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  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 8 hours 30 min ago
    Volunteer--Or Else!
    Page Paul Hein
    All psychopaths grouped under the mantle of "government" depend totally upon 1) belief, and 2) voluntary compliance. Were it not for the superstition that is "rulership", the tabernacle that is government would soon tumble down. It is all kept in place by what can be described as religious belief -- superstition. How do you imagine the recent political holiday called "Memorial Day" came into being? Or why it is placed where it is on the Gregorian calendar? If veterans (or families of slaughtered veterans) ever came to comprehend the egregiousness of their actions in carrying out what they call "serving", it would soon spell doom for those claiming "jurisdiction". Thus political holidays: "Memorial", "Independence", "Labor", "Veterans" -- even "Chr-stmas" fits neatly into the science of rulership and control of the docile masses. Bread and circuses. Cease, my friends. Sam
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 12 hours 54 min ago
    Volunteer--Or Else!
    Page Paul Hein
    Tax is "voluntary" in the sense that the gov doesn't send a tax collector and a squadron of armed dragoons to our homes and doorsteps to collect the money, that's all. In the stilted lanuage of 18th century English and American politicos and their scribes, that the gov "trusts" you to just come in and pay it, or mail a check, etc., constituted voluntarily payment to their mind. Throughout  most of modern European and English history the King came to you to get paid, His tax clerks accompanied by armed men to emphasis the point that there was no discretion about the matter. By 18th century standards that was mighty nice of the gov to let you pay at your convenience But "voluntary" it ain't, everybody knows it, and I'm always surprised that professional resisters take that bound-to-lose tack.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 23 hours 11 min ago
    Volunteer--Or Else!
    Page Paul Hein
    Terrific column, Paul. Excellent job of making clear the coecion underlying every State, briefly and entertainingly. Short enough to make a good hand-out, detailed enough to get under people's skin, I think.
  • Thunderbolt's picture
    Thunderbolt 1 day 18 min ago
    Volunteer--Or Else!
    Page Paul Hein
    Nice one, Dr. Hein. While in prison for failure to voluntarily contribute financially to the Iraqi and Afghani wars, I reached a similar conclusion. It is, I think, the central issue for nearly all the evil of government. Every person who pays income tax is complicit in the crimes of war by Bush and most of the other rulers. Jim Davies correctly points out that not paying income tax is not sufficient to bring down government, but it is a good start. It is easy to see why they prefer a cashless society. Perhaps Bitcoin will gain sufficient traction to make a difference. I am currently enamored of the concept of structuring all one's affairs as loans, which are not taxable. I can sell a product or provide a service in exchange for a loan. It is worth a thought or two, since it is not legally reportable or taxable, and it is legal, as far as I can tell. It would be glorious to die at age 100 heavily in debt(but off the books), and never having paid money to the mafia.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 1 day 12 hours ago Web link A. Magnus
    Chomsky's probably right about that.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 days 22 min ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Interestingly, I eventually was able to google up a copy of the article by Jeff Berwick (in my opinion his best, written years before he became infected with statism) that had been posted in 2011 on a Yahoo Group message: https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/FPE/conversations/messages/61165 Jeff and Walter Block have gone whole-hog into political action, and justify themselves totally: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4n4eNTINmk8 "Like-Falling-Off-A-Log" Keep your hand over your wallet pocket, Mates! Sam
  • mjackso6's picture
    mjackso6 3 days 2 hours ago
    Untitled
    Page Joseph S. Bommarito
    I "served" for almost 20 years before my body gave up the ghost on me and forced me to retire. Thanks to unusual circumstances, it's only taken me a little over five years to understand the disservice that we all did (to everyone, everywhere, not just in the places listed above; the world is continually a worse and worse place thanks to that kind of blind "service"). I don't know that I'll ever exactly "forgive" myself. I can think of a myriad better ways I could have spent those two decades. On the other hand, if I had done differently, I'd never have met the mother of the children who I love, nor the woman who became the love of my life after the children's mother abandoned us all to return to Germany. So all I can do is accept the past as it is and hopefully help contribute to a better world for my children and everyone else. Mike Jackson
