Recent comments

  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Douglas Herman
    Hi Jim, Thanks for the compliments. I rarely make predictions but when I do I hope I'm wrong. I have been following the candidacy of Ron Paul vs the Evil Empire (EE) for some time now. It's almost like a bad reality TV show. And while one part of me wants Ron to do well, and thus my country and the world to do well, another part of me wants Ron to fade to footnote status and Obromney to win. I do NOT want Ron to die like Paul Wellstone, in a mysterious fiery plane crash with his entire family, simply because he spoke truth to power. I would rather Ron just fade away, and our empire either face her problems or fade away, as all empires do eventually, when morally and economically bankrupt. As for the POTUS, what can he do? As I outlined in my column, "The American President - Actor, Chauffeur, Salesman, Puppet," (tried to hyper-link but failed), the US prez can only do what he is told to do, by the PTB. All the best Jim, keep up the good work. D
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Douglas Herman
    Hi John, Thanks for your remarks re BS vs CITCM. All of your insights are valid. I wish I knew how to hyper-link correctly when I write these columns on Word. Since I was born in the 19th century and my mind never completely grasped 20th century tech, I often epic fail myself when confronted with the simplest tech tasks. As for my mistake re Constitution, it could be argued that our erosion of rights and freedoms failed with the Mayflower Compact. Just kidding of course, but I stand corrected. BTW, I always enjoy your works here. D
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    And, yes, Paul, I would bow to most commands while there is a gun to my head, but I do not live in perpetual fear of the gun to my head; I don't use that as my excuse for not living my life the way I desire.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Douglas Herman
    Thank you Doug, a good one. I hope you're wrong, of course. The psychopaths are certainly preparing the public for an attack on Iran, but I'm not sure the decision maker will pick that option in this election year. After two failed wars and an ongoing economic crisis, he may prefer to go to voters with "Look! I said I'd get us out of the Middle East, and I'm on track!" I agree with your choice of 1776. The Declaration of Independence is badly flawed, riddled with inside-the-box absurdities (see my http://www.strike-the-root.com/4/davies/davies6.html) which later produced the even more flawed charter for a new government.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    If these "orthodox purist idiots" try to force their convictions on someone else, they are no better than statists; but name-calling does not strengthen your argument, painkilleraz, it weakens it. I'm curious, although I understand how the truth can be a fearful thing, how does a "person threaten [you] with "truth" in regards to [your] currently disabled state"? I know that you weren't referring to me with your above comment, since you don't know me, plus, I've already written, on this same thread, "We ask no one to join us, and, "[w]e ask not your counsels or your arms"", but I will say that you are falsely accusing some people, albeit ignorantly, when you make the blanket statement that "these orthodox purist idiots actually have the balls online to make comments without any position other than an untested and unrealistic philosophy". I can't vouch for anyone else, painkilleraz, but the "position", that we, (my natural law wife and I), have taken, which is that of individual secessionist, is both realistic and tested, with testing still going on. What we get tired of hearing, and reading, is, "it can't be done, no one can secede from the political association". "Can't never could!" We've already done it! And, we could care less if those individuals, and/or their master, say they don't "legally recognize" our withdrawal from membership in their political association. We've got some bad news for those folks, we don't "recognize" their "position" that we are subject to them and/or their master with or without our consent, so the lack of recognition is mutual. And, please, spare me the gun to the head rhetoric; thank you very much.
  • John deLaubenfels's picture
    John deLaubenfels 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Douglas Herman
    Good points, but I was frustrated by the lack of links to the people and events you're referring to. I may be very ignorant, but the term "Black Swan Event" was not familiar to me. Here's an explanation for other ignoramuses: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Black_swan_theory Similarly, I haven't followed William Cooper, apparently a famous conspiracy theorist (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Milton_William_Cooper), or James Turk or Jim Sinclair. A link to your favorite site featuring each of these men would be appreciated. Also am a little baffled by your statement: The erosion of the Constitution began far earlier. Few can agree on an exact date. I’m tempted to say the erosion began July 4, 1776. The erosion of the Constitution began 11 years before the Constitution was written?
  • rita's picture
    rita 5 years 21 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Shocking.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I'm not certain how this answered my so-called challenge, unless it is your way of saying that the "criminal", whom we shall call Big G, has put a gun to your head and FORCED you to be a TAXPAYER (a numbered member) and continues to keep a gun to your head thus FORCING you to take his benefits and privileges, (such as DRIVING LICENSE and BANK ACCOUNT), and that, in your opinion, Big G has a "just claim" to authority over you and your "stuff", because he has the "might". Is that correct?
