The Widdershins

Return To Libertarian Island

Posted on: March 31, 2014

Libertarian Island

Libertarian Island

Good Morning, Widdershins.  Madama B is off on another work adventure. I could use a (not working) trip myself.  Since it’s Spring Break, y’all go home and back your bags – we’re off on the Annual Widdershins Convention at our favorite resort – Libertarian Island.  Save me a deck chair.  Can’t wait for one of those drinks with the little umbrella in it. Seriously, Mad wrote this is 2009.  See how close we have come to the precipice?  Read through the comments that were posted at the time – it’s more than just a little bit scary, folks. That said, we of the Great Unwashed 99% might as well have a little fun at the beach ourselves.

 

SCENE I: A busy urban street. Two middle-aged white men, BOB and JOE, are waiting at a stoplight, having a spirited political discussion. They have been friends for years and the discussion has the feel of ritual. BOB: Look, I just don’t trust the government to run my health care. In fact, I don’t want ’em doing anything for me at all. I just want to live my life without government interference. What’s wrong with that? Besides, the American health care system is the best in the world! JOE (sighing): Oh, forgawd’ssake, BOB, give it a rest already. I wish just for once you could live in that Libertarian Paradise you’re always talking about. I’d bet you’d be begging for government to come back in about half a second! (The light changes. BOB and JOE start walking across the street, too absorbed in their conversation to pay much attention to where they’re going.) BOB: No, seriously, JOE. The only thing to do is make government so small we can drown it in a bathtub. Every man for himself. It’s the only way we can be free! JOE: Ahhh, BOB, don’t you get that all corporations care about is their bottom line? I’m telling you — (Out of nowhere, a bus, out of control, careens into the intersection and smacks right into the hapless friends. Strangely, the marquee on the top of the bus reads “Liberty Express.” BOB and JOE fly in opposite directions as the scene fades to black.) SCENE II: A lush island Paradise. The sky is a lovely blue festooned with decorative, puffy white clouds. BOB is lying on a hammock strung between two palm trees. Behind him, the facade of an impossibly luxurious resort hotel can be seen; in front of him is a beautifully landscaped infinity pool, complete with waterfall and fat-free bathing beauties in bikinis. BOB is unconscious, but appears to be otherwise unharmed by his encounter with the Liberty Express. Slowly, he opens his eyes and takes in his surroundings. BOB (wonderingly): What the fuck?! (One of the bikini-clad babes, perfectly tan and blonde, strolls over to BOB with a drink in her hand.) BLONDE (liltingly): Hello, Bob! Welcome to Libertarian Island. Care for a complimentary beverage? BOB (confused): What – what happened? BLONDE (comfortingly): That’s really not important, Bob. Everything will be explained to you shortly. I’m just here to provide you with your complimentary beverage. Do you want it or not? It’s got a cute little umbrella and everything! BOB (totally lost): Uh…yes??? (The BLONDE hands him the drink, which he sips tentatively. A huge smile blossoms across his face.) BOB: Wow! That’s the best martini I’ve ever had. How did you know it was my favorite? BLONDE (wagging her finger, flirtily stern): Uh-uh-uh! Drink up! (BOB finishes his drink. His eyelids lower to half mast as the potent alcohol kicks in.) BOB (tipsy): Thanks, uh…what did you say your name was? BLONDE (coldly): I didn’t. (lifts her wrist to her mouth) Okay, he’s ready. (She walks away, completely indifferent now that she has performed her duty, and happily situates herself on the lounge chair from whence she came.) BOB: What – where are you going? (He starts to follow her, but a man clad all in white robes steps in front of him, blocking his access to the BLONDE. The man looks like a Ken doll, the ultimate Republican idea of perfection. In fact, his name is KEN. Cool, huh?) KEN: Now, BOB, let’s just calm down. My name is KEN, and I’m here to officially welcome you to – Libertarian Island! (A banner unfurls from the palm trees between which BOB’s hammock is tied. The pristine white, beautifully-inked banner reads, of course, “Welcome to Libertarian Island.” Below that declaration are the words “Freedom IS Free! Free, Freedy, Freedelicious Freedom!”) BOB (in awe): Cool! KEN: I’m here to be your guide and to help make your stay more enjoyable. BOB: How could it be more enjoyable? I mean, (gesturing) LOOK at this place! KEN: Well, BOB, this place certainly is beautiful. But this is not where you’re going to be staying. Step this way, please. (KEN leads BOB past the bikini babes, who loftily ignore him, and towards a dirt path in the elegant green sward. After a minute of walking, BOB notices something strange.) BOB: Hey KEN – is that a door?! KEN: Yes it is, BOB. You see, you were in the visitor’s section of Libertarian Island. When you go through this door, you will see the rest of the island. I promise, you’re going to love it! BOB (confidently): Of course I will. I mean, this is Libertarian Island, so I’m assuming we’ve got that damn government out of our lives and are free to create a better society through choice and competition! KEN: Ab-so-LUTELY! (opening the door) And heeeeerrrre we are! (The door has opened on a completely alien world. Somehow, BOB and KEN appear to be looking down from a great height.) BOB (beyond