Recent comments

  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 38 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Glen, I'm only half-way through this article, and I'm loving it! Your identification of the psychological component is vital. And the psychological dysfunction at the heart of the left and right sides of the political spectrum is a reflection of this unhealthy psychology at the root of statism. I can't claim ultimate precision in what I'm about to say now (nothing is in psychology, which is messy because it involves people), but one can easily say that the unhealthy "id-dominated" personality (or "child-dominated" in transactional psychology) is served by the "left" part of the political spectrum, and the unhealthy superego-dominated personality (or "parent-dominated" personality) is served by the "right" side of the spectrum. Further, the anarchists appeal to the healthy and integrated ego personality (or "adult" personality) but often don't acknowledge or realize this. This is not and cannot be a clean division, but you get the drift. The problem of parenting is so strong in its impact (the lack of respect for infants and children from their perspective) that statism is almost hard-wired into kids as a result of what is considered a "normal" child-rearing experience. Stefan Molyneux has explored some of this in his discussions of non-violent parenting. In a similar and parallel vein, there is a also a growing awareness in the anarchist community about the use of non-violent communication (NVC) as taught by Marshall Rosenberg (here's the link: http://www.cnvc.org/). It, too, acknowledges the need for love as you mention and its genuine expression. I can't thank you enough for bringing this up. This failure to acknowledge the power and importance of love is precisely what is missing among libertarians who get caught up in things like being anti-environmentalists (not just against the statist aspects of the environmentalists, but being anti-nature itself and suspicious of attempts to preserve and act as a responsible steward over natural resources and other life forms). Thank you for so clearly and succinctly expressing your thoughts on this so far. I'm going to recommend this article within my circle.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 38 weeks ago
    How to Hurt the Poor
    Page B.R. Merrick
    Thanks, Michael!
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 38 weeks ago
    How to Hurt the Poor
    Page B.R. Merrick
    G'day B.R. Merrick, I not sure I understand: (1) "It’s natural law, and natural law doesn’t care whether you’re rich or poor, “progressive” or “conservative,” or alive or dead." If you are saying that natural law is not respectful of the persons (masks) of men, I agree[1]. You then proceed to say, "This why the natural law"... Why it what, "...mows over poor people first", (which is the next part of that sentence)? That would make it respectful of the persons of men, if I am not mistaken. But I admit, I may be reading it wrong. Any help would be appreciated. ______________________________________________________________________________________________ [1] I think, however, that you may find that the natural law of man is the law of the living, and not the dead.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 38 weeks ago Page tzo
    One thing I would question, tzo, is this: "The idea that government possesses just authority over human beings is false." Would you agree that a human being can lawfully "authorize[1]" another human being (a monarch), or group of human beings (a government), to have "authority" over him? (Of course, this question is asked with the obvious understanding that no human being can lawfully grant authority over anyone but himself.) _______________________________________________________________________________________________ [1] authorize verb: give or delegate power or authority to ~ Macmillan Dictionary
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 3 years 38 weeks ago
    How to Hurt the Poor
    Page B.R. Merrick
    I really enjoyed this column, B.R., especially your last couple of paragraphs - keep it up!
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 38 weeks ago Page tzo
    G'day tzo, I think it a downright shame, one of the greatest contributions you have made here at STR, in my opinion, and not a single accolade. But, I guess, in an odd, and sad, sort of way, it actually makes sense, because when you wrote this... "All governments must have citizens in order to exist.   If one calls himself a citizen, then he is actively choosing to participate in the government organization. If one does not wish to participate, he can simply stop calling himself a citizen. There is no paperwork to fill out. One can just walk away, and fix the thought within his mind that he is no longer participating in the imaginary hierarchical organization that is called government, and just like that, he is out. It is, after all, his innate human right to rule over everything within the lower realm of imaginary creations.   Isn't it amazing just how powerful we are as sovereign human beings?" ...you stripped away virtually all excuses for being a member of the STATE, if one, in truth, doesn't want to be a member. That having been said, I am truly honored to be the first to publicly applaud your effort. I tip my hat to you for having the courage to write such a piece. A true strike at the root, in my opinion. Thank you, tzo.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 38 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    A fairly conventional view; e.g., "There are many other concepts that play a role in politics, that are currently misconceived or otherwise detached from reality, and that people need to understand if they are to support a free society. A short list would include “equality,” “power,” “coercion,” “capitalism,” and that staple of high school civics, the difference between a democracy and a republic." Yeah, the one is mob rule, the other a disguised oligarchy.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 38 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Bravo!
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 3 years 38 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Excellent persuasion, Glen. I am looking forward to Part II.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 38 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Love the way you organize and delineate your thoughts, Glen. Then you say, "[H]ad we gone with civil society (AKA 'anarchy'), there would have been even more wealth but no kernel of coercive power to grow into a tyranny." This reminded me of the masses of immigrants that streamed here once they found out, thousands of miles away, in lands that spoke different languages, that there was freedom to be found here, of course, but more importantly, there was WEALTH. They didn't immigrate to join the Democratic party. They didn't brave days or weeks in a crowded boat to lobby Washington. They didn't pick up bits and pieces of a mongrel European language in order to run for office in some "minarchy." They came because of the massive amounts of wealth. One of them was Ayn Rand. You are entirely correct. Living in the 21st century is astounding.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    @Sharon. Thank you for your comments, but also thank Tzo for providing yet another insightful piece! @Suverans2: Thanks for explaining your nameless status.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    And, speaking of "civil death", did anyone happen to catch these pearls, in the movie Castaway, starring Tom Hanks: "Get some sleep. We got another big day tomorrow. It takes a lot of paperwork to bring back a man. - Bring you back to life, man. - " Did Chuck, (Tom Hank's character in the movie), need to be brought "back to life"? No, he was very much alive! However, he was "civilly dead". What the "lot of paperwork" was about was the legal gyrations it was going to take to re-attach the living man to his old STATE created "artificial person", i.e. his "legal persona", or "juristic personality". I was yelling at the screen, "Tell 'em, "No thanks", Chuck, tell 'em "NO THANKS!".
