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  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 4 years 31 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    I'd sooner be a fool who tries, Paul, than a passenger who carps. No, I do not think that support staff are hopelessly intoxicated with power. Inebriated, yes, but they do their jobs mostly because they need a job. Quite likely, they don't give much thought to vital questions such as the article raises. They are human beings, and I do not share the dark Judeo-Christian view of mankind as Original Sinner. Albeit suppressed a lot, they have consciences. Better yet, they have a wish to respect themselves. Hence the appeal, in the article, to both. You're dead wrong in your third paragraph, too. Our liberty certainly does depend on persuading people not to work for this utterly evil organization; for if we don't, it will get inexorably larger and more oppressive, without known limit. The evidence of that is all around us; merely to review the monstrous progress of government in the US during the last 100 years should be sufficient proof. The ostrich option of pretending it's possible to live free while it continues its evil march will not last much longer. Niemoller, I recall, penned a few regrets when he came to understand that.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 4 years 31 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    I will conceed that I believe in a "Divine Creator" I see the evidence of the Deitys existance everyday, but what does it have to do with the search for Liberty. Nothing. But I must agree that it is being awful nasty to be so perverse with someone who believes. To attack anothers belief system I believe negates that individuals honesty with Liberty. I get the feeling that someone who is so ardently hateful towards Christianity says there is a problem somewhere. Christian, atheist and Jew all die in a fox hole.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 31 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    A nerve-wracking story about your son, and all too common in occurrence. I bet the episode got you questioning the legitimacy of the state, however. Look at the bright side of things. Every time these bastards do this sort of thing, they create more enemies. At some point, people will simply stop putting up with it.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 31 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    A fool's errand, Jim. These people sold their souls long ago. There's no fixing them. Oh, and you don't think cops and people in a prosecutor's office are not also "hopelessly intoxicated with power"? Of course that is one of the main benefits of their job. Fortunately our liberty does not depend on convincing such corrupt people to do the right thing.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 4 years 31 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    Thanks, Glock27 for your kind words. (Hmm, so Glock makes a 27mm? Some cannon...) Your son was very fortunate to escape so lightly from their clutches. Perhaps he has a very dedicated Dad. "How do we change it?" is _the_ #1 question, the only one that really matters, congrats on posing it. There is no magic wand to wave, but my answer begins at http://TakeLifeBack.com/oto/p1.htm Then more recently and as an adjunct to that school, I made the web site mentioned at the head of this article, http://TinyURL.com/QuitGov. The premise beneath each is that government will survive for as long as people are willing to work for it, but not a moment longer. Therefore, if we reckon humanity will be safer and richer without it, government employees must be persuaded to quit their jobs. All of them. Elections are, of course, a complete waste of effort; they merely change the zookeepers from time to time. I've little hope of persuading those who lead it - they are too hopelessly intoxicated with power. But they depend absolutely on those who work for them as supporters. Hence here, my remarks were addressed to those who "Work for a Prosecutor."
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 4 years 31 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    (Re-posted as a Reply)
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 4 years 31 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    Jim, You make some very interesting points. I have always been negative towards prosecutors since I personally faced one hell bent on prosecuting my then 17 year old son to 15 years in prison for the possession of a double edged knife of which he had no knowledge of as it was consealed in my vehicle of which I let him use on a date. It took a lot of effort to garner the evidence to shed any light on the truth that he had no knowledge of the knifes presence. The Prosecutor merely wanted a conviction, but when the evidence was reviewed by the judge he concured that the Prosecutors efforts were dishonest attempts to put someone in prison. My son was still charged, but it was probation and community service and loss of hunting privilages for three years. However, in our given society we are currently faced with how do we change it? I believe we as a people must come up with a solution, but what I fear is that our solution would amount to the suppression of someone elses natural right to believe as they do. I believe in carrying a concealed weapon and do (legally), but there are others who disagree with this and wish to abscound every hand gun and long gun because they have a natural belief that this is the true solution. It's not I know it and I believe they know it also. Any way I liked your thoughts and gives me something to ponder over for awhile.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 4 years 31 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    How are you proposing this one dollar was stolen,by actual theft by neighbor or political theft. Though they may be synonamous they are two entirely different things. Merely because you have Liberty here does not mean you have Liberty. This may work in a Utopic society, but is inoperable in reality. What is your solution to the problem and how would you implement it. Right now as I am viewing it what you propose is no different than what is occuring right now and has occurred since Wilson and Roosevelt, maybe even further back.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 31 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    "...real justice is not about crime and punishment at all, but about restoring damaged rights--about restitution, not retribution..." With what is between these quotation marks, I couldn't agree more, JD. I would add to that, that if a man steals a dollar from someone, he is consenting, by that act, to have a dollar taken from him, thus the equivalent of two dollars would be given to the man whose natural right was violated. As the violation of natural rights increases, so does the "restitution". This would act as a deterrent, not only to him, but to any others who might be considering violating someone else's natural rights to life, liberty and justly acquired property.
