Recent comments

  • scott_free_68's picture
    scott_free_68 2 years 45 weeks ago Web link Westernerd
    awsome link Sueverans2...Setting aside the complexities of the issue, simple math shows an absolute financial basis for abandoning the drug policies regarding marijuana. politicians and law enforcement agencies are feeding the justice machine with the bodies and wallets of anyone they can handcuff. sex offenders are being released to make room for citizens who posess vegetation! people are labled as felons for possesing vegetation. in some cases, taxes are spent providing public assistence to people who are unemployed for having ingested vegetation. How is it that politicians can do the opposite of the will of the people and still get paid? How is it that we have not yet found the way to fire every single one of the liars and bar them from any form of public service? The 99% should be chanting "you're all f'ng liars, and you're all f'ng fired"!
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 45 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    G'day Sam, I find that most "on fire anarchists" are technically not "anarchists" at all, that is to say, they are not "without ruler", they are virtually all "card-carrying-members" of one man-made-STATE, or another, thus technically they are only "proponents of anarchism", or "advocates of anarchism", and not "anarchists", in the purest sense of the word; kind of a "do as I say, not as I do" bunch, it would seem. And, God help the man or woman who heeds their advice and tells them that they have thrown away all these "cards" and have manifestly withdrawn consent to have any man, or group of men, as their ruler(s)...for these "proponents" and "advocates" will either attack them, screaming, "That is not POSSIBLE! My master doesn't 'legally recognize' your right to withdraw consent", or they will, for the most part, patently pretend that these Individual Secessionists do not exist. They most certainly will not support them in any meaningful way. So, why on Earth should anyone listen to them? "You must be the change you wish to see in the world." ~ Mahatma Gandhi
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 2 years 45 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Good essay, Paul. Especially items 4 & 5. As I look back, within each level of my 75+ years I see how I have acquired "new truth" -- long prior to ever hearing the term libertarian. In each case I felt a compulsion to evangelize -- and inwardly denigrate anyone who would not or could not pick up my torch and run with it. If there is one thing anarchy has achieved for me it has been the recognition that my freedom and your freedom are different concepts. My beliefs of today are quite different from the beliefs I had just ten years ago -- about the time I first experimented with the internet and free communication with folks around the world whose backgrounds and beliefs were at variance with mine. I hope to be alert and open to new ideas and concepts 25 years from now at 100. Writers like you and many others here and at other forum sites I visit are constantly challenging my "unquestionable sacred ideas" (to use a Delmar England phrase). This is a good encouragement for us "on fire anarchists" to mellow out and let others achieve liberty and freedom at their own pace and in their own time. Sam.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 2 years 45 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    I remember well "My Country 'Tis of Thee, Sweet Land of Liberty..." We sang it in sister school when I was a wee lad, late 30's and early 40's, as a ritual of the morning flag a-raising, along with the "pledge of allegiance" and other state/g-d worship. You probably know the history (and it could be googled easily) of when Star Spangled Banner became U.S. national "anthem". I don't think I ever heard "Spangled" (what an ugly name -- and an ugly tune with NO rhythm) until late 40's or early 50's in high school. Sam.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 45 weeks ago
    A Sense of Owingness
    Web link Michael Dunn
    Thank you, for that, Paul.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 45 weeks ago
    A Sense of Owingness
    Web link Michael Dunn
    "The shallow consider liberty a release from all law, from every constraint. The wise see in it, on the contrary, the potent Law of Laws." ~ Walt Whitman And just what is this "potent Law of Laws"? The answer, as we have posted here twice before is... "The law of nature is superior in obligation to any other. It is binding in all countries and at all times. No human laws are valid if opposed to this, and all which are binding derive their authority either directly or indirectly from it. ~ Institutes of American Law by John Bouvier, 1851, Part I, Title II, No. 9
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 years 45 weeks ago
    A Sense of Owingness
    Web link Michael Dunn
    This column has it exactly backwards. Nobody owes us anything. See Harry Browne's essay: http://harrybrowne.org/articles/GiftDaughter.htm
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 45 weeks ago Page tzo
    "Political philosophy based on the Natural Law defines ethical behavior and is best summarized by the Non-Aggression Principle." Yes, it does, and yes, it is. Thank you.