surprise now): I can see everything! Wow, this is incredible! (Pointing) Hey, is that a bio-dome or something? It’s huge! KEN (dryly): Or something, yes. That’s Freedy-Freedom Headquarters. BOB: Say what now? KEN (overly patient): That’s the Freedy-Freedom Company, BOB. You know, there’s only one company here. Deregulation made it easy for FF to buy up all the other companies. (dutifully reciting the company slogan) “Freedy Freedom, the Best Company There Is!” Yup, they provide all the services and make all the consumer goods here, yes sirree. BOB (slightly uncomfortable): Uh, gosh. I didn’t know that’s what would happen. I was always told that free markets would lead to greater choice and competition! (comforting himself) Oh well, this must just be a fluke. KEN (rolling his eyes): Sure it is, BOB. BOB (missing the sarcasm): Great! I knew it! All we need is MORE deregulation. (with smug superiority) Obviously someone wasn’t doing something right here. KEN (sighing and ignoring BOB): Anyway, take a look around the company. What do you see? BOB (sheepishly): Um, I hate to admit it but I’m a little tipsy from that martini. Can you zoom it in a little? (KEN waves his hand and suddenly, BOB can see the surroundings of the FREEDY-FREEDOM company.) BOB (confused): Ewww! Those look like slums. And – are those people living in boxes on the street? Why isn’t anyone helping them? KEN: Why do you think, BOB? BOB (indignantly): Why doesn’t the church do something? Or – or charities? KEN: Well, actually, there’s only one church – the church of Freedy Freedom. The Company just bought out all the other churches, mosques and temples and blew them to smithereens. So, if you want to go to any place of worship at all, you have to be a Freedy-Freedomite. Catchy name, huh? The thing is, it costs a lot of money to join. Those people you’re looking at can’t afford it. As for charities – are you kidding? Nobody bothers to create those any more. If it doesn’t make money, it’s worthless here on Libertarian Island. BOB (comforting himself): Ah well. Those people were probably all lazy and had too many kids. That’s why they’re out of work and on the street. KEN (who’s seen it all before): Sure, they were. Even that disabled veteran over there. And that 70-year-old woman searching the trash for food. (KEN stares with undisguised contempt into BOB’s eyes.) Right, BOB? BOB (starting to get uncomfortable again):  Wait a minute – don’t those people qualify for Medicare or something? Isn’t there a – (He stops as he realizes what he is saying.) KEN (sarcastically): Gosh, BOB, did you almost say the word “government?” BOB (stubbornly): No! I didn’t! I – I don’t care about those people. I’d rather be free to live my life the way I want to than have to worry about Big Brother always watching me and getting in my damn business! KEN (his full evil starting to come out): I’m so glad you said that, BOB. (While BOB has been spouting his free-market catechism, he has not noticed that he and KEN have arrived in front of a crumbling box in a filthy, crowded street. It is part of a vast sea of similar boxes. Emaciated people dressed in rags are staring at him with varying degrees of suspicion, ennui and hatred. He will be taking up resources that they could be using, you see.) BOB (indignant and frightened): What the hell is this? KEN: Why, BOB! Don’t you like your new home? BOB: EXCUSE ME? KEN: Yes, BOB, welcome to your new home, provided entirely for FREE by the Freedy-Freedom Company! Of course, you will need to “supplement the freeness” through your wages. But hey, the company will work you so hard, you’ll hardly ever be here. And they’ll be providing your meals and wardrobe too for free! That freeness will also be supplemented by your wages. Great system, huh? (BOB looks at KEN, stunned and disbelieving. KEN’s arched eyebrow is his only response.) BOB (with horror): This – this is a joke, right? I wanna go back to the hotel with the beautiful blondes and the drinks and the hammock! KEN: That area is only for Freedy-Freedom executives, BOB. BOB (with a glimmer of hope): Okay. Okay. How do I get to be one of those? KEN (with emphasis): Those executives…are chosen for life. BOB: You mean I gotta wait for someone to DIE? What the hell kinda place is this? KEN: You already know, don’t you? You just said the real name. BOB (light slowly dawning): Wait a minute. I was hit by a bus, wasn’t I? (Finally remembering) Where’s JOE? Oh my God. Is JOE dead too? KEN: Yes, your friend has unfortunately passed on. But he isn’t here. You see, when a person is a Libertarian in life, he comes here in death. This is a specially designed Hell just for you, BOB. Aren’t you pleased with it? BOB: No! It sucks! I wanna go back! I wanna go back! KEN: Sorry, BOB. But for Libertarians, Hell is exactly what they have claimed to want their entire lives. There’s no government interference at all. Every man for himself, you know! (looking at his watch) Well, enjoy your box! I’ve got another orientation to perform. (He vanishes into thin air. The inhabitants of Hell begin to cluster threateningly around him as the lights FADE OUT.) SCENE THREE: The same busy urban street seen in SCENE I. BOB and JOE are on the other side of the street, totally unharmed and still talking. BOB (noticing that JOE is not paying attention): JOE? JOE? JOE (in a reverie): Huh? BOB (smiling): Jeez, JOE, where’d you go? JOE (with a secret smile): Trust me, buddy, you don’t want to know. Now (clapping his friend on the back), how about a martini? LIGHTS OUT.

