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  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 hours 13 min ago Web link Westernerd
    To answer this question, we must remember that in a libertarian society, we would be returning to a truly free-market society—with the emphasis on markets. This would mean that people would be paying the full cost for all of their individual decisions, and companies—which require a profit—would be doing likewise.   It may help to compare this scenario with the “market for war.” In a market-based society, nobody would be engaging in aggressive wars because there is no profit in it—unlike our current socialist society where the costs of war-making are redistributed through taxes and the “profits” are derived from bilking the public and siphoning their tax money into the pockets of the crony-capitalist companies. There would be no “chicken-hawk” constituency of voters who could have their bloodlust sated by forcing their hapless neighbors to pay taxes to support the spectacle of mass murder. Likewise, there would be no companies stepping up to make profits off of death because there wouldn’t be any profits with nobody willing to invest in such ventures, which would be unable to pass the smell test and simultaneously be unable to pay for themselves.   Now move to victimless crimes—which brings us closer to the situation here. There would be no “war on drugs” in a market society. What private individuals would want to pay the sky-high insurance company premium necessary to hire the “security guards” necessary to arrest a marijuana-smoking neighbor, pay the full incarceration cost of putting that neighbor in a cage, pay the full costs of hiring lawyers, court reporters, and of judges/arbitrators and prosecutors to actually identify a “harm” that would require payment of a penalty high enough to justify all of this drug-war activity? My guess is zero. People have better things to do with their money than to pay for all of these costs and pay for the risk-liability of cost of a counter-suit for false arrest. In a market society, harm would have to be proven. So you can see that there would be no prosecutions for drug-use. There’s simply no money in it. It would be a money pit. People would mind t heir own business. In our current society, the socialistic drug war—which redistributes the costs and benefits of drug taking to innocent bystanders—oodles of money and resources are wasted because nobody pays for their choices in prosecuting people for harms that exist only in their own minds. That’s why the armchair “drug-warriors” get away with it. They are not spending their own money as citizens or investing their own money—which can add up to huge losses—as companies that sell security, incarceration, and judicial services.   Now to the 17-year-old boy who is distributing electronic photos of his penis. What kind of parent would be willing to spend oodles of hard-earned money to purchase an insurance policy that would cover the high costs of investigating the electronic transmission of a penis photo? Of paying the secretaries to draw up the paperwork to prosecute such a crime? Of paying the costs for a team of police officers to safely arrest the boy without harming anyone else? Of incarcerating the boy until he goes to trial? Of paying the full costs of a lawyer to litigate against the boy or the boy’s parents for raising a child who makes such a silly decision? Of paying the full costs of hiring an arbitrator to judge the case? Of paying a repossession company to acquire any resources that may be seized in order to pay for damages? And that gets us to the bottom of this issue. What is the market-based cost—or “damage”—that can be assigned for mailing a penis picture? What is the cost of the “harm”? How would it be assessed? Can the “harm” be defined in a way that does not make us laugh or cry for stupidity? In other words, if I were the parent of the girl who was the target of this sex-ting, I would be questioning my own child-rearing skills. I would have a talk with my daughter to ask her why she was dating boys that were two years older than her. I may even visit the parents of the boy who sent the photo to ask them if they were aware of what their son were doing. All of these normal parental behaviors cost nothing. They are also sane and adult behaviors related to the reasonable upbringing of children. Childhood is about making good decisions and learning to make them—in other words, acquiring the skills needed to be a self-sustaining adult. In other words, childhood and childhood mistakes would not be criminalized as they are now. Insurance companies would not be stepping into this kind of situation hoping to make a profit out of them because there probably would be little or no profit to be made. After all, a true “harm” would have to be proven, a cost assigned, and all of the “acquisition costs” measured and taken into account. How many policies covering the litigation and incarceration required would be sold to a sane and thrifty parent? And since these costs could not be redistributed to non-parents, I suspect very few such policies would be purchased. In a market society, parents would actually be raising their own children—not sending them off to a school funded through taxes stolen from neighbors and into streets funded by other coercive means. They would actually know their children and be actively involved in their upbringing. They would be thrifty people who visit a neighbor whose boy does embarrassing things with camera photos. They would not be escalating the problems of adolescence into legal matters. Would they? They would have to prove harm? And what are the “harms” of childhood decision-making mistakes? And what are the costs?   