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  • Paul's picture
    Paul 1 hour 32 min ago Page Paul Bonneau
    " I try never to be rude or unkind. It's not due to loyalty to NAP -- that has nothing to do with it. It's that I secretly want you to like me." On re-reading, I see your point here. This may be similar to my linguistic arguments with the word "rights". People don't usually kill their associates. At some point a philosopher decided to give this tendency a name (at least I imagine so): "right to life". Likewise people usually don't aggress against each other (or it takes a lot of indoctrination to get them to do it). And things tend to work better all around when they don't aggress against each other. At some point a philosopher decided to give that tendency a name: "NAP". Looks like I'm on the other side of the argument with NAP than with "right to life". I suppose I am because I don't really have a problem with this naming of tendencies per se, but with making the name bigger than the tendency. "Right to life" is obviously overblown these days, with a poor connection to reality. "NAP" on the other hand has not gone very far down that road, so I am not so concerned about it. But yeah, it certainly is more descriptive to say, "I secretly want you to like me."
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 10 hours 25 min ago Web link Government Deni...
    I'd love to see the Social Justice Warriors 'splain that one. Some animals are just more equal than others, right comrade?
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 16 hours 14 min ago Blog entry Jim Davies
    Hi Jim, It's good to see you back at STR, even if just in the blog. I agree with your position on the market, of course, but I think you underestimate the risks, the size of the potential harm, and thus overestimate the willingness of insurance companies to insure nuclear power plants. The overall costs, both for insurance and for all the other things that taxpayers have been forced to pick up the tab for since the beginning, including safe disposal of the waste, are high enough that I cannot imagine nuclear power being cost-effective in the market place. If it IS, of course, so be it -- but it is not. You mention a few dangers of other methods of power generation in your generally terrific No Nukes Please, We're British, but none compares to the million-plus deaths (so far) from Chernobyl or to the vast area contaminated not only in Japan (a Japanese physician recently wrote that Tokyo is not fit for habitation, and that much of the city is far more contaminated than even much of the Chernobyl exclusion zone -- "The levels of contamination were up to 7 000 Bq/kg; in the US, anything registering these levels would be considered nuclear waste") and at lower but still dangerous levels around the entire Northern Hemisphere. Yes, there are widespread symptoms of this contamination among the population already. Tokyo is the largest metro area on the planet at about 35 million inhabitants; no "solar power disaster" or disaster from any other type of power generation, for that matter, would approach what Fukushima has already done -- and the destroyed reactors and their many tons of on-site waste will keep contaminating the air, the ocean, the local water table, and more for our lifetimes and beyond. I understand the allure of high technology; I was a science geek as a kid and still love learning about science and technology. But nuclear power exists ONLY because those running large coercive governments WANT nuclear weapons; without them pushing for nuclear power in order to generate weapons-grade material, there would be no business case to be made for using uranium or other radioactive metals to boil water to spin generators.   See my Reaping the Whirlwind of State Aggression: Nuclear Consequences from last year for a bit more detail. 
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 1 day 21 hours ago Web link KenK
    KenK: In many parts of Africa people still live in an essentially medieval world, with the attendant mindset. In some of the rural areas here in South Africa (and elsewhere in Africa) they still now and then burn witches too. These folk remedies are indeed utterly absurd, and what really gets to me is how otherwise educated and informed people sometimes fall for it. But it is also an opportunity for business, so as far as I am concerned, we should just start farming the species involved. There is really no reason why species that have value to people should ever become extinct. One would think we'd know better than to slaughter the goose that lays the golden eggs! The problem with many of these poached species is that thanks to government interference, they are now literally worth more dead than alive. Nobody can legally profit from them, which leaves only illegal profit. I have seen some commentators rather naively suggesting more draconian punishment for poachers, but of course, that will simply drive up the price of the illegal product, which will create an even bigger incentive for even more ruthless people to get in on the business.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 2 days 6 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I'm not talking about "dumping NAP". Not in the least. Of course, I can't and won't attempt to speak for "libertarians". I can only speak for me. And that sums up my assessment of where you were headed in your critique of Zwolinski -- and of Kuznicki and Julian Sanchez as well; all three of whom presumed to know what "libertarians" believe and/or practice (and know what they "ought-to" believe and practice). To repeat, I can only speak for me. They would perhaps be well advised to follow the same principle -- but who am I to say? And to compare the argument over the identity of Higgs boson with how "we" should practice "NAP" is non-sequitur ridiculousness. My point is that I adhere to what sloganists call "NAP" by my nature -- not because I belong to a group or a movement. It's probably that part of me -- one of my principles if you will -- that makes me the type of individual you might wish to call "libertarian". I can't very well value my liberty unless I respect your liberty as well. Debating a philosophical issue with you without malice could be my way of respecting your liberty (to be wrong -- unless you agree with me :-]). Another point is the concept that aggression can take two major formats: physical aggression and intellectual aggression. Rudness and/or unkindness (of word) fall into the latter. Fraud might consist of a combination of the two -- telling a lie and chiseling. But in any case what has been isolated and identified as "NAP" is merely one segment of the whole that makes up a libertarian. In my humble opinion. Sam