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 4 years 31 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    The fool hath said in his heart, [There is] no God. Psa 14:1 For those who seem to have an interest> http://whomadegod.org/2011/08/god-science-and-evolution-part-2/ The divorce between science and religion is one of the most significant aspects of our modern philosophical scene. The unity of truth and knowledge, which has always been a prime objective of thinkers down the ages, has been all but aban­doned by our Western culture. It has been replaced by a schizophrenic world-view which divorces the ‘real’ pragmatic world of science (the material universe) from the insubstantial thought-world in which philosophy and religious belief are permitted to function, like birds imprisoned in a cage of sub­jectivity. This dichotomy between our inner and outward lives is bound to introduce serious tensions on both the per­sonal and social levels. The ‘real’ world of social intercourse and political decision is no longer regulated, as it once was, by considerations of a philosophical and religious character. Legislation and morality alike are guided by a doctrine of blind pragmatic convenience rather than by moral absolutes, however dimly perceived. We do not today mould our social and political institutions by reference to God’s moral laws, or even to the nature of man as a being created in the image of God. All is empirical and the only guiding principle we recognize is the law of cause and effect It is quite unfair, of course, to blame this state of affairs upon ‘science’. Rather, science has merely provided an excuse for the rejection of spiritual principles and a belief in the moral authority of God. The founders of modern science actually saw the new ‘natural philosophy’ as demonstrating the order and harmony of creation and thus the existence and power of God. Today these same scientific disciplines are used by many to urge the redundancy of the spiritual dimen­sion and banish God from His own universe. The god of evolution has replaced the God of creation and revelation. That this has been allowed to happen is the fault of religious leaders rather than of scientists. In our own ‘Christian’ society the churches have themselves largely rejected the concept of objective revelation and a belief in the authority of the Bible, in favour of pragmatism. They have tried to carry over the scientific method into theology, not realiz­ing that empiricism, which is a proper basis for physical science, is entirely inappropriate in our approach to God. This is not to say that Christianity is not experimental. In­deed, it is. But, unlike the physical world, God cannot be known by a humanistic methodology which begins with our­selves and our unaided senses. His transcendent nature together with our human blindness to spiritual truth require God to make Himself known, that is, they necessitate revelation, a concept both unknown and inappropriate to scientific endeavour. Other Christian leaders, while clinging to biblical authority, have erred by withdrawing from the real world of practical experience into subjectivism. By confining the gospel of Jesus Christ to the purely personal realm, they have inadver­tently underwritten the very dichotomy between the natural and spiritual worlds upon which materialism thrives. Admit­tedly, Christianity is a personal issue, involving the reconcili­ation of the individual sinner to God through the death and resurrection of Christ. But it is more than a personal matter since it involves a unified world-view in which man, nature, society and God are set in their proper relationships to one another. Starved of this philosophical unity, the Christian message becomes emaciated and the individual believer is forced, by default, to accept an essentially humanistic and even materialistic interpretation of the ‘real’ or natural world in which he has to function day by day. The tension between his inner beliefs and his practical life can become well nigh unbearable and may lead to demoralization and tacit with­drawal from the warfare of faith. Perhaps I have overdrawn the picture, but the problems described are undoubtedly genuine. It would seem, then, that those who are both scientists and Christians have a special responsibility to do all in their power to correct the mistakes that have been made in these matters. Negatively, they must expose and reject the misuse of science as a handmaid of materialistic philosophy. They must refute the claim that science demonstrates the irrelevance and subjectivity of religious faith. They must argue that materialistic and evo­lutionary world-views are just as much philosophies as are Christian and religious world-views, that science no more authenticates the one than the other. They must show that science of itself is incapable of providing a complete philo­sophy of life and being; indeed, that science can only be understood in terms of ultimately spiritual principles. Posi­tively, they must present an alternative biblical philosophy of nature and man that is true to both science and revelation and that will enable ordinary men to appreciate the essential unity of truth, both religious and scientific. They must offer a framework of thought in which the glories of God and man (as His special creation and the object of redeeming love) may be appreciated and in which also the individual, sinner though he be, may discover a dignity, liberty and purpose which materialistic humanism denies him absolutely. This book is offered as a modest contribution to the fulfil­ment of these responsibilities. A collection of lectures and essays is not, perhaps, the best means of doing this, since it runs the risk of being disjointed and incomplete. On the other hand, the lectures and writings reproduced here have proved helpful to the few who have received them and may therefore be of value to a wider audience. The chapters have been arranged to give a progression, from statements of broad principles and options, to much more detailed arguments on the nature of science and creation and the interpretation of miracles and providence in an age of science. Next the question of theistic evolution is considered and rejected as a means of reconciling biblical teaching with a scientific view of origins. The positive alternatives are then brought forward once again. Finally, almost as a postscript, there is an essay on the age of the earth, a subject fundamen­tal to the evolutionary world-view which is so totally inimical to the biblical outlook. What is nothing? Existence exists. The accuuracy of the declaration that God created the cosmos out of ''nothing'' depends on which definition of 'nothing' the statement implies. There are five. 1) Lack of matter. 2)Lack of matter and energy. 3)Lack of matter, energy and the four large expanding space-time dimensions of the universe. 4)Lack of matter, energy and all ten space-time dimensions of the universe. 5)Lack of any entity,being,existence,dimensionality,activity,or substance whatsoever. The bible says God created the universe, we detect and measure, from that which no human can detect or measure.In other words the universe came from nothing as defined in #4 above. A recent scientific discovery which is of great import is that the universe is finite!
