Recent comments

  • John deLaubenfels's picture
    John deLaubenfels 40 weeks 1 day ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Yawn!  We're talking minuscule amounts of radiation that far from Fukushima.  With so many serious problems going on in the world (most of them involving government thugs gone wild), it amazes me that anyone can get excited about this.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 40 weeks 1 day ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Anybody interested in this should also read the most recent blog at Daily Bell: http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/rothbard-vs-propornot-feud-exp... I've never been an avid fan of Glenn Greenwald. Not that I dislike or disagree with him to any extent or for any specific reason. I suppose I've generally seen Greenwald as what I would call "faux-libertarian". This could fit many (most) individuals who end up gaining much in the way of celebrity in the field of libertarian writing. I can feel the red flags now, excusing Rothbard, Mises, et al. from this blanket style of labeling -- which could aptly send some flak up against me, so I'd better watch out. This "fake news" thing is steaming up to be quite a hubbub. And Bell, in the above referenced article, I think, outlines on a global scale what our little ruckus over "rights", et al., here at STR, have amounted to locally. In thinking about that, I was struck with Greenwald's term, "...malleable political labels...", which lack clear definition and are essentially useless except as instruments of propaganda and censorship (his words, but in our case attempted censorship against each other). I'll repeat something pertaining to one of our good STR friends who seems to have disappeared in the last year or so. But he used to chime in almost every STR discussion, and was heavy into "definitions". You old-timers will know to whom I refer. Anyhow, on one discussion I was ratcheting away on my thesis of treating policemen like I treat rattlesnakes -- with watchfulness and caution. I said something like, "...and I don't have a right to wander in the woods without high boots..." To which he countered, "...yes, Sam, you DO have a right to wander in the woods without high boots..." Which is probably what set me to thinking back that several years ago along the lines of what Greenwald is describing with his "...malleable political labels..." We can, if not careful, get ourselves into big fights over trifles -- even here, amongst friends. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 40 weeks 1 day ago Web link A. Magnus
    You're right, Jim. You and I really have no major disagreements regarding "rights", "freedom", "rulership" et al. It's merely focus and the arrangement of words that often separate us. My focus is upon voluntary compliance to the oppressor. Your focus appears to center upon the oppressor herself; who (to me --and to Étienne de La Boétie nearly 5 centuries ago) is merely the natural consequence of voluntary compliance. But your TOLFA endeavor indicates we're indeed and inarguably in the same arena with each other philosophically. Because neither of us would disagree that the evil beast, "government" ("the-state", "'our' great nation", "'our' leaders") can only exist within a culture of voluntary servitude. My emphasis is that I must not (nor should you, I presume) spend precious time and emotional energy flailing away at something in which I have absolutely no control. I can put forth my best effort to set the example for liberty and freedom. I can encourage my neighbors, family and friends to abstain from beans. But I can't set them free. I can lead a horse to water -- and, if s/he's thirsty s/he will drink. I might can have some minuscule effect on the level of thirst, but not a lot -- not enough to become emotionally distraught over. My emphasis also surrounds the way I process the stuff between my ears. If I think in terms of servitude, it's likely I'll experience much more difficulty side-stepping and escaping the beast. Oh, I know the argument: the beast is still the beast no matter HOW I "think". And I sometimes get the feeling that not a few of my libertarian friends rue the day I stumbled across the late Delmar England -- whose primary message over the quest for acquiring liberty was in encouraging me to examine the way I process knowledge. The way I say things in my head. If I think that a place called "Washington, DC" is a threat to my freedom I may never become free. If I allow myself to understand that it is only a few psychopaths residing in that fair city who can be threats to my freedom I'll probably in time find the solution to circumvent and sidestep them, and be on my way to liberty and freedom. And, of course, if everybody desires to and learns how to circumvent and sidestep the beast, he will starve and die. The oppressor must be fed to stay alive. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 40 weeks 2 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    Serenity is fine. In your case it is well based; you and I know that by right, we are owners of our own lives. That realization is enormously liberating, and we share it. No disagreement, so far.   But my sugestion that you are "not free" is not merely my opinion, even though what you wrote seems to imply you think that's the case. I have in this very exchange presented hard evidence to support that opinion; you have been dominated, with the sad result that you lost your wife, and are by your own admission losing part of your property as "tribute" and part of your time in fending off legal annoyances etc. Fact, Sam: to those extents are least you are not free. Admit it!   You and I never will be, until the dominators - the governors, the State - no longer exist. Now, it may be argued that it's impossible to eliminate them (I disagree) but surely it cannot be argued that full freedom in practice is impossible until they vanish?