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 2 days 9 hours ago Web link KenK
    That's good idea.   What really surprises me though is the way that these ridiculous folk remedies using exotic animinal and plants species continue on in full force with some people even in this modern age. In Tanzania witch doctors were killing and multilating albino human beings for use in their magic potions. It's really hard to keep to my core principles of cultural and religious tolerence when it leads to this kind of abuse and destruction.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 2 days 20 hours ago Web link KenK
    Here in South Africa, we have a similar problem with regard to rhinos, which are being poached to get hold of the horns, with powdered rhino horn being a cure-all in some Asian remedies. As usual, the government is making the problem worse by its blanket ban on trade in rhino products. Legalize the trade, and rhino farmers may well begin businesses all over the world, after which the animals will become about as endangered as cattle.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 days 21 hours ago Web link KenK
    It's true people don't know what to believe, and inevitably some of them end up believing some pretty silly things. But they all know what not to believe any more: government and the associated Ministry of Propaganda. In that at least, they are all right on target.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 days 22 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Well, yeah. When I wrote, "Physics and the other hard sciences are concerned with describing what is," I was talking about the ideal. Of course "hard" sciences have themselves also gotten disreputable through their association with governments. All the more pathetic, therefore, that philosophers aspire to emulate them. Perhaps it is just becoming avant-garde among libertarians to dump NAP these days. Humans!
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 days 7 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "Physics and the other hard sciences are concerned with describing what is. There is no “ought” in physics. Now, while I know a thing or two about physics, I am far from an expert in philosophy; but at least in the area of ethics and political philosophy, it is almost all about oughts, if I’m not mistaken." For this single observation, my friend, I've rated your essay a "10" -- which I almost never do. For me, a rating of 8 or 9 can be considered virtually perfect. My philosophy (Ha! My philosophy does not signify it "ought" to be your philosophy. Of course, if you disagree with me, you're wrong :-]) -- my philosophy for equitable grading principles has been that there are no 0's, and almost no 10's. Every idea has at least some merit, and none are 100% free of exceptions. Other than this one. In the area of ethics and political philosophy it is almost all about "oughts". Someone was on STR a year or so back with an essay on NAP, and included a sort of petition or movement for "all true libertarians" to sign up with -- to agree upon electronically. I didn't. And won't. Not that you "oughtn't". It's just that I don't trust movements or groups or those who are motivated to organize them. I see rudeness and unkindness as a form of aggression. I try never to be rude or unkind. It's not due to loyalty to NAP -- that has nothing to do with it. It's that I secretly want you to like me. But even more subtle is my understanding that if I ever want you to see or do things my way I'd better refrain from alienating you. So I naturally observe NAP for a selfish reason. I'm old and feeble and I don't aggress against you because I'm afraid you'll whip my ass. Is that loyalty to the principle of NAP? I'll agree with you -- Zwolinski's arguments are mostly academic nonsense, but he's entitled to his opinion. I guess. I'm a skeptic's skeptic. Of course I'm skeptical of religion. I'm also skeptical of academe in general, "science" in particular. Did you know the man generally accredited as the father of the scientific method was a devout religionist? Strangely, his religion was the one that today is denigrated and chastised hotly by religionists and atheists alike in this corner of the world. And feared. He and his colleagues uncovered and cataloged some of the most relied-upon axioms in the field of mathematics and "science" today. "Science" can be a thinly disguised religion. I laugh at "the-scientific-community". I generally want to know who's funding the prognosticators -- what's the pay-off for their pronouncements. When you trace the money trail back to source will it be "tax-payer" (???) funding that stimulates scientific proclamations? Will the existence of the "Higgs Particle" miraculously agree with the theory that has launched the massive search (and billions spent) -- more profusely as funding time looms? Gary North wrote a good article on academe -- primarily as related to fraudulent "economic science", but applying to academics in general. Good work, Paul. Sam
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 4 days 9 hours ago Web link A. Magnus
    Detroit  had the same problem. When the DPD became majority AA in the 90's the stigma of racism was absent for most officers and so they pounded, beat, sprayed, and shot to their heart's content, because whatever else it was, it surely couldn't be racist, eh? It got so bad that the Clinton administration DoJ sued Detroit and had a concent agreement that included a federal overseer for the PD. This was kinda of a laff too, since that smooth talking crook of a mayor Kwame Kilpatrick ended up hoodwinking and then fucking her  too for good measure on the sly. Detroit had to pay out millions, though not as much as NYC, to cover up the death, injuries, and damages.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 4 days 22 hours ago
    Two Modest Suggestions
    Page Paul Hein
    Great satire, Paul! Funniest thing I've read in weeks, yet . . . strangely infused with truthiness, as Colbert might say.
