birth m/f (years) Cuba: 76/80 USA: 76/81
    Probability of dying under five (per 1 000 live births) Cuba: 6 USA: 7
    Probability of dying between 15 and 60 years m/f (per 1 000 population) Cuba: 119/75 USA: 131/77
    Total expenditure on health per capita (Intl $, 2011) Cuba: 430 USA: 8,608
    Total expenditure on health as % of GDP (2011) Cuba: 10.0 USA: 17.9

    A triumph of the free market? LOL Do you have any evidence that any of this data is in any way unreliable, other than it is on the WHO website? Any reason at all to believe any of this is wrong?

    Opinion surveys and government collected and reported data is so scientific. LOL.

    Opinion surveys have become more and more sophisticated and more and more accurate over the past few decades. When was the last time we were surprised by an election result that hadn’t been predicted accurately by pollsters? The accuracy of polls has taken all the fun out of elections. Do you have any evidence that “government collected and reported data” has been manipulated or is otherwise inaccurate?

    The WHO, which openly promotes socialized medicine, is the gold standard of trustworthiness when reporting about US healthcare. LOL

    You must have good evidence to support your belief that the WHO is untrustworthy, and alters data to support its socialist agenda. Where is it?

    I think your LOL is simply an expression of your own prejudices, not from any real reason to disbelieve the data, simply because it doesn’t fit with your beliefs. We see this over and over with people so absolutely convinced of something (coffee enemas cure cancer, homeopathy works, radiation is good for you, sugar causes all disease, fasting cures all diseases…) that they simply cannot believe any evidence that contradicts their beliefs. They accuse people of being shills paid to distort the evidence, of covering up the truth, and they claim that there is a vast conspiracy to stop reality from looking the way they know it is because the voices in their head tell them so (that last should be in ALL CAPS, but I couldn’t bear to do that).

    Prove me wrong with some evidence. Go on, think for yourself, you can do it!

  45. #45 Krebiozen
    October 27, 2013

    I’m surprised you didn’t link to Michael Moore . LMFAO.

    Trans. “When the data contradict my prejudices, even the most prestigious science journal in the world is laughably unreliable.”

  46. #46 Delysid
    October 28, 2013

    The life expectancy of Utah is 80.2 years and the life expectancy in Nevada is 78.1. Utah is ranked #10 while Nevada is #36. Those two states have nearly identical health care systems and demographics and border each other. EXPLAIN THAT!

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_U.S._states_by_life_expectancy

    Or you know, life expectancy is a terrible measure of a health care system.

    And if you believe the numbers reported by communist Cuba, you are a FOOL.

    Do you know how many pairs of rubber gloves dentists are assigned per day? According to my ex-girlfriend’s family who currently practices there (half of her family is physicians and dentists practicing in US and half in Cuba), they usually have one for the entire day, sometimes two or 3 if they are stingy and save up some.

    Cuba has a few beautiful hospitals for tourists. communist party members, and communist documentary film makers. Cubans themselves are banned from using these. What does the WHO have to say about these?

    Right now the Cuban government gives physicians and dentists 15 or so dollars for a month. Oh but they have free healthcare! Imma right?

  47. #47 Delysid
    October 28, 2013

    Also, I don’t care how “prestigious” Science is. When they start promoting communist Cuba all credibility is lost.

    Peter Agre might be a great biochemist, but he is a typical socialist political hack. He is a laughable Obamabot, forming Science and Engineers for CHANGE.

    Political propaganda has no place in a Science journal.

  48. #48 Julian Frost
    October 28, 2013

    And your proof that that article in Science is “political propaganda”?

  49. #49 al kimeea
    www.quackademiology.com
    October 28, 2013

    Perhaps Delysid could hang his toothyologist shingle in that libertarian paradise known as Somalia.

    Krebs – I went through a similar thing here in the socialist paradise of the Great White North and after reading a great chunk of this thread, I have no reason to think a libertarian gubmint would do any better because it will be filled with and lobbied by people who will be every bit as craven and corrupt as the current lot.

  50. #50 al kimeea
    www.quackademiology.com
    October 28, 2013

    “the do any better” is in reference to healthcare,, BTW

  51. #51 Lawrence
    October 28, 2013

    @Al – again, if Delsyid is so upset with the current set-up, he should be free to emigrate to the wide variety of successful libertarian paradises around the globe, right?

    Delsyid – and what were those again?

  52. #52 Gray Falcon
    October 28, 2013

    Delysid- If you’re going to complain about us dismissing your sources based on a history of delusion and deceit, could you please not dismiss our sources because they come to conclusions you dislike?

    It’s become clear that for Delysid, fallacies hold the same place that sins have for religion extremists: There’s things to condemn others for, but not things to avoid oneself. For example, consider his mentioning “Argument to moderation” in #680. I never made any statements of the sort, I was calling him out for his use of false dilemma!

  53. #53 AdamG
    October 28, 2013

    Also, I don’t care how “prestigious” Science is. When they start promoting communist Cuba all credibility is lost.

    The longer this thread goes, the more Delysid sounds like Ginger Taylor.

  54. #54 Lawrence
    October 28, 2013

    Has Delsyid actually answered a single one of our questions yet?

  55. #55 Narad
    October 28, 2013

    Did it just start babbling about Cuba out of the blue?

  56. #56 Krebiozen
    October 28, 2013

    The life expectancy of Utah is 80.2 years and the life expectancy in Nevada is 78.1. Utah is ranked #10 while Nevada is #36. Those two states have nearly identical health care systems and demographics and border each other. EXPLAIN THAT!

    Nearly identical demographics? According to http://quickfacts.census.gov/
    White population
    Utah 91.8%
    Nevada: 77.1%

    Median household income
    Utah: $57,783
    Nevada: $55,553

    Persons below poverty level
    Utah: 11.4%
    Nevada: 12.9%

    Persons 65 years and over
    Utah: 9.5%
    Nevada: 13.1%

    Could these differences explain a difference of 2.7% in life expectancy? I think they could.

    Or you know, life expectancy is a terrible measure of a health care system.

    That’s true, you can’t just blame health care, general social care among some parts of the population is to blame as well. Infant mortality is arguably a better measure, though that suffers from the same effects of social care as life expectancy, but that seems to be better in Cuba too. Despite the appalling rubber glove shortage.

    And if you believe the numbers reported by communist Cuba, you are a FOOL.

    Why is a Communist country any less trustworthy than any other? Anyway, these are not figures reported by Cuba, these are figures compiled and checked by the WHO and by UNICEF. There isn’t an iron curtain that prevents WHO and UNICEF from visiting Cuba to check these figures for themselves. How does Cuba manage such a huge conspiracy to distort these figures.

  57. #57 Lawrence
    October 28, 2013

    @Narad – no idea why he suddenly decided to spew about Cuba….

