Recent comments

  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 36 weeks 10 hours ago Web link Westernerd
    For the moment, let's boil it down to individual vs collective thinking. My emphasis is individual thinking. I have no control over the behaviors or the attitudes or the philosophies of anybody but myself. I don't have as much influence as I'd perhaps like even with adult members of my own family. Sometimes they listen. Often they don't. Same here on this forum. And I will be free whether or not you or Will or Alex or Paul are free. Or my children, or their children, or their children's children (my growing coterie of great-grandchildren) on down the line. Through exchange of ideas (at times heated -- hopefully not antagonistic) here at STR I might have some limited influence upon you and some of our mutual friends in the way each or any of us processes certain information. You certainly have, over the years, been influential with me. I wouldn't want to try to estimate how many times I've referenced various writings of yours at forums in addition to this one -- and even in communication with members of my own family. I, for instance, don't vote in political elections. Haven't done so since 1964. Neither do you. I might often end a comment with the jocular "abstain from beans", but I don't take personal offense at the millions who are still collaborating with the enemy (your recent term that I enjoy and have used) in that manner. Their time will come. Same with submitting confessions ("filing returns" ha ha) to the enemy. I take stern lessons from our late and old mutual friend, Irwin Schiff. Why engage in battle when you know you're out-gunned? Just understand: the enemy is like the rattlesnake -- he rattles and warns and, if cornered, will strike. But he will slither away safely when he can. The difference, of course, is that the rattlesnake serves a useful purpose (feeds on mosquitoes and rodents, helping to keep them in check). So, when I hear that rattle I give them the opportunity to slither away without incident. And I wear high boots and heavy gloves to the woods. But I recognize my powerlessness when it comes to expending time and emotional energy trying to straighten out others' thinking or behaviors. And I certainly don't intend to jeopardize this forum by belittling you or anybody else who might have a different slant on any specific issue from mine. I hope to continue to learn from Will, and Alex, and Paul, and you, and many, many others here at STR. The religious mystification of that phenomenon called "state" is coming to a close. I don't know how -- or when -- the finale will come, but I perceive the fat lady may be warming up to sing soon. Be free. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 36 weeks 12 hours ago Web link Westernerd
    A fun time indeed, Sam, and I'm glad we have some agreement.   Might you elucidate: what meaneth "jointly envision the same demise of central political authority"?
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 36 weeks 12 hours ago Web link Westernerd
    The term is -- at least was in the 1940's and early 50's -- "technological unemployment". I'm an old railroad telegrapher. Keep in mind, that's considered "service industries" -- not actually involved in the production of a product. But, of course, railroading was highly necessary to anybody producing a product at the time, and to an increasing extent still is. That's an interesting technological study in itself. At the time (age 16) I was still attending high school. I remember a government ("public" ha ha) teacher who was libertarian-minded when it was not cool. His name was Bob Lawson. He lived to be 101, and only died a few years ago now. He and I argued about "technological unemployment" at the time -- he taking the Mises side, I insisting that the railroad telegrapher would soon become obsolete. Telephones, teletypes and 2-way radios were the upcoming technology. This would have been close to 10 years prior to publication of Leonard E.Read's "I, Pencil". And, even at age 16, I could see the handwriting on the wall. Or so I thought. Long before I ever espoused ideas of the libertarian and the anarchist. Turns out I'm probably one of the last of the old telegraphers. Any who exist today learned and play it as a hobby -- like cow-boying (I'm also probably the last of the old cowboys who actually grew up as a kid riding horseback to round up calves). But all those old occupations did die out. And here we are -- mostly quite prosperous. But I won't say you're not, partially at least, correct, Will. The insight you purvey is indeed real. But, I submit, the issue, as are most issues we might haggle about here at STR, highly involves collectivist thinking as opposed to individualist thinking. Because, as a telegrapher I was forced to join a union: "Order of Railway Telegraphers". "Closed shop" was the term. In that time part of the ORT emphasis was the operation of telegraph schools to bring telegraphers up to 30-35 wpm (faster telegraphy). Those who headed up unions generally started out with the realization that, in order to be effective they needed to whet the skills of workers to make them more valuable to those who wished to employ them. Basic free-market economics. "Collective bargaining" quickly became the mainstay of unions -- and politics. Significantly, in those days it was "illegal" for government employees at any level to form, solicit or join labor unions. Nowadays labor unions are in place primarily with government employment -- almost all government employment. And they're disappearing "in-the-private-sector". I was once a member of NEA (National Education Association) and TSEA (Texas State Education Association -- now TSTA and TCTA). They were originally and supposedly in place to increase the value of the educator for the welfare of the student. They are now strictly labor unions -- like the policeman's union. Economically (and individualistically) thinking, Brittany Hunter of MISES is correct. But collectivists are, indeed, going to suffer in the long run. Be thankful you're abstaining. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 36 weeks 12 hours ago Web link Westernerd
    "...government is soon put out of business it will at any rate be short-lived. I conclude there is no rational alternative to a free market, and the sooner the better..." In this you and I are in sound agreement, Jim. We might not jointly envision the same demise of central political authority, but we agree it must end. In time. Hoist by their own petards. A fun time to live! Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 36 weeks 13 hours ago Web link Westernerd
    Very interesting comment, Will - and a most interesting Mises article, together with a string of thoughtful comments following it.   Not sure though about your final para. You agree that new opportunities will arise, but think they will not pay very well. A contrary view is that automation will make everything so cheap that even the worst paid in society some decades from now will be better off than most of us are today.   Automation is the story of the human race, would you agree? Man is a tool-maker. It's worked well so far. Why, then, should it not continue? - I can think of only one reason, namely that the incentives are being very badly skewed. Unskilled labor is being replaced by robots, hence is in surplus, which would in a free labor market cause its price to fall and so at least "cushion" the problem; but in the teeth of this, government is forcing the price of unskilled labor UP, with new reams of costly regulations for employers and even a doubling of the minimum wage!   That exacerbation will be nasty, but if government is soon put out of business it will at any rate be short-lived. I conclude there is no rational alternative to a free market, and the sooner the better.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 36 weeks 13 hours ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Correct, you did not state your own ideals. However, by referring to mine in the second person, you did imply that they are not yours; that you reject at least some of them.   Hence my question. What are they? Are you in fact a libertarian? If not, why are you here?