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 40 weeks 3 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    Thanks! Sam
  • James Clayton's picture
    James Clayton 40 weeks 4 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    Sam, Just to throw in my two cents (well, pennies have been phased out of production up here in this place called "Canada", but if you'll accept credit...) - you might not change the world beyond your own bellybutton but you do provide insightful considerations about this thing called freedom, by patiently challenging and encouraging readers of STR to think about the ways "we" think, speak and act. I enjoy your comments and the links that you provide. Thank you. James  
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 40 weeks 4 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    One more addendum: When all is said and done I strongly believe I've somehow received an opportunity to live out my life on this pale blue dot -- that houses a human population of nearly 7.5 billion souls -- during a time when monumental changes for the entirety of all human beings could take place. I believe I will live to see, not just philosophical freedom; but, as Mr. Davies has phrased it, freedom in practice. In praxi. I linked (above) to a "world population clock". Naturally, the call is for global government to "save" the masses. I'm convinced we're witnessing severe fault-lines in that movement. I have strong hope to live to see free-market solutions instead. I sincerely wish you that moment also. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 40 weeks 4 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    After flailing away here and finally coming to the conclusion (as always): "...it's a fun time to be alive..."; and touting "...Trump, Brexit, and now Renzi..." -- it might be prudent for me to give ear to Daily Bell: "...Populism is featured throughout this issue of the (Time) magazine and is the defining description of Trump himself. But here is a disturbing thought: The bottom line is that globalism must eventually win out if internationalism is to continue to expand. This means that populism – and Mr. Trump – must lose in the long-term. There is seemingly no doubt (whether he knows it or not) that new president is embroiled in an unfathomably vast propaganda campaign..." This referring to an article in Time naming Trump "Man Of the Year" -- and alluding to the distinct probability that this entire Brexit, Trump and European Union phenomenon could be (and quite likely is) a gigantic propaganda effort. That the alleged "powers-that-be" might have pre-arranged this entire charade (including Trump's election) in order to, among numerous other devious actions, plunk down the Global Government card in the end. To save us all, as usual.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 40 weeks 4 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    "...I was asking, rather, how you or anyone could validly claim to be free now in practice, prior to the elimination of government..." Dilemma: How does one respond to a friend who insists that you ("I") are not free??? Or that your ("my") declaration of freedom is merely a "claim"??? (With questionable validity) You don't. That's how you respond. Because no matter how you do respond, you will be challenged. Not that I shy away from challenges -- that's not the point. It's just that there are some who are right, and others who are wrong, no matter what. Philosophically speaking. You and I come from different parts of town. Again, philosophically speaking. I like to think that I accept reality. And that you may not. Would it be remunerable for me to attempt to convince you of that??? Hardly. Could I be wrong? I thought I was wrong once. But later discovered my error. OK -- don't laugh at my crude jokes. That off my chest, I'll merely repeat what you've heard from me before. In order for me to live freely (in a sovereign state) I've had to acquire and embrace serenity. This concept has been visualized as having serenity to accept things I cannot change, courage to change things that I can change, and wisdom to know the difference. I don't believe I can through my own wisdom and/or eloquence relieve any large plurality of people of their apparent cravings to be ruled by others. You believe that you can. So did Irwin Schiff. Irwin, sorry to say, was in the process of painting a large target upon his back during the 1970's when he and I spent hours in long distance phone calls (expensive before cellphones) trying to fend off the beast at my door. The internet appears to be doing what neither you nor I nor Irwin could accomplish -- if Trump, Brexit, and now Renzi are any indication. A fun time, indeed, to be alive. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 40 weeks 4 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    No question about your courage, Sam, nor about the very great benefit of knowing that by right, you and I are sovereign over our own lives, not mere pawns at others' disposal. That is the theme for example of para (a) in TOLFA's Benefits page.   I was asking, rather, how you or anyone could validly claim to be free now in practice, prior to the elimination of government.   From what you say, your brave contest with the IRS has cost you a wife, plus "legal annoyances", and some "tribute now and again" as an alternative to being robbed. Factors like those are the ones I suggest make the difference between freedom and domination in practice. They are heavy costs.   Your remarks about Irwin are accurate. In case you haven't already seen them, here are some photos of his resting place.