  58. #58 Gray Falcon
    October 28, 2013

    @Lawrence – Remember, Delysid thinks anyone who disagrees with him is a Communist. Hence all the references to Cuba: He thinks that somehow, it serves as a counter-example to our statements, even though nearly all of us disapprove of dictatorship. Mind you, he’s simple-minded enough to think that the only reason someone would make rules is to have power over others.

  59. #59 Krebiozen
    October 28, 2013

    Narad,

    Did it just start babbling about Cuba out of the blue?

    My fault I think. I pointed out that some more socialist countries in Europe provide more cost-effective health care than the free market does in the US, and I linked to a league table of countries, which included Cuba.

  60. #60 Delysid
    October 28, 2013

    Somalia Ayn Rand Roads Shareholder-Profits Your’e a Racist. A liberal debate robot would be easy to program. Somalia Ayn Rand Roads Shareholder-Profits Your’e a a Racist.

  61. #61 Gray Falcon
    October 28, 2013

    Delysid, it would be easier if you actually bothered to read what we say, rather than rely on childish mockery. Perhaps the reason you keep hearing those arguments is because we have a legitimate point, one that you never address.

  62. #62 Delysid
    October 28, 2013

    Infant mortality? Another TERRIBLE modality for judging a health care system. Lies, eamned lies, and statistics.

    http://www.nationalreview.com/articles/276952/infant-mortality-deceptive-statistic-scott-w-atlas

  63. #63 Gray Falcon
    October 28, 2013

    Delysid, his only source was a ten-year old paper speculating on the possibility of bias, but not giving much evidence of it.

  64. #64 Dangerous Bacon
    October 28, 2013

    Delysid: “The life expectancy of Utah is 80.2 years”

    Nonsense, Utah has already survived for 117 years.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utah

  65. #65 Krebiozen
    October 28, 2013

    Infant mortality? Another TERRIBLE modality for judging a health care system. Lies, eamned lies, and statistics.

    I have written about this here before, and I don’t think you can dismiss the higher infant mortality rate in the US (as compared to other developed countries, not the rest of the world, I should stress) as being due entirely to different ways of measuring it.

    One of the major contributors to infant mortality is prematurity, which is strongly influenced by poverty and poor antenatal care. There are large numbers of women in the US, especially Black and Hispanic women who live in poor social conditions and who get lousy antenatal care. I love the US, but the huge underclass there is shameful.

    This is getting away from my point, which is that a country like Cuba seems to be doing a reasonably good job of looking after its population while spending a tiny fraction of the amount the US does:
    Total expenditure on health per capita in $ Cuba: 430 USA: 8,608. That’s a 20-fold difference.

    What do you consider a good measure of a country’s health and well-being? Not life expectancy it seems, nor infant mortality,

    Oh, and do you really think a right-wing rag like ‘The National Review’ is more reliable than ‘Science’?

  66. #66 Delysid
    October 28, 2013

    Both life expectancy and infant mortality are horrible indicators of anything.

    Even healthcare spending itself is not necessarily a negative thing. It should be up to individual people about how to spend their money, not politicians or bureaucrats. If someone in the US spends a few thousand dollars to get crowns on several teeth and someone in France just extracts them, is it outrageous that the American spent more money on health care? Of course not.

    But if we are stuck in the eternal logical fallacy that the State is the alpha and the omega and all evidence always defends more State intervention then discusssion is pointless.

  67. #67 Delysid
    October 28, 2013

    Socialists will criticize the American healthcare system for spending too much and then turn around and criticize it for pending too little. It is about one thing-CONTROL. It is always about control. The government must control everything because only government spends just the right amount. This is what is so sickening. “I just care about the poor so much that I want the government to control society.” No, you don’t. You care about the authority of government so much that you will sacrifice any part of society to increase government power, epecially the poor.

  68. #68 Narad
    October 28, 2013

    I pointed out that some more socialist countries in Europe provide more cost-effective health care than the free market does in the US, and I linked to a league table of countries, which included Cuba.

    Right, I saw that, but Cuba’s No. 28. A body would have to be desperate, a complete imbecile, or both to seize upon that for a bout of self-soiling apoplexy.

  69. #69 Delysid
    October 28, 2013

    Whoa Narad used the word apoplexy in a sentence. He is like a total genius you guys. He might be the smartest person to ever use the internet.

    Narad serioulsy I know you know how brilliant you are, but seriously you are just amazingly intellectual. If you join government we will have to call it Godverment.

  70. #70 Delysid
    October 28, 2013

    Hey Narad here is some free medical advice. If you create too powerful of a vacuum orally while stimulating yourself go to the ER if you develop a priapism lasting over 4 hours.

  71. #71 Narad
    October 28, 2013

    Hey Narad here is some free medical advice.

    I was talking about you, not to you. Mind your place.

  72. #72 Delysid
    October 28, 2013

    A little angry huh? Stress can cause erectile dysfunction. Light a candle, dim the lights, and don’t let me ruin your therapy session with little Narad.

  73. #73 Shay
    October 28, 2013

    You could be a little more understanding, Narad. It’s hard for him to see his monitor through the spittle.

  74. #74 Narad
    October 28, 2013

    Peaches, if I were angry, I’d just send a copy of the thread someplace or another you wouldn’t appreciate but would remember.

    Now, if you don’t mind, I’m afraid I’m going to have to turn you off to properly appreciate the rest of the denouement.

    *plonk*

  75. #75 Gray Falcon
    October 28, 2013

    Delysid, it isn’t about control. It’s about human life. Are you incapable of understanding any but the most selfish of motives?

  76. #76 Krebiozen
    October 28, 2013

    Delysid,

    This is what is so sickening. “I just care about the poor so much that I want the government to control society.” No, you don’t. You care about the authority of government so much that you will sacrifice any part of society to increase government power, epecially the poor.

    That is one of the weirdest things I have read from you, and that’s saying something. Why would I or anyone else commenting here want to increase government power just for the sake of it? How would that in any way benefit me or them?

    You seem to assume that everyone has the same fetishistic attachment to an ideology that you do.

  77. #77 Delysid
    October 28, 2013

    @Gray Falcon

    It is 100% about control. Socialism is defined as State control over the means of production. This jibber jabber about “life” is just emotional propaganda. A facade. That’s why socialized medicine is called “universal” health care. It is meant to appeal to emotional thinking and feelings rathervthan reason.

    I care very much for life.

    Do you understand any emotion besides your own selfishness? “I want to be controlled and ruled over, therefore everyone else must be ruled over and controlled as well.”‘

    It is amazing to me how you can accuse me of being selfish over and over and still remain oblivious that you are advocating the most selfish ideology in the history of mankind- statism (and the worst aspects of statism, socialism).

