Browse Month

November 2017

Why are more liberals not libertarians? (Quora Question)

Primarily because the Libertarian Party, as it is in the US isn’t simply about individual liberties. They’re also for pretty much completely unregulated corporate liberty, and they tend to reject the notion that government should play any role whatsoever in a) regulating markets or b) doing anything to ensure workplace safety, ensuring minimum compensation, or similar worker protections or c) doing anything at all to require even basic compliance with things like the Clean Air & Water Act or similar environmental protection.

The Liberterian Party as it is in the US is generally opposed to even the existence of things like the Clean Air & Water Act, on principle, as they’re opposed to things like legal protections for workers, again, on principle. Their notion is that unrestricted capitalism is going to deal with all of these things by itself, and that companies that mistreat workers will end up being companies that go out of business, because folks will just choose to work elsewhere, or customers will purchase from other companies, etc.

The party as it stands is opposed to any notion of antidiscrimination legislation. Don’t want to hire queers? No problem – you’re the owner of the business, and your liberty trumps any other concerns. Don’t like the idea of employing women? Hire all men. Think folks should be paid a per-piece wage? No problem. Get rid of pretty much the entire social safety net? Let the market do its thing. Eliminate public education? Yep. The market is magic, again. The market will do its magic and everything will work itself out “in the end.”

The answer to just about any issue, for libertarians is “the market will fix it.” It isn’t really a coherent political philosophy – it gets dressed up as one, but when you break it down, the answer is always “the market.” It’s an article of faith that the market can fix, well, everything. The reason liberals distrust this is because there’s simply no good evidence that an unregulated market the best possible solution – or even, in some cases, any possible solution, for all of the various things they’re claiming.

Liberalism fundamentally says that there is such a thing as a common good, and that government and business need to directed to serve that common good – in the case of businesses, not exclusively, but sufficiently. Some individual liberties which aren’t in conflict with a common good are pretty great – it doesn’t harm me in the slightest if you criticize liberal ideas, so individual liberty where speech rights are concerned is a thing that libertarians and me, we agree on.

But libertarianism says that there’s fundamentally really no such thing as a common good – there’s just individual liberty (and the accompanying corporate liberty) uber alles. Liberals – and conservatives, for that matter – disagree. We’re saying that individual liberty matters – but collective good also matters, the things the society as a whole values also matter (conservatives and liberals tend to disagree what those common values ought to be, but we generally agree that societies ought to have some of them). Liberterianism rejects any such claim because it might interfere with somebody’s claim to personal liberty.

Most liberals – the vast majority, including this one – see Liberterian positions on corporate liberty to be either a) hopelessly naive (it’s simply not a given that unregulated capitalism can work they way they say it will, or that everybody will just go work for somebody else), or b) profoundly dangerous. While I agree with some libertarians on some social issues, there isn’t remotely enough overlap for me to ever consider joining the party, as it currently stands, or voting for a libertarian ticket.

That’s open to future revision, if they change their minds, though. I just don’t think it’s likely.

What terms and acronyms are commonplace in the LGBTQ community but little known outside of it? (Quora Answer)


“Switch” may be more common among women – I rarely hear men describe themselves this way (gay guys tend to say “versatile” … which inevitably leads to Teh Funneh: if he says he’s versatile, he’s probably a bottom. ūüėČ

Then, of course, there’s Drag Lexicon:

Kaikai: sex, in drag, with another queen.

Shade: (less common: “throwing shade”) artfully crafted insult, generally carries a negative connotation (“That Bianca is a shady b****” = Bianca loves to insult everyone she sees.)

T: “truth,” but counterintuitively, equivalent to shade (“I’m not here to insult you, huntee, just to impart some truth” – these are often THEN even more confusingly used together as…)

No T, No Shade: “I am not here to read you, b****, just to inform you of the facts.” (Occasionally used to mean, “I’m being completely serious, here” as in, “No shade, no T, Bianca is a straight up size queen.”)

No T: “I’m not saying this to insult you” (actual meaning: I’m saying this to insult you.)

Read: insult, but more lovingly, often occurring amongst queens who adore each other – but you may not know it, watching a read in progress. This generally doesn’t carry the negative connotation that “shade” does.

Read for Filth: A read so comprehensive and profound that there’s really no saving face at this point. You may as well pack up and go home. Relocating to Greenland wouldn’t be out of the question.

The Library Is Open: run for cover, reading imminent.

Huntee: “Honey.” Useful meeting & parting greeting for persons of all conceivable sexes, genders, species, etc. Can also be used ironically, to sass someone who’s been giving you hassle.

Paint (older) / Beat your face (newer): Get in drag; specifically, do your face. (Club owner: “What do you mean Bianca is 3 hours late? [see: Drag Standard Time] Dresser: “Um. You know she has to paint.”)

