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  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 2 hours ago Page Kevin M. Patten
    Kevin, you told a refreshing story in a delightful style. Thank you!   You are also living proof that marijuana doesn't rot the brain.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 1 day ago Page Douglas Herman
    Hmmm; about that Debt Free Dollar.   I see from that very useful Debt Clock site that on its humongous $17.1 trillion accumulated overspend, the FedGov is spending $262.4 billion a year in interest. That's a rate of 1.53% (amazing) and 7.5% of its bloated annual total spend of $3.5 trillion.   How much of that $262.4 billion interest payment do you say would be saved, if the FedGov did its own counterfeiting, instead of using the Federal Reserve?  
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 23 weeks 1 day ago Page Douglas Herman
    Newby,   I agree with the first 4 on your list but, at the risk of being labeled a Zionist, I would first have to talk with my colleague and fellow artist, Victor Ostrovsky about the 5th.   Some say the speech that sealed his fate, got JFK killed, happened at the commencement of American University in June 1963. You can YouTube that 25 minute speech. This is another shorter speech that sealed his fate:   http://youtu.be/utYcFf93Srs
  • r's picture
    r 23 weeks 1 day ago Page Douglas Herman
    5-Reasons for Kennedys' assassination: 1- He was in the process of stopping the proliferation/accumulation of the Atomic War Heads/bomb in Dimona by isralhell (now in excess of 400)_? 2- Executive Order 11110, issuing a DEBT FREE dollar, thus cutting out the Parasitic Pvt. banking cabal. A no-no....for the cabal. 3- Dissolution of the CRIMINAL CIA...breaking it into a 1000 pieces. Investigating and ending Nafarious Secret Societies. 4- Winding down the MIC (military industrial complex) with no involvement into VietNam, Cubas' bay of pigs and any other nafarious plans interfering with sovern nations benefiting the R-C banking cabal. 5- Israeli Mossad ORCHESTRATED the execution of President Kennedy. (in the book): Michael Collins Piper: 'Final Judgment: The Missing Link in the JFK Assassination Conspiracy' Israeli Mossad also did 911. 'Israel did 911 all the proof in the world'
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 23 weeks 1 day ago Page Douglas Herman
    Thanks Jim,    Whenever my Lib or Con friends or family members justify abuses of the state, I ask them if they ever heard of Operation Gladio, or our own homegrown state-terror master plan. Blank looks follow. Operation Northwoods - Wikipedia
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 2 days ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    Most of the extremely negative ideas in this Comment are refuted by the "Naysayers" article itself, so in reply I'll just recommend a re-read. One, though, perhaps does warrant a little extra. It is that once made up, a mind is very hard to change; Wani1 gives the example of the dedicated creationist. He's right, to a point; there are periods in life when no amount of rational persuasion will suffice, and my own story (published here) may illustrate that. However, I've had more than one major change of mind in my life, and very probably so has everyone reading this; for there are other periods when persusasion is perfectly effective. My own main regret is that when I was ready to listen, there were too few around ready, able and willing to show me which way was up.   That anomaly - that we are not fixed entities, but have minds whose open-ness varies with time and circumstance - is nicely handled by the replicative principle associated with TOLFA; to bring a friend to the Academy only when he wishes to come. The rest (the great majority of those invited) will be invited again, another day. And eventually, as suggested in Transition to Liberty, we'll reach the lot - within a single generation.    
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 2 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    Super piece, Doug; welcome back! Where have you been all this time?   It's chock full of good things, but as it happens your mention of Northwoods was the best for me; I've no recollection of having heard of it. What? A deliberate, documented plan for a false-flag op? Amazing.
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 23 weeks 2 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    Thanks Glen & Mark for your comments.  I suppose in another fifty years the PTB will admit perhaps another gunman. "Limited hangout," I believe they call it. But by then, the next empire will be writing the history books. Or re-writing the history books here.  I do believe Lee Harvey was a most interesting man, a low-paid useful cog in the Cold War, perhaps working for various agencies (CIA, FBI, ONI) whose story is far more complex than anything I've yet to read.  
