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  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 15 weeks 5 days ago Web link Sharon Secor
    The U.S. reliance on trade sanctions to produce diplomatic pressure only serves as a depressing reminder than Americans just don't export as much as they once did, and that the U.S. government is all too willing to cut American producers off from their foreign markets for political purposes. But there may be other motives. Vigorous trade between nations is one of the most powerful deterrents to war yet identified. Cutting trade is often a precursor to military adventures.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 15 weeks 5 days ago
    Vlad's Oscar
    Page Jim Davies
    I suspect that Chinese politicians are watching carefully, working frantically to engineer a remotely plausible mechanism to achieve a 96% positive secession and annexation referendum on an unpopulated group of islands in the South China Sea. The state is always pondering what you may have that can be taken from you profitably. The health of the state rests upon what it can take by force. Putin can take an entire peninsula on the Black Sea, even with the supposed "protection" of another government. As long as states hold incredibly powerful reservoirs of violence, no one can be secure in their own property. And as violence is required for the state to exist, they will always hold them. As long as states exist, you can only keep what freedom and property you have because no one backed by the power of the state has yet decided to take it from you. The one and only thing that creates restraint in such a person is the willingness for people to resist.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 15 weeks 5 days ago
    Generalissimo Cuomo
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    CNBC drew their report from original research by WalletHub; details here. It's a good effort, but on taking a closer look I can see some frayed edges.   Examples: (a) New Hampshire ranks 28th, not #1 or in the top few, as I'd thought. Looks suspicious. In particular it fails to list NH as being free of income taxes; news to me. (b) The methodology assumes an individual lives in a home worth the median $174,600, but I'm not clear how they handle the common practice of a family living in such a home. Wouldn't that mean the individual slice, for two adults, is $87,300? Further: $174,600 will buy you a lot of house in rural areas, but only a rat-infested slum in NYC. So this guide is not all-encompassing.   For all that, Wyoming and Nevada look very good.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 15 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    The great thing about paleontology is that there are so many species that existed over the millennia that if you work long enough in the field, you are almost guaranteed to discover one. The bad thing is that Ken Ham will still have more revenue than you.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 15 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Bureaucrat discovers a new way to convert more public funds into private profits. I am shocked, simply shocked. Why is the state involved at all? All it does is muddy up the price system and make an efficient market in health care absolutely impossible. But isn't that the point? Inefficient markets create opportunities for arbitrage, wherein people with an information advantage can profit as the expense of everyone else.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 15 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    This is a small symptom of a big problem. The type of jobs that were the mainstay of the middle class years ago--the kind where you work at the same company your whole life and earn your pension--vanished. The state attempted to pick up the slack by inventing jobs that looked like about the same thing to the worker, with one critical difference. They did not produce anything of value. So rather than being an engine of economic prosperity, they were parasitic ticks, growing fatter every year. We are approaching the point at which the remaining jobs are dying from the parasites directly, rather than just competitive pressures. So there isn't enough actual work getting done to support the charade, and the state organization goes officially bankrupt. Never mind that it was insolvent from the day the critical factory left town, and never voluntarily accepted the pain from that loss. People chase money around so much they forget that money is just a mathematical shortcut for trading goods and services. If you don't produce any, before long, you won't be able to get any from anyone else. The state's power to steal can keep up a shell game a lot longer than anyone else, but eventually it can run out of people to rob.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 15 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    In other words, cops don't want criminals to be smart or careful about their cell phone use. They must have forgotten that most of their usual targets are neither smart nor careful, which is likely a significant factor in their choice to become criminals. Also likely is that the general public, who do not see themselves as criminals, may take offense at this overt attack on the fragile security of their main communications network and complain.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 15 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    According to the article, the enzyme does not itself reset the body clock. It just makes the body more responsive to those triggers. One such trigger for resynchronizing the circadian body-clock is to shine bright light into the eyes with a significant blue component. This stimulates the melanopsin in retinal ganglion cells, which triggers, among other things, pupillary dilation and contraction, and circadian response. Peak response for this pigment is 485-495 nm, which is a greenish-blue or cyan color. To the body, unaware of technology, this indicates that the sun has risen high enough in the sky for its blue component to still be significant after atmospheric scattering. If the sky is blue, it must be daytime.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 15 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    I suspect this was a chaff test. Curious investigators should look for metallized polymer fibers on the ground at the closest publicly accessible site to the radar blot's earliest known location.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 15 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    In earlier eras, tyrants would jail the writers and editors of publications critical of their rule. Machiavelli seriously needs to update his playbook, now that it is so much easier for people to communicate. Now we have the Streisand effect, where attempting to remove something from the network can make it more popular than ever. Erdogan may have simply made Twitter a bigger platform in Turkey.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 15 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    This is simply putting wings on an existing technology--the WiFi Pineapple. You can stop this by forcing your device to ask you before connecting to any wireless network. If it asks to connect to McDonald's when you are at home, you know someone is up to no good. In a similar vein, it is only a matter of time before the Stingray takes to the air, to target "criminals".
