Bill Maher Just Plain Incorrect


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“Many years ago on a television network far, far away”, there was a show called “Politically Incorrect with Bill Maher“.  I was a big fan, rarely missed watching and was sorry to see the show cancelled, though I have to admit that the comment which led to its demise went beyond politically incorrect to politically just plain dumb.  See Note 1 below.

I do not subscribe to HBO, so have not had the opportunity to watch Maher’s current show, “Real Time with Bill Maher“.  Thanks to a Facebook post by “Can this poodle wearing a tinfoil hat get more fans than Glenn Beck?“, however, I became aware of this “New Rules” segment by Maher regarding libertarians:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b9PezT3n4To

One of the reasons I liked Maher was that he was a self-professed supporter of libertarianism.  As a libertarian myself, I usually found his “politically incorrect” commentary in tune with my political philosophy.  Apparently, however, as demonstrated by his “New Rules” on libertarians, Maher has deserted some of his libertarian ideals, no longer understands what drives the libertarian philosophy and/or simply can no longer recognize a libertarian when he sees one (or doesn’t).

As examples of “libertarians” who are ruining libertarianism, Maher cites Wisconsin republican congressman Paul Ryan and Kentucky republican senator Rand Paul.

Sorry, Bill, but Paul Ryan is mostly a flat out right wing conservative and not a libertarian at all — see this Mother Jones webpage for a 2012 venn diagram showing just how little overlap there is between modern libertarian ideals and Paul Ryan’s political positions:

http://www.motherjones.com/mojo/2012/08/paul-ryan-libertarian-chart

And Rand Paul is no Ron Paul; nor is he anything like real libertarians like two-time Libertarin Party presidential candidate Harry Browne or Judge Andrew NapolitanoSee Note 2 below.

In his monologue, Maher says he once supported libertarianism because he didn’t want “big government in my bedroom, my medicine chest and especially not in the second drawer of the night stand on the left side of my bed”.  (Exactly what do you keep there, anyway, Bill?)  Though professing to still believe in those ideals, Maher charged that libertarianism has “morphed into this creepy obsession with free market capitalism based on an Ayn Rand novel called ‘Atlas Shrugged'”.

Sorry again, Bill, but those of us who are still truly libertarians base our political beliefs on such foundational documents as the Declaration of Independence and (especially) the Bill of Rights to the US Constitution, not “Atlas Shrugged” (or any other work of fiction).  Ayn Rand, by the way, in “Atlas Shrugged” or otherwise, was no libertarian (and, contrary to appearances, Rand Paul was not named in honor of Ayn Rand — his first name is actually Randal).

Ayn Rand in her time was extremely critical of libertarians, and once explained that she disapproved of them because they are “a monstrous, disgusting bunch of people” and “perhaps the worst political group today”.  See note 3 below.

Anyone who wants to learn what modern libertarianism is really about can do so by going to the Libertarian Party website here:

http://www.lp.org/

… or by visiting the Facebook page of The Advocates for Self-Government here:

https://www.facebook.com/SelfGov

The Advocates for Self-Government publish a libertarian newsletter, The Liberator Online, the most recent edition of which is available online here:

http://us2.campaign-archive2.com/?u=8f8d44f1fc10bd074f648a4de&id=6039093196&e=16f5dddde4

The Liberator Online is also distributed by email, for which you can sign up on this page.

And, to see if you are a libertarian, go here and take The World’s Smallest Political Quiz:

http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz

It’s just 10 questions (5 on personal issues and 5 on economic issues) and can be completed in a few minutes.  Perhaps Bill Maher should take it as a refresher course on what libertarianism really is.

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Note 1:  For a brief explanation of how and why “Politically Incorrect” crossed over into “Politically Stupid” and got cancelled, see:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bill_Maher#Politically_Incorrect_with_Bill_Maher

Note 2:  For more on Judge Andrew Napolitano, see this earlier “Free Legal Advice” blog:

https://freelegaladvice.wordpress.com/2013/01/26/lies-the-government-told-you/

and his own website:

http://www.judgenap.com/

Note 3:  For a detailed explication of Ayn Rand’s views on libertarianism, see this Q&A page on the Ayn Rand Institute website:

http://www.aynrand.org/site/PageServer?pagename=ar_libertarianism_qa

“Lies the Government Told You”


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I just finished listening to the audio book, “Lies the Government Told You” by former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew P. Napolitano and highly recommend it.  In fact, this is a book that every American should read (or listen to the audio version of).  In it, Judge Napolitano discusses the many ways in which the US federal government has deceived and continues to deceive the American People as it arrogates unto itself more and more power, diminishing in the process both individual liberties and the power of the states.

Judge Napolitano concludes his compelling discourse with a bold and detailed statement of what We The People must do to rectify this situation and reverse the federal government’s ongoing and increasing power grab.  To whet your appetite, I am going to quote the concluding paragraphs of the book in full:

We will need a major political transformation in this country to rid ourselves of persons in government who kill, lie, cheat, and steal in our names. We will need to recognize some painful truths.

First, we must acknowledge that through the actions of the government we have lost much of the freedom that we once all thought was guaranteed by the Constitution, our laws, and our values. The lost freedoms have been cataloged in this book and need not be restated here. In sum, they are the loss of the primacy of the individual’s inalienable rights and the concept that government is limited in its powers. We have lost the diffusion of power between the states and the federal government. We have lost a federal government that stays within the confines of the Constitution.

Second, we must recognize that we do not have a two-party system in this country; we have one party, the Big Government Party. There is a Republican version that assaults our civil liberties and loves deficits and war, and a Democratic version that assaults our commercial liberties and loves wealth transfers and taxes.

Third, we must acknowledge that there is a fire in the bellies of millions of young people who reject both wretched visions of the Big Government Party. These millions of young folks need either to form a Liberty Party or to build on the libertarian base in the Republican Party by banishing Big Government conservatives, neocons, and so-called social conservatives who want to use government to tell others how to live their lives back to the Democratic Party from whence they came.

Then we need a political fever that consumes the careers of all in government who voted for the Patriot Act, the illegal wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, the TARP and stimulus programs, the federal takeover of education, spying on Americans without warrants, and all other unconstitutional monstrosities that have tethered lovers of liberty to Washington, D.C.

We should abolish the federal income tax, prohibit eminent domain, impose term congressional limits, make Congress part-time, return the power to elect senators to State legislatures, abolish the Federal Reserve system, and prosecute for malfeasance any member of Congress who cannot articulate where the Constitution authorizes whatever he or she is voting for or who has voted for any law that he has or she has not certified under oath that he or she read and fully understands. And we must reject the nice smiles and easy ways and seductive promises of anyone in government who lies to us.

The Big Government Party crowd is obviously not afraid of lying or being caught in a lie. Its members do not fear their own lawlessness or our loss of freedom. They only fear the loss of their own power. So let’s use that fear against them. Jefferson understood and articulated this best when he wrote: “When the people fear the government, there is tyranny. When the government fears the people, there is liberty.”

If we fear our own government, if we accept its deceptions, its lies to us, if we take no action to redress them, our freedoms are doomed.

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For Judge Napolitano’s personal website, see here:

http://www.judgenap.com/

For Judge Napolitano’s biography, see here:

http://www.judgenap.com/bio/

The “Lies the Government Told You” page of the judge’s website is here:

http://www.judgenap.com/books/lies-the-government-told-you/