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 5 years 21 weeks ago
    A Modest Proposal
    Page Paul Hein
    I understand the gist of your parody, Paul -- it's a fun thing. But in seriousness, I believe it is important to recognize and understand that every resource of yours or mine that gets pilfered by parasites and predators of state is in fact stolen property (oops -- somebody's gonna want me to define "property" again). If you can steal some of it back without standing outside with your hat in your hand and mumbling something about "rights" I support you. Steal what you can from those bloodsuckers and don't apologize that you're denying poorer folks their "rightful share". You're not: "the poor" are bait to those barbarians -- they sing mournful songs about the poor to attract "voluntary compliance" (the ultimate oxymoron) from the so-called "middle class" so they can be raped and pillaged more conveniently. I have no doubt your proposal is in the planning stage of not a few of those leeches. Avoid helping them along. Refrain from joining the throngs of vassals voluntarily submitting personal information and/or signing documents "under penalty of perjury". Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 5 years 21 weeks ago Web link Westernerd
    Over 60 years ago an aunt, long deceased now, gave me a silver dollar. I still have that 1921 Morgan in a special purse to keep it from wearing out. I carry it every day. In the early 50's in Texas I could buy around 10 gallons of gasoline with a silver dollar. In fact the very first "self-service" gas station I remember was a Momma/Poppa station on Old Hwy 90 (long before Interstate 10) outside San Antonio -- Pop repaired and serviced cars & trucks, Mom exchanged paper "money" (still "silver certificates" before predators of state ended that) for silver dollars. Drop a silver dollar into the pump, you got around 10 gallons of gas. Today spot silver is a little over 35 government notes of debt ("frn"), you can still get almost 10 gallons (some days more, some days less) for the value of a silver dollar. Sam
  • rita's picture
    rita 5 years 21 weeks ago Web link Westernerd
    Thank you. I've been saying this for years. The reason to end the drug war isn't that it has failed. The reason to end it is that it has succeeded, far beyonbd anyone's wildest expectations. (The Prescott, Arizona, Daily Courier's front page story today is the local heroes' latest outrage, raids on stores selling bath salts.)
  • rita's picture
    rita 5 years 21 weeks ago Web link Westernerd
    Too bad my car don't run on gold.
  • painkilleraz's picture
    painkilleraz 5 years 21 weeks ago
    One Small Step For Man
    Web link Westernerd
    The generation of alternative methods of income should be a primary goal for people. After all, the largest percentage of jobs is held by or reliant on, drumroll...state employees. Mechanics in metro areas are employed along with hundreds of others in the car industry to support state subsidized populations. (direct and indirect employees) This applies to much of the united states, and much of the workforce regardless ability or training. Over the past few years my goal has been singular in the creation of new means of income that will keep my family alive and well when things reach a head.
  • painkilleraz's picture
    painkilleraz 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    A perfectly reasonable article Paul and well written! Thank you!
  • painkilleraz's picture
    painkilleraz 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Just remember, these wonderful people with no children in the house and legs that work have no concept of life. As you said, they love their orthodox purity but cannot for a second think outside their narrow minded boxes of perfection. I have recently had more than one person threaten me with "truth" in regards to my currently disabled state. Sad, that these orthodox purist idiots actually have the balls online to make comments without any position other than an untested and unrealistic philosophy. Hence my caveats and my regular and public admittance to them. :) Good luck moving forward,
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 21 weeks ago
    A Modest Proposal
    Page Paul Hein
    I doubt anyone would like your plan, not even government, because it exposes what is really going on. Government needs to obfuscate everything otherwise it would cease to exist. Yeah, I get it, your proposal was tongue-in-cheek.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Sorry, I've been out a bit. As to Suverans' challenge, if a criminal puts a gun to my head and demands my wallet, I give it to him. I suspect Suverans would do the same; after all, "might makes right". But I congratulate him on having evaded the criminal so far. Anyway this conversation has got off on a side track. I was only making a point about recovery. It makes no sense if you think about it, thinking in terms of recovering your stuff from a thief in exactly the same way it makes no sense for some old farts to think in terms of recovering what they "contributed" into Socialist Security. It's not your stuff any more. It belongs to whomever has it at the moment. Maybe that old saying, "possession is nine-tenths of the law," actually makes sense. Actually the term "recovery" is misleading in that sense. What you are really doing is stealing the criminal's stuff in retaliation for stealing yours. Typically you try to steal what he stole, but that is not necessary. You could even steal some extra for the trouble he put you through. The difference between you and the thief is not your actions, which are the same, but what other people think of it. Other people disapprove of the thief taking what is yours. They approve of you getting it back from him, or some reasonable substitute, including perhaps some reasonable extra amount for your trouble. But if he took a dollar from you, and you took $1 million from him in response, they'd probably not approve of your response, and start thinking of you as the thief.