  • mishochu's picture
    mishochu 36 weeks 15 hours ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "Since you say they are only 'my' ideals and so not yours" Wrong, I did not say what my ideals are. I am merely commenting that messengers like you are "shot" (or rather ignored) not for being bearers of bad news (as the case for liberty is always good news, in my opinion) but for being so disagreeable that the intended audience never gets to parse the message. You have every opportunity to not come off disagreeably, you are free to choose (which I predict will have a little correlation with how many other people you are capable of reaching).
  • Will Groves's picture
    Will Groves 36 weeks 23 hours ago Web link Westernerd
    Not everyone who criticizes technology is a technophobe.  These articles that portray people who question the value of further automation as ignorant are likely ignorant themselves.  As someone who designs automation equipment and works with large manufacturing companies, I see first-hand the speed with which highly sophisticated algorithms are being integrated with robots and vision systems to do tasks that would have been the sole domain of human hands just a few years ago.  I don't believe many people who don't work in manufacturing recognize how quickly the costs of this technology are falling, nor how rapidly it is being adopted.    In earlier iterations of the industrial revolution, when the march of technology may have made some skills obsolete, there were entry-level jobs available in the growing economy created by industrialization.  There were huge numbers of tasks that couldn't be automated.   Today, when factory workers are replaced with robots, there is often no clear path to employment at that level of pay and benefits again.  Axiomatically, you can't fix stupid, and many factory workers are relatively low-IQ people who have no hope of developing serious technical skills in any area.  These people have no role to play in creating this increasingly automated world.   In retrospect, the short period of history when the peasantry earned enough to buy a house, buy new cars every few years, take family vacations, and demand 40-hour work weeks, pensions, and health benefits all the while doing menial work was the result of a perfect storm of technological and economic forces.  When labor competes against automation today, it has very little leverage.  Typical robotic projects recoup their costs in fewer than 2 years, and sometimes just a matter of months.   When the Mises Institute points out that new opportunities will arise, it's something of a straw-man.  Of course new opportunites will arise:  new conditions create new opportunities.  The unmentioned issue is that in the aggregate, those opportunites don't provide for the same level of material comfort that the old factory jobs did.   
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 36 weeks 1 day ago Web link A. Magnus
    NY Post: "We’re relieved that Team Trump has denied Robert F. Kennedy Jr.’s claim that the president-elect is naming him to chair a commission on 'vaccination safety and scientific integrity.' That would’ve been putting a madman in charge of the asylum."
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 36 weeks 1 day ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    mishochu, it's a disappointment to read your use of the second person, in "your ideals of liberty."   My understanding of liberty is documented in several hundred articles, 243 of them on STR and all indexed on or via this page, and in six full-length books, listed on my STR bio. That's in addition to the Freedom Academy, in whose preparation I played a leading part. Therefore, you have ample opportunity to know what my "ideals of liberty" are, and will know that they are very close to those of the great libertarian pioneers like Rothbard, Spooner, von Mises, Friedman, Rand and Alexander.   Since you say they are only "my" ideals and so not yours, which of them do you reject and why?   On the secondary (or tertiary) matter of knowing one's intellectual limitations, you may be able to construct a more charming and empathetic way of pointing out Samarami's to him than by complimenting him on being "wise" to discover them. If so I'll gladly endorse your choice of words.
  • mishochu's picture
    mishochu 36 weeks 2 days ago Web link strike
    Haha, here I am with more "privilege" (if such a thing exists) than most poor Caucasian folk. I hate identity politics. If it comes to that, I'll be on the side of my neighbors (who are of mostly German descent).
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 36 weeks 2 days ago Web link strike
    Was all that murk in the footage at the end smoke? I'd expect that much of smoke from a blackpowder revolver but not a modern semi-auto pistol. Stick up boi was dead before he hit the floor. 