So the answer to this question is this: in a libertarian market society, there probably would be no profit in litigating penis pictures. Would there be? It would not be a society in which “that which is not prohibited is mandatory.” It would be a society where people would pay the true costs of their behavior—including the real costs of social ostracism. Boys who become narcissistic exhibitionists would be seen for what they are—people in need of counseling.  A 15-year-old girl is probably at the same level of emotional maturity as a 17-year-old boy, but in a market society, this kind of “playing doctor” behavior would probably have taken place at the age of eight instead of being postponed—by the action of helicopter parenting—to the age of 15 or 17. Children would not become the infantilized adults that they are in our society—one in which people never really grow up to be responsible but are forever wards of the paternalistic/maternalistic nanny state. Children would be acquiring behavioral skills earlier in life—just as they would become literate earlier in life without government schools. I doubt if these “playing doctor” issues would be occurring in the same way as they do now. They would be occurring at the age of seven or eight, and people would be responding to them as childhood foibles—without police involvement. Growing up behaviors and mistakes would not be criminalized, would they? And people who were still exhibiting these behaviors at age 17 would be already be in counseling or would have grown out of this stage. There would be no legal remedies for vices without victims. Being offended by the sight of human flesh would not be considered a crime. It would be laughed out of court and seen as a developmental problem. And even then, would a developmentally retarded boy be a criminal or just a nuisance? Parents would not be able to pay for the police to bring up their children for them because a private policing company would not step into such a situation without good reason to think there was money to be made. And would there be? I doubt it.   To help inform one's thinking about these and similar issues, I cannot recommend too highly the wonderful book written by Morris and Linda Tannehill: Market for Liberty. It is one of my favorites. Here's a link: http://mises.org/document/6058/The-Market-for-Liberty  
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 8 hours 58 min ago Web link Westernerd
    It is perhaps a debate worthy of discussion: How DO anarchists propose we protect the rights of children in an anarchist society? The draconian laws we have at the moment clearly fail in their task - by driving things like kiddie porn underground, they are probably making it worse rather than better (in the same way that draconian anti-drug laws made the drug problem much worse). But what is the alternative? I'd be interested in hearing thoughts from other readers here.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 1 day 1 hour ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    Glock, I just published a follow-up essay at fff.org--i.e., more on Dante and the Seven Deadly Sins. Here's the link:   It is entitled “Libertarian Themes in the Seven Deadly Sins of Dante’s Divine Comedy” and published at fff.org.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 1 day 2 hours ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    FOLLOW-UP TO THIS ESSAY NOW ONLINE As some readers are aware, I often try to identify historical events and documents that show a libertarian streak in them. In May 2013, I wrote an essay for STR entitled Dante’s Divine Comedy and the Divine Origins of the Free Market. In the blog comments that followed, I suggested that Dante’s ranking of the seven deadly sins—in particular, the sequence by which he distinguished less serious from more serious sins—reflected insights that we share as libertarians, regardless of our status as atheists, agnostics, or Christians. In an essay entitled “Libertarian Themes in the Seven Deadly Sins of Dante’s Divine Comedy” and published at fff.org, I fleshed out that suggestion; I showed how Dante and aspects of medieval Catholic theology had more in common with libertarian beliefs than the beliefs of many modern-day Christians, who have been infused with a puritanical—and even Manichaean—attitude about the natural world and its bounty and beauty. Indeed, the perceptions about the natural world shared by the theologian Thomas Aquinas and some of today’s libertarians may help explain why libertarianism resonates so deeply with Catholics, Jews, and other minorities—including Native Americans and members of the gay community.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 1 day 10 hours ago Web link A. Magnus
    Yes, yes, of course, it's just common sense; the concept of a "just claim[1]" to a thing is just so old fashioned. Have you missed me, Paul? ;-) Hope all is well with you. _______________________________________________ [1] RIGHT, noun 5. Just claim... 6. Just claim... 7. Just claim... 8. That which justly belongs to one. 9. Property; interest. 10. Just claim... (Source: Webster's 1828 Dictionary) Right. ...In a narrower signification JUST and legal CLAIM to hold hold, use, or enjoy [an object of property] (Source: Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition, page 1324) [Emphasis added]
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 2 days 22 hours ago Web link Westernerd
    A fool and his money soon go separate ways, as the old bromide says. Here is an example although he does fess up to it.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 3 days 2 hours ago Web link Westernerd
    Hey, that's just the law defending the rights of innocent children. Pity the poor girl, only 15, and SHE's apparently not going to be, er, protected....