  • painkilleraz's picture
    painkilleraz 2 years 45 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    Firstly as a fellow writer I also tend to react to those whom would dissect a piece based solely in their dislike of a word. As an example a recent article by Bill Buppert caused a well known "left/libertarian" to launch into a days long campaign to "destroy" Bill, all because of a word which in context meant exactly what it was written for. Unfortunately, the side bar over the usage of a word that caused such consternation ended poorly for the parties involved. I would suggest that instead of immediately dissembling the words involved we do more to understand the reasoning behind the usage of said word and if it still detracts from the object of the essay in our opinions make the reasoning known, this allows for a logical approach in most cases and disallows the potential emotional side bars from occurring. Next, as a "social engineer" myself it is at best difficult to study, work and involve myself in the problem at its root. I began my journey of education with a goal of enacting changes at the very base of the problem, and have ended up using that same education to the detriment of the system versus the original goal of "fixing" the situation. It is this educational journey and life experiences that have caused me to come to the place I am now, an individual intent on dissemination of the idea of individual liberty of the mind which can only result with time in the liberty of the body. You stated, "The future of our civilization lies with progress in two directions: a higher quality of education resulting in unparalleled intellectualism among the mentally capable, and an emotional bravery so deep and penetrating that only the strongest will survive it" And I agree, however, when I use the term education with many in the liberty/individualist/market anarchist/agorist life they tend to have immediate and sometimes severe emotional reactions. I do not believe I could have stated it better however, and will with your permission and (hopefully) blessing use this line when attempting to assert the need for education, especially as you stated, higher quality education. Thank you for the article, it was well written and I too hope to have an article or two of mine published here, your footsteps will be hard to fill given your ability with our difficult language. Jesse Mathewson
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 years 45 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    By the way, in "Up From Slavery", Booker T. Washington wrote, "I felt that the Reconstruction policy, so far as it related to my race, was in a large measure on a false foundation, was artificial and forced. In many cases it seemed to me that the ignorance of my race was being used as a tool with which to help white men into office, and that there was an element in the North which wanted to punish the Southern white men by forcing the Negro into positions over the heads of Southern whites. I felt that the Negro would be the one to suffer for this in the end."
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 years 45 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    It's not ignorance. It's that it is not in the interest of people working in government to solve problems - which would put them out of work - but to manage problems. It's simply not an accurate reflection of reality to think there is something wrong with the welfare state. It institutionally is doing exactly what it is supposed to be doing - degrading its "clients" and providing work for those in government. Anyway it makes no sense to say "society is... ignorant". Society is not a sentient being, but a collection of individuals. Society cannot be ignorant, or intelligent, or anything else that applies only to individuals. As to Chinese and slaves, I didn't write clearly enough. What I meant to say was that at the point immediately after the War of Northern Aggression, they were in roughly similar positions. They were looked down on, thought shifty and not to be trusted, and did not enjoy equal legal rights. For example a Chinese could not testify against a "white" in California, IIRC. I did not mean to imply that the way the Chinese got over here could be compared to the way "blacks" got over here. If anything, the position of American Indians at that point was worse, since the slaughter and starvation and destruction of their culture was about to move into high gear.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 45 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    A complement to your last line, my friend. "When I hear a person talking about political solutions, I know I am not listening to a serious person." ~ George Carlin
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 2 years 45 weeks ago
    Natural Law
    Web link Don Stacy
    http://www.youtube.com/user/Knowwheretorun1984#p/u/202/CycbvARsxWU http://www.youtube.com/user/Knowwheretorun1984#p/u/201/d496xMLacSE http://www.youtube.com/user/Knowwheretorun1984#p/u/200/6AUXDsA_yVY http://www.youtube.com/user/Knowwheretorun1984#p/u/199/Au4xnyfxf1s http://www.youtube.com/user/Knowwheretorun1984#p/u/221/CA5Bh8Zk0Xo
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 2 years 45 weeks ago
    Natural Law
    Web link Don Stacy