  • mishochu's picture
    mishochu 36 weeks 2 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Jim, It is a wonder that more people aren't attracted to your ideals of liberty what with your empathetic and charming manner : )
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 36 weeks 2 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    Trump may end up ruing the day he associated himself with that self-entitled nutbar. RFK Jr.'s anti-vaccine balderdash is easily and absolutely refuted by the overwhelming weight of the  evidence. People in America rarely get polio, for example, anymore because above 85 percent of us are vaxed, not because the polio virus isn't out there in the environment any longer. If and when the BIG COLLAPSE ever comes, we're gonna see viral and bacterial diseases run rampant thru the unvaxed population. Count on it.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 36 weeks 2 days ago Web link strike
    Fuck that motherfucker! Want my cash? Molon labe.
  • James Clayton's picture
    James Clayton 36 weeks 2 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Last night I watched a short documentary titled Black Power: America's Armed Resistance, which showed how some people are arming themselves and "patrolling the streets of their communities and calling for change" because they are "outraged at the treatment of Black people at the hands of the police." It had some interesting moments. And - perhaps somewhat surprisingly - it was being aired on TVO, which is the government-owned t.v. station in this part of the world called Ontario, Canada; but most people here are probably aware of the fatal shooting of a teenager by a cop in Toronto in 2013 (the cop was convicted of "attempted murder" and was sentenced to six years, which he is probably appealing), so maybe more people are starting to ask questions about police behaviour.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 36 weeks 2 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Very wise, Sam. You're out of your depth.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 36 weeks 3 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "...That you can (presumably) read it and recommend it and then write that more recent perceptions do "not change the law of gravity" fairly boggles the mind..." And you believe that perceptions DO "change the law of gravity"? OK, Jim. You win. I give up. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 36 weeks 4 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Sam, the link you provided to info on the scientific method is not bad.   That you can (presumably) read it and recommend it and then write that more recent perceptions do "not change the law of gravity" fairly boggles the mind. Please, get yours in gear. Contradictions exist only in the minds of those who fail to think clearly.   The relativity theory doesn't alter your homely illustration about feet and hands. But (if further verified) it certainly does change the whole theory of gravitation. In science, "law" is NOT law. That's what makes it so dynamically exciting. 
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 36 weeks 4 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "...the scientific method of reasoning does NOT produce "laws" fixed for ever, but rather theories that are open to be tested and modified..." I suppose we could get off track into argumentation over "science" and the scientific method as it affects reason. Laws are not produced by "scientists" (quotes intended) -- they are discovered and perceived. All the "science" of the acclaimed experts does not change the law of gravity. It might change perceptions and theories, but law is law. Of course I'm not referring to "white man's law". I'm thinking of a "law" that governs liberty and freedom. And I suspect the most simple of folks tend to discover that "law" more quickly and succinctly than do the acclaimed intellectuals espousing "the-freedom-movement". I'm not a fan of antagonistic adherence to "theory", as you may have discovered ("scientifically"???). It bores me. And it angers me. Because there's no point in you or Alex or Paul or anybody else lambasting each other over pointless, meaningless squabbles. And it drives sincere seekers of truth away. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 36 weeks 4 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Congratulations, Alex! According to wordcounter.net, you managed to type 543 words there, without once addressing the comments I had made about your article.   If the "attention" you say I crave (I don't) can be measured just by the length of the reply rather than its relevance or quality, you have therefore done me proud.   One further remark if I may: the bulk of those 543 words were my own, and they quoted you. So for example on November 20th the phrase "be damned with you" was originally what you wrote against me, not the other way about; I'll cheerfully pour vitriol on your anti-liberty views, but I try to avoid calling down ad-hominem curses on people as individuals.   It is therefore you who declared that you were finished with me, not the other way round; and these 543 words today illustrate vividly how much that declaration is worth.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 36 weeks 4 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Very amusing, Sam, but unfortunately wrong. Seriously, it is vitally important to understand that the scientific method of reasoning does NOT produce "laws" fixed for ever, but rather theories that are open to be tested and modified.   Science News has an account here of how Einstein modified the Newtonian gravitational theories, and I came across a claim that his General Relativity theory has itself, in turn, been recently challenged.   Why is this important, especially in the context of a forum supposedly dedicated to striking the root of evil? - only to the extent that clarity of reasoning is critical in both contexts. From Bonneau, Knight, and here unfortunately your goodself, that has been in short supply.