Recent comments

  • KenK's picture
    KenK 18 weeks 3 days ago Web link felix.ireton
    Cordwood is a better choice and much more aesthetically pleasing for a perm or semi-perm structure. 
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 18 weeks 3 days ago Web link KenK
    I don't subscribe to the view that real freedom will result from repeated secession, creating ever more but smaller government entities; but do concede that several small ones are preferable to one big one because they must then in some degree compete with each other, to attract people to join the tax farm each operates. Therefore, the freedom-seeker can vote with his feet, and play one government off against another.   I did that myself, years ago, by quitting Her Majesty's farm and joining this one. And as you probably know, more than a few libertarians are currently leaving other States and moving to New Hampshire, which harasses residents less than most others.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 18 weeks 3 days ago Web link KenK
    One less is better tho, Jim. I'd be more than happy if my township, county, and school board state entities disappeared, even if it leaves Michigan and the USgov untouched. Local sorts are the ones that are the most numerous meddlers in my daily life. People whine and moan continually about the federal agencies and the rest of the Big State, but honestly it's the "local" gov minions that trip me up the most. The only fed I have interacted with in the last decade or so was a federal egg inspector who knocked on my door cuz she was lost. Oh, and the Census Bureau "enumerator" guy in 2010.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 18 weeks 4 days ago Web link KenK
    Nothing, alas, is withering away except a town line. It's a border adjustment, no more. The hapless hundred residents of Centerville will have even less control over their own lives and fortunes than they do today; instead of breaking up a large political entity (eg Brexit, USSR) this is the opposite; a small one is being swallowed up by a larger one.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 18 weeks 4 days ago Web link KenK
    I wonder how many "normies" (ie. non-ancap types, etc.) would vote (I know, I know. Voting? Reeee!) who honestly toted up on a balance sheet of pluses and minuses would vote to abolish whole classes of institutional government? But on the other hand, as with numerous instances of genuine populism when put to a vote, the deep state would find some way to thwart it, so why bother? It's getting harder and harder for the deep state to keep up the pretense that all these elections, laws, regulations, matter at all, and that's it's really all about force. The USA is coming to it's own perestroika moment similar to the one the Soviet ruling class faced in 1990. 
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 19 weeks 3 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Hi Doug:  Good to hear from you!  Pack's just under 30 lbs. now.  Knives can break, and just like with guns, different ones are for different things.   Not saying which way I'd go while bugging out.  :-)  Would depend on the cause anyway.   Few locally know I'm a prepper -- I definitely don't advertise it and for the reasons you say.   Glad you liked the column.  :-)
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 19 weeks 4 days ago Page Kevin M. Patten
    Touché.
  • Ned Netterville's picture
    Ned Netterville 19 weeks 4 days ago Page Kevin M. Patten
    "Like its immeasurably superior rival Cambridge..." Aw, Jim, Cambridge has its failings, as for example: J.M. Keynes, King's College.
  • Ned Netterville's picture
    Ned Netterville 19 weeks 4 days ago Page Kevin M. Patten
    Kevin, and anyone else listening, based on 34+ years experience in AA, I've never heard of a judge or PO checking to determine that the person who signed the court paper wasn't your cell mate who you met outside before the meeting and signed it for you. Of course if you are an AA member and you are trying to get honest with yourself and others, this won't do.
  • Ned Netterville's picture
    Ned Netterville 19 weeks 4 days ago Page Kevin M. Patten
    Kevin, and anyone else listening, based on 34+ years experience in AA, I've never heard of a judge or PO checking to determine that the person who signed the court paper wasn't your cell mate who you met outside before the meeting. Of course if you are an AA member and you are trying to get honest with yourself and others, this won't do.
