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Friday, September 14, 2007

Ron Paul at Seattle University

posted by on September 14 at 15:50 PM

In case you hadn’t heard, Ron Paul is in town today.


He spoke at Seattle University this afternoon before heading out to Microsoft for another speech, after which he will head back to Seattle for a rally at the downtown Westin.

Jeff Jared, the campaign’s special projects coordinator, told me that Paul expects to bring in $50,000 - $60,000 from his one-day swing through the area.

I went to the Seattle University lecture, which was packed. In terms of rhetoric, I didn’t hear anything new from Paul. But then again, a major reason people like Paul is because he’s so consistent—he’s had the same libertarian positions forever, and when your cache is never shifting your positions, you don’t have to change your talking points much on the campaign trail.

So there was his usual talk about the importance of strictly following the Constitution; his distrust of our monetary policy; his warnings about the welfare state; his distaste for the IRS, the Federal Reserve, and so on; and his reverence for the Founding Fathers.

One noteworthy exchange: When a member of the SU College Republicans asked Paul about endangered species laws and King County’s critical areas ordinance, Paul appeared to come out against federal endangered species protections.

“I’ve been reading the Constitution now and then,” he told the crowd. “I can’t find endangered species written in the Constitution.”

He quickly added that his comments shouldn’t be interpreted as meaning he’s opposed to protecting endangered species. “It’s the bureaucratic approach vs. the free market approach,” he said—and he wants the job of protecting endangered species to be left to the free market.

“Private property owners would do a better job than we would through federal regulations,” Paul said.

I’m not sure that’s what liberals in King County want to hear, but Jared, Paul’s special projects coordinator, told me he thinks Paul has a chance of doing well in this area.

“I’m hopeful he’s going to kick butt out here,” Jared said. “A lot of his message is attractive to liberals.”

I wrote a feature about Paul, and his appeal among local liberals, for the Aug. 9 Stranger. You can find it here.

RSS icon Comments


I thought the free market did wonders for the whale populations ... still doing wonderful things for the shark populations.

Posted by OR Matt | September 14, 2007 4:07 PM

He is so fucking hot. MMm!

Posted by Mr. Poe | September 14, 2007 4:09 PM

He quickly added that his comments shouldn’t be interpreted as meaning he’s opposed to protecting endangered species. “It’s the bureaucratic approach vs. the free market approach,” he said—and he wants the job of protecting endangered species to be left to the free market.

Basically, he wants to solve problems by convincing us that they will solve themselves. It's amazing that someone this dumb is the only Republican smart enough to figure out the war was a mistake.

Posted by thehim | September 14, 2007 4:13 PM

Damn, there's a TON O' MONEY to be made protecting endangered species! What a maroon.

Posted by J.R. | September 14, 2007 4:16 PM

The only position he has that does well with liberals is hie position on the war. On everything else he is nuttier then a loon.

Posted by Giffy | September 14, 2007 4:22 PM

You're just not familiar with how the free market works. You see, when there are only a single pair of a particular species of animal left, the amount of media attention that this would draw would be enormous. You could make gobs of money televising their mating attempts, selling tickets for live performances (next on Fox, "Saving the species!"). The free market will always prevent these animals from going extinct.

Well, unless watching them mate isn't terribly appealing. Then they deserve to be gone from the planet anyway.

Posted by thehim | September 14, 2007 4:24 PM

Oh. My. God. Let's talk about the ivory billed woodpecker. There was a vast forest that was the only remaining habitat of the ivory billed woodpecker. A logging company bought the forest. When conservationists asked them to preserve the forest, the leaders of the Chicago Mill and Lumber Company said, "We are just money grubbers. We don't care about ethical considerations." Then they killed all the ivory billed woodpeckers. This fucking moron is a fundamentalist as dangerous to our way of life as bin Laden or Falwell.

Posted by Gitai | September 14, 2007 4:34 PM

@6: Ooops, I forgot about the vast market for ivory billed woodpecker porn. My apologies to Mr. Paul.