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 4 years 32 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Paul: Quite correct. Had I been a ship owner, I would have put armed guards on my ships, illegal or not.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 4 years 32 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    If you are tempted to ask: "What's outside the *universe*?"--recognize that you are asking: "What's outside of *existence*?" I do think that was the complete sentence provided in the above excerpt from the article I also linked in my prior post... *Existence* http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/existence.html
  • DennisLeeWilson's picture
    DennisLeeWilson 4 years 32 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    WONDERFUL. People will now have incentive to go off-grid while living in the city! Las Cruces government shot itself in one foot by ignoring the voters' rejection of the cameras (in Albuquerque and around the country[1]) and now it may shoot itself in the other foot by forcing people off of the municipal utilities. Don't ya just love the way government thinks? Dennis [1] http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/36/3604.asp
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 32 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    There is no such thing as "the universe", anymore than there is such a thing as "the people", they are both made up of INDIVIDUAL ENTITIES.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 4 years 32 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Again another poster (Dennis) addressed this issue: "No combination of logic or facts is effective against a deeply-held belief." --Chris Martenson THANK YOU, Darkcrusade AND Suverans2, for providing PROOF that Paul Bonneau is right and Jim Davies is wrong regarding the ability--and the need--to convert religious people to rationality. There is NO NEED to convert religious people AS LONG AS they agree to forego the initiation of physical force. Once a person does actually initiate physical force, it matters not what their religion or their rationality. On the other hand: The following may be of value to others who are still mentally wrestling with the deliberate misdirections (i.e. lies) that the culture surrounding us has pounded into each of us since our birth. http://tinyurl.com/First-Cause-article Objectivist Newsletter-Vol 1, No 5, May 1962, page 19--The "First Cause" article Since everything in the universe requires a cause, must not the universe itself have a cause, which is God? ...
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 32 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    First sentence: "It’s perfectly understandable why commercial shipping vessels are prohibited from carrying arms in international waters." No it's not. It's perfectly stupid. Why huge ships should be vulnerable to idiots in small boats is beyond me. One man with a sniper rifle should easily stop any boarding attempt.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 32 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Government makes laws for the "mundanes", yet is itself essentially lawless. Go to bestvpnservice.com or vpnreviews.com to find a vpn provider that will get around this government attack on privacy. They can read all the encrypted traffic they want to, it won't get them anything. This post was made from my European server.
  • rita's picture
    rita 4 years 32 weeks ago
    Wrong Guy
    Web link Melinda L. Secor
    "The unsettling implication lurking beneath this story is that if Halstead had been spraying graffiti, this sort of treatment would have been perfectly appropriate." My sentiments exactly. As long as Americans tolerate the abuse of those later found guilty, the abuse of those later found innocent will continue.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 32 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    "A vain Emperor who cares for nothing but his appearance and attire hires two tailors who are really swindlers that promise him the finest, best suit of clothes from a fabric invisible to anyone who is unfit for his position or "just hopelessly stupid". The Emperor cannot see the cloth himself, but pretends that he can for fear of appearing unfit for his position; his ministers do the same. When the swindlers report that the suit is finished, they mime dressing him and the Emperor then marches in procession before his subjects, who play along with the pretense. Suddenly, a child in the crowd, too young to understand the desirability of keeping up the pretense, blurts out that the Emperor is wearing nothing at all and the cry is taken up by others. The Emperor cringes, suspecting the assertion is true, but holds himself up proudly and continues the procession." ~ The Emperor's New Clothes - Wikipedia I refuse to "play along with the pretense" that that makes sense, though some may think me "just hopelessly stupid". So be it.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 4 years 32 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    It seems to me the issue here is not about whether anarchists should believe in God or not. It is a simple issue of tactics. If we are going to bring down the government, we'll need the support of a very substantial majority of people. Most of them are religious. The vast majority of the religious ones are going to remain religious irrespective of what arguments you throw at them. Thus, it will be necessary to convince huge numbers of religious folks that they should turn to political anarchism. I know this from personal experience: with many of them, if they even suspect that you are an atheist, they no longer listen to a word you say. Make atheism an indispensable part of anarchism, or even just word your arguments in such a way that they think that is what you are saying, and the vast majority of people will never accept anarchism. Therefore, however silly we may think religion is, in my opinion it is imperative that we stay clear of that subject, or risk alienating literally millions upon millions of potential supporters. Religious folks will never in a million years support a political theory that advertises itself as atheist. It seems to me that anarchism in fact holds many advantages for religious believers, simply because it quite explicitly allows you to think and believe as you wish. Large number of religious folks specifically want to the government out of their lives, e.g. in America lots of parents who home school do so in order to keep their kids away from the godless teachings of public schools. The complete dissolution of public schools will suit them just fine, and perhaps it is a good idea to point this out to them instead of trying to turn them away from religion. Here's another example: the Amish is a profoundly religious community. What do you think: do they want more or less government interference in their lives? It seems to me they are already in some respects an anarchist society, despite their religion. Consider that in most of western Europe, home schooling is illegal, as are private schools. I can well imagine that in those nations, religious people will be far more open to anarchism than the socialist majority. It is of course true that there are grouping of religious fundamentalists who very much want a powerful state to ram their religion down everyone else's throats. But they also tend to be the least likely to abandon their religion; it will once again be a far better idea to simply convince them of the desirability of separation between church and state than to try to get them to abandon their religion. I spent a good fifteen years on a mailing list where they debated creationism versus evolution. The evolutionists made absolutely watertight arguments. In all that time, perhaps two hundred creationists joined the list and participated in the debate. Two of them eventually abandoned their religion. The others ended up believing even more firmly (because the attacks on their beliefs made them feel like martyrs!) Trying to get religious believers to abandon their religion is for the most part a pointless waste of time, and from a tactical viewpoint extremely misguided, if you ask me. If we really have to turn everyone into atheists before we can get rid of government, then I fear we will all remain governed for the rest of eternity. Do not alienate potential supporters simply because they hold eccentric personal beliefs. Anarchism = individualism: we will never all believe exactly the same things, and that is kind of the whole point. If we first have to make everyone into perfect clones of one another before we can be free, then what kind of freedom do we get?