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 days 15 hours ago
    Small Things
    Page Paul Hein
    To me it seems power is just as important as money. If it were only about money, these people with all their connections would simply be banksters and other sorts of speculators and traders of favors. But if you want to exercise power, love having people hanging on your pompous utterances, love sticking it to somebody, you need to be in government. Think of what they have to do to get into government, as opposed to getting into banking. They must become whores just to get a chance at it. No, it's not just the money. Of course for the cronies, it may well be. Someone selling Hummers or $500 toilet seats to government probably is not in it for the power, just the easy money.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 days 15 hours ago Page Douglas Herman
    The time to look for it, if it happens, is when the other governments finally start dumping the dollar en masse. Just a guess...
  • factotum's picture
    factotum 4 days 7 hours ago Page Douglas Herman
    "A bigger Operation Gladio? Don’t bet against it.": Well, you have been wrong so far. So, I will bet against it. Please give me some specifics. To wit: A time frame, and a magnitude --- how many years how many deaths. Please be specific. Soon, and a lot do not count as specific. Before 2020, and at least 5000. Do count. I will put up 1 oz of gold. And you will put up ??? What is that? --- you are puting up excuses and verbiage and drivel as to who you can not / will not bet? I am shocked!!!! Shocked I tell you :-) dpaladin at ix dot netcom dot com.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 4 days 21 hours ago Web link Emmett Harris
    Fluff up--double post. Sorry!
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 4 days 21 hours ago Web link Emmett Harris
    Maybe Chicago and Emmanuel should try Facebook relations:)
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 4 days 21 hours ago Web link Emmett Harris
    The DOD conducted a psy/op on FB, at AF's permission, on 600,000 FB subscribers. Wonder if this was one of the psy/op campaigns?
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 4 days 21 hours ago
    Small Things
    Page Paul Hein
    Beautiful piece with a delightful bouquet of analogies. Damned pleasurable read—not to mention the obviousness of the precise relationship to government, like the leggy orchestrated influx of disease riddled kids from below the boarder. Interesting how they were loosely prepared for the influx pre-arrival. Reminds me of when the U.S. provided small pox riddled blankets to the American Indians. Loved the piece Mr. Hein.
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 1 week 9 hours ago Page Douglas Herman
    Thanks Glen,    I saw that slogan all over Rio. Not until I returned did I research it. Yeah, the Smedley Butler shirt at Monticello got a lot of stares. Hard to argue with it though.    
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 1 week 12 hours ago Blog entry Jim Davies
    Jim:  This is (most expectedly) very well done!  I must ask:  Have you recontacted Meyers with a link to your essay?  And if so, has he this time responded?
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 1 week 2 days ago Page Kevin M. Patten
    Kevin,    Damn fine writing skills you polished in the pen. Start submitting your stuff to book agents/ publishers and think up a good title.    I only spent 35 days in medium security but you are like STR's Shawshank correspondent. "Get busy living or get busy dying," said Red.   Write more about your stretch, about the details. Maybe, just MAYBE, you can sell the screen rights if/when you get out.   Good Luck. Doug
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 1 week 3 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    Irresponsible motherfucker.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 1 week 3 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    Because I am passionate about my freedom, I can see that my passion will become nothing more than piss on once the LEA's begin to increase their assault on families by a tip that is not verified and getting a no-knock warrant to attack a home and abuse the people in the home before determining whether there is actually any involvement in a crime. You might be free, but are you at peace; you might be free, but are you receiving justice?
