Penn Jillette's video rant show

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41 Responses to “Penn Jillette's video rant show”

  1. nemrel says:

    Kewl news! But he looks bad.

  2. simplehuman says:

    @Maurik

    Sorry, Penn goes way past Libertarianism and into Anarcho-Capitalism, which is la-la fantasy land as far as I’m concerned. You need look no further than the Billions and Billions wasted/lost/looted and flat out stolen by contractors in the Iraq war. Add to that Blackwater and other military contractors all by callous disregard for human rights and dignity and the record of private companies doing jobs previously reserved for the military is sketchy at best. Multiply that throughout society.

    Unbridled greed and unrestrained trade has already led to slave labor, job exportation and enviornmental catastrophe. AC would take away any impediments that we as citizens through our representatives place upon them. You go from citizen of a nation to consumer of brand America. Not a place I want to live or see as having any intrinsic value.

    I don’t think the current system is ideal and there are elements of libertarianism that are very commendable (opposition to limitations on personal freedom, sensible copyright reform) but like any view left/right the edges of the spectrum get somewhat extreme.

    As for being jealous of his success, not at all, but it definitely colors my perspective of him. Hearing him talk about the victims of Katrina or people in generational poverty from the comfort of a compound in the desert (a beautifully designed one, but still) does affect how I view his opinions. Millionaires lecturing other people about how they should rough it, bootstraps and all that always sound very callous to me

  3. Brian Damage says:

    “Crackle, Inc., a Sony Pictures Entertainment Company…”
    http://crackle.com/about/

    Wow, Penn Gilette is such a rebel.

  4. zuzu says:

    I thought you were kidding, but; (wiki)
    Anarcho-capitalism

    You know, this used to be the popular socioeconomic framework on the Internet… before the dark times… before the AOLers.

    Have you at least heard people use the words “extropianism” or “nootropics” online? or is it all just lolcats and crafts now?

    Mr. T ate my balls, now get off my lawn!

  5. Takuan says:

    every generation thinks it invented the wheel and sex

  6. somnoliento says:

    Any way to subscribe to the video from.. say.. Miro?

  7. anechoic says:

    //Takuan (13), had you not run into anarcho-capitalists before? The “sell the post office, privatize the streets” contingent? They’ve been around a long time. Back in the old days, they constituted a larger percentage of the total online population.

    are you sure you aren’t confusing ‘anarcho-capitalists’ with ‘crypto-anarchists’?

    I really don’t remember the internet circa 1993 being overrun with anarcho-capitalists…?

  8. somnoliento says:

    Think I found the RSS. Never mind.

  9. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Simplehuman, Creesto, thanks.

    Simplehuman, I can’t explain that. The other paired set of beliefs I could never understand is (1.) believing in the efficacy of the Invisible Hand of the Marketplace, and (2.) finding Dilbert funny.

    Anechoic: I didn’t say the internet was overrun with them back then. I said they represented a larger fraction of the overall online population than they do today.

  10. Pipenta says:

    I’ve been a fan of Penn & Teller for years. But I didn’t last very long watching this. It just wasn’t interesting.

    But hey, Mr. Deity is on the same site. Just love Mr. Deity.

  11. Cowicide says:

    Someone please pour bleach into my brain and erase what I just saw. I innocently clicked the link and instead of Penn, I got some inane bitches going on a road trip I could give two shits about.

    Reality TV crap? Like you (not me) would see on (gag) television?

    I shut it off once I realized what was happening, but the damage was already done. I feel dumbed down already.

    Where’s the correct link?

  12. Jack says:

    Let’s face some facts. Penn & Teller are hilarious. I used to follow Penn & Teller closely in the 1980s. Not anymore. Penn on his own is pedantic and annoying as hell unless he’s scripted.

  13. simplehuman says:

    I run hot and cold with Penn. He’s very clever and endlessly loquacious but the whole anarcho-capitalist libertarian lone nut thing is kind of off-putting. It’s heartening that he himself is the first to describe himself as “a nut” but I get the feeling that self-deprecation is something of a put-on.

    He’s a very rich man who lives on a compound talking about how other people should fend for themselves. Just something to keep in mind when he’s rattling on about privatizing the cops or having corporations run damn near everything.

  14. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Cpt. Tim (6), should I just give up all hope of getting you to understand that (1.) discussions of religion are relevant in some threads but not others; and (2.) it’s less a matter of the subject you’re discussing than it is of how well you’re discussing it?

    Anechoic (12), please don’t call people anarcho-capitalist weenies in so many words.

