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  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Perhaps you should read her magnum opus. It illuminates what you are missing. Takes me out of the drawing board to the prototype that can be tested and lived and emulated… Too bad Thoreau had not had "Atlas Shrugged" under his belt. More likely he would not have returned to society. Apparently you have read a small subset of Rand's works but not all...that Bob Wallace complains are too methodological and thus too made up: A is A, A acts according to A (identity causality etc etc. Objectivist Epistemology would be a good second read) Yet Rand did not make the mistake of conflating Marxism with Galt's Gulch nor Laissez faire hands off. Mises of the Austrian school also uses a methodological approach and gave rise to Reed, Rothbard, Tucker, Walter Block, DiLorenzo. http://mises.org/daily/5158/Mises-on-Mind-and-Method They refute Keynes boom bust cycle, the Fed Reserve boondoggle and Abe Lincoln... Unlike Rand, Ludwig Von Mises had no fiction work to prototype what Rand concluded. Which was a private community…..His students took his legacy and brought that to fore. In that regard she trumped even Mises. But if we follow Bob's assertion this means Mises is worse than Rand and thus no different than Marx and Keynes because Rand and Mises hold to limited govt in all of Mises work but not all of Rand’s work. The power of the imagination is more powerful than knowledge. That is not just a saying and Einstein proved that and so did Rand (Atlas Shrugging is a very counter intuitive thing to do)--it is Peaceful self ownership personal secession requiring no govt. If we follow Bob's and your premises: since Mises had still not worked out the limited govt baby in the bath water--that his contribution to boom bust cycle is kaput null and void. And what of the work of his students? Rothbard? Kinsella? Drop by the Mises.org and Lewrockwell.com I think their anarchism has integrated Rand's prototype and Thoreau's return to society. Since he returned to a society steeped in govt compared to Walden pond does that mean that he was not an anarchist? A failed anarchist? I don’t think so. And yet in Rand's prototype community of Atlas Shrugged she drops the insistence of the govt that you harp on because it does NOT WORK and and so we have what? My say so? No. You will know soon enough for yourself. Bob's piece is ridiculous. Jefferson inherited slavery. So what. Einstein worked in a govt patent office. So what. Rand was a cudmudgeon. So what? We now know that Intellectual Property (patents ad copyright) is a monopoly mine field that held back the division of labor society. There is a thread on this blog regarding IP. Kinsella has done incredible work as has McElroy. Neither Rand nor Mises knew of it yet she intuitively started to front load her book incomes. I am going to be visiting that thread pretty soon.. And the spiral continues to…progress one step as at a time. Rand and Mises cleaned out the Augean stables--but if you ever read Atlas Shrugged you will not be in stable but a portal that Thoreau would have approved of... I will leave you with this: Villains in Atlas Shrugged are very much alive and real. http://mises.org/daily/5218/The-Continued-Relevance-of-Rands-Villains Excerpt: For instance, in Atlas Shrugged, the lobbyist Wesley Mouch decries the capitalist Hank Rearden's invention of a wonderful alloy that is stronger than steel. And last week, in the real world, Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. took to the house floor to declare that Steve Jobs's iPad was killing jobs. Congress must, according to Jackson, recognize that Apple is driving companies such as Barnes & Noble and Borders out of business, and the company should be stopped in the interests of fairness. Jackson decried Congress for failing to foster "protection for jobs here in America to ensure that the American people are being put to work." It's as if he wanted us to believe the printing press was harmful to the economy because it decreased the demand for scribes. Such a condemnation of a successful business and a demand for protection of failing industries could easily have been lifted directly from Rand's novel.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Rand wrote much more than just Atlas shrugged. I have "The Virtue of Selfishness," "Return of the Primitive," and Capitalism: The Unknown Ideal" in front of me. Are you not familiar with her nonfiction writing? She ridiculed the idea of not having government. Bob's article perhaps assumes the reader knows this. Is your position that Ayn Rand was for a voluntaryist/anarchist society that would forego a minimal but coercive central government? I have not read Atlas Shrugged (minus the "Ode to Money" part), and so if that is the only work of Rand one is familiar with then perhaps it gives the impression that she endorsed a stateless society. She did not. If you are interested in more specific references, I could provide them for you. Rand, in my opinion, put forth some great ideas but in the end was overly rigid and did not remain consistent in her arguments, something she did not tolerate from others.