  • JGVibes's picture
    JGVibes 5 years 21 weeks ago Web link Guest
    reading the comments on this is so irritating lol
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 5 years 21 weeks ago Web link Guest
    Oh the horror! Just imagine a society like this! From the HuffPo article: "Voluntaryists would do away with the state altogether. There would be no public roads, no public police force, no public education, no Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, no Congress, no courts, no gun laws, no seat belt laws. There would be no Treasury Department printing paper money. There would be no taxes. There would be no war. There would be no restrictions on interpersonal interactions." For Progressive and Conservative control freaks this probably sounds as close to hell on Earth as it is possible to imagine other than, say, Auschwitz. Oh well, any publicity is good as long as they spell the name right, eh?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    mhstahl, I planned on sticking to whatever I wish, but thank you for your blessings. And, I realize that you don't know me, so for the record, I have read more than those marvelous quotes I posted. I don't know if anyone else here reads all the material on this subject, which I make available via embedded links, but I most certainly do; including Thomas Paine.
  • Chris Dates's picture
    Chris Dates 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Alright, I apologize Kenk. I must have misunderstood your comment.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    @ Chris Dates, "KenK did not jump in to defend Paul," yes, I did. And further "he [KenK] jumped in to be rude." No, I didn't. Clearly you're not much of a mind reader and so I suggest you quit making a fool of yourself jumping to conclusions that rely on such a talent.
  • mhstahl's picture
    mhstahl 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Suverans2, You are certainly welcome to stick to whatever you wish. I would encourage you to look into the historical development of the concept of "natural law", particularly in the case of slavery-I suspect that you'll not like overmuch what you will read. When you do, read the original documents-they are mostly available-rather than the interpretations offered by those looking to build a case for a certain point of view. Since the term has been used to define several distinct political philosophies, and has many of its roots in the justification of medieval social strata, do you really think that it is all that useful as a slogan? But, that really is not the question at hand, rather the question Paul brings forth is the ACTUAL circumstances of people living without government, historic and contemporary. This is illustrated by your quote from Bastiat: "On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place. " Bastiat was wrong. He could not have known that when he wrote, since anthropology (and history) was in its infancy and operated as a political treadmill rather than science. He used speculation as a justification that property is "natural" and therefore it IS proper because it WAS proper. The argument is circular, and is frivolous based upon modern knowledge of societies without(or with very limited)written law. That does not mean Bastiat, or any of the other likewise minded writers you mentioned, was wrong in everything that he wrote, but rather that his philosophy was not grounded in an accurate concept of reality. Rather like Newton believing in Alchemy. If one today proposes that Alchemy is legitimate only because Newton-a great mind-believed it so based on knowledge of the time, is the argument sound? Of course not, and we might even be able to presume that given today's knowledge base that Newton would find Alchemy pointless. Even so, it is wrong to pretend that there was a consensus on the matter, even, ironically, among the people you cite. I'll leave you with this from Thomas Paine in hope that it drives you to read more thoroughly of the "old farts" you quote: "There could be no such thing as landed property originally. Man did not make the earth, and though he had a natural right to occupy it, he had no right to locate as his property in perpetuity on any part of it." Thomas Paine, Agrarian Justice, 1796.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 5 years 21 weeks ago
    Brooklyn Street Art
    Web link Sharon Secor
    Double posted. My bad.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 5 years 21 weeks ago
    Brooklyn Street Art
    Web link Sharon Secor
    Nice. The pink & gray office building looks like it was professionally done. I wonder what sort of businesses are are located there? You wouldn't need to give detailed directions to that place. Just say:"El edificio con el arte de color rosa y gris en que." :D
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Nice work indeed, Glen. A comment, if I may, on your "Without love, anarchy won't work." At first that seemed to me to set the bar too high. All that's strictly needed for a zero government society to work would be that everyone _respect_ each others' right each to own and operate his own life; to leave him alone, as in _laissez faire_. You name "respect" as one definition of love, but emphasize that "this is an issue involving the deeper and more primal levels of consciousness: feeling and emotion." Is that also prerequisite? Perhaps it is, though I'm not sure how much is needed, nor how it can be measured. Fortunately, there's no need to worry. Love or compassion seems to be part of the human makeup; everybody has some. Without it in parents, babies would not survive (and possibly, not even be conceived.) The same sentiment pities the needy, even strangers like earthquake and famine victims thousands of miles away and even when, as today, charity is trampled on by governments. Whether compassion is prerequisite for liberty or not, there will be no shortage.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Chris Dates, I think so. Just ask any reasonable man, woman or child on the planet if they want to have their life, liberty or justly acquired property taken from them without their consent. If they wouldn't, then murder (the taking of an innocent individual's life), slavery and false-imprisonment, and theft and stealing are against the natural law. Keep in mind here that an individual has given consent via his/her actions if (s)he, either intentionally, or through gross neglect, has violated these same natural rights of others. This is called forfeiture. FOR'FEITURE, n. 1. The act of forfeiting; the losing of some right, privilege, estate, honor, office or effects, by an offense, crime, breach of condition or other act. ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language
  • Chris Dates's picture
    Chris Dates 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "So we can sit around here and fight over words and phrases and definitions and ideas all we want. But it would probably be advisable to learn to enjoy what we have today and set good examples as we travel along." I'd say that's sound advice, Sam.