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 15 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Is there no end to the number of people who believe that authoritative censorship is compatible with a free society? I am eager to see how the people who will actually be affected respond to this.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 15 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    It stands to reason that if you want to read all the mail in a neighborhood, you don't go around picking the lock on every mailbox. You just find the one delivering the mail, and copy every key on his key ring.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 15 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    I suppose this person is counting on the likelihood that when the state can control who is and is not allowed to share their ideas, the bootlicking toadies of the government will still be allowed to self-censor their own speech whenever they please.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 15 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    The state loves keeping its lists, doesn't it? Who beats their kids? Who is allowed to fly? Who contributed to my rivals' campaigns? This is what authoritarians without imagination do with technology. They make giant lists of their enemies. And they do it in the most slipshod manner possible. No doubt this list also has security holes large enough to fly a 777 through, and is completely unauditable with respect to database modifications.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 15 weeks 6 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Paul, I think that you are correct about Tucker creating a straw man. He would have done better if he had simply written that when we express our arguments, we need to show empathy for people who suffer from the sometimes negative consequences of poor individuals choices. It was not necessary for him to act as if there were some kind of huge number of brutalists among us. Yes, sometimes we express ourselves with the insensitivity. I have done this myself at times. So has Tucker. This does not make of him or me a brutalist. That name is simply a stereo type, and stereo types are always over generalizations. Regarding the effects of Liberty, I believe that peace is more than just a side effect of Liberty, however. Because the spontaneous order that characterizes liberty is the naturally emergent system, it is by its very nature the most peaceful one. Perhaps not in every instance, but overall, yes it is. Study of chaos theory, swarm theory, decentralized decision making, and emergent systems indicates that the spontaneous order really is the one with the least friction. It also is the one that supports life more than any other.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 15 weeks 6 days ago
    Trade Unions
    Page Jim Davies
    Well said, Lawrence. Usually the Detroit disaster is blamed on government corruption (no argument from here) and on car company mismanagement, but it seems obvious that if the cost of labor is kept artificially high, sooner or later the industry will succumb to rivals.   Perhaps those three factors made a perfect storm.   Wiki has a nice comment on the old guilds: "They often depended on grants of letters patent by a monarch or other authority to enforce the flow of trade..." and later, "In many cases [guilds] became the governing body of a town..."   The Left is sometimes hot against wicked capitalists with government monopolies, but the root of labor monopoly is right there. When government has evaporated, both will disappear too.  