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40 Responses to "Return To Libertarian Island"

Morning, all! Today’s topic is (if you couldn’t tell) Reaganism and how it is preventing social progress by instilling an irrational trust of corporations and an irrational hatred of government.

Of course, other topics are welcome too.

I have a good single-payer petition to add to the post later.

A great example of the old saw “Be careful what you wish for, you may just get it”. There are good corporations, bad corporations, and even worse corporations. Back in The Day, people found a good corporation (hospital, government job, whatever) and stayed. My daughter now tells me that one is expected to changed jobs every two or three years on your “career arc”, which I regularly remind her has an up and a down line as well. Oh, well, whatever. This play depicts the down side of any absolutism. Reagan and the Bushies should have proven as nauseum that absolute deregulation is as bad as absolute regulation.

Bravo! Bravo! I loathe libertarians! For some reasons they get to speak for everyone else. They may be 1% of the population but make 90% of the media. And did you notice how during W, they used to impersonate Democrats and now they impersonate Republicans? (there are a few differences, I think)
In my corner of th world, tabloids cover the gubernatorial crisis
http://edgeoforever.wordpress.com/2009/09/21/tabloids-obama-creates-position-of-governor-in-waiting/

EOF – Very well said! And you too, chatblu!

EOF, I thought of you this morning as I passed the newspaper stand. Paterson is defying Obama and saying he’s going to run anyway!

I can’t help it. I like Gov. Paterson. He knows that what Obama is doing is totally inappropriate and ridiculous and he’s standing up to Obama. Good for him!

I have never had much sympathy for the whole states’ rights crowd, but where the eff does Obama get off interfering with a state governor’s race? This is obviously payback for not doing the will of His Royal Highness and appointing CK to the open senate seat. I hope Patterson stays in the race.

Well, exactly, Valhalla. You have just made the whole states’ rights case. He has no business interfering in that race, and I hope that David Patterson follows his heart. Has anyone heard any more on the rumor that HRC may step down and enter the NY governor’s race??

As I updated my post, Obama is interfering in other states’ primaries as well – Colorado notably – there’s an editorial in Denver Post protesting that.
I don’t know how long Paterson can stand, but if he runs, I’ll not only vote, but volunteer for him.

