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Saturday, October 31, 2009

Knapp Evades, Blanton Whines, Wilson Forgets

Tom Knapp seems to think that any level of Social Security benefits counts as "earned" merely because "they are conditioned upon performance of certain acts and not paid absent those acts".  Ida May Fuller's "acts" were to pay $49.50 over three years, so Tom Knapp should say she "earned" $22,888.92.  But when an investor performs the "act" of buying a T-bill, Tom Knapp says he hasn't "earned" the interest that is "conditioned upon performance of" buying that T-bill.  In fact, Tom denies that even the principal of the T-bill should be paid back!

This, then, is the corner of twisted lefty redistributionist logic into which Knapp has backed himself.  Tom, there are plenty of socialist/redistributionist parties whose nomination you could run for.  Why are you seeking the LP's?  :-)

I repeat my question: why would you object to cutting people off at a level of accumulated benefits that you think they never reach?  Is your answer really just: because the nanny state had promised those benefits?

And I'm not letting you off the hook about your ethical inconsistency in repudiating promises made to those who merely lent to the State, while honoring the promises made to those who TOOK UP ARMS for the State.  Yes, you DID say it was consistent. Right here: “It only seems inconsistent if you ignore political reality.”

Michael, I didn't say I was "special because I was a military brat".  I just stated the fact that my family lived in SAC-base Soviet bullseyes during the two highest nuclear alerts of the Cold War.  You don't have to care about this fact, but that doesn't give you a right to put your words in my mouth.

I completely agree that America's borders are porous to warhead-sized objects.  In fact, I pointed that out yesterday in a separate blog posting, and it's a reason why I've always opposed the Strategic Defense Initiative.  My point about NORAD is that such aerospace early-warning efforts are one of the reasons why we've never had to use nuclear weapons -- weapons that you seem to think are useless simply because they were never used in the Cold War.  It's just silly to say that 9/11 shows "it is easy to get around that system".  The point of NORAD is so that nuclear opponents won't think they can achieve a successful surprise first strike.  NORAD was never intended to protect the cockpit doors of airliners, or to stop suicidal pilots of civilian aircraft. Do you assert it was?

George, it's not true that our bomber defenses were shut down years ago.  You apparently aren't familiar with the response to 9/11 by NEADS, the Northeast Air Defense Sector of NORAD.  For details, see As of 9/11, its "aerospace warning and control missions were oriented to detect and identify all air traffic entering North American airspace, and if necessary, intercept potentially threatening inbound aircraft."  That morning it had 14 fighters on alert at seven bases.  Those pilots weren't sitting around waiting to intercept ballistic missiles.  The order to scramble the two F-15s at Otis AFB was issued even before the first airliner hit the WTC.  Those two Eagles established a Combat Air Patrol over Manhattan 22 minutes after the second tower was hit.

Lou @90, I'll leave it to LP presidential contender Tom Knapp to explain to you why a ‘massive inter-generational transfer of wealth’ is a bad thing -- if indeed he thinks it is.  This would be good practice for his campaign.

Tom Blanton apparently wants to criticize the statements of others while not having his statements be subject to criticism.  Sorry, not on my watch.

"Rude"?  Hah.  I'm not the one here who has used the words “sphincter”, "twit", “idiot”, “fool”, “narcissistic freak”, “pompous”, “phony”, etc.  Blanton apparently thinks that if he feels bad about himself after reading my words, then my words must have been insults.

As for "dishing it out" vs."taking it", I'm not the one here whining that my public criticisms of public figures should not themselves be criticized.  Blanton just broke my irony meter.

What I've "noticed" is that Blanton is one of the a people who, when trying to debate me, stoop to sputtering ad hominems and insults.  Most radical libertarians and fundamentalist Christians that I debate are able to remain relatively civil, but some of them aren't emotionally equipped to learn that their polemical reach sometimes exceeds their grasp.

Michael, I think the "fuzzy memory" about Iraq and the LP may be yours.  Using, I recently sampled the front page of every six months to back before the Iraq invasion, 11 data points in all.  The results are here.  Antiwar has clearly been the most prominent issue position on the front page during that entire time. has been LOUDLY antiwar, and I have little sympathy for your complaint that you've wanted it to be even more so.  If you want to influence the content output of the LP, my suggestion is to roll up your sleeves and start producing some.  That's what I'm doing at