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 16 weeks 3 hours ago
    Trade Unions
    Page Jim Davies
    Jim, this was a fine analysis of unions and the damage they do. Very few people realize how much destruction is inflicted by these unions. As a former Detroiter, I recall how the GM Poletown plant (i.e., the Hamtramck Assembly Plant) was built by use of eminent domain. An entire neighborhood was sent packing to build this tax-subsidized monstrosity in the early 1980s. The 4,200 residents and 1,400 homes were leveled so that 1,600 unionized workers could slurp down their bloated salaries and continue its symbiotic relationship with tariff-seeking General Motors. This is proof that unions played a key role in the demise of the city of Detroit. They still don’t have a clue.   Far too few people recognize that the demand for "privilege" underlies the impetus for unions. They seek to set aside the voluntary peaceful market-based relationships and replace them with a gun held against the heads of consumers and employers and everyone else involved for some short-term gains that will eventually prove to be their own undoing anyway. After all, GM went broke, and nobody dares ask why. But Bush and Obama resuscitated it anyway. Zombie corporation much? The desire for a labor union is nothing less than savage, short-term thinking on the lowest level. It is the enemy of the consumer and, indeed, of all taxpayers.   It is not surprising that labor unions have roots in the monopolistic practices of the medieval guilds. These town-based monopolies worked hand in glove—as current unions and their symbiotic corporations do—with the governments of their time. Indeed, the guild-masters frequently were part of the medieval town’s governing councils. Fascism then, fascism now. Just as these medieval guilds—masquerading as “guarantors of quality”—kept their foot at the throat of the medieval consumer, so today’s labor unions have stepped into the same roles. What is amazing is how they have managed to hoodwink the populace into seeing them as the “voice of the poor man” or “voice of the working man.” No, they are simply the “voice of The Man,” and they were privilege seekers then and still are. By means of the government schools, serving as propaganda farms, they keep the booboisie in thrall.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 16 weeks 9 hours ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Again: what matters is to strike the root, to take action to abolish government. When that is done, nobody but historians will care whether governments used to operate their police and prisons with direct-hire employees, or through contractors.   And when that is done, the industry of justice will consist of competing companies hired by actual victims or their insurers, to detect and apprehend aggressors, establish their guilt, ensure that ordered restitution is paid, and that the facts are published. Costs will be minimized by the market process, and improper treatment of accused persons will be deterred by their right to counter-sue. There won't be any prisons, nor any police force that we would recognize as such.  
  • Sharon Secor's picture
    Sharon Secor 16 weeks 15 hours ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Indeed, that is the saddest part. 
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 16 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    The system, as it is today, has fully integrated the privatization of public funds. These hangers-on, addicted to the flow of easy government money, provide additional ways for the people invested with government authority to personally profit from betraying the public's trust. It's fine to say that the very concept of government is inherently corrupt. It is. These public-private business deals just make it so much worse. They are entities that stand to profit by making the state behave more sociopathically than it otherwise would. And I think they are just as much part of the system as the state itself. As you say, they would have no customers, no revenue, and no profits without the state. That alone is enough to let you know they are not like ordinary private businesses. Without them, the state would have fewer and more obvious ways of bribing its loyalists. People grouse when a retired police chief is collecting a $150000 annual public pension at the ripe old age of 50, but no one even notices when the same sort of person lands a sinecure at a private prison management company. They don't even have to disclose how much he is paid or what he actually does!
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 16 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Fully agree, that the government's so-called "justice system" creates ways to fund itself by multiplying laws; for example rural speed traps have been part of its miserable landscape for a very long time.   But this has, with respect, nothing at all to do with whether or not parts of its machinery are contracted out to for-profit suppliers. Wrong target. Go for the system, not the way it's administered. Strike the root, not the branches. "Desirable state", by the way, is an oxymoron.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 16 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    It isn't just privatized prisons. Allowing the "justice" system to fund itself in the form of fines and seizures has provided a perverse incentive for it to prosecute more crime, and to manufacture it whenever it finds a dearth of naturally occurring crime. Funding it out of tax revenues without respect to its performance is bad enough already. In reading the article, there was no indication that anyone involved had any interest at all in the impact that "law enforcement" had on this ordinary person in a not entirely uncommon situation. No one took any time for consideration as to what would have constituted sufficient punishment, or whether punishment was warranted at all. They kept an accounting and then issued invoices. The problem is not the monopoly, nor the attitude, but the money. The system is paid more when it processes more criminals. So it processes more criminals, digging up whatever laws it needs in order to ensure the dockets stay filled. It's right there in the first paragraph. Prosecution of minor offenses is this town's second-largest source of revenue. The immediate solution is to mandate that punitive fines be spent on something that has zero impact on the justice budget. If the town cannot profit by harassment under color of law, then it will not do it. The question that naturally arises afterward is how, then, do you pay to maintain order? But that is premature. You must first have a desirable state before it can be maintained, and when poor folks are grist for the justice mill, that is not something I wish to perpetuate.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 16 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    To take aim at privatized prisons is, in my opinion, to miss the target altogether.   