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Libertarians and the Iran Deal

29 Sep
Why libertarians can’t have nice things.

It seems like President Obama will get his Iran deal, with Maryland Senator Barbara Mikulski, the Senate’s longest serving closeted lesbian, announcing that she will provide the tipping point in support of it.  Senator Ted Cruz is still holding a rally against it September 9th on Capitol Hill, with Glenn Beck, Donald Trump, and the Tea Party Patriots group cheering on the deal’s opponents.

Earlier this week I argued that advocates of a non-interventionist foreign policy (particularly libertarians) shouldn’t support Obama’s Iran Deal – and chided them for making the error of giving Obama the benefit of the doubt, something many had done during the 2008 election.

My argument was that the deal was mainly a boon to the Iranian government and government-to-government transfers among statist, centrally planned economies – and hence in no way libertarian because:

1) It allows the Iranian state to access $150 billion in frozen assets (for comparison, 50 times the annual U.S. military aid to Israel) rather than have them remain frozen or pay them out as damages to Iranian dissidents and refugees abroad;

 2) It lifts sanctions on European, Chinese, and Russian (but not American, the fine print reads) businesses that invest in or sell to and buy from Iranian entities;

3) It produces a pretense of weapons inspections of Iranian nuclear plants, in which Iran may inspect itself, and has many days notice to schedule such inspections, at which no Americans are to be allowed.

The response from my fellow libertarians has been underwhelming, though revealing.

My favorite response was from my internet pen pal Angela Keaton, a fundraiser and activist for  Ms. Keaton wrote: “ You know it is only because I am on [a] fast from everything that I didn’t write some comedy about y[ou]r Iran piece in Breitbart.  In fact, I am not supposed to read anything this month so that unfortunately will be the only thing I read this month that doesn’t involve prayer, fasting, and meditation.”  Ms. Keaton and I may not agree on everything about what a libertarian foreign policy would be (we rarely discuss it), though we do discuss how we agree that anti-Semites should not be welcome in the libertarian movement.

Unfortunately, another “libertarian” correspondent, Juan Garofalo disagreed:  “tell us bruce, how much money does a neocunt like you get from the jew mafia?”

But the bulk of libertarians had responses in between these two, and those responses seemed to me to betray a lot of confused thinking, reading comprehension failures, inability to grasp distinctions, smugness, projection, and appeals to various logical fallacies, particularly false assertions of moral equivalency.

The issue (and my article) was taken up at the libertarian run Independent Political Report, where a number of local Libertarian Party activists weighed in.

 George Phillies, a retired physics professor, who a few years ago ran to be an officer in the Libertarian Party nationally, begins the moral equivalency, asserting that the Iranian regime needs nuclear weapons as other states do to prevent itself from being invaded: “The Iranians like several other countries do have a use for nuclear weapons, namely it makes it unlikely they will be invaded. The late dictator of Libya gave up this possible use to his ultimate misfortune. The South Africans thought it was useful. India, Pakistan and Israel are in similar boats.”  One wonders if Dr. Phillies would generalize this argument – that anything a State needs and has a “use for,” from tax monies, to conscripts, to seized assets – justify its having them?  It’s a whole new world for libertarianism!

Joshua Katz, a mathematics graduate student and local elected Libertarian in Connecticut, who seems to think he might be viable as a presidential candidate, is also unhappy with me, and insists in the yahoogroup for “LeftLibertarians” (where Mr. Garafalo contributes),  that he is not asserting a moral equivalence between the U.S. and Iranian regimes, even as he does it: “Government property is, in reality, owned in common by the citizens who are forced to pay for it – nothing about that is ideal, and it creates plenty of confusion as to property rights.  It in no way empowers a different government to come inspect that property.  Every complaint about governments not having rights applies equally to the inspecting nation as to the inspected.  Moral equivalence has nothing to do with it.  How you treat someone, outside of specific defense against a specific aggression, has nothing to do with your moral judgment of that person.  How governments interact has the same rule.  

Quick – name 5 countries invaded recently by Iran.  Then do the same for the US.  Name the countries Iran has dropped nuclear bombs on, then the countries the US has dropped nuclear bombs on, and explain why the US gets to be “in the club” and Iran doesn’t.  

Don’t bother, I’ll write your response for you:
This is gibberish.  Iran is bad.  The US is good.  Rah, rah.  Obama is a tyrant. 

I find Mr. Katz’s writing turgid and his thinking hard to follow – good thing he’s studying math I guess, and not English literature.  He goes on at length with what I think he thinks is conclusive and intelligent commentary, but one part is most telling.  When I observe that Iran theocracy executes gays, maintains an internet Iron Curtain to prevent Iranians from reading the world wide web, calls for death to Israel and the U.S., is keeping Americans hostage, and shot into a crowd of protesters as recently as 2009, killing Neda Soltan, Katz responds that Iran should have nuclear weapons because the U.S. is no better, what with detaining suspected terrorists at Guantanamo:  “…it’s not a matter of moral equivalence, because my point there is that the moral equivalence claims are pointless and stupid – of course we treat different actors equally, even if we judge them morally to be different (I’ll go to Guantanamo and ask about human rights records), if the moral difference is not salient to the case in point, which it isn’t.  If we restrict our attention to nuclear weapons, who comes off looking better?”  It’s difficult to read his prose and make out his meaning, but he does recur again and again to citing (supposed) sins of the American government to justify the Iranian government having nuclear weapons.