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    G'day Sharon Secor, (Hope you aren't offended that I used your full screen name, as I try to do with everyone; I assure you none is intended.) You are very welcome. While I am back here, there is one thing I would like to clarify. I was accused of writing "under a confabulated screen name behind which I hide" and of lying [i.e. "making claims I cannot live with"]. Neither of these accusations are true. I am not hiding, I am private, and I am not lying about my studies, or anything else, (notwithstanding I am, no doubt, in error on some issues). As difficult as it is for members of the STATE to imagine, I am an individual secessionist, and as such I haven't used a "legal name" issued by any STATE in over ten years, nor have I used any STATE issued Taxpayer Identification Numbers, licenses or I.D. cards for the same number of years. I have no "ADDRESS", and no "MAILING ADDRESS" other than "To be called for in General Delivery". Therefore, one couldn't get the STATE to "verify" anything. I am civilly dead[1], I am an unperson[2], there is no "paperwork trail"; the "trail" ended well over ten years ago. __________________________________________________________________________________________ [1] civil death. Law. The change of status of a person equivalent in its legal consequences to natural death. ~ Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary, copyright 1960, page151 [2] Main Entry: un.per.son Pronunciation: '&n-'p&r-s[^&]n, -"p&r- Function: noun Date: 1949 : an individual who usually for political or ideological reasons is removed completely from recognition or consideration ~ Merriam-Webster's Collegiate® Dictionary & Thesaurus
  • livemike's picture
    livemike 3 years 38 weeks ago
    The Kill Team
    Web link Jad Davis
    This story demonstrates how little the armed forces cares about it's supposed objectives in Afghanistan. What they care about is that they don't look bad. That's why there was so little effort to catch people who were undermining the political efforts of the US government (the ultimate objective of any war) and the combat efficiency of their own unit. Neither of these things matter, what matters to the army is not getting caught doing these things, or if it's impossible to cover up, making it look like it was the work of a "bad apple". You know how to tell if it's really a "bad apple"? Look at how afraid the perpetrators were of being discovered and how much they assumed others who saw suspicious things would ignore them. On both counts this isn't that.
  • Sharon Secor's picture
    Sharon Secor 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Suverans2 and Lawrence M. Ludlow -- I want to thank you both for the time and effort you both invested in your comments. It was a pleasure to read such detailed discussion, a real pleasure. Thanks Again and Best Regards...
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 3 years 38 weeks ago
    The Camel's Nose
    Page Paul Hein
    Unfortunately, I think that a better title of this essay would be "Rustling the Leaves of the Flowering Dogwood". Surely this would contrast sharply with the theme of STR, but had it been so, at least the essay could be plausibly construed as advice for distracting the political class from the tactics by which you intend to "overthrow the state government", whatever that means. It should be sufficient to state, though I suspect that it's not, that refusing to get your license plate tabs renewed is futile. If you live in a city like mine and have to park on the street, it just might get your car booted, too. It is pleasant to imagine the simpering of members of the Show Me province's political class when, or if, they read the first three sentences of your essay. That simpering would suggest that although they are on the verge of bursting out in raucous laughter, they have learned to control the urge to do so. That remark about baby steps, however, would be too much for the young and for poorly disciplined members to bear. Anyhow, once the simpering had run its course, they would shake their heads in amazement at your naiveté and then return to whatever they were doing before you provided them with comic relief, which is very good for the heart and for the mind. I doubt very much, however, that anything you wrote would be deemed serious enough to warrant mention on the law blogs except, again, as a source of comic relief. Perhaps it might prompt a brief conversation in the chambers of Missouri's supreme court about the need to intensify the indoctrination of the young in the supposed virtues of republicanism. Now, why shouldn't the political class be confident of their position? Eventually, the cops and lawyers among them, and even time itself, will catch up with you and swat anyone who takes your advice, just as any run-of-the-mill gadfly, kook, or naive rabblerouser should be swatted. Please stop being so childish and start learning, or remembering, the ways of your province, esp. the ways of those who swear an oath to uphold its monopolistic sytem of law proclamation and enforcement. Suggestion: Start here, esp. at Rule 8-15, then go back to 8-01 and proceed from there.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 38 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    I think this kind of political theatre often is misunderstood by most folks.
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 38 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    There's a quote I read once on STR, I believe from Mencken, about how the problem with defending jusice is that you have to be willing to defend scoundrels, because it's against scoundrels that oppressive laws are first levied. Replace "scoundrels" with "suspected drug users" -- for decades the ACLU has refused to make a stand against flagrant violations of the constitutional rights of drug suspects. By demanding a different level of justice for honor students than for drug suspects, the ACLU, self-proclaimed defenders of the constitution, have helped elevate police to their god-like status. What these cops did to that girl was wrong, yes, but not because she's an honor student. Most of us are not honor students; that doesn't, or shouldn't, make us any less deserving of protection. The constitution exists for all of us. The ACLU, on the other hand, exists only for itself.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Mama Tried, You Failed
    Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Interesting that this was originally published at a conservative website. It's mostly the rhetoric that I grew up with. When you buy all of it (because some of it is certainly true, as I see it), you fail to notice cause and effect. There's a crucial difference between blaming Mommy and Daddy, and noticing cause and effect. I know where my "perfectionism" comes from. I don't blame anybody but myself for continuing to fret over small stuff. I'm a grown man. But it gets better to deal with it and be honest about it when I understand where it comes from. This is called "root striking." The conservative answer is "spanking." Unfortunately, the current soft, mushy, psycho-climate we live in, that this author decries, does not get to the root, either; in this regard, I agree with the author. But he never bothers to get there himself. People will read this and reject the research of Alice Miller, because some people will see her as one more psycho-babbler who blames Mom and Dad for everything. She doesn't. That is just, plain clear. Perhaps the author would agree with Miller; perhaps not. I like one of his closing sentences: "I’m not saying your parents have no influence over your life. Being physically or sexually abused catapults the victim over the Wall of Culpability into the land of Not Your Fault, but what’s everyone else doing there?" Well, I can tell you what I'M doing there. I'm trying to figure myself out. It has a lot to do with falsehoods I still believe and the way I've become "hardwired," depending on action and my reaction, whether the action is one placed upon me by another, or one that springs from me. We learn A TON from our parents. Both hard-line conservatives and softy-lefties fail to recognize this. He fails to see the connection in one of his own links. Earlier in the article, he says, "Your mother can’t even influence what you eat." If you follow the link, you will see that the mother's actions on instructing her child as to where and when he should be spending his time has AN ENORMOUS influence on that to which he is exposed, and it will definitely change what and how he eats. Do children who grow up with lots of affectionate love, with freedom of operation during their day, with older people who are committed to the relationship, ever turn to drugs? If not, then shouldn't we be paying closer attention to that? I think the author is on to something by linking to "Free Range Kids." I hope he continues in that direction.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 3 years 38 weeks ago
    The Kill Team
    Web link Jad Davis
    You're right; it can't.
