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  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago
    Natural Law
    Web link Don Stacy
    GOOD CITIZENS DON'T THINK Thinking leads to reasoning. Reasoning leads to right and wrong. Wrong leads to revolt. Revolt leads to bad citizens.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago
    Abolishing Prisons
    Page Jim Davies
    G'day Jim Davies, Let us start with this. You wrote: "The only exceptions will be the tiny number who do repeated violence..." "Repeated violence?" Just wondering, how many violent repeats, such as rape, robbery and murder, would you envision before these monsters would be taken out of circulation?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago
    Abolishing Prisons
    Page Jim Davies
    Evan and Samarami, See how "dissension" can be put forth without violating the NAP? Well, said, KenK!
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Guest
    And to Evan, Samarami and any others who have lost respect for Rob for banning WI, if in fact he did ban him; I am a "dissenter", constantly putting forth my same concepts in as many step-by-step ways as I can find. So, why am I not booted and banned from Rob's website? Because I am polite about my dissension; I'm not constantly antagonistic, or telling the other members, here, how ignorant they are, or bad-mouthing all their heroes, in order to gain attention. It's called making a "constructive contribution", as one member here called it. Had WI shown just a little common courtesy, I'm certain that he would still be here. So, I think the Germanic word for what I am trying to say to you folks is, quitcherbitchen.
  • JGVibes's picture
    JGVibes 5 years 42 weeks ago Page JGVibes
    thanks for that correction! i must have had a slight misunderstanding of how they worked... i hope the metaphor wasn't too much of a stretch...thanks for the feedback, i was just able to edit it!
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Guest
    "The U.S. government should be stopped from engaging in such brutality. But short of that, those with a conscientious objection should be free to opt out of financing these crimes." ~ Sheldon Richman Secession. The act of withdrawing from membership in a group. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991) According to the natural law every individual is free to withdraw from membership in the group and is free to refuse member-only benefits and privileges. In so doing, he has opted out of financing these crimes; he is no longer a dues-paying member. Invito beneficium non datur. No one is obliged to accept a benefit against his consent. Dig. 50, 17, 69. But if he does not dissent he will be considered as assenting. Vide Assent[1]. ~ Bouvier's 1856 Law Dictionary Implied assent. That which is presumed by law, and proved by conduct of the parties. See Consent (Implied consent[2]) ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 116 Why would one need to refuse member-only benefits and privileges? Because if one takes the benefits and privileges offered by the STATE it proves by conduct of the party that he assents to membership in the STATE. (See Implied assent definition directly above and Implied consent definition in footnotes.) Cujus est commodum ejus debet esse incommodum. He who receives the benefit should also bear the disadvantage. The "disadvantage", of course, is allegiance. Allegiance. Obligation of fidelity and obedience to government in consideration for protection that government gives. ______________________________________________ [1] Qui non prohibit quod prohibere potest assentire videtur. He who does not forbid what he can forbid, seems to assent. 2 Inst. 305. ~ Bouvier's 1856 Law Dictionary Non refert an quis assensum suum praefert verbis, an rebus ipsis et factis. It is immaterial whether a man gives his assent by words or by acts and deeds. 10 Co. 52. ~ Bouvier's 1856 Law Dictionary [2] Implied consent. That manifest by signs, actions, or facts, or by inaction or silence, which raise a presumption or inference that the consent has been given. An inference arising from a course of conduct or relationship between the parties, in which there is mutual acquiescence or a lack of objection under circumstances signifying assent. Allstate, Ince. Co. v. State Farm mutual Automobile Ins. Co. 260 S.C. 350, 195 SE2d 711, 713
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 5 years 42 weeks ago
    Abolishing Prisons
    Page Jim Davies
    Very eloquent Jim. Now let us revert to reality. What would you (not your ideological proclivity) suggest be done with a paranoid schizophrenic substance abuser that pees in the street, robs, steals, vandalizes, trespasses, aggressively begs, and threatens to assault passersby? What would you actually do? And please don't tell me what Rothbard, Mises, Hayek, Rand, or the rest of the pantheon write about it but provide a real world based solution or mitigation for the lumpen problem. One that does not assume rationality on the part of the malefactor. Not so easy is it? Now advance a humane solution that doesn't involve violence and involuntary confinement as well. Like with a hornet's nest there are really only two modes of adaptation behavior available that I can see. Leave it alone or utterly destroy it. No in between works AFAICS. You can choose to ignore the hornets but they may not choose to ignore you. NB: I am trying to use this commenting space to further a discussion of ideas. I'm am not trying to do a "White Indian" style trolling instigated flame war. Please don't think this is meant to be a personal attack on you or your writings and other work. I admire both.