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Re tzo: As long as society has a government, then whatever "free markets" that may exist will eventually be captured by that government. Since Rand insisted that government was a necessity to society, then the end result of her ideal society would be a collection of captured markets, or fascism. When I read Ayn Rand I got that she wrote a novel about producers who walked away from Mercantilism / Fascism--they're making a movie about it. Ever heard of Shrugging? And that reality is mimicking that. Witness Steve Winn in Macau etc... I thought "Galt" refused to accept the post of ruling as an Economic Csar and explained why and was UNinterested in convincing controlling and forcing others via govt.... How does that play to your point that Rand "insisted" that govt ruling others is necessary? I do NOT remember there being NO Politics in Rand's Gulch. Was there politicians and police state apparatus in Galt's Gulch? Wanna live like that but figure statism is going creep in because you think Rand insisted on that? "Politics [without govt] is not necessarily force and fraud". How did Rand "insist" that govt is necessary in Galt's Gulch? If people want to talk about a prototype then look to that instead of conflating Marxism with galts' Gulch and Laissez faire. The prototype sits at your feet. Feel free to throw out her contribution... To see the farm is to live it. If she did not spell it out for you in her theory look to her speeches and fiction...and prototype it. But you know this? Or do you? Where in Bob's article did you read the point supporting your premise? By the speed of your post you skipped the links I provided which tells me much...perhaps you drop the Ragnar thing too? References: http://www.lewrockwell.com/holland/holland19.1.html
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    I interpreted the column as saying that as long as society has a government, then whatever "free markets" that may exist will eventually be captured by that government. Since Rand insisted that government was a necessity to society, then the end result of her ideal society would be a collection of captured markets, or fascism. I concur.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Bob's Proto Fascist posit on Ayn Rand reminds of the following hand sleight: Kinda funny how Greenspan now is " shocked, just shocked" that Ayn Rands ideas don't really work... After all these years of sitting at her feet! ' Yes, the publicity of a man who acquired his "free-market ideology" sitting at the feet of Ayn Rand and steeped in Objectivism is reported over and over by the media.... How "funny" is this? (Pronunciation: (fun'ē), —adj., -ni•er, -ni•est,—n., pl. -nies.3. warranting suspicion; deceitful; underhanded 5. strange; peculiar; odd. And how funny is Bob's piece? Let's see it thru a prism that is being played out right now so that we can get a bead on Bob's points… Yes indeed... For the media to suggest Greenspan did not operate from a "free-market ideology"--Ayn Rand's position--would throw open the QUESTION of why Greenspan blew up the banking and credit systems. It would introduce the possibility that he was prone to act as the large financial institutions would like him to act. It would also reveal the extent to which he – and Bernanke – say and do what Politicians want them to say and do.... The very OPPOSITE of what Rand's ideas stand for. The very things Rand presciently depicted in "Atlas Shrugged": government, companies and media colluding in the name of economic rescue at the expense of the entrepreneur. And Bob's points? Well they "Objectively" appear to be conflations. And they remind of the media. Most recently Julian Assange and Bradley Manning--NOT the "heroic" media--shone a spotlight on the STATE welfare-warfare-media-complex. There is a reason that “Atlas Shrugged” is becoming a Political “Harry Potter”. Ayn Rand SHONE a spotlight on a problem that STILL exists today: Not pre-1989 Soviet communism, but 2011-style State capitalism (Mercantilism / "Fascism")--with its own statist quo media and court appointed historians and its adoring stockholm syndrome patients... Bob Wall[a]ce's article comes across as a sleight of hand indeed: equating free-market "ideology"--Ayn Rand's position--as "Fascism" (the first and original "Proto" no less) and as "Propaganda". References: Economic Depressions: Their Cause and Cure by Murray N. Rothbard http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard183.html The Flim Flam Man An honest man cannot be cheated.... http://www.lewrockwell.com/north/north138.html From Wikileaks releases, it is clear that political and military elites are over-classifying documents in order to protect their own asses. http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/mason-a1.1.1.html The FED/chariman claim to stabilize the economy but actually provokes instability like the present Greatest Recession. http://www.theanarchistalternative.info/zgb/index.html 10A001: Endless War by Jim Davies, 7/31/2010 http://www.theanarchistalternative.info/zgb/10A001.htm 10A106 Victim Sanction by Jim Davies, 12/19/2010 http://www.theanarchistalternative.info/zgb/10A106.htm December 23, 2010 Interview With Julian Assange http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/73973.html How and why the press was broken and has never recovered--Tom DiLorenzo on Abraham Lincoln, US Authoritarianism Mercantilism and Manipulated History http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo186.html Amity Shlaes: Ayn Rand’s Atlas Is Shrugging with a Growing Load http://www.theatlasphere.com/metablog/820.php Grovelling at the Fed: Greenspan and Bernanke http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/sheehan-f4.1.1.html Alan Greenspan: Party Boy http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig8/sheehan-f5.1.1.html The Malicious Myth of the 'Libertarian' Fed http://www.lewrockwell.com/dilorenzo/dilorenzo171.html
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 25 weeks ago
    U.S. Out Of NATO
    Web link Westernerd
