In good company

I find it interesting how many comedians and humorists are libertarians. P.J. O’Rourke. Drew Carey. Penn & Teller are research fellows at the Cato institute, for goodness’ sake. And, of course, Matt Stone and Trey Parker, creators of South Park, the most libertarian show on television.

Via Arts & Letters Daily, found this old but still excellent Reason interview with Dave Barry. Some selections…

On Washington:

When I was there, he had a hearing against hate. Steven Spielberg came and testified against hate. Paul Simon said hate was bad. Orrin Hatch was there, and he was against hate too. Everyone was opposed to hate. Is this really a wonderful way to spend our tax dollars, to have these men drone away about how against hate they are?

On taxes creating jobs (channeling Hayek and Mises):

Of all the wonderful things government says, that’s always been just about my favorite. As opposed to if you get to keep the money. Because what you’ll do is go out and bury it in your yard, anything to prevent that money from creating jobs. They never stop saying it. They say it with a straight face and we in the press will write that down. We will say, “This is expected to create x number of jobs.” On the other hand, we never say that the money we removed from another part of the economy will kill some jobs.

On foreign policy:

Reason: One of the planks in your presidential campaign is the Department of Two Guys Named Victor.

Barry: This is one of those times I wasn’t kidding. At the time, we were mad at Moammar Gadhafi, which resulted in us bombing all over Libya and killing a bunch of people, but not him. Then Ronald Reagan gets up and says we’re not trying to kill him, we’re just dropping bombs. You can kill all the Libyans you want, but legally you can’t try to kill the leader.

The other one was Manuel Noriega. Here we have a problem with just one person, and we send all these troops down to deal with it. All these people get killed and hurt, but not Noriega.

So instead of messing around with armies, get a couple of guys named Victor. The president meets with them and has breakfast, or he goes to dinner with them at the restaurant of their choice, and suggests that he’s having a problem. Then the next thing you know, you read in the paper that Saddam Hussein has suffered an unfortunate shaving accident resulting in the loss of his head. We don’t involve a lot of 22-year-old kids in this dispute between George Bush and Saddam Hussein.

On Waco:

Reno taking responsibility for the Waco thing made me crazy. It enraged. Seemingly nobody wants to know what actually happened. There were some gun violations and we end up in a situation where we are surrounding them. I kept saying, “Why don’t they just walk away? Just walk away. Nobody has to die. Walk away. Later on, arrest them when they come out. But walk away.”

But no, we can’t do it. So we order these tanks to attack this building full of crazy people with kids, and lo and behold, bad things happen. Ha! Knock me down with a feather. It got me when Janet said, “I’ll take responsibility.” No. You can’t say that. And if you mean it, then you have to resign your job right away.

On “coming out” as a libertarian:

I got a few letters, mostly pretty nice. One or two letters saying, “Here’s why it wouldn’t work to be a libertarian, because people will have sex with dogs.” Arguments like, “Nobody would educate the kids.” People say, “Of course you have to have public education because otherwise nobody would send their kids to school.” And you’d have to say, “Would you not send your kids to school? Would you not educate them?” “Well, no. I would. But all those other people would be having sex with dogs.”

Read the whole thing, as they say.

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