  • PaulTheCabDriver's picture
    PaulTheCabDriver 1 week 4 days ago Page Paul Hein
    A few random thoughts on illegal immigration: Paul, I cannot speak for the other 49 states, but to the best of my knowledge, Arizona denies benefits to those who are not here legally. At least, they demand proof of citizenship when you apply for an EBT card or health insurance or other programs. That isn't the reason most illegals I have met come here though. They come here for work. Many of them are hired by cousins or friends of the family that are here legally. These workers are employed in small businesses (like auto repair shops or construction contractors), and can earn pretty good money working under the table. One group I met was the crew of a landscaping company, and the men on the crew, all of them "illegals" were making $150 to $200 per day doing yard work. Another guy I met worked at an auto body shop for his brother (who is here legally) pulling down around $20/hr. All of this is tax free. But I highly doubt the figure of 12 million illegals itself. Where does this number come from? I've seen it bandied about for years, but no source at all. Do the math: 4% of the population is here illegally? Does that make any sense at all to anyone that 4 out of a hundred people are here illegally? it seems incredibly high to me. Perhaps by an order of magnitude. Further, the term "illegal immigrant" includes not just the border crossers, but the people whose visas expire etc. And a lot of those people would be here legally, but got caught in some sort of bureaucratic snafu. And if we look at the laws themselves, they are altogether unconstitutional. While the US Constitution does say that the US government is to determine citizenship, it does not give the government any authority to keep people from coming or going as they please.(Yes, I know, the Constitution is a con.... but it is supposed to be the law of the land.) Another thought: If these illegals are using bogus SSNs to work, then they will not be filing taxes at all. Which means that none of the tax money withheld by the government is ever paid out in refunds to these folks. Another thought: Although a lot of illegals are cast as criminals, all the ones I have met have been incredibly polite, and obey the other laws to the very best of their ability. Why? Because they don't want to get the cops involved in ANYTHING they do, otherwise they will find themselves on a one way bus back to Mexico. And that really damages one's job situation. Last thought: I have no idea what the solution is (absent liberty of course, but we won't realistically see liberty for quite some time.) But I do know the solution is not closed borders. Because any government that is powerful enough to keep "them" out, is powerful enough to keep us IN. And that is a scary thought. Here is someone elses thoughts on illegal immigration. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nW20EMJr6o4
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 1 week 5 days ago
    Where Hoppe Goes Wrong
    Page Paul Bonneau
    What Glen said.  Hoppe came off in this one as trying to establish his conservative credentials, not expand libertarian discourse.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 1 week 5 days ago
    Where Hoppe Goes Wrong
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Way to knock it out of the park, Paul! I too was annoyed with Hoppe's essay, and thought about penning a response. Yours is excellent, not to mention far more pleasing to read than the dense, dry prose that Hoppe produces. 
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 1 week 6 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    Stupid is as stupid does and Washington 1600 Pennsylvania avenue has a plethora of stupid.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 1 week 6 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    As I understand it Ford stopped building the electric car. Does anyone else make them outside of Europe?
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 1 week 6 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    One hell of a tote Sam. What'll it cost me for you to tote something from where you are to where I am?? Michigan.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 2 weeks 11 hours ago
    Progress
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    Thanks, Alex!