    Takuan (13), had you not run into anarcho-capitalists before? The “sell the post office, privatize the streets” contingent? They’ve been around a long time. Back in the old days, they constituted a larger percentage of the total online population. They have some distinctive beliefs:

    1. The invisible hand of the marketplace has a giant invisible brain attached to it that’s capable of optimizing all transactions for productivity and human happiness.

    2. The apparent complexity of human society and institutions is an illusion caused by everyone else’s stupid inability/stubborn refusal to see that radical laissez-faire capitalism and the simple, logical social structures proposed by anarcho-capitalistic libertarianism would straighten out all their problems.

    3. People have been inexplicably stupid and stubborn that way throughout human history.

    4. The Hogarthian fallout of 18th C. British unregulated capitalism, or indeed of any other period of capitalist ascendancy, can’t be taken to be representative of the consequences of such a system, because they weren’t practicing perfectly pure laissez-faire anarcho-capitalism.

    5. No polity has ever practiced pure laissez-faire anarcho-capitalism; and yet we know that if only they would, everything would work much better than it does now. (Note: this is roughly equivalent to believing that someone who has never run a marathon would, if they competed, infallibly win.)

    6. At the point that this system is introduced, corporations will instantly cease to be the Dilbertian strongholds of entrenched stupidity we’ve all worked for, and be transformed by enlightened capitalism. They’ll become more responsible and transparent, too.

    7. Any problems that aren’t automatically solved by the invisible hand of the marketplace will be addressed by suing each other for damages.

    8. No matter how rich and powerful an organization becomes under this system, it will always operate under the same rules and laws that apply to everyone else.

    Maurik (24): Whoever said he wasn’t allowed to have a political ideology?

    Zuzu (28), it isn’t appropriate to jump on Simplehuman for not yet understanding that under a sufficiently pure laissez-faire anarcho-capitalist system, Blackwater wouldn’t have done any of that stuff. Explain first, then argue.

  15. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    Note: Anyone who takes my remarks in #32 for a neutral description of laissez-faire anarcho-capitalism can’t have been getting the jokes.

  16. Takuan says:

    my surprise is that something that old is still making the rounds

  17. Teresa Nielsen Hayden / Moderator says:

    How so, Takuan? He’s only 53.

  18. schmod says:

    Teller’s audio-only podcast is considerably less interesting.

  19. Khonsu says:

    @22 It’s an ad before the video starts. They need to pay for the bandwidth somehow! An ad for what, I don’t know, but just keep watching with the sound off.

    @28 You don’t know how much he donates a year, and neither do I. Just because someone has money doesn’t mean they don’t give back copiously. Obviously, Penn is a better raconteur due to his visibility, than if he was just a nerd teaching political science at some community college.

    Penn Jillette was a busker on the street before the duo got big and Teller has more than a few degrees and was a high school teacher (I think…history?) at one time. Obviously, they’ve worked hard to get where they are. If they give back, great! They entertain and maybe even make some people think.

    If not…well, being magicians is not the worst they could do.

  20. Dave Rattigan says:

    Did you get one of his enemies to choose the thumbnail for this post?

  21. Benny Alvarez says:

    You know, an audio-only podcast would result in a smaller file and be more portable….just something to think about…

  22. anechoic says:

    Anechoic (12), please don’t call people anarcho-capitalist weenies in so many words.

    wow…ru a moderator or schoolmarm?

  23. zuzu says:

    You need look no further than the Billions and Billions wasted/lost/looted and flat out stolen by contractors in the Iraq war. Add to that Blackwater and other military contractors all by callous disregard for human rights and dignity and the record of private companies doing jobs previously reserved for the military is sketchy at best.

    That’s government failure.

    Blackwater is evil, so what does that say about the governments hiring them? (and only governments, via taxes, can afford mercenaries like Blackwater.)

    Unbridled greed and unrestrained trade has already led to slave labor, job exportation and enviornmental catastrophe.

    “Job exportation”… so you expect government to privilege you over other people? That’s called classism. The reverse of this is that you require government’s permission just to earn a living. spps y ht mmgrnts t, lk L Dbbs.

    Environmental catastrophe… look up the history of government zoning and the deprecation of nuisance torts sometime. Most environmental catastrophe is the result of governments immunizing big business (i.e. corporatism) from environmental responsibility.

    Slave labor… are you referring to Communist China?

  24. Takuan says:

    cruel but funny

  25. Peterus says:

    Great!
    Though, I’d like podcast too.

  26. simplehuman says:

    Teresa:

    That was wonderful. I will be borrowing that marathon comparison. By borrowing I mean stealing. But don’t worry, you can seek relief in the court.

