24 Apr 2014

Free Advice for Cliven Bundy

Bundy Ranch 51 Comments

I’m not trying to centrally plan the libertarian movement, and I generally think focusing too much on marketing is a self-defeating enterprise, but regarding this


51 Responses to “Free Advice for Cliven Bundy”

  1. Philippe says:

    Bob, your cartoon should read:

    “If you say the Negroes might be better off as slaves… you’re gonna have a bad time”.

  2. Major_Freedom says:

    Let the ad hominem tu quoque begin.

    • Philippe says:

      “I want to tell you one more thing I know about the Negro,” he said. Mr. Bundy recalled driving past a public-housing project in North Las Vegas, “and in front of that government house the door was usually open and the older people and the kids — and there is always at least a half a dozen people sitting on the porch — they didn’t have nothing to do. They didn’t have nothing for their kids to do. They didn’t have nothing for their young girls to do.

      “And because they were basically on government subsidy, so now what do they do?” he asked. “They abort their young children, they put their young men in jail, because they never learned how to pick cotton. And I’ve often wondered, are they better off as slaves, picking cotton and having a family life and doing things, or are they better off under government subsidy? They didn’t get no more freedom. They got less freedom.”

      My comment:

      “If you say the Negroes might be better off as slaves… you’re gonna have a bad time”.

      • Major_Freedom says:

        Bundy is morally wrong about slavery.

        But he is morally right about the feds.

      • Tel says:

        Your comment is sneaky… Bundy very clearly compared two options, better off as slaves, or better off as perpetual wards of the state on subsidies sitting around doing nothing. That’s how comparisons work, select choice A or choice B.

        You comment pretends “better off” can be selected without looking at both choices. That’s an attempt to fool people. Decisions have consequences.

        I think Bundy could have been a lot more sensitive about it, but maybe being brutal is the only way to get your message on the news and he isn’t expecting any of the statist-apologist newspapers to like him at this stage. Personally I don’t think the problem of government handouts being a dead-end trap is a racial issue. The problem exists with people of all races, it has proportionally been a bigger problem for darker skinned Americans, but you get very white skinned government-sponsored ghettos in Australia with the same dead-end mentality, and you can go to Scotland or Northern England and look at the people left behind as industry closed around them.

        I also don’t believe that the people who escaped slavery deliberately made a choice for themselves to end up slurping handouts knowing where they would end up. I think for the most part, they didn’t understand and still don’t understand where the problem is. Slaves on the whole were not well educated, and getting your freedom does not automatically mean you get all the culture and knowledge and preparation to make best use of that freedom. The government has a vested interest in NOT teaching these skills in schools.

    • Major_Freedom says:

      Let the ad hominem continue.

      • Tel says:

        It’s very much like Orwell described. Killing Winston Smith would have been easier, but that would not be sufficient.

        The US government has essentially infinite troops to defeat Bundy by brute force, but they can’t do that until they can generate sufficient propaganda to make him admit he is wrong.

  3. Anonyblogger says:

    Marketing is a self-defeating enterprise?

    Or, the heart of enterprise?

    Mises speaks, you decide:

    “The characteristic feature of capitalism that distinguishes it from pre-capitalist methods of production was its new principle of marketing.” ~Ludwig von Mises, Liberty and Property

  4. Bob Roddis says:

    1. I thought Mr. Bundy had an completely unwinnable case against the Feds who possessed a court order allowing them to remove the cattle from the “government lands” and to collect fines for trespass (not grazing fees). The court order from last fall had given Mr. Bundy 45 days to remove the cattle. I also thought this was a very weak P.R. case to present to the ladies of the suburbs.

    2. This racist racist racist crap we ALWAYS get from the “progressives” may have given the Bundy supporters new life.


    3. If I were at a dinner party and people started claiming that Lew Rockwell, Tom Woods, Tom diLorenzo, Ron Paul and Jack Hunter were racists and white-supremacists, there would be some problems.

    • Bob Murphy says:

      Bob Roddis, responding to your points in order:

      1. I agree his case was not the best to start out with. These tangential observations do not help his case with the ladies of the suburbs.

      2. Maybe so, but now they’ve got what they want. Nobody cared about Waco because it was a religious cult. So if this turns out ugly down the road, now it will be “that racist deadbeat who was ripping off the taxpayers.” This is not a good turn of events if one wanted the Bundy standoff to signal the start of the Great Libertarian Awakening.