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 1 week 3 days ago Blog entry Jim Davies
    In fact, I wonder if there might be a bus-opp here. B-stickers could be fashioned in a style that has the "look" of an authentic state license plate, so COPSLIE could be stuck on the bumper or some other part of the car's rear end and convey its accurate message - but the location would not be the one prescribed for the issued license plate (in the center, usually.)   Each state has a different style and color plan, so the production runs would be small and so the prices would be higher than usual. But nothing close to that $40, and the money would go somewhere worthwhile, instead of to the State Treasury.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 1 week 4 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    "Obama Pledges $500 Million For Syrian Rebels...Meanwhile In Detroit..." I don't think it is a good idea to make such connections (similar to "millions for prisons, meanwhile our schools go begging"). Tax money for Syrian rebels is bad, period. City governments are bad, period. And the notion that access to water is a right? That's why I think "rights" are no longer a useful concept.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 1 week 4 days ago
    Logical Fallacies?
    Page Paul Bonneau
    It's not surprising my point was not particularly obvious in this article, since I too have trouble seeing it! I'm just hoping people understand the concept of logical fallacies along with some necessary skepticism, rather with just faith. It's similar to my concern about "rights". There is no tool or meme, that cannot be turned around by the ruling class and used against us.
  • Serenity's picture
    Serenity 1 week 4 days ago Web link Serenity
    well said...brilliant!
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 1 week 4 days ago
    Logical Fallacies?
    Page Paul Bonneau
    In thinking about your essay and rereading it this morning, I see my comment of yesterday rather missed your main thrust: that truths that are intrinsic but contradictory to particular interests are often turned around to appear fallacious. And this can be done through various "lists of fallacies" such as Downes' and other similar web publishers. Memes abound by showing basic truths to appear as examples of fallacies. Along the same line of thought John Hasnas (<== pdf) has this to say about "Anarchy": Anarchy refers to a society without a central political authority. But it is also used to refer to disorder or chaos. This constitutes a textbook example of Orwellian newspeak in which assigning the same name to two different concepts effectively narrows the range of thought. For if lack of government is identified with the lack of order, no one will ask whether lack of government actually results in a lack of order. And this uninquisitive mental attitude is absolutely essential to the case for the state. For if people were ever to seriously question whether government is really productive of order, popular support for government would almost instantly collapse. Using the "fallacy" tactic it is not that difficult to identify anarchy as fallacious by those with an appetite for monopoly rulership -- and sycophants thereto, including virtually all media and probably 95% of the unwashed masses. Those of us in what is commonly called "the liberty movement" ('though I avoid "movements") should probably stay mindful of this gambit -- show it for what it is, but refrain from engaging in it ourselves. It's dishonest, phony to the core, and the subtle means by which liberty seekers are dissuaded from becoming truly free. Sam
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 1 week 4 days ago
    Logical Fallacies?
    Page Paul Bonneau
    "...people act in their own interest (self-interest!). I think this is a biological, evolutionary, primitive fact that has attached itself to human beings from the very beginning, and to escape the idea that we all operate out of self-interest I believe would leave us with a freak fallacy of its own. Self-interest, from my perspective, pertains fundamentally to self-survival, the self protecting its "self" from embarrassment; to covering up wrong deeds and etc. I do not see how any human being could possibly escape the act of protecting their "self", other than socio-psychopathic individuals, yet these individuals also act out of self interest. I look a Harry Reid, democrat. The man is a walking, talking, breathing fallacy and he does it all out of his personal self-interest. Interesting points Sam.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 1 week 4 days ago Web link Serenity
    This is the beautiful argument I have refer'ed to several times here wherein "Man is not necessarily a rational animal, but an imaginative one, he believes that man as a rational animal is a mistake, and that an imaginative one is a more powerful force. I believe getting tied down to logic, and rationality becomes a millstone about ones neck and can drag one into depth of undesired consequences. I believe a broad minded person would embrace the imaginative aspect more wholly. In my time on STR I have noted several writers and comments made are from people who have imagined as well as having applied a bit of logic and rational consideration to their statements. I also have noted some to appear to have the millstone draped about their ideas. This and many other articles was recently published in a collection of essays a few years back. Since having moved and not completely unpacked I cannot provide the publication date of the book. When I procured it, the book was well worth the small investment made. I felt Hasnas was quiet thorough--but then who am I to speak since my debate skills and knowledge regarding these issues are primitive. I am fondly bound to the "KISS" concept.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 1 week 5 days ago
    Logical Fallacies?