Suppose you built a private prison and hung out a shingle. How many customers would you expect, and what would be the source of your revenue and profits?   Answer, of course: none, none and none. There would be a missing ingredient - namely, the force of government. If government doesn't force purchase of a $1.50 sandwich for $18, there's no sale.   From the POV of the hapless third party - the taxpayer - the justice system should be as cheap as possible, consistent with humane handling. We know that for-profit operations always perform two or three times more efficiently than those run directly by government, so it makes sense to contract them out. But even that misses the point; namely that the whole has nothing to do with justice.   Join me, therefore, in taking proper aim at the government "justice" monopoly that falsely equates that concept with punishment.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 16 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    It is worth noting that the default zero-tolerance response to an act of compassion was immediate punishment. A manual override had to be engaged to stop it. Without such hasty intervention, the hero would have been libeled by her permanent record for the remainder of her academic career.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 16 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    The greatest danger I see with autonomous vehicles is not that they are a safety risk, but rather they might lead to some of the public rights-of-way being closed to human-driven or human-powered traffic. Be wary of any autonomous vehicle system that does not explicitly accomodate non-compliant vehicles or those broadcasting false information. They can only become practical via regulatory legislation.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 16 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    In this political climate, I feel that any protest at all, no matter how effective it is in fact, deserves some positive recognition. Bravo to the porcupines.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 16 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    There are two problems with Taser's cameras, and the police departments testing their use. First, the camera can be turned off by the person wearing it. Second, the footage can be kept secret from the public indefinitely. This is emphatically a "soft" approach, so that when the public demands that police officers be filmed while on duty, the departments and the union can respond that cops are already wearing them. As a result, these will produce no greater reform than dashboard cams in cruisers. In any event that would cast the police in an unfavorable light, the camera will be "malfunctioning" or the resulting footage "lost" or "recycled". And we will continue to see theatrical nonsense, such as repeated orders to "Stop resisting!" against people who are already limp as a rag doll because they have recently been beaten to death. It is our responsibility to ensure that the cameras recording police conduct are always on and always accessible to us. You cannot trust the police cameras for this, therefore every person should record every police encounter they witness with their own camera.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 16 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    The headline does not match the article, which appears to be about a plea for the voluntary suspension of tobacco sales. I wouldn't say it is contradictory at all to provide your customers, who have varied tastes, with a wide variety of products--products that, I might add, no one is forced to buy. One might as well complain that it is contradictory for a government to have a justice department at the same time that it employs hundreds of thousands of people to create millions of tiny injustices.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 16 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Crime management is now a for-profit industry. The crime itself still doesn't pay, but rather the "services" to criminals and criminal suspects--and more importantly, their associated fees--are the growing business. The criminals cannot refuse to pay, you see. Metaphorically speaking, the judge will order you to eat a $10 sandwich. The jailer will then give you a $1.50 sandwich and charge you $18 for it. It is not necessary that you eat that sandwich, but if you do not pay, you will be ordered to eat more sandwiches. Privatization of the prison industry needs to stop, immediately, before everything is criminalized in pursuit of profit.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 16 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Had this man decided from the start to defy the law, and build without prior approval or permits, it is likely that the EPA would be blissfully unaware that this had even happened. The same trap is laid in the states where marijuana growing is at least legal some of the time. The DEA is taking the state's records of people compliant with their own laws, and using them as the basis for federal investigations and prosecutions.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 16 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Technology advances at a pace enabled by Moore's Law and human imagination. Government advances at a pace dictated by the weight of the VIP carried in the palanquin. It is inevitable that, sooner or later, a technology will emerge that will make government itself obsolete. And in resisting that technology, it will turn against itself all the people who yearn for progress, who will finally begin to question just why, exactly, it has recently become so difficult to get anything worth having.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 16 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    My paranoia compels me to suspect that these are compliance drills. When these children are grown, this experience in the classroom during a "lock down" will be directly transferable to homes under martial law. And we have already seen the prototype procedure executed in Boston. Stay in your homes. Lock your doors until you are approached by the recognized authority, then follow their instructions to the letter. Any people found outside their designated safe zone may be arrested or killed.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 16 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    The story now is that this happened. The story you will not hear in the future is that no one will be held responsible for this action outwardly resembling the pre-revolutionary practice of executing general warrants and writs of assistance. And the saddest part is that I saw no mention of anyone having the courage to resist in any way.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 16 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Actually, I think that sometimes the Empire treats garbage more respectfully and more carefully than it treats living people. It is just another symptom of its growing psychological chasm between itself and sane, rational civilization.