    He who trammels the debate,directs the outcome. The rejection of the truth in the new testament would tend to steer the debate.While it was the eyeWITNESSES who wrote the vast majority of the new testament,it would be an almost fruitless endevor to find an eyewitness who was not changed into a believer!(that is,if Christ is,who he says he is.) If there was no Christ,there would be no Christians,as that is where the moniker comes from. http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=iHWVWw9gJT8 Paul was given power to unrestrained persecution of the Christians,stoning husband and wives and imprisoning children.Paul,a powerful jew and enemy of the Chritians, had an impecable pedigree that he counted for dung after his eyes where opened. See-Philippians, Chapter 3:4 Another great historic evidence> http://www.foxes-book-of-martyrs.com/ Flavius Josephus, who was a Jewish authority, a Roman scholar and who lived from 37 A.D. to 100 A.D., has recorded in his work, The Antiquities of The Jews. Josephus verifies that Jesus was an historical figure who was called Christ, who was crucified by Pontius Pilate, and who rose again on the third day. Listen: "He was the Christ; and when Pilate, at the suggestion of the principal men amongst us, had condemned Him to the cross, those that loved Him at the first, did not forsake Him, for He appeared to them alive again the third day, as the divine prophets had foretold these and ten thousand other wonderful things concerning Him.(from-The Complete Works of Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Kregel Publications, Chapter.III, page 379.) 1 John 4:9-10: "Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins." Propitiation simply means "to atone or make amends for." In other words, Jesus came and died in our place (atoned for our personal sins) so that we could be freed from sin's penalty, which is death. Jesus died so that you and I could be saved. John 15:13 says, "Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." How can a Holy God show his justice and mercy and love? Justice demands you be punished for your transgressions. But God is pure love and wants to show mercy. http://www.khouse.org/articles/1995/102/ A lot of readers wonder why in the Scriptures there are so many pedigree,name of so and so, begat so and so and so on &c. Try this ,take the genealogy in Genesis Chapter 5 and write down the names Adam thru Noah. (Every name in Hebrew has a meaning)Look up the meaning of each name and it should look like this. ADAM–MAN SETH–APPOINTED ENOSH–MORTAL KENAN–SORROW MAHALALEL–THE BLESSED GOD JARED–SHALL COME DOWN ENOCH–TEACHING METHUSELA–HIS DEATH SHALL BRING LAMECH–THE DESPAIRING NOAH–COMFORT or REST You have a picture of salvation in the first book of the Bible. The ancient hebrew patriarchs did not encode the new testament gospel in the 'old testament scrolls' on purpose. This is the fingerprint of God. To be honest in our search for truth ,demands investigation. http://www.youtube.com/user/Knowwheretorun1984#p/u/15/zRb8uuMhAkc
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 2 years 45 weeks ago
    Heartless Libertarians
    Page tzo
    Yes, on a discussion thread where I was repeatedly alluding to the gun, someone responded (paraphrasing): "What is this gun you keep talking about? I've paid taxes all my life and no one ever pointed a gun at me." School is indeed a Pavlovian reward/punishment system designed to elicit conditioned reflexes. Inflict it upon young children before they can defend themselves and it becomes a part of who they are. The reflexes become very difficult to identify or acknowledge as being problematic, and so the much harder to get rid of.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 2 years 45 weeks ago
    Heartless Libertarians
    Page tzo
    Suverans2's example of behavioral conditioning is an excellent metaphor for how people are conditioned from birth by the spoken word and written language; though I would add television and movies. I constantly must point out the "gun in the room" to statists whom seem oblivious to it. The social contract is the cage itself and but a barbaric relic left over from discredited apologies for the feudal state. People are animals that you give too much credit to as most react more than they think.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 45 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    Continued from previous post: And, if one is, in truth, a "private person", i.e. not a consenting member, (s)he is not "clothed with [the] office" of "citizen", and therefore CANNOT participate in "political solutions". You might also take notice of the lyrics of the "original" anthem, adopted by the people, Sam, for it had nothing to do with flags or governments. My Country, 'Tis Of Thee, Sweet Land Of Liberty, Of Thee I Sing; Land Where My Fathers Died, Land Of The Pilgrim's Pride, From Ev'ry Mountain Side Let Freedom Ring. My Native Country Thee, Land Of The Noble Free, Thy Name I Love; I Love Thy Rocks And Rills, Thy Woods And Templed Hills; My Heart With Rapture Thrills Like That Above. Let Music Swell The Breeze, And Ring From All The Trees, Sweet Freedom's Song. Let Mortal Tongues Awake; Let All That Breathe Partake; Let Rocks Their Silence Break, The Sound Prolong. Our Father's God! To Thee, Author Of Liberty, To Thee We Sing; Long May Our Land Be Bright With Freedom's Holy Light; Protect Us By Thy Might, Great God, Our King!