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 days 7 hours ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Sam submitted a comment to this article at "The Economic Collapse". I doubt that it will ever see the light of day. Here it is: From the article: "...The real problem, of course, is our out of control spending..." "...We simply cannot afford to keep spending money like this..." Whenever an author uses "we" and "our" I can know s/he will neither discover nor address the root of the "problem" (quotes intended). I was going to link Jeff Berwick's "The Most Dangerous Word" ("we"). However, now that Jeff apparently considers himself a libertarian potentate, has chosen to dabble in political action (he's started spelling "libertarian" with a capital "L"), seems he's had second thoughts and taken the article out of the archives. But his essay included a link to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gy19YmQHHJU which sez it all. My spending is not out of control. Is yours? I can afford to spend "money" (or what they're calling it nowadays) like I spend it -- unless or until my resources threaten to give out, at which point I'll need to make other arrangements, which I can do. Can you? I strongly believe you have two ways out of this mess: 1) exorcize your superstition (if you still cling to it) that you have "representation" over in a place they're calling District of Collectivism...er, Columbia. You don't. 2) Abstain from beans http://www.anarchism.net/anarchism_abstainfrombeans.htm Sam Seems many of these blogs will only entertain thoughts along party lines. Mine seldom meet that criteria. Sam
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 4 days 2 hours ago Page Glen Allport
    Glen, thank you for this excellent detailed and incisive review!
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 5 days 11 hours ago Page Douglas Young
    Astute of you to point that out, Mark. But as a retired educator, I can tell you that if you are going to teach "political science and history" under the auspices of Georgia Board of Regents you are not going to even save a niche in a corner of your brain for the possibility of anarchy. It ain't in the cards, even though anarchy is all about us. Larken Rose says it far more eloquently than I: few can even imagine not falling to some degree under the "authority" of a ruling class. Yet there can be no legitimate ruling class. Douglas does a good job lambasting the "lefties", stays relatively clear of denigrating the "righties", but never addresses the choice or the ramifications of 100% self ownership -- anarchy. I'm pro-life. I'm also pro-choice. The immediate reaction of most to the former self-proclamation is to group me with the "religious right". And to the latter I'll fall under the category of "progressive left" (whatever "progressive" is supposed to mean). I'm neither. I like the way our old and late friend, Harry Browne put it: Conservatives vs Liberals Conservatives say government cannot end poverty by force, but they believe government can use force and threats of violence to make people moral. Liberals say government cannot make people moral, but they believe government can use force and threats of violence to end poverty (redistribute wealth). Neither group attempts to explain why government is so clumsy and destructive in one area but a paragon of efficiency and benevolence in the other. ~Harry Browne Liberty A-Z p 35 I've said forever (almost) that the family is the only legitimate governing unit. All others are coercive interlopers. The human newborn -- unlike newborns in the "animal kingdom", who come into life with a factor we call "instinct" -- comes into life totally helpless, completely under the "jurisdiction" (again, whatever you think "jurisdiction" means) of adult caregivers; ideally a loving and dedicated Mom and Dad. Mom and/or Dad may one day in their dotage come under the "jurisdiction" of the now-grownup kids. I genuinely salute Douglas Young, however, for writing this nice essay. STR definitely needs more articles that can give rise to comment from all sides of the spectrum. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 5 days 11 hours ago Page Douglas Young
    One additional reflection on Douglas Young's essay that I just noticed is in connection with the "quote for the day" on the STR main page: "It is strangely absurd to suppose that a million of human beings, collected together, are not under the same moral laws which bind each of them separately." ~ Thomas Jefferson I've ceased use of the term "moral laws", and generally refer to good or bad choices instead. I don't see myself as having jurisdiction to define "good" or "bad" for you or others, except as it might relate to my being personally aggressed upon. Not that I think it's "moral", or "good" to aggress upon others who are not related in any way to me. On the other hand, as I inferred in my comment above, loving parents will naturally work to instill into the behaviors of their children what we might think of as "morality". For openers, nobody wants a pregnant teenage daughter. The only thing that differentiated the Jeffersons and Washingtons from the Obamas, Bushes and Clintons was time, modern-day travel, and technology. Jefferson could not have