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 23 weeks 2 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    Just a knock-out of a column, Douglas. Last night I watched a few minutes here and there of one of the "Oswald did it" specials on TV, and your honest, informative, and well-written piece helped clear away the stench of that. Thanks.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 23 weeks 2 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    The efforts to deflect attention away from the CIA took an interesting twist with REELZ's The Smoking Gun last night.  This version reinforced the Lone Nut parts of the story while also providing a cover for the obvious cover-up and the discrepancies in the Warren Report.  Of course, any bad-will from those that gained the most is ignored and an no hints of it being a planned "inside-job" are given.  No, it was just good ol' government incompetence where a SS agent accidentally shot off a round that just happened to hit JFK in the head.  Like many half-right conspiracy theories, this one cherry picked testimony and information to weave an incomplete tale supporting the theory.  Although it totally dismissed evidence of shots from the front and side, as well as CIA, FBI and/or LBJ complicity, it did reveal that the propagandists are afraid of the overwhelming tide swelling up, as most of the adult population knows the Warren Commission is total bullshit. 
  • Wani1's picture
    Wani1 23 weeks 3 days ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    Is there a truly free society in the modern world? I'd like a ticket to that very much. JD: So much, then, for the claim that re-education doesn't work. It may not always work, and for sure a great deal more of it is needed, but re-education is the only thing that does work. Whether education or re-education, each (adult?) individual will accept and reject what fits into his/her 'world-view', what applies to their ideas of 'good vs bad', 'right vs wrong', or 'other ways vs my way'. One example that comes immediately to mind is creationism vs evolution. One can present the best scientific evidence, etc, to a creationist and have it all summarily rejected, forever. The same applies in the opposite direction. Once set in a human mind, most things seem to be set in stone and steel. The immovable object and the irresistible force may have at each other for eternity, and lead to a no-win situation. We can tell another that this will lead to that, or that the result of whatever is going to be thus, but until the 'other' decides (perhaps secretly?) to test, re-test, then test some more to exhaustion, few will accept what they don't or won't believe in. Some may even perish trying not to be 'wrong'. Two quotes attributed to Einstein come to mind: "The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination." (If one can't or won't even imagine a possibility, it will never really exist for him/her.) "Insanity: Doing the same thing over and over again expecting a different result." Ah, the human rut. Some (most?) dig in so deeply that they can no longer see over the top and so rut becomes grave and they take with them only what they brought into the rut: themselves. All else is, must be, rejected. Why? How? We just don't know the answers to that because no one has yet found a way to crawl inside another mind and shine a light into all the cracks and crevices and unravel the rope people use to tie themselves to their own belief system. Until/unless a human being can first imagine his is not THE way, THE right, THE good, education does fail, because the individual, from cradle to grave, is also 'educating' himself, and he is his favorite teacher, but then, in many instances, he becomes the only teacher allowed in his 'classroom', his private mind. I assure you, from a strictly clinical analysis, one can knock on the door to a human mind until knuckles shatter, but unless someone opens that door, and not even then in many instances, can we go in and so much as visit the well-kept parlor, much less the bedroom closet. JD: Yet some folk, it appears, actually like being victims. Up to a point, presumably. To me, it's very odd, and I'm not sure whether “martyr complex” quite covers it, so maybe a shrink is needed. Why, yes, yes many do like being the victim. "It's me against the world." "I'm OK/smart/right, but you're trying to make me seem NOT OK/dumb/wrong." Shields up! "People just won't leave me alone!" Victimization can be addictive to many. If they are victims, surely enough "rescuers" will notice and should gather around them to overcome the attackers. If that doesn't happen, retreat further into victimization? Likely, unfortunately, for who wants to be not OK, or dumb, or wrong? A martyr tells himself he's dying for the good of 'others', the 'masses', but a victim is in it alone. In that type of mind, solitude/isolation becomes the very insulation needed to remain a victim. Every knock on the door to that mind is an alarm going off that just screams "HIDE!" JD: It means that as a tiny minority, we'd be permanently treated as freaks and misfits and see ourselves as some class of victim. The psychology of this is beyond me, but