    You got a problem with the French? The American government is in this war because they want to be. Because it is in their interest.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    Well said, tzo, well said! I will re-read, once more, those five common-sense-articles you have taken the time to link to your comment. Thank you.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    "A government big enough to give you everything you want, is strong enough to take everything you have." -- Gerald Ford I think the sick mentality represented by the regulators starts in childhood, perhaps with parents confiscating property that belongs to the child. Children are wont to interpret everything their parents do as loving, because they are terrified (and justly so) at the idea of there not being enough love about. If loving parents confiscate property to teach loving principles to "inferiors," then it's a simple loving, logical progression that other children, when you are no longer one, will benefit from loving confiscation of their property. Therefore, Happy Meals have to go, 'cause just like your loving mother long ago, you now know what's best. And just as tzo pointed out in the comments, it will come back to haunt the confiscators. Reaping, sowing... confiscating, confiscated.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    “… I have long been curious as to how the "VOLUNTARILY PARTICIPATING MEMBERS" granted a "monopoly on land" that wasn't theirs to begin with?” Just another restatement of the paradox that forms the foundation of "just government." The citizens IN FACT cannot justly delegate the right to monopoly control of 'uge tracts of land because they do not possess this right individually. The citizens IN FACT cannot justly delegate the right to tax because they do not possess this right individually. The citizens IN FACT cannot justly delegate the right to murder because they do not possess this right individually (I forgot the authority to declare war in my list.). The citizens IN FACT cannot justly delegate the right to forcibly coerce anybody to do anything because they do not posses this right individually. The unjust organization that is government (as it currently is implemented around the world) is created by the unjust acts of its citizens. The citizens arrogate to themselves superhuman rights and then foolishly give those rights to a small group to everyone's disadvantage. Why do they do this? Perhaps they like the feeling of power that they get from being a part of such a beast. The citizen is not pitted against the government, he is a part of it. And he is willingly a part when he feels that he has a hand on one of the controls that guide Leviathan. Play by Leviathan's rules, and you, too, can rule. from http://strike-the-root.com/millions-of-petty-tyrants Perhaps they have been taught that ethics is a subjective proposition in their government schools, and so cannot see the injustice of their acts. Since no one wants to admit out loud that they advocate unethical behavior, justifications must be invented. Let’s see…if we say that ethics is purely a subjective proposition, then we can always deem certain actions ethical. Oh, I know! Let’s include instituting a coercive government as being absolutely necessary, hence an ethical action! Yes! Problem solved! from http://strike-the-root.com/failed-theory-of-relativity Perhaps they don't understand that they possess innate authority over their own lives, and the default setting is not in some bureaucrat's hands. Delegated authority is always a voluntary proposition, and it can be withdrawn at any time. It is a privilege bestowed—an extension of a natural right from one individual to another. Assumed authority is thuggery. from http://strike-the-root.com/philosophy-of-authority Or perhaps they do understand the injustice at some level, but they quickly discard it to resolve the cognitive dissonance and preserve the integrity of their own egos. They are, after all, good people. It should come as no great surprise, then, that government can best be understood as an enormous act of mass self-delusionary justification. We must act in an unethical manner in order to be ethical. Therefore we are ethical. from http://strike-the-root.com/aristophanes-law After all is said and done, if government truly is an unethical organization, then let’s not forget that citizens are part of the government. Government is an organization that consists not only of those who are "given the mandate" to assume authority, but also of all the "citizens" who support the imaginary enterprise. The citizen is just as integral a part of the definition of government as is the King, President, Parliament, or whatever other fancy label some of the participating humans choose to affix to themselves. All governments must have citizens in order to exist. from http://strike-the-root.com/theory-of-natural-hierarchy-and-government It all boils down to saying the same thing twenty different ways.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    "Rand divided people into two groups: her perfect John Galtian heroes, and everyone else – whom she described as 'sub-humans' living in 'a hell.'" I believe it is confirmed that Rand was attempting to create perfection with Dagny Taggart, Hank Rearden, Francisco D'Anconia, and John Galt. That is one of her false premises: looking for perfection. But the above quote -- calling all other people "sub-human" -- is there a citation for that? I don't remember that in "Atlas Shrugged," but it was more than a thousand pages. I also don't remember any effort at all on the part of any of the heroes of the story to "rule" over anyone. They were just exceptionally good at what they did and wanted to be left alone to do it. They never initiated coercion against anyone else. I disagree with a few of Rand's premises, but not to this extent. Is there any more detailed information on Rand wanting these sorts of people to "rule"?