conceived of the NSA, but slavery appeared to serve him well in his time. So Jefferson's utterance appears to those intuitively longing for central political authority (as long as it is tame and non-coercive [ha!]) -- as being wise, contributive to liberty and freedom. I tend to reflect on that whenever I see "libertarians" quote what appear to be wise and freedom-loving old tyrants. Because Jefferson's statement amounted to an eery prophesy for all central political authority everywhere at each period of history. Jefferson understood the futility of passing laws and enacting rules to govern bad behaviors (and bad thoughts) of the unnamed and unconscripted pioneers in the unexplored "west". Not a problem for the Obamas of the 21st century. I could go on, but this makes the point. Sam
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 6 days 11 hours ago Page Douglas Young
    You lost me at "within the law" as a qualifier for freedom of choice in a free society.  Once you accept the dictates of politicians as "the law" to be obeyed, then quibling over the individual laws they dictate is nothing more than an academic exercise in futility.  That's closing the barn door after the horses have run out.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 1 week 2 days ago Web link TheMPP
    Subscription required, so I couldn't read this all the way through.  So whatever. I don't expect a paper/digital constitutional arrangement to work any better on Mars than the various arrangements we have in force now.
  • Thunderbolt's picture
    Thunderbolt 1 week 5 days ago
    Jurisdiction
    Page Paul Hein
    Larken Rose video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngpsJKQR_ZE
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 1 week 5 days ago Web link KenK
    Heh.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 2 weeks 1 day ago
    Jurisdiction
    Page Paul Hein
    You're being facetious, I know. And no, I was not pointing out personalities, especially you. I forget the last time any of us argued over "might-makes-right". You and I are fairly well in agreement with the "right" of that phrase ("rights" controversy) that has caused so much angst amongst anarchist potentates. But my point (not worded the best) was that "jurisdiction" can only exist through submission and/or force of arms (might). Often there is a combination of the two -- or one follows the other -- as in Stockholm syndrome. I believe Stockholm syndrome, or capture bonding, is the condition among the masses at an extremely high percentage (90% to 95%???) that has given rise to and sustains each and every nation or country that has ever come into being and that now blankets the earth. The superstition that always keeps a "nation" in place is called "jurisdiction". Murry Rothbard in "Anatomy of the State" outlined it boldly. That the only legitimate governing unit is the family unit. Parents, in anarchist setting, have jurisdiction over newborns (might, if you will) until adulthood, or "age of consent" (variable -- can only be legitimately determined by joint resolution between parent and child or, in some situations "either/or" -- for instance if the kid gets big enough either to run away or to whip the old man's butt :-[ and take over the farm, throwing her parents out into the cold). Later, the child might assume "jurisdiction" over aging and feeble parents. Sam
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 weeks 1 day ago
    Jurisdiction
    Page Paul Hein
    "Some of us will argue over "might-makes-right", but the very act of bickering about it implies to me that they have already in their mind submitted..." You mean me, Sam? :-) We can make two statements: 1) Might should not make right. 2) Might actually does make right (where "right" is used in the sense of ability, not legitimacy). Both of these could be true at the same time. The first is "ought", the second "is". The stronger is always able to make the weaker conform to his wishes, and usually does so. I guess the point is to not be weak.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 2 weeks 5 days ago
    Jurisdiction
    Page Paul Hein
    Good essay and good topic, Paul. Probably the very best 1 minute treatise on "jurisdiction" is encapsulated in this video that everyone has seen at least once: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YWyCCJ6B2WE There are two ways one might acquire "jurisdiction" over another: submission, and might. Some of us will argue over "might-makes-right", but the very act of bickering about it implies to me that they have already in their mind submitted to "jurisdiction" by psychopaths acting under the guise of "authority" -- no force of arms necessary. I often present the only legitimate jurisdiction: the human family. All other jurisdiction emanates from coercive interlopers. Jurisdiction of violence or threats thereof. Newborn infants are totally under control ("jurisdiction") of Mom and Dad. They would not survive without it. Aging parents often accept jurisdiction from adult sons and daughters in those sunset years. Jurisdiction of love. Sam
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 weeks 1 day ago
    No More Turf Wars?