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 5 years 42 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    Lawrence: Venting spleen? Talk about the pot calling marijuana a weed. I don't necessarily dispute Augustine's inconsistency. Who among us is fully consistent? I'm not sure your account of Augustine's treatment of Pelagian and Donatist heretics is complete and accurate, but for the sake of argument, I'll accept it. (I''ve been through discussions like this with people who fulminate against the Church for, e.g., the expulsion of the Jews from Spain or the conduct of the Crusaders during the Sack of Constantinople, and my research inevitably brings to the fore context placing the events in a different light.) I'm too lazy to explore the controversies surrounding Augustine right now. So maybe Augustine was only head and shoulders above his time, not a full body length? He recognized the evil of empire but not of religious intolerance? He was a mere human being after all? Fine. My initial comment was in response to Chris Dates, who suggested Christians don't like to think, notwithstanding Christ's command we love God "with all our mind." I submitted Augustine's quote to suggest otherwise. That was the original point. You found my point mooted by Augustine's alleged inconsistencies. I found your point mooted by your inconsistency: you point at specks in Augustine's eyes while ignoring the planks in our enlightened and democratic age's. If you oppose the persecution of heretics you might start by issuing one of your finely-crafted screeds against the incarceration of American drug users and raw milk traffickers and Western European negationists. That thought-crime persecution is real. It's going on now.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Guest
    A. The Catholic Church is a 501(c)3 non-profit corporation. This means it is exempt from corporate income and property taxes. However, the Catholic Church must pay taxes on unrelated business income from any non-religious activities. Individuals (e.g., priests, deacons) do pay regular income taxes.
  • John deLaubenfels's picture
    John deLaubenfels 5 years 42 weeks ago Page JGVibes
    Good discourse, slightly weakened by the fact that actual firing squads have mostly live rounds, with possibly one or two blanks: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Execution_by_firing_squad Your points about the rationalizations enforcers engage in are right on target.
  • freebee's picture
    freebee 5 years 42 weeks ago
    Guest Editor
    Story strike
    I'm with you, Sam.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Thank you, Sharon Secor; and it pleases me to be able to honestly say it is always a pleasure when you "chime in" as well.
  • painkilleraz's picture
    painkilleraz 5 years 42 weeks ago Page painkilleraz
    Correct, and sadly people continue to buy the prescribed cure, "government law"
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 5 years 42 weeks ago Page painkilleraz
    Thanks, Jesse. Vice laws truly are a lethal cure in search of a disease, and the people wearing FBI and DEA uniforms have spawned more violence against innocent people and non-drug-user as a result of their officially sanctioned actions than the drugs themselves ever would or could have caused. http://www.fff.org/freedom/fd0311f.asp
  • Sharon Secor's picture
    Sharon Secor 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Greetings, Suverans2. It is always a pleasure when you chime into the discussion. While many, perhaps even most, of the Occupy group does seem to be of that ilk, there is also a significant portion that do respect liberty. I think that there is ample opportunity to shape the intellectual/ideological base of that movement, shifting it towards liberty and principles of voluntary association. Collectives are fine, as long as they are voluntary in nature, not mandated. If a group, for example, of homeschoolers decide to come together in joint education efforts, great. But, don't force those that don't want to participate to do so by law. If a group wants to come together to handle waste management in their area, great -- as long as participation is voluntary. Etc. and so on... People can manage themselves, I've seen it happen quite successfuly in small, remote communities.
