The Somalia Canard

In Josephine County, Oregon, a woman was recently raped by her ex-boyfriend while she was on the phone to 911, begging for help which never came. I’ll forgo the usual “this is why we have the second amendment” point to concentrate on something a little different.

The Sherriff’s office is blaming the lack of response on recent budget cuts and the refusal of the citizenry to support a tax hike. But as Radley Balko points out, the city has had plenty of resources to go after legal medical marijuana growers or small-time illegal pot smokers. When it comes to the things that bring in asset forfeitures and pad arrest stats, they have all the resources they need.

This problem, however, is being enabled by the likeliest of political suspects:

The partisan political reactions to this story are typically awful. Wonkette’s Rebecca Schoenkopf mockingly calls Josephine County a “libertarian paradise,” and chides the dumb rubes for rejecting property tax increases that would (allegedly) fund police officers to respond to 911 calls. (More likely: It would fund more drug raids.) The post then takes the obligatory shots at people who favor local government over national government. You can find similar reactions at ThinkProgress and The Stranger.

Here’s the thing. Maybe part of the reason Josephine County is facing budget woes is because more than half the land in the county is owned by the federal government. The federal government doesn’t pay property taxes. And property taxes are primarily how local government is funded. Perhaps, just perhaps, the county’s residents reject the idea that their federal tax dollars are going toward buying up local land that is sapping the county’s tax base, and they resent the notion that if they then want basic services — like police protection — they are then asked to make up the difference through higher property taxes. And perhaps — just perhaps — they also resent the federal government because while county residents can’t get the local cops to respond to a woman being raped, the federal government is imposing its will on the state by funding task forces to raid medical marijuana facilities in a state where voters have expressed a clear will to legalize the drug for medicinal purposes.

But that would require an analysis of this story that involves some nuance, extra reading, and empathy. Better to just make Ayn Rand jokes and mock the dumb, low-income bumpkins for mistrusting the government.

This is simply another variation on the Somalia Canard. Idiotic liberals have a tendency to respond to libertarian-conservative arguments with some variation of, “Well why don’t you go live in Somalia?! That’s a libertarian paradise!” I regard the Somalia Canard as the libertarian version of Godwin’s Law. When someone brings up Somalia, you know they have run out of arguments and are just going for the ad hominem.

But, OK, assholes. I’ll do this thing. Here’s why we don’t all move to Somalia: because Libertarianism is not anarchism. And conservatism is a long way from anarchism.

The vast majority of libertarians and conservative have no problems with funding things like law enforcement and fire-fighting. Most of us don’t have a problem with making sure our water is clean and our meat is healthy. And many of us even think public schools are OK!

But these are not the only things that government does. They are not even a majority of what the government does.

A lot of what the government does is either unnecessary (if we’re lucky) or damaging (if we’re not). It pays out hundreds of billions in transfer payments every year. It pays employees generous salaries and extravagant benefits for which we are now on the hook to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars. It uses asset forfeiture to seize people’s property without trial because they might be dealing drugs. It uses eminent domain to force people to sell their property to rich developers. It fights unnecessary wars. It fights a stupid and devastating War on Drugs. It shovels tens of billions into corporate welfare and tax exemptions to favored businesses. It seizes well-cared-for children because their parents have a little pot.

I have no problem giving government money to do the things that government needs to do. But no one should be willing to just throw money into the equivalent of a wishing well in the hope that, somehow somewhere, it might be spent wisely.

How about, instead of laughing at the low-income people of Josephine County for not wanting yet more money extracted from them, you look into what kind of stupid shit Josephine County was spending money on instead of funding the police? If you can’t find any waste, then I might be prepared to listen to you chuckling at the brutal rape of a defenseless woman.

Update: I shoulde not that what is going on in Oregon is a pattern we have seen at all levels of government in response to budget cuts: getting rid of essential services first in order to increase pressure on the public for tax hikes. One place where this did not happen was Wisconsin, where Walker’s reforms allowed the state to retain thousands of teachers they would otherwise have had to fire. But anytime shrinking governments choose to cut the meat instead of the fat, can you count on the entire Liberal Ecosphere to blame conservatives.

Comments are closed.

  1. Mook

    Good observation regarding liberals bringing up Somalia as an idiotic example of a “libertarian” country. No doubt in their tiny brains they think the Somalia retort is some sort of definitive smackdown to libertarians and conservatives.. Somalia has been a factional totalitarian terrorist haven, with those few who are in control looting scarce resources for themselves while slaughtering their political opponents. There are no truly free elections there. Somalia is the OPPOSITE of what liberals claim it to be.