    Page James Clayton
    Sounds like Panarchy to me. :-)
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 weeks 1 day ago
    The Pros and the Con
    Page Paul Hein
    "Why should a person obey the pros’ laws? Because his life will be made a living hell if he disobeys." I believe this is the main point that our insolent questions should lead to. If everyone understood this fact of life, legitimacy would crumble and people would start ignoring the bastards. But definitely, question everything. Question authority, like the old bumpersticker said.
  • Steve's picture
    Steve 3 weeks 2 days ago Page Steve
    This libertarian reaction of "It's libertarians who are truly compassionate, because our policies actually help the poor, unlike those of well-meaning progressives" is real common, and addressed by Haidt in a talk at Reason: It's Hard to Gross Out a Libertarian: Jonathan Haidt on Sex, Politics, and Disgust: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Pmz10uQsTYE&t=22m0s
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 3 weeks 2 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    So government forbids unlicensed foreigners to live here unless they do, in fact, live here. And when they live here, if they drive, they are handed a license to drive lest they should drive without a license. Not being true citizens they are of course not allowed to vote (assuming any of them wish to) but now, in California, those who can drive are to be compelled to be able to vote. Is that about it?   Just another day in La-La Government Land.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 4 weeks 11 hours ago Web link Westernerd
    Boo hiss!
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 4 weeks 1 day ago Web link A. Magnus
    I love desert landscapes.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 4 weeks 3 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    For regular banking stuff a locally based, member owned credit union is a much better bet.  Without wealthy corporate types running them (unlike Chase, CitiCorp, BoA, et alia) the pols in DC have much less clout for putting  agendas (e.g. "Operation Chokepoint") on their business practices. There is still some fed and state imposed crap to contend with, but it's a lot less, and there are more "work arounds" available.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 5 weeks 6 hours ago Web link Westernerd
    Corporations are the legal inventions of states. Without states they wouldn't exist.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 5 weeks 3 days ago Web link Government Deni...
    This is excellent.  Spread far and wide.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 5 weeks 5 days ago
    Dear OSPIRG Gal...
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Good points, Paul. Shades of Butler Shaffer a few years ago over at Lew Rockwell: https://www.lewrockwell.com/2011/06/butler-shaffer/green-statists-at-the... Sam
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 weeks 6 days ago Web link KenK
    Oleg is an amazing photographer; by all means look through his work.
  • emartin's picture
    emartin 6 weeks 7 hours ago Web link Westernerd
    And they remain 'Slave Catching Patrols'.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 6 weeks 1 day ago Page GainesvilleCoins
    It's sure looking to get exciting pretty soon.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 6 weeks 1 day ago Web link A. Magnus
    Uh, is this article accurate? Saying that government water treatment is better and cheaper than private treatment? Oh-oh...