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    Greetings tzo, Premise A: Government is an organization THAT HAS BEEN GRANTED BY VOLUNTARILY PARTICIPATING MEMBERS a monopoly on land, force, legislation, enforcement of legislation, and adjudication. I sincerely apologize for detracting from the wonderful logic of your comment, but I have long been curious as to how the "VOLUNTARILY PARTICIPATING MEMBERS" granted a "monopoly on land" that wasn't theirs to begin with? You may remember this[1], "Claims to land by human beings also cannot be arbitrary. X’s land resources are here for all human beings [all living beings] to utilize in order to survive. A human being may justly claim as much land as he himself can put to use, and no more." [Bracketed info & emphasis added] [1] http:// strike-the-root.com/theory-of-natural-hierarchy-and-government [Remove space, copy and paste link, if you wish to read the article.] Note to the developer; my comment was flagged as spam when I embedded this link.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 25 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Just more proof that the notion of Constitutional government is a joke.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Scott Lazarowitz
    PS: Scott, thanks for your reference to the Enlightenment instead of the Renaissance, which, despite its great accomplishments in the creative arts, was a political cesspool because of its slavish devotion to Roman antiquity and Greek antiquity and the despotism and statism which that required. In contrast, the Enlightenment found its roots in the foundations laid out during the Renaissance of the 12th Century and to some extent by the assent given to observing the physical world for knowledge as laid out by Thomas Aquinas and his followers.
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Scott Lazarowitz
    And when the police come to your house and kick in your door and point weapons of war at your children, you know what they say? "If you weren't doing something wrong, we wouldn't be here." The govenment of the United States of America is already waging war against its own citizens.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Scott Lazarowitz
    Nice work, Scott. You not only stated your thesis well, but you supported it with some nice examples and additional interpretations. Looking forward to more.
  • ReverendDraco's picture
    ReverendDraco 3 years 25 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    As the saying goes. . . If you bought it, a truck brought it. Everything is carried by truck at some point, unless you buy produce at a roadside vendor - and even then, it may have been carried from the field in a truck. I work for a company that chops and pits or bags silage (cattle feed). . . I checked the fuel used by one harvester yesterday - and determined that the machine uses about $1,000-$1,100 of fuel a day. The company has 4 of these machines, plus a few older ones that are smaller and therefore use less fuel. I figure between $36,000-$40,000 a week (6 day work week) in fuel, just for the harvesters. Add in the fuel for 4-5 baggers (the machines which pack the feed into bags), 3 pit tractors (for pushing/packing feed in a pit), and approx. 30 trucks. . . I constantly wonder how they're able to stay in business. . . I'm glad, but I still wonder.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Scott Lazarowitz
    G'day Scott Lazarowitz, Congratulations, you are one of the very few writers I have ever seen that has quoted this "concept w/ explanation" accurately, We hold these truths to be self-evident, that “all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights”, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness[1]. Unfortunately, I don't believe that the "Committee of Five", with particular attention to Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin, ever intended that statement to include "all Americans", let alone "all humankind". I have an answer to the question you pose at the end, the answer is, it is not possible for men to "undo the damage that the State’s loyalists and apologists have wrought", it will undo itself, because those creating and sustaining that government did not adhere to the Natural Law...the Science of Justice. "It is the science which alone can tell any man what he can, and cannot, do; what he can, and cannot, have; what he can, and cannot, say, without infringing the rights of any other person [sic]. It is the science of peace; and the only science of peace; since it is the science which alone can tell us on what conditions mankind can live in peace, or ought to live in peace, with each other." _______________________________________________________________________________ [1] "[John] Locke never associated natural right with happiness, but in 1693 Locke's philosophical opponent Gottfried Wilhelm Leibniz made such an association in the introduction to his Codex Iuris Gentium. ...Benjamin Franklin was in agreement with Thomas Jefferson in downplaying protection of "property" as a goal of government. It is noted that Franklin found property to be a "creature of society" and thus, he believed that it should be taxed as a way to finance civil society." (Wikipedia) The only proper goal of a de jure government, i.e. lawful government, is the protection of its voluntary members "private property", for without "private property" there can be no liberty! If someone controls your property, they control your life and your liberty, because a man's life and liberty ARE his property! "There is only one fundamental right (all the others are its consequences or corollaries): a man's right [just claim] to his own justly acquired property." ~ Suverans2
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Scott Lazarowitz