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 36 weeks 5 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Without dignifying Jim Davies's missives above by responding to them, or even reading them -- thereby giving him the attention he so desperately craves, though in no way deserves -- I would simply reproduce here for anyone interested two prior postings made by him which, together, constitute the very epitome of the hypocrisy he is so enamored of projecting onto others:   Comment by Jim Davies, posted on November 20, 2016 "And correspondingly, a waste of time.   "And I'm quite done with it.   "Just parting food for thought.   "Be damned with you.   "Rest assured I'll be ignoring the promised 'great deal more to come' ... 'And with that, I'm done.'"   These five are not very consequential when compared to the big lie, but all of them are solemn resolves of Alexander Knight III as recorded in this very thread above, and all the first four have been reversed. He has continued to "waste" his time, is not at all "done with it", has by no means "parted" with the matter, and evidently mistrusts whatever deity to whom he uttered his imprecation to damn me.   He will not have to wait long for the first instalment of the "more to come", and we shall all see clearly whether or not is "assurance" to "ignore it" and be "done" is, or is not, worth a red cent.     Comment by Jim Davies, posted on December 01, 2016 For the good reasons stated in this ZGBlog, I asked Rob, STR's Editor, to cancel the membership of Bonneau and Knight. He has declined. There's quite an irony here. Rob owns the STR site, so is entitled to do with it as he pleases, including driving it off a cliff and contradicting his own Mission Statement. I deplore his decision, for STR has been a major asset to freedom, but support fully his right to control its future. As Hope said to Miss Daisy, "It's yaw chicken!" Paul and Alex, on the other hand, are no doubt celebrating his decision even as they maintain he has no rights, and therefore no right to make it. Those interested in authentic libertarian commentary - "Rational, Refreshing Reflections on What's Happening Now" - are welcome over at the Zero Government Blog. The current issue can always be reached via http://www.theanarchistalternative.info/zgb/ or via http://TinyURL.com/ZGBlog for short; you could place it among your bookmarks. Its "Recent" button leads to a full dated list of earlier offerings. Its "About" button has a reminder that all genuine market anarchists are welcome to submit articles for publication. It would be neat if a few regular contributors were to join me, and so provide more frequent reader refreshment. With that encouragement, and other resources like QuitGov, The Anarchist Alternative and above all TOLFA, we can contribute to human freedom. To the rest - choristers, clergy, ex-libertarians and psycho-babblers - farewell.       I'd ask all to consider at this point just whose "assurances" are worth a red cent and whose are not, since Davies's most recent bid to inflate his ego seems an awfully strange way to say "farewell" -- as he seemingly "assured" us above on December 1st.   This having been duly pointed out, I simply intend to ignore him unilaterally for good.  As it seems most of you have already been doing heretofore.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 36 weeks 5 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "...The law of gravity is merely a theory; Newton proposed it, Einstein claimed to modify it..." However, should you stand in the middle of the room, place your right foot in your right hand, then (without removing right foot from right hand) attempt simultaneously to place your left foot into your left hand, you might discover that gravity is not merely a theory -- it's the law. However, you have the right to defy it, Jim. So I guess there are "rights" after all. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 36 weeks 5 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Glad, Alex, that although you abandoned your commitment to market anarchism you have retained your hostility to the fuzz.   Certainly, if cops were held to the standards of the law the job would be much less attractive, hence fewer of them, hence more liberty. But why would the judiciary do that? - cops constitute the teeth of government, one of the key means by which it keeps its subjects in fear and submission. Seems to me you are asking them to behave out of character, to change their nature.   I see also a few other problems. First, if (as you have said) nobody has any rights, there is no logical basis to complain when cops intimidate and push us around. Might would be right.   Second, if (as you have said) nobody has any conscience - that the concept is, in your word, "asenine" - I'm wondering what hook you might use, to persuade cops and their law-writing masters to mend their ways.   And third - a very minor point - it's not accurate to say that "laws" belong in science. The reverse is the case; laws belong in government (and not for long, all being well.) Scientists form theories, which are always open to revision in the light of new discovery. It's true that when a theory has been around for a long time, some get complacent and call it a "law", but they really should not. The law of gravity is merely a theory; Newton proposed it, Einstein claimed to modify it.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 36 weeks 6 days ago Web link KenK
    This is a great article.  I was able to gain some long-awaited valuable insight into my dad's old USAF M4 .22 survival rifle, as well!  One of my next guns may well be an AR-7.  :-)
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 37 weeks 5 hours ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    It's why you'll never see me preach down my nose at fellow STR participants over expressions of religion. And I won't wail and gnash teeth over "police brutality". As to the former, at least the g-d religion thing is out in the open with churches, liturgy, etc. -- not harmful or threatening to you or me or our freedom. And the latter, as you've concluded in your essay, "police brutality" is putting it nicely. And it's the most natural thing in the world. You can say it's a scientific axiom: When all participants of a "system" are psychopathic, feeding from the same nose-bag, free from competition -- and are allowed and encouraged (by your neighbors and friends -- hopefully not you) to • Make laws, • Enforce laws, • Prosecute laws, • Hire prosecutors, • License “defense” attorneys, • Pay “judges”, • Build jails, • Contract jails out to private entities, • Employ and pay wardens, • Employ and pay guards, • Employ and pay parole officers, It is not a "justice" system. It will always result in kinship and tyranny (Rephrased from an old Daily Bell article, link to the archived copy scuttled by their new regime) The latter is, indeed, the most dangerous of all religions. The enormity of the truth is incredible Sam