At both Breitbart and IPR other libertarians begin to babble about “rights” that governments have, to own weapons, or not be inspected, or to have access to assets, because … the United Nations says they have rights or because previous American Presidents signed treaties that created those rights.  Another advance in libertarian theory, which previously argued that rights had something to do with human nature and how individual freedom promoted a peaceful and prosperous society.

I’m waiting this week for some libertarians to endorse the election of Hillary Clinton on the grounds that her private server was private property and her selling uranium to Putin and god knows what else to whom else were voluntary capitalist acts between consenting adults.

If these people end up being influential in the Libertarian Party then it too will at most be the lessor evil among the electoral choices.

Happy Hanukkah Advent Calendar – Our 10 Hottest Libertarian Jews

30 Dec
(Our list is for humor – and appreciation – and includes atheists, agnostics, half-Jews, and anyone else we wanted to include, who is arguably Jewish.  We aren’t promising not to do a list of hot libertarian clergy for Easter.  I’m also including Objectivists etc. because a square is a rectangle even if a rectangle isn’t always a square.  So…get your dreidels out for a game of spin the dreidel…



ליברטי .)

We have 8 days of Hanukkah…so we will be adding a hot Jew every day (before sunset), like an Advent calendar.  Nominate the remaining hot libertarian Jews.  And please, current MOTs, no Ayn Rand, Jane Jacobs, Murray Rothbard, Milton Friedman.  Also feel free to nominate people for the Hanukkah 5776 list.


TV’s Andy Levy

Well, warm and cuddly anyway.  Although we found this glamour shot.  Mr. Levy is known for his cats, his dry wit on the FoxNew’s show RedEye, and his sweet little cheeks.  (He has a nice punim too.)

Brittany Leigh Sligar

Ms. Sligar, an undergraduate, blogs at Natural Folk and declares on twitterI want to abolish the government. Yay for Anarcho-Capitalism. Long live free markets!”

Jim Epstein

Mr. Epstein is a writer and video producer at reason magazine.


Angela Keaton

Sometime member of the Libertarian National Committee, Ms. Keaton works at  If you become her pen pal she will supply you with very amusing articles and humor, often about Taylor Swift or liberty movement celebrities.


Alan Gura

Mr. Gura is the chief 2nd Amendment advocate in American courts in the Heller decision and other cases.  I’d go to a shooting range with him anytime.


Michelle Minton

Newlywed Ms. Minton runs Human Achievement Happy Hour and writes for the Competitive Enterprise Institute.


Alex Epstein

A philosophy student by training, Epstein is the author of the new book,  The Moral Case for Fossil Fuels and a website on the same subject.

Ashley Rae Goldenberg

A student at George Mason University, Ms. Goldenberg wrote an admirable short defense of Israel and is a contributing editor for Liberty Without Apologies. Follow her on Twitter @Communism_Kills.


Jeremy Sapienza

Sapienza (left) is the proprietor of Cafe La Mejor in Brooklyn and an urban gardener.  Amazingly, even though a Jew and a libertarian, he has been known to blog.

Daria Kafler

Ms. Kafler is a member of Tel Aviv University Students for Liberty

Taylor Swift, Capitalist, "Shrugs It Off"

21 Dec

A libertarian activist I know, someone who has “stopped driving stick” after a recent diremption, is fascinated by Miss Taylor Swift, in part because of the persistent rumors that Swift’s immersion into the world of high fashion models has an amorous purpose.

If being tall, blond, gorgeous, self-made rich, talented, AND dating the cream of the runway were not enough, Miss Swift now seems to be dumping Kennedy boys before they drown her (as is their wont) and making hundreds of thousands off flipping real estate she buys in the Kennedy compound (pictured) while dating them.

If you have BBC America you saw a charmingly young and awkward Swift try to keep up verbally with John Cleese and others on The Graham Norton Show (arguably a better show than any American late night talk shows).

I think in a decade if someone makes a really good version of Atlas Shrugged, when Miss Swift will be in her mid-30s, they could do much worse in casting Dagny Taggart than to offer the part to Taylor Swift.

Oversexed at CPAC

9 Mar

Dredging up coverage of sex at CPAC is nothing new.  For years leftovers have been shocked, shocked!, that 23 year old gay guys, away from home in the big city at nice hotels with like minded people and a lot of booze go online to hook up with each other – which has led me for two years to post a spoof Craigslist ad:

 CPAC – m4m – 43 (National Harbor)

age : 43
Radical libertarian would like to tie up and abuse proglodyte and leftover journalists.

Boys who look like Sally Kohn or Chris Hayes who need to be tied up, slapped around and fucked.