  78. #78 Gray Falcon
    October 28, 2013

    Delysid, are you God? Can you see the human soul? Do you have the right to decide what other people think and believe? Perhaps if you learned what other people believe in, you might actually understand.

  79. #79 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    October 28, 2013

    @Lawrence

    Has Delsyid actually answered a single one of our questions yet?

    As we near 1300 comments, nope. Delysid still has provided zero quality evidence to support anything he’s said, let alone answer legitimate questions posed to him in any manner resembling a serious answer.

    In reality, Delysid isn’t even a Libertarian. He’s simply a Contrarian.

  80. #80 Delysid
    October 29, 2013

    @Gray Falcon

    Are you kidding me? “Do you have the right to decide what other people think and believe?”

    NO! NO! That is the point of all of this. Now you are twisting this around like I”m somehow infringing on your rights?!

    “Delysid and other libertarians are bullies! They won’t let me control their lives! Libertarians are so selfish! They won’t let me spend their money for them!”

    This is unbelievable. You have to be trolling me now. There is no way anyone is so dense and so intellectually dimwitted as to sincerely think what you are saying.

  81. #81 Delysid
    October 29, 2013

    @Todd W

    What questions have I still not answered? I have answered everything.

    How else do you expect me to say it? It all comes down to ethics.

    If I storm into your house, with my government credentials, and put a literal or metaphorical gun to your head in order to confiscate your money and other property for the “greater good of society,” does this make it right? Do you have to prove with scientific evidence that this is wrong? What if I’m not a government agent? Is it still just as right or wrong?

    I can show proof of all of the wonderful products I give to children with the money I take directly from you. What evidence can you show that proves that society is better off with you keeping your own money?

  82. #82 Krebiozen
    October 29, 2013

    Delysid,

    It is 100% about control. Socialism is defined as State control over the means of production.

    I don’t think anyone here has proposed an entirely socialist state, not even me. Personally I think a welfare state is a good idea, and I think some other public services are best provided by the state. I’m not proposing state ownership of everything, only health care, public transport, criminal justice, education, and roads, none of which are “means of production”, and perhaps public utilities, energy and water. I also think the US people and her economy would do better under a more generous welfare system i.e. if she were more socialist than currently. By the way, even under the NHS a person can choose to pay for more expensive dental care than they would get from the NHS, the same in France.

    This jibber jabber about “life” is just emotional propaganda. A facade.

    I suppose that’s why so many of us writing here are in the ‘caring professions’, to keep up the facade that we care about people’s health and wellbeing when really all we want is a bigger and more powerful government. All those years working for the NHS for a lower wage than I could have earned in the private sector was just a facade designed to stop people from seeing I was really just empowering the government. I hadn’t even realized just how cunning I am.

    That’s why socialized medicine is called “universal” health care.

    Oh I see, living in the UK where we have “universal” health care, I thought it was called that because everyone living here has access to it and it is free at point of care.

    It is meant to appeal to emotional thinking and feelings rathervthan reason.

    Of course, “universal” is so much more emotive a word than “socialized”, especially in the US, where no one has a knee-jerk negative reaction to any word beginning with “social”.

    I care very much for life.

    I’m sure you do, but I think you support an ideology that would, if put into practice in the US, for example, rapidly result in a very large amount of human misery.

    It is amazing to me how you can accuse me of being selfish over and over and still remain oblivious that you are advocating the most selfish ideology in the history of mankind- statism (and the worst aspects of statism, socialism).

    I am certainly oblivious to that. How is a form of government that provides a welfare state and the means for redistributing wealth “selfish”? Based on previous performance I’ll brace myself for a rant about Stalinist Russia.

    Perhaps if you thought of yourself as a part of society and (potentially) government, you wouldn’t see yourself as being bullied and coerced by an authority figure. How is/was your relationship with your father? Just curious.

  83. #83 Delysid
    October 29, 2013

    @Kreb

    How exactly is “health care” different from any other sector of society? Is medicine NOT a good? Is it somehow exempt from the laws of supply and demand?

    Why don’t you want socialism for everything? If socialism works in those sectors you named why doesn’t it work in the others?

    Also my relationship with both of my parents is great and always has been. What an insulting question. Fun fact. My parents were both public-school teachers in two different communities. They had such low-regard for the pitiful results of public schools (which they knew first-hand for decades) that they sent myself and my siblings to private schools. It wasn’t a political statement. Observational fact from decades of experience in the socialized educational system you are so fond of.

  84. #84 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    October 29, 2013

    Delysid:

    What questions have I still not answered?

    To refresh your memory:
    How would a libertarian state deal with price fixing?
    How would a libertarian state prevent blood feuds?
    How would a libertarian state deal with the large number of displaced people following a major catastrophe?
    Would the magical free market fund less flashy, but still essential basic research?
    What evidence would convince you of anthropogenic climate change?
    How do you deal with those too ill to work, to poor to afford health care, who fail to save money for old age, who get addicted to the freely available addictive drugs in your utopia, who steal from others, who teach their children dangerous nonsense, who plot to kill others, who invade your country with an army, who refuse to pay for a road but now try to use it etc. etc.?
    Explain how the free market would address the problem of a single parent who is unable to command a sufficient income to provide for herself and her child.
    How would you prevent abuses of power in a libertarian society?
    Consider your example @ 393 of how the market creates wealth, involving fish, a spear, woven huts, etc. What happens if, instead of trading the fish Narad has caught with his captial (the spear he made) for the shelter representing Orac’s capital, Narad instead uses that spear to take Orac’s hut by force? How exactly would market forces act to either prevent that loss or to return Orac’s capital to him?
    Name a successful libertarian state.
    If you have answered these questions, please point out at which comments you did.

  85. #85 al kimeea
    hoping for 2000
    October 29, 2013

    cleanup for protein spill in comment 1267

    still strawmanning and eliding reality I see

    Gubmint always spends the right amount? Imagine the following in bold 48pt comic sans with cycling flashing neon colours:

    LOL

    The provincial red clowns here in the middle of Soviet Canukistan decided to be green and replace dirty coal fired hydro plants with cleaner natural gas. Zo, they knock down, rather than refit, existing infrastructure and put in a park. Green.

    Since the area still needs a generating station, they make deals with the kind freemarketers and ignore their constituents – twice. As a result, hydro bills are going up to pay for the $1.1B or more we owe for nothing. The previous blue clowns had privatised this sector with cries of “competition = lower power rates”, so this raise in rates has quite shocked this monkey.

    Meanwhile, the blue clowns federally have misplaced $3B, no idea where it went, after running up the highest deficit in histoire since the last fiscal conservative merde in a suit.

    For all the jabbering aboot feelings, nothing more than feelings, liberal feelings, one can feel an almost palpable hatred emanating from this one

  86. #86 Delysid
    October 29, 2013

    Price fixing. This has been explained how the market corrects by game theory.