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Good food for thought, Paul. "...Eighty percent of the human world is self-serving bullshit..." Fortunately, you and I are firmly ensconced in the other twenty percent -- right? (ha ha ha) Altruistic, humanitarian, philanthropic, etc etc. Most of us who write and/or comment do so out of an element of self-interest. I have to feel that there is some pay-off for me by creating in your mind certain impressions you have about me through your reading of things that I write -- else I would spend my time away from STR and the stirring of minds in which we engage through libertarian discussion. One of the most important facts in the human world is that people act in their own interest. This overpowers almost everything else. How true. And it's important to keep foremost in our minds the fact that those psychopaths -- often referred to with the acronym TPTB ("the powers that be") -- who claim to have "jurisdiction", understand that quite clearly. Which is why general, overriding fallacies are so pervasive all around us. They have been engendered and accelerated and inculcated into the minds of the hoi polloi since the rising of the rulers and the khans -- the progenitors of the empire to which we are hoping to see an end. Delmar England phrased it thus: The prevailing (global) philosophy is saturated with popular fallacies so large in scope, so varied in surface type, so nearly universally accepted, they emotionally appear as unquestionable truth, as absolutes without alternative and not to be questioned. This is the atmosphere into which you were born and now live. An example of "logical fallacy" is pointed up in your assessment of Downe's "Slippery Slope": the issue isn't the legitimacy of automatic weapons at all -- the issue is the legitimacy of "law". Mark Davis posted a good article a couple days ago pertaining to the "lifeboat" argument/fallacy. Mark summed up: Enlightenment is thus forsaken in the quest to avoid an admission that quaint emotional attachments overrule their reasoning capabilities. I admire both of you for urging us to see through the detritus to get to the meat. Sam
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 1 week 5 days ago
    Logical Fallacies?
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Read Tarabay's diatribe regarding guns. Though not relevant to fallacies, oops, just maybe the whole article was a fallacy. The author in the article jabbers about assault weapons, I have not figured out exactly what an "assault weapon" is. My understanding is that such and animal does not exist, but is a term confabulated by someone. The issue all rests on appearance. O-o-o-o-o. scary black gun. One point was true however, generally you only get one shot at an animal. If you are lucky you get a second because sometimes the animal has just not registered what has happened. Me. I want to have and shoot whatever I desire. Another thing which was entirely missed in the article is that many hunters purchase a long rifle for more than just hunting, especially today. It seems to me that Paul has made an perceptive association regarding fallacies, which makes me ask the question, could not freedom also be a fallacy? Thanks for the article Paul. It helps neophytes like myself in this realm.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 1 week 6 days ago Page Mark Davis
    Good observations, Mark. Our entire lives have seemingly been consumed in pointing to the necessity for monopoly "care" (read: violence) inculcated into our brains since we were babies. I can understand many not liking David Icke, but in this instance he is dead on with his animation of The Hegelian Dialectic. The political holiday coming up this week serves as a classic example: keep the dumb serfs barbecuing and drinking beer and hooting and hollering and setting off firecrackers! Few of them will spend much time analyzing what the psychopaths making the speeches claim it's supposed to all mean, but that's not important. Just keep 'em in tune with the idea that monopoly state serves a socially useful purpose, and that wars are necessary to keep everybody "safe". Support them troops, fer sure fer sure -- but be thankful you live in a free country. ("Free country", incidentally, is about as oxymoronish as it gets). Sam
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 2 weeks 12 hours ago Page Douglas Herman
    Great column, Douglas!  Also, I loved the Ten Years After lyric -- "I'd Love to Change the World" is the only track they ever did that I really liked, despite the Marxist portion of the song's lyrics, and it's been a favorite since I first heard it. The song evokes a lot of feeling; it also has some of the best guitar work out there. But the SLOGAN you highlight -- Kindness Generates Kindness -- and the attitude behind that slogan, is the important thing. Makes sense that there would be a Brazillian saying like that, given the warmth of their culture relative to ours. It is especially critical that kindness characterize our early lives; children born into an infancy and childhood of kindness, love, and compassion don't NEED slogans to remind them (much less to teach them, as a new idea) that kindness is important. Children hurt badly enough early on can't really hear the slogan, no matter how many times they encounter it. I would love to see more focus and stronger emphasis on the "love" aspect of love and freedom. Love is the yin to freedom's yang, and you're among the minority of those who write in support of freedom who consistently shows that truth in your work.    PS -- I just clicked your photo and saw the full-size image for the first time, with the quote from Smedley Butler. Awesome! u
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 2 weeks 1 day ago Web link strike
    With current laws, all over the western world, it is madness to employ anyone, and those who have no choice have my sympathy. In this particular case, hopefully the family has learned something about the value of raising your kids by yourself...