  • Gwardion's picture
    Gwardion 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Mama Tried, You Failed
    Web link Melinda L. Secor
    No, what he is saying, is where is there "fault" in a victimless "crime". The only reason we are discussing drug addiction as some kind of "fault" is because the state enforced morality goon squad has decided that some drugs are bad and others are just bad if you operate heavy machinery. There is no fault in drug addiction, there is only personal choice. There would be no need to lay any blame if the state did not get involved in what people do with their own bodies. Also, having a legitimate gripe about something is different then trying to deflect blame. If there is 10% unemployment, and government regulation and credit prospects do not allow the start of your own business, and you have done everything you can to become gainfully employed, who is now at fault? It seems the real problem here is low brows who style themselves as intelligent or insightful don't understand the difference between a reason and an excuse. As a computer gamer you see it a lot, a person on a server gets busted for cheating, and his response is "stop whining", because the cheater seems to think the cheated have no legitimate issue. This blame the victim mentality is a perfect fit for the state worshiper. Hey bud, it's YOUR FAULT the state HAD to bust down your door and shoot your dog, you CHOSE to break the law! Omitting of course the debate about the rational and legitimacy of the law and action altogether, we will just worship the state. I really don't think you get this whole freedom and liberty thing.
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Most Excellent!!! Ten Stars! You should send this review to Stanley. Or post your review on Amazon,to awake the sleepy.
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 3 years 38 weeks ago
    The Camel's Nose
    Page Paul Hein
    Good article, Paul!
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Mama Tried, You Failed
    Web link Melinda L. Secor
    The author of this article set the trap, "If you’re unemployed...it’s somebody else’s fault"; and it appears that you have fallen into it with this, "...it takes the state to complete the circuit..." Isn't that just one more way of saying, "it's somebody else's fault", rita?
  • Sharon Secor's picture
    Sharon Secor 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Mama Tried, You Failed
    Web link Melinda L. Secor
    HA HA HA... Very funny, Rita.
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Mama Tried, You Failed
    Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Saying that if I'm addicted to drugs or unemployed, it's my fault implies that somehow YOU, via the state, have the right to punish me for my drug addiction/unemployment. I'll gladly accept full responsibility for my own choices, in fact, I always have. But drug addicts, regardless of their drug of choice, rarely segue straight from drug addiction to unemployment; it takes the state to complete the circuit: Drug addiction/drug raid/drug arrest/drug felony/unemployment. There are two kinds of people in the world -- those who want to be left alone and those who won't leave us alone. My drug addiction only became your problem when you sent in the SWAT team.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    A lot of vigorous arm-waving here, Lawrence. I must confess I don't completely understand all the points you are trying to make. I thought this was rather amusing: First, you write (with apparent disapproval), "The simplest way to water down the prohibition against killing is to redefine it." But then you seem to do the same thing, re-defining "kill" as excluding self-defense. Either that, or you don't think self-defense is justifiable. Neither one of these conclusions appears tenable to me. The only other conclusions one can draw, are either 1) the word was not correctly translated, and really did mean "murder", or 2) God was either mistaken, and needed to edit his pronouncement on Mt. Sinai, or God was just insane, or 3) Moses wrote it down wrong, or 4) There was never any God up there talking to Moses in the first place. There may be others. This extra business about war, I don't see how it applies at all. There is still a prohibition on murder, and that is what war is about. Anyway, just as you noted, whatever the Bible says, these people will justify their murder. WMDs, or whatever. So the fact they do so is hardly an argument that the correct word is other than "murder". I'm not a Biblical scholar; I'm not even Christian. Using "murder" in that commandment simply makes more sense to me, because "kill" leads to the reducio ad adsurdum that self-defense is not possible, in an Old Testament filled with God-approved crimes. It just doesn't read true. This is not an ex-post facto justification for war, not even close. However, I may well be wrong about this. Maybe it does really mean "kill", and that it just another indication that the Bible is full of nonsense. That is possible. I only brought it up because a Christian friend of mine made this point pretty vigorously. Personally, for those who take the Bible seriously, I'd rather they thought it means "murder" than "kill".I don't think my Christian friends should be disarmed by their beliefs, any more than I think they should cook up justifications for war with them. There's got to be a reasonable middle ground there somewhere. Defense is justifiable, aggressive war is not.
  • Melinda L. Secor's picture
    Melinda L. Secor 3 years 38 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    HA HA...yes indeed. Wouldn't you think that after years of banging his head against that brick wall of bureaucracy he'd get the idea that working within that system for "reform" is an exercise in futility? Interesting how people close their minds in that little box....assuming that the way it has "always been done" is the only way it can be, regardless of the glaringly obvious fact that it hasn't worked in the past and surely isn't working now. They just keep doing the same things and expecting different results.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 38 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Talk about an idiotic conclusion! How's this for a howler: "We need lots of mid-level managers who are not afraid to put their jobs on the line." An ex-bureaucrat, no wonder he lives in la-la land. Reform is impossible. Only bankruptcy and revolution will fix this problem.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 38 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    "This is an almost exact reversal of the situation in 1960, when there were 15 million workers in manufacturing and 8.7 million collecting a paycheck from the government." [Emphasis added] From "the government"???? What you have is a "government of, by and for the people"[1], therefore wouldn't it have been a more accurate statement had Stephen Moore written, "collecting a paycheck from "the people", particularly the proletariat, that is to say, "those [people] who do manual labor or work for wages" in his opening paragraph? After all, isn't that the ultimate source of government funding, it's voluntary working-class members? Try to imagine the condition of any STATE apparatus if the proletariat were to simultaneously withdraw from membership in it[2]. __________________________________________________________________________________________ [1] "Government is an organization that consists ... 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." ~ A Theory of Natural Hierarchy and Government [2] "If one calls himself a citizen, then he is actively choosing to participate in the government organization. If one does not wish to participate, he can simply stop calling himself a citizen. There is no paperwork to fill out. One can just walk away, and fix the thought within his mind that he is no longer participating in the imaginary hierarchical organization that is called government, and just like that, he is out. It is, after all, his innate human right to rule over everything within the lower realm of imaginary creations. Isn't it amazing just how powerful we are as sovereign human beings?" ~ Ibid.