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 4 years 32 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    1. Some of this was addressed by another poster (Dennis) on this thread and I concur with him: "Existence exists" is NOT circular reasoning. [Nor sophistry....] It could be accurately called a "tautology" because it is a redundant use of words--as is ALL identification of reality! "I am me" and "I am a man" are identifications and, as such, they are also tautologies. But they are NOT circular reasoning. Existence exists and man's mind is CAPABLE of knowing it--even though there is overwhelming evidence that the capability is grossly underused. http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/tautology 2. 'Branden does indeed address whether or not the universe had a *beginning*. From Branden's article: Just as the concept of causality applies to events and entities within the universe, but not to the universe as a whole--so the concept of time applies to events and entities within the universe, but not to the universe as a whole. The universe did not *"begin"*--it did not, at some point in time, "spring into being." Time is a measurement of motion. Motion presupposes entities that move. If nothing existed, there could be no time. Time is "in" the universe; the universe is not "in" time.' http://tinyurl.com/First-Cause-article Objectivist Newsletter-Vol 1, No 5, May 1962, page 19--The "First Cause" article Since everything in the universe requires a cause, must not the universe itself have a cause, which is God? ... 3. Existence is all that exists, the non-existent does not exist; there is nothing for existence to have come out of--and nothing means nothing. If you are tempted to ask: "What's outside the universe?"--recognize that you are asking: "What's outside of existence?" and that the idea of "something outside of existence" is a contradiction in terms; nothing is outside of existence, and "nothing" is not just another kind of "something"--it is nothing. Existence exists; you cannot go outside it, you cannot get under it, on top of it or behind it. Existence exists--and only existence exists: there is nowhere else to go..
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 4 years 32 weeks ago Page Scott Lazarowitz
    You're welcome, Eugen, and it's a real challenge to the imagination, to visualize a free society. It will be radically different from what's familiar. Without government, for example, there would be no obstacle for a rival to enter the trade and undercut the plutocrat; as you say, he'd have no protection. Once competitors got weaving, wages would be bid up. Can there be "widespread unemployment" in a free society? - How? There _might_ be some during the transition, assuming it happens fast once it begins :-) I reckon that in the US about 40 million work directly or indirectly for government (around a third of all workers) and that's a huge number for any job market to absorb in a short time. There may also be an understandable reluctance among formerly overpaid bureau-rats to take a steep pay cut and do real work. But this will be a temporary problem at worst and the longer the period over which it can be spread, the easier it will be. To that end, recently I put up http://TinyURL.com/QuitGov to encourage an early start.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 32 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    V: You seem to have misunderstood the question. Doesn't this, "...the odds seem good that there are entities out there that are sufficiently advanced and powerful as to be 'as gods' to us humans..." merely beg the next question? Who or what created these entities, that perhaps created "us humans"? In fact, GeoffreyTransom's statement does "beg that next question", whether one believes in a First Cause, (a rational definition of god?), or not. What I find intriguing is that somewhere, some thing was a First Cause, that is to say, some thing apparently had no beginning, no matter which side of this issue one is on, and that thing, flies in the face of logic. Also, in my opinion, "existence exists" is sophistry, (in this sense); it, too, is "no answer at all". This deist, (because I cannot rightfully speak for other deists), interprets the world through "application of reason and observation of the natural world", not "superstition"; and, if, and when, the whole system of created things is proven to be merely an accident, i.e. having no intelligent source whatsoever behind it, I will be one of the first to acknowledge that fact. But until that day, as with your wife, I see this inconsequential difference of opinion not causing any "problem" with you and I living a compatible voluntaryist lifestyle...at least for the next "thirty years". ;) Oh, and, I know of no deists that "fall down on their knees and worship". Out of curiosity, if you don't mind my asking, does your wife?