    Excellent! And a great title, too -- titles matter a lot, and this one is a powerful meme-nugget that directly opposes the pro-State propaganda that infuses our schools and media. Your last sentence is perfect. I wish I had an answer for the question you pose.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    Well, so much for 99.9% of the U.S. Code.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    The entire paragraph that contains those sentences are what I imagine to be the typical citizen formulation of "how it is and how it should be because it has always been this way." Human rights and privileges are conflated in a fuzzy ball of vague ideas. I don't believe it is a true statement either. :>
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    Your article addresses a ridiculous law that obviously should not exist. Most people who read your article would agree with this sentiment, I would imagine. My response is directed at those citizens who are outraged by such invasive government action. My point is that every human being should be outraged, but no citizen should be. Once you call yourself a citizen, you kind of give up the right to complain about your government until you break the bond and recall to yourself your own innate authority. My premises and conclusion connect like so: Premise A: Government is an organization THAT HAS BEEN GRANTED BY VOLUNTARILY PARTICIPATING MEMBERS a monopoly on land, force, legislation, enforcement of legislation, and adjudication. Premise B: Having the powers cited above, government has a de facto monopoly over every facet of every citizen's life. Conclusion: Self-ownership becomes government-ownership. The citizen becomes property of the State. Citizens complaining about unjust or unfair laws is an absurdity. Each individual has the authority to decide his own actions. Granting this authority to another simply means he allows an agent to act for him. He is saying that the agent is actually a proxy for himself and his actions. When the government disallows Citizen X from performing Action X, what is being said is that Citizen X is disallowing Citizen X from performing Action X. So who shall Citizen X complain to when he is being treated unfairly by Citizen X? Ah, but Citizen X does not have direct control over his proxy? The proxy has a superior claim to Citizen X as does Citizen X? Now what? Perhaps Citizen X can "work within the system" to change how proxy Citizen X treats Citizen X. Will proxy Citizen X give Citizen X permission to do what he wants? If he succeeds, he has been granted a permission. From himself. From the part of himself that he has no real control over. Follow? More importantly, if Citizen X fails in his quest for better treatment from his proxy, he cannot in any sane manner complain. I'm not letting myself do what I want! The part of me I can't control—because I voluntarily ceded that control—is making me do things I don't want to do! Somebody do something! The government is the proxy for the individual who voluntarily participates as a citizen. Whatever the government does, the citizen has VOLUNTARILY granted his own individual authority to those government actions. The citizen IS the government and the government IS the citizen. You wrote: "The issue, then, is ... whether it is appropriate for a state or city to make those decisions for you or your children." Of course it is, if you are a citizen. You have abdicated your personal authority to them. They are your proxy. While you keep the relationship intact, they are you, and so you are doing it to yourself.   "It is not for the State of California, the City of San Francisco, ... to make that decision for them." Premise, premise, conclusion: If you are a citizen then yes, it is. A citizen also does NOT get to pick and choose which details of government policy he voluntarily supports and which he does not. He gives his consent to ALL government action, in whatever form it presents itself. Premise, premise, conclusion. When the government outlaws Happy Meal toys, then the citizen has done it to himself. No complaints, please. When the government bombs innocent people, the citizen participates by proxy. Acknowledgment of responsibility, please. Yes, being a citizen certainly gives you some perks. But at what cost?
  • J3rBear's picture
    J3rBear 3 years 25 weeks ago
    APMEX Buying Silver
    Web link Michael Dunn
    I noticed this yesterday too. However, I decided to go ahead and sell my paper silver and take a nice profit. I think there will be additional dips over the next few months which will make good opportunities for buying more physical silver.
  • Sharon Secor's picture
    Sharon Secor 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    Thank you for saying what you say so well! Fabulous comment, tzo. And, of course, you, too, Suverans2. Your addition was welcome and, in my opinion, quite correct.
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    You make a good point here, Suverans2. I think that any law that attempted to erase a natural right would be illegitimate, no matter what its origin.
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 25 weeks ago
    Facebook and NSA, CIA
    Web link Michael Dunn
    I joined facebook a few years ago so I could sign a petition against police violence. Before I knew it, scattered family members and long-lost high school chums were contacting me. Cool. But I still use it to post and share political news and views. Do I know the pigs watching? Yes. Am I frightened? Certainly. But no more frightened than I was when they were tapping my phone; no more frightened than I was when they moved into the house next door and were monitering all my and my family's comings and goings; no more frightened than I was when they were gathering "information" about me from neighbors who didn't even know my last name. THEY DON'T NEED FACEBOOK TO GET A SEARCH WARRANT. They only need to write a bunch of crap on an affadafit, swear it's truth and show it to a judge. Oh, they want us to be afraid; they want us to be quiet. Well, screw them.