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 37 weeks 9 hours ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    I remember another incident from some years ago, Sam, in Washington (not the District of Criminals one, the northwestern one) wherein a funeral was held for one of the boys in blue, and a sports stadium was needed for the services.  There was even a massive contingent of bright red out there -- RCMP from across the imaginary line in Canada.   As I believe you are wont to say (and please forgive my inexactitude in paraphrasing, if you will), the immensity of the truth is mind-boggling.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 37 weeks 11 hours ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    A) A few months back two local policemen were murdered while on duty, sitting in patrol vehicles, at separate locations, but about 15 or 20 minutes apart. A warm evening, I presume both had windows down, and were shot point-blank -- from close range -- for no discernible reason. An immediate, exhaustive and massive manhunt resulted in the prompt apprehension of the apparent "lone-gunman" -- post-haste. B) A day or so prior a 14 year-old youth had been murdered not far from the above wickedness -- somewhat similar circumstances -- also for no apparent reason. The crime has not been solved, but "...The Des Moines Police Department is asking anyone with information related to the shooting to come forward..." C) Around the same time, a 12 year-old boy was killed -- hit by an automobile while crossing the street -- a short distance from A) and B) above. This likely the result of classic carelessness 12 year-old lads display that keeps us parents on constant alert. Nobody was charged in this instance. My purpose for listing these three appalling incidents -- catastrophes, certainly, for friends and families of the victims -- is the mass-psychosis to which your nice article alludes. This is what we're dealing with, Alex, while contemplating personal liberty and freedom for us all: A few days after these misfortunes, one afternoon I was biking to my part-time Wally-World job. Along University Ave, between a large municipal golf course on one side, a large cemetery on the other (close to 1 1/2 mile detour if I can't use University) I noticed up ahead were dozens of emergency vehicles, "advertising" (all lights flashing). The street closed, large crowds packed street and sidewalks. Turns out to be the funeral for one of the "fallen officers". Needing to get to work, I walked the bike on the sidewalk through the "unwashed masses", past the barricades, then biked the street between huge crowds lining sidewalks and grassy areas both sides of University most of the way. Felt like Quasimodo. Firemen and policemen growlingly allowed me back through the barricades on the other end. I'm in charge of hardware and sporting goods a few evenings per week. Suddenly -- and ever since -- there has been a huge demand for "blue light bulbs" (we've been out -- swamped). Seems somebody has declared blue light bulbs to be "...a-show-of-support-for-police..." I understand crafts & fabrics department have also been out of blue ribbon. Almost every street there are blue ribbons around trees. When customers complain of the outages, I try to (diplomatically) show "shock -- SHOCK" that nobody seems to want to refer to the other two tragedies [ B) and C) above] as "fallen boys". I try, very carefully, to show them that these two events, from a parent's perspective, are every bit as devastating to "..the community.." as A) above. I do get some "awakening" expressions from some -- have to sidestep resentment from others. But even to this very day (2 months after the fact) the local news reports declare additional segments having to do with those two "fallen officers". Don't remember seeing anything about funerals for B) or C). Sam
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 37 weeks 2 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    WTF is "fake news"? It's devolved meaning as of now is as a generic pejoritive for any news reporting that the reader doesnt agree with or like. Like the term "propaganda" applied to any article based on who wrote or published it, not on what's actually written or its logical coherence, or its use or citation of verifiable info or data. Some time ago, out of curiosity, I would click on links at the bottom of some websites that made sensational claims and just click through the various pages to see what it amounted to, and I quickly concluded that it was just clickbait using contrived or misleading statements to suck you in. That's one kind of fake news. Misleading nonsense for page views. The tabloid press like National Enquirer and grocery store check out gossip mags have perfected this form of "fake news". Another kind of fake news is the Daily Show & Colbert Report where the host riffs on current events as if was a straight news report but actually as satirical humor. If Jon Stewart ever got called out on it, he just shrugs and says that he's not a "real" journalist and of course it's fake news! He's a fake newsman! What was surprising though was large amount of viewers who believed and passed it on even knowing that it was written by comedy writers. Comedy writers with a sharp partisan edge although. Rush Limbaugh and Conservative talk radio hosts have their own style of deconstruction that can constitute fakery. Rush did a riff on mainstream media headlines and the disconect that they showed. "Prison Population Increasing Even as Crime Rates Fall" is one deconstruct i recall from memory. Without going in to the meat of the story's reporting, (from the NYT if I remember) Limbaugh