  • Chris Dates's picture
    Chris Dates 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "Bonneau has a family to take care of and the opportunity costs of such ultra-orthodox political purity are likely too great." Well, that was uncalled for. I hardly think Paul is going to turn into a thug after writing this essay; he is not making some pragmatic argument for thuggery, because non-aggression is "just too hard". Maybe you should reread it, Kenk. He is simply explaining what is. Here's a thought: I am walking up to you, how could you possibly know that I understand such concepts as property or ownership? These are only ideas, and good ones, perhaps, but they are far from universal. Suverans2, KenK did not jump in to defend Paul, he jumped in to be rude. Other than some quotes from admittedly very smart human beings, can you show me where "natural law" is universal?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 21 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    It sounds like that old fart, Lysander Spooner, agrees with your assessment, Darkcrusade. "...if...there be in nature no such principle as justice, no such principle as honesty, no such principle as men's natural rights of person or property, then all such words as justice and injustice, honesty and dishonesty, all such words as mine and thine, all words that signify that one thing is one man's property and that another thing is another man's property, all words that are used to describe men's natural rights of person or property, all such words as are used to describe injuries and crimes, should be struck out of all human languages as having no meanings; and it should be declared, at once and forever, that the greatest force and the greatest frauds, for the time being, are the supreme and only laws for governing the relations of men with each other; and that, from henceforth, all persons and combinations of persons --- those that call themselves governments, as well as all others --- are to be left free to practice upon each other all the force, and all the fraud, of which they are capable." ~ Excerpted from The Natural Law or The Science of Justice - A Treatise on Natural Law, Natural Justice, Natural Rights, Natural Liberty, and Natural Society; Showing That All Legislation Whatsoever Is An Absurdity, a Usurpation, and a Crime, by Lysander Spooner
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 years 22 weeks ago
    Abolishing Prisons
    Page Jim Davies
    Thank you, Rita! Meanwhile I think I may have understated how unusual it is for KenK to have suffered five robberies in about 20 years; I suggested it was 1:167. If anyone is handy with probability math, please take a look at http://www.theanarchistalternative.info/zgb/probrob.htm and let us know. He could turn out to be a very rare person indeed.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "All are dust and to dust we shall return" I heard that somewhere. It appears to be true. J. E. Bush, uncle and great uncle to the former grand wizards of the klan, once said, "...the only thing you can buy, sell or trade on is energy -- man's physical and his mental energy..." Everything that you think has value came out of the earth and will, in time, return to the earth. Put differently, the only things you can buy or sell are transportation and transformation. Call it what you want: property is as good a word as any. You won't have it all that long. And neither will your children -- or their children. So we can sit around here and fight over words and phrases and definitions and ideas all we want. But it would probably be advisable to learn to enjoy what we have today and set good examples as we travel along. You've done just that, Paul. Thanks for the essay and the insights. Sam.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Jakub Bozydar W...
    The bottom line is relatively simple, Jakub, and I believe you've successfully scratched it: Eventually something has to be produced by someone for which others are willing to exchange real items of value. Magicians of state (the ultimate swindlers of all mankind throughout all history) will continue to titillate crowds by pulling rabbits out of hats -- the ultimate allegory to the racket of fiat "money". But they have to quickly leave the stage before their scam is unraveled by ordinary folks; only to return with other and often more outrageous marvels. Most in almost all crowds are dazzled by truly adroit and personable magicians -- particularly when they're convinced s/he can produce something of real value from an empty hat. Thus elections, with smiling, waving gangsters called politicians. Ordinary hats do not contain rabbits. Even the best of magicians can only pull so many rabbits out of a single hat. Yet the unwashed masses will always crave free rabbit stew. The magical politicians' stock in trade is in their proclivity to keep most of the folks looking in the wrong direction for the real source of the live rabbit. It's not that the rabbit is not genuine -- it's an actual rabbit all right. But it did not (and can not) come from the empty hat. Sam
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    ″Power rests on nothing other than people's consent to submit, and each person who refuses to submit to tyranny reduces it by one two-hundred-and-fifty-millionth, whereas each who compromises only increases it.″ ~ Vladimir Konstantinovich Bukovsky As my friend, tzo, so eloquently put it... All governments must have citizens in order to exist. ...so, we (my natural law wife and I) thought we would do our "[two] two-hundred-and-fifty-millionth" worth. We ask no one to join us, and, "[w]e ask not your counsels or your arms". And, for the record, the only persons I "throw" it at, as you put it, are the one's who falsely accuse me of being a member and/or taking member-only benefits/privileges. I do, however, suggest, quite frequently, that membership in the political community is at the "root" of most of the problems men and women have with the government, but it's not very popular, and is therefor almost always ignored, for obvious reasons. p.s. I appreciate, very much, that you jumped to Paul's defense. I like many of the things Paul writes.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Perhaps you missed my "How about you?" question, Paul. I may be the only man on STR [who is a non-member of the political community], who hasn't used a Taxpayer Identification Number of any kind, had any government licenses or identification cards of any ilk, or taken any member-only benefits or privileges in about a dozen years. How about you? And, I suspect this... "Suverans, you sound a bit like those old farts who justify their receiving Socialist Security because they are "just recovering what I was forced to contribute when I was young". ~ Paul Bonneau ...may be a case of "the pot calling the kettle black". My guess is that you are not a stranger to their covenant[1], that you are a "numbered" member of the political community, and that you voluntarily use that chattel number, which is why you are able to have the "benefit" of a bank account, and why your government could "confiscate" your money, but I could be wrong. _________________________________________________________________ [1] Strangers. ...In its general legal signification the term is opposed to the word "privy". Those who are in no way parties to the covenant or transaction nor bound by it, are said to be strangers to the covenant or transaction. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 1421 And, if one is a stranger he is, "...one who, in no event resulting from the existing state of affairs, can become liable for the debt and whose property is not charged with the payment thereof and cannot be sold therefor". (Ibid.)