Posted by J.R. | September 14, 2007 4:39 PM

Maybe it's time for a little less legislation and governing. I dont agree with all of what this guy says, but at least he's an advocate for people living their own lives and actually being free to do what they want.

Why can't more people get behind that? If you're not hurting anyone, why shouldn't you be able to do whatever you want.

Posted by Smegmalicious | September 14, 2007 4:43 PM

Lets take a deep breath here...

Removing the Federal Act actually makes sense. Read Article 10 of the Constitution: "reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." So let individual states and local laws protect the species. The Endangered Species Act is, strictly speaking, unconstitutional.

I think what we social liberals have to remember is that decentralizing power is in our best interest: though poor bastards in Alabama won't have abortion rights, at least those of us living in decent states can legalize marijuana or abortion without the Federal Authorities (DEA, FBI, etc.) swooping in. Because otherwise, when (and if) the Federal consensus on abortion really changes, it is possible to ban it in the country...

Think recently, when Seattle's affirmative action plan for the public schools was unspooled by the Supreme Court. Under proper federalism, the feds should have no say on the state's activities in the educational sphere, because of the 10th. But we've ceded far to much power to the federal government. Sure, we like some results (protect the birds!) but think of how fucked it makes us in other areas.

Posted by Nick | September 14, 2007 4:48 PM

And for those bound to claim "Abortion is protected as a private right under the Constitution," go and read Roe v. Wade, and realize how tenuous that right is. If science confirms somehow, as evangelicals have always claimed, that life begins earlier and earlier, Roe will be whittled away to nothing.

Posted by Nick | September 14, 2007 4:52 PM

"he wants the job of protecting endangered species to be left to the free market."

Why not? It worked so well for the passenger pigeon.

Posted by tsm | September 14, 2007 4:54 PM

Well, sure. But there's a difference between laws that make smoking pot or not wearing a seatbelt illegal and laws that keep a company from dumping poisons in a lake. As a general rule, when government tries to control how people pursue pleasure or piece of mind, it fails because the people it affects overwhelmingly see it as unjust. But when government tries to control how people pursue profits, it can succeed if those who are affected by it see it as just.

Posted by thehim | September 14, 2007 4:55 PM

Removing the Federal Act actually makes sense. Read Article 10 of the Constitution: "reserved to the States respectively, or to the people." So let individual states and local laws protect the species. The Endangered Species Act is, strictly speaking, unconstitutional.

That's a completely different argument than what he's being pilloried here for. I think most of us understand federalism and support it. But this is a very different world than the one that existed in the late 18th century. We're considerably more interconnected than our founding fathers could have imagined. There are a number of problems that simply cannot be dealt with by the states alone, and if they're not dealt with, we'll be in trouble (global warming and health care are two examples). The reason they can't be dealt with is because states that deal with the problems more responsibly than others often get screwed for their responsibility. In the end, trying to do the right thing is often disincentivized when states compete with each other for wealth. That's when the federal government has to step in.

We all know that federal drug laws are ridiculously stupid and need to be radically scaled back. But that's not an excuse to say that the federal government shouldn't be playing any role at all in regulating industries or protecting the environment.

Posted by thehim | September 14, 2007 5:05 PM

Of course it can be taken too far. I just think we're too far on the side of legislatig everything and we might need a little course correction.

Posted by Smegmalicious | September 14, 2007 5:06 PM

I was in the audience, and even though I'm a bleeding-heart liberal Ron Paul was spot on about the dangers of so-called imperial presidencies and America's apathy about the president having too much power.

My question I didn't get to ask: If Dr. Paul is against public education (State universities, community colleges and k-12 education) how the hell does he expect people to learn about civics, government and law? The more expensive school is, the less people get educated, or may end up in fundamentalist private schools. The less expensive and more open education systems produce a more informed electorate (Norway, Belgium, Germany, etc.)

Dr. Paul warned against mob-ocracy, but his own policies would get us there even faster.

Posted by Jake | September 14, 2007 5:08 PM

@10 If it's interstate, the Feds can constitutionally be involved. Since the factors that lead a species to become endangered are always interstate, it's perfectly constitutional. Suck it, guy who reads the Constitution about as well as Fred Phelps reads the Bible.