right off the bat I'll say that if it were true, I'd be right out of here. I see no merit or enjoyment whatsoever in being in such a queer backwater of humanity. This is something that has always perplexed me. May I call it the "herd mentality"? I do not mean this to apply to you personally, but to society in general. We must be acceptable, or part of a group/herd that is recognized as not "freakish", not a tiny herd, not "queer"? Why? In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king, yes? He would definitely be a minority, and likely 'queer', and also 'freakish' when compared to the 'norm', but he'd also be, shall we say "blessed" to have sight, even if in only one eye. Should he blind himself in his one eye to not be any of those things, to be part of the majority? Looking at the "recently discovered tribes" in South America...before their "discovery" they were obviously content for centuries or perhaps for millennia, and likely survived things most 'modern' folk would have probably succumbed to. Their skills and customs were unique, to say the least, but as a very small minority, and appearing 'freakish and queer' to the rest of us, they weren't at all either of those things amongst themselves. Until they learn a language other than their own, none will know they're "misfits" and even after that how many will care? Will they be better off, happier, once they're part of the modern majority, once they're no longer the "backwater of humanity"? I've read a few case studies on that sort of thing and I'd have to say they'll likely rue the day they were "discovered". Could I but dare imagine I was in a "1% group", not the 99% norm, I should be delighted. Alas, 1% seems too large a grouping...for me. JD: To adopt Naylor's second opinion would be to deny all that, to say that mankind can never live as he has evolved to live. Each human being 'evolves', mainly, within himself. Whereas we could say I (hypothetically) evolved to paint my behind a bright red and run wild with the rabbits, eat wild honey and bay at the moon, you might well be appalled that I evolved that way. If you (hypothetically) said that you evolved to walk on your hands, quack like a duck, and drink only dew off roses, I'd have to reply, "Right on, dude! More power to you!" But is that how modern society is geared? Can 'evolved' humans accept the evolution of ALL equally? Can he who has evolved to truly appreciate Mozart and must wear a dinner jacket to the toilet ever live in harmony with a neighbor who arises every morning to stand naked in his own yard and pipe the sun up on bagpipes? Is the answer to such vast differences in 'evolution' then to have only pipers living amongst other pipers, and only those who quack like ducks live with other quackers? Can quackers and pipers both live their personal evolution in peace and harmony, given there will be those who find such intensely loathsome and will surely want to create laws to stop that? What of those who evolved to become pedophiles, child-beaters, rapists? We each have drawn lines in our own sandpiles and chosen things we won't tolerate crossing beyond that line. Right/wrong, we choose, and that too, is part of evolution...some choosing this, others that. Seems impossible to resolve how we each have evolved with how others have. Some things seem to be too 'mind-blowing' for some individuals to ever accept in others. For some, merely drumming fingers on a table is a killing offense. JD: A form of permanent war, though, is what results from Naylor's naysaying. Libertarians are stuck as a 1% minority forever, and forever must kill or be killed. A permanent state of war has indeed existed among humans since the first ones crawled out of caves, has it not? And, given the nature of the beast, the quest to be "top dog" (WHY?), push inevitably leads to shove and war it is, yes? Mankind has barely risen above the unbridled 'kill or be killed' in, dare we hope, the majority of earth, or perhaps not even that, but such super-aggression still exists as we witness in headlines each new day. Is there remedy for that? Hope is all we have, and clinging to that seems a fine idea. Labels create a lot of controversies. "Left-wing/right-wing", "conservative/ liberal", "caucasian/non-caucasian", "poor/middle-class"...on and on, ad infinitum et ad nauseum. Even "man/woman" can lately start a fight it seems. "Earthling", "space-traveler" might not be as dangerous a label as the others we use but labels they are. Labels create division. Division has gotten us into many a fine pickle. JD: It's quite true, that if a small minority of any sort is persecuted over a long period, it's like raising the temperature of a pressure cooker; eventually, there will be an explosion. Is the persecution reduced by refusal to feel persecuted, or, put another way, how do each of us define persecution? Is some persecution merely differences of opinion? Certainly real persecution exists, no denying that, but if we could avoid feeling even slighted when differences, or even objections, are made known, well, what if? If, in my own mind, I am truly devoted to and convinced of "my way", ideals, choices being the right ones for ME, why would I care who