      3. Right, so if anybody says that here, I will zap the comments. You are the one who is bringing it up first. Philippe is obviously being provocative above, but he’s merely quoting from the very thing I linked in my OP.

      • Philippe says:

        “fines for trespass (not grazing fees)”

        Right. The reason he owes so much to the gubment is because he ignored court rulings for 16 years and so accumulated a ridiculous amount of fines.

      • Philippe says:

        “Philippe is obviously being provocative above”

        I’m not actually trying to be provocative, Bob.

        With all due respect I think you made a mistake with your post.

        You put up a cartoon which suggests that people are getting mad or calling Bundy a racist because he used the word negro.

        And the implication of your post is that those crazy metropolitan liberals won’t even let good old simple country folk use the word negro anymore.

        But that’s misleading, isn’t it, Bob.

        The issue is not that Bundy referred to black people as “the Negro”, even though that in itself might be considered a bit suspect.

        The issue is that he was musing about how maybe all those pointless negro people sitting around on porches might have been better off as slaves, learning a proper skill like picking cotton.

        • Bob Murphy says:

          Philippe you make the meme you recommended I use, and tell me what point the font ends up.

          • Philippe says:

            I don’t have photoshop or any other such program on my laptop, but I can make you the picture later if you want.

            • Keshav Srinivasan says:

              You can use memegenerator.net. That’s what Bob used.

            • Bob Murphy says:

              Philippe, we’re clearly having a failure to communicate. I’m saying, it wouldn’t have been funny to do it your way. I wanted to use the South Park meme.

              • Philippe says:

                Is that ‘meme’ you posted something which was said in a South Park episode?

              • Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:


                Yes, the ski instructor in that South Park episode is known for saying “If you do X, you’re gonna have a baaaad time.”

                That’s basically how this joke works. Taking something and adding the “you’re gonna have a bad time” with the South Park guy.

                It’s difficult to explain but if you saw that episode of South Park you would probably think it’s hilarious…

              • Philippe says:

                I had a look at the video linked to by anonymous, and at no point does he say “If you say negro in a hostile NYT interview, you’re gonna have a bad time”.

                So the ‘meme’ cartoon posted by Bob was made by someone else, for some other reason, and is not just not just lifted from the South Park episode itself.

                So the question is why Bob chose this particular cartoon, with these particular words.

                I think it was a mistake, and in bad taste.

                As I said, the Bundy issue in this case is not really about his use of the word negro, so the cartoon is not relevant in that respect.

                The problem is that Bundy made some seemingly very racist remarks. Maybe he was misunderstood, or maybe he bungled what he was actually trying to say. That is by the by. People reacted because prima facie, his comments sound very racist.

                So we have to ask why Bob posted this particular cartoon.

                The cartoon posted by Bob makes light of the situation and implies that it’s just a case of metropolitan liberals over-reacting in response to the use of the word negro.

                But in fact that is not the case.

                So again, we have to ask why this cartoon was posted.

              • Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

                Uh, I don’t think you understand how memes work…

              • Philippe says:

                sorry, duplicate of “not just”. Edit error.

              • Dan says:

                Philippe, are you being for realz?

              • Philippe says:

                By the way I do not think that Bob is being racist by posting this cartoon. I simply think it was a mistake, maybe due to his sympathy for Bundy and antagonism towards the NYT. But a mistake nonetheless.

              • Philippe says:

                Dan, yez I iz for realz.

              • Dan says:

                I think you are just missing the point he is making. He’s simply saying that when you’re doing an interview with someone hostile to your cause, don’t give them easy fodder to use against you.

              • Anonyblogger says:

                Ban Phillippe.

                There, I said it. Someone had to say it. It needs to be said. (Channelling Caplan.)

              • Philippe says:

                Why should I be banned?

                I’m not accusing Bob of being a bad guy. I think his post was in error.

              • Philippe says:

                Ok, I re-read my post and can see how it might seem that I am accusing Bob of having bad intentions. To clarify: the only accusation I am making is that Bob made a mistake.

              • Anonyblogger says:

                You should be banned because you are a flippant-fun-ruiner.

                Bob tries to make an obvious joke about the situation, nothing more, and you want to parse it out and turn it into a philosophical debate. It’s incredibly inappropriate and by now all the dinner guests would have left because they’d be bored to death with some guy who insists on turning every joke and subtlety into a witch hunt of probity.

                You are, in other words, a “turd in the punch bowl” and you don’t belong at a polite gathering of friends and other civilized invitees.

