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I get a real kick of out stories like today’s piece on Idaho Sen. Larry Craig . When it comes to the question of civil rights for homosexuals, I believe they deserve the rights of normal human beings –because they are.

With that said, I get a real kick out of guys who make their careers out of railing against the “homosexual agenda” and end up being queerer than steers themselves. In fact, they’re often the epitome of the very negative stereotypes they rail against: they’re into kids (er… pages), anonymous sex in my local international airport (see above), having drug fueled parties with gay prostitutes, or soliciting kids off the internet.

That’s not to say being gay and Republican are automatically incompatible in the same way it isn’t incompatible to be black and Republican –it just involves strong criticism on certain portions of your party (like a lot of normal people in any political party –at least, if you have a conscience). One of my best professors in law school was a prominent “homocon” as they are sometimes called, and that basically made him a Libertarian Republican –he was a major supporter of Lawrence v. Texas, writing an amicus brief– but that didn’t prevent him from remaining a conservative on other issues.

So as for this Senator? Just another conflicted, closeted fag. Feel free to point and laugh, I am.

After all is said and done, the Outer-Loop, while often being a gleeful agitator of libertarians in general and American libertarianism in particular, is a vocal supporter of the ideals of a true libertarian society.

I would love to have a safe country where everyone who tried could make money and personal responsibility was the rule and not the exception. Alas, I don’t think that’ll ever happen…but hey, I got my little capitalist fingers crossed!I just like this picture.

Reason magazine is – in my opinion – one of the best political sources around. Kudos to a publication that is so influential on American economic and political theory yet can successfully run ads for psychotropic liquor delivery without batting an eye. Ten points Reason, nothing but net.

Anyway, Reason Express editor Jeff Taylor wrote a fantastic piece on the war in Iraq that made a serious and essential distinction from the usual rhetoric coming from both sides.

“But the significant thing about these American successes is that they are American successes—Iraqis still play a supporting role in operations in a clash of all-ends against the middle fighting, where double-crossing and double-dealing is just part of the order of battle. That state of affairs might not matter for the long haul in Iraq if another 160,000 U.S. troops were in-bound, but they are not.

Neither does Iraq have its own functioning national army of 500,000 or so to even the score. Instead it has perhaps a handful of reliable brigades out of a population of 30 million. With such a paltry force, it is impossible to secure the country even with America’s complete and utter conventional military victory well in hand.

Contrary to the cliché, the peace has not been lost; there never was any peace in Iraq. Similarly, the Iraqis have not lost their country—it turns out there is no such thing as an Iraq to win.”

Democrats and Republicans alike continue to classify this war in terms of the archaic concepts of Victory vs Defeat. There is simply no such thing as either of them anymore. There is only compromise, we did it in the Cold War, in Vietnam, indeed, in every war since World War II.

There are no longer any winners or losers, there are only people who lost more and people who lost less.

So let’s get the hell out of Iraq and lose less.

Bob Barr, the Outer-Loop’s favorite Clinton impeachment architect turned uber-libertarian point man has become a lobbyist for the ganja-nistas.mn_samesex01.jpg

In recent months, the former GOP Georgia congressman has been an outspoken critic of the administration and the Republican Party as a whole…so much so that he publicly left the GOP to head the U.S. Libertarian Party. He also joined the ACLU as a privacy consultant.

Barr is famous for leading the morality charge against Clinton, only to have his oh-so-dirty laundry aired out by Larry Flynt in a famous full-page ad in the Washington Post. Barr is also famous for tasting some of Borat’s delicious cheese.

What’s next? Maybe he’ll smoke a bowl and plug Universal Healthcare. We can only hope.

Via the Politico

I do love a good debate, and my previous post on universal healthcare has proven to be quite the battleground for libertarians, or college students who think they’re libertarians, to vent about why “socialized medicine” will never work.

Firstly*, socialized medicine implies that private health insurance will cease to exist.

American universal healthcare would be treated the same as the DOD treats weapon contracts. The government negotiates low and consistently priced plans from private health insurers and issues a voucher to each tax payer, not unlike employer provided healthcare. The only difference being that instead of your money going directly to a private health insurance company, your money would go to a federal health brokerage program. You could then use your contributions to this program and enroll in ANY private health insurance program you’d like. No one would be denied, no one would be dropped, and rates would go down due to simple preventive healthcare.

Copays will still be around, and health insurers will still compete for consumer attention because they are receiving money from the federal government…an entity that usually pays its bills (at least to contractors).

My friend at FraudWasteAbuse (who, like me, seems to have a love of CamelCase, but unlike me is a bit of a downer) argues the following:

“Of course the 40,000,000 figure likely includes many young and healthy individuals with low risk of serious illness who don’t believe that health insurance would be cost-effective.”

I can assure you that the vast, and I truly do mean vast majority, of those uninsured are not happy go lucky youngsters with awesome abs and clefts in their chins. No, those kids tend to be wealthier and are covered under their parent’s or college’s insurance policies.

The uninsured typically fall into these categories:

  • The poor, who are forced to rely on underfunded public health facilities.
  • Recent immigrants, who often don’t grasp the ridiculous loopholes involved in getting health insurance.
  • The underemployed, day workers, contract workers, people whose employers are running on such thin margins (or thick greed) that they cannot afford health benefits.