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 40 weeks 5 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    "...So do you, in fact, comply and pay taxes?..." I pay no income tax. I'll say one good thing for you, Jim: you didn't ask, "...do you pay 'your' taxes?..." Far too many libertarian writers engage in what the late Delmar England called "The Lies of Language -- the psychology of oppression". As the result, I suspect, many never fully climb away from "...fear-of-big-brother-watching..." That minuscule possessive pronoun "your" in the lament about taxes is the difference between freedom and serfdom. A goodly sum in the form of fictitious "money" is robbed from me each year -- none through "voluntary compliance". Last time I submitted a confession ("filed-a-return") for the purpose of my voluntary rape was 1977 Gregorian. In the 10 or so years after I ceased wilful compliance I was embroiled in several legal annoyances -- including divorce from the mother of my 7 children. The late Irwin Schiff helped me a number of times through that period. Irwin's problem was that he never gave up hope that the brainless abstraction we like to call "government" might eventually serve a socially useful purpose. If the "bad hombres" would just come to see the error of their ways and do government "like it was intended to be done" things might turn around. And Irwin Schiff, of course, would be instrumental in that turn-around. Not. Ever now and again I pay tribute to avoid being kidnapped and robbed. Like the price of a good pair of boots to maneuver snake-infested woods, tribute is the price of walking to and fro in an unfree world filled with voluntary-compliers. It's not the tyrants who are the threat to freedom -- they are the natural outcropping of voluntary compliance. I have learned to be(come) free in an unfree world. And that's not a claim, Jim. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 40 weeks 5 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    The alleged obligation to pay taxes has no connection to whether or not the victim voted, or for whom, and confers on him or her no privilege or right. There is no contract. It's just brute force; pay, or die.  The best that might be said of tax is that it's a fee, to keep you alive and out of jail; but not even that is true.   Question, Sam; and don't feel obliged to reply if you prefer not. Big Brother is watching, and you are fully entitled to privacy. But I'm curious; you often write here that you are "already free" and sovereign, or words to that effect. So do you, in fact, comply and pay taxes?  If so, and do that against your will, might you consider modifying your claim to be free now?        
  • James Clayton's picture
    James Clayton 40 weeks 6 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    In The Folly of Fools by Robert Trivers he mentions "mafia-like" behavior of cuckoos and cowbirds and suggests that for hosts/victims "It becomes a matter of accepting a degree of parasitism or being really badly treated - like a demand payoff (tax) instead of an outright killing". Fear of possible consequences is one explanation for "voluntary compliance" when human hosts/victims pay taxes to human parasites. It would be interesting to see what would happen if 65 million people stopped paying some taxes.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 40 weeks 6 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    Absolutely. There's a lot to like. Let's all cease submitting confessions ("filing returns" ha ha) to the beast in that form that creates the illusion of "self-assessment" for absolute and abject robbery. I didn't vote for Trump, so I rightly qualify for membership in that group who should definitely cease "voluntary" submission of confessions ("compliance"). Unless you voted for Trump, you also qualify. Well, even if you did vote for Trump, you could start doing your share to expose the buffoonery that they like to label "voluntary compliance" if you let "them" (whoever "they" are) come after you in order for them to extract the tribute they like to call "tax" -- rather than docilely "taxing yourself" to make it appear that robbery is just a duty for which we should all be "in compliance". Think what an improvement it would be to "...the system..." if everyone who did not vote for Trump would join that group -- everyone -- immediately. It wouldn't stop the robbery, but it would call attention to the farce of "voluntary-self-assessment" for theft. Voluntary compliance is an amazing phenomenon. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 41 weeks 9 hours ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    Lawrence, your fine suggestion bore fruit. I got three of Shaffer's books and have now finished "Boundaries"; it was a very good read, with many beautiful insights.   Just slightly heavy going, I thought, though perhaps that's a symptom of my senility, but it was interesting that his comprehensive exposition of the importance of ownership rights was mainly utilitarian. To me it's simple: there is no logical alternative to self-ownership and therefore that premise is an axiom; but I don't recall that Shaffer ever made that argument. Instead, he proves conclusively that society makes no sense at all, and has no future at all, without it.   One high point, for me, was the way he quietly impoved on Locke's proposal about how property rights are acquired from unclaimed wilderness; to "mix one's labor" with the land claimed. Like him, I've always seen that as the best reasoning around, but still not as clear as one would like. What's to stop somone claiming an absurdly large area and then working just a corner of it?   Schaffer's improvement is to say that like everything else one does in interaction with others in a free society, the claim will be subject to the market. You might make a wonderful widget and price it at $1,000 - but if nobody buys it, nobody profits. So, he reasons, a claim of wilderness land will be subject to market approval; not of course a majority vote, but by large numbers of individual decisions about whether the claim is reasonable and to be respected. He supports that by reminding us that in the Californian gold rush, prospectors made claims and then left quantities of gold dust in open view within the staked area, with no police presence, and nobody stole it! No doubt the ubiquity of handguns helped, but basically the market was respecting the boundaries.   Thanks again!
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 41 weeks 13 hours ago Web link A. Magnus
    What's not to like about this?
  • John deLaubenfels's picture
    John deLaubenfels 41 weeks 1 day ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    It's Jo (girl), not Joe (guy).