              • Anonyblogger says:

                Exactly what I am talking about, ironically.

                Bob just banned someone for not respecting “dinner party etiquette”.

                Your response?

                Parse my reasoning for the philosophical differences between a blog comment and an actual dinner party.

                You have Obsessive Compulsive Argumentative Disorder. Like Ken B. Who was banned. By way of analogy, I’d like to see you hauled off as well.

                At a family member’s lakeside cabin I became familiar one summer with the phenomenon of one swatted fly being replaced, almost instantaneously, by another. In trying to guard the BBQ and everyone’s food from these creatures, I became frustrated in the endeavor as I realized everytime I swatted a fly, a new one showed up to replace it.

                I realize you’ll parse this and point out you showed up BEFORE Ken B was swatted. It doesn’t matter. My point is, you are that fly that showed up. You’re here to spoil the BBQ, not to help me seal in the flavor of delicious BBQed meats.

                I have no idea at this point what it is Bob is trying to accomplish with his blog/comments, but I am nonetheless pretty confident flies and fly excrement aren’t part of the equation.

              • Philippe says:

                “You have Obsessive Compulsive Argumentative Disorder”

                I don’t think that’s correct. I argue with people either because I think they are wrong, or because I don’t know what is right and I want to find out.

                I don’t want to be the hated dinner guest, but at the same time I can’t keep my mouth shut whilst other people are saying things I disagree with or think are not clearly understood.

                So I’m sorry if my attitude annoys you. I will try to be polite, but I don’t think I have to stop asking questions or expressing my opinion just because some people don’t like it.

              • Anonyblogger says:

                People who are actually trying to learn something in the midst of arguing and challenging things every so often manage to actually do so.

                Since you’ve shown your face here, I’ve seen you learn absolutely nothing, despite the many times you’ve been schooled. The reason is because you aren’t actually trying to learn. You’re just trying to be a curmudgeon because you get your own personal satisfaction from trying to spoil things for people whose ideas you find threatening.

                Face it, bud. You don’t have a sense of humor in this situation and you therefore make for an unenjoyable dinner guest.

                You’re no fun. And you weren’t even invited! You just showed up. How embarrassing for you.

    • K.P. says:

      Can you elaborate on number 2, Bob?

      While I agree he didn’t say anything explicitly racist, it doesn’t much matter, it looks like he’s going to swept up in the “racist, anti-semite, homophobe!” wave. His public supporters will probably abandon him.

      • Bob Roddis says:

        Re: #2. After listening to his interview with Tom Woods, Bundy seems more familiar with our themes that I expected and thus more sympathetic to me. The welfare plantation is an old and proper theme popularized by Thomas Sowell and Walter Williams. Bundy knows about Homeland Security buying off local police forces with cash, which is constant theme of Will Grigg. A lot more average people are sick of the racist racist racist nonsense than are concerned about whether or not the Feds have the constitutional right to own land and might see this as just more “progressive” bullying.

        Re: #3. I only brought that up because it was in the materials to which Bob Murphy linked above. Jonathan Chait wrote:

        Just like Ron Paul’s longtime ghostwriter turned out to be a neoconfederate white supremacist. And like the way Rand Paul’s ghostwriter also turned out to be a neoconfederate white supremacist.

        Chait then linked to “The Angry White Man” by James Kirchick.

        • Matt M (Dude Where's My Freedom) says:

          “A lot more average people are sick of the racist racist racist nonsense than are concerned about whether or not the Feds have the constitutional right to own land and might see this as just more “progressive” bullying.”

          Eh, I agree with this point generally, but I don’t think anyone will rally behind Bundy for it. What he said was pretty clear, and is FAR closer to actual legitimate racism than most of the other “controversies” the media invents (Duck Dynasty guy, Walter Block, etc.). The fact that he walked it back a bit on a sympathetic line with Tom Woods won’t change that for most.

          If Bundy is a bad example of a victim of government overreach, he’s an even worse example of a victim of “the progressives who cried racist!” And people just don’t seem to buy the whole “Sowell and Williams said it so I can too” argument. I’m sure plenty of progressives think those two themselves are racist uncle Toms…

  5. Bob Murphy says:

    *sigh* Guys, I know what Bundy was trying to say. You don’t have to explain it to me.

    Roddis, you were a trial lawyer right? (Maybe I’m mixed up.) You don’t understand the difference between a client being in the right legally, versus being sympathetic to the jury?