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 2 weeks 2 days ago Web link KenK
    I think that is why he took a paying gig rather than continue with that situation, which for someone who needs to earn a living is probably the best choice to make.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 2 weeks 2 days ago Web link KenK
    Well, he gets this one thing right, anyway: "For practical purposes, the Internet has become a copyright-free zone." ---This may or may not be a good thing, but it is what it is. Adapt or die. A few other things in the article caught my eye: "My most chronically infringed images, to the extent I can trace their history, are usually taken from the sites of high-profile clients, rather than my own." ---In other words, he has already sold these images. Why should he have some sort of fundamental right to sell the same image over and over and over? Perhaps he should accept that photos are actually just not worth all that much. "But I can’t teach and photograph at the same time,..." "You will never see their efforts online, though, because fear of infringement keeps many of them from uploading." ---And this is simply nonsense. As it happens, I am a member of a Facebook group for insect photography. Every single day, members there post absolutely breathtaking, professional-quality photos that they took themselves. Some of them are professional photographers, others are hugely accomplished amateurs. Either way, having a job does not prevent them from having time for their hobby, and the fact that anyone can download their work does not prevent them from freely posting it anyway. In short, if some photographer decides not to share his work because he worries I might download it, that is too bad for him. I don't care, because there's plenty more, all over the web, the vast bulk of it not images "stolen" from professionals, but uploaded freely by the creators. I happen to be an amateur artist, and I make much use of reference photos. In cases where I don't take my own, I get plenty from the web, without having to "steal" anyone's work - there are nowadays vast libraries of copyright-free reference photos available for artists, specifically created for this purpose by photographers who want to freely share their work. Similarly, YouTube is overflowing with the work of musicians who voluntarily and freely share their work. And I have a suspicion that it is this bounty of generosity that is killing some (but by no means all) of the professionals out there. Anyway, giving lessons in photography is a perfectly noble thing to do. It might not be as much fun as getting paid for your hobby, but then, who says we have an inherent right to make a living off our hobbies? It is not clear what this photographer would want in the place of what we have now, but it seems to me that what he envisions is a veritably nightmarish world, in which everyone on the web lives in perpetual fear of accidentally "stealing" someone's picture, and then getting their pants sued off, and in which creators are constantly scouring the web, looking for thieves. Who the hell can live like that? Not me anyway.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 2 weeks 2 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    You are quite right: future generations will have to solve their own problems. Some of these they will inherit form us, but then, we have to deal with problems we inherited from previous generations. That's just how the world works. I am all in favour of not unnecessarily passing on problems to future generations. But then, by doing what we are doing now, we are not just passing along a pollution problem to the next generation. We are also passing along a sound economy, new inventions, advanced science, etc. etc., much of which we are able to do precisely because we have a relatively cheap and abundant energy source. There are already many people who swear by their electric vehicles, which do have some advantages even in the current world. And this just goes to show that here, as with much else, we can leave the decision to free people operating in a free market. As fossil fuels become scarcer, electric vehicles will begin to make ever more and more sense, and the switch will happen without the government needing to enforce it. As for the source of power, perhaps future generations will come up with something we cannot even imagine today. But if not, I see no particular reason not to just use what we already have, namely nuclear power, supported by renewables.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 weeks 4 days ago Web link Westernerd
    That is going nowhere...
  • tomcat's picture
    tomcat 2 weeks 4 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    Then it would make certainly more sense to burn the better fuel directly in the car engine and avoid all the conversions and the long ways of energy- transport of a powerplant+battery solution. Generally spoken: I may have left 3- or -in the best case- 4 decades to live and for this timespan I am rather optimistic about the aviabilty of something to burn to drive the wheels. Compared to the Generation of my father I have had a much higher Quality of Life and If I go back further in the "good" old Times of the 19th Century this difference becomes even larger. If I take H.G Wells timemachine to get a average person of this past time to our present, show him everything and then ask this individual to make sacrifices in his own time so that we in our Present could have a better Life you may guess the answer. The future Generation has a very good chance of e.g. cures against cancer, Parkinson, Alzheimer, a longer Lifespan etc. Priceless. And they will have to find a new source of energy other than burning oil/coal or nuclear fission /fusion. I still prefer a cheaper and faster old fashioned car to a more expensive and supposedly eco-friendly one.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 2 weeks 5 days ago Blog entry Jim Davies
    I believe it's Charles W. Johnson who posits there are 4 different versions of Capitalism in Markets Not Capitalism.  