    I’m kind of curious how Penn’s atheism reconciles with the ineffable complexities of the free market, which, to me, has always sounded an awful lot like some kind of economic collective unconscious/godhead.

  27. Dave X says:

    …no comb…

  28. airship says:

    Penn is often right. He’s also often wrong. What he always is, is entertaining.

  29. Maurik says:

    @#24 : simplehuman ,

    So because he’s got a good job and makes a lot of money he’s not allowed to have a political ideology?

    Sorry but I don’t think you quite understand that in a libertarian society , social security gets replaced in the form voluntary donations.

    Bt yr pst jst mks t snd lk y’r jls bcs y dn’t mk s mch mny s hm.

  30. creesto says:

    Teresa Da Mod certainly got on a roll this time…
    wheeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!

  31. Cpt. Tim says:

    “anarcho-capitialist weenie”

    and this is the kind of constructive dialog that goes ignored.

  32. mellowknees says:

    Penn can talk about anything anytime and I’ll watch. I don’t care what the topic is. I am always open to his…uuuuhhhh…opinion. Yeah, that’s what I meant to say.

  33. Cpt. Tim says:

    anything Penn says about religion would be disemboweled on this site.

    the guys more vehement about it than dawkins.

    Elvis didn’t take no drugs.

  34. Cpt. Tim says:

    make that disemvoweled. damn gotta stop trusting Firefox’s spell check blindly.

  35. Cpt. Tim says:

    also, i totally saw him in ‘hackers’ the other day. i forgot how awesomely bad that movie is.

  36. themindfantastic says:

    I don’t always (in fact not even usually) agree with Penn, but he is entertaining… and after seeing this, even off the cuff he is still pretty entertaining.

  37. Khonsu says:

    I can’t help it. I’ve always found him hysterical, but this is even better than Bullshit!.

    Also, if you want something fascinating to read, go to the Penn & Teller website and read the section called Teller Speaks. He’s an extremely educated, bewitching writer.

  38. simplehuman says:

    ZUZU:

    Oh my, that’s alot of kool-aid there.

    So we’re to believe that if Blackwater and their ilk were independent operators unbound by governmental contracts they’d be less aggressive, single-minded and violent in their tactics? They’re already exempt from any sort of legal sanction in Iraq, and here they’re likely to not even face a civil trial for murdering civilians. They’re mercenaries a term that’s fallen by the wayside. Like war-profiteer has come to be replaced by “contractors”. War is simply another way of making money to these organizations. If you don’t find that morally repulsive, ethically void and legally nebulous I don’t know what to tell you.

    Yes, anyone who believes that the unrestrained capitalism and complete lack of legal ramifications for corporations devastating communities (the rust belt, most of Michigan) by moving their facilities overseas hates immigrants and should put on a big pointy hat like Lou Dobbs. Ronald Reagan and his cronies made it adventageous for industries to export jobs overseas while higher-ups continued seeing profits in dollars. Taking away the “impediments” to business and smashing unions attempts to maintain a dignified quality of life for workers here (and abroad) has been the stock and trade of the economic right for decades. It amounts to “Well, I got mine, here’s some bootstraps for you kid.”

    Most environmental catastrophe is the result of governments immunizing big business (i.e. corporatism) from environmental responsibility.

    No, it’s the result of dollar-cost averaging lives versus litigation. What is our liability, those four words have cost more people their lives and devastated more land, sea and air in the US and abroad than the mind can concieve of.

    I’m not a socialist by any means, but I think that an unregulated market guided only by the mythical invisible hand would see billions disenfranchised and the narrow band of the middle class both in the US and elsewhere annhilated. Remember, the AC argument is anti-union, anti-personnel regulation (minimum wages, sick leave, family leave, hiring discrimination all ‘dictated by the market’) and benefits that already wealthy over those seeking to enter the market.

    Penn’s free-market utopia would be far hell for alot of other people.

  39. anechoic says:

    anarcho-capitalist weenie…yawn…

  40. Takuan says:

    so who exactly is doing well? And why?

  41. Takuan says:

    I thought you were kidding, but; (wiki)
    Anarcho-capitalism (a form of market anarchism or individualist anarchism[1]) is an anti-state political philosophy that reconciles anarchism with capitalism. It advocates the elimination of the state; the provision of law enforcement, courts, national defense, and all other security services by voluntarily-funded competitors in a free market rather than through compulsory taxation; the complete deregulation of nonintrusive personal and economic activities; and a self-regulated market. Anarcho-capitalists argue for a society based in voluntary trade of private property (including money, consumer goods, land, and capital goods) and services in order to maximize individual liberty and prosperity, but also recognize charity and communal arrangements as part of the same voluntary ethic.[

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