Also any Rick Santorum supporters in the closet or younger versions of Lindsey Graham or John McCain.

Or if you are just a decent constitutionalist type, we can have regular non-hate sex, or even a drink.

Your place

    I thought I’d had an oversexed CPAC by Saturday morning – 

    On Friday at CPAC  the former Wonkette, Ana Marie Cox, flirted with me.  I had media credentials as a blogger and was sitting in the front row of the media section, when a cute, slim, strawberry blond woman asked to sit next to me, at a seat where I was charging my second IPad.  I was confused as to why she would need that seat, since I thought the rest of the row was empty (turned out people had left bags or laptops at every seat), so I quizzically said “Sure, I guess…” and Ms. Cox said “Oh, did you think I just wanted to sit by you?” not realizing I suppose that her gaydar is rather faulty.  Later, as I recorded the crowd reaction to Rand Paul’s speech with my other IPad, which is what she had swooped in to take notes on, she helpfully pointed out that my arm must be getting tired and C-Span would have it all recorded.  I don’t think it crossed her mind I wanted to record the crowd.  I started to take her photo but I just recorded a few seconds  of her in my Rand Paul video.  (I find leftovers often assume you are stupid and that they can explain to you how you might better use your time.)  Ms. Cox is famously, among other things, the gal who tittered with Maddow on her show about “teabaggers.”

    Then at dinner a libertarian conservative boy told me stories about his hilariously clueless youth not knowing women were coming onto him when they would do things like get into an elevator with him and tell him they weren’t wearing panties.  I have now collected enough silly sex stories like this, a fair portion from socially awkward libertarian boys, I may publish them as a paperback.

    Finally, a drunken grad student girl at the very classy, SCOTUS -adjacent Breitbart party on Capitol Hill (every tall, beautiful opinion commentator from FOX News, champagne flowing until 1 pm, a 10 piece band) gave me a vodka martini, climbed up on me, and ground her pudenda into my Johnson.

    So I felt that was a pretty sexualized day at CPAC.

    But then on Saturday I learned of Rainbow Beaver.  You might think this is something cooked up by Angela Keaton of Outright Libertarians at Libertopia, some wild libertarian lesbian rave.  It would be closer to say it’s the womens’ auxiliary of GOProud though, since the newly reconstituted, and somewhat more conservative (in its PR approach) GOProud was the target.

    Those lovely Catholic homophobe boys who wear red sashes at their booth at CPAC (perfect, I’d imagine, for tying up the wrists and ankles of your lover before pounding his manhole) were circulating a graphic depicting a malevolent rainbow beaver eating one of the legs of Ronald Reagan’s stool of conservatism: family values, free markets, and a strong military.  Rich Lowry of National Review went into the stool crap on the panel he shared with reason’s Katherine Mangu-Ward.

    Why do these idiot conservatives insist on this metaphor?  First of all, “stool” sounds like you are talking about unpleasant medical specimens.  Second, a stool has three legs and they often start talking about three stools.  Third, this is not conceptual thought – it’s like idiot Keynesians discussing how the economy is like a water balloon or a pump.  The three legs are in conflict they do not support each other – the conservative belief that only state engineered and approved families support the market economy is in conflict with the market economy.

    I’m beginning to think the rainbow beaver image isn’t about destroying the wood (calling Dr. Freud!) in the Reaganite stool – it’s fear of the libertarian porcupine.


    Angela Keaton on gender and statism

    20 Oct

    Ann Coulter where art thou!

    4 Jul
    With apologies to Mrs. Schlafly for violating her privacy, but I am sure she is a good sport who likes humor (and I am going to follow her back!):

    A Few Updates...

    Hi, Bruce!

    Phyllis Schlafly
    Phyllis Schlafly started following all of your boards on Pinterest. You might want to follow Phyllis back.
    See Profile

    Pinned by Phyllis

    Angela Keaton
    8:11 PM (23 hours ago)

    to me

     Always display images from
    You are my fucking hero. You can quote me on that. 

    Outright Libertarian elect new officers

    2 Jan
    Dear Supporters of LGBT Libertarians:

    Let’s welcome our new Outright officers:
    Vice Chair: Steven Rodriguez (TN), 
    Secretary: Ruth Bennett (AZ), 
    Treasurer: Rob Power (NY). 
     On Sunday afternoon, January 13 at 4pm ET, 1pm PT, we’ll 
    be having a general membership meeting (virtually — via a Google 
    Hangout) to  discuss our priorities such as new active state affiliates 
    and identifying  states where same sex marriage might be overturned.  
    The link to the  Google Hangout will be posted at 
    shortly before the  meeting.

    If you have any agenda items, please email our Secretary: 

    Ruth Bennett before January 10th.  We still have state
    coordinator  slots open, please contact me at the email address below.

    If you have any feedback/suggestions regarding the method of 

    meeting (if you’re reading this on the web, you should be able to 
    join the Google Hangout, but if you must join by phone, tell us), 
    please email our Treasurer, Rob Power.

    In Liberty,
    Angela Keaton
    Outright Libertarians