Jim Davies's blog

The Lone Gunner

It's fifty years ago today since you-know-what, and although generally I'm slow to assume a conspiracy (I'm still awaiting a credible and reasonably coherent MIHOP theory for 9/11 for example) I do join the 61% who still think Oswald didn't act alone.
The mainstream media (MSM) have been busy this month trying to convince this 61% to change our minds, and that makes me wonder: why bother?
Suppose arguendo that they are right; that Lee Oswald was a low-life with big ideas and small talent, who wanted to gain immortality by doing an historic thing. Jacob Hornberger has an interesting take on that, by the way, here on FFF. If it were so, the killing would be a tragedy like all deaths, but not much more. Why the fuss? - methinks the MSM doth protest too much.
Cui bono? - a long list; LBJ gained the Presidency, and by re-activating the Vietnam war he gained a fortune from his holdings in military contractor firms. The whole Military Industrial Complex likewise gained huge business. The CIA was pulled back from the very brink of JFK-planned extinction. The Mafia gained vengeance on the power behind RFK, who had double crossed it by waging war on it after it had favored his brother by getting out the graveyard vote in Cook County as a favor to their old bootlegger buddy Joseph, the brothers' pa.
And who were best placed to choreograph the assassination? - the very same list.
Now, if the great American public formed a fixed opinion that a President, his intelligence staff, his friends in industry, and some of the most distinguished godfathers in American crime had all systematically conspired to commit murder, frame a patsy, and fool us all for half a century, the tatters of confidence in the established order would be swept away.
So, they worry :-)

Fred Bloviates

My favorite author on another site is Fred Reed. If I see his name on its daily menu of new articles, I click on it first. He is highly articulate, irreverent, accurate and funny. More than once, I've used his email link to tell him, Thanks.
But once in a while, he blows it; and he never blew it worse than this week, here.
He's written against evolution before, but this attempt is long, ridiculous and ill-reasoned. The very first sentence is grammatically suspect, and it goes down hill from there; since when was “ardent” a noun? Presumably, he was trying to say – incorrectly – that “the intent of this essay is not to debate with those ardent for evolutionism...” He then proceeds for over five thousand words to try to do precisely that, and fails.
Darwin is my favorite scientist, in large part because of his honesty in following the rational, scientific method even as it was leading him away from his pre-formed world-view. He was a theist, yet his findings told him that the natural world probably had no creator, or that if it does, that creator is cruel. His theory, abundantly confirmed since, is that species mutate and that mutants survive and reproduce if suited to their environment as well as or better than their progenitors, or die off if not – usually from starvation.
Now here cometh Reed, and sayeth that he can better believe in a self-assembling A-380 than in a self-assembling baby, and his mastery of prose is matched only by his ignorance of DNA “instructions.” His resounding conclusion is that “There is Something Else involved. I do not know what.” Well, whoopy-do. Bottom line (literally): he knows of no alternative. His is the Unknown God. Irrational, to the power of N.
Just prior to the essay's long-needed end, Reed offers this swipe: “Suppose a Darwinist found out that my hobby was using a blow torch to torture to death children with severe congenital retardation—vegetables, in the unkind vernacular. He would be horrified. 'Why?' I would ask.”
Very clever. Evolution is cruel – true, and sad. So he tries to smear, as also cruel, those who recognize that  the evolutionary theory is one of the best-supported in all science. What he misses is the really wonderful fact that an inherently cruel process has produced one species (at least) with moral sense far superior to that of the designer of the process if there was one – Reed's Unknown God.
So the answer to his nasty question “Why?” is that humans have developed rational ethics. Morality “needs” a supernatural morality teacher no more than the development of life needs a supernatural life-inventor.

The Danger of Trusting Government


Wonderful thing, the Internet! Surfing happened to lead me to the story of Robert Kahre. He's in prison now,  where he may stay until 2023, having committed the grave error of trusting what the government said.
He was a Vegas businessman, but paid his employees a pittance. He was never charged with violating minimum wage laws, for none of them complained; but typically he was paying only about $1.25 an hour. Very surprising that anyone would work for him.
But they did, because he paid them with government money in the form of one-ounce gold coins clearly embossed with "50 dollars", about once a month. Such a low wage didn't trigger any "reporting requirements", and that was what got up the government's snout.
Read details at http://www.stgeorgeutah.com/news/archive/2012/03/26/use-real-money-go-to...

A Litle Good News

One down, many thousands to go: an innocent man has been prised loose from the government's prison system. Ryan Ferguson was sprung this week, after nearly ten years in a cage for a murder he didn't commit.
He was convicted on the basis of two witnesses. One was mentally unstable, the other admitted later to having said what the prosecutor wanted him to say. There was zero forensic evidence.
He commented that getting into prison is easy, getting out very hard. Ryan had the advantages of a determined father, a competent lawyer working pro bono publico, a campaign on change.org that swelled to over 260,000 petition signers, and several appearances on Dateline NBC. Even then, after an appeals court had castigated his prosecutors for poor work and overturned his conviction, he had to wait while the AG decided whether or not to re-try the case.
If he had lacked one of those advantages, he'd still be imprisoned on a 40-year sentence - and lucky, at that, not to have been executed. This is government "justice."

Private email, coming soon

The market is responding to the obscenity of wall-to-wall NSA spying. http://www.darkmail.info/ shows what's in the works.