  • painkilleraz's picture
    painkilleraz 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    I would agree most are S :)
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 5 years 42 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    Tony: While I agree with your point -- namely that privately owned government is better than democracy in many ways -- most of your post does not even address the topic I raised. I simply criticized Augustine for his inconsistency. Further, the one point you make that purports to do address the issue I raised is dishonest -- and patently so. Why? You raise a question but cite no answer -- probably because you are resting on a very weak reed or do not wish to do the necesary research. You should have done some homework before replying. The Pelagians are guilty of nothing except claiming that man is not born with the chips stacked against him by Original Sin and thus condemned. They believed in free choice -- or "liberum arbitrium." The Pelagians were willing to let people prove who they are by their actions in addition to their belief in the power of Christ -- not something as limited as their belief alone (a Protestant doctrine derived from Augustine's work). So why do you imply otherwise? That's dishonest. Second, regarding the Donatists, Augustine never attacked the Donatists because they engaged in the behaviors that he himself was guilty of -- using the state to get their way. He was angry that they wanted to defrock the priests and bishops that had betrayed their fellow Christians by turning them over to the state authorities during the persecution of Diocletian. The anti-Donatists also recanted their Christian faith by "handing over their scriptures" as "traditores" (those who hand over) during the persecution -- while those who did not betray the faith were harmed. But when the persecutions were over, the "traditores" wanted to resume their high positions in the church. And Augustine supported them. Those who suffered and survived the Diocletian persecution did not think that the ones who betrayed the faith were fit to resume their high church positions. Further, the Donatist hereteics declared that the sacraments administered by the "traditores" were invalid. Regardless of which side you support on that doctrinal question, you only have to imagine the anger and feelings of betrayal among those who suffered to understand why they became Donatist -- and consequently heretics. That riots occasionally broke out and that the Donatists used state power in some instances to get their way is not something I am excusing. I merely pointed out that Augustine's previous insight about the nature of the state as a crime syndicate was undone by his later use of state power to use violence to get his way in a doctrinal dispute. And you have done nothing to show that mine is an unsupportable position -- not as a Christian, but as one who abhors the initiatory use of violence. What is the problem? Finally, your anger about drug laws -- about which I concur completely (these laws resulted in the death by beating of my grandmother) -- does not address my central argument. Why do you go on so instead of discussing Augustine? That was not the point. I agree that private government is better than democracy. Hans-Hermann Hoppe's collection of essays in "Democracy: The God That Failed" contains some great arguments about this point, and I am not afraid to cite my source for this belief. It would, however, have been helpful if you had cited it yourself. My post addressed only Augustine and his tragic inability to live up to the standards raised by his own insights in "The City of God." Do you feel better now that you have vented your spleen on me?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Correct me if I am wrong, but aren't the OWS members, for the most part, just redistribution-of-the-wealth-collectivists?
  • wkmac's picture
    wkmac 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    On the one hand I admire the OWS movement for doing something but in the end the movement just seems to me to want to displace the existing top down hierarchical system with one of it's own. This is a battle of statist verse statist so it comes down to picking which snake would be the least to be bitten by, rattlesnake or copperhead? I'd like to see OWS seriously begin to explore real alternative options and embrace counter-economics to by-pass the entire corp/state structure to begin with. Don't try to reform the current societal model, go in and take it's customer base of which it's discarded anyway and build anew. Journalist Robert Neuwrith in his book, "Stealth of Nations: The Global Rise of the Informal Economy" points out that the so-called black market now fully employs half the global workforce and by 2020' will makeup nearly 2/3rds of the global workforce. In some sense OWS are hinting local and so close to it, now if they would only begin to truly act local by embracing real freed markets with agorism or counter-economics and drive the other 1/3 and it's 1% by our own voluntary action from the table altogether!