agrees/disagrees, condemns my choices, or mocks me for having them? If I am 100% certain that what I "am" or think is the only way I can live happily and peacefully upon this tiny speck in the universe, why would anything but a physical attack on me matter? Certainly if, say, "Mr. Bagpiper" came at me with those pipes as if to slay me, I would have no problem doing what was necessary to stop him in his tracks. First law of nature and all that. But if he merely stood in his yard and pointed at me and laughed, why care? There would be humor in that, at least to me. I might even feel badly FOR him. But to allow that to escalate to feelings of persecution, even if he did so every day? His yard, his choice. As in the case of a pressure cooker, the pressure builds from within, not from without. Let the thing vent, and no explosion, right? We may do well to discover our vents, and use them in utmost privacy...perhaps? My grandfather used to sit and tell us of the 'old days', when there was but one 'law' ...do not steal. Not the truth, not a life, not a bow string or a kernel of corn. If one stole, it was their family's responsibility to apply the 'solution'...death. If the family refused, someone appointed would do so. Children learned by watching, listening, living, and by finding out for themselves that fire will burn, etc. No one presumed to stop anyone from doing anything, except for stealing. People could agree to all that or move on. If Little Johnny persisted in hitting himself in the head with a rock, rather than interfere, people would let him continue until he was gone with the wind. Others saw what that got Johnny. Few followed suit. Yes, it was too simple, but it did deter, just a little, just enough...usually. At least for those who chose to be a part of that society. Ah, life, and choices. Life does have a way of becoming what we choose. Education or not, change or not, this and that, all choices, and, in the end, only ourselves, our deepest selves, to thank or blame. Or so it seems to me. May we evolve to be grateful to be a 1% or less. Our individual rarity may demand we need to be the only 'one'?
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 4 days ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    It's not about "throwing in" or taking sides, Sam. Or, I hope not. It's about getting one's head straight.   Either my vision of liberty is a "bureaucratized anarchy" as Mike suggested, or else it's not. At the moment, he and I differ. I've invited him to name a couple of examples to prove or illustrate his point, and extend the invitation to you. Can you name any, from the eight STRticles here? To take sides before having done (or failed to do) that would, I suggest, be premature.   Maybe you don't get these thrown at you, but it seems to me that when we say we favor a zero government society, our hearer is entitled to ask some tough questions. How would this work, and why would that not produce chaos, and so on. One of the toughest is, how would title be awarded, to receivers of former "government property"?  When I write about a free society, I like to anticipate such objections and show possible solutions. That is not, absolutely not, to be confused with enforcement of those fixes.  
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 4 days ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    Good morning, Sam. You truck, I think; I do hope you'll find your way one day to the North East. We could share a jar (of lemonade) and have a great old time.   Please don't get hung up on phrases. "Parting company" means, in my book, respectfully to disagree. You use such phrases, too: you often refer to a "White man" in a way I don't understand. I suppose its some kind of cultural thing, in each case.   It worried me, though, a bit, that you seem unable to grasp the fact that we fully agree, about "your sovereignty." Of course it doesn't depend on anyone else. Whenever did I say it did?   What certainly does depend on everyone else is your enjoyment of your sovereignty in practice. That is so abundantly obvious to me that I'm surprised I have to repeat it, and I'm at a loss to know how to explain it in different or simpler words.   You have an absolute right to drive your truck any place you wish, unless someone else owns the land under its wheels. You're sovereign. But can you do so in practice? - NO!  You have to get permits from a third party; a permit to get into the driver's seat, a permit to buy the truck (they call that sales tax, and it's horribly expensive), a permit to move it without frequent roadside inspections... I don't even know them all. You know perfectly well you are a very, very long way from being sovereign, in practice.   Your enjoyment of sovereignty in practice, and mine, awaits the disappearance of government; and (as I see it) that requires an universal re-education effective enough to motivate everyone not to work for it.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 23 weeks 4 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "How was it that for over two centuries of policing in America, cops did not have tasers..." We haven't had cops for over two centuries. More like 180 years, and even then it was far from universal. http://www.constitution.org/lrev/roots/cops.htm