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 6 weeks 3 days ago
    Where Rights Come From
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    Your comment, Alex, is insightful if not overly polite. Because this childish crazy-making has gone on for considerably longer than "one year". And, yes, it has indeed rendered STR invalid. Most of these folks, like me, will simply not endure juvenile name-calling. I submit that most have ceased contributing to STR and moved on to other venues out of disgust. Sam
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 6 weeks 5 days ago
    Where Rights Come From
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    Jim: While I have no particular disagreement with your conclusions as to the origin and nature of "rights" (other than mere semantics, i.e., how can one own, per se, what one already is), your own conciliation that "rights" can be -- and as we well know, so often are -- violated, places such assertions in a kind of a priori status.  This is to say that, while the logic may be airtight, its application is not, necessarily. e.g., The Jews of the Warsaw Ghetto had a "right" to live.  Fine.  But how much good did that "right," in practice, do them?  If "rights" can be said to exist concretely, irrespective of human action, then how?  And of what tangible value is that knowledge, or assertion thereof?  Such contentions are reduced to mere abstractions. I have come to think of "rights" as far more easily and accurately defined thusly: "Rights" (for lack of a better word) are, in practice, opinions.  And they require 2 prerequisites:   1.) They must be rooted in an idea that at least a sizeable number of others are willing to recognize as such (e.g., I have a "right" to free speech, but not to beat up anyone who angers me). 2.) They must further be such that, if they are abrogated or violated, one has a reasonable chance of defending or restoring them, whether by peaceable or violent means (if my free speech is violated, many will come to my support if not aid; the violators will be in a minority, and quickly defeated.  If I beat my neighbor because I don't like his views, I will receive very little support, my detractors will be many, I will be defeated).   Otherwise, it's all well and fine to assert one's "rights" -- and one can even be right, from a standpoint of rationalism.  Unfortunately, you can't always take that to the bank.   You almost invariably present a fine rebuttal.  :-)  I await yours in the sincere hopes of learning something.
  • helpfuljosh's picture
    helpfuljosh 6 weeks 6 days ago Page Paul Hein
    It would be nice if you had also used the first example of healthcare insurance again to make the piece whole. How are people punished who don't want Obama care but are forced to accept it. Is this comparable with penalties for a speeding ticket? The "evil because forbidden" is an eye opener in this case. We should weigh the evil inflicted on the people violating the law against the victims that it has saved from harm. But then you will end up comparing a fine (money) with what a life is worth or something like this. It would be nice if we had a scientific scale for "evil"! When looking at marijuana drug violations the "evil" that is prevented does absolutely not balans the scale for all the people that are punish for breaking the law and not endangering anyone. http://ilovegrowingmarijuana.com
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 7 weeks 2 days ago Web link TheMPP
    What's the point of being a cop, unless you have access to coerced sex?
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 7 weeks 2 days ago Web link TheMPP
    He seems to want to ignore the trend in poverty prior to 1964. Of course every study of human beings has an axe to grind; not a single one of them is honest, nor could they be even if they wanted to be.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 7 weeks 2 days ago Web link TheMPP
    There is money to be made; careers...
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 7 weeks 2 days ago
    Defining Anarchy
    Page Mark Davis
    In doing research for a comment at another site I ran across this essay by Mark, written nearly ten years ago -- and which elicited no STR comments whatsoever. Interesting. This was an excellent overview of anarchist observation. I obviously read it, made no comment myself at the time (I must have been brand-new to compooterization in general and this site in particular in 2005), so certainly am not entitled to hurl insults at anybody for ignoring the important in this case. So many "anarchist" comment sections end up with driveling and sniveling commentary over pablum ("religion", "science", "sex", and such-like detritus) -- while allowing the meat and spinach to go by the wayside (the "stuff" of libertarian and anarchist thought). I suspect none of us have good call to wail or gnash teeth over the non-acceptance of anarchy out there in the mainstream where all the little fishes swim. Just sayin'. Sam
  • ReverendDraco's picture
    ReverendDraco 7 weeks 2 days ago Web link TheMPP
    There doesn't need to be evidence of actual harm because WORST CASE SCENARIO!
  • Plant Immigration Rights Supporter's picture
    Plant Immigrati... 7 weeks 2 days ago Web link TheMPP
    "Right. But you have to own that then,” grilled Oliver. “You’re giving documents with information you know could be harmful, which could get out there.” Harmful to whom? That is the question. Harmful to the government? The same government that is spying on us, eviscerating or liberties, and bombing innocents overseas? If so, that is a GOOD thing. And is there any actual evidence that any human beings were physically harmed as a result of this? I mean physically, not embarrassed, but actually physically harmed? If so where is it?