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    To answer the question posed in this lead-in, "And, just who is we?" "We" is anyone who chooses to be, or remain, a citizen of [belonging to] the STATE OF__________________, and therefor a citizen of [belonging to] the UNITED STATES. "Citizens" are members of [belonging to] a political community [the STATE OF__________________] who, in their associated capacity, have established or submitted themselves to the dominion of [belonging to] a government [the UNITED STATES]... ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 244 Dominion Generally accepted definition of "dominion" is perfect control in right of ownership. The word implies both title and possession and appears to require complete control over disposition. Eastex Aviation, Inc. v.Sperry & Hutchinson Co., C.A.Tex., 522 F.2d 1299, 1307 ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 486 In this status persons like Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL) "represent" them. Represent. ...To represent a person is to stand in his place; to speak or act with authority on behalf of such person; to supply his place; to act as his substitute or agent. See also Agent Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 1301 Who they do not represent are "strangers to the covenant", i.e. those individuals who do not consent to be, or remain, a citizen of [belonging to] the STATE OF__________________, and therefor a citizen of [belonging to] the UNITED STATES. Strangers. ...Those who are in no way parties to a 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) Look, if you are going to take a trip to the place called Madrid, and you don't speak Spanish, it would be wise to procure a Dictionary that translates Spanish to English. And if you are going to communicate with a someone from STATE or STATES you'd best bring your dictionary that translates Legalese to English, so you know what the hell is being said. True, This! — Beneath the rule of men entirely great, The pen is mightier than the sword. Behold The arch-enchanters wand! — itself a nothing! — But taking sorcery from the master-hand To paralyse the Cæsars, and to strike The loud earth breathless! — Take away the sword — States can be saved without it! ~ Edward Bulwer-Lytton (c.1839) ...through covetousness shall they with feigned words make merchandise of you... Feigned. Fictitious; pretended; supposititious; simulated. ~ ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 616 I also understand why virtually no one wants to hear this. Just like Daddy said, every time I pointed a finger at someone else...there were three pointed back at me. Damn!!
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Like
  • painkilleraz's picture
    painkilleraz 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    I have had those tantrums, however, she was talking at 18 months and not really comprehending much in the way of earn, spend etc., ;) I am a huge fan however, of the you earn your keep approach. I remember times as a child when I went to bed without dinner because I failed to do my chores...a far more beneficial approach than spanking was (at least in my mind) ;)
  • painkilleraz's picture
    painkilleraz 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    I have had those tantrums, however, she was talking at 18 months and not really comprehending much in the way of earn, spend etc., ;) I am a huge fan however, of the you earn your keep approach. I remember times as a child when I went to bed without dinner because I failed to do my chores...a far more beneficial approach than spanking was (at least in my mind) ;)
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Michael Dunn
    "When will people say enough?" Which "people" might that be, painkilleraz?
  • Sharon Secor's picture
    Sharon Secor 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    You, too? How cool. That was the same age I began with mine. I have never -- not one time -- had an "I want" tantrum in a store. We've always discussed how much things cost in terms of both time and money -- it costs this much and it takes this long to earn that much, do we as a family think that is a worthy investment of our time and money? We've always discussed the expenditure priority list. I agree with you wholeheartedly about the parental failure here. For me, it starts with having them in public school to start with, ha ha ha. And, you raise an excellent point about minors and contracts. Thank you for taking the time to comment and have a great day.
  • painkilleraz's picture
    painkilleraz 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Michael Dunn
    When will people say enough? I will admit, I have not even had a speeding violation etc., in several years. However, I wonder given my views now what would my reaction be if I saw someone being abused by law enforcement?
  • painkilleraz's picture
    painkilleraz 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Amazing, I talk about finances with my three year old...I see this as a failure on the parents side and schools. Besides, while the state exists, use their laws. No child under 18 can sign a contract, tell em to shove it, your taxes already pay for that.
  • golefevre's picture
    golefevre 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Michael Dunn
    These men are lucky to be alive.
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 5 years 42 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    Was there anything else going on, Lawrence? Did the Donatists and Pelagians do more than preach heresy? If you do some research, you may find there was. For example, the Church is vilified for its crusade against the Albigensians in 13th century France. Rightly so: there can be no justification for wholesale civilian slaughter. (Unless, of course, you're a secular politician representing the democratic Coalition of the Good and you're firebombing and nuking civilians in Germany and Japan, in which case, well, you know, they started it, kind of, plus there's that whole Overriding Public Interest thing to uphold.) But the Albigensians did kill a bishop sent to preach Catholic orthodoxy to them. That was hardly the sporting thing to do. I am not interested in defending monarchy or democracy. I favor natural-order anarchy. But medieval Catholic monarchies were clearly superior to, i.e., more libertarian than, the Western democracies of today. (Read Hans Hermann-Hoppe for more on this.) Catholic monarchs didn't jail people for ingesting intoxicating plant products. They launched the Crusades only after centuries of Saracen attacks on Catholic Europe. Inquisition notwithstanding, people in Catholic Europe were free to express a wide range of opinion *as long as they didn't represent their views as Catholic when in conflict with the Deposit of Faith.* By contrast, upwards of 60 percent of inmates in U.S. prisons are there for non-violent drug law violations only. Founding Father John Adams signed the Alien and Sedition Act. The U.S. has been in a perpetual state of war for at least a hundred years. People in Western Europe get tossed in the hoosegow for questioning aspects of the orthodox World War II account. This is progress? Oh, democracy! Where is thy blush?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Michael Dunn
    The backwoods of the "Live Free or Die" land was the place my nativity and childhood. Shot my first snowshoe hare before I was strong enough to pull the bolt back on our old J.C. Higgin's single-shot .22 rifle...