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 41 weeks 3 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Interesting factiod, that the "Allies" burned more books than the Nazis. I didn't know that. Of course it's evil, to burn books. Extinguishing from the non-private domain expressions of belief, however bizzare and poisonous, is always evil. Bad ideas need countering by reason, not bombs. But just as there are degrees of evil among governments, there are degrees of evil among such acts of governments. The German Nazis were very evil, in that they denied the rights to life of certain classes of human being; notably Jews, Gypsies and Communists. Some or most of these, they consigned first to emigration, then to slave labor, then to death. About six million of them. The British and (later) American governments were also evil, in that they too denied the rights of all within their domains to own and operate their own lives. But although the US one confined some to concentration camps on the basis of race, they did not indulge in systematic extermination - so they were somewhat less evil then their German counterparts, during the decade 1935 to -45. The great evil of the "Allies" is that they waged needless war on the German people, more than half of whom were innocent even of electing the Nazis to power. They killed seven million  of them. They had also (by 1945) destroyed large parts of the German economy, in which ordinary survivors might have expected to live and regain some degree of normal life. The evil they did by burning Nazi books was less evil than all that mass murder. Blame them, by all means; government is intrinsically always evil, because in its nature it denies the universal right of self-ownership. But blame them more for burning humans than for burning books.
  • julyfrank's picture
    julyfrank 41 weeks 4 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    On the contrary, gun control in the US has been mind-bogglingly effective. In 100 years, the common man's travel speed improved from horseback to jet airplane. In the same timeperiod, the common personal defense weapon improved from a revolver to a revolver that won't go off if dropped.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 41 weeks 4 days ago Web link KenK
    Michigan has been blessed, so far anyhow, in that the Supreme court here (stacked at the time with "conservative" justices) outlawed them but for very specific exceptions. The cops can set up perimeters and check cars and even look in trunks for a fugitive, or for an amber alert, but nothing like the trawling for violations that they do in other places. Of course I expect this happy state of affairs to change at some point. Sadly, feds can still do them.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 41 weeks 5 days ago Web link KenK
    Hail Britannia in its great victory over donkey vids!
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 41 weeks 5 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    This, Paul, is one of your best. You've exposed the nemesis of the beast: the free exchange of information betwixt and amongst the hoi polloi. Read this: http://jim.com/killer.htm And this: https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/mainstream-news-is-humpty-... Anthony Wile outlined what you've described thusly: http://www.thedailybell.com/editorials/anthony-wile-defining-the-moment-... A fun time to be alive. You can bet that very quickly there will be moves of one kind or another to quell and/or quash and/or truncate the web. Trump will no doubt be among the loudest proponents. But the cat is out of the bag. There will be many and divergent cries to manage and steer. For your own good, of course. Sam
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 41 weeks 5 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    And now cryptocurrency is being co-opted, and the bureaucrats are learning to become more sophisticated about tracking and taxing it via the FBI and IRS.   The parasite must always learn to adapt to the host to stay alive.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 41 weeks 5 days ago
    The Swamp of War
    Web link Westernerd
    From the Tomgram article: "...you don’t have to be either a genius or a general to draw a simple enough lesson from these last 15 years of American war, even if it’s not Trump’s lesson: don’t do it..." Individuals who write tripe such as this are the ones who believe that if "we" can just get a better class of people "in-office-to-rule-'us'" things will go much more smoothly. None, it appears, can come to really, really believe that war is the health of the state, and/or that insanity is the social norm. Precious few, it seems, can come to see that it is the state itself (or, more accurately, that group of psychopaths who claim to represent that mindless abstraction we've come to call "the state") that is the enemy. The enormity of the truth is incredible. Sam
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 41 weeks 6 days ago
    The Swamp of War
    Web link Westernerd
    It isn't the general officers that are the cause of all these conflicts that USGov finds itself embroiled in; it's the hubris, idiocy, and criminal incompetence of the political appointees of the last four American presidents. Never been a big fan of Bacevich either, although I read his stuff sometimes.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 41 weeks 6 days ago
    A Wake-up Call
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    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.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 41 weeks 6 days ago
    A Wake-up Call
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    It's now been a week since you posted your peacemaker proposal, which I accepted at once; but there's no response from Alex. I conclude he is not interested in reconciliation. It might well have succeeded regarding the many harsh lies he wrote about me personally; those I'm ready to forgive as soon as he withdraws them, and so resume our former friendship. The clash of ideas, though, would have been much harder. Either humans have the right of self ownership or we don't; these are logical opposites and this one is vitally important, as explained in Warning! Poison!  There is no way to turn A into Non-A. Even so, it would have been right to try (though properly dressed, Sam, thank you) and you, Enoch, made a worthwhile attempt. Be happy.  