pointed out that the crime rate was lower, likely because more violent criminals were being incarcerated and for longer amounts of time, and so that's why the jails were full up. So the reporters theme, as expressed in the headline, was "fake" as he saw it, but it still put the false notion out there as news and so Limbaugh was doing a call out. So there's that kind of "fake news". The worst current example of fake news is the "Russians Hacked the Election" theme where anonymous intelligence sources are quoted as saying this. Citing anonymous sources from unnamed agencies as proof for an unexpected election loss doesn't explain why one side outpolled the other side but it doesn't stop the partisan media echo chamber from discussing, repeting, and cementing in place events that likely never happened. That too, is fake news. Probably the most unsettling kind. The Obama State Department saying the Bengazhi embassy massacre was caused by a YouTube video is perhaps the most sinsister example of fake news to deflect incompetence and was totally effective at doing so, even after it was debunked, because few remember it, even a scant four years later. Come to think of it, about everything except sports scores is fake news anymore. That's the approach I take FWIW to you.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 37 weeks 3 days ago Web link strike
    "The famine was able to take root with ease due to the economic problems caused by World War I, five years of civil war, and a drought in 1921 which led to 30 million Russians becoming malnourished." I guess communism had nothing to do with it.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 37 weeks 6 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    I'm continually amazed at how people who were against war become for it, and vice versa. It's as if they attach themselves to a ruler, or even just a label, rather than consider the carnage. Why? I guess I am just missing the loyalty gene myself, so don't understand the concept.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 38 weeks 6 hours ago Web link KenK
    Nixon was also responsible for this in order to try saving himself politically, post-Watergate:   http://strike-the-root.com/72/knight/knight1.html    
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 38 weeks 1 day ago Blog entry Don Stacy
    The video is perhaps of some value in deterring the natural warring mentality that is extant in your innermost soul. But videos depicting "....the horrors of war..." are a dime a dozen. They never zero in upon the cause of war -- only the horrors. Some years ago I stumbled across this essay by the late Delmar England. England, within the first few paragraphs, began to show us why war exists and what we -- individuals -- can do about it. Sad to say, far too many "libertarians" (quotes needed and intended) will read those first few lines, throw it down in disgust, and then go on reading and writing essays that never interfere with the warring mentality that creates the evil about which they're writing. Mr. England has the knack of kicking your icons in the schnozzel. You're not going to like that. Particularly if you are prone to flashing dogmatic "libertarian theories" around. The enormity of the truth is incredible. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 39 weeks 1 day ago Web link Government Deni...
    Here is the text of a comment Sam has contributed to the website: "...First, I’m truly happy to see you once again editing at STR. Second — and as usual — this treatise on “political philosophy” is exceeding long. So much so that I can’t get through it in one sitting. But I’ll make one glaring observation regarding Huemer: he has the bad habit of interchanging “citizens” with “individuals” — which rather negates his presentation before he gets it underway. Citizen(s) [to me] is a collectivist term. Individual(s) is not. Third: Throughout, Huemer uses reification, which nullifies critical thinking. “The State” cannot “exercise coercion” — the state IS coercion. Only individuals (psychopaths hiding under the mantle of “state”) can exercise coercion. Once again, it’s nice to see you again! I’m old (81), inundated with information overload; and tend not to go to various sites not heavy in discussion forums..." Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 39 weeks 1 day ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "...I'm just not a collectivist. I don't naturally look at things as a collectivist would, as a government bureaucrat would, so this government solution does not appeal to me. I don't see why the IQ of averages of people with different backgrounds are anything that should concern me. It doesn't fit my worldview, which looks at people (mostly) as individuals..." Excellent observation on an old (presumably expired) but very important thread. "Collectivist vs individualist mentality" stands at the helm of the very most important of forum topics as I see it. The Gotto quotation is extremely pertinent. Long prior to my ever darkening the door of STR I recognized IQ measurements as defective at best, segregationist on down the scale. I was a government ("public" ha ha) teacher in white schools deep in Jim Crow country. Crow was alive and well at the time, Martin King still a small-town preacher with little to say. And, once he did become a factor, he added to rather than having made less oppressive, the problem of government "education". We needed John Taylor Gatto's, but he (they) would have been shouted down. I'm strongly convinced the whole "civil rights" phenomenon was a gigantic false flag operation. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 39 weeks 1 day ago Page Paul Bonneau
    (Sorry -- twice posted reply to Paul's comment)