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Michael Dunn
    Rumor has it that there are some who say that "police-concocted lies" ARE as handy as throw-down weapons; according to those 'kind' of people, the rule of thumb is, "If their lips are moving..."
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Michael Dunn
    The cop was only defending himself justifiably. After all, he felt he was in mortal danger from the truth. Too bad that police-concocted lies aren't as handy as throw-down weapons used to "justify" lethal force!
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 5 years 42 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    By accident, this entry duplicated the one below.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 5 years 42 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    Tony: Thanks for this reminder from Augustine. It is so sad to know that despite the wonderful awareness and acuity of thought contained in this quotation from Ch. 4, Book 4, that Augustine himself was guilty of using the state to persecute heretics of one stripe or another -- from the Donatists to the Pelagians (such as Julian of Eclanum). Professor Peter Brown even dubbed Augustine the father of the Inquisition as a result of his behavior. Although Professor Brown backed down a bit from this accusation in later years (this happens as people grow older), his observation is not without merit. I encourage anyone who is interested in learning about Augustine to read not only his "Confessions" and his "City of God" (a long a tedious read, despite the brilliance of the argumentation) but also the biography of Peter Brown. http://www.amazon.com/Augustine-Hippo-Biography-New-Epilogue/dp/0520227573
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 5 years 42 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    newjerusalemtimes: It might not be such a great idea to accuse others of ignorance due to incomplete information. Textual critics such as Bart Ehrman, Metzger, and others (including Saint Jerome) have provided a long list of additions that were made to the gospels in an effort to combat the "enemy of the moment" -- from co-religionists within the Jewish faith to gnostics and heretics of various stripes. Let's temper our speech. This arguments contained in this article were all on target -- despite this minor lapse. Your suggestion is good and encouraged, but let's not throw the baby out with the bathwater, ok? More and more, I try to temper my commentary. Here's a link to Ehrman's page; his books are terrific: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bart_D._Ehrman
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 5 years 42 weeks ago Page JGVibes
    Heh. Abe Lincoln said: The philosophy of the school room in one generation will be the philosophy of government in the next." The educrats are trying to make sure just the reverse happens instead. Dictator or not Abe could be pithy at times.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Michael Dunn
    Does this really surprise anyone??? Give a heterosexual male some "x-ray glasses", then sit back and see who he chooses to look at. This? Or, this? Do we really need to vote on this? A blind man can see that the second group here are more likely to be terrorists. Sheeeesh!
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago Web link Michael Dunn
    Can this really be?!?! This is just SO hard to believe.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago Page JGVibes
    Very good, J.G. Vibes!
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 42 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    The only god that "answereth by fire" these days, unfortunately, is the STATE. ″…in modern society, with its religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity, it would be much harder for any single group to demand allegiance — except for the state, which remains the one universally accepted god[1].″ ~ Roderick T. Long, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill _______________________________________________________________________ [1] GOD, n. ...4. Any person or thing exalted too much in estimation...and honored as the chief good [benefactor]. ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 5 years 43 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    "Without justice, what are kingdoms but great robber bands? What are robber bands but small kingdoms? The band is itself made up of men, is ruled by the command of a leader, and is held together by a social pact. Plunder is divided in accordance with an agreed upon law. If this evil increases by the inclusion of dissolute men to the extent that it takes over territory, establishes headquarters, occupies cities, and subdues peoples, it publicly assumes the title of kingdom! "A fitting and true response was once given to Alexander the Great by an apprehended pirate. When asked by the king what he thought he was doing by infesting the sea, he replied with noble insolence, 'What do you think you are doing by infesting the whole world? Because I do it with one puny boat, I am called a pirate; because you do it with a great fleet, you are called an emperor.'" St. Augustine of Hippo (354 A.D.-430 A.D), Doctor of the Church, from his magnum opus *City of God*. It would not appear that St. Augustine left that part out.