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 45 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    I believe you will find that that's because a "private person" is not a consenting member, (s)he is not "clothed with [the] office" of "citizen". Private. Affecting or belonging to private individuals, as distinguished from the public generally. Not official; not clothed with office. People v. Powell, 280 Mich. 699, 274 N.W. 372, 373 ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 1195
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 2 years 45 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    Why should I, or Ventura, or any other free thinking individual, fool around in the white man's court system, needing law scholars to sort out the beast's billions (trillions, I suspect) of jots and tittles? Justice? Never happen! At least Ventura, in all his wisdom acquired from holding his Grand Wizard of MN "office", figured one thing out: "If I appeal it, they'll get federally paid judges to squash it." I wrote this over at HaleBobb: Jesse is already coming to understand that "judges" who suck on top teats are duty bound to protect TSA goons who suck on lower (but still stolen milk from the same sets of) teats. There is no such thing as "justice" when all participants are paid from the same booty trunk. I'm reminded of the 70's when I, ignorant sheep that I was, let myself get "assessed" over half million frn's in fines, penalties and back "taxes" (well over a million in today's inflated digital frn's) by agents of the US "Internal Revenue 'Service'". Later they tried to take the farm from my ex wife. My son and a number of other lawyers got her off under a "wounded spouse" clause of some sort. In my blindness I, like Jesse Ventura, became angry. I had gold US and TX flag pins I had worn daily for years as jingoist badges on my suit jacket -- proud and clueless patriot that I was. In rage I took a spray can and painted them black, but continued to wear them covered in black while teaching in government ("public" ha ha) university -- until anarchy caught up with me. Before I declared sovereignty I had to suffer a lot of what is being called "cognitive dissonance". I came to understand that anger toward agents of state ("the government") is playing directly into their hands and providing a clear target on my own back to which they can dutifully and gleefully take aim. My anger would be better directed at foxes for their ill treatment of the chickens. State agents depend upon angry citizens ("home grown terrorists") to carry on their ruse of war "against terrorism". Just like they need drug dealers and pushers and addicts to carry on their egregious drug "war". Wars allow them to maintain such criminal acts as federal reserve to print up counterfeit "funds" to support the various "industrial complexes" that support wars and state agents. It's a vicious cycle in which I no longer play a part. I quietly excuse myself from exercises in state worship (anthems, pledges of allegiance, etc). With all due respect, Jesse (and Dr Paul), political solutions are no solutions. Sam
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 2 years 45 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/2011/11/Ventura-TSA-d... Ventura has no standing to use the Constitution. Padleford Case: "But, indeed, no private person has a right to complain, by suit in court, on the grounds of a breach of the Constitution. The Constitution, it is true, is a compact, but he is not a party to it. The States are parties to it. And they may complain. If they do they are entitled to redress. Or they may waive the right to complain." In other words, Ventura based his complaint on a violation of "his" constitutional rights as expressed in the Constitution. To which he is not a party to, hence no standing, case tossed. Jesse had his lawyer selling him out here. In this case, Congress determined that the Courts of Appeals get to declare the law void, not the District Courts. J.V. should sue his LIEYER for legal malpractice and file in the proper venue if he is the ''real deal'' and not just a rabble rouser.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 45 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    The American people should have known something was amiss when their government changed the national anthem from, "America (My Country 'Tis of Thee)", "sweet land of liberty" to the "Star Spangled Banner",with its "rockets' red glare, the bombs bursting in air", written by a lawyer.
  • livefreeretiree's picture
    livefreeretiree 2 years 45 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    I find your use of the adjective "self-inflated" to be disagreeable. The Chinese people paying me to "teach" (Fuck, there's that word you don't like. You seem to have issues with a lot of words. How about... "explain"? Yes, I am a professional English explainer.) them English are doing all the inflating, I assure you. Competent social engineers don't induce human suffering. For example, I am generally quite good at running my own life and avoiding suffering through my own actions and choices (but hey, we all make mistakes). I am a great engineer over my own life. The way I interpret your use of words means that everyone should either be brain dead or commit suicide to avoid all conscious intervention with reality. We could have a serious problem here and I demand that you use another word to satisfy the way my brain works. I am very concerned. Aren't words with arbitrary connotations fun??????? Did I do okay this time with my words? Haha okay, I lightened up a bit.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 45 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    How appropriate, Paul, "Isaiah's Job". I had never read it before and truly enjoyed it. Thanks. "You do not know, and will never know, more than two things about them. ... First, that they exist; second, that they will find you. ...You can be sure of those – dead sure, as our phrase is – but you will never be able to make even a respectable guess at anything else."