  • jd-in-georgia's picture
    jd-in-georgia 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Scott Lazarowitz
    In recent years, somebody came up with the idea of 'thinking outside the box' which all too soon ended up in the library of old cliches. However, Mr. Lazarowitz, you have re-introduced this concept and applied it to the History of America as a few of us know it. Of course, the perspective you present is not how history is taught in government schools. Bravo!
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    G'day tzo, As much a I appreciate your thoughtful comment, and agree with the largest portion of it, I must take exception with one thing you wrote. "There are no rights. Whatever "rights" I think I may enjoy can be erased tomorrow with a legislative pen-stroke." That, in my opinion, is not a true statement, my friend. Firstly, there are "rights", and secondly, the only rights which can be "erased tomorrow with a legislative pen-stroke" are man-made rights. Though our natural rights can certainly be trespassed[1] upon, they can never be "erased...with a legislative pen-stroke"; we may only lose our natural rights by our own volition, i.e. with our consent, (express or implied and conditional), or by forfeiture[2], which of course, is just another form of consent. _______________________________________________________________________________ [1] Trespass. An unlawful interference with one's person, property, or rights. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 1502 [2] FOR'FEITURE, n. 1. The act of forfeiting; the losing of some right...by an offense, crime, breach of condition or other act. ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    We're hoping to see lots of you there!
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 25 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    "What, then, is legislation? It is an assumption by one man, or body of men, of absolute, irresponsible dominion over all other men whom they call subject to their power. It is the assumption by one man, or body of men, of a right to subject all other men to their will and their service. It is the assumption by one man, or body of men, of a right to abolish outright all the natural rights, all the natural liberty of all other men; to make all other men their slaves; to arbitrarily dictate to all other men what they may, and may not, do; what they may, and may not, have; what they may, and may not, be. It is, in short, the assumption of a right to banish the principle of human rights, the principle of justice itself, from off the earth, and set up their own personal will, pleasure, and interest in its place. All this, and nothing less, is involved in the very idea that there can be any such thing as human legislation that is obligatory upon those upon whom it is imposed." ~ Lysander Spooner
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 3 years 26 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    I think you make some conclusive leaps here that a) don't really respond to what I've written, and b) don't really follow from your premises
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 3 years 26 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Lemme guess,100% of Anarchists where first Minarchists.So it is really just a half-step away in waking up to the facts of the situation. The masonic roots should be adequate evidence for the most stalwart Minarchist. With the reverse robinhood,stealing from the poor and giving to the rich,bankster bailouts it would be a feeble shrug to deny the repeating history of the situation. http://www.loompanics.com/Articles/Shays.htm
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 3 years 26 weeks ago Page Jakub Bozydar W...
    Concise and logical -- nicely done, and simple and brief enough to get the message into minds that might otherwise wander off. I'd replace "morality" with "emotional health" or "love" or some other term; morality is the (often artificial) veneer of emotional health in the same way that etiquette is the veneer of manners. (That thought is from A. S. Neill; quote below): "To have good manners means to think of others, no -- to feel for others. One must be group-conscious, have the gift of putting oneself in the other man's shoes. Manners prohibit the wounding of anyone. To be mannerly is to have genuine good taste. Manners cannot be taught, for they belong to the unconscious. "Etiquette, on the other hand, can be taught, for it belongs to the conscious. It is the veneer of manners. . . . "Bad manners always spring from a disordered psyche. Slander and scandal and gossip and backbiting are all subjective faults; they show hatred of self. They prove that the scandal-monger is unhappy. If we can take children into a world where they will be happy, we shall automatically rid them of all desire to hate. In other words, these children will have good manners in the deepest sense; that is, they will show forth loving-kindness." ~ A.S. Neill, Summerhill: A Radical Approach to Child Rearing (1960), page 192 (re: my point above, people can display excruciatingly correct etiquette while exhibiting bad manners -- being cold to someone for no reason for instance, even while going through the motions Emily Post might prescribe in a given situation). In any case, that change would require some other modification to your scheme -- perhaps an addition pointing out that a healthy and consistent morality requires (statistically) a free and loving childhood; badly-treated children do not (as a rule) become compassionate, healthy adults who understand and naturally respect the rights of others.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 26 weeks ago Page R. K. Blacksher
    I agree with the complaint the author rises, but I'm not comfortable with the term "tribalistic libertarians". Any free society will have to take into consideration the tribal characteristics of humans. Maybe call these guys "nationalist libertarians"? Or maybe just paleocons?
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 26 weeks ago
    Don't Leave Me Alone
    Web link Don Stacy
    In the comments below, the author writes, "Yes, if coercion actually did improve the lives of poor folks, or if socialism really did bring us a world in which we were all better off and lived wonderful lives, I would support them." Some libertarian!