  • voluntaryist's picture
    voluntaryist 4 years 32 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    AtlasAikido: I can respond to the burning issues of society, and live my life. I do both. The two are not mutually exclusive. You do the same. Your post here is an indirect approach. From it I assume you also take the direct approach, "making your life as meaningful, free exciting, and joyous as possible". I am self centered, so I prefer the direct approach. Looking back over the last 70 years I can see the social issues were certainly not incidental. Although, it is difficult to ascertain the full importance of living in an unfree world without doing it over in a free one, I can get some idea by considering past events. It has recently been revealed that the Cuban Missile Crisis almost killed over a hundred million. We dodged a bullet. Go to many parts of the world where the landscape is dotted with military cemeteries. They caught the bullet. Is the world the same without them? We will never know how many Teslas or Einsteins were lost. The dead don't complain. While most are civilized they support an uncivilized elite who kill and exploit until social collapse. Then a restart occurs with the same system. Do you think Rand or Rothbard sacrificed for social change? Or did they live their life fully? I knew them both. They lived fully.
  • voluntaryist's picture
    voluntaryist 4 years 32 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Samarami: Falsehood kills. It may kill you. Superstition is destructive of life. Opposition is life affirming. Silence in the face of evil does not appeal to me. I don't go out of my way to look for trouble but went it's right in my face I stand up to it. Why would you find that strange or in need of an explanation?
  • voluntaryist's picture
    voluntaryist 4 years 32 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    I agree wholeheartedly with your last statement. Actions speak louder than words, and betray actual belief, as opposed to stated belief. If I had to choose an association I would do so first on stated belief, but watch closely to determine if actions matched. But as a preliminary guide to association I would consider attitude and demeanor. I have met self described libertarians who made me nervous with their aggressive, confrontational manner. I sensed a lot of anger and need to "act out". I'm not sure I would want to live in a community filled with these heavily armed people. I am considered confrontational by many statists. But I use words, in a respectful way, without attacking the person. That said, if at a social gathering where someone wanted to introduce me to a highly respected authoritarian type such as Harry Reid or just a sell out like Alan Greenspan, I would refuse. I would/could not smile and shake their hand. I hold society and the individuals who support it in contempt. I do not know how I am perceived by the general public. I am probably considered to be a malcontent who complains about everything. I feel like I am living in an alien world. I do enjoy the people at Libertopia. In conclusion, I care less about what a person says, but more about what he does, e.g., does he "live and let live"?
  • voluntaryist's picture
    voluntaryist 4 years 32 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    S2: Can "god" be defined rationally? I have yet to read such a definition. Yet I consider myself a freethinker, e.g., one who "follows the light of nature and reason". That said I respect and love my wife who is a deist. She cannot define "god" but believes in "something". I do not try to change or challenge her. It has not been a problem in thirty years.
  • voluntaryist's picture
    voluntaryist 4 years 32 weeks ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    S2: No it doesn't. Being more technically advanced is only taken as evidence of being a god by those who are deists, e.g., those who are constantly interpreting the world thru their superstition. Those of us not crippled with the deist superstition do not fall on our knees and worship what we have not yet come to understand. We know we are ignorant but can learn, and eventually advance as much as any species. The "god made the world" answer is no answer at all. It is the avoidance of an answer. For example, in science, every answer generates new questions. The "god" answer is an attempt to end questions. Furthermore, it contradicts the original assumption that everything is explainable, i.e., explain god.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 4 years 32 weeks ago Page Scott Lazarowitz
    Jim: Thank you for your comments. I was really only speaking somewhat hypothetically. I can imagine situations in which trouble may arise, for example if there is widespread unemployment, which would limit the possibilities of job seekers. They may have little choice but to accept a job in which they have to work 16 hour days for a barely living wage. After a few months of that, perhaps they would not care about what the courts or their contracts say anymore, especially if they notice that their employer hardly works at all and lives in luxury. However, I am not really in fundamental disagreement with you. It seems to me that in a no-government system, workers may well actually be better off, simply because the state would no longer protect truly exploitative employers.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 32 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "why kill, mame and inflame when a simple and civilly conducted arrest or invitation would accomplish the goal of securing the person for a legal hearing?" Well, Waco was long planned by ATF as a flashy venture to impress Congress before a bill extending their funding came up. An ordinary quiet arrest and trial would have been no help to them with that. "And, by the way, why do judges get a free pass on issuing these daft and idiotic warrants?" Because they face no disincentives. And power corrupts, etc. All of this is no surprise to anyone with an understanding of human nature. People work in their own interests (with few scruples about it, too), not for "the common good" despite what the propaganda says.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 32 weeks ago Web link Guest
    Time for a technical fix - get an offshore VPN and email provider. Let the government monitor an encrypted data stream all they want.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 32 weeks ago Web link Guest
    So a politician lied to get elected. Surprise, surprise.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 32 weeks ago Page Scott Lazarowitz
    Drakensberg
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 4 years 32 weeks ago Page Scott Lazarowitz
    eugenedw, you wrote "Fail to pay your workers a living wage, and they'll have your head on a platter" in a zero-government society. How, exactly? - I mean, how could such a situation arise? If an employer offered inadequate wages, he'd not get any help. But if he did and got some, that would happen under the terms of a contract, enforcible by free-market courts. If he later reneged and paid less than contracted, the employee could either just quit for a better job, and/or sue him and expect to win. There being no government all money would be honest - most likely, Krugerrands in your part of the world. Nobody could reduce their value, like government cuts the value of its fiat money so as to cause inflation. So if the boss honored his side of the contract, the wage could not fall. In fact on the precedent of the 19th Century, gold money would probably _rise_ a little in purchasing power. Or do you perhaps foresee a gold bonanza, the discovery of a major, rich new vein in the Drakenberg? - that would have an effect, but it would affect everyone in the economy, not just a single skinflint employer.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 32 weeks ago
