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@ Andrew. Well, let's see...I was a Philosophy major at BC and took courses in Logic so I'm pretty clear on what constitutes both an argument and the straw man fallacy. And I did not commit it. Indeed, I'd suggest that by setting up the government as your all purpose bad boy you are in fact using it as the straw man to knock down for whatever purpose you conceive of.
"I never said we should abolish the automobile. What I said is that the government shouldn't subsidize it." And how, pray tell, does the government subsidize my car and truck? I bought them, paid the taxes and insurance and registration fees. Other than its immoral and unjustifiable subsidies to Big Oil, which at most only indirectly affects my ability to drive, how does the gov't subsidize my use of these vehicles? And since the government built the roads we all drive on, and that constitutes a public good, why shouldn't we pay for their maintenance? Should their care be given over to private corporations whose only priority is their bottom line? Or perhaps they should just fall into disrepair? Neither of these makes any sense.
Re: your position that boycotts are effecive. If Big Oil is being subsidized and is polluting the environment and we object to this state of affairs, I'd like to know how the Armerican public can boycot Big Oil. Stop buying gas, plastic goods, oil, etc.? Sorry, but that makes zero sense. Boycotts are short term protests by a minority of committed activists. Big deal. During the civil rights era boycotts were effective because they were aimed at local businesses. But how do we boycott Exxon-Mobile or Monsanto? The idea is ludicrous.
Some good points, mostly lame. For example, "Yes, Chick-fil-A has the right to discriminate against homosexuals; the point is that it shouldn’t."
They have the right to discriminate? What is this, a reworking of Jim Crow aimed at gays? The owner of this company has the right to say whatever batsh.. thing comes into his head; but where does his company get the 'right' to refuse service to gays, blacks, Catholics, Muslims or anyone else he may not like? What kind of society are we to have when a business can turn someone away because of their sexual orientation? Wasn’t the civil rights movement the attempt to do away with the widespread discrimination blacks faced? They have the right? Bah!
The libertarian answer to all things is the free market. 'Let the market decide.' So the fundie owner decries gays and people come out of the woodwork to support his crackpottery. So, that worked out pretty well, huh?
Here's another brilliant piece of lameness...."Public roads and oil subsidies encourage the use of automobiles..." No Way!! And what does Mr. 'rising college sophomore' libertarian propose as a substitute for the automobile? Horse and buggy? Hydrogen powered jet packs?
And "Unless an immigrant is a violent criminal, the state has no business deporting him, regardless of whether he crossed the border legally." Really? So, someone who commits the crime of entering this country illegally is of no concern tot he state? Wow.
"When liberals talk about...Exxon’s disregard for the environment, we often respond, 'It’s their business; they have the right to do what they want.' This response is not exactly wrong..." Excuse me, but yes, it is exactly wrong. Exxon's (and big energy's) desecration of the environment across the globe is wrong. Period. They do not have the 'right' to pollute the water and air and land and cause human beings to become sick or die because of their irresponsibility. And it is the purpose of government to REGULATE their operations to insure that human beings can be assured some measure of protection. And, since you advise libertarians to ‘embrace environmentalism,’ this position is utterly self contradictory.
It is impossible to take libertarianism seriously because it is intellectually bankrupt and divided against itself.
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