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 7 weeks 2 days ago Blog entry Glen Allport
    Well spotted, Glen; and it's always fun to watch one government entity squabbling with another.   But is it quite fair to conclude from the article that "Nuclear power is [not] workable as a free-market industry"?   Surely, what the UK situation tends to prove is that nuclear power is not workable as a government monopoly; it's never been anything else. The question of whether it could work in a free market is left, by the article, wide open. The Guardian writer does not even pose it - despite that journal's honorable history during the Victorian era as a champion of classical liberal values.  
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 7 weeks 3 days ago
    Us, or U.S.?
    Page Paul Hein
    Paul Hein: The tragedy is that we allow them to do it. Shame on US! I "voted" you a 9 on this essay, Paul. I would have "voted" 10 -- a perfect score -- were it not for these last two sentences. I have not allowed "them" to do it. So I herewith absolve myself of "shame". Nah, I can't be totally absolved of shame. There are times I just let 'er slip due to such complete saturation and lack of interest in changing -- often among my dear libertarian writer/friends. There are friends on this very page who, I suspect, rue the day I stumbled upon the late Delmar England's "Insanity As the Social Norm". For years -- even prior to my official enrollment into the confederation of anarchy -- I had come to recognize the fallacy of "we", and also of "reification": "Missouri casts 15 votes for the next grand wizard of the klan!..." Neither you nor I cast any votes. I suppose as in the case of a political "convention" one individual can be delegated to speak for and represent a delegation of individuals who have met, voted and agreed upon a specific candidate for grand wizard. But it would be beyond the capacity of political reason to ask them to say something like, "...the Missouri delegation casts..." That would border on ending obfuscation, upon which all political "planks" reside. But "Missouri" did not support Barack Obama or John McCain or Ron Paul. A certain number of people in a place they're calling "Missouri" may have, but neither you nor I supported anybody. Well, I can't speak for you. Reification has drawn more professing libertarian writers into the snares of collectivist mentality than we can shake fingers at -- not that it does any good to go shaking fingers at anybody. "Japan attacked the US at Perle Harbor." Wrong. "Japan" doesn't exist. Nor does "the US". People exist. We need to stop engaging in collectivist thought hawsers if we're going to be effective in proselytizing our "ism" of libertarian thinking. You've provided a good start with this essay. Here's a good documentary outlining the phenomenon (1 hr 22 min). It was posted and promoted on Dollar Vigilante just today. I do greatly appreciate this article, Paul. It is well-written and clear. I no longer feel like the lone voice in the wilderness. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 7 weeks 4 days ago Blog entry Mark Davis
    Good job, Mark, in questioning the authority of government numbers.   Here are some more funny ones.   Assuming that the population is distributed evenly by year and that the life expectancy is 80, there are about (320/80 =) 4 million alive per year of age. Further assume that people retire at 62 on the fortune they have amassed (like Sam, for example) and begin work at 16, there are (4 x (62-16) =) 184 million people of working age.   However, half of them (92 million) are ladies, and Nature has equipped those best to mind the children, so not many of them ought to be out there laboring. Hence the working population "ought" to be 92 million men, plus a few exceptional ladies - say, round it up to 100 million.   But the referenced article says that 148.3 million people are actually employed. Therefore the unemployed number negative 48 million and the over-employment rate is 48%.   Lies, damned lies, and satistics.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 7 weeks 5 days ago Blog entry Mark Davis
    Mark: "...their ain't a whole lot of new rich people these days..." I am a sovereign state. I am also "... the new rich..." It really wasn't that great of an accomplishment, with a population of 1 -- but it is an achievement. My affluence came about through my divorce from measuring wealth in terms of "federal-reserve-notes". Oh, I keep some with me. Every day when I cross the border into a place they're calling "The-US" I find precious few merchants who would accept or even recognize anything other than FRN's. Ever now and again a clerk will hold the '20' I just handed her up to the light. I'll usually say, "that's counterfeit!". They generally stare back with that blank, suspicious appearance; although lately I've discovered a few will smile with a look of perception. Which is another reason for my prosperity: I don't need their approval for my self-esteem. Or the approval of those psychopaths who make up that abstraction called "the state". Because I now understand that anybody within that group, in order to maintain their employment and hope to rise to the top of their "division", will prevaricate. Obfuscation has been the bulwark of the science of rulership since the very first khans discovered they could become governors and senators and kings by allowing the inhabitants of the conquered villages to remain alive and continue to produce and trade; rather than to rape all the women, then slaughter all the men, women and children. Obfuscation is the bulwark of what has recently been defined as "Stockholm Syndrome" -- the desire of the conquered to gain recognition and amenities from their conquerors (also known as "patriotism"). The enormity of the truth is incredible. Sam
  • Thunderbolt's picture
    Thunderbolt 8 weeks 1 day ago Web link Government Deni...