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 41 weeks 6 days ago
    Fundamentals
    Page Paul Hein
    "...In a people adrift without a moral compass, basic things will sooner or later go awry..." How would one define a "moral compass"? Or, for that matter, "a people". Am I a people? Or are you? These, of course, appear to be superfluous questions. But here's one that is not: Is "without a moral compass" referring to anarchy as it is properly defined? Here I'll present Hasnas' definition and his observation: Anarchy refers to a society without a central political authority. But it is also used to refer to disorder or chaos. This constitutes a textbook example of Orwellian newspeak in which assigning the same name to two different concepts effectively narrows the range of thought. For if lack of government is identified with the lack of order, no one will ask whether lack of government actually results in a lack of order. And this uninquisitive mental attitude is absolutely essential to the case for the state. For if people were ever to seriously question whether government actions are really productive of order, popular support for government would almost instantly collapse. Now, Paul, I present this quandary without intention to be argumentative. This is my succinct outline of my entire philosophy and reason for engaging in discussion on STR: I believe I must be(come) free if I am to be instrumental in assisting you or anybody else to be(come) free. Especially members of my own rapidly growing family (51 folks, including my wife and me, all the kids, kids-in-law, grandkids-in-law, grandkids and great-grandkids). You used the term octogenarian. I'm well into that phase of life. I can't argue one way or another "...the fact that things are seriously wrong in America..." I don't have time. I've gotta deal with the things that might be wrong with ME and MINE. My freedom (and the liberty of those I love) will depend upon my (and their) ability to side-step and circumnavigate the beast at hand. My concern is the statism (or vestiges thereof) that may still be residing between my ears. Example: Am I still using language such as "our-leaders" or "our taskmasters"? Or "our money"? Because for me to be free, I need to divorce the "our" and the "we" words. The late Delmar England, whom I see as among the very best authors on anarchy (partly because he is one of the least acclaimed among "libertarians"), calls that "the psychology of oppression". I need to be free. Today. Here. Where I'm "at". Now. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 41 weeks 6 days ago
    Fundamentals
    Page Paul Hein
    Another fine piece, Paul. I don't vote, otherwise I'd rate you 10 again.   Is "moral decline" the root? Maybe. It's a tricky question, though. If the average person is less moral now than in 1935, why? To a considerable extent one's morals reflect one's upringing, and the latter was arranged by government from 1840 onwards. But then, in the 1840s the ordinary voter chose to welcome government schooling, even though he must have known it was a scheme to force his neighbor to pay for his kids' education. A vicious circle?   I'm a bit foggy about the Spanish American War, but didn't the US do some invading then, of countries incapable of attacking us? - and in 1917 wasn't there an invasion of German occupied France, when there wasn't even a whisper of Prussians marching down Fifth Avenue? As for when you and I were lads, US intervention in WW-II was "unnecessary" even for the UK, let alone this one six time zones away from that guy with a moustache.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 42 weeks 3 hours ago
    Fundamentals
    Page Paul Hein
    '...Many similar questions to a variety of authorities have only confirmed that their “answers” are no answers at all....I’ve received no answers yet, and if I do, I fear they may be evasive and/or non-responsive....' I submit, Paul, that you are seeking information from the wrong source(s). I mean, why would a thief attempt to present logic to you as to why s/he stole your resources??? Of course, you would have a distinct advantage with free-market robbers and thieves on that undertaking -- they are not politicians. You wouldn't expect sagacity or reason from them in the first place. You'd quickly recognize you were wasting your time. But I can see how you'd be enjoying a spectacle of standing up, twisting around, scratching butts, sitting down, etc etc.; when attempting to elicit rational explanations from the political criminals who are the prime rustlers to the pulling off of the heist. Because they no doubt think your queries sincere, if not naive. "...The octogenarians among us--present writer included--can recall a vastly different America..." I should have recognized my first signal the day I received my notice of enslavement ("military draft notice") when I walked out of high school in the early 50's. However, after 12 years of having been indoctrinated with the ideology that central political power served socially useful purposes (and deserved my -- as well as your -- support), I sincerely believed this just might be a good opportunity to "serve". Fourteen months in a place called "Korea" solved that problem for me. You mentioned the names of two men in history, a Thomas Jefferson and a John Adams. I submit that the individuals we know as Clinton, Trump and/or Obama have suffered no more in the way of "moral decline" than did the former gentlemen. It's just that the malignancy we like to refer to as "government" has had 200+ years to metastasize. The Huns and the Khans of early history (our true "founding fathers" if you're a libertarian historian) came to see the absolute necessity of coining "money". You can see evidence of that in early writings. "...the role of money in society is of utmost importance..." If the conqueror failed to quickly control the money supply, he'd just as well have allowed his warriors to rape the women, slaughter all the men, women, and children (as did his predecessors), leaving their carcasses to rot in the desert sand. After that they could pillage the city, leave it in burning ruins. The Genghis Khans of history fully understood the nature of the conquered. They would soon refer to coinage (later fiat currency) as "our money". Insane. Sam
