December 05, 2013

#Libertarians: For the rule of law — except when NOT!

That "not" is well-illustrated at this piece by Wired, about a person arrested for allegedly stealing electricity from a local school by plugging in his electric vehicle without permission.

Wired, semi-libertarian, but not full-on, hard-on libertarian (pu n intended, I'm sure some libtards get wet dreams, especially Randian ones, who may even self-stimulate while reading "Atlas Shrugged") starts things off with a "framing" headline that makes it look like smaller theft amounts are OK.

No, they're not. That's why we have, though, different criminality levels for different levels of theft, with "penny-ante" stuff being a misdemeanor. Misdemeanors are still crimes, though.

The real fun is in the comments, though.

It's just the pikers who say 5 cents (which we don't know, could have been more) isn't theft.

The real fun is with the hard-on libtards saying various versions of, "It's the gummint, dammit. So this guy is just getting his tax money back."

Guys like CowboyDroid (who's a real nutbar, per his Disqus profile):
If he's paying taxes, he's paying for that school's electricity. So maybe he's just getting his money back.
And, that's one of his less loopy statements. (He later claimed this is NOT a denial that a theft took place. Sorry, buddy, but it walks, talks and quacks like a duck.)

Here's another:
Sociopaths, the lot of them. Sociopaths are drawn to power and bossing others around. And even people who aren't particularly sociopathic tend to become so after serving in the system.
Yep. Being part of a "social compact" (remember that, libertarians who like to appeal to Jefferson or Locke?) doesn't include paying for public goods.

My response to some of his stuff:
Well, that didn't take long. I suspect more libertarian-type comments are coming up on this thread. The "harm" is stealing from the public commons. Maybe your house catches fire, and I tell the fire department, "Excuse me, my lawn is dry, and I paid taxes for you. The guy with the house on fire understands."

"Sociopath" could apply to antisocial libertarians, ready to "chisel" whenever they can. And I'm out of here. I'm sure your mind isn't open to other new thoughts, anyway.
And, it's not.

Here's Droid again:
There is no such thing as "the public commons." Only individuals can own property.
And, his bottom line, which sounds Randian indeed:
“A theft is a theft.”

If that is the case, let's place all tax collectors under arrest for forcibly taking money that they haven't earned.
Yep, the gummint is the ultimate thief. At which point, another commenter told him to move to Somalia if he didn't want to pay taxes. (Actually, he's beyond Rand. He quotes Mark Skousen elsewhere.)

He's not alone, though.

Other commenters there, of the NRA Second Amendment absolutist type, accuse the cop in the case of being a thug, of conducting a shakedown, of lying, and more.

Cops can be all that. So can Randian libertarians.

And, speaking of cops, the alleged perpetrator had a previous police warning that he wasn't allowed there, at that school. Given that, the theft charge is certainly warranted. Imagine a C-store passing out a trespassing warning to a suspected shoplifter, then said person comes back and gets caught red-handed, even if only with a pack of gum.

Meanwhile, per HuffPost, it sounds like the alleged perp, Kaveh Kamooneh, is a libertarian-type chiselier, like I accused Droid of being:
"I agree that 'theft is theft,'" Kamooneh said. "I don't agree that every taking without consent is theft." He argued that people aren't arrested or prosecuted in Chamblee for drinking water from a spigot, or even charging laptops or cell phones in public places.
He even uses the same arguments that the libtards use on Wired.

Also, given that it's folks like you who pushed for whacking education budgets in many states during the Great Recession, it's doubly onerous for folks like you to be stealing from a public school.

Unfortunately, a selective sampling of news stories hasn't led me to find out WHY he got the previous police warning.

Meanwhile, as for libertarians who say, "We're not like that"? Fine. You have to deal with it the same way liberal Methodists deal with Pat Robertson and Ted Cruz, or the way Sufi mystics deal with al-Qaeda.

Back to commenters of the likes of Droid, though.

It's people like this that lead science websites to end allowing online comments, or smart newspapers like the Sacramento Bee to treat online comments like letters to the editor, which must be verified by real name, address and phone number.

It's also why libertarian economists of the likes of Tyler Cowan are right about how a connected world  has not been a massive new industrial revolution and never will add that much to our economy, while at the same time being massively wrong about how we just need to, more than ever, get the gummint out of the business of doing much of anything, and our economy will explode.

Oh, it might, for the short term. Full-on libertarianism can create its own low-hanging fruit. See Boris Yeltsin's Russia.

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