    Whenever anyone tries to shrink the size of government, the corrupt controllers of govt. power maximize the pain for everyone else. Look at how Obama shut down WH tours over the sequester. . look at the Democrat vermin that tried to blame Benghazi on govt. budget cuts until sworn testimony shut down that lie. It’s who they are.

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  2. Dick Fitzwell

    Yet they’re still building statues of Benedict Arnold.

    At the local level, the first response to budget cuts is often to cut the police department and the fire department. There may be all sorts of wasteful boondoggles that could have been cut instead, but that would not produce the public alarm that reducing police protection and fire protection can produce. And public alarm is what can get budget cuts restored.

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  3. Seattle Outcast

    The first time I ever hear the Somalia comparison was from CM, and I was honestly confused by it. I didn’t know that libtards were actually calling that anarchist cesspool an example of libertarianism at work.

    I know that most liberals don’t really understand the concepts behind libertarianism in any way, and apparently think of it as as a collection of toothless, unwashed, uneducated hillbillies guarding their moonshine operations and fornicating with farm animals while discussing the “evils of guv’mint”….

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  4. CM

    Hidden due to low comment rating. Click here to see.

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  5. Seattle Outcast

    WTF?! Sorry, wasn’t me.

    The hell it wasn’t. As a matter of fact, you’re pretty much the ONLY person that I’ve seen use it. I don’t visit HuffPo, Kos, Think Progress and Salon like you do, so the very concept of Somalia being a “libertarian paradise” was so fucking alien to me that when you actually said it all I could think of was “is he being sarcastic, or is he really that fucking stupid?” You then actually tried to defend your post and got ripped to shreds by several people.

    Hot! Thumb up 4

  6. Xetrov

    The hell it wasn’t. As a matter of fact, you’re pretty much the ONLY person that I’ve seen use it.

    The only discussion I can find involving CM and a supposed “Libertarian Somalia” is here. Hal mentioned it in the OP, and CM never mentioned Somalia or defended it as being an example of Libertarianism. The only other post I can find involving the words Libertarian and Somalia is here, and CM didn’t comment.

    Maybe it was a conversation somewhere else? I can’t find anything in the MW archives either.

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  7. Thrill

    Oh, this is fun!

    I’m pretty sure SO is thinking of georgebalella. He made the Somalia argument on a couple of threads last year, particularly this one. Both CM and SO were active on those threads too.

    For his part, I find no thread in which CM has ever made or supported the argument that Somalia is an example of libertarianism at work. Other commenters implied that he agreed with the comparison, but CM has never actually said it, so far as I can find.

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  8. CM

    Sorry SO, you seem pretty sure but you’ve got this very wrong.
    As I say, I would never suggest that Somalia is an example of Libertarianism. And if I did, I wouldn’t then deny it (because that would be wrong, and could easily be shown to be wrong even if I was the type of person who thought I might get away with it).

    But I do like how you followed up my:

    But then I don’t hang out at the places you’re no doubt convinced I hang out at.

    with a list of places that I don’t hang around at (ok, maybe I’ll check into Salon once a fortnight or so, but none of the others really interest me)

    Anyway, you’re mistaken, it happens, no biggie.

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  9. CM

    Actually, ClimateProgress is some part of ThinkProgress I now realise, so yeah there’s that. However I’ve never seen Somalia considered an example of Libertarianism there (not really that relevant to climate change). But I don’t link to it often because climate change is a black-listed topic at this blog.

    I doubt I’ve ever in my life linked to Kos, or quoted from it (I certainly don’t remember ever doing so).

    HuffPo I’ve visited maybe 20 times in my life, but more than half would have been unrelated to politics. Salon, as I say, I’ve visited, but just as much for non-political stuff (film reviews and the like). I’ve certainly never seen Somalia considered an example of Libertarianism there.

    Anyway, good on you for admitting you got this one wrong. It’s good that we can all be grown up about it.

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  10. Xetrov

    You accuse the guy, about as adamantly as possible on a message board as one can, of something he’s never even come close to espousing, and your follow-up is…

    If you don’t hang out at those sites, then why do you quote them so often?

    ??? What in the fuck is wrong with you? Apologize for being a complete douche who was 100% talking out of your ass, and move on.

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  11. Poosh

    I recall CM using the Somalia line in a pathetic “conservatives don’t believe in governments = they want to live in anarchy” rant, probably, in the past, though not just him many of the usual idiots copy and pasted this bad argument from whatever lib tard website/paper they read. ONE did not use Somalia but another african country.