    In the very piece you linked, Roddis, Wenzel had to say: “There is no indication that he is in favor of slavery.”

    Most conversations about politics and economics don’t have to involve such a sentence. (Note, I’m criticizing Bundy, not Wenzel.)

    • Dan says:

      Yeah, this seemed like a clearly stupid thing for him to say, regardless of what his intent was. If I find myself in the crosshairs of public opinion I’m going to be more cautious with the words I use to make it difficult for somebody with an axe to grind to use against me. And I’m going to be extra cautious when public opinion is hugely responsible for keeping me from eating lead.

      • Bob Murphy says:

        And I’m going to be extra cautious when public opinion is hugely responsible for keeping me from eating lead.


      • Tel says:

        I suspect Bundy feels he doesn’t have a lot left to lose, so he might as well go down and stand for something he believes in, rather than start grovelling and end up going down anyway.

    • Bob Roddis says:

      Should Bundy have had a script writer and media handler? Yes.

      I just like old rural people. And I don’t much care for you know who. It’s kinda like how they are about me. There’s a knee jerk reaction there.

    • Bob Roddis says:

      It is just my prediction that this racist racist racist stuff regarding Bundy will backfire on the “progressives” who seemed to me to have the winning hand.

  6. Keshav Srinivasan says:

    In case anyone’s interested, here’s the video of Bundy’s controversial comments.

    And you can watch the full video of the event here:
    His controversial comments start at about the 18 minute mark, but he makes one another notable comment at the 15 minute mark. Discussing his experience witnessing the Watts Riots, he says this:
    “And guess what I see … They was setting the world on fire. And who was setting it on fire? It wasn’t We the People, it was the Negro people themselves setting their own city on fire.” It seems like he doesn’t consider blacks as part of “We the People”.

    • K.P. says:

      He could have just meant that it was only blacks and not everyone. Thanks for the links though.

      • K.P. says:

        Is there something wrong with being charitable, joe?

  7. Bob Roddis says:

    For the record, I’m no fan of Jonathan Chait.

    Jonathan Chait born 1972, the son of a doctor and a small business owner/entrepreneur, grew up in the suburbs of Detroit and is a graduate of the University of Michigan. There he wrote for The Michigan Daily and co-founded The Michigan Independent. He lives in Washington DC and is married to Robin Chait, an education-policy analyst at the Center for American Progress think tank.

    On March 16, 2009, Chait appeared on Comedy Central’s The Colbert Report to counter conservative arguments that the New Deal was a failure. The impetus for that appearance was an article he wrote for The New Republic called “Wasting Away in Hooverville”. [See Wikipedia] (BTW, if you read the article, you will note a lack of any mention of the Austrian School. I was shocked, especially since we’re all a bunch of white supremacists.)

    In the article to which Bob Murphy linked, Chait wrote: “America’s unique brand of ideological anti-statism is historically inseparable … from the legacy of slavery,”

    Chait recently wrote: Few liberals acknowledge that the ability to label a person racist represents, in 21st-century America, real and frequently terrifying power. Conservatives feel that dread viscerally. Though the liberal analytic method begins with a sound grasp of the broad connection between conservatism and white racial resentment, it almost always devolves into an open-ended license to target opponents on the basis of their ideological profile. The power is rife with abuse.


    Really? Like labeling Lew Rockwell and Jack Hunter as white supremacists and then linking to an article that implies Ron Paul, Tom Woods and Tom DiLorenzo are too?

    Guys like Chait are bullies and I’m not afraid of bullies.

  8. Bob Roddis says:

    Chait apparently has been under attack by the “progressives” for making the above claim against “progressives”.


    I guess he now has to prove his “progressive” manhood.

  9. joe says:

    Hahahaahaha……….like this is about using the word negro. Never mind that he said blacks would be better off if they were slaves than living in Vegas and sitting on a porch with their family.

  10. Tel says:

    By the way, here’s real genuine race hatred for you:

    We should hire three or four colored ministers, preferably with social-service backgrounds, and with engaging personalities. The most successful educational approach to the Negro is through a religious appeal. We don’t want the word to go out that we want to exterminate the Negro population….

    I’ll leave it as an exercise to the reader to search up who said that and the full background behind it. If nothing else you can say that Bundy is brutally honest and giving his real opinion, without the slightest kowtow to political correctness. Other people don’t give their real opinion, they are cunning, dishonest and capable of great deception pretending to be your best friend.