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 2 weeks 5 days ago
    Progress
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    I love that last paragraph, Jim.  Great quote!  :-)
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 2 weeks 5 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    Apparently, it depends to some extent on how the power is generated in the first place: http://shrinkthatfootprint.com/electric-cars-green And of course, while coal burning power stations will still churn out smoke, a city full of electric cars may well have cleaner air. We root strikers tend to be pretty skeptical about the whole green and carbon footprint issues anyway. I think people bark up the wrong tree here. The conversion to electric vehicles may or may not be a good thing, but in the longer run it is likely inevitable, for the simple reason that cheap fossil fuel will run out. Government won't need to convince (or force) people to make the switch. People will do so themselves as soon as there is no more cheap fuel left for their conventional vehicles, and electric ones become cheaper than gasoline powered ones. And where will the electricity come from, once we have run out of coal and gas? My guess is mainly nuclear, with generous support from renewables. The contribution of the greens in all this will be to use computers powered by nuclear energy to run Facebook campaigns against nuclear energy. :-)
  • tomcat's picture
    tomcat 3 weeks 3 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    Why should a battery / electric car be more eco-friendly than a car with a standard engine ? Because it has no exhaust ? 1) In a car with a combustion engine fossil fuel is burned, heat is directly converted into mechanical energy which is used to drive the wheels. 2)In a car with a battery fossil fuel is burned in a powerplant (One big exhaust instead of many small). Heat is converted into mechanical energy which is again converted into electrical energy which is then (usually over long distances) transported to the individual household. There it could be used to charge the battery (another conversion). Then the battery is discharged(again energy conversion) to provide the power for the electric motor in the car. Every Conversion and transportation of energy means an inevitable loss of energy. If anyone declares that Method 2) is more energy-efficient than Method 1) (and thus more eco-friendly), then this person should stop wasting his/her time with electric cars and go right into perpetuum mobile research.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 weeks 4 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    From a commenter on this article: "Sticker shock when you buy an EV[1] and a even great shock when you decide to trade this White Elephant in when the warranty on the battery bank is near or past it's warranty. What sane person is going to want to buy one of these EV's when they know the cost of replacing the battery bank? Guess who is going to take the hit when you trade your EV in? It sure won't be the dealer! So much for all that money you saved at the pump :-( PS You are stuck with going to the dealer to have these beast service. I think I'd rather have a root canal!" According to one source, "On average a 24 kWh battery pack could cost you around $17,000 or so". _________________________________ [1] Tesla Roadster - The Roadster is the most expensive electric car out there. After the max tax credit of $7,500 it is still a fraction over $100,000. Add in the home battery pack which will be an extra $3,000 plus taxes, tags, etc, the total upfront cost should be around $110,000.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 weeks 4 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    Good looking website, my friend. Best of luck in your new venture. The article, however, was in reference to "electric cars". ;-) "We're going to lead the way in the fight against climate change by putting a million EVs on the roads, which means making them affordable to all drivers, not just the wealthy." ~ Sen. Kevin de León (D-Los Angeles)
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 weeks 5 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    Hell, Suv2, I've been operating with eco-friendly vehicles for years. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 weeks 5 days ago
    Who?
    Page Paul Hein
    Was just thinking, Paul, that it'll soon be a full half-century since I last voted in a political election. I voted for Barry Goldwater. But for you, I might just consider registering again so I can cast my one vote -- Paul Hein for Grand Wizard! Let's see...where do I have to go to pay "my" poll tax??? Sam
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 3 weeks 6 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    If consumers could afford Eco-friendly vehicles, the state wouldn't need to provide incentives.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 4 weeks 2 hours ago Web link Government Deni...