    Blood feuds. That is a stupid question and irrelevant.

    Major catastrophe. FEMA is horrible. But what would the the US do without FEMA? That would be like the dark ages before 1978! CHAOS!!!

    http://mises.org/freemarket_detail.aspx?control=417

  87. #87 Delysid
    October 29, 2013

    @Julian Frost

    How would the “magical” free market pick cotton without the slaves?

    Free market science versus government science.
    http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/the-free-market-and-scientific-research#axzz2j7GZh5IN

    Free rider problem.

    http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/the-free-market-and-scientific-research#axzz2j7GZh5IN

    No evidence will convince me that PLOITICIANS should solve gloal warming issues. Who ate these magical god politicians progressives are so enamored with? “People in the free market are terrible but politicians are smart and ethical.” Lol

  88. #88 Lawrence
    October 29, 2013

    Don’t quite understand how Delsyid is confident that corporations won’t start acting like governments on to themselves, if they should have free-reign….given the experiences we’ve had with little or no regulation in the past….

    Again, please point to where your theories have been tried and found to be successful?

  89. #89 JGC
    You missed a few unanswered questions, Julian
    October 29, 2013

    How would the libertarian state deal with the problems posed by the generation of chemical, radioactive and bio-hazardous waste?
    How would the libertarian state ensure employees maintained safe working conditions in their factories/mines/etc.?
    How would the libertarian state prevent employers from engaging in exploitive child labor practices?
    For that matter, how would the libertarian state prevent children from being commodified?
    How would the libertarian state ensure adherence to building codes, such that a single builder could not place surrounding homes/facilities at risk of fire?
    Speaking of fire, how would the libertarian state address the necessity of ensuring available emergency services (fire, medical, etc.)?
    How would the libertarian state provide the transportation infrastructure (highways, bridges, tunnels, etc.) necessary for interstate commerce?
    How would the libertarian state ensure the safety, efficacy and purity of drugs and medical devices manufacturers offer for sale?

    And of course the fundamental unanswered question:

    Given that in even the presence of government ‘force’ (i.e., strong regulation and a judicial system capable of punishing offenders) we observe that people still behave unethically, what evidence suggests they’d behave as well (let alone any better) in its total absence?

  90. #90 Julian Frost
    October 29, 2013

    So Delysid fails to answer most of the questions that I aggregated, gives inadequate answers to the two he does answer, then strawmans by asking:

    How would the “magical” free market pick cotton without the slaves?

    As Gray Falcon pointed out, while price fixing goes away on its own, so do house fires. The price fixing by South African bakeries was exposed when an astute shopowner saw that all 3 major South African bakeries hiked their prices in the space of less than a week.

  91. #91 Delysid
    October 29, 2013

    Sorry I had to go do some oral surgery. Try Google.

  92. #92 Delysid
    October 29, 2013

    How does the State do these things? The State has failed ti solve any of these problems, but I’m supposed to predict the future? The market is not one thing. How about with nuclear waste we have some competition to see who can do it best? The government doesn’t have the need to profit and is never punshed for making mistakes? Oh we blew a trillion dollars in taxes? Pay us more taxes or go to jail.

  93. #93 Krebiozen
    October 29, 2013

    That article about the free market made me laugh:

    The discovery of the structure of DNA was largely a product of private action.

    How so?

    O.T. Avery, while working on a cure for pneumonia at the privately funded Rockefeller Institute in the 1940s, became the first person to learn that DNA was the molecule of inheritance.

    Nothing to do with the efforts of Watson and Crick at the Cavendish Laboratory in Cambridge (publicly funded), and Franklin and Wilkins at King’s in London (also publicly funded)?

  94. #94 Krebiozen
    October 29, 2013

    How about with nuclear waste we have some competition to see who can do it best?

    Great idea. I know a bloke with a wheelbarrow who says he can dispose of it very cheaply.

  95. #95 JGC
    October 29, 2013

    I think you’re playing a semantic game here, by responding “The state has failed to solve these problems” when the question you’ve been asked is “How would your libertarian state deal with these problems?”

    Currwently the state deals with ensuring the safety, efficacy and purity of marketed drugs and medical devices with agencies vested with regulatory authority ,such as the FDA. It deals with ensuring workplace safety with agencies vested with regulatory authority, like OSHA. With the generation of radioactive, chemical and bio-hazardous waste with OSHA again and also the EPA. It deals with exploitive child labor with laws regulating employment; with contractors endangering communities with laws establishing building codes.

    And of course with the creation and maintenance of judicial systems capable of punishing violators.

    The state deals with protecting the most vulnerable members of our society by providing public assistance such as SNAP programs, etc.

    Is there room for improvement? Of course. But the question we’re asking you is how your libertarian state would address these problems as well or better than the current system does now. For example, what does public health policy look like in your libertarian state?

    The impression you’ve given me is that your libertarian state wouldn’t even consider many of these problems to be problems in the first place.

  96. #96 Delysid
    October 29, 2013

    SNAP? You mean that cute welfare program that hands 70 billion dollars straight to JP Morgan?

    http://www.eatdrinkpolitics.com/wp-content/uploads/FoodStampsFollowtheMoneySimon.pdf

  97. #97 JGC
    October 29, 2013

    How about with nuclear waste we have some competition to see who can do it best?

    What exactly is stopping anyone from competing right now?

  98. #98 JGC
    October 29, 2013

    How did you fail to note the link you provided identifies the activities of the commercial businesses (food manufacturers, food retailers, and banks) which profit from the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program as a problem, not SNAP program itself.

    If anything your link suggests the need for greater t oversight and regulation, not eliminating all regulation and oversight.

  99. #99 Gray Falcon
    October 29, 2013

    One wonders if Delysid’s solution to cavities involves the extraction of all teeth.

  100. #100 JGC
    October 29, 2013

    How does the state solve the problem of cavities, Grey Falcon? The state has failed to solve the problem–people still get cavities!

    No one will get cavities in free market societies. If they even think they’re going to get cavities they’ll just take their teeth somewhere else.

  101. #101 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    October 29, 2013

    @JGC

    I think you’re playing a semantic game here, by responding “The state has failed to solve these problems” when the question you’ve been asked is “How would your libertarian state deal with these problems?”

    Exactly. That’s all Delysid has done in this thread. Instead of answering the questions asked, he takes a straw man approach and answers questions that weren’t asked. He’s no different than a Creationist, arguing that “evolution doesn’t explain X, therefore God!”

    Delysid’s sole justification for his stance is “Government hasn’t solved X in a way that I like, therefore Libertarianism!”