    The somalia “argument” does hold imo against Far-Right Libertarianism (absolute freedom) and anarcho-capitalism – purely to highlight how Hobbes’ state of nature is abso-fucking-lutely obviously true. Libertarians, normal ones, and conservatives never argume for no or even teeny-tiny government so it’s essentially a strawman.

    CM constantly lies about what he says, I cannot be bothered to trawl the archives, but he’s lied before, he’ll even deny about being caught out lying as well.

    Hot! Thumb up 2

  12. Xetrov

    I recall CM using the Somalia line in a pathetic “conservatives don’t believe in governments = they want to live in anarchy” rant, probably, in the past,

    I recall you saying you want to have sex with chickens all the time, probably, in the past. I can’t be bothered to trawl the archives, but you’ve definitely said you love fucking chickens before, you’ll even deny about being caught with your pants down and the chicken between your legs.

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  13. CM

    Xetrov, by a long long stretch, has read my posts far longer than anyone else here. He also has an excellent memory. Anyone who even remotely knows him considers him a man of high integrity, even when they disagree with his opinions.

    I cannot be bothered to trawl the archives

    Nothing sums you up better than that Poosh. They should put that on your headstone.
    When have you bothered doing anything to support what you write here? Half the time you even admit you’re guessing. It’s almost always wrong. I’d hate to hazard a guess about what percentage of the crap in your head which you use to justify your opinions is just nonsense you “can’t be bothered checking”.

    CM constantly lies about what he says

    Poosh constantly makes accusations like this and when called to back them up ALWAYS ignores the request (often with some sort of “I’m not talking to you anymore”). But then I’m not telling anyone here anything they don’t already know.
    That he would latch onto an already-dead silly accusation to add some valueless vague and dubious ‘recollection’ and admit he ain’t looking to support it (i.e. COMPLETE BULLSHIT) puts him at the exact opposite end of the integrity scale to Xetrov.
    Thanks for the laugh though, much appreciated.

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  14. Poosh

    Xetrov, by a long long stretch, has read my posts far longer than anyone else here. He also has an excellent memory. Anyone who even remotely knows him considers him a man of high integrity, even when they disagree with his opinions.

    CM you are a total turd.

    I recall you using the Somalia thing in some fashion (I know someone used it and used another example rather than Somalia, same fallacy. It might well have not been you at all, but several of the resident libs have done it. And I recall you doing it. Could I be mistaken? Sure. Which is why I said PROBABLY.

    You are a liar. You make wild accusations about people, and other lies, and then sit back and say “prove it” knowing it’s nigh impossible to bring up an old posts with your lie. But I know many of the people here know perfectly well you’re a liar and can remember you being nailed as one. No doubt plenty of times when I was not reading.

    CM, the liar, I’m glad you took the time to write some more lies. I’m fairly sure most of the sensible non-liberal people here know I just ignore you, when I use to post here regularly, because you constantly talk sh*t and cannot understand basic arguments. Why go around in circles? I always am open to debate and arguments with people who are not called ‘CM’ – obviously when I have time.

    See CM KNOWS it’s difficult to bring up a single sentence from years or months ago, especially since most of his posts are hidden due to low ratings, so he can chat shit and demand “evidence” against accusations that MOST OF US KNOW ARE TRUE, because he knows some dumb ass will come along and demand someone spend three hours finding that single post from 2010…

    Just gonna repeat what you said above for effect.

    Nothing sums you up better than that Poosh….
    When have you bothered doing anything to support what you write here? …. I’d hate to hazard a guess about what percentage of the crap in your head which you use to justify your opinions is just nonsense you “can’t be bothered checking”.
    Poosh constantly makes accusations like this and when called to back them up ALWAYS ignores the request… blah blah balh

    Now unfortunately for you I have very important work to get on with which means procrastination. I said I couldn’t be bothered to trawl the archives FOR GOOD FUCKING REASON. But guess what? Not your lucky day CM.

    ON THIS LINK to a Right Thinking post, for anyone who actually needs evidence that you’re a liar, I find you pulling this exact same bullshit. Scroll down chums to ” November 20, 2012 5:03 pm at 5:03 pm “, CM basically lied and said I called him an anti-Semite. Quite clearly. He thought he’d get away with it. Sadly it was only a few days ago so the post was still quite easy to find, easy to show him up as a liar. Sure many others here have done that. I remember other occasions but it took me far too long to find that one, and it was only by chance I cam across it. After being caught CM just tries to shift they blame and play dumb. I recall CM playing this game before and someone having to go the bloody Moorewatch or some such archives to nail him down as a liar. Kinda extreme but then I just half did the same. He’s so smug, I understand now…

    Sorry to write so much, but it’s quite fun. Here’s the money quote from me, from that thread:

    This isn’t a slip of your mind or memory, you clearly understood I was not calling you an anti-Semite, so you’re just throwing in some lies, hoping you won’t get caught with your hand in the cookie jar. Given I ignore what you write most of the time, Zeus knows how many lies you’ve slipped in about everyone, hoping for some sympathy.