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 45 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    Actually my concern about your use of that adjective, young man, had nothing whatsoever to do with grammar or semantics, but, rather, everything to do with "actual ideological content". Its use infers that competent social-engineers would not have induced human suffering. And, this; "I'm also against incompetent people in general...", in one of your comments, really stuck in my craw, because we are all "incompetent"...at one task or another. But, then, that probably comes from my leeriness of those calling themselves "teacher", or "pastor", or "rabbi", or other such self-inflated titles. But, please, do not waste any more of your valuable time on me, and I will try to reciprocate.
  • livefreeretiree's picture
    livefreeretiree 2 years 45 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    I'm not terribly offended, I've just dealt with far too many grammar nazis and semantics nitpickers in my short career as a writer and embarrassingly few honest critiques of the actual ideological content of what I say. If anyone was genuinely confused about where my values lie and what I was trying to say, then a valid point is made. Otherwise, I think some people are just bored. Look how much time I've already wasted in defending a split second choice of vocabulary... surely there are other things in this article more worthwhile to discuss. If not, it is either an interesting statement of my abilities as a thinker/writer or of the intellectual character of my audience.
  • LadyLaLa's picture
    LadyLaLa 2 years 45 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Excellent article finally we are discussing moves that are steps ahead of the game..... The dissection of their strategy and laying blame exactly where it belongs...is almost revolutionary. However, I do think the comparison between the Chinese who emigrated to America of their own free will and African slaves brought against their will, bought and sold and forced to work with no hope of ever being free -- cannot be compared. Even Native Americans have their Reservation as a refuge. The Chinese were never perceived as slaves [animals] to be bought and sold. The Welfare state to my mind is only wrong in that it does not [intentionally?] strive to teach, rehabilitate or support an individual's self-sufficiency... Interestingly enough... neither does the penal system, which in a more normal society might not even exist. One very striking reason is because this society is predominantly ignorant of how to rehabilitate or help anyone... much less ourselves.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 45 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    Lightened up.
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 2 years 45 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    Please lighten up. I didn't find the adjective terribly disagreeable. Somebody raised the issue, and I thought it was a valid point. That's all.
  • livefreeretiree's picture
    livefreeretiree 2 years 46 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    Well, please, do let me know if you find any other disagreeable adjectives in any of my other articles. I wouldn't want to create the wrong impression and come across as a communist. I'm also against incompetent people in general, so I guess I'm just being ultra redundant today. English be damned.
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 2 years 46 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    No one here is accusing you of supporting interventionism. But we're all STR readers and writers, so we know better. We're thinking of people on the outside, who might not so unreasonably conclude you believe competent social engineering is possible and desirable. "Stupid social engineers" doesn't cut it, either. That's redundant. Just drop the adjective altogether. They're social engineers. They may be competent in their supervisors' eyes. In fact, if they're wreaking havoc on the society at large, you can be sure they are. That's what they're there for: to preserve the disorder.
  • livefreeretiree's picture
    livefreeretiree 2 years 46 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    I agree (and I am confused why people keep thinking I support interventionism in my articles... I would have thought that the very fact that I am posting on STR would imply total anarchism/capitalism). Calling them incompetent social engineers is a redundancy intended for emphasis. Anyone who enters politics for the purposes of improving the world does not know what they are doing, and thus is incompetent. You would be right to be worried if I called them "noble", "brilliant", "benevolent", or any other positive term... Would you feel better if I just said they were stupid? Stupid social engineers! Get out of my society!