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Thank you for your thoughtful reply.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Suverans2: Sadly, you have made the common anachronistic mistake of trying to make sense of (i.e., reading information into) a document ex post facto from a reference point that has no bearing on a text laid down by an original writer operating in another context -- i.e., one that differed from the one assumed by you. Your citations merely prove the point. Here are the reasons: Textual studies in academic circles do not permit this imputation of meaning after the fact based on purposes laid down after an original writer sets down his or her thoughts. First, the idea that you can "make sense of" and iron-out contradictions in the disparate collection of heterogeneous works known under the collective name as "the Bible" is absolutely absurd. These books were written by dozens of people over many centuries in many places and have been pieced together in patchwork fashion with many replacements, alterations, and repairs. They are not, never were, and were never meant to be a coherent series of documents that were intended to make sense as a collective whole. To thus attempt to “make sense” of them is absurd. They are simply what they are. They are not a corpus of knowledge. They are bits and pieces and have been known to be bits and pieces for centuries. As you pointed out, the usage of the words “kill” and “murder” are absolutely contradictory. To try to make sense of Jesus’ use of a word and the meaning of a writer centuries before him is part of this absurdity – as if the two had to make sense TOGETHER. So-called “books” such as Exodus are not a coherent single record laid down by a single writer. These cobbled-together works have various authors with various usages over various periods of time. They cannot be brought into “harmony,” which assumes a relationship between them that simply does not and has never existed except in the minds of those who attempt to “unify” them in ways never intended – or even imagined – by their original writers Your citations merely illustrate the problems in the arguments proposed by Vance and his sources. Furthermore, the sources I cited make this clear, and they tease out the contradictory usages just as yours do. Rather than meeting these arguments head-on in a dialog in which ideas are actually exchanged, examined, and disposed of in systematic fashion, you merely submit new claims without disposing of the arguments that I made. That is not a dialog, and as a result, it cannot take things farther along. You have merely made assertions without having addressed (and disposed of) the material at hand. At least I attempted to see where you were coming from, and my depiction of the exact process that you used to construct your original statement is dead-on accurate. I wish you would have paid the same courtesy to me. The fact is that we are stuck with a statement (the original one under discussion) written long ago by a writer living in another context from ours. This writer put down a word that is so often used in a non-specific way that a long tradition of experts have rendered it in the non-specific sense rendered by St. Jerome, Origen, and other writers of the first five centuries of Christianity. You should remember that the Hexapla text used by Origen (and which probably was used by Jerome to make his revision of the Old Latin translation) contained what was – at the time and certainly is true with respect to the texts remaining today – the finest textual material available. That the introduction of the term “murder” by evangelical statists and Zionists in the last century has contaminated a long tradition of translation should not be swept under the rug. That these people, too, try to anachronistically “make sense” of documents that were never intended to be coherent parts of a larger whole shows how common your mistake is. But historians must always beware of this sophomoric error. Face it: these documents simply are. They cannot make sense together. They have numerous authors writing at numerous times and at various cross-purposes. To insist as you do that we must use the term “murder” so that it can make sense and meet the requirements of a theology that is current today and will be gone tomorrow and did not exist yesterday is absurd. You could say the same for my interpretation, of course, but I at least have given you a reason to see how the current controversy was “invented” by the injection of politics into this theological discussion within the last century. It should make you feel better that this is a common mistake and has been made by those who are better than both me and you, but it is still an error. Finally, you make a great point of using my full name in a sarcastic way in your reply. Unfortunately, I cannot do the same with respect to you. I do not write under a confabulated screen name behind which I hide and can make claims that I cannot live with. I cannot make claims about myself that cannot be verified. Likewise, I do not value my opinion so highly that I comment compulsively on every topic that finds its way into STR regardless of the level of energy and skill I command. I have opinions, yes, but I know that in most cases, somebody else has an “informed opinion” that matters much more than mine, so I usually keep my silence. I note that your comments in dozens of articles are frequently tangential and allow you to sidetrack a conversation into a rat-hole of one sort or another. This is a case where you have weighed in and have forgotten that a pseudonym may protect your non-cyber identity, but it cannot disguise what you are doing.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Lawrence M. Ludlow: You accuse me of, "simply turning to the Hebrew dictionary at the back of your Strong's Concordance and Googling a highly disputed issue"? For your information I spent many years studying the so-called BIBLE, and by studying it I don't mean simply reading it; I mean learning the Aramaic language that the books of the so-called Old Testament were written in, (and a few of the oldest New Testament books), and ancient Greek (modern Greek is different), looking up damn near every word, ferreting out not only their definitions, but also how they were used, both literally and idiomatically. You and your spin-doctor "experts" are going to have a difficult time justifying the "Thou shalt not kill" (thou shalt not take a human life [for any reason]) mistranslation of the Sixth Commandment, instead of the correct "Thou shalt not murder" (thou shalt not take life [without just cause]), when you, and/or they, try to make it work with other verses of the so-called BIBLE. Here are just a couple of examples. Numbers 35:15 These six cities shall be a refuge, both for the children of Israel, and for the stranger, and for the sojourner among them: that every one that killeth [nakah] any person unawares [by mistake] may flee thither. 16 And if he smite him with an instrument of iron, so that he die [muth], he is a murderer [ratsach]: the murderer [ratsach] shall surely be put to death [muth muth]. 17 And if he smite him with throwing a stone, wherewith he may die [muth], and he die [muth], he is a murderer [ratsach]: the murderer shall surely be put to death [muth muth]. Muth, as you no doubt know, means, " causatively to kill" or "put to death", (and never murder), and the doubling of it is the Aramaic way of saying, "surely". Deuteronomy 17:4 And it be told thee, and thou hast heard of it, and enquired diligently, and, behold, it be true, and the thing certain, that such abomination is wrought in Israel: 5 Then shalt thou bring forth that man or that woman, which have committed that wicked thing, unto thy gates, even that man or that woman, and shalt stone them with stones, till they die [muth]. 6 At the mouth of two witnesses, or three witnesses, shall he that is worthy of death [muth] be put to death [muth]; but at the mouth of one witness he shall not be put to death [muth]. 