    ID Theft Growing
    Web link strike
    "You have rights antecedent [prior] to all earthly governments, rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws..." ~ John Adams, 2nd President of the United States [Emphasis added] However, as Noah Webster appropriately, (IMO), points out in his 1828 dictionary, "we say, [there is] a tacit agreement or covenant of men to live under a particular government, when no [formal] objection or opposition is made; [we say there is] a tacit surrender of a part of our natural rights", "when [there is] no [formal] objection or opposition made"...and, unfortunately, complaining[1], particularly to each other, does not count as either of these forms of rebuttal. And, of course, these formal objections and oppositions, must be validated[2] by concurring[3] actions. ______________________________________________________________________________________ [1] COMPLAINING, ppr. Expressing grief, sorrow, or censure; finding fault; murmuring; lamenting; accusing of an offense. [2] validated▸ adjective: declared or made legally valid ("A validated claim") [3] A concurring figure, in geometry, is one which, being laid on another, exactly meets every part of it, or one which corresponds with it in all its parts.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 32 weeks ago
    ID Theft Growing
    Web link strike
    Question: Who forces any of us to use a social security number? I asked that because, if one does not use any of the government chattel numbers, for all intensive purposes, one does not exist. nonperson noun▸someone who a government says does not exist ~ Macmillan Dictionary nonperson▸ noun: a person* regarded as nonexistent and having no rights ~ WordNet *Anyone else catch that, a "nonperson" is "a person"? "...having no rights"? But wait, I thought... “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men... are endowed...with certain unalienable Rights...” "All men have certain natural, essential, and inherent rights - among which are, the enjoying and defending life and liberty; acquiring, possessing, and protecting, property" And, I thought... "natural rights [are] rights which persons[1] [humans] possess by nature: that is, without the intervention of agreement, or in the absence of political and legal institutions. Natural rights are therefore attributable to individuals without distinction of time or place."[2] And, tzo says... "You can have a government, or you can have inalienable rights[3]. Choose one, but then please, do not complain that you do not have the other." And, oh, the tie-in to the article? There can be no "theft" of that which you do not have. ________________________________________ [1] Corporations, which are "persons", do not have natural rights, because they are not "formed by nature"; they are "formed by human laws for purposes of society and government." [2] Andrew Reeve, Professor of Politics, University of Warwick, Coventry, U.K. [3] Inalienable rights. Rights which can never be abridged because they are so fundamental. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 1057 ABRIDGE, v.t. ...2. To lessen; to diminish... 3. To deprive; to cut off from... as to abridge one of his rights, or enjoyments. ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language "You have rights antecedent [prior] to all earthly governments, rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws..." ~ John Adams, 2nd President of the United States [Emphasis added]
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 4 years 32 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Un-frickin'-believable. I grew up on a farm myself, and helped with everything from milking cows to slaughtering animals to fighting bush fires. It did me a world of good. Before long, you won't be allowed to breathe anymore before first asking permission from some ignorant bureaucrat.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 4 years 32 weeks ago Page Scott Lazarowitz
    From the article: "Workers unions are a more direct representation of the violence imposed by the left and progressives. Unions have used intimidation to coerce their employers to pay them more than their labor would be valued in a free and open market [.pdf]. Employers have become slaves of workers, and as a result there are fewer workers, because some employers can’t afford to pay the salaries and benefits that the unions have forced them to pay either through “negotiations” or through legislative force." The above may well be true, but there is something to keep in mind here. In a society without government, there will no longer be government structures to protect workers who strike etc. But there will also no longer be any government force to protect employers against their own workers. Fail to pay your workers a living wage, and they'll have your head on a platter. You could possibly appoint hired guns to protect yourself and your property, but so can they (and it may well be more expensive than simply paying your workers a bit more and yourself a bit less). Worker unions will probably still exist, and may well actually have more power than they do now. Thus, rather ironically, my guess is that a government-free society will in some respects be more socialistic than the current one. At least as far as income equality is concerned. In societies with sweat shops and that sort of thing, it is ironically the socialist "people's governments" that in fact keep the repression and exploitation going by preventing or stamping out worker revolts in the name of "keeping public order." The employers on their own, without government help, will not be able to do it and will likely be far more inclined to talk to their workers instead of simply spraying them with water cannons and tear gas. I am not an American, so I am reluctant to make sweeping statements about America, but my guess is that neither the leftwing "progressives" nor the rightwing neocons are interested in socialism as such. They are interested in preserving the status quo in the interest of a small number of privileged people. Obama may well claim that he wants better conditions for workers, but his policies are not achieving that - they are keeping things the same, or indeed making it even worse for employees. Exactly the same thing happens here in South Africa, where we have a nominally leftwing government of corrupt, incompetent parasites who like standing on stages talking about human rights, but in fact do little more than enriching themselves and their cronies. They are all for worker rights until there is a demonstration by workers, at which point they send in gangs of armed thugs to stamp it out. They are all for developing local entrepreneurial activity, until a few people put up small vending businesses in the city center, at which point the armed thugs are once again sent in to destroy these (and, usually, help themselves to the merchandise). So much for government by the people, for the people! Alas, in election after election, the victims of these goons vote them back into power, firmly believing that this time round the outcome will be different.