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 39 weeks 1 day ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "There is an enormous amount of data clearly indicating that there are differences in IQ test results among the various races when considering averages of those groups." Certainly this is so - assuming one can get past the little problem of defining race - what race is Obama? One might also find, that if piles of taxpayer money was devoted to determining, via studies, the IQ differences of left-handed vs right-handed people, then differences would be found there too. Or of people with curly hair vs those with straight hair. Or Catholics vs Protestants vs Buddhists. No doubt then, having found such differences, self-interested bureaucrats in government agencies would start lobbying to reduce them, or whole new agencies would be built. And the living standard around Washington DC would go up another notch. But, I'm just not a collectivist. I don't naturally look at things as a collectivist would, as a government bureaucrat would, so this government solution does not appeal to me. I don't see why the IQ of averages of people with different backgrounds are anything that should concern me. It doesn't fit my worldview, which looks at people (mostly) as individuals. Whenever I do catch myself looking at things collectively (no doubt infected by the general collectivist milieu), I stop and slap myself around before I go overboard. Not that I'm entirely immune to the old chestnut of walking through a "bad" neighborhood and feeling nervous. Any time I am a minority (at least where looks are concerned - but I could also be for example, a cultural or religious minority) I am going to have heightened awareness; that's just human nature and has some good evolutionary reasons for it. But that's about as far as it goes. I don't turn it into self-serving studies. I don't put faith in tests that have the purpose of pigeonholing people for the bureaucracy to manipulate. I don't imagine because some people have lower IQs (whatever that measures), they can't have a decent life - or people with higher IQs must necessarily have a good one. Racial theorizing cannot explain the deaths of millions of Chinese in the "Great Leap Forward" and the Cultural Revolution. Most problems are cultural, or territorial, not racial (other than being a "divide and conquer" tool for the ruling class). "If you believe nothing can be done for the dumb but kindness, because it's biology (the bell-curve model); if you believe the capitalist oppressors have ruined the dumb because they are bad people (the neo-Marxist model); if you believe dumbness reflects depraved moral fiber (the Calvinist model); or that it's nature's way of providing someone to clean your toilet (the pragmatic elitist model)... if you believe any of the various explanations given for the position of the dumb in the social order we have, then you will be forced to concur that a vast bureaucracy is indeed necessary to address the dumb. Otherwise they would murder us in our beds. The shocking possibility that dumb people don't exist in sufficient numbers to warrant the careers devoted to tending to them will seem incredible to you. Yet that is my proposition: Mass dumbness first had to be imagined; it isn't real. Once the dumb are wished into existence, they serve valuable functions: as a danger to themselves and others they have to be watched, classified, disciplined, trained, medicated, sterilized, ghettoized, cajoled, coerced, jailed. To idealists they represent a challenge, reprobates to be made socially useful. Either way you want it, hundreds of millions of perpetual children require paid attention from millions of adult custodians. An ignorant horde to be schooled one way or another." -- John Taylor Gatto, "The Underground History of American Education"
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 39 weeks 2 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    Jim,   Just caught your spell check. "Writen" means it's a pretty good Write. Surprised nobody caught my misquote of Thoreau. Should have been writen (sic) as:   "Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate Enterprises?"     No prizes for misspellings or Miss Quotations. Only in beauty contests, I suppose.        
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 39 weeks 3 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    Hi Jimbo,   THANKS-! Yessir! I wrote most, okay, some of Tasha's best lines. And of course, being a very good actress, she ad-libbed even BETTER lines. Of course the old blue-eyed miner added his Excellent Unscripted lines.   We shot the "gold panning" scene at Lake Pleasant, just north of Phoenix. I highly doubt much gold has ever come out of there. I took my camera out into the water, both there and at the Colorado River. Sorta cold as I remember. Tasha didn't really want to get into the water at the Colorado river there near Laughlin & Bullhead City. 
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 39 weeks 3 days ago Page Paul Hein
    Hasnas' insight is correct; "government" is an abstraction, a religion, a mysterious entity that has no contractual reality. He's also correct in saying that people say otherwise and act in a statist way. For that very reason, it's not possible for you or anyone else not to worry about them or to "stay out of harm's way." They will tighten their grip on all of us, gradually but relentlessly, until it is total.   If you or I manage to stay relatively free of harm, the next generation will not. To me, that matters.   If it were impossible to dislodge or remove these "individuals acting in a statist manner", the question would be academic. But it is not impossible at all, and so it is far from academic. As it happens, the Zero Government Blog out today touches on that very theme.  
  • James Clayton's picture
    James Clayton 39 weeks 5 days ago Page Paul Hein
    John Hasnas: “I intend to show that a stable, successful society without government can exist by showing that it has, and to a large extent, still does.” Max T. O'Connor put forth the suggestion that “We already live in an anarchy. There is no “State.” There are only individuals acting in a statist manner, often because they believe it to be right, to be necessary, and because they see no alternative.” [from Deep Anarchy - An Eliminativist View of “The State”]   Maybe today it’s enough for me to think about my actions and not worry about abstractions; to do no harm and stay out of harm’s way.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 39 weeks 5 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    Best YouTube clip I ever saw!   Are you sure though that it was "Writen by" your good self?