  102. #102 Delysid
    October 30, 2013

    @JGC

    One way the American State has tried to stop dental caries is by mass medication with the fluoride ion in the public water supply. Amazingly, even most of Western Europe, governments which I mostly disagree with, recognized the ridiculousness of this practice ethically and scientifically and ended the practice of public water fluoridation decades ago.

    I’ve been getting linked to quackery by some people in this thread, so I want to remind everyone that I am NOT a chemophobe and I treat patients quite frequently with fluoride therapy when it is indicated, usually in the form of prophylactic polishing paste or resin-modified glass ionomer in large molar restorations. I am against putting fluoride in the public water supply, not in administering patients with fluoride in individual treatments.

    On a side note, I am not a huge fan of mercury-silver amalgams and will avoid them in private practice, but I understand they are quite harmless biologically and environmentally when the reaction is set and stable, but I find it interesting that several Scandinavian countries have banned their use as dental restorations. I obviously disagree with this prohibition on ethical grounds, but it is amusing to me that these countries also recognize the potential (minimal) hazards of mercury-amalgam to dentists, staff and patients when placing these restorations and to the environment during cremation while the US government defends their use so vehemently.

    State-run programs in the US that have attempted to improve community oral health have not been successful economically and the means have certainly not justified the ends. Head Start has failed to make any significant improvement in childhood caries (unless one only considers self-evaluation propaganda by the Federal government) and Medicaid only increased access to care for children and adults by 10% or so despite billions of dollars of tax money being spent on them.

    I am quite familiar with some of the epidemiology studies that supposedly defend these Federal programs, as I not only read them but was TESTED on them, but I openly called BS and challenged several of my professors about them (with ethical arguments and counter-epidemiology studies).

    No one can or will promise that “in a free-market no will get get caries.” That’s like saying “in a free-market no one will develop noninsulin dependent diabetes mellitus.” It’s a matter of genetics and environment and personal behavior.

    In my opinion the Nanny State contributes to oral diseases and health ignorance. For instance, the Federal government subsidizes tens of billions of dollars annually in grains. There is a causation between a high-sugar diet and dental caries.

    Government campaigns such as public water fluoridation and Head Start and Medicaid discourage personal responsibility in health. What is the incentive to put forth effort in one’s (or one’s children) health when dependent on the government? Nanny State programs encourage ignorance.

    It is sad for me to work in pediatrics and see young children with rampant caries. I’m uncomfortable extracting teeth in both children and adults (especially teens and 20 somethings).

    Government force through a Nanny State cannot help them. Mass medication cannot help them (as evidenced by nearly identical DMF indices comparisons of the US and Europe). There are exceptions of course, but for the most part it is up to people to help themselves. Even young children can be taught the importance of oral health care and take of their own health to a strong extent. Dentists are trying their best to help people help themselves through medicine and education, and no profession tries to eliminate itself more than dentistry, but it takes individual effort from patients.

    The market has provided unprecedented opportunities for society in oral health. Tooth brushes, floss, antiseptic mouthwash, and other dentrifices in Western culture are ubiquitous and cheap. Dentistry, which has largely avoided the costs of socialism that has plagued the rest of medicine, continues to be of ever higher quality and affordability. This should make perfect sense to those who understand economics from the lens of the free-market, as honest competition produces excellence. Implants, for example, are a fraction of the cost (relative to inflation) from only a decade ago. Implants, of course, aren’t subjected to the price manipulations of government and insurance (which derives its power from government legislation). This is what happens in the market. The laws of supply and demand.

  103. #103 Delysid
    October 30, 2013

    @Todd W

    You are dead-wrong. If the government (particularly socialist redistribution of wealth) worked perfectly for every single person (which is laughably impossible), I WOULD STILL OPPOSE GOVERNMENT FORCE.

    It is just an inevitable sequela due to the nature of government that it fails miserably at its endeavors (and even when it succeeds it comes at a great, unjustifiable price). I require zero “scientific’ evidence to oppose government.

    I believe in voluntary relationships, therefore libertarianism.

    I made a huge mistake in this thread of playing the statism slavery game. “Prove to me scientifically why you shouldn’t be my slave. Prove to me why government shouldn’t control you.” Has a government assessment of government policy ever concluded that their intervention was NOT successful?

    This is the logical fallacy with which statists always try to claim victory.

    A free society is default. This is trying to prove a negative.

    “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?” Bastiat

  104. #104 Delysid
    October 30, 2013

    @Todd W

    You are dead-wrong. If the government (particularly socialist redistribution of wealth) worked perfectly for every single person (which is laughably impossible), I WOULD STILL OPPOSE GOVERNMENT FORCE.

    It is just an inevitable sequela due to the nature of government that it fails miserably at its endeavors (and even when it succeeds it comes at a great, unjustifiable price). I require zero “scientific’ evidence to oppose government.

    I believe in voluntary relationships, therefore libertarianism.

    I made a huge mistake in this thread of playing the statism slavery game. “Prove to me scientifically why you shouldn’t be my slave. Prove to me why government shouldn’t control you.” Has a government assessment of government policy ever concluded that their intervention was NOT successful?

    This is the logical fallacy with which statists always try to claim victory.

    A free society is default. This is trying to prove a negative.

    “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?” Bastiat

  105. #105 Delysid
    October 30, 2013

    @Todd W

    You are dead-wrong. If the government (particularly socialist redistribution of wealth) worked perfectly for every single person (which is laughably impossible), I WOULD STILL OPPOSE GOVERNMENT FORCE.

    It is just an inevitable sequela due to the nature of government that it fails miserably at its endeavors (and even when it succeeds it comes at a great, unjustifiable price). I require zero “scientific’ evidence to oppose government.

    I believe in voluntary relationships, therefore libertarianism.

    I made a huge mistake in this thread of playing the statism slavery game. “Prove to me scientifically why you shouldn’t be my slave. Prove to me why government shouldn’t control you.” Has a government assessment of government policy ever concluded that their intervention was NOT successful?

    This is the logical fallacy with which statists always try to claim victory.

    A free society is default. This is trying to prove a negative.

    “If the natural tendencies of mankind are so bad that it is not safe to permit people to be free, how is it that the tendencies of these organizers are always good? Do not the legislators and their appointed agents also belong to the human race? Or do they believe that they themselves are made of a finer clay than the rest of mankind?” Bastiat

  106. #106 Julian Frost
    October 30, 2013

    Delyisd:

    It is just an inevitable sequela due to the nature of government that it fails miserably at its endeavors (and even when it succeeds it comes at a great, unjustifiable price).

    Old Rockin’ Dave @ 314 gave a list of government successes. Others have pointed out the contribution of DARPA to the internet and how gene mapping was kicked off by government contributions.

    I require zero “scientific’ evidence to oppose government.

    Evidence? We dun need no steenkin’ evidence!

    Prove to me why government shouldn’t control you.