  • rita's picture
    rita 4 years 32 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    We were "sliding" way, way before 9-11. I was in high school when Richard Nixon declared war on the American people. Sometimes I wonder if he ever realized what a stroke of genius that was.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 32 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Maybe this will help us decide. "A U.S. Justice Department report released on November 30 showed that a record 7 million people -- or one in every 32 American adults -- were behind bars, on probation or on parole at the end of last year. Of the total, 2.2 million were in prison or jail. According to the International Centre for Prison Studies at King's College in London, more people are behind bars in the United States [population 313,412,000 (2012)] than in any other country. China [1,339,724,852 (2010)] ranks second with 1.5 million prisoners, followed by Russia with 870,000. The U.S. incarceration rate of 737 per 100,000 people in the highest, followed by 611 in Russia and 547 for St. Kitts and Nevis. In contrast, the incarceration rates in many Western industrial nations range around 100 per 100,000 people."
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 32 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Perhaps we should look at what a "police state" is before answering?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 32 weeks ago
    ID Theft Growing
    Web link strike
    "An Identity Document (ID) is an official document used to identify yourself. Every country...needs to be able to identify its citizens..." I don't need "an official document...to identify myself"; I already know who I am. Those humans who act as agents of the government do not have the lawful authority to force an ID (identity document) on any one who has not voluntarily submitted his, or her, self to the dominion of the government, i.e. who are not "its citizens", any more than a man can lawfully put a brand or ear-tag on a cow that doesn't belong to him. "Its" is the "possessive form of the pronoun it[1]". [Emphasis added] These individuals are not possessed; they belong to no man, and they especially do not belong to any "it"; they are self-governing, and therefor any "official" identity documentation must originate from their authoritative source, themselves. Anyone who really needs to know who I am need only ask Francis, the old woman across the road, the one who I built a landing and set of stairs for, because she had no safe way into, or out of, her single-wide trailer. I'm fairly certain that she would recognize me. _____________________________ [1] Webster's Revised Unabridged, 1913 Edition, page 793
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 4 years 32 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Or otherwise made examples of.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 4 years 32 weeks ago Web link strike
    The hipster version of an Airstream™ travel trailer.
  • AtlasAikido's picture
    AtlasAikido 4 years 32 weeks ago
    Where's My Contract?
    Page Paul Bonneau
    The Not-So-Wild, Wild West [Agorism is a political philosophy founded by Samuel Edward Konkin III that holds as its ultimate goal the bringing about of a society in which all relations between people are voluntary exchanges by means of counter-economics.] In a thorough review of the “West was violent” literature, Bruce Benson (1998) discovered that many historians simply assume that violence was pervasive—even more so than in modern-day America—and then theorize about its likely causes. In addition, some authors assume that the West was very violent and then assert, as Joe Franz does, that “American violence today reflects our frontier heritage” (Franz 1969, qtd. in Benson 1998, 98). Thus, an allegedly violent and stateless society of the nineteenth century is blamed for at least some of the violence in the United States today. In a book-length survey of the “West was violent” literature, historian Roger McGrath echoes Benson’s skepticism about this theory when he writes that “the frontier-was-violent authors are not, for the most part, attempting to prove that the frontier was violent. Rather, they assume that it was violent and then proffer explanations for that alleged violence” (1984, 270). In contrast, an alternative literature based on actual history concludes that the civil society of the American West in the nineteenth century was not very violent. Eugene Hollon writes that the western frontier “was a far more civilized, more peaceful and safer place than American society today” (1974, x). Terry Anderson and P. J. Hill affirm that although “[t]he West . . . is perceived as a place of great chaos, with little respect for property or life,” their research “indicates that this was not the case; property rights were protected and civil order prevailed. Private agencies provided the necessary basis for an orderly society in which property was protected and conflicts were resolved” (1979, 10). ...Terry Anderson and Fred McChesney relate how Thomas Jefferson found that during his time negotiation was the Europeans’ predominant means of acquiring land from Indians (1994, 56). By the twentieth century, some $800 million had been paid for Indian lands. These authors also argue that various factors can alter the incentives for trade, as opposed to waging a war of conquest as a means of acquiring land. One of the most important factors is the existence of a standing army, as opposed to militias, which were used in the American West prior to the War Between the States. On this point, Anderson and McChesney quote Adam Smith, who wrote that “‘[i]n a militia, the character of the labourer, artificer, or tradesman [agorist], predominates over that of the soldier: in a standing army, that of the soldier predominates over every other character.’” (1994, 52). A standing army, according to Anderson and McChesney, “creates a class of professional soldiers whose personal welfare increases with warfare, even if fighting is a negative-sum act for the population as a whole” (52). The change from militia to a standing army took place in the American West immediately upon the conclusion of the War Between the States. The result, say Anderson and McChesney, was that white settlers and railroad corporations were able to socialize the costs of stealing Indian lands by using violence supplied by the U.S. Army. On their own, they were much more likely to negotiate peacefully. Thus, “raid” replaced “trade” in white–Indian relations. Congress even voted in 1871 not to ratify any more Indian treaties, effectively announcing that it no longer sought peaceful relations with the Plains Indians. There is much much more... ** Stateless but not Lawless: Myths of Violence in the Old American West ** Exclusive Interview with Dr Thomas DiLorenzo You will never be able to hear the words, 'Wild West' again without saying to yourself "No, it was not!". *Law and Order did not (and does not) require a Government at all. *The Old West was mostly Peaceful UNTIL the US Government arrived and perpetrated the genocide of the American Indians. *Unlearning what we all have been taught through television and movies; a foundational show. Hosted by Michael McKay. You can read Dr. DiLorenzo's scholarship Here http://www.independent.org/pdf/tir/tir_15_02_04_dilorenzo.pdf Or here http://www.independent.org/publications/tir/article.asp?a=803 Or Listen http://www.radiofreemarket.com/archives/stateless-not-lawless-crucial-in... Other References. The Not So Wild, Wild West https://mises.org/daily/4108 Or The Not So Wild, Wild West http://mises.org/journals/jls/3_1/3_1_2.pdf
  • Marc's picture
    Marc 4 years 32 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    "Harnessing American citizens to fulfill labor requirements" sounds Stalinist. What happens to those who aren't thrilled about being harnessed? Perhaps they will spend some time in one of the camps for problem attitudes.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 32 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Think
  • Bill St. Clair's picture
    Bill St. Clair 4 years 32 weeks ago
    Discrimination
    Page Paul Bonneau
    If they were my ISP and I received a letter threatening legal action if I reproduced an email that they sent me with no prior agreement of confidentiality, I would copy and post it immediately to my web site, and do what I could to inform as many of their customers as possible of their anti-gun policy. But I can understand if you don't want to have to deal with their lawyers. Also, there usually aren't a lot of choices in ISPs in rural areas. I know their aren't in my area of upstate New York.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 32 weeks ago Web link Westernerd
    While the modern-day Thirteenth Amendment made "slavery and involuntary servitude" illegal; the Fourteenth Amendment gave each of us the opportunity of "voluntary servitude". "All persons...subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside." And, just how a man (homo) becomes a person (persona)[1] "...subject to the jurisdiction thereof", has been pointed out several times, here, at STR. "U.S. Citizens" are those who "have...[voluntarily] submitted themselves to the dominion[2] of [the United States] government..." When did you voluntarily submit yourself to ownership by the United States government? Was there a gun put to your head when you checked the "Yes" box, and signed "Under Penalty of Law," that you were a "U.S. Citizen"? Or, did you check, and sign it, "voluntarily," in order to receive benefits reserved only to Fourteenth Amendment citizens, i.e. United States citizens? What does all this have to do with the article? Well, once upon a time it was only "Negroes [who] might not carry...firearms unless they were licensed so to do," but soon, very soon, it will be "all persons", i.e. U.S. citizens, who "might not carry...firearms unless they [are] licensed so to do", because "gun control" isn't just about oppressing P.O.C., it is about controlling EVERY VOLUNTARY MEMBER OF THE POLITICAL COMMUNITY. An armed citizenry is very difficult to oppress...er-r-r-r-r control. _______________________________________________________________________ [1] Homo vocabulum est naturae; persona juris civilis. Man (homo) is a term of nature; person (persona) of civil law. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 736 [2] Dominion. Generally accepted definition of "dominion" is perfect control in right of ownership. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 486 "The persons declared to be citizens are, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States and subject to the jurisdiction thereof." The evident meaning of these last words is not merely subject in some respect or degree to the jurisdiction of the United States, but completely subject..." ~ Elk v. Wilkins, 112 US 94, 101, 102 (1884) [Emphasis added] "...a federal citizen is little more than a ward of the national government. Such second-class citizens must be cared for by the government as they are not the masters of their government, but mere servants to it, and it is the master's responsibility to care for his servants."
  • richyankee's picture
    richyankee 4 years 32 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "In fact, I would say the legislative move in New Hampshire to adopt Vermont-style licenseless concealed carry provisions is now probably dead in the water for any foreseeable future." Well, that is what the cops would like to have accomplished, among other things. I would venture a guess that there is a large number of people who will not come to heel, and that acts like this murderous assault are as likely to convince more to that position. That is not what those who would be master want to accomplish. A few (more than a few) years ago, the Hudson police shot a man in his bed during a 'drug raid' (wife and children present at the time). They managed to come up with a remnant of one joint (a roach). In their proud tradition of protecting people from heinous druglords, they forgot that they could have walked up to him in broad daylight, in public and invited him (with force if necessary) to visit them at the police station while they searched hi vast drug empire (provided they could get a warrant - which they had, if I remember correctly). The question is (and this has been asked a thousand times - for example when the Branch Davidian compound was torched in favor of asking Koresh in for a hearing, which he, according to his history, would have enjoyed) - why kill, mame and inflame when a simple and civilly conducted arrest or invitation would accomplish the goal of securing the person for a legal hearing? And, by the way, why do judges get a free pass on issuing these daft and idiotic warrants? Maybe they haven't finished 'teaching' us a lesson yet. The kids used to call them pigs. I get it. Incidentally, I would pay to see them befouling themselves, preferably in public.