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Bonneau has a family to take care of and the opportunity costs of such ultra-orthodox political purity are likely too great. I often get that argument thrown at me as well. NB:Real life existence doesn't grant much consideration to the hairsplitting details of ideological purity contests.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    No thanks, gentlemen; I think I'll stick with the "pollyannish version" of natural law, natural rights and natural liberty that these old farts put forth. "That men should take up arms and spend their lives and fortunes, not to maintain their rights, but to maintain they have not rights, is an entirely new species of discovery..." ~ Thomas Paine "...if...there be in nature no such principle as justice, no such principle as honesty, no such principle as men's natural rights of person or property, then all such words as justice and injustice, honesty and dishonesty, all such words as mine and thine, all words that signify that one thing is one man's property and that another thing is another man's property, all words that are used to describe men's natural rights of person or property, all such words as are used to describe injuries and crimes, should be struck out of all human languages as having no meanings; and it should be declared, at once and forever, that the greatest force and the greatest frauds, for the time being, are the supreme and only laws for governing the relations of men with each other; and that, from henceforth, all persons and combinations of persons --- those that call themselves governments, as well as all others --- are to be left free to practice upon each other all the force, and all the fraud, of which they are capable. Section IV What, then, is legislation? It is an assumption by one man, or body of men, of absolute, irresponsible dominion over all other men whom they call subject to their power. It is the assumption by one man, or body of men, of a right to subject all other men to their will and their service. It is the assumption by one man, or body of men, of a right to abolish outright all the natural rights, all the natural liberty of all other men; to make all other men their slaves; to arbitrarily dictate to all other men what they may, and may not, do; what they may, and may not, have; what they may, and may not, be. It is, in short, the assumption of a right to banish the principle of human rights, the principle of justice itself, from off the earth, and set up their own personal will, pleasure, and interest in its place. All this, and nothing less, is involved in the very idea that there can be any such thing as human legislation that is obligatory upon those upon whom it is imposed." ~ Excerpted from The Natural Law or The Science of Justice - A Treatise on Natural Law, Natural Justice, Natural Rights, Natural Liberty, and Natural Society; Showing That All Legislation Whatsoever Is An Absurdity, a Usurpation, and a Crime, by Lysander Spooner _______________________________________________________ "The laws shall be merely declaratory of natural rights and natural wrongs, and … whatever is indifferent to the laws of nature shall be left unnoticed by human legislation … and legal tyranny arises whenever there is a departure from this simple principle." ~ Elisha P. Hurlbut, nineteenth-century American natural-rights theorist _______________________________________________________ Life, faculties, production — in other words, individuality, liberty, property — this is man. And in spite of the cunning of artful political leaders, these three gifts from God precede all human legislation, and are superior to it. Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place. ~ The Law by Frédéric Bastiat _______________________________________________________ "The law of nature or natural law … is the law, the body of rights, which we deduce from the essential nature of man." ~ Francis Lieber _______________________________________________________ "The natural law is, in essence, a profoundly “radical” ethic, for it holds the existing status quo, which might grossly violate natural law, up to the unsparing and unyielding light of reason. In the realm of politics or State action, the natural law presents man with a set of norms which may well be radically critical of existing positive law imposed by the State. At this point, we need only stress that the very existence of a natural law discoverable by reason is a potentially powerful threat to the status quo and a standing reproach to the reign of blindly traditional custom [common law/judicial decisions] or the arbitrary will of the State apparatus [statute law/positive law]. In fact, the legal principles of any society can be established in three alternate ways: ...by slavish conformity to custom [common law/judicial decisions], by arbitrary whim [statute law], or by use of man’s reason [natural law]". ~ Introduction to Natural Law by Murray M. Rothbard Just to name a few.