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 42 weeks 14 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Oh, Sam, I don't expect you to agree with everything I say. How boring that would be. :-) Anyway, I know what you mean about not understanding your own points. Happens to me too. Also, I have a thick hide by now. Nice thing about getting old is that a lot of rain rolls off one's back, like a duck.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 42 weeks 2 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "...This just shows how poorly I convey ideas at times..." As I just now commented to Paul, Mishochu; increasingly (in my dotage) that which I write does not stack up properly with my intentions. My diatribe ("belly-button thesis") was my way showing appreciation for your nice comment. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 42 weeks 2 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "...I'm having trouble understanding the points here..." Sometimes I'll write something, read it a few days later, and have trouble understanding MY OWN points. So don't feel bad :-) . My singular point is simply that a dogmatic view ("reification", in this specific example) that I have does not make you "wrong" if you don't share the same view. That's the point. No reason to engage in personalities or rancor in a forum for discussing freedom and liberty. And then commit aggression by trying to have anyone with whom I disagree "banned" from the discussions. Over dogmatic trivialities. Duh!!! Was trying, in my own senile way, Paul, to compliment you -- not to denigrate you. But, increasingly, my points often fail to fall in line with what's goin' on inside my old cranium. Sam
  • mishochu's picture
    mishochu 42 weeks 2 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    This just shows how poorly I convey ideas at times. I meant to say that your comment could've been (and probably should've been) an article on its own. Particularly so that others who find STR and some form of freedom may know that their form does not have to be my form. I particularly like this excerpt: "But my believing this does not mean you should not continue to present us with good essays. Or that your reason and logic (which is genuine and valid) should be "banned". Or that you "...are not libertarian..." because you don't subscribe precisely to my dogma or my reality. Thankfully, I've not seen fit to produce articles and/or essays regarding the liberty I've acquired by reading Harry Brown, you, Jim Davies, Alex Knight, Mark Davis, et al. Because I would in my dotage probably fall into the syndrome of "...my way or the highway..." had I achieved prominence. That would be disastrous -- for me. And not very healthy for you either. You'll notice that I often provide lots of links in my comments -- none to anything I wrote. I'm grateful for that."
  • Brian Mast's picture
    Brian Mast 42 weeks 3 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    I am serious.
  • Brian Mast's picture
    Brian Mast 42 weeks 3 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    All right! I won without even running! Now I get to dismantle the Presidency!!!!! My CB radio handle used to be Nobody. I and serious.
  • Brian Mast's picture
    Brian Mast 42 weeks 3 days ago Web link KenK
    Perhaps we could get The American Hat Company to make hats for Bill and Hillary Clinton like they have for Donald Trump minus the gold and diamonds in the headband. They could make them out of whatever orange fabric prisons use or get the felt Arkansas hillbilly hats and die them orange.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 42 weeks 3 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Hmmm, I'm having trouble understanding the points here. Governments may not exist, only people may exist, but it's also true that people with bombs exist. Yes, I used the term "Russian government" rather than "those psychopaths who try to control what other people in a place normally designated Russia say and do"; but it was just shorthand, not that I think "Russian government" thinks and acts. Of course if one of those people have calculated they want to drop a bomb or start a war, then the war will happen. But having fewer nukes out there is still a good thing, if that end is attainable. And with the hair-trigger we are living with these days, it can also happen that simple mistakes might start a war. Philosophy cannot exist without people. It makes no sense to talk about freedom or anarchy with the missiles raining down. Of course one might say that whatever we peons think or say is not going to affect what people with bombs do in any case, and that point is certainly arguable. Yet it's also true that concepts have made their way into the world that have not originated in the ruling class - and even sometimes in the face of their opposition. This might just be another example of my lack of affinity for the doctrinaire. But mostly it is just an idea that occurred to me, so I threw it out there.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 42 weeks 3 days ago
    A Wake-up Call