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 2 weeks 1 day ago
    Elena Shumilova
    Web link strike
    Lovely photos!
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 2 weeks 1 day ago Page Mark Davis
        I skipped this summer, Mark. But next summer I intend to buy a rad detector and test fish we catch there in Alaska. I'm also the cook on the boat.   I wrote this for a fishing mag last year. Good skipper, bad skipper
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 2 weeks 2 days ago Page Mark Davis
    Hi Doug, Luckily I haven't had to deal with the .gov jackboots after any storms as they do typically make things worse; especially when they are disarming victims or keeping people from getting to or even staying in their homes.  I've gone without power for three days, twice, and for the first couple of days it was difficult to get a car into or out of my neighborhood, so we were on our own which actually helped created a stronger sense of community. Commerical fisherman is one of the most dangerous jobs in the world and manned by some of the most independent minded men in the world.  I'd bet that has helped you to gain some tremendous insights into this subject. It looks to me like the USS America has lunatics at the helm screaming "Damn the torpedoes; full speed ahead!"  So we may all be in lifeboats fairly soon. Mark 
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 2 weeks 2 days ago Page Mark Davis
    Hi Mark,    Excellent use of lifeboat metaphor - or is it anology?  You wrote: "After disasters, most people in most neighborhoods don’t go around looting their neighbors.  I’ve been through some hard blowing, window breaking, tree clearing, power outing hurricanes, and after every single one had passed (some before) my neighbors all came out and we checked on each other."    NOt sure where you were, but after Andrew and Katrina, it was the .Gov appointed jackboots who stomped around and made things worse.    Anyway, keep up the good work.  And as for Lifeboat mentality, speaking solely as a commercial fisherman, we resort to inflatable life rafts, survival suits, flares and radios.   At this point in 'Murica it is: "Mayday, Mayday - This is vessel America and we are on fire, adrift and sinking. Send help fast!" Doug
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 2 weeks 3 days ago Page Mark Davis
    I hate arguments by lifeboat hypothetical. The people that use them are imagining the furthest possible scenario from everyday civilized behavior. Essentially, they are saying that their opponent's principles break down under the most extreme imaginable scenario. Big deal. What if the lifeboat is not, in fact, sinking, the two people on it expect to survive for a long, long time in each other's company, and there is actually enough room aboard for a lot more people? In fact, let's forget about the lifeboat entirely, and put the two people on an island with exploitable, though meager, resources. Well, those two people will probably want to get along amicably, and therefore establish some simple ground rules. Don't take the other guy's stuff without his permission. If there is some sort of emergency, and he can't give you permission fast enough to help, go right ahead, but you had better thank him properly for saving your bacon after the situation cools. Don't kill, attack, assault, batter, maim, injure, restrain, insult, or bully the other guy. Remember, if you have an accident, he's the only guy around who can nurse you back to health. If the island is invaded by raygun-wielding aliens, sea serpents, zombie pirates, robot ninjas, or any other obviously hostile force, it's us against them. If the island is invaded by cooperative immigrants, the wingman pact clearly states that no one shall attempt to court or ally with the most obviously desirable partner, except by prior, mutally-agreed establishment of "dibs", and that neither shall do or say anything to impugn the reputation of the other, either directly or by inference. It isn't difficult to analogize a situation that maps and scales directly back to normal civilized existence. Likewise, it is not difficult to recognize situtations where one person or the other clearly establishes an intent to reneg upon the cooperative pact. In that instance, it is completely acceptable for the other to retaliate, or to take additional measures to defend his own interests.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 2 weeks 5 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    There will be no need. In the event of an armed rebellion, one side or the other will take the power grid offline by shooting enough small holes near the bottoms of substation transformers. Our infrastructure is ridiculously fragile and unprotected. Whenever someone decides that "the other side" derives a greater advantage from it, it will disappear. Then people who rely upon it for survival will die. Also, if none of these are stolen, I will be surprised. If none of these are stolen by the very same city contractors who installed them, I will be very surprised. You stay classy, Chicago.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    These boxes will be shot full of holes when the Revolution comes.