Posted by Gitai | September 14, 2007 5:15 PM

It's funny how every successive wave of liberalization and deregulation creates waves of social, environmental, and political problems and manages to solve none of the fundamental problems it was supposed to fix, and yet free market tards still think there's too much regulation. Even though the state has been virtually reduced to a minuscule non-actor in public policy, people still find it oppressive. Of course, we believers in the public good, oversight, and the commons are considered "big government" advocates now.

The Endangered Species Act is one of the best and most important pieces of legislation in recent decades. The problem is not the Act, it's the lack of enforcement. Ron Paul is a fucking idiot- he bases all his positions on ideology. If people wonder why he got the war right and everything else wrong, that's your answer. He basically believes in whatever flows from his ideology with no emphasis on empiricism or the "way things are." He's an American libertarian, which makes him an isolationist. It also makes him a constitution quoting douche.

Posted by Jay | September 14, 2007 5:16 PM

Right, it's awfully hard to convince those species to restrict their migrations to within state lines...

Posted by Orv | September 14, 2007 5:18 PM

You've got to work it, girl! Sashay, shante...

Posted by It's All Yours | September 14, 2007 5:23 PM

@17. Ok. So some species go interstate. On what basis does that grant Federal Power? Via the Commerce Clause? Oh, wait, that implies that the species are to be bought and sold...

Posted by Nick | September 14, 2007 5:25 PM

@21: Well, presumably if they go extinct that could have an economic impact.

Posted by Orv | September 14, 2007 5:33 PM

21: All you're doing is fucking around with interpretations of the constitution. If you come at it with a strict conservative interpretation of the constitution you may be right, but you can just as easily choose to interpret it as an unfolding changing document in which we (and judges who chose to uphold laws) ratify and transform and re-contextualize over the years. Originalists and constructionists try to claim the "real" interpretation solely for themselves, but it's not a settled matter.

Posted by Jay | September 14, 2007 5:40 PM

@23: Very true. And even originalists tend to be selective about which parts they interpret strictly. Few, for example, will argue against Brown v Board of Education, even though desegregation is almost certainly not what the drafters of the 14th Amendment had in mind. Brown v. Board of Ed is probably one of the biggest examples of "judicial activism" ever.

Posted by Orv | September 14, 2007 5:46 PM

Hey, you know, Paul is right.

The federal government has goofed up protecting species, even worse than states and private businesses.

I don't think the market has really been tried though. Some organizations collect critical land and then turn around and give it to the federal government who fails to protect species on the land. Some of us have spent a lot of time lobbying when simply making a few business deals would work better. So, whatever works best, we can't really point to failures of the market.

In any case, Paul has a point about the constitution. It is not up to the federal government. The federal government is simply a collection of states with mutual protection and a few other things.

Posted by Thomas | September 14, 2007 6:08 PM

Don't forget, this is the same federal government that wants to pass a Constitutional Amendment defining gay marriage as null and void.

We'd be better off limiting the power of the feds, allowing states to slowly adopt gay marriage rights, and then enforcing the Full Faith and Credit clause. That way, you may not be able to marry in South Carolina, but they will have to recognize your Massachusetts marriage.

Rethink your vision of the country. We're better off with a loose federation of states that can act as laboratories for social theories, rather than one overarching (and detached from the people) institution.

Libertarianism FTW!

Posted by Nick | September 14, 2007 6:12 PM

Libertarians always have been and always will be idiots.

Posted by Jay | September 14, 2007 6:33 PM

@26: The main problem I see with that is that it would result in corporations running roughshod over us all. State governments are too small and too limited in scope to effectively regulate national and multinational corporations. While the current federal government has done a lousy job of this, at least the possibility is there. State governments mostly end up being whipped around by the tail by larger corporations -- look how quickly they grant them zoning exceptions and tax breaks if they promise to bring jobs.

Posted by Orv | September 14, 2007 6:35 PM

I'm sorry, did you mean "cachet" instead of "cache"?

Posted by Andy | September 14, 2007 6:47 PM

Having pushed a few libertarians over the top -

here is one dead end for them .... rural electricity.

Had it not bee for the vast net work of REAs - low interest federal subsidy interest - Rural Electrification Co ops - waiting for private money to build all those miles with FEW customers -

Rural America would still use kerosene and candles.

All that marker crap is just that, of course American food companies would not poison us like the non regulated China food processors - for profits - of course not.


Posted by How to Trap Em | September 14, 2007 7:06 PM

There's about a gazillion definitions of "Libertarian" out there, and each one will vigorously argue that his or her definition is the RIGHT one.

But let's say that most agree that Social Darwinism is a key tenet here.

Now, I don't know how many of you took science classes, but one conclusion that seems to be universally agreed upon is that the hostility of one's environment to create a variety of species in a given area must be at an intermediate level. If the area is too liberated or too moderated, the area will be dominated by just a few species, and you'll have a monolithic nature there. (Bare with me. I don't mind practicing some Mudedeism, and this is halfway there, but please read on.)

Now, let's just get rid of regulation in the U.S. altogether. This will more quickly create an empiric U.S. than the one we have right now, if you can imagine that. The world is already become a global corporate empire. Deregulating the U.S. is just going to liberate the stresses in our virtual area, and allow the largest corporations to dictate how we do things.. EVERYTHING.

The grandest irony about the theory of a completely free society is that the "freedom" is only dictated by the strongest in the population, and hence the society becomes the complete opposite of free.

Posted by matthew fisher wilder | September 14, 2007 8:04 PM

Every time libertarianism comes up, I'll say it again. If you hate government so much, move to Somalia.

Posted by Gitai | September 14, 2007 8:16 PM

Two things ... there are some very well thought out models that try to make economic insentives for supporting the environment. Buying stocks in endanered species that would pay dividends when they succeed ... things like that. Quite elegent and looks very good on paper. But in order to establish the legitimacy of such programs .... well the government is most assuredly going to be involved. Not libertarianism is it?

@25 Most of the fault of the governmental running things badly is because our government ... well functions because they are too busy screwing each other for power than screwing us. The more controvercial legislation gets compromised or cut by those in government that don't respect or appreciate it. Funds are cut for those organizations that some politicians don't like. OR there are all sort of shitty add ins to bills.

The other end of it are the "Brownies" people who get their job for knowing the right people and not because they are qualified and thus do a god aweful job.

Dialogue to make smaller government is fine, but you have to appreciate why it's big ...

There was some quote who said, when you have angels governing devils the means to desine a government is quite easy, but when you have devils governing devils designing a goverment becomes quite challenging.

Someone else can get the particulars right for me.

Posted by OR Matt | September 14, 2007 9:28 PM

Has anybody who frequents high-geek/nerd-factor forums notice that conservative nerds/geeks LOVE Ron Paul? What's up with that?

Posted by The CHZA | September 14, 2007 9:57 PM

Curious and not wanting to take this way off topic, but ...
Who are the Stranger/Slog folks gonna vote for?... and why?

Posted by Bald Face Lie | September 14, 2007 10:40 PM

If I were going to live in some rural area... say, some hut in the Nevada desert, 100 miles from the nearest piece of infrastructure. Would you love to pay that million dollar to support my electricity connection?

Wouldn't you be way happier if I would only let you pay a $250000, so I could buy a generator plus fuel for a hundred years?

You know what? I guess you would be even more happy to just pay me $100000 and not tell me in what way to support myself with it. Saves you a lot!!! Please give your address/bank info here as I might decide to emigrate to the USA this decade.

Posted by Istrilyin | September 15, 2007 12:22 AM

The free market could deal with endangered species if only more of them were tasty and/or cuddly, well not and.

I love how libertarians spout some constitutional provision and how it was interpreted a couple centuries ago and then think they have a made a cogent and persuasive point. Big fucking deal if the founders of this county wanted a little agrarian aristocratic republic. We live in the modern, industrialized, 21st century and that kind of society requires central leadership.

I like the post about moving to Somalia. I'm going to use that when I have the displeasure of talking to libertarian kool-aid drinkers.

Posted by Giffy | September 15, 2007 12:24 AM

White people, what a drag. I can not belive I am stuck in a county with you idiots. How did everything get so fucked. We have two poltical parties that created a monster fedral goverment in control of a war machine commiting genocide in Iraq, and Ron Paul. To bad Iraqis are not protected under the endangered species act, but than again only a million of them have died so far. OK Dems, what kind of impact is our war machine having on the earth now? Multi ton tanks, supersonic jets, depleted uranium shells, mile long battle ships. All that crap is not powered by pasty assed jesus. I am not so sure about Ron Paul, but I know for a fact I am not voting for a pig fuck war rationilising Dem. Eat shit.

Posted by GJ | September 15, 2007 3:18 AM

The free market can and will do a much better job than central government planning. One example of this is the FEMA disaster in dealing with the floods and the hurricane of Katrina. Now think back to the 1900 disaster that left Galveston obliterated. There was no central planning and Galveston built itself up more prosperous than ever. There was no FEMA. People assumed resonsibility and relied on local communities, family, & friends to solve these problems. FEMA is one example of bureaucratic inefficiency. Waste of $$$.

There would be a lot more consumer protection groups today if not for central government planning. Because we've become dependent on government to intervene, the guard is let down which causes disincentives.

We are not safe because we have policemen standing guard outside our homes. We are safe because we are armed in our houses. A small group of elitist bureaucrats do not know what is best for everyone nor can they run the economy. The are not SMART ENOUGH to do what the invisible hand of the free market can do, and central government planning of moral life economic or religious or sexual life will fail time and time over.

It is immoral for our Government to pledge unwaivering support for Israel, or Iraq (or any other nation) in military and economic matters at the expense of taxpayers and that of future generations. It is not the role of Government to be the policemen of the world or saddle future generations with the debt they accumulate today. That is downright EVIL.

The needy of the world have to be taken care of through voluntary means. And without the oppression of the federal income tax, America would be more prosperous and more wealthy, and people would have the finances to be generous and spread that wealth freely. A society can do more than a Government can ever pretend to do.

Legalize gold and silver to compete as legal tender. Legalize competition for health care. Quality and distribution go up, and prices go down. Thats the marketplace for you. Bring the troops home, secure our boarders, end birthright citizenship. No Amnesty. Let us young people opt out of social security if we want to! If that isn't music to anyone's ears, I don't know what is.

Ron Paul speaks common sense. He doesn't waiver. It is time for this nation to have a President who actually upholds the oath of office. Ron Paul is that unique individual. Ron Paul is the only candidate speaking intolerable truths and fighting for the American people, against the establishment. This country needs Ron Paul. The world needs him.

Posted by Henry | September 15, 2007 4:03 AM

The only excuse for anyone with liberal social views (such as "gays are people" or "not all black people are thieves" or "abortion should be legal" or "church and state should be separated" or "there should be an FDA" or "the ongoing genocide in Darfur shouldn't be supported with federal funds") supporting Ron Paul is that they know nothing about him and have read none of his legislative history.

He is not an honest, consistent man. He is merely an anti-war Republican.

Posted by Kiru Banzai | September 15, 2007 8:23 AM

Given the level of customer service competence in the this Country, that last thing we need is people trying to pay for things with small amounts of gold and silver.

Posted by Giffy | September 15, 2007 9:04 AM

The CHZA wrote:

Has anybody who frequents high-geek/nerd-factor forums notice that conservative nerds/geeks LOVE Ron Paul? What's up with that?

One possibility: Nerds/geeks are more likely than the average person to get their news from sources that are not controlled by some combination of G.E., Time-Warner, Disney, News Corp, and Viacom. These five companies own most U.S. media. It's a media-opoply, and it's doing everything it can to tell us that candidates like Paul, Kucinich, and Gravel are not worthy of our attention.

G.E. (*) is a defense contractor -- they profit from war. Do you think they want an anti-war candidate like Paul to have a chance?

When I was a kid, I was told scary stories about countries where the people voted, but were only given one choice. I always took this single-choice thing literally, but now I wonder if those people actually thought they were making a choice, but were either guided to make a particular choice or presented with a few options that were basically all the same.

I'm starting to think that we Americans don't really have as much freedom to choose our President as we think we do. The media tell us who the front-runners are, then we choose from among them. In effect, the only candidates from which we can choose are those designated as "electable". Who is making this designation? I don't think it's the people.

Nerds/geeks spend more time than the average person in the real "free speech zone" -- the Internet. Ween yourself off the mainstream media and things will start to look different.

see also: Project Censored

* G.E.'s media holdings include: NBC Networks, Telemundo, A&E, History
Channel (part), NBC Entertainment, NBC News, NBC Sports, NBC Television, NBC
Universal, CNBC (Arbia, India, Asia, Europe), MSNBC, Bravo, Mun2TV, Sci Fi
Channel, Sundance Channel (part), Trio, Telemundo, USA, Universal HD, and
Weather Plus, 13eme Rue (France), 13th Street (Germany), Calle 13 (Spain), Sci
Fi Channel UK, Studio Universal (Germany), Studio Universal (Italy), Universal
Channel (Latin America), CNBC Asia, and CNBC Europe, NBC Universal Television
Studio, NBC Universal Television Distribution, NBC Universal (80% ownership):
Universal Pictures, Focus Features, Rogue Pictures. Universal has production
agreements with Imagine Entertainment, Jersey Films, Tribeca Films, Shady
Acres, The Kennedy/Marshall Company, Playtone Company, Strike Entertainment,
Type A Films, Depth of Field, Stephen Sommers and Working Title Films (Europe),
and 38 Television stations in 23 markets. Source:

Posted by Phil M | September 15, 2007 9:50 AM


You are so silly - all the Feds did was offer low interest tax free Bonds, which were backed by the REA program and the fed treasury.

Long pay back. It worked, starting in the 1930's and 40's and 50's - most bonds have long since been paid.

Not a gift - no money out of any pocket - just a reasoned and well planned way of getting electricity into areas that private utilities would have ignored forever.

All your what ifs are not on topic. REA's work, worked, and rural America got power.

Perfect role of govt. - which no private for profit market would have ever approached, capitalized all the infra structure.

You are in a dreamland of ignorance, typical LIB ....

Posted by al | September 15, 2007 10:07 AM

Henry @ 39:

The problem with FEMA in 1990 is the same problem it has now: a Bush is running it. Under Clinton, FEMA was a Cabinet-level agency run by people experienced in disaster relief. Under the Bushes, FEMA is a low level agency stuffed with zero-experience cronies who needed a job. Furthermore, it's aimed at handing out money to construction contractors in the wake of a disaster.

Bush demoted the agency’s status and put it in the hands of his chief political fixer, Joe Allbaugh, who went about dismantling much of what Witt had built. As he told Congress in May 2001: “Many are concerned that federal disaster assistance may have evolved into both an oversized entitlement program and a disincentive to effective state and local risk management. Expectations of when the federal government should be involved and the degree of involvement may have ballooned beyond what is an appropriate level.”

Sounds pretty free-market to me, yez?

Posted by John D | September 15, 2007 10:14 AM

I always say "move to China" to market libertarians and anarchocapitalists, since that's what a deregulated economy looks like in the 21st century. China is capitalism in its pure robber baron stage- everything, labor, the environment, space, transport, public health, sanitation, etc. is a resource or a bankable commodity. Yes, the authoritarian state is not something most libertarians would ostensibly support, but let us recall Chile under Pinochet- the Friedman quoting, anarchocapitalist Chicago Boys had no problem with the dictatorship; as long as they could live out their free market fantasies, democracy could go fuck itself.

If the free market was so good at managing the environment, we wouldn't have needed environmental regulation to begin with. It was the unregulated landscape of industry that contaminated drinking water, threw up developments everywhere, facilitated hunting animals to extinction, brought us the wonders of black lung, child labor, and massive deforestation. Capitalism had its shot at regulating itself and it failed to do so, and so the state was required. The environment in this country was catastrophic before regulation. China is like that 100 fold.