  • Chris Dates's picture
    Chris Dates 5 years 43 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    Jesus was asked: "Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?" Jesus replied: " 'Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments. Matt 22:36-40 (Amp) "with all your mind" People always seem to leave that part out.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 43 weeks ago
    To Govern and Enslave
    Page Jim Davies
    Chris Dates, That was said with no animosity, and with just a bit of humor, hence the wink. And, because of our conversation I am now re-reading The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude by Étienne de la Boétie, (one of my favorite authors). There are always a few, better endowed than others, who feel the weight of the yoke and cannot restrain themselves from attempting to shake it off: these are the men who never become tamed under subjection and who always, like Ulysses on land and sea constantly seeking the smoke of his chimney, cannot prevent themselves from peering about for their natural privileges and from remembering their ancestors and their former ways. These are in fact the men who, possessed of clear minds and far-sighted spirit, are not satisfied, like the brutish mass, to see only what is at their feet, but rather look about them, behind and before, and even recall the things of the past in order to judge those of the future, and compare both with their present condition. These are the ones who, having good minds of their own, have further trained them by study and learning. Even if liberty had entirely perished from the earth, such men would invent it. For them slavery has no satisfactions, no matter how well disguised. ~ Excerpted from The Politics of Obedience: The Discourse of Voluntary Servitude by Étienne de la Boétie And, cheers to you, too.
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 5 years 43 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    Man is a religious animal. Conscious of his movement through time, he contemplates his own non-existence. Questions of ultimacy confront him. His religion may be irreligion. He may conclude there is no God, that his destiny lies in worm meat. He may be convinced of it--so much so that he persecutes those who conclude otherwise. What scripture, pray, drove the ancient Roman authorities to throw Christians into amphitheaters filled with large and hungry beasts? To torch them as lamps to illuminate Nero's gardens? Yes, the Christians refused to light incense to Rome's idols. Still, the punishment meted out seems a tad disproportionate to the crime. As happy-go-lucky pagans, they could have exercised a little more tolerance, no? What religious extremism impelled Robespierre's minions in Revolutionary France? Sure, they had no use for that reactionary Church of Rome and her benighted followers. Did they have to wreak havoc through the Vendee countryside, putting priests and faithful peasants to the blade? As apostles of the Enlightment, couldn't they have practiced a little reasonableness and restraint? The fanatic's creed is that his enemies are the enemies of Truth. But belief in God is not the *sine qua non* of fanaticism. History's bloodiest dictatorship was an officially atheist state.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 5 years 43 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "...Same goes for government laws. They’re just arbitrary creations backed up by weaponry to compel the compliance of others, whether those others consent or not..." Ever now and again governmentalists will chant, "...we are a nation of laws, not men..." Empty, empty nonsense. Governments do not exist. Men exist. "...government itself, in any form, is completely illegitimate..." You're gettin' there, Alex! Good essay! Sam
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 5 years 43 weeks ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Yes, right on target.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 5 years 43 weeks ago
    To Govern and Enslave
    Page Jim Davies
    G'day painkilleraz, You might want to look at theses 47 resources to see how many of them equate servitude with slavery. http://www.strike-the-root.com/comment/reply/46156/5403
  • painkilleraz's picture
    painkilleraz 5 years 43 weeks ago
    To Govern and Enslave
    Page Jim Davies
    Didnt you read my adjustments, I clearly stated why I changed them- I dont want to offend delicate persons ;) Not dishonest, actually very honest. And clearly shown...described...labeled...outlined...bolded (not sure how you will define those words so it is necessary to add as many similar as possible)