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 years 46 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    I used to think a lot more like this than I do now. Age has brought some perspective: 1) While I had the necessary emotional connection that you mention, in my youth; my intellect pointed in what I now consider the wrong direction to address these problems. So I worked in the wrong direction. Where human affairs are concerned, it is in fact very difficult to be sure, merely by force of intellect, that you are doing the right thing. This is not mathematics. 2) The older I get the more accepting I get. I look at human problems more as just another force of nature, like hurricanes or tsunamis, that shortens many lives. The human race is very far from perfect, and it contains a percentage of outright sociopaths. It is what it is. It's also self-destructive to care too much. Each of us will die some day, and accepting that is the same as accepting others' deaths. The best one can do, I now think, is focus mostly on the people around you, making life work the best one can. 3) While I am pretty fatalistic about such things, I also think a lot of our problems are cultural, or related to political structure, and that there is definite room for improvement. So I write about that and work on that, even as I accept my probable inability to affect much in the larger picture. But I keep working with the memes out there anyway. One never knows what will catch on, just as one never knows what youtube goes viral. 4) I read Nock's essay "Isaiah's Job" once in a while. It also gives good perspective.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 46 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    In a word, precisely.
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 2 years 46 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    Because competence is irrelevant. No, it goes beyond that: competence makes the social engineers *more* dangerous. As usual, Mencken put it best: "Be thankful we're not getting all the government we pay for." We don't want social engineers, period.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 2 years 46 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    Terrific meditation on the subject! The artificial divide and animosity between intellect and emotion is at the core of our problems; civil society requires BOTH compassion AND liberty, and the false paradigm of Left/Right politics keeps this destructive division going. I'll add that intellect and emotion are BOTH necessary to guide behavior in healthy and positive directions, and in many ways emotion is even more important than reason or intellect. Plenty of very smart people are sick puppies -- sociopathic and psychopathic, even -- and plenty more are pushed by their old feelings to support the State for a variety of reasons. This is why emotional health (and thus, compassionate and respectful treatment of the young) is so important. Alice Miller's work -- about the role of cruelty to children in creating tyranny and other horrors -- is an excellent resource on the topic.
  • wkmac's picture
    wkmac 2 years 46 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Good stuff! I've watched the OWS movement as many have and found things to agree and disagree with but when I saw the vid of Peter Schiff with the OWS protester, I got this feeling that Schiff was there not to expand truth or open dialogue but instead for some personal PR sake. Sorry, the video camera present and how it's been spread around the "so-called" freedom and liberty movement was just too convenient for me. Not that Schiff didn't have some points and not that the protester in the vid wasn't the best at making her case but I just questioned the whole motive and this piece above by Paul helps to express in my gut what I was feeling as I watched it. The OWS movement is rightly pointing at crony capitalism so why didn't Schiff approach the protesters on that level while understanding that on other levels there may be disagreement? What if doing so could draw a line from Wall Street to Washington and thus make the OWS folks rethink some of the public demands they've made by bringing another POV? Schiff IMO has only made them dig in deeper and what does that accomplish? Now we're right back to the construct of division Paul laid out so I had to ask myself was Peter's real motive something else indeed or was he an unwitting tool of the tyrants as we've all been at times I'm sure? Thanks again Paul for a thought provoking piece.
  • livefreeretiree's picture
    livefreeretiree 2 years 46 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    Why?
  • livefreeretiree's picture
    livefreeretiree 2 years 46 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    I will take your feedback to heart, though generally I find that being as precise as possible in my wording provides the greatest clarity to my thinking and therapeutic value. Sometimes I go soft, sometimes hard. I think with this piece I wanted to come on full force and hit as hard as I could.
  • Gwardion's picture
    Gwardion 2 years 46 weeks ago
    Heartless Libertarians
    Page tzo
    That might be an interesting idea if there were no spoken language or written language. In human discussion the idea of the threat of the gun is brought up, it isn't a secret threat or uncommunicated threat in the background. Your story is an interesting study in Pavlovian behavioral studies, but it has no bearing on the idea of the social contract to the interaction of beings with language. Also, in our society, we might not get hit directly by the water hose, but you cant missed the highly publicized soaking of others by the paid soakers (the police, military and intelligence establishments). So, once again, interesting story but it has nothing to do with humans or modern society other then pointing out that Pavlovian training is possible on an animal level, which most people already knew.