    Oh, and if you look there, apparently part of why I ignored CM is ’cause he called me a racist.

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  15. Section8

    I have no problem giving government money to do the things that government needs to do. But no one should be willing to just throw money into the equivalent of a wishing well in the hope that, somehow somewhere, it might be spent wisely.

    Beautiful quote and I’d like to have permission to steal it. I’ll know the GOP has their shit together again when this becomes their preamble. Assuming of course they change the rest of their plank and policies to not diametrically oppose said preamble. As for the Democrats, through their bizarre glasses, they’ll just interpret this as something racist or violent extremism so no hope there.

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  16. CM

    I recall you using the Somalia thing in some fashion (I know someone used it and used another example rather than Somalia, same fallacy. It might well have not been you at all, but several of the resident libs have done it.

    You recall me doing it, but it might not have been me.
    Even though you recall that it was me. Except maybe it wasn’t.
    Unless it was. In which case it’s well worth pointing it out. Unless it wasn’t. Ah hell, even if it wasn’t.

    And I recall you doing it. Could I be mistaken? Sure.

    Yeah I did it, unless I didn’t. Again.

    Which is why I said PROBABLY.

    Which makes NO sense because you said you recalled it.
    You don’t get to add such a qualifier if you recall it.

    You are a liar. You make wild accusations about people, and other lies, and then sit back and say “prove it” knowing it’s nigh impossible to bring up an old posts with your lie.

    I remember you telling us you’re a chicken-fucker, and I’m not the only one who remembers that. (Probably).
    What wild accusations do I make? You seem to be very confused (you are the one constantly being asked to back up an accusations, which you can never do (and instead you storm off with your knickers in a big twist).
    It’s very possible to bring up old posts. Use Google.

    But I know many of the people here know perfectly well you’re a liar and can remember you being nailed as one.

    People(i.e. more than one) here know you fuck chickens because you probably said it in the past.

    No doubt plenty of times when I was not reading.

    Yet more guesswork to justify your opinion. Given how rampant it is I guess we have to assume this is just the tip of the iceberg.

    CM, the liar, I’m glad you took the time to write some more lies.

    I’d ask you to justify this, but I’m sure you’ll say it’s impossible to scroll up. Or that you can’t be bothered.

    I’m fairly sure most of the sensible non-liberal people here know I just ignore you, when I use to post here regularly, because you constantly talk sh*t and cannot understand basic arguments.

    Sure, that’s why. Sure it is.
    Keep repeating those accusations though, it’s all working out so amazingly well.

    Why go around in circles?

    Exactly. Why you’d post such obvious nonsense is beyond me.

    I always am open to debate and arguments with people who are not called ‘CM’ – obviously when I have time.

    You forgot to add “probably”.

    See CM KNOWS it’s difficult to bring up a single sentence from years or months ago, especially since most of his posts are hidden due to low ratings, so he can chat shit and demand “evidence” against accusations that MOST OF US KNOW ARE TRUE, because he knows some dumb ass will come along and demand someone spend three hours finding that single post from 2010…

    Four fails there:
    1. I ask you to back your accusation when you accuse me, so no searching (of history) is required.
    2. I constantly search and find things using Google. While not always perfect, it’s not difficult.
    3. Even when referring to something in the past, you can just mention what the supposed lie was if you can’t find it (or more likely, can’t be bothered even trying).
    4. Wasn’t here in 2010.

    I don’t think hidden comments are removed from search results either. But I’m not sure, so I won’t make it five.

    CM basically lied and said I called him an anti-Semite. Quite clearly.

    Which is it? Did I “basically” lie, or did I do it “quite clearly”?
    Also, you’ve not demonstrated a lie. Where is it? You mean where I acknowledged that I was mistaken in that you didn’t explicitly use those words (but did so implicitly, much like people are accused of being racist without the word racist being used)? Sorry, you don’t get to hide behind your weasel words and nature.

    Oh, and if you look there, apparently part of why I ignored CM is ’cause he called me a racist.

    Except I didn’t. I said:

    There is nothing more obvious in the world than the pointlessness of being involved in a discussion on this topic, unless one subscribes to “the pali’s are subhuman”.