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 39 weeks 6 days ago
    The Last Barricade
    Page Terry Hulsey
    Terry, nice to see you back! Need more individuals like you to think through essays to post here. "...This ought to be a time of revolutionary excitement, even adventure, where we stand on the barricades of a world unlike any that has come before. But it’s not..." I say this often: this is an exciting time to be alive! Never a dull moment. But I speak as an individual -- "individual=ist" to you intellectuals. But to me, merely an individual -- immune from "the left" as well as "the right". Funny (speaking of heresy) virtually all on the "right" look at individuals like me as "left-wingers"; and those on the "left"??? Guess. Oh, yes -- I be a red-neck "right winger" fer sure fer sure. "Heresy" is normally applied to religion -- with churches, rituals, litany, etc. But only a few firmly grasp "the left" and "the right" (and all in-between when gaming with the idea of central political authority -- or even if limiting the gaming to "local" political authority) as religions. Wendy McElroy saw through the mirage. In a sense, so did the late Harry Browne, who observed: Conservatives vs Liberals Conservatives say government cannot end poverty by force, but they believe government can use force and threats of violence to make people moral. Liberals say government cannot make people moral, but they believe government can use force and threats of violence to end poverty (redistribute wealth). Neither group attempts to explain why government is so clumsy and destructive in one area but a paragon of efficiency and benevolence in the other..." ~Harry Browne Liberty A-Z p 35
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 39 weeks 6 days ago Page Paul Hein
    It can't be impossible, James, for at least a couple of reasons:   1. Freedom is the natural state of mankind. We are reasoning, choosing, decision-making animals and the only framework consistent with that is that we control those choices, each as a self-owner. It is therefore absurd that our basic human nature should be over-ridden by the way we relate to each other - by means of force, of denial of choice. Goverment absolutely conflicts with our very nature.   2. Dating the existence of hom. sap. from the time our ancestors quit Africa 50 millennia ago, they progressed wonderfully for about 40,000 years all over the world, before government showed its ugly face. If our race can manage without one for 80% of its history, it can do so again for the remainder.   Government will cease to exist when its employees quit. No sooner, but also no later.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 40 weeks 9 hours ago Page Paul Hein
    James, I see you as having accurately underpinned anarchy. I've stated repeatedly that the human family is the only legitimate jurisdiction -- all other claims are no more than threats by psychopaths, backed by loaded firearms. The human newborn comes into being fully and totally subject to adult caregivers -- hopefully a loving Mom and Dad. S/he didn't "consent", but would not survive if Mom did not feed, clothe and shelter her, restrain her from falling from the bath table or bassinet or down an unblocked flight of stairs; later prevent her from ingesting dangerous stuff (everything goes into their mouths! :-[ ), etc etc. Later still, Mom and Dad set rules for driving the car, dating, etc etc. And on down the avenue of time, the now-adult child will likely assume supervision of aging Moms and/or Dads, often suffering from dementia, etc. The complete circle in the authority of love. We "libertarians" can get ourselves into mindless and silly squabbles over "...do parents 'own' their children?...", "...rights...", etc etc; while overlooking the obvious: that the family is a viable -- the only viable -- governing unit, and this pale blue dot upon which we all reside is filled with brainless abstractions called "nations", "countries", etc. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 40 weeks 10 hours ago Page Paul Hein
    "...People have been living in subjugation to Rulers for countless centuries--even millennia. It is the status quo, and accepted by the Rulers and the ruled. But it is based upon nothing more than an ASSUMPTION..." Nice assumption, Paul :-) I submit one more indicia (assumption, if you will) that makes up a major stratagem in the science of rulership and the art of war: a phenomenon we've been trained to label "Stockholm Syndrome". I say "trained", because it has been essential from the beginning for the hoi polloi to believe that condition will only exist in isolated occurrences such as a place called Sweden in 1973 (bank robbery/hostage situation). In that discipline ("science") it's extremely important that those subject to rule not comprehend it as an ever-present but easily overcome affliction. The jig would be up were ordinary folks to know how easy freedom is to attain. The individual in history you refer to as Thomas Jefferson obviously understood capture bonding quite well. In his soothing words he was eerily capable of making the average "citizen" accept her "consent", rather than see that she had been subject to brutal rape. After all, it felt so good -- and finally "we" were free of that evil "king" (a mythical bogyman that no average individual had seen or had dealings with) "over there". The enormity of the truth is incredible. Sam
  • James Clayton's picture
    James Clayton 40 weeks 10 hours ago Page Paul Hein
    Paul, I agree with you that it may be impossible to eradicate government, since (as other people have pointed out) "government" is perhaps just an abstraction. Ideas are probably more difficult to eradicate. Maybe "our Rulers" want everyone to continue to think-speak about the faceless and nameless "government", a collective term that is not very clearly defined. It might even be prudent to question the assumption that there is something called "government", and to shift focus to the actual individuals and their actions. Perhaps "government" is just "aggression" - but, obviously, not all aggression is government. And it seems highly unlikely that aggression (broadly defined) will ever be eradicated, since aggressive behaviour will probably always be a potential strategy. There will probably always be some people who will sometimes choose to behave aggressively in an attempt to acquire some wealth and/or power, and they won't care about my consent or "rights" and "freedom".  Every person can presumably choose to behave aggressively or not, and to respond to aggressive behaviour. Perhaps there will always be some people who will try to dominate and maybe there will always be some people who will submit. Maybe it all boils down to some measure of perceived costs and benefits. James
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 40 weeks 2 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    This was the atmosphere in which I grew up and from which I was inundated from birth (1935 Gregorian): '... “A viper is nonetheless a viper wherever the egg is hatched—so a Japanese-American, born of Japanese parents—grows up to be a Japanese, not an American.” — Los Angeles Times, February 2, 1942 ...' So, please be patient as I attempt to make the transformation from xenophobe to critical thinker. Libertarianism, anarchy, is merely a lengthy exercise in critical thinking as I see it. Dogmatic ideas and attitudes don't fit well in freedom and liberty. Managers and controllers are always standing in the wings, attempting to inhibit and hamper free thinking. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 40 weeks 2 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Extraordinary.   Quote: The very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken. — General John L. DeWitt, head of the U.S. Army’s Western Defense Command.   Such is government logic. Strike back, you're a saboteur. Do nothing, you will be one.