  • Steve's picture
    Steve 2 years 46 weeks ago
    Heartless Libertarians
    Page tzo
    Leftists' first thought is for the unfortunate, and they rightly perceive us libertarians as heartless because that is not our first concern. We begin any discussion with seemingly selfish statements of self-ownership and (negative) rights, and then only as an afterthought add with a hand wave that even the unfortunate would be better off because society overall would be wealthier and charity would be greater. To our leftist adversaries this is utterly unconvincing. If we are not preaching to the choir, we need to take the point of view of our audience. In the case of charity, we need to grab the bull by the horns and admit, *in a voluntary society, there would indeed be a very real problem of under-provision of public goods such as charity, but the problem is tractable*. The US charity industry is amazingly sophisticated, and quite clever at extracting ever more money out of donors. The Internet has enabled whole new approaches, like crowd-funding sites like ChipIn and Kickstarter. Thus last week Jon Stewart and Judge Andrew Napolitano talked past each other, and Jon Stewart won applause by asking about "the free market's losers": http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/thu-october-27-2011/exclusive---andrew... Napolitano and other libertarians shrug this off as "creative destruction", but Stewart and his audience understood it to mean "the unfortunate crushed and left homeless by cruel capitalism". Do not cede the compassionate high ground to our adversaries.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 46 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Very good, Paul Bonneau, "he that is not against us is on our part".
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 46 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    "...incompetent social-engineers..."???? That qualifying adjective makes me very nervous.
  • John deLaubenfels's picture
    John deLaubenfels 2 years 46 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Right on target. People will make up their own minds about every issue, and the worst way to approach them is with a "holier than thou" attitude. Though it's maddeningly slow, the only way to nudge people is in small steps, making respectful suggestions for other ways a particular conundrum could be viewed. If we lose sight of the humanity of those we consider wrong-headed, we will never bridge the gap between us.
  • John deLaubenfels's picture
    John deLaubenfels 2 years 46 weeks ago Page livefreeretiree
    Excellent point, one which deserves to be made more often. Please consider wording your columns using sentences less complicatedly constructed. I had a very hard time parsing many of them.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 46 weeks ago
    Heartless Libertarians
    Page tzo
    Thank you, tzo. As a complement to your fine article, I give your readers this. Start with a cage containing five monkeys. Inside the cage, hang a banana on a string and place a set of stairs under it. Before long, a monkey will go to the stairs and start to climb towards the banana. As soon as he touches the stairs, spray all of the other monkeys with cold water. After a while, another monkey makes an attempt with the same result all the other monkeys are sprayed with cold water. Pretty soon, when another monkey tries to climb the stairs, the other monkeys will try to prevent it. Now, put away the cold water. Remove one monkey from the cage and replace it with a new one. The new monkey sees the banana and wants to climb the stairs. To his surprise and horror, all of the other monkeys attack him. After another attempt and attack, he knows that if he tries to climb the stairs, he will be assaulted. Next, remove another of the original five monkeys and replace it with a new one. The newcomer goes to the stairs and is attacked. The previous newcomer takes part in the punishment with enthusiasm! Likewise, replace a third original monkey with a new one, then a fourth, then the fifth. Every time the newest monkey takes to the stairs, he is attacked. Most of the monkeys that are beating him have no idea why they were not permitted to climb the stairs or why they are participating in the beating of the newest monkey. After replacing all the original monkeys, none of the remaining monkeys have ever been sprayed with cold water. Nevertheless, no monkey ever again approaches the stairs to try for the banana. Why not? Because as far as they know that's the way it's always been done around here. And that, my friends, is how group attitude begins. Has anyone here ever really had a gun put to their head?
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 2 years 46 weeks ago
    Heartless Libertarians
    Page tzo
    Another excellent essay tzo.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 2 years 46 weeks ago
    Natural Law
    Web link Don Stacy
    "...the fact that natural-law theorists derive from the very nature of man a fixed structure of law independent of time and place, or of habit or authority or group norms, makes that law a mighty force for radical change." "The reaction of the State to this theoretical development was [and is] horror..." ~ Introduction to Natural Law by Murray N. Rothbard
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 2 years 46 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Excellent article, Alex. I love that lawn sign.
  • jd-in-georgia's picture
    jd-in-georgia 2 years 46 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Based on the signs posted in people's yards in my town, I have decided to cast my vote to, FOR SALE BY OWNER.