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    I once saw it put forth that "leaders" (war-mongering psychopaths) should be forced under penalty of death to do their Reichskonkordat bare-ass naked. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 42 weeks 4 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "...It is rather freeing to accept that not everyone should see things the way I do..." You've heard my belly-button thesis on "individualism", Mishochu, but I'll repeat it: The world revolves around my belly-button, not yours. My world. Your world revolves around your belly-button -- whether you admit it or not. This gives me lots of freedom. I can know that you didn't get up this morning with plans to denigrate or chastise me for any reason. You're far more concerned with your worries and cares than to concern yourself with any philosophical differences you and I might have. Same here. It's not that I never think about you (I do -- along with many of my other cyber-friends here at STR), but I spend much more time thinking about me than I do thinking about you. The fact we're both here at this forum indicates we share similar views of the world and have no reason to be at loggerheads with each other. This is no arena to spar over dogma. Sam
  • mishochu's picture
    mishochu 42 weeks 5 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    That could've been an article unto itself. It is rather freeing to accept that not everyone should see things the way I do.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 42 weeks 5 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Paul, many of us I'm sure recognize your nice little essay as tongue-in-cheek, so I'll refrain from taking jabs at the concept presented. Fun or serious jabs. On the other hand, I suspect you've covertly (intentionally) brought up certain libertarian/anarchist concepts that should without doubt find their way to the surface if forums like Strike-The-Root are to survive. Because the issues go back to the idea of one individual(s) proclaiming to have somehow acquired "jurisdiction" over other individuals ("the-people" -- often lamented with teary eyes). Without question a religious notion indeed. You referenced that phenomenon in your link. I believe this reality probably needs to be emblazoned foremost in the mind of the anarchist who truly wants to experience "...freedom in an unfree world...". I'll use Murray Rothbard's footnotes to "Anatomy of the State" to explain, as he quoted from Oppenheimer and Nock (footnotes 4, 5 & 6): [4] Franz Oppenheimer, The State (New York: Vanguard Press, 1926) pp. 24-27: "...There are two fundamentally opposed means whereby man, requiring sustenance, is impelled to obtain the necessary means for satisfying his desires. These are work and robbery, one's own labor and the forcible appropriation of the labor of others. . . . I propose in the following discussion to call one's own labor and the equivalent exchange of one's own labor for the labor of others, the "economic means" for the satisfaction of need while the unrequited appropriation of the labor of others will be called the "political means". . . . The State is an organization of the political means. No State, therefore, can come into being until the economic means has created a definite number of objects for the satisfaction of needs, which objects may be taken away or appropriated by warlike robbery. [5] Albert Jay Nock wrote vividly that "...the State claims and exercises the monopoly of crime. . . . It forbids private murder, but itself organizes murder on a colossal scale. It punishes private theft, but itself lays unscrupulous hands on anything it wants, whether the property of citizen or of alien. Nock, On Doing the Right Thing, and Other Essays (New York: Harper and Bros., 1929), p. 143; quoted in Jack Schwartzman, "Albert Jay Nock - A Superfluous Man," Faith and Freedom (December, 1953): 11. [6] Oppenheimer, The State, p. 15: "...What, then, is the State as a sociological concept? The State, completely in its genesis . . . is a social institution, forced by a victorious group of men on a defeated group, with the sole purpose of regulating the dominion of the victorious group of men on a defeated group, and securing itself against revolt from within and attacks from abroad. Teleologically, this dominion had no other purpose than the economic exploitation of the vanquished by the victors. I've had to resist temptation to become dogmatic after having read and digested the works of the late Delmar England -- an obscure and unknown anarchist writer who produced two pieces, (1) and (2), (that I know of -- the latter posthumously). Then he up and died without fanfare, or much in the way of "libertarian notoriety". England showed me the need to recognize that how I form my perceptions will determine how free I can become. I can't eliminate those that Oppenheimer describes as using robbery as their means for satisfying desires ("political means") -- which form the foundation for the existence of war and nuclear warheads. But I can practice methods to sidestep and circumnavigate them -- and their mode of thinking -- without being dogmatic in insisting that you or anybody else "should" do (or think, or write) exactly as I do (in order to "..remain a member of STR.."; l-rd have mercy!). For example, I've come to abstain use of the English language as you've used it above: "...Imagine that the American and Russian governments wanted a substantial reduction in the number of nuclear warheads, in order to reduce the possibility the whole planet could be wrecked. The problem is always, whether the other side can be trusted..." This is reification. Governments do not exist. People exist. Some of them, so I understand, exist within a large land mass that is called "Russia". Others in the place called "America". Many of them on both land masses fall under the category of that group of robbers who use the political means for the satisfaction of their desires. A Dr. Kevin Barrett referred to that specific group of individuals as "psychopaths". I think he (and Delmar England) was correct. I believe that, in order to free myself, I must cease thinking of land masses in which those groups of psychopaths reside as "countries" or "nations" that actually breathe, with hearts and souls and minds -- capable of logic and reason. They do not and they cannot. But my believing this does not mean you should not continue to present us with good essays. Or that your reason and logic (which is genuine and valid) should be "banned". Or that you "...are not libertarian..." because you don't subscribe precisely to my dogma or my reality. Thankfully, I've not seen fit to produce articles and/or essays regarding the liberty I've acquired by reading Harry Brown, you, Jim Davies, Alex Knight, Mark Davis, et al. Because I would in my dotage probably fall into the syndrome of "...my way or the highway..." had I achieved prominence. That would be disastrous -- for me. And not very healthy for you either. You'll notice that I often provide lots of links in my comments -- none to anything I wrote. I'm grateful for that. You've given us many good essays and comments, Paul. You've hung in when the going at STR was tough. Please keep it up. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 42 weeks 5 days ago
    A Wake-up Call
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    Good idea. I accept.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 42 weeks 6 days ago Web link KenK
    "Does Ms. Clinton's innocence or guilt figure into your calculation at all?"  Nope. ALL of the ex-POTUS' could be indicted given the USGov's "ham sandwich approach" to law enforcement. The fact that new American administrations do not prosecute or harrass the previous incumbents is moderen political tradition. I believe that it was brought about by a combination of PR considerations, (ie., wishing to appear magnanimous), and understanding that what goes around, comes around. Unless the incoming regime believes they'll never have to leave office (e.g. PRI party in Mexico), you don't harrass and jail election losers or ex-POTUS' cuz as long as we have these elections followed by a peaceful transfers of office, at some point they'll have to leave too. Bottom line: In a staged managed two-party system like the USGov, the tradition makes sense. Massive guilt makes no difference, something the Clinton Crime family was counting on. Jesse Jackson said this to express his doubts about Trump keeping to the tradition.
  • Enoch Root's picture
    Enoch Root 42 weeks 6 days ago
    A Wake-up Call
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    I had an epiphany today that might be a good thing for world "leaders" to remember. I heard that our President Elect was going to meet with the Dalai Lama soon, and I would like to suggest (probably to His Holiness rather than The Donald) that during their meeting, they ought to hold hands (both hands dammit, come on) and maintain eye contact throughout the entire conversation. Wouldn't it be fantastic if all the important things were decided that way? It is seriously doubtful that in that level of connection, anything but the truth could possibly be told. Try it sometime with someone you care for. Say what? Dude there is no fucking way either you or I is going to get away with a lie in that setting. Try that shit with Wolfy Shitzer or Anderson Pooper. Hands pulled back, eyes subverted. That is all that is needed to propagate liberty and test the intention of the aspirant. It's why we are here, to hold hands and lock eyes, just for a moment, and then carry on till we meet again. Or never part, and carry on. ER
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 43 weeks 19 hours ago Web link KenK
    Of course! I always am.   But compared to that of rights, this topic while interesting is very minor.
  • mishochu's picture
    mishochu 43 weeks 1 day ago Web link KenK
    Phew, at last a comment "on-topic". I think these are interesting strategies. I would take it one further...house arrest. I want her jailed, but I don't want Americans to have to pay too much for it. Plus she must be ~70 yrs old. Mr. Schiff should've been sent home, I would extend her the courtesy not afforded to so many non-violent imprisoned people. I think an ankle bracelet, a short radius, and political [neutering] would suffice for me.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 43 weeks 1 day ago Web link KenK
    If BHO were to stymie the new Prez in this way, it would give the latter an endless opportunity to point out that HRC escaped only by that trick, and that all Dems are corrupt. I imagine that will deter such action. But Trump would win either way.   If BHO keeps his distance, I have a suggestion for Trump: do a deal with her. Have her plead guilty and sign a full confession, plus an undertaking never again to speak or donate in support of any candidate. Then let the prosecution proceed, and have her photographed in prison orange with cuffs and shackles, and see that she remains behind bars for at least a week. Then grant her a pardon.   Trump would emerge as big-hearted and non-vindictive, while she would be permanently neutered.   None of that would prevent State prosecutors going after her for murder, of course.
  • John deLaubenfels's picture
    John deLaubenfels 43 weeks 2 days ago Web link KenK
    <i>One sure sign of a banana republic-style democracy is the way the new administrations jail or exile the bigshots from the previous administrations.</i>   Does Ms. Clinton's innocence or guilt figure into your calculation at all?  To my view, one sure sign of a banana republic is the way high officials are treated as above the law.  Hideous Hillary has taken advantage of this for years, and it appears very clear that there's plenty of evidence to find her guilty of multiple felonies.  Should she  be let off the hook just because her rival won the presidency?  That strikes me as absurd.
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 43 weeks 3 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    Jim - Your droll sense of humor brings a smile to my face. Here in the dreary West Coast today it's raining from northern California down here to LA.  "Global Warming not having then been invented?" Think I'll steal that quote and claim it as my own.  Riddle: Why are climate change and teenagers exactly alike? Because they're always changing and always unpredictable.