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 16 weeks 1 day ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    For the record, I don't worship Murray Rothbard, either. Neither do I regard his opinions as sacred. But when a man speaks sense, a man speaks sense.   Any libertarian worth his salt recognizes the yawning gulf that separates persuasion from coercion. Thus, in the labor-relations realm, "an employer is not a stick-up artist," as Rand succinctly put it, notwithstanding the protestations of leftists. How much less, then, is the institution of marriage in the realm of love?    "Marriage as an institution, therefore, ought to be opposed if you follow the Non-Aggression Principle"?! Any professed libertarian writing such a statement stands in rather desperate need of a good epistemological housecleaning. Violation of the NAP rightly meets with retaliatory force. Against whom shall we direct it? The bride? The groom? The person officiating? Perhaps "society" itself?   Bad beliefs, like the poor, we will always have with us. They will remain, however defined, even in that devoutly (!) to-be-wished future day when we anarchists relegate the scourge of State to the dustbin of history. But we'll not make any progress toward that goal if we confuse the State's modus operandi with that of voluntary associations, no matter how flawed or antiquated we may deem them.     By all means, lambaste marriage, family, faith, friendship and community to your heart's content. Just keep half-baked applications of the NAP out of it.    
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 16 weeks 1 day ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    If I may, a further comment on traditional marriage contracts. I checked Wiki here, and while a couple should certainly decide for themselves what agreement they wish to make, if any, those forms of words are not all that bad and might serve as starting points.   So the groom promises: "I take thee to my wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part..." and further says "With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow..."   And the bride responds "I take thee to my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey..."   Those are pretty heavy undertakings!   There is no term, because it's intended to be permanent, ended only by death. The care is mutual; each promises to cherish the other, unconditionally. The groom promises to "endow" his bride with all he owns, and that looks odd if a lowly guy marries a rich gal, but makes sense in the general case in which the husband earns the bread and the wife makes the home and cares for the kids; he is promising to share the net present value of all his future earnings, which will be substantial.   And the little lady promises to obey him, currently a contentious notion. But that's a quid pro quo, firstly, and secondly it's one way in which the contract deals with and anticipates how to resolve differences. Alternatives would be to toss a coin, to consult a guru or judge, to have a fight, etc.; but when the number of participants is even and not odd, majority rule is not an option. Whatever; the point is, that important issue is addressed.   Certainly it can be improved, particularly with pre-nup paragraphs about how things and children are to be divided in the event of agreement to end the deal (and not, hopefully, to divide each of the latter down the middle.) But as a first draft, it ain't bad.      
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 16 weeks 1 day ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    I became a libertarian in 1980, but for several years failed to grasp that to embrace individual freedom is a matter of intellectual necessity,  not one of transcendental faith; that self-ownership is an axiom, not just a premise. Accordingly, I founded a libertarian religion and ordained myself its first (and only) minister. In that capacity I was invited to marry a couple, of whom the bride lectured in economics at Yale, so the ceremony took place in the august chapel of that University. It was suitably grand, but the whole of it was scripted by the couple themselves, as should be the case. I therefore married them, and though we have lost touch since I believe they stayed married and raised a family. The libertarian glue seems to have been reasonably sticky.  