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 26 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    "Sustainability sounds like a call for recycling and clean drinking water. But its proponents are much more ambitious. For them, a sustainable society is one that replaces the market economy with top-down regulation." Actually, it depends on who is using the word. Ordinary people using it just wish others would extend their usually short-term time preferences. Ruling class folks use it the way the author states. So it's a sort of bait and switch tactic. There is nothing wrong with sustainability per se (and arguing directly against it is a mistake), but there certainly is with the aggression and violence inherent in the ruling class interpretation of what it means. Hell, the market is sustainable. Nothing wrong with that...
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 26 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    @ Ken -- Let me be the first to tell you -- You're wrong. The function of the "state entity" should be to protect the public from those who would PHYSICAL harm. Laws that demonize the users of certain drugs simply for their choice of drugs protect no one. (You do not have the right to be protected from having your sensibilities offended.) BTW, streets and parks are PUBLIC places. If you don't like the way the PUBLIC acts in PUBLIC, retreat to your PRIVATE place, where you have every right to control other people's behavior.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 26 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    This is a wonderful example of people getting exactly what they deserve. When you institute a government, you are giving power to a group of people, allowing them to make decisions and back those decisions with force. Ah, but the people need to keep the government "in check" when the government steps over the "common sense" boundary. Question: How are you going to do that? Typical answer: Well, if enough people get riled up, we can trow da bums out and put in new people who will scale back the monster and make it less intrusive. The system is here, so you gotta work with what you have. Be pragmatic. Let me know when this works in any substantial way. Once you give government the power to legislate, then you eventually will lose your Happy Meal toys. There is no common sense—no boundary between what should be legislated and what is legislated. If there is money to be made or power to be grabbed, then the legislator will use his "common sense" to grab it. That is his function, after all. Once you give the power to legislate, you must accept whatever legislation is passed. You acknowledge that someone has the RIGHT to take away Happy Meals, but sirs, most of us don't want you to, so please, please, stop. If he says "no" you have to live with it. No complaining, please. This is what you wanted. And what if most people want Happy Meal toys outlawed? What should the legislators do? What the people want? However you slice it—whether the decision is based on legislator whim or popular vote, or both or neither—you don't get to choose. Furthermore, you don't get to choose because you VOLUNTARILY chose to hand over the power to choose to someone else. There is no complaint to be made, no matter what the result. You wrote: "Now, the self-appointed protectors of consumer health are at it again." No, the citizens appointed and empowered them. If you are a citizen, blame yourself. Boy, my kid really likes Happy Meals, but I better check with [x] to see if we are allowed to buy them. Because that's the system we live in. Everything is a permission. There are no rights. Whatever "rights" I think I may enjoy can be erased tomorrow with a legislative pen-stroke. And I accept this and keep my fingers crossed in the hopes that I won't lose too many of my privileges. If you have a contract with someone—even an imaginary social contract—and the agent abuses the power you give him, then you terminate the contract. What else? Continue to do business with the thug, asking him to please do what you want (of course what you want may be against what others want, but if you can use the thug to your advantage...) and continue to give him your blessing? Fine. Just don't complain. Every single person who calls himself a citizen gives his blessing to the legislation that bans Happy Meal toys. And oh, yeah, their blessings are with other much more trivial matters such as this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Drone_attacks_in_Pakistan Complaining about Happy Meals when one's voluntary monetary support is killing other human beings. I guess that's what's known as taking a pragmatic, measured approach to scaling back government.
  • GregL's picture
    GregL 3 years 26 weeks ago
    Starship Amerika
    Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Well said, Rita.
  • Gwardion's picture
    Gwardion 3 years 26 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    Yes. In this we see the mind of a liberal. Parents are victimized by their own children, and McDonald's is giving aid and comfort to the enemies of parents, threatening us all!!!! Because we all know that parents should not be in the least bit responsible for making the choices they do for their children, the parents are just weak minded fools easily manipulated by a whiny 5 year old. Lets make this easy. As a lower middle class to lower class person most of my life, I lived off of fast food for years. I am NOT morbidly obese and even though heart disease and diabetes runs in both sides of my family for 3 generations, I suffer from no ill effects. How, dear readers, have I achieved this miracle? I play outdoor sports, I walk instead of drive to nearby locations, I play with my kids, and I visit the gym when I get the chance. It is miraculous how one can change the "inevitable" by getting up off their butts and doing something more then complaining. Good post sir.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 26 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    In case you'd like to make your own "NATURAL FLAVORS", here is the COMPLETE HOW TO GUIDE for removing the castor glands, complete with photos.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 26 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    "There are far greater dangers in my local cafe than face veils. Many of them are on the menu." Virtually all of them are on the menu, and in your local supermarket. “Beaver-butt juice” anyone? "Beaver Butt Juice is officially called Castoreum. Look for it under "Natural Flavor" in your favorite food that the FDA (21 CFR 182.50) places "No Restrictions" on since it is GRAS [GENERALLY RECOGNIZED AS SAFE]." "BBJ won't be on the label. Look for NATURAL FLAVORS." ~ Granny Good Food
  • Robert Wallace's picture
    Robert Wallace 3 years 26 weeks ago Page R. K. Blacksher
    Humans are tribalistic. Only the West discovered politcal and economic liberty. The rest of the world doesn't seem to want much to do with it. Are we supposed to impose our views on them by force?