  • Ned Netterville's picture
    Ned Netterville 19 weeks 4 days ago Page Kevin M. Patten
    "At this point I should confirm the reader’s guess: I have been arrested for breaking the drinking laws, afterwards coerced into AA. Moreover, a recent episode (I won’t detail here) in my life saw me not just inside the meetings, but also another drug treatment flock, to whom I was to bring said-signatures to..." Kevin, Among other epithets, I would describe myself as a voluntaryist (a.k.a., pacifist/anarchist), a disciple (a.k.a., student and follower, however haltingly) of Jesus of Nazareth, an alcoholic and a member of AA. I used to "take" AA meetings into the local county jail, where those who were allowed to attend had to have their judge's approval, and since I always brought some good donuts to go with the jailhouse coffee, a lot of those at the meeting were just there for the donuts, but almost to a man over ten years and maybe 200 of these meetings, I can't recall even one attendee who wasn't at least courteous and a little curious about what besides donuts we (usually 2 of us) AAs had to offer. Of those who had their judges' approval to attend, I suspect most if not all had more than "your honors" permission. They were order to go. At most if not all of these meetings, I would point out to them, as I point out to you and as you point out in your essay, that they could not be coerced by any judge to attend AA meetings. This always brought a reaction: "My judge told me if I didn't attend AA 3-times a week for two years my probation (or parole) would be suspended and I'd have to finish my two-year sentence." Me: "Well let me tell you, a United States Court of Appeals has held that it is a violation of your civil rights to be forced to attend AA. I can assure you, if you bring that to the judges attention he will back off and won't send you to AA. Of course he may make you do your two years, but he can't make you go to AA. So if you don't want to go to AA, don't go. The worst the judge can do to you is send you back to jail. I don't know for sure because I've only spent less than 140 days in jails, but I'm sure I could do two years standing on my head if I didn't want to be coerced into attending AA. I think I understand what motivates your animosity to AA, and I can't say I blame you. But I once went to jail because I refused a judge's order to do the IRS's bidding. And I'm not at all happy about AA's general (not 100% by any means) cooperation with the courts by signing papers to prove attendance by those who are court ordered. Some groups refuse to sign them, and that I think would keep the court-sent perverts away. But the crucial point I would make is that in my 79 years of life, about 50 of them as a libertarian, I have never known a more freedom-oriented group than AA. No dues, no fees, no taxes, no rules, no regulations. The Traditions say "the only requirement for membership is a desire to stop drinking," and I like to add no one will ever check your desire if you want to attend meetings without it. You become a member of AA by saying so to yourself. The traditions also say "our leaders are servants the do not govern." No one in AA can tell anyone to do anything and make it stick, and the few who might attempt to do so are usually gone in a few years at most if they don't change. The libertarian tradition of AA tends to drive control freaks away. I assume some of them go away like you, dissing AA, but that's okay, AA has broad shoulders and most of us aren't upset by dissing. As one who looks forward to the demise of the violent nation-state, I think AA serves as a model of how well a group of people can operate in the absence of coercive authority. As for Bill Wilson, whatever his shortcomings, some of his writings are the essence of libertarian "doctrine." In at least two he pays his respect to the concept of anarchism. In my book, for that reason, he can't be all bad as some of his detractors would have it. I was never "sent" by a court to AA, although my wife who has more power than any court sent me. But if it had been the state's doing, I might still be "out there" slamming 'em down--or, much more likely, dead. Keep the faith, Ned
  • Ned Netterville's picture
    Ned Netterville 19 weeks 4 days ago Web link KenK
    This is unquestionable one of the best anti-war songs. It plays off WW I and the terrible slaughter of young men in the fields of France. The last verse is so utterly poignant I can still shed a tear fro young Willie McBride and all the young victims "who were butchered and damned." "Did they really believe that this war would end wars." https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rThFCuAgxPg
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 19 weeks 6 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    http://everything-voluntary.com/letting-go-social-change
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 20 weeks 19 hours ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Alex! Dude! You already live in the primo bug out state of Vermont. BTW, what's the pack weigh? And why so many knives? Trade items?   When I rode thru Vermont in 1984, the guy at the border w Canada welcomed me and said the north part was owned by Canadians and the southern part owned by Bostonians. If you "bug out" which direction wpould you go? Me, I'd go to Bernie's house on the lake.   Keep up the good work, and perhaps you could host a "bug out" party and wake folks up. But if too many peeps know you're a prepper, they'll just flock to you and beg for help when TSHTF.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 20 weeks 23 hours ago Web link A. Magnus
    No surprise here. This is "what democracy looks like!"
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 20 weeks 6 days ago Web link KenK
    Pending approval, I have a forthcoming column about this.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 21 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    It's far easier to draw people into a nice clean well ordered nation like Germany is. Esp if it's got generous welfare benefits like she does. Why would they ever want to go back to home to their African or middle eastern shit holes? And it's why govs shouldn't trawl for migrants.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 22 weeks 3 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    There's been something fishy about this whole saga. For half a century, Germans have welcomed Turks as Gastarbeiter, temporary workers to make good a shortage of labor. When Merkel rolled out the mat for these refugees, who had been holed up in Turkey, I supposed it was an extension of the same program; and yet they were left to make a harrowing journey on foot instead of booking tickets on Lufthansa or Turkish Airlines. If they were welcome, why didn't the German consul in Istanbul issue visas? And by the way, why were they unable to stay in Turkey, where the climate and culture suits them so much better?   Now that the mat is being rolled up again, $100 million would buy a lot of tickets; what's the problem? - it's nearly $600 per unwanted refugee. At that rate it should be pretty easy to charter some planes - or trains, by dusting off the Orient Express - to take them back to whence they came.   Or is it that the Turkish government will not take them?    