  • ReverendDraco's picture
    ReverendDraco 2 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Let's turn it back on them. . . let's start calling Civil *Obedience* "Terrorism." Because it is.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 2 weeks 6 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    "Free State" is oxymoronish. I am a sovereign state. As such, I am 100% responsible. For the protection of my borders. For the demeanor of its inhabitant (me). If it's going to be, it's up to me. Today. Here. Where I am. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 2 weeks 6 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Libertarianism is no political (monopoly) government. Statism is monopoly government. The only "libertarians" in my book are zero government (no border) individuals. The idea of "open borders" is mini-statism to its core, and not part of my thought process. Sam
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 weeks 12 hours ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    That link doesn't work for me. The page keeps reloading, over and over.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 weeks 12 hours ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    I agree. However much I might like to go along with friends on this, many of whom are at the conservative end of the spectrum, I simply cannot. And I don't see how supposed libertarians can be satisfied with such rationalizations. But I guess it is normal that people are inconsistent. In time they may improve as they think it through.
  • Sharon Secor's picture
    Sharon Secor 3 weeks 6 days ago Page Paul Hein
    "The reality is too shameful to tolerate." Well said, sir, well said.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 weeks 13 hours ago Page Paul Hein
    "Maddeningly, these self-same strangers refer to themselves as our servants!" For a long time, I wondered how this obvious falsehood kept its staying power, why no one ever laughed when the phrase "public servant" was used. Then (I believe) I figured it out: http://strike-the-root.com/why-people-believe-government-is-here-to-help-us The notion remains accepted by most people because they want and need to look at it that way. The reality is too shameful to tolerate.
  • ReverendDraco's picture
    ReverendDraco 4 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Having Tim Roth play Sepp Blatter is fitting - Tim has always done a very fine job, portraying bad guys. He might even get an Oscar for this one.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 4 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Recent years have seen several attempts by various researchers to prove that the old masters in general, and Vermeer in particular, "cheated" by using various optical devices to create their paintings. Perhaps the most well known of these was a book titled "Secret Knowledge," by the British artist David Hockney. Hockney's ideas have been roundly debunked (indeed, Jenison himself points out some of the reasons why Hockney is wrong). Jenison may or may not be right with his own theory, but he seems to agree anyway that the fact that his method is consistent with what we observe in Vermeer's work does not prove that this is how Vermeer did it. Most of the theories that argue that the old masters used optical aids are attempts to solve a non-mystery, namely how on earth the artists managed to paint so realistically. Much time is spent trying to prove that they couldn't possibly have done it without optical aids. These arguments strike me as similar to the arguments of people who claim that the Egyptians couldn't possibly have built the pyramids, so therefore aliens must have done it. There are currently realist artists producing work that is significantly more realistic than anything Vermeer or his contemporaries produced, and they do not need any optical aids to do it. So why do we think Vermeer must have had such aids? There is no mystery here to be solved in the first place. It is of course nevertheless possible that Vermeer employed such devices (it is well known that artists throughout the past five or six centuries have been fascinated by and experimented with all manner of optics - it would have been surprising if they didn't), but the notion that highly realistic painting represents some sort of unfathomable mystery in need of a solution is belied by what contemporary artists are doing quite routinely, using traditional methods that have been in existence and under constant development for centuries, and that emphatically do not require the use of optical devices.
  • rita's picture
    rita 4 weeks 4 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    Great -- reinforce the stupid stereotype of meth users and perpetuate police violence.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 4 weeks 5 days ago Page Bradley Keyes
    Well, if I see something worth posting here, I'll let a random editor know about it. :-)
  • strike's picture
    strike 4 weeks 5 days ago Page Bradley Keyes
    The name of each guest editor is displayed every day along with a link to his/her profile.  From there, you can send them a private message or perhaps an email as well.