    Real adjusted incomes for most Americans have remained the same since 1973, but not for these gilded ones. I think we'd be better off with corrupto-crats like from Tammany Hall days or even like Detroit/Wayne County has these days, provided that they had no civil service, tenure, unions,  or job protection of any kind and could be fired with no recourse or appeal whenever they screw up, get caught, are embarrassing, are too numerous, or just for the bloody hell of it. At least there'd be some accountablity forced upon them. Mayors, governors, county execs, presidents, etc. come and go, but this class of politician is forever. That's the problem.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 4 weeks 1 day ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    @Paul. I can only assume that you have not carefully read Kinsella's essay. I have read it twice and listened to it as many times, and each time, I gain more understanding of the topic. Kinsella has done us a great favor by carefully exploring the misunderstandings and explaining the distinctions between sloppy use of terms such as "self-ownership" vs. "ownership of one's body" as well as the problems of vague usages such as "owning one's labor" and "mixing one's labor" and the problems subsequently caused by them. He clearly demonstrates the importance of the clarifying the concept of homesteading by refining it as making a first, unambiguous claim (taking possession). Just as important, he shows how the fallacious concept of "intellectual property" actually destroys and is used to collectivize physical property and destroy unambiguous claims--thus undermining the concept of ownership. He also correctly identifies the roots of IP in both monopoly and censorship.   Consequently, I cannot fathom how someone can so quickly dismiss such a clarifying and pathbreaking piece of writing as Kinsella's. Fortunately, the caliber of his work and the clarity and precision that he brings to the discussion and the terminology itself will outlive mere sneers. Kinsells's essay, "Against Intellectual Property," has not only gathered the varieties of perception about the concept in one coherent work, but he has elucidated the confusion surrounding each false understanding of it--chipping away what is useless, confusing, and contradictory. Rarely have I read an essay that does as much to de-mystify the sloppy usage that generally surrounds these terms--even among libertarians. And after leveling the ground, he builds a much cleaner, clearer thesis about the purpose, origins of, and value of the concept of property and pseudo-property. To dismiss the useful concept of rights--which Kinsella would probably agree exsits solely as a useful tool to help us minimize conflict and has no subsisting reality--is at a minimum incredibly hasty. Even if we can all agree that the concept of "rights" (as in the case of any concept) are an invention of our minds, they still retain great value because they refer--as Stephan Molyneux would say--to "universally preferable behaviors" or eminently useful value systems. Paul, I think you owe readers an apology for dismissing Kinsella's genuine contribution to this formerly muddy discipline of libertarian theory. Your claim was unsupported. And I hope a new reader, encountering your statement, will quickly dismiss it for what it is and go on to learn from Kinsella. I suspect envy is at the root of your comment--bar one, the deadliest of the seven deadly sins of Dante in his Purgatorio.  
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 4 weeks 2 days ago Web link KenK
    Yeah, I screwed up sam. That was the link I meant to use.  My bad.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 4 weeks 2 days ago Web link KenK
    Cutting through all the bull crap about the 1,500 pages somebody "filed" in the white man's secret courts, etc etc etc -- it is important to understand something basic: Everything I write here at STR, or post on a "Yahoo Group" (or any other group for that matter) -- or anywhere and everywhere on the internet or on my cellphone or in almost any public venue can be picked up electronically, cataloged by key-word and connected to my phone or email, etc etc etc. That's the age in which we now live. I might spend considerable time, energy and resource encrypting and coding if it makes me feel better. That might cut down the "risk". Somewhat. In addition, there are a whole host of psychopaths out there who do not have my (or your) best interests at heart, and who will gleefully find reason to lock you or me into one of their rape cages. I think there are now over 50,000 US federal "laws" and/or "regulations" under which the white man can pursue me. Or you. But please understand: the white man is stupid. A pompous ass. He depends 100% upon your fear and your paranoia. And your "voluntary compliance". And your statist mentality. Let's not forget our old friend, Étienne de la Boétie. What he wrote nearly 500 years ago is just as applicable today as it was in 1552. The basic principle has not changed. The white man has but two eyes. And only so many jail cells. And a limited number of henchmen to carry out his egregious acts. Granted, within the span of many of our lifetimes -- in our statist thinking, before STR -- we've seen "the-land-of-the-free" morph into the most atrocious police state in the history of mankind. But you can be free. Today. Where you are. You need not change my opinions, or your neighbors', or your family. The place to start is between your ears. Just be free. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 4 weeks 2 days ago Web link KenK
    Here's the link to the NY Times article for this header: http://www.nytimes.com/2014/09/14/books/review/francis-fukuyamas-politic... Strangely, I would probably make almost the very same comment were I to "weigh in" here as I did concerning the "Limits of Secession" article posted on STR below. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 4 weeks 3 days ago Web link KenK