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 22 weeks 3 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Poor taxpayers. Pay to let them in pay to get them out. With no visible means of support, why were any of them (women children & injured excepted) allowed in? Able-bodied uninjured single men aren't refugees.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 23 weeks 1 day ago Web link strike
    Not a morale booster.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 1 day ago
    Splitsville
    Web link strike
    Nonsense. Panarchy is for losers. Also see the current ZGBlog.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 23 weeks 1 day ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Glad you liked the column.  :-)
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 23 weeks 1 day ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Between what's in the AR-7 magazines and the 26 extra rounds, that's 50 total.  Plus 10 rounds total for the .38 -- I think that's a good balance.   And yes, as stated, there's certainly room for other items and modification of the list -- especially depending on time of year.   But again, weight and travelling light is a paramount consideration.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 23 weeks 1 day ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    That little pencil sharpener sounds like a good idea, hadn't heard of that. You need at least an extra box of .22LR, maybe more (for trade items if nothing else). Tarp or poncho? Netting to keep bugs off the face? Emergency blanket?
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 23 weeks 1 day ago
    Splitsville
    Web link strike
    Who'd marry someone that's a lefty ex-prison guard? Talk about an authoritarian personality eh? She's doing that dude a favor. Sheesh.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 23 weeks 1 day ago
    Splitsville
    Web link strike
    We all need a divorce. It's called "Panarchy". Other than that, it sure was nice saying "a pox on both your houses" in the last election.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 23 weeks 2 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    This reveals the downsides of being "law-abiding". As we learned from experience on our homeschooling email list, many mothers who registered with the state wish they hadn't, while no noncompliant mom ever wished she had.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 23 weeks 2 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    Four tanks in Estonia. Yeah, that ought to deter the Russians.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 23 weeks 2 days ago Web link strike
    Yeah, I don't believe the "duped" line either.
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 23 weeks 2 days ago Page Mark Davis
    Brilliant column, Mark. Too bad the NYT or the New Yorker cannot publish this for their snowflake progressive readership. Found your summation equally spot on:     "P.S.: The reason that conservatives didn’t fall to pieces when Bill Clinton took office following the Reagan/Bush regime and after Obama was elected following eight years of rule by Bush II, is that they have a deeper sense of culture that gives them structure and meaning in life. There were no violent protests by conservatives or public crying and whining about losing a popularity contest used to determine who gets to wear the “Ring of Power.” The reason that so many progressives are having mental breakdowns these days, complete with intense anger and impetuous violence, is the nihilism of their philosophy that does not allow for meaningful value judgments as to morals, culture and social norms. Indeed, they scorn these ideals as boorish, uneducated and ultimately stupid (you know, social constructs). This is why libertarians can typically tolerate conservative statists longer than progressive statists: a common respect for social norms not imposed by the state.?
  • mishochu's picture
    mishochu 23 weeks 4 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Great stuff, do not wait for the masses to understand or permit your own liberty. Prepare for it here and now. Even if it means you have to starve the beast. or get ready for its collapse.
  • Will Groves's picture
    Will Groves 23 weeks 5 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    The AI-trollbot strikes again.  As ever, as it claims to promote human freedom, it fires its transistors at anything that doesn't jive with its database of libertarian orthodoxy.  Normally, "Jim Davies" is stuck in an infinite loop defending "self-ownership."  Doubling the irony today, when Alex writes about taking specific action to increase the odds of his self-preservation, the machine invokes a defense of society.  The collapse of society might mean the electric grid going down, which I can see would be worrisome for a machine.   The US is an empire and no empire has stood the test of time.  Each collapses in a unique way; some slowly, like the Roman empire, and some quickly, like the USSR.  Despite what good news we might hear, observation of our surroundings shows that the empire is in decline.  What tips a complex system into sudden failure can't be anticipated beforehand.  It's not a mechanism.  Some components are deterministic, but human factors are critical and unpredictable.   If circumstances change fast, screwing society and looking out for yourself (and family, I assume) is eminently sensible.  You can't take care of anyone if you don't take care of yourself first.    Human life has been so fundamentally altered by the proliferation of cheap energy and the technological boom fueled by it that we can hardly imagine life on a smaller, simpler, more local scale.  In centuries past, family, clan, and tribe were the fundamental units.  Implicit trust, responsibility, and obligations applied to the innermost circle, and these diminished further out.  Technological civilization has been a shrinking ring-fence on liberties, and it doesn't follow that societal collapse would have deleterious effects on personal liberties, especially insofar government authority is concerned. 