    And once again, you confuse regulation and oversight with dictatorial control.

    Has a government assessment of government policy ever concluded that their intervention was NOT successful?

    Yes. Outcomes Based Education was used and then abandoned in South Africa after the evidence showed it wasn’t working.

  107. #107 Julian Frost
    Now begging for an "Edit" button or "Preview" function
    October 30, 2013

    GAAH!

  108. #108 Lawrence
    October 30, 2013

    Here is a very good comparison of a successful government intervention vs. market-led intervention that is also extremely timely…..

    During the Great Depression, large numbers of Americans were at risk of defaulting on their mortgages and facing foreclosure. To assist, the government set up a program to work directly with the homeowners and the banks to negotiate better terms, appropriate payment schedules, and other interventions to keep people in their homes. The banks were also protected, because they weren’t forced out of business by a tidal wave of mortgage defaults.

    When the program ended, not only was the rate of foreclosures kept at a minimum, but it also ended up generating a profit for the US Government (truly a win, win, win for everyone involved).

    Compare that to the 2008 – 2013 period, where government intervention was kept to a minimum, with very little effort made to truly assist homeowners or work with the financial institutions to make the necessary corrections to prevent foreclosures (with over 350 banks going out of business, merging or being bought by other, less struggling institutions).

    Again, history shows us that Delsyid’s “theories” don’t hold water and certainly don’t automatically mean that things will be better (whether it be for the individual – unless that individual has acquired sufficient resources to manipulate events to their advantage, or corporations, which certainly only work for their own benefit).

    This isn’t to say that the government is always right – because time and time again, we’ve said that it isn’t – but at least we can say that, unless there is an alternative to our current system – that what we have today is the best we’ve got – and the goal should be to always seek improvement and balance between the needs of the individual, the needs of business, and the requirements for government vs. an open and fair economic system.

    Again, I ask Delsyid – where has his type of society been tried & been successful?

  109. #109 Scottynuke
    October 30, 2013

    @JGC #1295 and #1297 — There’s another three-letter government agency involved, one that has a great deal of technical expertise in protecting people (including Delysid) when civilians use radioactive stuff (or want to safely store radioactive waste). 🙂

  110. #110 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    October 30, 2013

    @Delysid

    Take a look at your posts again. You focus on how you think government has failed on various topics, yet you do not provide any evidence that Libertarianism would be any better than, let alone as good as, government.

    Is there any form of government you’d support? If so, what roles would it fill? What would it do?

  111. #111 Krebiozen
    October 30, 2013

    Delysid,

    I believe in voluntary relationships, therefore libertarianism.

    That’s a very silly non sequitur. I believe in voluntary relationships, therefore democracy. As far as I’m concerned I have a voluntary agreement with my government and the society I live in to obey their rules and laws and to face the consequences if I don’t (and I get caught). If there is anything I don’t like there is a democratic process I can use to change things, or I can go to another country. No one is forcing me to live where I do, but if I want to live here I have to abide by the local rules, the same as anywhere I happen to travel to.

    If anyone doesn’t like living in a democratic society they are free to move to another part of the planet where there is a political (or taxation) system they do like. Lots of people do this already, they are called tax exiles.

    Are there any experimental libertarian communities anywhere? Surely a group of libertarians could club together, buy an island somewhere and set up their own libertarian community. I for one would be fascinated to see how that developed. However, I have a suspicion that most libertarians aren’t prepared to put their money where their mouths are. Most libertarian literature seems to be mostly about constructing complex trains of logic resulting in weird consequences all based on questionable precepts and assumptions.

    I’ll quote again the introduction to Nozick’s ‘The Ethics of Liberty’:

    […] Nozick’s libertarianism was, and claimed to be, no more than just an interesting thought. He did not mean to do any real harm to the ideas of his socialist opponents. He only wanted to throw an interesting idea into the democratic open-ended intellectual debate, while everything real, tangible, and physical could remain unchanged and everyone could go on with his life and thoughts as before.

    Mental masturbation, one might call it, with the intention of irritating “socialists” (that appears to be a blanket term for non-libertarians) but with no practical applications.and nothing useful to contribute.

  112. #112 JGC
    October 30, 2013

    scottynuke @1309

    yeah, for some reason my mind drew a total blank with respect to the NRC

  113. #113 Gray Falcon
    October 30, 2013

    I think part of the problem people like Delysid have is a difficulty understanding concept of “implied contracts”. The various laws of the land can be seen as such: You benefit from interstate highways and police officers, and so you pay the taxes. Libertarians will claim they never consented to any agreement.

    However, if one enters a restaurant and requests a meal, then one is expected to pay for the meal. Saying “I never agreed to pay for this” will not go over well. As mentioned earlier, a bar with a cover charge can claim someone’s money for simply walking inside the premises. One can dispute such contracts: For example, if the cover charge is not posted clearly, or the amount being spent on public works is clearly less that the amount going in. Disputing the concept itself, however, is not a good idea.

  114. #114 Delysid
    October 31, 2013

    @Kreb

    You believe in voluntary relationships, therefore democracy? That makes sense to you? What about when the majority decides to use force (which happens daily in politics?) Argumentum ad populum?

    The tragedy regarding libertarianism is that a socialist community can exist peacefully in a larger libertarian society (aka communes), but a libertarian community is NOT permitted under a socialist government. If a group of libertarians join together and decide not to pay taxes they are declared terrorists by the government and invaded. In socialism everyone must be controlled.

    There a movement called the Free State Project where thousands of libertarians are moving to New Hampshire to try to influence state politics. They are having success. I am considering making the move out there.

    @Gray Falcon

    I understand political science far better than you do. You don’t have to go into a restaurant. The restaurant is not going to go to your house and arrest you for not eating there.

    It is ridiculous to compare this to government. Now the Federal Government has declared that everyone has to purchase health insurance. Simply by existing you are breaking the law if you don’t pay.

    The social contract is a joke. The founding fathers tried to establish a Republic of states and counties so that local governments could form their own laws and have some competition, but progressive tyrants have since destroyed the 10th amendment and now seek to pass all laws through the Federal government.

    It’s a disgusting mindset to have a small group of people in DC making laws for 300 million people.

  115. #115 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    October 31, 2013

    @Delysid

    As with the restaurant patron, you do not have to live in a country. You can go elsewhere. So what’s the problem with the country having certain rules for those who choose to live there?

    Oh, and I’ll ask again: Is there any form of government you’d support? If so, what roles would it fill? What would it do?

  116. #116 Gray Falcon
    October 31, 2013

    Here in the US, if you don’t make that much money and you suffer a serious illness, you had two options: Die of disease or die of penury. But at least you were given a choice.