  • ELVISNIXON.com's picture
    ELVISNIXON.com 2 years 46 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    http://elvisnixon.com/2011/10/31/guns-and-liberty-.aspx Guns and Liberty Perhaps you believe the threat of tyrannical government is slight, or less severe today than when our republic was formed. There is still another important point our Founders understood. Namely, the demand for police or military to defend us increases in proportion to our inability to defend ourselves. That’s why disarmed societies adopt police-state tactics. Even if a reduced threat of government tyranny no longer required an armed citizenry, an unarmed citizenry could well create the conditions that lead to tyranny. There is plenty of proof in the last century. Gun control laws and anti-gun attitudes formed a key ingredient in genocides of the 20th Century. They assured that only “authorities” had weaponry. They made it difficult, costly, risky or impossible for civilians to own or use firearms. The Soviet Union, China, Uganda, Cambodia, Guatemala, Rwanda, Ottoman Turkey, and Nazi Germany all had tough gun control laws in place before and during their genocidal periods. Those nations alone murdered 70 million of their own disarmed people. Talk about repeating history: the Founders had garnered that same lesson from the ancients. They understood that concentrated political power is the most dangerous thing on earth, and they contrived a variety of checks and balances in the Constitution to divide political power—between the separate branches of government, as well as between the federal government and States. The first ten amendments or Bill of Rights were adopted to keep political power from becoming concentrated, by reserving natural or pre-existing rights to the people. Technically speaking, the Constitution doesn’t actually bestow upon the people a right to keep and bear arms. The Second Amendment prohibits the government from infringing upon a pre-existing right. The Founders’ knew that an armed man must, in a real sense, be regarded as citizen; an unarmed man is subject. English colonists enjoyed the right to keep and bear arms among their inherited rights as freeborn Englishmen. It was George III’s attempt to seize the colonial militia’s stock of weapons at Lexington and Concord that sparked the American Revolution. I submit to you our Founders took their right to keep and bear arms seriously, well before the Second Amendment. Likewise, they interpreted the king and parliament’s move to control firearms as a direct affront to all their rights and liberty. One of the biggest problems with the English system was that the English constitution was not written or fixed in meaning. Operating on purely common law assumptions, it absorbed precedents leading towards unfettered power. The successful operation of America’s written Constitution and the unrivalled political stability of the United States, stems from the Constitution being fixed and relatively difficult to amend. The risk and potential of American decline is entirely, in my view, related to a failure to live constitutionally. In the United States, we have allowed the letter and intent of the Constitution to be stretched by the Supreme Court which has given the Constitution a “living” interpretation, and this has reinstated a kind of modern version of colonial-era British common law. We have, in the words of Jefferson, made the Constitution “a blank paper by construction.” The solution is to move to recapture the Constitution of original intent, to reestablish it as government’s fixed edifice. Key to recapturing the Constitution of our Fathers is the reinvigoration of the Second Amendment. And while that certainly means we need good statesmen and judges to keep its meaning, it also means we ought and must exercise our right to keep and bear arms. Every time you take your son or daughter hunting. Every time you target practice, or break your weapon down to clean it; every time you travel with your firearm and undergo the inconveniences at the airport to do so—you reinforce the Second Amendment and ensure survival of our right to keep and bear arms and pass the torch to another generation. Why do I tell you this? Because there is a far different course down which this country can slide. Remember I said that our Second Amendment individual right to keep and bear arms existed before the Constitution. The Founders validated that right, and they intended it to guarantee an individual’s right to have arms for self-defense and self-preservation—something Sam Adams called “the first law of nature.” And they also intended firearm ownership and skill in the use of firearms to be general, because the customary American militia necessitated an armed public. The political theory behind that was to stave off tyranny or vindicate liberty when required. Even the position of the Second Amendment in the order of the Bill of Rights underscored its importance. It was the safety valve of the Constitution, affording the means whereby, if parchment barriers proved inadequate, the people could protect their liberties or alter their government. That sounds radical today, but that reasoning was part of William Blackstone’s Commentaries on the Laws of England, the authoritative source concerning English rights in England and the Colonies during the Revolutionary period and after. Indeed, this inherited right of freeborn Englishmen existed in substantive degree in Great Britain until 1920. http://elvisnixon.com/2011/10/31/guns-and-liberty-.aspx