7 The hands of the witnesses shall be first upon him to put him to death [muth], and afterward the hands of all the people. So thou shalt put the evil away from among you. Tell me, Lawrence M. Ludlow, how you would translate the Sixth Commandment "thou shalt not take a human life for any reason" and still put a murderer [ratsach] to death [muth]? One of your so-called "experts", Wilma Ann Bailey, uses, in my opinion, a lie, "and a lion can kill (rtsh) someone, but would never be considered a murderer", to support her mistranslation. But, at least, she got the correct transliteration for resh tsade chet, (rtsh), more than I can say for some of the others. 1Kings 13:24 And when he was gone, a lion met him by the way, and slew [muth] him... 26 therefore the LORD hath delivered him unto the lion, which hath torn him, and slain [muth] him... 1Kings 20:36 Then said he unto him, Because thou hast not obeyed the voice of the LORD, behold, as soon as thou art departed from me, a lion shall slay [nakah] thee. And as soon as he was departed from him, a lion found him, and slew [nakah] him. Jeremiah 5:6 Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay [nakah] them... "Lion" and "young lion" show up a total of 104 times in the KJV of the so-called BIBLE, and there is only one instance where they appear together and that is here, at Proverbs 22:13 The slothful man saith, There is a lion ['arıy] without [outside], I shall be slain [ratsach] in the streets. It should be duly noted that 'arıy, translated "lion" here, is also an Aramaic idiom for "violence", which is, in my opinion, precisely the way it was used here; it was a figurative lion in the streets, i.e. violence in the streets, and anyone who has actually studied the Aramaic, as Wilma Ann Bailey evidently claims she has, knows that. [Hint] So, you might want to check your sources credibility, and what axe they are trying to grind, before you quote them. Thank you for your time. P.S. If you were a Christian you'd probably know that at Mattith'yahu (gift of Yah) 19:18... (KJV) Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness... (KJV-1611) Iesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steale, Thou shalt not beare false witnesse... (LITV) And Jesus said, "You shall not commit murder, nor commit adultery, nor steal, nor bear false witness... (The Scriptures 1998+) And [1]יהושע said, “ ‘You shall not murder,’ ‘You shall not commit adultery,’ ‘You shall not steal,’ ‘You shall not bear false witness’... _______________________________________________________________________________________ [1] That, by the way, is one letter short of the original spelling, יהושׁוּע yad hey waw shin waw ayin [Read from right to left]; a name that went through such violent transmutations that even the translators screwed it up. ;)
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    PS: You will note that in the excerpt above (from Laurence Vance), the argument is "front loaded" in favor of your argument, Souverans2. In other words, I have made your argument as you did and have cited your authorities. Then, however, we see upon closer examination, just how the idea of translating the word as "murder" instead of "kill" (which is the correct undifferentiated rendition) evolved. Unless you have a comprehensive knowledge of the use of words up to the point of its insertion in a text, you simply cannot make a judgment. That is why sources must be questioned. You may, indeed, question those cited by me. But at least I have provided an argument and a context. If one studies these things as the historians of the Annals School do, you will see how important this context is. PS: I am not a Christian, but it is important to be more exhaustive and to know "why" before you pronounce on "what."
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Suverans2. I wish you would have read and absorbed the content of the link I provided and read the 94-page word-study cited before simply turning to the Hebrew dictionary at the back of your Strong's Concordance and Googling a highly disputed issue. You are over your head as I am on this one. But since you have not read the argument and the historical context of how this erroneous view became established, you may benefit from this. And read closely... The simplest way to water down the prohibition against killing is to redefine it. Since killing in the sixth commandment obviously doesn't mean "the taking of any life," it has been limited by some Christians to murder because, as everyone knows (so we are told), it is not murder to kill a man on the battlefield. Therefore, Christians can in good conscience enlist in the military knowing that they might be expected to travel halfway around the world and bomb, maim, "interrogate," and kill for the state. No Christian need fear any negative consequences by God at the Judgment because he can't be faulted for "following orders" or "obeying the powers that be." End of story. Case closed. Christians can join the military or the National Guard and kill heartily in the name of the Lord. We should support the troops. They are not responsible for anyone they kill during a war. We should support conscription if the state says it needs more troops. We should ask God to bless our troops. On the phrase "Thou shalt not kill" in the sixth commandment, here is Kenneth C. Davis, author of Don't Know Much About the Bible: Everything You Need to Know About the Good Book but Never Learned (William Morrow, 1998): This is another critical King James Version mistranslation of the original Hebrew. The correct reading is "You shall not murder" (NRSV, JPS, and others). As the rest of the Hebrew scriptures clearly indicate, God had no problem with certain forms of killing. So, Kenneth Davis, who couldn't recite the Hebrew alphabet if his life depended on it, tells us that the most widely accepted Protestant version of the Bible mistranslates "the original Hebrew." Where, then, is Davis getting his information? Evangelicals Robert Morey, in his book When Is It Right to Fight? (Christian Scholars Press, 2002, originally Bethany House, 1985), and Loraine Boettner, in his book The Christian Attitude Toward War, (Presbyterian and Reformed, 3rd ed., 1985), say basically the same thing. Morey mentions, but does not otherwise refer to, the definitive work of C. John Cadoux, The Early Christian Attitude to War: A Contribution to the History of Christian Ethics (Headley Bros., 1919), in arguing that the early church did not reject war and military service for Christians. Boettner, manifesting a profound ignorance of American history, believes that "America is not and never has been a militaristic nation." A noted evangelical recently wrote: Previously we examined five ways in which God revealed that murder violates and perverts His moral absolutes and fixed order of moral law. The fifth way was through God giving Israel the following commandment: "You shall not murder" (Ex. 20:13). Some versions of the Bible use the word kill instead of murder. But since the Bible indicates that some killings are not murder but are permissible and, in some cases, required by God, "You shall not murder" is "a more precise reading than the too-general . . . ‘thou shalt not kill'" [quoting the Theological Wordbook of the Old Testament (Moody, 2003)]. He goes on to quote from volume 13 of the Theological Dictionary of the Old Testament (Eerdmans, 2004) regarding the Hebrew word for kill in Exodus 20:13: "It is noteworthy that rsh [rasah] is never used for killing in battle or for killing in self-defense. Neither is it used for suicide." Even Norman Geisler, in his valuable book, Christian Ethics: Options and Issues (Baker, 1989), tells us that the prohibition against killing in Exodus 20:13 "is translated correctly by the New International Version: ‘You shall not murder.'" Thus, the general evangelical consensus is that the Hebrew word underlying the word kill in the sixth commandment means "murder." Most of the Christians who make this argument do so, not because they know anything about biblical Hebrew or Bible translation, but because they are trying to justify Christians killing for the state in Iraq, Afghanistan, or wherever else the government has sent or will send its soldiers. This gives them something to