  117. #117 OccamsLaser
    November 4, 2013

    Delysid@1283:

    “My parents were both public-school teachers in two different communities. They had such low-regard for the pitiful results of public schools (which they knew first-hand for decades) that they sent myself and my siblings to private schools.”

    Then why can’t you spell?

  118. #118 Krebiozen
    November 4, 2013

    That Free State Project is interesting. My sister-in-law lives in Dover, so I’ll have to warn that she is about to get swamped by libertarians. If a sufficient number of libertarians do move there it will be very interesting to see how it unfolds. If it does happen, I predict disaster within a year, but I would be happy to be proved wrong.

    As I have stated before, a libertarian society in which everyone behaves ethically and responsibly sounds lovely. The problem is there is a significant number of people who do not behave ethically or responsibly without being coerced to do so. Even then a large number do not. There are approximately 7 million people under correctional supervision (prison, probation, parole or jail) in the USA, which must surely tell you something.

  119. #119 Gray Falcon
    November 4, 2013

    I don’t think Delysid’s coming back anytime soon. He’s probably still reeling from the knowledge that most non-libertarians aren’t the stereotypes he learned in his forums, and don’t respond well to him suggesting otherwise. Mostly likely he left to rebuild his dwindling supply of cognitive dissonance.

  120. #120 Narad
    November 4, 2013

    That Free State Project is interesting.

    I especially like the part where people who have no intention of moving anywhere can sign up to help “Trigger the Move,” and all the “solemn intent” that it represents.

  121. #121 Delysid
    November 5, 2013

    I’ve been on a surgery rotation. It’s adorable though that people here think that they have made any impact on me whatsoever. I’m surrounded by dumbass statists everywhere and I’m bombarded with progressive propaganda (though I have a large network of varying degrees of like-minds that keeps me encouraged).

    You all mostly repeated the same tired arguments I always hear. Somalia, I’m a racist, I hate poor people, people are bad so we need a government of people are bad so we need a government of people, Ayn Rand, and so on. There were a few new twists that I had to think about and do some research on (mostly by Chris), but overall not really.

    I’m still a libertarian. Not one person changed any of my viewpoints. This is extremely unlikely unless we are talking about the nuances of minarchism vs. anarcho-capitalism, two viewpoints I oscillate between depending on my mood.

    All of you, unless you work directly for the State, presumably live your lives as libertarians. Most people do. Somehow there is a wide misunderstanding and mass hysteria that the government is the force keeping society orderly, so millions of people who live 364 days a year as libertarians vote on election day for tyranny.

  122. #122 Agashem
    November 5, 2013

    Surgery rotation? Doing what? Mopping the OR floor?

  123. #123 Gray Falcon
    November 5, 2013

    Delysid, if you had bothered to read our posts, you would have noticed that we mostly asked questions about how your “free society” would deal with real-world situations, which you responded to with scatological insults. Do you think dishonesty impresses us? Do you really think anyone is going to believe your lies? Do you realize anyone can simply scroll up to see the truth?

    And I don’t work for the state, but I don’t live as a libertarian. I use roads paid for by taxes, am protected by state police and fire departments, and know that nobody can build a rending plant in our neighborhood. Compare that to your “free society”, where one would likely need a gas mask and three weapons on hand at all times.

  124. #124 Narad
    November 6, 2013

    Surgery rotation? Doing what?

    Has spring come early in Columbus? (PDF)

  125. #125 Politicalguineapig
    November 6, 2013

    An interesting look on how libertarianism ‘works’ in real life:

    http://www.alternet.org/how-ayn-rand-ruined-my-childhood

  126. #126 Khani
    November 6, 2013

    “Not one person changed any of my viewpoints.”

    Well, yes. You said no evidence or logic could make you change your viewpoints. Therefore your viewpoint didn’t change. I didn’t even bother engaging the actual argument for that reason.

    So, we’re all ganging up on you, but we’re all secretly libertarians who secretly agree with you, if we’d only admit it, and we all secretly act like libertarians when no one is watching because secretly we all know you are secretly right!

    Congratulations, you are become Greg, the destroyer of intelligent thought.

  127. #127 Julian Frost
    Gauteng East Rand
    November 6, 2013

    @Politicalguineapig, I read that article. Frankly, her dad comes across as a psychopath. “I’ve got mine so f*** everyone else!” It strikes me that libertarianism and psychopathy fit each other like hand and glove.

  128. #128 Krebiozen
    November 6, 2013

    Somehow there is a wide misunderstanding and mass hysteria that the government is the force keeping society orderly, so millions of people who live 364 days a year as libertarians vote on election day for tyranny.

    I suppose it hasn’t occurred to you that perhaps, just perhaps, it is true that the government is the force keeping society orderly. Maybe that’s one reason why societies have governments. I’m certainly glad to have some sort of law enforcement where I live, because of the crime that occurs every day. Without any police I can only imagine that it would be worse, but I suppose that’s my limited imagination.

    I can imagine a private police force, that I could choose to pay for or not. But then why should I pay for the police to get rid of the drug dealers and prostitutes who have recently decided to move into my local area, for example, when my neighbor hasn’t bothered? Funding a police force through central taxation seems a lot simpler and fairer to me.

    By the way, I still chuckle quietly to myself when I see the USA described as “tyranny”. “Help, help, I’m being oppressed!”

  129. #129 Todd W.
    http://www.harpocratesspeaks.com
    November 6, 2013

    @Delysid

    As Khani points out, you are starting to sound an awful lot like Greg.

    minarchism vs. anarcho-capitalism, two viewpoints I oscillate between depending on my mood

    Ah, so sometimes you’re a statist, and sometimes you’re an anarchist? Thanks for answering what form of government (if any) you think there should be. Now for the second half of my question: when you’re feeling statist, what specific role should the state play? What level of government action is allowable?

    I can imagine a private police force, that I could choose to pay for or not. But then why should I pay for the police to get rid of the drug dealers and prostitutes who have recently decided to move into my local area, for example, when my neighbor hasn’t bothered?

    Krebiozen, good point. There’s also the question: what’s the difference between a private police force and a mafia?

  130. #130 Politicalguineapig
    November 6, 2013

    Julian: Good point. As I said earlier, a lot of libertarians seem to like the movement because they feel that the state impedes them from being as creeptastic and awful as they want to be.
    I also think that a lot of libertarians fundamentally misunderstand society. They seem to think we are all tigers growling at each other in the night, not that we’re social animals and have evolved rules so we can function and survive as a species.

  131. #131 JGC
    Wait a minute there, Delysid
    November 6, 2013

    All of you, unless you work directly for the State, presumably live your lives as libertarians.

    You’re now saying it’s possible to live one’s life as a libertarian even in a democratic republic where markets are regulated and ‘government force’ is all pervasive?

    Why do you see such a critical need to abandon this system to embrace an unrelgulated free market liberatarian state, if that’s the case?