    And you seem to interpret that to mean that I said you were a racist. When it was obviously a far wider comment about discussing the topic on this blog. Yes, it directly followed you bitching about how people try to humanise the Palestinians, but it was still a general comment and I certainly didn’t call you (or anyone) a racist.

    So now what you’re doing is repeating previous false accusations because your memory is so bad.

    but it’s quite fun.

    Sure is.

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  17. Poosh

    My my. Quite embarrassing CM. Even when trying to play semantics you fail.

    Caught lying. Can’t get out of it. You’re done, mate. No “oh, I made a mistake!” lie is gonna get you out of it.

    I like how CM, I think you’re lying hear again btw, but I like how you think we can all magically google things from the past that we barely remember. Let’s be honest, you know perfectly it’s very difficult and time consuming. When you lied about me calling you an anti-semite, I had no recollection of that, twas only chance I stumbled upon it. How was I meant to google that bro? I know you’re a liar. I remember you’ve lied before and were caught out by me and others. But can’t recall the details. How am I meant to google that eh? Lucky I stumbled upon it eh?

    I won’t even retort to anything else. This is exactly why it’s pointless talking to you. Your post is like How To Fail 101.

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  18. CM

    Caught lying. Can’t get out of it. You’re done, mate. No “oh, I made a mistake!” lie is gonna get you out of it.

    So from now on every time you’re technically mistaken (because you can’t be bothered) and you acknowledge it, I can say you’re lying. Do you really want to set things up like that?

    When you lied about me calling you an anti-semite

    You called me on it. I went back and had a look. You hadn’t. I acknowledged it immediately. If this is your sole example of me being a liar then that is pathetic.

    but I like how you think we can all magically google things from the past that we barely remember

    Nothing even remotely magical about Google. If you can barely remember, then don’t start making accusations.

    Let’s be honest, you know perfectly it’s very difficult and time consuming.

    Perhaps that’s something to consider before making accusations then. Your call, but don’t expect to get let off because you’re lazy AND lack basic skills.

    When you lied about me calling you an anti-semite, I had no recollection of that, twas only chance I stumbled upon it. How was I meant to google that bro?

    Google “right-thinking.com”, “CM”, “anti-semite”, “Poosh” bro. How is that difficult to come up with? I found the ‘other thread’ (the one your linked one refers to) easily. Within a minute.

    I know you’re a liar. I remember you’ve lied before and were caught out by me and others. But can’t recall the details. How am I meant to google that eh? Lucky I stumbled upon it eh?

    Oh well, I know you’re a liar too then.
    And I know you admit to chicken fucking. And I’m not the only one who remembers that.

    I won’t even retort to anything else.

    Here we go again. You nothing if not predicable. You’ve failed to respond to most of it.

    This is exactly why it’s pointless talking to you. Your post is like How To Fail 101.

    Ah I see what you did there. I listed four obvious reasons why your lame “woah is me, how can i be expected to support my accusations when i can’t remember what they’re about and I can’t use Google” fails, and you’ve come back with “No, YOU are”. Truly awesome. For a 5 year old.
    Now run along Poosh, there’s a good lad.

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  19. Poosh

    Google “right-thinking.com”, “CM”, “anti-semite”, “Poosh” bro. How is that difficult to come up with?

    I did not remember you lied about me calling you an anti-semite, I just recalled that you were a liar and get caught lying. YOU LITERALLY POSTED ME SAYING THIS. So how the hell am I to know what to goo, you know! I give up! This is exactly why it’s pointless talking to you. I have no words!

    I acknowledged it immediately

    Caught lying. Pretend you thought it was Alex despite responding to me not calling you an anti-semite a few days prior. As if you’d magically forget when I LITERALLY TELL YOU WHY I DON’T THINK YOU’RE AN ANTI-SEMITE. Liar.

    Sorry to bog the post down, I’ll stop now, it’s ridiculous.

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  20. CM

    I was mistaken (it WAS Alex), and I acknowledged the mistake. Being mistaken isn’t lying. Try again. Do you have an example where I didn’t acknowledge getting it wrong?

    The fact remains: If you make accusations, be prepared to support them. Otherwise, acknowledge that you got it wrong. As in your example.

    Sorry to bog the post down

    Yeah, we’ve completed ruined a perfectly good thread about me using Somalia as an example, except that I never have.
    Still waiting for your evidence of that Poosh. Unless you’re mistaken? Or lying? Or are they the same thing?

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  21. Xetrov

    Xetrov, by a long long stretch, has read my posts far longer than anyone else here. He also has an excellent memory. Anyone who even remotely knows him considers him a man of high integrity, even when they disagree with his opinions.

    Damn it, CM. Now people are going to start down-voting me.

    ;-)

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