Governments love to have a war or two simmering; it helps solidify popular support for their continued existence. Were peace and prosperity to prevail, too many people would ask that fatal question, "Government - who needs it?"
So Kerrybama are having a bad year. They're out of Iraq, nearly out of Afghanistan, and Peacemaker Putin pulled the rug from under their plans to battle Syria. Now, even the Iranians are saying "yes" instead of "no" and the prospects for some kind of war there are pouring down the toilet. A Man from Moscow has headed for Geneva to ensure nobody wriggles out.
What do they have left? - the "War on Terror"? That one is losing credibility by the month. Shrub invented the phrase and it's had an amazing life, given that nobody can actually wage war on an emotion, but its day is nearly done - like the War on Poverty that's been running for half a century but has produced nothing but more poverty.
So with any luck, the future might actually be bright.

How Not to Bring About a Free Society

Political action. That's how not to do it, and there are plenty of soundly reasoned articles here in the STRchive to prove the point. But this week the Governor's race in Virginia added a nice practical iullustration to help.
There were a Dem, and a Rep, and a Libertarian (Richard Sarvis) running. The Rep was Ken Cuccinelli, a Tea-Party social conservative. Ron Paul has been criticized for endorsing the latter over Sarvis, and perhaps he should have just kept quiet; but the real reason may be that the Rep was more Lib than the Lib.
Today the LP is celebrating Sarvis' quite healthy 6.5% showing, but fails to mention that he has been credibly criticised as a LINO - a Libertarian In Name Only. Consider Charles Cooke's comments here; Sarvis is on record as saying he's not an Austrian, preferring “more mainstream economics” and that he favors "putting chips in people’s cars so that they can be taxed for their mileage."
And this is the best the Libertarian Party can do? After forty years? This is even worse than the tax-hike proposal by a NH Libertarian that caused me to quit that affiliate in 1998.
What Sarvis did achieve was to split the anti-Dem vote so that the Democrat won. In one sense that's a welcome comeuppance for the Republicans after they so viciously excluded Ron Paul from their last Convention, but the net effect is to weaken the relatively pro-freedom activity of the Tea Party faction.
Politics won't cut it. Systematic, universal re-education will.

A Property Puzzle

The story broke this week of a treasure trove of modern art, in Munich.
In the 1930s, the Nazi government of Germany stole its paintings from Jews, against whose right to live and work it had written laws.
In about 1935 it also fired Hildebrand Gurlitt from his job as art director of a museum in Zwickau, because one of his parents was Jewish. However Hildebrand was a smart cookie; he negotiated a commission to sell these Modernist paintings to foreigners, because the Nazis thought they were “degenerate.” So they hired what they called a filthy half-Jew to sell filthy pictures for filthy lucre. Which they did want, so as to shore up their revenues.
Hildebrand sold some, and survived the war; but when the victorious Americans asked him about the residue, he said he'd stored them in Dresden for safe keeping since that cultural haven had no military significance. Therefore the USAAF had destroyed them all.
However, that was a fib; he had kept them safe. Hildebrand, and later his son Cornelius, lived for the next 65 years by selling a few off, one at a time; until a “random cash check” at the border in 2010 triggered a raid on his apartment and the confiscation of the trove. Hence...

  • One German government stole the paintings from their rightful owners, all now dead
  • Hildebrand stole them from the thief, but after it had ceased to exist
  • Successive German governments stole money from taxpayers to compensate the Holocaust survivors, to an agreed extent
  • The current German government stole the paintings back again

When property rights are not respected, see how far knickers can get in a twist; and say, with reasons, to whom the paintings now belong :-)

New, First-Step Book

A prerequisite for embracing market anarchism is to think rationally; a theme emphasized in the Freedom Academy. Once one abandons myths like that of government, the journey there is nearly over.
Strictly, it's not essential to abandon other myths, like the widespread one of religion - but it helps. Otherwise, one's mind is bifurcated; rational regarding the State, irrational regarding other superstition. And that's not a slur (well, not much); one of Francis Schaeffer's final books was Escape from Reason. He knew very well that reason sounds the death-knell of faith and tried to steer followers away from it.
Bifurcated minds are highly uncomfortable, so last month I wrote a short e-book to ease folk away from religion and towards rational thought. It's designed for people - young ones, often - who are considering joining a Christian church – for example, confirmation candidates. It tries to give a fair account of the religion and its denominations, but at each stage encourages critical evaluation of its claims. Members of other religions (eg Muslim refugees) would also find it an informative, objective and concise introduction to Christianity. And then to rationality.
It's called "Which Church (if any)?" and is offered here for a mere $3 per copy.
Anarchism gets an important mention, but only one since the book's focus is as advertised. So it's a kind of preparatory work; I hope it will get minds better prepared to consider a zero-government alternative.
If you have 17 nephews, nieces, children and grandchildren in their teens, consider making each a gift (that would be $3 for your own copy, plus $3 for each of them, total $54 - hey, I do have to eat) because a prepared mind will make further persuasion that much simpler.

Stills Stilled

Having a healthy thirst and a slim wallet, I surfed today to an informative site that explains in detail how to produce one's own spirits. Not just rot-gut moonshine, but high-purity vodka and even whiskey and liqueurs. Once the kit is installed and the learning curve scaled, such beverages can be made for peanuts.
Under its “Wiki” tab however I learned that to do that even for one's own consumption is illegal in all major countries except New Zealand. Here therefore is another racket in which government has favored a cartel of producers with protection from low-price competition. The quid for that quo is the punitive rate of tax it collects on each bottle sold. Distillers win, politicians win, real people lose.
One more, 100-proof proof that government has to go; root and branch.

Syndicate content