  • mhstahl's picture
    mhstahl 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Indeed, Paul, not only does the word "property" have french(actually Latin-I believe it is a Roman concept, as we understand it)roots, but so does "common law" which I often(and I once did myself)hear many in the liberty community lauding. There is, in fact, a considerable controversy amongst historians of the pre-Conquest era over just how centralized authority was, and how organized it was-in the academic literature those who see the evidence pointing to a largely de-centralized government are known as minimalists and those favoring a more fully developed State prior to 1066 are known as maximalists. At any rate, certainly the concept of property, at least in land, was in evidence in the record far before the Conquest-the term for it was "book-land." Literally land recorded on paper. We cannot though presume that this was a spontaneous development, since the Romans had control of lower Britain for many centuries. Indeed, the long term resistance of Scotland, Wales, and to a significant extent Kent to "civilization" in the quasi-Roman sense is evidence of Roman influence in Wessex and other areas that were under their direct control. As to Common Law, this is 100%, without historical question, a development of Norman Conquerors (Specifically, but not limited to, Duke William and William Rufus.) It is a legal system that relies on central authority as the final adjudicator, and as such presumes the supremacy of the State. Often the structure of common law reflected the old customary law principles, but the relationship was only superficial the common law was a system designed to ensure that the conquerors controlled "justice." There is no question about this, to any historian with an understanding of the era the notion that the Common Law is "natural" is like stating that the sky is green and the Sun is blue. One of my one of these days is to write a STR column-perhaps when I do I'll elaborate. For the moment let me cite an essay by Frederick Pollock: http://oll.libertyfund.org/index.php?Itemid=284&id=1167&option=com_conte... In this document, Pollock is referring to late Saxon society-the "hundred" is a construct of positive law, not the customary law-later kings came up with this to help standardize law, and enact its enforcement(it was a crime to not chase a thief, for instance); when he refers to "the witan", the best corollary is Gandalf in the Lord of the Rings in his dealings with various kings, minus any magic. Tolkien was, after all, a professor of Anglo-Saxon. Not a perfect analogy, but good enough to get the point across. Also, forget not that Pollock was writing at the turn of the last century, when "progress" was still a God. I think a great resource for you would be Max Gluckman's "Peace in the Feud": http://past.oxfordjournals.org/content/8/1/1.extract I'm sorry, I do not have a non-copyright version available free....it should be out there though(or PM me.) Also "the Law of the Somalis" by Michael von Notten (I recently gave my copy to Kent McManigal): http://www.amazon.com/Law-Somalis-Foundation-Economic-Development/dp/156... For anyone who has got themselves convinced that "Natural Rights" somehow exist in the concrete world(i.e. minus a State to enforce them) I suggest "The Idea of Natural Rights: Studies on Natural Rights, Natural Law, and Church Law 1150 1625 " by Brian Tierney: http://www.amazon.com/Idea-Natural-Rights-University-Religion/dp/0802848...
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    And, still troubled by that word "right", when used as a noun, too, I see. We've covered this ground several times, Paul. Maybe this will help refresh your memory. RIGHT, n. 5. Just claim; legal title; ownership; the legal power of exclusive possession and enjoyment 6. Just claim... 7. Just claim... 8. That which justly belongs to one. 9. Property; interest. 10. Just claim... 11. Authority... ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    My goodness Paul, you ARE confused. Are you plagued by old-timer's disease? ;-) I may be the only man on STR[1] who hasn't used a Taxpayer Identification Number of any kind, had any government licenses or identification cards of any ilk, or taken any member-only benefits or privileges in about a dozen years. How about you? p.s. You didn't have very good control of "your" money in the bank before, if your government confiscated it, so what makes you believe that you have any better control over "your" money now? lol ________________________________________________________ [1] If there are any others here, they've never made themselves known to me, and I don't expect them to.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "...possessions are generally respected, it is because an attempt to take them might cause violence..." Yes, this is the true basis for all property ownership, not some silly abstract "right" that takes a government to "protect". It's good to see someone gets my points here. Makes me feel my writing is not completely obtuse, heh. "...the loss is born by the individual, and any attempt to recover possessions are made by that person. " Yes, although there is nothing wrong with trying to get it back with the aid of others who see it in their interest to help. I imagine this might have been true in Anglo Saxon England as well. Actually the word "property" has French roots. The Norman ruling class brought it over with them, I'm guessing. That should be a clue regarding its attachment to the state...
