More on libertarians, and on MLA Mayencourt

A point of definition re: Greg Cameron's letter, "”¦Asshole Libertarians" [March 17-24]. Most people haven't a clue what a libertarian is and, if they've heard the term, often confuse them with neoconservatives. It's the anarchic underpinning of the movement that causes American libertarians to despise both Democrats and Republicans. What's even more interesting is that American libertarians have a rather universal concept of libertarianism. Suggest to one that libertarianism has a liberal left wing and the result will likely be outrage or, at the least, indignant incredulity. Libertarianism, it seems, is reserved for capitalists and rugged individuals. And yet there is a long history of left libertarianism going back to Pierre Joseph Proudhon and Mikhail Bakunin. Its most well-known contemporary proponent? Arguably, Noam Chomsky, an anarcho-syndicalist. I'm guessing that Cameron wouldn't lump him in with that other lot.

Second, Charlie Smith's Straight Talk implies Lorne Mayencourt's Liberal office is attempting to reach Anne Coulter's arch-conservative audience through the Google Adwords program. Oh, please. And shame on him for making NDP candidate Tim Stevenson look like a techno-idiot with an election coming up. I advertise through Google Adwords, which matches a Web page's keywords with advertisers who bid on them. If Anne Coulter posted an article titled "Kill anyone in a peace sign T-shirt" on her site, it's quite likely Google would place my advertisement for "Peace Sign Shirts" in the page's ad space. Meanwhile, I had to manually exclude www.ayn from my Google ad space to keep that nasty source of right-libertarian lunacy from showing up on my Noam Chomsky page. Given the way Google advertising works, it's not surprising any of these situations occur. If the NDP uses Google ads to generate some revenue from its Web presence, it wouldn't surprise me at all to find Mayencourt's ads sprinkled about on their pages. I wonder what kind of political hay Charlie Smith would try to make of all that?

Patrick Jennings / Vancouver