That’s the spirit, Edge. Nice post tpday at NYS. I always enjoy peeking at the tabloids. All we have down here is the Enquirer.

on Dissenting Justice, the following interesting take on Paterson/Obama:

“…Paterson was seemingly a shoe-in for reelection, until he made a major misstep. Earlier this year, he declined overtures from many people — including Obama — to choose Caroline Kennedy to fill Hillary Clinton’s vacated senate seat. Caroline Kennedy and her deceased uncle Ted Kennedy were key endorsers of Obama during the Democratic primaries.

Obama openly supported Kennedy, BUT HE SUDDENLY STOPPED SPEAKING ABOUT THE SUBJECT AFTER THE “PAY-TO-PLAY” SCANDAL INVOLVING HIS OWN SENATE SEAT ERUPTED. Remarkably, many people in the media openly suggested that Paterson should choose Kennedy because she and Obama could do wonders for his fundraising efforts. Yet, these were the same type of issues that shaped the Blagojevich scandal.

Also, polls showed that a substantial number of New York voters did not even want Kennedy to take the seat. Her numbers worsened after an unimpressive speaking tour. But many Kennedy backers complained about Paterson’s “handling” of Kennedy’s “candidacy.” Apparently, he treated her like any other potential appointee and asked tough questions. Ultimately, he chose Kirsten Gillibrand, an upstate moderate, for the position. This choice caused Paterson’s approval numbers to skid.”

read the article:http://dissentingjustice.blogspot.com/2009/09/obama-is-pathetically-wrong-paterson.html

The above was submitted by Butters on http://mcnorman.wordpress.com/2009/09/20/obama-dump-patterson-confidential-info-mmkay/

Silly man, assuming that the prospective Senator should be somewone that the citizens would find acceptable.

Anthony – just so you know, Butters has been banned from our site because she uses too many different login identities.

As for her take on it, I disagree. Paterson’s standing up to Obama and refusing to support Caroline Kennedy over Hillary’s pick, Kirsten Gillibrand, was not why his popularity decreased, although Bloomberg and Ted Kennedy started slamming him in the NY Press because of it.

Paterson’s numbers really took a dive when the state legislature stabbed him in the back over the same-sex marriage bill, and the Senate Dems decided to hand the majority over to the Repubs. He now looks like he can’t control his own Party. That is why Obama is worried about state Dem races being impacted. However, that is not because of Paterson. It’s because the state Dems screwed themselves over.

Same-sex marriage is popular in New York according to polls, and everyone knows that the reason it can’t pass the Senate is because of some *ssh0le Dems who are “too religious” to approve of two people who love each other getting married.

Yes, I’m sure God is stroking HIS white beard and muttering disapprovingly because of whether people are gay, straight or somewhere in between. If there is a God, I am quite sure that what consenting adults do in their bedroom is not his/her/its top priority.

Oddly, Mad, I had a similar conversation with my Fundie friend about the Creator’s priorites. Surely in a world rife with war, famine, pestilence and death, the DOMA is not high on the list. Her response startled me. She said that her church teaches that those who so practice will cause their civilization to vanish from the earth, but she could not explain to me why the
pastors with a penchant for young men have not taken their churches out with them.

Yes, chatblu, one would think such a Creator would have destroyed the Catholic church by now.

Thanks for the heads-up, MadamaB

The quote was from the article Dissenting Justice (which Butters posted on mcnorman’s site). I credited the commenter because although I thought the info was interesting, I wasn’t sure about buying it, but it sounded like it might be plausible explanation. I figured someone here would fill me in on other points of view, and I was indeed. Thanks.

The gay marriage thing here in NYC continues to piss me off. Your take on how it is tied to Paterson makes much more sense. As far as God (and stroking his beard) goes, he (and his flock) really need to stay the hell out of politics…….

BTW, love the new direction you’re going in. I’ve already forwarded your link to women I know that could use the support re: domestic violence. Good luck with this – it was a long time coming.

Thanks, Anthony. I know we have clashed some on this site, but I know we agree on a lot, too. As long as we are civil and polite to each other and really listen to each other, we will be okay, I am sure.

I am so happy to hear that some of your friends may be benefiting from the site. Please tell them they are welcome to comment anytime.