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I don't think I do confuse them. I have some money in the bank. It is not in my possession, but it is still my stuff (because I control it). Until it is confiscated, as the federal government did with a 1mdc account I once had. Then it is no longer my stuff. Suverans, you sound a bit like those old farts who justify their receiving Socialist Security because they are "just recovering what I was forced to contribute when I was young". Of course that is silly. The money that was "contributed" was pissed away, just like all the other tax dollars that were sent to government. The same way the mugger in the article spent it on a prostitute. And no, I'm not getting confused about the fungibility of money either.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    This comment is a strange one. I am describing what is, and you respond with what ought to be. Molyneux has discussed "is" and "ought" many times; might be worth a look. "Legitimacy" is just a meme that the parasitic class takes great care to implant in the minds of the host organisms, so that the parasite can continue his looting. I did not make anything legitimate or illegitimate simply by recognizing that people often do get away with theft and murder. I wonder how you and Suverans explain most of human history, denying that might makes right? Oh, I get it. You are confused about the word "right", as in "right equals good". Certainly the word "right" in isolation has that connotation. However I am not using it that way. I am using "might makes right" as a complete phrase. Look up that phrase in Wikipedia. One of their meanings is this: "The term can be used in the descriptive, rather than prescriptive way, in the same sense that people say that "History is written by the victors." Since every person labels what he/she thinks is good for himself/herself as "right," only those who are able to defeat their enemies are the ones who can push their idea of what is right into fruition." I already addressed the murdering of children, right there in the article. What IS, is that you and I would not do it, because (if nothing else) we prefer to live in human society. What IS is that Obama can and does murder children, because he lives in a society, different from ours, that approves of it. Perhaps you need to read the article again, a bit more carefully. As to your claim that my article suggests you can come to my house and take what you want, try it. You may find you were mistaken.
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    This true story is distributed to schoolchildren in New Zealand as part of their Maori heritage... Tarore In 1835, The Bible Society published 100 copies of the Gospel of Luke in the Maori language. In 1836, missionaries gave one to a young Maori girl, Tarore, at a mission school near Matamata. She read it to her father, the chief of the Waikato tribe. She kept her treasured copy of the Gospel of Luke under her pillow when she slept. Under threat of a neighboring warring Rotorua tribe, the mission school was in the process of relocating to Tauranga. On October 19, 1836, at the Wairere Falls, a raiding party killed the 12-year-old girl and took the treasured object from under her pillow. Later, unable to read, the Rotorua chief discarded it until a slave boy came along who had learned to read, and he revealed its contents to his fascinated listeners. The Rotorua chief himself was convicted by its con-tents and resolved to become a Christian. He also re-solved to seek out the father of the murdered girl and beg for his forgiveness. This mission was, of course, life threatening. When finally confronting the father, the chief of the Waikato tribe—and risking the customary tribal response of revenge—the father of the murdered girl forgave him, and thus began a peaceful relationship between the two previously warring tribes! A young girl murdered… A devastated father refusing to seek revenge… A murderer transformed through the Gospel he stole from his victim… Then forgiveness given and peace achieved! The Good News Spreads The story of this young Maori girl and her copy of the Gospel of Luke then became the key to the conversion of many of the Maori tribes. When missionaries visited both the North and South Islands, they discovered that many of the Maori tribes had already been converted to Christ due to the story of Tarore and her copy of the Gospel of Luke making its rounds… The Treaty of Waitangi On February 6, 1840, the nation of New Zealand was born by the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi between the Crown of England and the Maori tribes. While primarily dealing with land rights and other issues, this foundational document continues to obligate the Crown of the United Kingdom to safeguard and protect the Maori’s rights of worship. Since a significant portion of the Maori tribes had previously been converted to Christianity, the government now continues to be legally committed to protect Christianity in New Zealand. There are Bibles in schools, home schooling is encouraged, and many Christian schools receive significant government sup-port. (See New Zealand’s national anthem, left.) It seemed appropriate that we recorded our most recent update of our exposition of the Gospel of Luke in New Zealand, where it has had such a unique and special historical impact. The Gospel of Luke The Gospel according to Luke has been called the most beautiful book ever written.1 At its heart is the perfect Life—Christ’s teachings, redemption through Him, and the changed lives of those who cluster around Him. The religion of Israel could only produce a Pharisee; The power of Rome could only produce a Caesar; The philosophy of Greece could only produce an Alexander, an infant at heart; It was to this Greek mind that Luke wrote: he presents Jesus Christ as the perfect Man, the Universal Man, the very person the Greeks were looking for. H.A. Ironside For the Gentile Reader Of the four Gospels, Luke’s seems to be the most popular to the Gentile reader. Luke is a Gentile, and as such he focuses on the reality that the Gospel is for all nations. There are many Old Testament prophecies which foretold that the Gentiles would be beneficiaries of God’s kingdom. Luke helps us see through Matthew’s Jewish veil and presents to us a broader perspective. Luke the Physician Luke is a Greek physician, and as a physician, he is focused on Jesus’ humanity. As the “beloved physician,” he used more medical terms than Hippocrates, the father of medicine. He has given us an obstetrical account by a doctor of the virgin birth, then he carries us through to the agony of