  132. #132 Delysid
    November 6, 2013

    An article published on Alternet denouncing Objectivism (not libertarianism) that says “my brother hogged the mashed potatoes” is exactly the level of intellectualism I’ve come to expect from Orac’s special education blog.

    Kreb needs the police to protect him from drug dealers and prostitutes (both victimless “crimes” against the State). If the government is the source of order, I can only assume that it is the only force stopping Kreb from smoking crack and banging prostitutes. Because principles are not intrinsic and free will doesn’t exist right? The State is the alpha and the omega?

    @Todd

    I have answered this no less than 3 times now.

    I am both a statist and an anarcho-capitalist because I am of the belief that a population of a certain size will always force some form of a government on society and that “pure” anarchy is just theoretical. I view anarchy as a limit in calculus in that we can’t reach it, but that we should always be approaching it. I am also of the belief that a government that only has a function of a court system would be functionally indistinguishable from a private court system.

    @Narad

    I was tempted to upload proof with my Oral and Maxillofacial department surgery security card with identification numbers blocked out, then came to my senses and realized screw you. I had class all morning and I’m my next shift starts in a few minutes.

    I’m amused that people here are calling me a liar and downplaying dentistry. Dental students aren’t treating cases as complicated as the OMFS residents and specialists obviously, and it isn’t thoracic or neurosurgery, but it is surgery nonetheless. The professional degree historically was called a Doctor of Dental Surgery for a reason.

    Simple extractions make up the bulk of my cases, but I did a surgical extraction of a grossly carious #18 with symptomatic irreversible pulpitis and symptomatic apical periodontitis. There wasn’t enough solid enamel or dentin on the crown for leverage for elevation of the remaining root so I had to prepare a buccal triangular surgical flap and access the root by cutting a trough with the drill.
    Oh yeah and IA blocks and infiltration do little to stop the sensation of pressure and the patient had a large periapical abscess and was fully conscience. Bleeding was profuse due to the inflammation and having taken aspirin earlier for the pain.

    And all of this was taking place in the back of the mouth.Delivering the root tip and tying of the last suture was a good feeling.

    But I guess that is no different from mopping the floor.

  133. #133 Julian Frost
    November 6, 2013

    Delysid:

    An article published on Alternet denouncing Objectivism (not libertarianism) that says “my brother hogged the mashed potatoes”…

    Did you read past the first page? Her father refused to support her mother and had to be forced to pay alimony by the courts. If the courts hadn’t intervened, she, her brother and mother may have had serious problems.

    Kreb needs the police to protect him from drug dealers and prostitutes

    That whooshing noise was the sound of the point going over your head at full speed. Drug Dealers and prostitutes mean drug addicts and johns, and people do need protection from them.
    Get it?

  134. #134 JGC
    November 6, 2013

    I am also of the belief that a government that only has a function of a court system would be functionally indistinguishable from a private court system.

    Can you provide an real-world example of a functional private court system for comparison, Delysid?

  135. #135 Khani
    November 6, 2013

    1332 Delysid “…exactly the level of intellectualism I’ve come to expect from Orac’s special education blog.”

    Sexism before, and now ableism.

    Exactly the level of discourse we’re used to from you, who will not change his mind regardless of the type and amount of evidence.

  136. #136 Chemmomo
    the real world
    November 6, 2013

    Delysid @1332

    exactly the level of intellectualism I’ve come to expect from Orac’s special education blog

    Why are you even posting here?

    Are you trying to be provocative deliberately, to evoke emotional responses?

    Do you think you’re trying to educate people? Or are you just entertaining yourself?

  137. #137 Mewens
    November 6, 2013

    I’ve been following this thread for more than 1,300 replies now, and I still don’t actually know what Delysid believes.

    Oh, I get that he or she hates the idea of government (that is, a body vested with special powers); what I don’t get is why that particular form of collectivism is different from the de facto power of any other collectivist institution.

    Similarly, I don’t get why such collectivist action isn’t the natural outgrowth of “unregulated markets,” or even what unregulated markets are supposed to be. By their very nature, players regulate markets; I’m not sure how government actions are supposed to be of a different kind than the individual actions.

    It’s almost as if Delysid assumes that power only flows from the government, and never from individuals — as if he or she assumes some natural force will keep individuals from trampling each other’s rights, but that force is somehow powerless before a government. It’d be one thing if he or she eschewed the concepts of rights altogether; then there’d be some harmony to the theory. As it is, it’s a hot mess that I can’t make heads or tails of.

  138. #138 Gray Falcon
    November 6, 2013

    @Mewens- That’s because you’re assuming he’s actually interested in a coherent theory or functioning society. More likely, he’s started with his goals (becoming a dentist without going through dental school) and developed a political stance around them.

    Let’s face it, between his esoteric definitions, habit of partial quotation, and brazen ableism, Delysid’s become the next Th1Th2.

  139. #139 Krebiozen
    November 6, 2013

    Delysid,

    Kreb needs the police to protect him from drug dealers and prostitutes (both victimless “crimes” against the State). If the government is the source of order, I can only assume that it is the only force stopping Kreb from smoking crack and banging prostitutes.

    As Julian Frost pointed out you appear to miss my point. I can look out of my living room window most evenings recently and see drug dealers doing business less than 20 yards away. It’s quite interesting to watch, a bit like a real life version of The Wire, though we try not to let them know we are watching, for obvious reasons.

    My wife stumbled upon a junkie prostitute shooting up in our communal garbage area a couple of days ago – it is normally locked but someone must have forgotten. Presumably these people have been moved on form wherever they were doing business before. This appears to be the free market in drugs in operation, but drug dealing is very competitive and it brings other crimes, such as prostitution,and because we live right on the boundary of two gang territories we have had two gang-related shootings within a half mile radius of our home, one 5 yards from my front door.

    I don’t want this going on in my neighborhood – would you? My neighbors have children, which makes this even worse. I don’t want to leave the area, and don’t have the resources to do so even if I wanted to. Short of getting together with my neighbors and forming some sort of vigilante group, getting the police to deal with this problem seems like the best solution. It’s what we pay our taxes for, among other things.

    Because principles are not intrinsic and free will doesn’t exist right? The State is the alpha and the omega?

    Using my free will I voluntarily choose to pay taxes to pay for a police force that deals with crime, though sometimes less effectively than I would like. What’s the libertarian solution? Gangs of vigilantes with guns and baseball bats? I’ll stick with my trusty London bobbies thanks.

  140. #140 Politicalguineapig
    November 6, 2013

    JF: It actually got worse. Her father tried to force her to emancipate herself, so he could make her pay rent and bills.

  141. #141 Julian Frost
    November 7, 2013

    I know, PGP. My eyebrows nearly shot off my head at that point.

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