Violence against women is so much more prevalent than people think. I was singing in temple, and one of my colleagues shared that her father had beaten her when she was growing up. This is (at least) one out of only four women in the group, mind you. Women don’t talk about it because too often, they are blamed for “not leaving” their abuser. But one of every six American women will be the victim of either rape, or attempted rape, within her lifetime.

Misogyny is deep-seated in this country.

Misogyny is deep-seated in this country.
********
No shit…At the moment I am working with the GF to deals with a very abusive situation at her work.

SHV – My boss is abusive towards my co-worker. It is awful.

Laws exist about workplace abuse, but they are nearly impossible to prove.

Laws exist about workplace abuse, but they are nearly impossible to prove.
**********
In her situation it is easy to prove because it is out in the open and is directed at others. In the past the hostility has included threats of violence. The issue of “Laws” about hostile work place is also the problem with Ledbetter. If a person has to bring an atty. into a work place situation, even if they win, they have done considerable damage to their careers. Fortunately for Alison, there is a new Dept. chairman who will likely put a stop to this shit.

Oh, for heavens sakes. I wish Allison well, as you are correct in the assumption that careers are damaged. We had a number of situations that went to grievance, and once progressed to a suit, and we were told that frequently, it is an “eye-of-the-beholder” thing. Of course, threats of violence can open the beholders’ eye right up, can’t they?

I wish Allison well
********
Well, she has been a bit of a sh*t magnet recently, last month she was being “hit on” by another staff member.

“Hit on” is one thing, coersion another.

“Hit on” is one thing, coersion another.
**********
“Hit on”…umm…like…”Don’t you think that shirt is too tight, maybe you should put some tape across the front”…this being said as a hand is being rubbed across Alison’s chest.

That’s not “hit on”, that’s insulting and borders on sexual battery.

I think that behavior has crossed the borderline and is assault. She is being physically handled in a very private part of the body that is rarely touched by accident in common circumstances.

Erica, you are correct, as (per Wikipedia) assault is the preferred legal term when there is minimal physical harm done in an unlawful touching of another. At any rate, it is juvenile,despicable, and unwarranted. What is this joker’s particular worth to the organization that permits his continued employment?

Lord, SHV!! That’s horrible!

The last time something like that happened to me, I was 16. Most people are clued in enough these days to avoid that type of disgusting behavior.

Thank goodness for a long career spent wearing scrubs and lab coats.

LOL Chatblu!

Actually, I was wearing a Wendy’s uniform at the height of my sexual harrassment days. Not exactly alluring either. Brown polyester man-pants…

But nurses are armed with sharp shiny implements.

Oh, true, chatblu. I did have access to a metal spatula, but I was too intimidated to use it.

Oh, too bad. One good swat with a metal spatula and his heart and mind may have followed.

Sadly, chatblu, there was more than one. It was a very bad situation. I ended up quitting.

Well…let’s see if the Dems will draw a line in the sand with the Afghanistan War. I am certainly not counting on the Ob**s to call BS.

“WASHINGTON (CNN) — America’s top commander in Afghanistan warns that more troops are needed there within the next year or the nearly 8-year-old war “will likely result in failure,” according to a copy of a 66-page document obtained by The Washington Post.
(snip)

http://www.cnn.com/2009/POLITICS/09/21/afghanistan.mcchrystal/index.html

The “White House” has repeatedly said that Obama “put forth” a winning strategy for Afghanistan last spring. Obama and Gates fired the General in charge of the Afghanistan “theater” after he said things were deteriorating and that more American troops were needed. He was also fired for allegedly refusing to follow the advice of his Pentagon superiors to arm local militias to fight the Taliban. Now Obama’s hand picked General is calling for more troops. Big problem for Obama and Gates.

One of Obama’s big mistakes was keeping Gates in the first place. Why would he keep Secretary of Defense? Oh that’s right – because he agrees with Bush!

Absolutely, DYB. I was absolutely shocked when that appointment went right over everyone’s head.

New post up – by chatblu!

Interesting to read this post and its comments from way back in 2009!

@39 Yes, we’ve had five years now to get the full impact of the evil.

Likely more to come. Then again, things always look darkest befor turning completely black.

That was interesting!
Great song pic, Beata!

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