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 3 years 26 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    If all these drunks are so concerned with their dignity and all they should stop panhandling me for money, quit loitering on the street outside my business, stop sleeping in the park, and vomiting and pissing all over the place. If all they did was fend for themselves during the day and then booze in the own homes at night who would care? The private market has no "cure" for the boozers and dopers so we have to have a state entity. Tell me why I'm wrong?
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 26 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    Many, many of us see, RIGHT NOW, that mandatory treatment programs for ANY drug users are an unconscionable violation not only of basic of civil rights but of the basic human right to be left alone. Having succeeded, however, in convincing the public that drug addiction can and should be diagnosed and punished by the nanny state, those same public parasites, aka "servants," are now starting to crack down on dangerously high in fat foods -- and until people begin to see that their right to eat what they want is the same as your right to drink what you want and my right to smoke what I want, the parasites, I'm afraid, will keep gnawing away until we're all in prison and there's no one left to pay their salaries.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 26 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    Michael Kleen, You "give props to this man for trying: (remove spaces) http:// www. nola.com/news/ index.ssf/2008/05/ feds_sink_teeth_into_dentist.html" So why don't you give "props", whatever they are, to me and my wife for "trying", I suspect, even harder than this man? What's the difference? Is it because he went to prison for not paying his federal income taxes? Is that what impresses you so much? You know, Michael Kleen, had the roles in this little mini-drama been reversed. I would have apologized to you for EVIDENTLY having been mistaken about you, because it would be the integritous thing to do. Speaking of which, you apparently missed these three questions, since you failed to answer any of them. (1) What is it you are looking for, the "magic bullet", the perfectly painless way to leave the STATE? (2) What is your strategy, brother, change enough people's minds with your rhetoric, and "alternative news", that they will "alter or...abolish" the STATE for you? (3) Do you even know me, Michael Kleen? [This last one I have asked twice.] Thank you, in advance, for your time and attention.
  • ReverendDraco's picture
    ReverendDraco 3 years 26 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Only in Duh Gubmint's Double-Speak, is refraining from stealing a trillion dollars from those who worked to earn it called "spending a trillion dollars on tax cuts." Duh Gubmint doesn't have a trillion dollars (or even 1 dollar) to "spend" that it hasn't extorted from someone else. And the Sheeple eat it up. . . *sigh*
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 26 weeks ago
    Starship Amerika
    Web link Melinda L. Secor
    I'd like to dedicate this article to all those people who keep telling me that Obama has no power; that Obama is just a pawn; that Obama is a puppet in the hands of some unnamed evil masters -- hogwash. Obama took an oath to uphold the Constitution. Obama has the power to honor that oath. Obama CHOOSES, instead, to dishonor it.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 26 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    They don't give a rat's ass about "society". They only care about power and control. Atlas Shrugged, you bastards.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 26 weeks ago Web link Michael Kleen
    Hello Liberal in Lakeview, Was it not you who asked and answered this question? "...did Americans act lawfully when seceeding from the UK? Or when replacing the UK's laws with their own law? Well, no." [Emphasis added] The correct answer is, "yes". Equivocation? Quite the opposite, since that which is "illegal" is not necessarily "unlawful", and that which is "unlawful" is not necessarily "illegal". How about this then, "...secession was not, and is not, unlawful or illegal, especially when the government exhibits "a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism". Secession was not, and is not, illegal. If you disagree with this statement, please, show me your government's colorable law which makes secession illegal. I did bother to "read on before succumbing to reflex action". And, according to that reading, this part of number three, "Apparently you must console yourself with the implied assertion that right and wrong are a function of their popularity. Then you must submit", was asserting that everyone "must simply grin-and-bear-it". I was only trying to verify if that was truly your position.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 26 weeks ago
    Don't Leave Me Alone
    Web link Westernerd
    Like this (thumb up): "We need to let example, and our own happiness, be our salesman." Agree with this: "You cannot impose liberty on others..." As the old saying goes, "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink".