A Litle Good News

One down, many thousands to go: an innocent man has been prised loose from the government's prison system. Ryan Ferguson was sprung this week, after nearly ten years in a cage for a murder he didn't commit.
He was convicted on the basis of two witnesses. One was mentally unstable, the other admitted later to having said what the prosecutor wanted him to say. There was zero forensic evidence.
He commented that getting into prison is easy, getting out very hard. Ryan had the advantages of a determined father, a competent lawyer working pro bono publico, a campaign on that swelled to over 260,000 petition signers, and several appearances on Dateline NBC. Even then, after an appeals court had castigated his prosecutors for poor work and overturned his conviction, he had to wait while the AG decided whether or not to re-try the case.
If he had lacked one of those advantages, he'd still be imprisoned on a 40-year sentence - and lucky, at that, not to have been executed. This is government "justice."

Private email, coming soon

The market is responding to the obscenity of wall-to-wall NSA spying. shows what's in the works.

The Drugging of America

Opposition to the excessive use of prescription medicines, especially for children, is the theme of this carlos morales video

"Our NSA Economy"


In this misesmedia video, Mark Thornon explicates the difference between data and knowledge.


Governments love to have a war or two simmering; it helps solidify popular support for their continued existence. Were peace and prosperity to prevail, too many people would ask that fatal question, "Government - who needs it?"
So Kerrybama are having a bad year. They're out of Iraq, nearly out of Afghanistan, and Peacemaker Putin pulled the rug from under their plans to battle Syria. Now, even the Iranians are saying "yes" instead of "no" and the prospects for some kind of war there are pouring down the toilet. A Man from Moscow has headed for Geneva to ensure nobody wriggles out.
What do they have left? - the "War on Terror"? That one is losing credibility by the month. Shrub invented the phrase and it's had an amazing life, given that nobody can actually wage war on an emotion, but its day is nearly done - like the War on Poverty that's been running for half a century but has produced nothing but more poverty.
So with any luck, the future might actually be bright.

Vermont Voluntaryists

In October of 2011 I began the Vermont Voluntaryists page on Facebook, with the intention of creating a Vermont-specific internet hub for voluntaryist ideas, activism, communication, and strategies.  To date, there are a mere 77 Likes -- the vast majority of whom, while either voluntaryists or those interested in voluntaryism -- do not reside in the Green Mountains.  While all others are still most certainly welcome to remain on board and continue to join, I am seeking to build a greater body of Vermont residents who are interested in creating a voluntary society.  If that's you, or you know of someone who might fill that criteria, please Like the linked page or forward the URL.  As with this STR blog, I'm seeking to ramp up the level of awareness and interest in my own neck of the woods using a narrower focus as an additional resource.  Thanks.  Now back to drinking raw milk and eating pancakes slathered in maple syrup while carrying concealed with no license in the middle of a field full of cows.  :-)

The Origins and Purpose of State Schooling

I was unaware, until recently, that I once lived in the same city as libertarian George H. Smith for several years.  If I had known, I would have done everything in my power to persuade him to act as my libertarian mentor.  In this video, Smith details, brilliantly as usual, the criminal origins and purpose of State-funded education.

How Not to Bring About a Free Society

Political action. That's how not to do it, and there are plenty of soundly reasoned articles here in the STRchive to prove the point. But this week the Governor's race in Virginia added a nice practical iullustration to help.
There were a Dem, and a Rep, and a Libertarian (Richard Sarvis) running. The Rep was Ken Cuccinelli, a Tea-Party social conservative. Ron Paul has been criticized for endorsing the latter over Sarvis, and perhaps he should have just kept quiet; but the real reason may be that the Rep was more Lib than the Lib.
Today the LP is celebrating Sarvis' quite healthy 6.5% showing, but fails to mention that he has been credibly criticised as a LINO - a Libertarian In Name Only. Consider Charles Cooke's comments here; Sarvis is on record as saying he's not an Austrian, preferring “more mainstream economics” and that he favors "putting chips in people’s cars so that they can be taxed for their mileage."
And this is the best the Libertarian Party can do? After forty years? This is even worse than the tax-hike proposal by a NH Libertarian that caused me to quit that affiliate in 1998.
What Sarvis did achieve was to split the anti-Dem vote so that the Democrat won. In one sense that's a welcome comeuppance for the Republicans after they so viciously excluded Ron Paul from their last Convention, but the net effect is to weaken the relatively pro-freedom activity of the Tea Party faction.
Politics won't cut it. Systematic, universal re-education will.

Objections to Libertarianism, Transitioning to Free(d) Markets, and More


In this DFW Alliance of the Libertarian Left video, Professor Robert Long answers a few basic questions about the left-libertarian philosophy.

A Property Puzzle

The story broke this week of a treasure trove of modern art, in Munich.
In the 1930s, the Nazi government of Germany stole its paintings from Jews, against whose right to live and work it had written laws.
In about 1935 it also fired Hildebrand Gurlitt from his job as art director of a museum in Zwickau, because one of his parents was Jewish. However Hildebrand was a smart cookie; he negotiated a commission to sell these Modernist paintings to foreigners, because the Nazis thought they were “degenerate.” So they hired what they called a filthy half-Jew to sell filthy pictures for filthy lucre. Which they did want, so as to shore up their revenues.
Hildebrand sold some, and survived the war; but when the victorious Americans asked him about the residue, he said he'd stored them in Dresden for safe keeping since that cultural haven had no military significance. Therefore the USAAF had destroyed them all.
However, that was a fib; he had kept them safe. Hildebrand, and later his son Cornelius, lived for the next 65 years by selling a few off, one at a time; until a “random cash check” at the border in 2010 triggered a raid on his apartment and the confiscation of the trove. Hence...

  • One German government stole the paintings from their rightful owners, all now dead
  • Hildebrand stole them from the thief, but after it had ceased to exist
  • Successive German governments stole money from taxpayers to compensate the Holocaust survivors, to an agreed extent
  • The current German government stole the paintings back again

When property rights are not respected, see how far knickers can get in a twist; and say, with reasons, to whom the paintings now belong :-)

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