  • PSYCHOTICNUT's picture
    PSYCHOTICNUT 16 weeks 2 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    I may not have been as clear as I would have liked at the beginning of my article. I fully believe all that's voluntary should be allowable and stated at the beginning of my article that I love my friends, I wish them the best, and fully support them in all their endeavors and decisions including their marriages. I disagree with that decision but it's their decision to make. I would also like to point out that I don't worship Murray Rothbard nor do I believe his opinions to be sacred. I'm sorry that you feel that topics outside of condemning the state are useless but I feel there is a greater freedom to be found outside of mere statelessness and I wish that for my friends and family and indeed everyone. I don't consider someone my enemy if they disagree but to quote Paul "All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify."
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 16 weeks 2 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    Murray Rothbard, lifelong agnostic, wrote about "lifestyle libertarians." Google the essay if you're interested. I can tell you he had no use for them. These are the libertines who conflate the culture's freely embraced moral authority with the state's imposed legal authority. The difference is one of kind and not degree. Faith and civilization have authority over you only if you recognize their authority, whereas government doesn't give a flying fig whether you recognize its authority or not. Of course, libertarians are free to pursue whatever lifestyle they choose. All that matters is that they refrain from initiating violence. So how does marriage--traditional or otherwise--initiate violence? Who's forcing whom to get married? It's bad enough that "liberals" regard faith and civilization (and employment!) as equivalent to slavery. Discussions like this among professed libertarians get us nowhere.    
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 16 weeks 2 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    You make a good case that customary marriage contracts are poorly drawn, but if each partner wants to formalize the association, good. One or both does not, also good. Freedom!  Some kind of pre-nup can save a lot of heartache (and lawyer fees) later, though.   You would not be implying, I hope, that voluntary contracts are undesirable generally. In the coming free society, they will as I see it be the mainstay of all time-dependent exchanges and the root of order. Yes of course they place an enforcible obligation on each voluntary participant; if you agree to pay me for my valuable services and I deliver, you have an obligation to produce the moolah; and a well drawn contract will specify the judge who will resolve any dispute.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 16 weeks 2 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    There may be some readers interested to learn whether you have yet discovered a good source of "hot, sexy, twenty-something Anarchist bikini-babes" :-)
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 16 weeks 3 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    http://strike-the-root.com/62/knight/knight12.html
  • PSYCHOTICNUT's picture
    PSYCHOTICNUT 16 weeks 3 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    Voluntary contracts employ force. That's the point of them. They employ legal force to create a sense of stability and trust through legal control so that a given translation(s) that benefit both parties can take place. Marriage, has never been a valid voluntary contract historically or even in modern society. Valid contracts include a variety of concepts to be valid. Any valid contract must be voluntary AND include an offer, acceptance, consequences, consideration, and term limit. With marriage the offer, acceptance, and consideration is present but it doesn't include consequences or term limits. Consequences are determined later arbitrarily by a judge with a monopoly to make such decisions and the term is "till death" which can hardly be considered enforceable which is part of the reason a judge can be so arbitrary. In the interest of full disclosure, I was married and divorced but the relationship was not a poor one and the divorce wasn't nasty. We drifted apart due to a lack of time spent together and separated with no great fighting. Again though, my question would be "why?". I have friends that are as close to me as family. I wouldn't dream of even asking them to sign a contract for our relationship. Why would you think a romantic relationship would require a contract unless you sought to control that other individual?
  • PSYCHOTICNUT's picture
    PSYCHOTICNUT 16 weeks 3 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    You make an excellent point and I think you're absolutely right. My point is though, you don't need a contract for such a relationship. I think the key is making a good decision with whom to be intimate. I don't think, for instance, (and I don't really know the two of you so this is pure speculation) that you and your wife would have split up without the marriage contract. You sound like people who understand and deplore the disposable mentality. I don't think it's wrong that you made such a written commitment and I don't think commitment ceremonies are entirely useless. My point is that historically and even in modern society, marriage is an institution for control and in cases such as yours I think the contract is unnecessary.