fall back on when the recitation of their "obey the powers that be" mantra doesn't quite do the job. This ideological desire to legitimize killing in war is an unholy one, and every Christian who attempts to do so should be ashamed of himself and repent "in sackcloth and ashes" (Matthew 11:21). Kill or Murder? Fortunately, Christians who are beginning to question the lies of the Bush Administration and distrust the latest pronouncements of their "leaders" have some help. Wilma Ann Bailey, an associate professor of Hebrew and Aramaic Scripture at Christian Theological Seminary in Indianapolis, has penned a small (94 pages) book called "You Shall Not Kill" or "You Shall Not Murder"? The Assault on a Biblical Text (Collegeville, Minnesota: Liturgical Press, 2005). I do not know Ms. Bailey, and doubt seriously that we could have much fellowship around any other thing than the subject of her book. She would probably consider me to be a fundamentalist, and I would probably consider her to be a liberal. I strongly disagree with her approach to Scripture (she believes that the source of Exodus 20 and 21 may be different because the vocabulary is different and Exodus 20 is apodictic law while Exodus 21 is casuistic law). I strongly disagree with her interpretation of Scripture (she denies that God sanctioned war, killing, and capital punishment in the Old Testament). I also strongly disagree with her political philosophy (she is in favor of gun control). Nevertheless, Bailey has written an important work that I highly (but reservedly) recommend to anyone (Christian or not) who believes or is familiar with the "sixth commandment only prohibits murder" argument. I have written briefly about this issue in my article "Humpty Dumpty Religion." There I showed that it was wrong to limit the sixth commandment to just prohibiting murder. I have also explained in my article "Is It or Isn't It?" that even if we grant that it is only murder which is prohibited by the sixth commandment, Christian warmongers are still responsible for explaining how U.S. soldiers killing for the state in Iraq is anything but murder. But because this is the first book on the subject that I have seen, the whole idea needs to be revisited and expanded upon. Bailey's book focuses on "the meaning of the Hebrew word used in Exod 20:13 and the altering of the English translation of the commandment in several large traditions during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries." The book contains six short chapters and two short appendixes. The first chapter is an analysis of the Hebrew word underlying the prohibition against killing in the sixth commandment. This chapter is not only the longest; it contains the meat of the book. The next four chapters survey this commandment in Evangelical Protestantism, Mainline Protestantism, Judaism, and Roman Catholicism. The final chapter is her explanation of why "killing is not the solution to the problem of killing." The first appendix is a helpful list of the major translations of the Bible with an indication of whether they use kill or murder in the sixth commandment. The second appendix is a technical study of the Hebrew word underlying the prohibition against killing in the sixth commandment. It is basically an expansion of the first chapter for scholars. All Hebrew words in the book are transliterated, except for those in the second appendix. (Bailey transliterates the Hebrew root in question as rtsh. Other acceptable transliterations are rsh, rasah, and ratsach, which is the form I have used in previous articles.) We need not read far into the preface to see the direction in which Bailey is headed: The sixth commandment is perhaps the most disturbing of all the commandments. This is evidenced by the lengths to which scholars and church folk go to explain it away. Most killing throughout history has taken place within the context of what is legal (e.g., war, capital punishment) and therefore exempt from this commandment in the minds of many people. Interpreters narrow the prohibition to what relatively few people do, a criminal act — a person illegally killing another person — while allowing for the bulk of killing that takes place in the world to continue. "This commandment," she continues, "exposes the true moral substance or vacuity of its interpreters. The Quaker Elton Trueblood once observed: ‘The ultimate moral principles of a people are revealed, not by what they do but by the way in which they defend their actions.'" Bailey argues four things in her first chapter: * The English word "murder" is too limited and too varied a legal term to function adequately as the translation for the Hebrew word rtsh. * The use of rtsh in other biblical texts indicates that the word is meant to be translated more broadly. * The verbal form of rtsh often appears in a list or an ambiguous phrase that makes it impossible to determine a precise meaning. * Murder is too rare a crime to merit Ten Commandment status. She first shows that "the word ‘murder' is a legal term," with a variety of meanings "from one jurisdiction to another." The fifty states each have their own legal code that defines what a murder is. Bailey then undertakes an exhaustive study of the Hebrew word rtsh in the Old Testament. Among other things, she points out that when this word is used in a list, "it is impossible to determine its precise meaning," Ahab is said to have killed (rtsh) Naboth (1 Kings 21), but never actually killed anyone, and a lion can kill (rtsh) someone, but would never be considered a murderer. She concludes in chapter one: This chapter has presented a biblical argument against the automatic assumption that the commandment "You shall not kill" must be understood as "You shall not murder." First, it is clear that the Hebrew word rtsh does not mean ‘murder' everywhere it is found in the Bible. Second, it is inappropriate to harmonize Scripture rather than letting the various theological traditions in the Bible speak for themselves. The English word ‘murder' is a restricted legal term. Last, the Ten Commandments are meant to be general and not to refer to one particular, rarely committed crime. After refuting the arguments for the translation "murder" in the sixth commandment using the biblical data, Bailey turns to how that commandment has been interpreted and translated in the various theological traditions: Evangelical Protestantism, Mainline Protestantism, Judaism, and Roman Catholicism. The second chapter, "The Sixth Commandment in Evangelical Protestantism," is the most important of these because of the unholy alliance that exists today between evangelical Christianity and the military. Bailey shows that evangelicals were pacifistic during the period between the world wars, but notes that "by the 1960s the argument that the word ‘kill' in the Ten Commandments really means ‘murder' was being used by evangelicals even though the primary Bible translation used by evangelicals, the King James Version, did not read ‘murder.'" This is no doubt due in a large measure because "in the latter half of the twentieth century being patriotic in the United States started to mean being pro-military and pro-war." In this chapter Bailey chronicles the shift in the rendering of the sixth commandment in the Bible translations of evangelicals from kill to murder. This change was accepted because of the "melding of evangelicalism, patriotism, and militarism." "Although," as Bailey says, "a major American mainline translation did not read ‘murder' until the publication of the New Revised Standard Version in 1989," the notion "began appearing in commentaries and sermons much earlier." Why have mainline Protestants, who would be most open to critical scholarship, also produced a translation that reads "murder"? Bailey bluntly replies: "People want to kill people, and they want biblical permission to do so. The translators of the NRSV and the other translations of the late twentieth century gave them that permission." English translations of the Old Testament made by Jews did not appear until the middle of the nineteenth century. The earliest, that of Isaac Leeser in 1853, reads "kill," but this was changed in the Jewish Publication