Drag Standard Time: You are scheduled to appear at 6:00. You arrive three and a half hours late. Yes, honeys, the world does stop and wait on your ass, because you’re just that fierce.

In Face: In drag

Giving Face: You look great tonight. Usually less emphatic than “fierce.” (“You’re giving some serious face tonight, Momma.”)

In Girl/In Boy: In or out of drag. Usually an interrogative. (“Will the after party be in girl or boy?”)

Fierce: You look incredible. (“Momma, the fierceness you are giving me!”)

Giving: To evoke a particular style. (“She’s giving you Kate Jackson in Charlie’s Angels tonight, huntees!”)

Serving: Similar to giving, but generally used to refer to the audience. (“Bianca is serving you some serious tilapia, tonight, bitches.” Bianca looks exceptionally fishy. “Bianca is serving you full. on. couture, you whores!” Bianca is working a particularly high fashion look, in this next number. Etc.)

Baking/Cooking: letting your foundation settle on your face, after contouring, before blending. See Beat Your Face.

Realness: can be similar to fishy; also refers to evoking a particular drag or iconic style. (“Bianca is working some serious Gucci realness, huntee.”)

Sickening: “I look so good, you don’t even have to compliment me, huntee… it’s presumed.” (“B****! That look is sickening.”)

Gagging: Complimentary “I f***ing LOVE <fill in the blank>” (“That hair has me gagging, momma!”)

Fishy: convincingly female. (“Momma, you are serving fish this evening!” “Have you seen Bianca? Over there – the fishy girl.”)

Girl: Your good friend (gender non-specific, but queens tend to refer to other queens this way. “Girl, you are looking fierce tonight!” Similar to the camp gay usage.)

Momma / Mama: older queen (though, being the catty bitches they are, that could mean she’s 35.)

Where do you draw the line for enforcing LGBTQ rights through national policy? (Quora Answer)

1. Heterosexual marriage doesn’t need a constitutional amendment in order to be so “enshrined,” so that doesn’t need to happen for non-heterosexual marriage, either. What does need to happen is this: gay people should not be subject to a different set of laws than straight people. We don’t need a constitutional amendment for gay marriage, because it’s the gay marriage bans which are already unconstitutional.

2. Speech rights would protect your right to say things I find offensive, but that doesn’t mean other social ostracism of you would be wrong, just as we socially ostracize racists, antisemites, etc. You would still have precisely the same rights as racist or antisemitic groups, you just do not have any reason to expect that there are no social consequences for exercising your speech rights.

3. We already regulate private business conduct under public accommodation statutes. I would be fine with adding sexual orientation discrimination to state laws which already include other classes of discrimination, and where such laws do not exist in some states, I’m fine with efforts to pass them.

4. Which LGBT issues do you mean, in a high school context? Do I think LGBT people have made significant contributions to our culture? Yes. Do I think we should study history, arts and the humanities in as unbiased a way as we can, even if I allow that it may not be perfect, in places? Yes. I do think as a society, we need better LGBT-specific history, but that’s a matter for historians. I don’t think at the hight school level this is anything special – I just think it’s history, so teach it as history.

5. Again, which policy? You need to be much more specific, here. There’s no monolithic “LGBTQ policy” as if that exists as a single notion. I don’t think it’s the national guard’s job to protect the public and enforce the law: that’s a police matter. But I do think there are instances where some crimes against LGBT persons are handled differently by law enforcement, again, because of their own biases, etc. about LGBT people. I don’t think that’s acceptable.

Edit: other answers have noted deployment of the national guard during the civil rights era, and I think that’s a valid example, but I don’t think we’re at the same point with regard to LGBT discrimination; if we ever got there, I might change my mind. I think calling it a police matter is sufficient because while violence against individual LGBT people certainly has happened, and is happening, it’s not happening on the same scale as the pushback against civil rights in the 1960s, say. That could change, but I don’t think it will.

6. Why are you focused on same-sex marriage, here? We already have foreign relations with countries which do all sorts of things I don’t think are acceptable; I don’t think the rights condition for women in Saudi Arabia is acceptable, just as one example, but we still have diplomatic relations with these countries. This is a tough issue for me, because I don’t have any clear answers, but marriage rights are among the least of my concerns here. I think there are much more pressing issues in many countries around the world, that we nevertheless maintain diplomatic relations with: violence against women, sexual slavery, and on and on and on. As an ideal question, I would like it if we had ways of bringing these countries into the 21st century on a whole range of issues, but I accept that that’s unlikely; I don’t think equal marriage is a compelling issue here, yet; there are other, much more pressing concerns.

What the Vatican does is of very little importance.

7. Speech rights would still apply to websites containing antigay speech. But again, that you have a right to post a web page that says, “God says homosexuality is an abomination” does not mean you have a right to no other social consequences for exercising your speech rights.