  • PSYCHOTICNUT's picture
    PSYCHOTICNUT 16 weeks 3 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    Of course I would honor anything voluntary but my reaction would be to ask why. Why would you feel you NEED a contract? I don't make contracts with my friends. Contracts, as I see it, are meant for people I have less evidence for trust or a deal with a high amount of investment. For instance, I might sign a contract even with someone close to me for living arrangements or a deal involving the exchange or pooling of resources. Anyone could make contracts like that though. It would hardly require a romantic relationship. Any valid contract also includes a term limit. I don't believe any contract held in perpetuity should be considered binding. I could understand a contract in the case of kids, for the sake of raising and caring for them as well. I think that would be appropriate but a romantic relationship or any relationship really with someone you highly trust shouldn't require a contract. Really a contract is inappropriate for such a relationship in my opinion.
  • ReverendDraco's picture
    ReverendDraco 16 weeks 3 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "Those homeless dudes should go to the library and enjoy the wonders showered on us all by our betters; keep ‘em out of trouble." Only thing is. . . when they do that, someone inevitably writes a letter to the editor, denigrating the homeless for making use of a service which they helped pay for. Of course, the person is usually a Statist shill or sycophant.
  • ReverendDraco's picture
    ReverendDraco 16 weeks 3 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    This is similar to the way my wife and I entered into our marriage (5 years this coming May). It was publicly declaring our intent to *work* for our relationship rather than giving up/moving out at the first sign of trouble. The way we see it, when a couple is "merely" living together, it's too easy to say "screw it," and leave - we've both been in those kinds of relationships. . . We both feel an intense dislike for the modern "throw-away" society. We both have cars over 10 years old (hers is 20, and mine is 27); we held on to our CRT television until it died entirely; most of our furniture is family heirlooms. What we see, much too often, are people who treat marriage in the same "throw-away" manner as they treat everything else - whatever is new and shiny must be had; tried-and-true be damned. We also believe that the concept of a "50/50" relationship is nonsense - it's either 100/100 or what the hell are you even together for? Marriage is a full-time job. Funny thing - if you look at the "traditional" wedding vows, they read much like a contract - Do you promise to Love, honor, cherish, obey, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness & in health, til death. . . the only significant difference is, there are no listed penalties for failing to abide by the terms and conditions. Nothing in the traditional contract stating that, if either party fails to uphold their end of the bargain, the contract is dissolved - no-one gives up X property for breach of contract (you don't find that out until divorce court - or by word-of-mouth). . . Nothing.
  • Scott Lazarowitz's picture
    Scott Lazarowitz 16 weeks 3 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    "One might say, 'All this may be true, but marriage is good for keeping couples together.' To which I would reply, if you need to force your partner to stay with you through the institution of marriage, it may be better that you split. There is no virtue in force and the institution of marriage is an institution of force."   So a voluntary contract is "force"? (Unless you're talking about a "shotgun wedding"...)   No, marriage is not "force," it is voluntary. There's nothing wrong with a contract associated with personal and/or romantic relationships. (I wonder if you've been through a bad marriage and are resentful, or perhaps no marital experiecnes at all?)
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 16 weeks 3 days ago Page Paul Hein
    These are devilishly tough questions, Darkcrusade!   Seems to me they show what a lot of homework the enemy has done. Mr Gov, at the table, can point to all that in-depth preparation, done over centuries.  Much of it stems, I dare say, from the stroke of the pen of George III, by which he laid claim to North America, and the Treaty of Paris which transferred his declaration of ownership to the winners of the Revolutionary War.   I don't think, though, that they alter Paul's point. The governmental declaration of ownership may go back deep into history, but it's still a declaration and nothing more. Mr Gov has no more just and moral right of ownership than His Late Majesty; he "owns" it only because he says so, and can enforce his claim.   You asked about a remedy, but within the paradigm that government exists, I see none. There is no hope that they will interpret their rules in our favor. Therefore, the only remedy is for it to evaporate. If you're not on board the program to bring that about yet, join now.