Society's 1917 translation to "murder." Thus, Bailey acknowledges, the translation of murder has a longer history in Judaism than Protestantism, but, as she also shows, "it is not an unchallenged reading." In her chapter on the commandment in Roman Catholicism, Bailey finds that "all of the English translations produced in the Roman Catholic tradition have been consistent in the translation of the commandment." Yet, she believes that "the church developed ‘just war' theory in order to theologically cope with the incongruity between biblical teachings (particularly New Testament teachings) and the desire of the state to wage war. Wars that were declared to be just, however, tended to be wars the state wanted to fight." In her concluding chapter, Bailey summarily restates her objection to the "movement away from the traditional wording of the sixth commandment" in the late twentieth century and into the twenty-first century: "This would be appropriate if it more accurately reflected the meaning of the biblical text, but it does not." Her argument in the end is that rather than being more precise, murder is much too narrow of a translation. The ambiguity of the word kill in English matches that of ratsach in Hebrew. And since "the vast majority of violent and unnatural deaths during the last century were not the result of murder, but actions that in English are covered by the word ‘kill,'" to limit "the scope of the commandment to illegal one-on-one killing exempts the primary causes of unnatural deaths in the twentieth and early twenty-first centuries." There is no disputing the fact that many modern versions of the Bible narrow the prohibition against killing in the sixth commandment to murder. There is also no disputing the fact that many Christians appeal to the sixth commandment, not to condemn killing in war, but to countenance it. But does the first fact necessarily have to lead to the second? Has the change in the sixth commandment from kill to murder in recent translations of the Bible contributed to some Christians turning into Christian warmongers? I think not. And neither does Bailey. She is merely saying that the change was accepted and even welcomed by those seeking biblical permission to legitimize killing in war. Does she put too much emphasis on this change in translation? I think so, and for four reasons. First, the earliest major modern Bible translation to make the change from kill to murder was the Revised Version of 1885. This is much too early to substantiate Bailey's thesis. Second, the venerable King James Version of the Bible (but not the New King James Version), which is the only Bible used by some conservative Christian warmongers, contains the familiar reading "thou shalt not kill." But this hasn't stopped these Christians from defending the death and destruction meted out by "Christian" U.S. soldiers in Iraq. Third, a reviewer of Bailey's book from Denmark pointed out that "the Danish Bible changed from ‘kill' to ‘murder' in the late 1990s, but neither is capital punishment favored in the Danish society nor is there a growing positive attitude to (just) war but rather to the contrary." And then there is the matter of the 1917 Jewish Publication Society translation — obviously not even the work Christians — which also reads "murder." I have some other problems with Bailey's book as well. She does not address the implications of an absolute prohibition against killing that she seems to be sanctioning. Also, she unfortunately does not interact with the New Testament references to the sixth commandment (Matthew 5:21, 19:18; Mark 10:19; Luke 18:20; Romans 13:9). The strength of Bailey's book clearly lies in the first chapter where she shows that the Hebrew word for kill in the sixth commandment doesn't mean murder in many contexts. Therefore, Bible versions that use the translation murder are wrong to narrowly focus the word. The Unholy Desire to Legitimize Killing in War Christians who desire to legitimize killing in war will attempt to do so no matter what any Bible says. Most, however, want some kind of biblical permission for their unholy desire. If their Bible reads "murder" in the sixth commandment, then Christians will repeat the old canard that "All murder involves the taking of life, but not all taking of life is murder" and say that killing in war is not murder. And not only is it not murder, to kill for your county — regardless of the location of the war — is the quintessence of patriotism. To kill for your country — regardless of the cause of the war — is always the right thing to do. To kill for your country — regardless of the nature of the war — is a perfectly okay thing for a Christian to do. If their Bible reads "kill" in the sixth commandment, then Christians can simply redefine it as "murder" and treat the text as if that is what it actually says. Therefore, everything said in the previous paragraph would then apply. But just because the sixth commandment prohibited murder doesn't necessarily mean that it allows for killing in war. Would anyone say that manslaughter is acceptable because the commandment only condemns murder? Why, then, do people appeal to the sixth commandment to justify killing in war unless they have an ideologically desire to legitimize killing in war? There are, of course, other attempts by Christians to legitimize killing in war by distorting the sixth commandment. They reason that one cannot apply the sixth commandment to killing in war: * Because the prohibition against killing in the commandment obviously doesn't mean the taking of any life. * Because God commanded the Jews in the Old Testament to go to war against other nations.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Deleted.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 years 38 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    This may not appear germane, yet I believe "strikes the root" of the quandary: Whoever, I wonder, came up with the idea that the breasts of the human female should be prohibited from public view but the breasts of the male should not??? That prohibition is mainly practiced in western cultures (the professing Chr-stian genres) -- not in Asia. In fact in many Asian, African and other areas the ideas of "modesty" as we know them are not practiced. Such conventions as prostitution are (or were before "westernization") perfectly open, legal and normal. Yet those places appear to have far lower rates of VD, divorce, pornography, etc. (I have no current substantiation of that, so mark it as opinion for now). At least they didn't until heads of American Empire began to export their GI's into all the earth to conduct their wars and their "police actions". When I was a young draftee a platoon of soldiers and I dropped into remote rice paddies of Korea. One of our first sights was the appearance of many women -- topless -- with children strapped to backs, working in and walking along fields. Although curious and fearful of Yankees (as well they should have been), they did not appear embarrassed at being thus exposed. They went about their business of tending crops and nursing babies without chagrin. I didn't quite know how to deal with bare-chested women who were not soliciting for sex -- whether to turn my gaze away, stare, leer (isn't that why the U.S. GI is there -- in addition to killing???). I'm old (74), father, grandfather and great grandfather of many. I try to make it a point to lead family into openness -- to avoid the dilemma presented by the writer of the article. Avoidance of hypocrisy will go a long way toward solving these difficulties. Sam