the Cross and the miracle of the empty tomb. Luke was chosen by the Holy Spirit to write this gospel—Luke’s Greek is the highest Greek in the New Testament, the best of any New Testament writer. His writings are regarded as some of the finest pieces of historical writing in ancient literature. Sir William Ram-say set out to disprove Luke. After diligent investigation, he concluded that Luke had not made one historical inaccuracy—his gospel is the most complete historically. Special Features Luke gives us many features omitted by Matthew and Mark: An obstetrical account of the virgin birth; 20 miracles, six of which are in no other gospel; and 23 parables, 18 of which are found nowhere else. It is Luke alone who mentions the coming of the angel to our Savior to strengthen Him during Gethsemane’s agony. And had it not been for Luke, we would never have known of the penitent thief, or of the visit of our resurrected Lord with the two disciples on the way to their home at Emmaus. Parables that are unique to Luke’s Gospel include the story of the Good Samaritan, the rich fool, the barren fig tree, the great supper (not to be confused with the marriage of the king’s son as given in Matthew), the lost coin, the Prodigal Son, the unjust steward, the story of Lazarus, the unjust judge and the widow, the Pharisee and the publican, and the parable of the pounds (distinct from the ten talents). These are re-corded in Luke’s Gospel alone. And only Luke reports on the sending of the 70. Paul’s Trial Documents? There are some scholars who suspect that Luke’s Gospel—and its sequel, the Book of Acts (“Luke Volume 2”)—may have been required trial documentation. Roman law required that the historical background of a case had to precede an appeal to Caesar. Such an undertaking was expensive and Theophilus may have been Paul’s sponsor. We notice two interesting observations about Luke’s writings that corroborate this: first, uprisings were in-variably the fault of Paul’s Jewish adversaries; and second, centurions are always portrayed as the good guys. http://www.khouse.org/
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Might makes Right??? Wow! You just made Government legitimate,and Hitler,Mao and stalin! Good Job-LOL. No one should beef about being robbed at knife-point,gun-point or taxed through threats and coercion. Don't leave 'your house' or 'your wife' alone as i might have need and a majority of force to procur my want. Man does not equal animal. Male lions will kill cubs to mate with the lioneses;law of the jungle(not evil.). Man my be a little unsettled by this fact. Atleast man recognises that murdering a step-child would be an evil.I mean,until you wrote your above posting Paul.
  • mhstahl's picture
    mhstahl 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Paul, I think you make an important distinction between "possessions" and "property". I've come to think of the term "property" as an abstract legal definition, whereas "possessions", or your stuff, is the real world concrete description. This is a tricky issue, since "ownership" is an implication of "property". For me, the key in understanding this was studying Anglo-Saxon England. This is a society in many ways very similar to viking age Iceland that David Friedman has written about, particularly prior to the year 800. Long historical treatise made short, one of the primary reforms that Alfred and assorted other kings made that unified the disparate kingdoms(then really quasi-anarchic societies that unified only for defensive purposes)was to first codify and standardize rates of restitution for violence and other harm( the system of wer, bot, and wite- with the king suddenly getting a cut), and then to essentially create the crime of theft. Theft was (is) essentially unenforceable under the customary law system(which is non-government, by the way) but most certainly IS enforceable by magistrates of the king. The concept of property, and "rights" to it is directly traceable to the efforts of kings to consolidate power. I've studied reports of many contemporary customary law societies, and while, as in Saxon England, possessions are generally respected, it is because an attempt to take them might cause violence, rather than that they are "owned." People are generally expected to see to their possessions, and if they are taken by guile or though stealth the loss is born by the individual, and any attempt to recover possessions are made by that person. Unfortunately, most libertarians I've come across are quite myopic on this subject and tend to place property on an absurd pedestal where it becomes sane, and even beneficial, to execute simple trespassers despite the lack of any true threat. Since, particularly in the US, most land claims can be traced to either violence of its threat(and are essentially ALL technically property of the government anyway), and that a huge proportion of wealth is based upon some level of government interlocution, it seems a strange position for people devoted to non-aggression.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    It appears that you STILL confuse "ownership" with "possession". So, obviously it didn't help. ;-) Have a good day, Paul.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Sorry, I was not being clear. I was actually referring to the decades-long debate among libertarians about what IP is, or whether it exists (of which the SOPA thing is the latest example). I reject such silly anthropomorphic arguments as "information wants to be free". Instead I think property is the stuff in your possession and control.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Well, might actually does make right, and has done so ever since the Cambrian Explosion. We don't like that might makes right, because it is tedious to stand guard 24 hours a day over one's bicycle (or whatever), so we attempt to live in places where most people don't indulge in practices like theft and murder. But that does not mean that might no longer makes right. The natural law is still out there. The real natural law I mean, not this pollyannish version of it that you find so comforting. Property that is not in your possession or control is not your property any more. It has none of the features of your property. You cannot do what you want with it, or trade it for something else.
  • golefevre's picture
    golefevre 5 years 22 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I'm going to have to think about your "homegrown theory" some Paul, but I think I genuinely agree with your premise. I repeatedly found myself thinking about George Carlin's famous rant about "stuff" and smiling. Well done, sir.