He then goes on to point to Veteran’s Affairs, a program that is so underfunded and politically poisoned that it went largely unnoticed by the administration until they at some point realized that fewer deaths meant more injuries.

Something else, you know all of those people with no insurance? Well what happens when they get sick, but don’t go to the doctor because they are uninsured? Instead they try and tough it out, only to end up in the hospital with something much more serious, and much more expensive. Now if they couldn’t afford a $50 visit to the doctor, how are they going to afford their $1300 visit to the hospital? Who pays for that? That’s right bucko, WE DO.

Newsflash, we are ALREADY PAYING FOR THE UNINSURED, only it is more expensive, and we’re doing it more often, than a Universal Healthcare program. I’m going to let you use your awesome libertarian math skills to figure this one out:

Universal Healthcare: $50 doctors visit + $100 prescription – $40 in copays =$110 to taxpayers

Current system: $500 ambulance ride + $1000 Misc hospital care + $100 prescription = $A whole f*ck of a lot more.

Universal Healthcare is not Socialized Medicine. Small business wants it, large business wants it, the people want it, the only ones who don’t are Republicans, insurance, and Rx companies.

*Guess what? There ain’t no secondly.

Self described libertarians are one of the most sought after demographics in American politics. True libertarians, CATO cheerleaders and Goldwater babies, tend to be wealthier, more politically active, and fiercely loyal to candidates and their parties.

These are the statistical traits that have for so long tied libertarians to the GOP.Lady Liberty

Yet talk to anyone who seriously subscribes to the ideology and they will tell you just how disillusioned they are with both political parties, in fact they always have.

“I’ve never been happy with the GOP”

or

“The Democrats could never be small government.”

That last concept, small government, is so antiquated, so irrelevant, that the idea that it is still considered an attainable goal is laughable. Many will cite Ronald Reagan as a hero of small government, and they’d be right in a sense. Reagan oversaw an enormous amount of deregulation while in office, freeing up so much money that he quintupled the size of the military.

The military doesn’t count as the government? Since when?

The truth of the matter is, in a liberal-republic such as ours, eliminating government oversight can never, ever happen. If libertarians were serious, they would advocate for the privatization of the military, of the post office, of fire departments and the police. In America, there isn’t much talk about privatizing our most basic institutions, is there?

Canvassing libertarians will proudly wear t-shirts with pot leaves, hoping to entice stoners all over the nation to let go of their Hot Pockets and get out to vote. They cite a firm belief in gay rights, yet most of the most prominent libertarians on the GOP side either publicly oppose granting these rights to stay in office, or they stay silent and hope people won’t notice.

Have libertarians failed the GOP, or is it the other way around?

I argue it is neither, libertarians have failed libertarianism. How can a true believer elect a party that brought the Patriot Act TWICE, suspended habeas corpus indefinitely, and has done more to harm gays, immigrants, students, intellectuals, and small businesses, all of whom are considered constituents to the true free market cause, more than any other so-called advocacy group?

The answer is simple, American libertarianism speaks from the heart but acts from the pocket book. For all of the hot air that the GOP version of the movement makes about freedom, they almost always vote their wallet first.

If libertarians truly believe that the only suitable role for the government is the defense of the people, then doesn’t a basic guarantee of healthcare fall under that category? Why can’t the government act as a broker on behalf of its citizens?

The Department of Defense negotiates with weapons manufacturers on behalf of the Soldiers, Marines, Sailors, and Airmen in the Armed Forces. Imagine what would happen if each and every service member were instead forced to purchase their weapon individually from a weapons manufacturer. In times of peace, those who couldn’t afford a weapon simply wouldn’t get one, but if war were to break out a weapon would have to be produced on an expedited basis and funded by tax dollars.

This is precisely what happens with healthcare. Those with no health insurance, the vast majority of whom simply cannot afford it, don’t go to the doctor until they are incredibly sick. A simple cough that could have been treated with $40 worth of antibiotics now becomes $5,000 in hospital care to keep him or her from dying. See my point?

The government could act as a broker between insurance companies and tax payers, giving them vouchers with which they could choose their own unique healthcare plan from the exact same companies that are offering care right now. These companies would be forced to compete for government contracts, just like military contractors do.

Small businesses would no longer be forced to pay outrageously high premiums (right New Jersey?) just to keep their employees insured, since a smaller amount would go to the federal government instead. Employer provided health care is unfair to small businesses who are already operating on razor thin margins.

Medicaid, Medicare, Plan D, all of these are doomed to fail. Government cannot subsidize healthcare and still offer good service…it can, however, use its size to bring competition to a fair level.

It is in this spirit that I argue the Democrats, not the Republicans, offer the most promising platform for true libertarians. Look at the GOP with an honest perspective and try and say that freedom can exist in a party moving more starkly to the right every day. Within the Democratic party there is room for discussion. The election of libertarians like Sen. Jim Webb of VA, the position of pro-business Dems such as House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, and the embrace of conservatives such as Sen. Bob Casey show a party that is willing to evolve.

The Democrats are not an organized political party, they bash heads, bicker, fight and argue. It might be disgraceful and it might be unprofessional at times…but it’s freedom.