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 38 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    G'day Sharon Secor, That's because you have "eyes to see", i.e. a rational mind, sometimes referred to as good ol' common sense, which very often will, in "real life", take one farther than an high school diploma and a college degree.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 38 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Point well taken, and very well stated, Paul Bonneau.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 years 38 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Lawrence M. Ludlow: First Point: Paul is correct on this one -- absolutely so. Dr. James Strong, in his Hebrew and Chaldee Dictionary, correctly defined רצח, transliterated, ratsach, as "A primitive root; properly to dash in pieces, that is, kill (a human being), especially to murder". [Emphasis added] Brown-Driver-Briggs' Hebrew Lexicon defines that same word thusly, 1) to murder, slay, kill 1a) (Qal) to murder, slay 1a1) premeditated 1a2) accidental 1a3) as avenger 1a4) slayer (intentional) (participle) 1b) (Niphal) to be slain 1c) (Piel) 1c1) to murder, assassinate 1c2) murderer, assassin (participle) (substantive) 1d) (Pual) to be killed [Emphasis added] And, the so-called BIBLE defines murder, within its own text, as the shedding of innocent blood, to separate it from killing, which is generally in self-defense or as a punishment or retribution. Jay P. Green Sr., in his Literal Translation of the Holy Bible, discovered this error and translated that commandment found at both Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17 as, "You shall not commit murder." And, the Institute For Scripture Research, defined those same verses this way, "You do not murder." And, I assure you, neither Jay nor the Institute For Scripture Research had a political axe to grind. In the King James Version (KJV) we find in the so-called NEW TESTAMENT the Greek word, phoneuo, which Dr. James Strong, in his Greek Dictionary, defines as, "to be a murderer (of)", which is taken from the Greek word, phoneus, "a murderer (always of criminal [or at least intentional] homicide", which in turn evolved from the base word, phonos, "From an obsolete primary φένω pheno (to slay); murder". These words, too, were translated "murder" (Matt. 19:18) and mistranslated, or at the least, sloppily translated, "kill" (Matt. 5:21) within the same version (KJV). Confusing these two words, murder and kill, is a very common error, in all languages, because, all murder (the taking of human life unjustly) is killing, (the taking of human life), but all killing (the taking of human life) is not murder, (the taking of human life unjustly).
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 years 39 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I have a natural human tendency to want you to believe that my particular philosophy is logical, correct belief. If I'm not careful I'll insult you if you don't agree ("sheeple", "slave"). Molyneux is good at attempting to turn folks around through insults. I don't totally disagree with him -- or you. I'm an advocate of Murray Rothbard's "Anatomy of the State" http://mises.org/easaran/chap3.asp All of us want to promulgate the "message of freedom". The nature of freedom is such, however, that you have a right to believe as you believe without interference from me or anybody else. So we often disagree on exactly what freedom is -- or how far "we" have to go to achieve it. But what is a libertarian/anarchy discussion forum if not to air views with an eye toward coming to greater understanding? Per Bylund kicked over a bucket some time back with a column insisting that anybody who gives a tiny sliver of legitimacy to state is "our enemy" (I may be over stating that). That was good for a lengthy thread that might finally have run its course for now. But Per gave rise to a number of us taking personal inventory as to just how committed to freedom we are. Is not a little bit of state something like a little bit of pregnancy? Good article, Paul. Sam
  • Sharon Secor's picture
    Sharon Secor 3 years 39 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Ah, but I still see a difference between nude and padded... Thank you for taking the time to comment, your thoughts are appreciated. Best Regards...
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 3 years 39 weeks ago
    Oh, Stanley
    Page tzo
    Paul: Unfortunately you are incorrect on this one -- absolutely so. It is not a mistranslation. Correctly translated as "kill," the Hebrew word is the most undifferentiated verbal expression of cutting down and killing. It is not the specific word for "murder." The myth that you are repeating is a relatively new one, and it has a political bias. I would suggest that you explore the writings of Laurence Vance on lewrockwell.com for the pertinent word studies on this. Furthermore, if you are looking for a good translation accomplished by a superior linguist, you can do no better than the potty-mouthed St. Jerome, who was the foremost scholar of Latin, Hebrew, and Greek in the Mediterranean world in the 4th century. He, too, translated the Hebrew word into the Latin equivalent of "kill" in its undifferentiated form. Please don't repeat that error. You may check any word-study list to verify this. The recent invention is no more than an escape clause for state murder. We may complain that it does not leave room for self-defense, but that is an ex post facto argument and should not justify the politically charged mistranslation you have cited. PS: Here's a Laurence Vance link that is must reading on this, and remember that Laurence does know something about Biblical languages as do his sources. I am limited to my Latin and reading of Jerome's Vulgate. http://www.lewrockwell.com/vance/vance111.html
  • J3rBear's picture
    J3rBear 3 years 39 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    People are prudes. In France and many other countries little girls run around topless or completely naked. Who cares. The media is spinning and playing this up way too much. File under #whogivesashit
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 39 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Ignorance is curable. Anyway, saying we all live on farms, as farm animals - even knowing the score - degrades us and glorifies the ruling class. It's not an analogy helpful to the cause of freedom.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 39 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Yes, all analogies fail at some point. Personally I consider parasites anyone who benefits from government other than those benefits government has forced on us (e.g., road users are not parasites). But the point of the article was to move us away from an analogy that aids the ruling class.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 39 weeks ago
    Consideration
    Page NonEntity
    While I agree generally with the article, this may be going overboard: "No one owes me anything. At least not until he and I have had the mutual respect of sitting down and discussing the mutually beneficial terms of our relationship. Not even courtesy." Courtesy is done not to benefit others, but to benefit oneself. It is done for self preservation. So no contract or prior discussion is needed. In fact it is most beneficial when encountering others that one has never met before.
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 3 years 39 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I think there's problems with any analogy. For example, it's tempting to talk about a ruling class being a parasite on a productive class, but things are not as simple as that, especially in a "democracy" or a republic. The fact is, in the U.S. system, many collective interests compete to drain resources from each other, and they elect representatives who they believe with further their interests. So, these people are "hidden" from the public eye, but they are never the less the origin of much of the legal plunder in our society. It's no coincidence that the size of government expanded along with the voting franchise. So, you can't just blame a small class of people.
  • rita's picture
    rita 3 years 39 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Too bad Joey wasn't carrying any illegal drugs; Officer Jones probably wanted a promotion, too.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 years 39 weeks ago Page Jakub Bozydar W...
    There is one sense in which libertarians can and should ally with this or with any other group: subsidiarity. Let libertarians have liberty, and let liberals have liberalism: http://www.strike-the-root.com/what-is-to-be-done-with-statists