    Don't know a lot about Francis Fukuyama, but this link takes one to this article: http://bleedingheartlibertarians.com/2014/09/the-limits-of-secession/ And Sam (no doubt looked upon as a "troll" over at Bleeding Hearts) made this comment on the essay: Thomas Pynchon is quoted as having said, "if they can keep you asking the wrong questions they don't have to worry about answers". Two imposing upon one is not freedom. (Thanks, Delmar England) I am a sovereign state. I'm astounded at how few "libertarians" make that declaration, or even agree that I indeed can be sovereign. Most argue, bicker, and go right back into statist thinking. And "theory". I have no "rights". I have choices. And my choice is to be totally responsible for the security of my property and myself and, to some extent, those I love (to the extent that they want my assistance in their defense). This applies -- whether I reside in Randia, Ruritania, Insula, or New York. Nobody -- certainly anybody associated with a "state" or a "country" or a "nation" -- is going to stand up for my liberty or my freedom. Sam
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 5 weeks 2 days ago Web link Serenity
    Buppert's essay here addresses the question: Is it better to let  states self-destruct over time from their own inherent flaws or help them along with a program of direct action to topple them? The consensus answer seems to be that openly authoritarian states are tougher, but are much more brittle; once they start to wobble, they go down pretty quick, so direct action is likely the better option, albeit a messier one. Liberal democracies on the other hand, are crafted with built -in institutional means which allow the ruling class to implement purely symbolic, non-structural reform/s which act as a safety mechanism which allows the rulers lighten up on the reigns temporarily to release pent up pressures when discontent and alienation rises to “unsafe” levels . Symbolic reforms and minor structural reforms, like chemo-therapy applied to a cancer patient, can drag the state's dying process out for a very, very, long time.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 5 weeks 6 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    From the article: “Plea bargains are extraordinarily common in the American legal system, accounting for roughly 90% of all criminal cases." In other words, in 90% of America's criminal cases, people are convicted without the case ever having actually gone to trial. I would suggest to people to be very careful indeed about accepting plea bargains. They are a handy tool for law enforcement to increase their conviction rates, and little more.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 6 weeks 10 hours ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    I didn't get up for the anthem at an airshow last month, (like for the sixth time in two hours), and I practically got into a fight with some the other attendees. Serious social pressure here, plus the heat and the proximity to the beer tent.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 6 weeks 3 days ago
    Crime and Punishment
    Page Paul Hein
    "Qui bono?" The prison-industrial complex, and the ruling class. Like everything else in government, it's there for those in government, not for us. As to the particular case, one could argue two people willingly in a fight (if that was in fact the case here) should not be charged no matter what happens. To lock someone up for decades for what happens in a bar fight is madness.
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 6 weeks 5 days ago
    Crime and Punishment
    Page Paul Hein
    Hi Paul,    I always enjoy first person accounts here at STR. And what, pray tell, happened to your buddy? Where or what is he now?   Prison accounts are good because, we are all in our own little prisons, realistically and metaphorically.   Many reasons for prisons, IMHO. The prison "industry" is perhaps the foremost. Another is that the PTB, the elites, like to put commoners like us into prisons to "set an example." Although NO  (or damn few) elites go to prisons anymore.   Having been in a medium security military jail, I realize that the best and worst people end up in prison/jail. Okay, strike that "worst" comment, otherwise the Wall Street gang, and the MIC gang, would be in prison somewhere.   We are a failed republic, one only need to look at our prison "System."
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 7 weeks 8 hours ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Thanks, Glen. If you can't put what you want to say on an 8.5x11 sheet of paper, it's not worth saying. :-) Or at any rate, writing more than can be read on one session on the ceramic throne, almost guarantees few people will bother reading it...
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 7 weeks 2 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Like that kid who pointed out the king's nakedness, you have a gift, Paul, for describing obvious and important truths that have somehow been ignored by nearly everyone, and then making the situation clear without talking it to death. Nice work.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 7 weeks 2 days ago Blog entry Jim Davies
    Jim:  An excellent one shared far and wide with every pro-gun group I'm aware of here in VT and elsewhere.  I wrote one on a similar tack a while back myself:   http://strike-the-root.com/defending-state
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 7 weeks 2 days ago Blog entry Jim Davies
    Jim:  An excellent one shared far and wide with every pro-gun group I'm aware of here in VT and elsewhere.  I wrote one on a similar tack a while back myself:   http://strike-the-root.com/defending-state
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 7 weeks 2 days ago Blog entry Jim Davies
    Jim:  An excellent one shared far and wide with every pro-gun group I'm aware of here in VT and elsewhere.  I wrote one on a similar tack a while back myself:   http://strike-the-root.com/defending-state
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 7 weeks 4 days ago Web link Westernerd
    I thought that was Eric Holder's job? He thinks it is.