    Thank you, Sam.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 8 weeks 1 day ago Web link Government Deni...
    You didn't ask for my take, but I'll present it nonetheless: Years ago I ceased using the term "rights". It is no longer in my vocabulary. I make choices. I am aware there are people near and far who feel duty-bound to interfere with many of the choices I make. It is my responsibility, and mine alone, to defend myself from those interlopers. And, if my choices should give rise to behaviors that interfere with your tranquility or your well-being -- or that of those you love -- I can expect negative repercussions from you, or them. It will be your natural backlash from my impudence, not due to your "right" to be left alone. So I refrain from interfering in your life. I want you to like me. It's funner that way. As I see it (and I could be wrong), use of the term "rights" would imply that there are folks somewhere who are responsible for granting, maintaining or sustaining my "rights". They might, and they might not. If they don't, what am I going to do about it? Whine? Wring my hands -- gnash my teeth? If it's going to be, it will be up to me. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 8 weeks 1 day ago Page GainesvilleCoins
    "Financial Markets" are fairy tales. Coins are forever. "...There are certain spheres where you simply cannot remove the human element without terrible consequences..." Smartest sentence in the essay. Once I knew an economics teacher, Bob Lawson (long gone), who argued: "There is no such thing as technological unemployment..." This would have been around 1950. Long before compooters -- even Univac. I was a railroad telegrapher -- headed in the direction of the stage coach and buggy whip. Lawson was wrong. Teletype and land-line telephones were about to cost me my career. Turns out I got myself enslaved by the white man about that time to participate in a war ("conflict" ha ha) like those regularly conducted by lunatics. They were using the euphemism "draft" to describe that phenomenon. Had I known what was to come I would have courageously fled to a non-combative political entity, such as that in the place they like to call "Canada". But the "service" solved my problem. I was re-educated, re-trained, re-vamped, re-programmed, and re-evaluated -- all thanks to psychopaths who lurk under the mindless abstraction called "government". Somehow I managed to have seven kids and a hungry wife. I became quite successful as an "educator" in government ("public" ha ha) schools. Mr. Lawson was right. But not for the reason you might suspect. I am now the richest man in my city. Not due to bank balances or investments calculated in "federal reserve notes". Due to libertarians and anarchists grabbing me by the seat of the pants and scruff of the neck and eventually dragging me here -- causing me to become a free, sovereign state. In spite of the naysayers (thanks, Jim Davies, wherever you've ended up). Wherever, whenever a man or woman is willing to roll up her sleeves and put forth her best efforts to accomplish the assigned task(s), s/he will likely meet with success. It's the rule of the marketplace. Sam
  • Thunderbolt's picture
    Thunderbolt 8 weeks 1 day ago Web link Government Deni...
    Good day to you, Paul. I will presume that many, and perhaps most, libertarians believe in rights. Please elaborate about your perception of the term "rights." May I also presume that you do not think that rights are something that are defined and provided by government? I respect those who dare to think outside the box. Please again defend this position. Best wishes, T.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 8 weeks 3 days ago Web link Government Deni...
    Another paean to the religious notion of rights. Unfortunately there is no way to comment on the article, to set him straight or at least present another viewpoint.