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 5 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Come now, Will, don't be greedy.  You've won the Black Rosette for January, surely you don't want the February one as well?
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 6 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    That part of your title, Alex, that says "Screw Society" is repugnant to any decent human being and to the aims and purposes of this site and the whole libertarian movement.   Humanity is being oppressed by the evil of government, and the stated purpose of STR is to "strike the root" of that evil, in the hope of liberating society including oneself. One can join that endeavor out of a love for one's fellow-man, or simply to preserve and/or enhance one's own life. Either motive will do fine. To abandon it, as you do above, denies both.   You have expressed exactly what I presented as #1 in my Warning! Poison! - namely, the perverse attitude that says "The Task is Hopeless." The task is by no means hopeless. The method I favor as you know is the simple one of finding one friend at a time to apply his mind to the nature of government and freedom; exponential growth will destroy the root of evil within a single generation. But good luck to anyone who can think of a better way!   Like any other task, of course it may fail; and there's no harm in taking out an "insurance policy" just in case, and your advice above is very good for that purpose. What I vigorously denounce is your assumption that it must inevitably fail. That is defeatism, writ large.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 23 weeks 6 days ago Page Mark Davis
    Thank you for the kind words, dhowlandir. Scarcity is a natural consequence of resources being finite. As more people demand a particular resource or good, a finite supply naturally becomes more scarce. This leads to increased competition for those resources. When the supply of a resource is faced with overwhelming demand, the allocation of those resources can lead to violence, but not if a strong, peaceful culture exists. The most peaceful method of allocating resources is through trade (the economic means). The alternative is taking it by force (the political means). Cultures based on peaceful exchange (the economic means) are superior to cultures based on conquest and exploitation (the political means), IMHO. If markets were truly free, then the allocation of resources would likely become much more efficient and create more innovation such that we may achieve sufficient abundance to also achieve a very high satisfaction rate among the population, but people are never satisfied and there are always stragglers (see Pareto's Law). This is a good thing because it keeps us adapting, improvising and overcoming - that is: improving our living conditions. Social constructs like free-markets are very useful tools in that area. The important thing is to create new alternatives and substitutes for finite resources (e.g. sun for oil). Free-trade excells at this task while the state is inherently controlled by special interests that seek to use the state (monopoly on violence) for their exploitative agenda. The most fundamental libertarian tenet is The Non-Aggression Principle which is the opposite of "domination of our fellow man" being a "goal of libertarians." Further, I am also "hesitant to believe that the election of any politician to be of that much importance to the real changes that need to be made". My view is that Trump is but one player in a larger worldwide social anti-establishment trend, but a very visible player. Not so much because of his political influence, but also his social influence (e.g. humiliating the corporate media and strengthening the scope and influence of independent journalism on the internet helping cast newspapers, magazines and the TV networks into the dustbin of history leading to more decentralization of political power). Finally, peace and respect are certainly necessary conditions for freedom. I'm glad you brought that up. I ended this piece saying "Liberty will prevail in the end when enough people value it and are willing to fight for it." When I say "fight", I don't mean with arms, but in the arena of ideas. We must battle dangerous ideas with calm resolve using facts, logic and reason. And point out the "violence inherent in the system" when those maintaining a position that can not withstand debate resort to name-calling and violence. I do, however, believe in effective self-defense.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 23 weeks 6 days ago Web link KenK
    I wouldn't use my actual daily use keys in case they get broken or lost in a struggle. Go to your junk drawer and find some old keys or other small objects and put them on a stout key ring. Ones that will fit in between your fingers with ring in your palm. Or show some initiative and buy, build, or obtain a Kubaton and attach the keys to it. Using your real keys might prevent you from driving your car home or get back inside your home or business. Learn how to use it. Always have it with you.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 24 weeks 45 min ago Page Mark Davis
    Thank you, Jim. The progressive label is the opposite of what these neo-barbarians seek and regressives would be more accurate; and they are anything but liberal. However, I think that I used this term too many times in the article to put it in quotation marks throughout.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 24 weeks 3 hours ago Page Mark Davis
    I endorse dhowlandjr's remarks, Mark; well done. Fine response to him too.   I recommend placing quote signs around the word "Progressive" in this context. These people are progressing backwards, or REgressing, to a more controlled society, and so are no more progressive than they are liberal.