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 5 years 43 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    Mark 16 and Ivan Panin. ( Ivan Panin, The Last Twelve Verses of Mark, B-761, Bible Numerics, Suite 206, 121 Willowdale Ave., Willowdale, Ontario, M2N 6A3, (406) 221-7424. ) The Heptadic Structure of Scripture Everyone who explores their Bible quickly discovers the pervasiveness of Seven: there are over 600 explicit occurrences of "sevens" throughout both the Old and New Testaments. As many of our readers are aware, there are also prevalent evidences of design hidden behind the text. The "Heptadic" (sevenfold) structure of Biblical text is one of the remarkable characteristics of its authenticity. What about these disputed 12 verses? There are 175 (7 x 25) words in the Greek text of Mark 16:9-20. Curious. These words use a total vocabulary of 98 different words (7 x 14), also an exact multiple of seven. That's also rather striking. Try constructing a passage in which both the number of words and the number of letters are precisely divisible by seven (with no remainder)! The random chance of a number being precisely divisible by 7 is one chance in seven. In seven tries, there will be an average of six failures. The chance of two numbers both being divisible by 7 exactly is one in 7^2, or one in 49. (This is a convenient simplification; some mathematical statisticians would argue the chance is one in 91.) This still might be viewed as an accidental occurrence, or the casual contrivance of a clever scribe. But let's look further. The number of letters in this passage is 553, also a precise multiple of seven (7 x 79). This is getting a bit more tricky. The chance of three numbers accidentally being precisely divisible by seven is one in 7^3, or one in 343. This increasingly appears to be suspiciously deliberate. In fact, the number of vowels is 294 (7 x 42); and the number of consonants is 259 (7 x 37). Do you sense that someone has gone through a lot of trouble to hide a design or signature behind this text? As we examine the vocabulary of those 98 (7 x 14) words: 84 (7 x 12) are found before in Mark; 14 (7 x 2) are found only here. 42 (7 x 6) are found in the Lord's address (vv.15-18); 56 (7 x 8) are not part of His vocabulary here. This is, conspicuously, not random chance at work, but highly skillful design. But just how skillful? With 10 such heptadic features, it would take 7^10, or 282,475,249 attempts for these to occur by chance alone. How long would it take the composer to redraft an alternative attempt to obtain the result he was looking for? If he could accomplish an attempt in only 10 minutes, working 8 hours a day, 40 hours a week, 50 weeks a year, these would take him over 23,540 years! It gets worse. Greek, like Hebrew, has assigned numerical values to each letter of its alphabet. Thus, each word also has a numerical ("gematrical") value. The total numerical value of the passage is 103,656 (7 x 14,808). The value of v.9 is 11,795 (7 x 1,685); v.10 is 5,418 (7 x 774); v.11 is 11,795 (7 x 1,685); vv.12-20, 86,450 (7 x 12,350). In verse 10, the first word is 98 (7 x 14), the middle word is 4,529 (7 x 647), and the last word is 791 (7 x 113). The value of the total word forms is 89,663 (7 x 12,809). And so on. This all is among the legendary results of the work by Dr. Ivan Panin. In fact, he identified 75 heptadic features of the last 12 verses of Mark. We have highlighted only 34 heptadic features. If a supercomputer could be programmed to attempt 400 million attempts/second, working day and night, it would take one million of them over four million years to identify a combination of 7^34 heptadic features by unaided chance alone. Authentication Codes Just as we encounter coding devices in our high technology environments, here we have an automatic security system that monitors every letter of every word, that never rusts or wears out, and has remained in service for almost two thousand years! It is a signature that can't be erased and which counterfeiters can't simulate. Why are we surprised? God has declared that He "has magnified His word even above His name!" We can, indeed, have confidence that, in fact, the Bible is God's Holy Word, despite the errors man has introduced and the abuse it has suffered throughout the centuries. It is our most precious possession-individually as well as collectively. And it never ceases to unveil surprises to anyone that diligently inquires into it. http://www.khouse.org/articles/2000/201/
  • Chris Dates's picture
    Chris Dates 5 years 43 weeks ago
    To Govern and Enslave
    Page Jim Davies
    Just for the record, Jesse--you called me out by name--in your first post on this specific thread. And stop going back and adding to your posts after I have already responded, because THAT is dishonest. I'm done.