Libertarians like to base everything on incentives and profit motive. They like absurd arguments like "roads should be privatized," but fail to understand that the profit motive won't build roads or bridges because there is no profit in it- why would a capitalist put up millions of dollars to build a bridge or repair a road? A toll road maybe and it still wouldn't be profitable enough to upkeep. Or take the health care crisis: market libertarians believe that private health care must be more efficient, but private distribution of health services is demonstrably failed. Why? Because the profit motive sees no benefit in total coverage- there is nothing profitable about making sure the poorest people have health care. The state, whether creating laws making insurance mandatory or creating a one-pay system, is absolutely required.

The standard of living Americans enjoy, but seem to be fast losing (after 27 years of non-stop deregulation) is the result of the state imposing quality of life standards, improving public health, imposing housing standards, expanding education, building roads and public transit, fostering employment, regulating food and medicine, subsidizing agriculture, etc, and yes, capitalism doing what it does best: producing food, products and entertainment. Libertarians basically want us to abandon these advantages for a China where we're allowed to smoke pot and own guns.

Posted by Jay | September 15, 2007 10:40 AM

The libertarians also ignore obvious facts like the rather salient one that companies often benefit from regulation and encourage government to regulate them. In the long term it's not beneficial to be unregulated, which is why all emergent capitalist states always rein things in when the going gets tough. Any advanced capitalist society will be heavily augmented by and counterbalanced by the state. Case in point:

Posted by Jay | September 15, 2007 11:23 AM

That should read "augmented with."

Posted by Jay | September 15, 2007 11:30 AM

39: In government, consistency is not always a virtue. I'd rather have flexibility than hubris-laden ideologues running the show. Having a set of internally consistent beliefs is fine, but abstract ideology has no practical role in everyday government. Ron Paul is about as down to earth as Joseph Stalin.

Posted by Jay | September 15, 2007 11:36 AM

"The federal government has goofed up protecting species, even worse than states and private businesses.

"I don't think the market has really been tried though. Some organizations collect critical land and then turn around and give it to the federal government who fails to protect species on the land." -Thomas

Let's call this a 'Tony Harding argument' shall we? Conservatives hobble Federal Conservation attempts, and then claim their point proven becaues the Nancy Kerrigan can't skate with giant bruises on her legs.

Our global fisheries are collapsing because markets have been given a chance.

Stock in endangered species? How can that compete with the profits of clear cutting?

"Legalize competition for health care." -Henry

Your blind faith in the ethical and moral fiber of America's CEO's is beyond astounding? I'm amazed you haven't joined 'The Next Level' in the tail of a comet. No group of CEO's would ever colude to make millions by artifially inflating prices?! That's the argument you're making. Your ignoring the fact that it happens every day. It's fucking retarded.

Posted by Don Juan Nebulon | September 16, 2007 2:52 PM

It's true that you can do some really wonderful things if you ignore the written contract between the Government and People of the United States of America. You can desegregate the schools and save the woodpeckers.

And somewhere a little further down the line, you can usher in the unitary presidency and the fascist police state, which will make us all second-class citizens (if that) and probably not care too much about woodpeckers either.

Endangered species aren't in the Constitution, so maybe we need a new amendment, or we can work on the state initiative level. But even more important than saving the woodpeckers, we need to get back to the idea that politicians have a contract with the people that they aren't allowed to break. And that contract is called the Constitution.

Posted by Joe Schembrie | September 20, 2007 8:18 PM

Ivory Billed are not extinct.

Posted by NH | September 24, 2007 11:33 AM

It is so dissatisfying to see so many people willing to defend endangered species and the ivory billed woodpecker but don't really give two sh!ts about America involved in an unconstitutional, unnecessary war where innocent CIVILIANS are dying daily. Do these people defending these endangered species not care about civilians and man and more about endangered species and how a politician will make some meaningless law limiting individual freedoms?
don't be stupid. end the war and restore liberties and freedoms to all.

Posted by Sean | September 27, 2007 8:18 PM

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