  • dhowlandjr's picture
    dhowlandjr 24 weeks 15 hours ago Page Mark Davis
    Hi Mark this is a really good article, you say a lot of meaningful things. I'm not sure whether scarcity is such a basic fact of life. If we live in a world where there is really enough for all of us, as I believe seems to be the case, then abundance would seem to be the norm, and "scarcity" the result of organizing ourselves in a system based on violence and an exaggeration of the value of competition. I'm also hesitant to think the election of any politician to be of that much importance to the real changes that need to be made. :) Aside from that, this is one of your best articles, and the best thing i've seen in STR in some time. I especially like your view of the importance of social constructs, in view of some of the recent discussions I've seen here. Respect for the others point of view will be important if we really want to live free, and in peace. And I hope that domination of our fellow man may cease to be the goal of "libertarians". Have a great day!
  • mishochu's picture
    mishochu 24 weeks 1 day ago
    Drupal
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    I asked the admin if there was a reason the price of an upgrade was $9000, I never got a reply back. I know how to perform the upgrade (or even to switch this entire site over to wordpress if the owner is ever interested). Plus I have an interest in keeping the site available and would do it for free. I don't really contribute articles but that would be something. It certainly shouldn't be $9K to upgrade from one version to another and I'd be interested to know if someone quoted him this price or if there are other issues (hardware?) that aren't readily apparent.
  • Kevin M. Patten's picture
    Kevin M. Patten 24 weeks 3 days ago Page Kevin M. Patten
    shoot.....happened again it seems.   
  • Kevin M. Patten's picture
    Kevin M. Patten 24 weeks 3 days ago Page Kevin M. Patten
    Certainly hope everything is alright with Sam. I have appreciated his input on this forum, and have always looked foward to when he gives his perspective bluntly, without hesitance, and right from his heart. 
  • Kevin M. Patten's picture
    Kevin M. Patten 24 weeks 3 days ago Page Kevin M. Patten
    Certainly hope everything is alright with Sam. I have appreciated his input on this forum, and have always looked foward to when he gives his perspective bluntly, without hesitance, and right from his heart. 
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 24 weeks 3 days ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    Lawrence: Delightful piece. Captain Charles Vane of the Ranger said much prior to his being hung "{They said} Give us your submission and we will give you the comfort you need. No, I can't think of no measure of comfort worth that price." I may be off base, but to me Captain Charles Vane of the Range is probably the most free character ever constructed. Then I am no authority on this topic. You can't say he subscribes to any -ism other than his own.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 24 weeks 4 days ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    Hi, Jim. Glad you like him. The issue of claims seems to revolve around what you have transformed into productive use. And Kinsella would add, that you must make unambiguous boundaries.
  • mishochu's picture
    mishochu 24 weeks 4 days ago Web link KenK
    https://duckduckgo.com/ works well too
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 24 weeks 5 days ago Blog entry Alex R. Knight III
    It's a fine and concise communication, Alex, and I wish you luck. Good to see there may be at least one of your formerly Libertarian principles still intact.   It presents utilitarian arguments. Although good, I suggest those are inferior to the one endorsed by the new President; that gun rights are natural rights which, in Amendment 2, the Feds have sworn not to abridge.   Does the US Constitution bind the State of Vermont? - maybe not, by Amendment 10. But the Vermont one, in Chapter 1 Article 16, says much the same thing.   All that is paper, which Pols routinely ignore. Until government is eliminated, natural rights will be relentlessly eroded. But then - I nearly forgot - you no longer believe in rights anyway.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 24 weeks 5 days ago Page Kevin M. Patten
    Samarami, are you okay?   Under "recent comments" there is a teaser saying "Sam Spade ('Samarami') has met with a misfortune and will not..."  but there it ends; the link does not work.  Nor does it work for a follow-up comment expressing regret. What's going on?   UPDATE: I posted the above, and at once the two comments reappeared. It does seem Sam has suffered some misfortune. Best wishes to you, Sam, for a fast recovery!
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 24 weeks 5 days ago Web link KenK
    So Google is the new Goebbels, deciding what news is fake and what is fit to be read.   There are other search engines; I've been using Ixquick. Any others recommended?
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 24 weeks 5 days ago Page Kevin M. Patten
    Deeply sorry to hear this. Have appreciated his support on this forum. Give my warmest hopes!