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 23 weeks 4 days ago Web link mhstahl
    Some laws just beg to be disobeyed.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 23 weeks 4 days ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    I'll throw in with Mike on this one. "...You do stick to your guns, and I can respect that..." Not only that, Jim, but you elicit lots and lots of good comments and vigorous discussion. Some, I'll admit, turn out to be pissin' matches; but even that brings activity here. Sorely needed. If I never get mud slung in my eye, I'll probably not advance in my learning. I'm old, and skeered of getting set in my ways. So many opinion forums deteriorate into one- or two-line insults between combatants, then everybody gives up and the forum dies off. None of us would want to see that happen here. This is one of the rare libertarian discussion boards where everybody gets a chance to punch the bag without anybody getting hurt. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 23 weeks 4 days ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    My position began to be formulated over fifty years ago, Jim, in a place called "Alcoholics Anonymous". It is not considered proper for those of us involved to "break anonymity"... "...at the level of press, radio and films..." ...this written in the 30's and 40's, long prior to internet and media capable of making it possible for individuals to instantaneously share with each other -- even television was still in the future. But since this is a discussion forum in place to help others achieve freedom I'll call what I have to say "appropriate", since AA is probably the most libertarian organization of which I'm aware that is not specifically designed for promulgating what we iron out here at STR. And since "The Big Book" is now online for all to read I doubt that anybody will complain if a member of STR outlines its principles. Which in itself is striking to "non-sufferers", because never does it urge us to try not to drink alcohol. The early members knew that drinking ain't the problem -- thinking is the problem. Jim: "But we part company, alas, if you maintain that that's all there is, to freedom. For sovereignty to be exercised in practice and in full, the rest of society must come to exercise theirs. There is no way around that. For as long as some believe in slavery (some humans ruling others) some of them will impose that slavery if they have the chance to do so. On you. So the full enjoyment of your sovereignty certainly does depend on others embracing the self-ownership axiom". First, Jim, I won't accede to the idea of you and I "parting company". You've been far too much of a mainstay in my quest for sovereignty (and no, I do not mean a "natural right") for me to consider "parting company" with you. I was devouring your articles in the early stages of my search for freedom -- long before you and I ever exchanged emails or comments here on the forum. Approach liberty from slightly different angles, yes. And I know you were using a figure of speech, so I'll let that one go. Next, I see the analogy between being restored to sanity ("quitting drinking") and achieving liberty ("sovereignty") as a very poignant one -- for me. I'm truly thankful I once had a severe drinking "problem". I never did embrace the idea that alcoholism is in any manner or form a "disease", and refuse to argue that with anybody. I do know that, had I not been forced -- first by psychopaths of that abstraction called "the state", later by my desire to achieve true self-ownership -- to stop drinking, I would inevitably and inescapably revert to taking that next drink. And a large parcel of drunken debauchery and additional (and probably well-deserved) tyranny from the white man. What I had to learn in order to stay sober appears to be the precise opposite of that portion of your comment I've quoted above. It's not, really -- but you and I have different perspectives from which we approach the topic, each of them legitimate in its own light. I had to come to understand that I, and I alone, am responsible for my freedom. And for my enjoyment OF that freedom. Today. Nobody else -- my wife, my children, my neighbors or students or customers -- none of them can subtract from my sovereignty unless I allow that to happen. I am responsible to be a good teacher. I am not responsible for the learning -- only the teaching. Simple stuff, but far more difficult to grasp than it appears. Because the student will not always agree with or conform to the teaching -- "my" version of the teaching. And if the teacher isn't careful that will unreasonably rankle her or him -- particularly in those many instances where the student turns out to be right. One of the esteemed assets of the truly great educator is the understanding -- and acceptance of the fact -- that many of his or her students will have "...much greater insights than I..." You see, Jim, old Naylor may not be so miserable after all. He might just have a point, although I'm certain that his "1%" declaration is bogus. I recently read that 68.8% of all quoted statistics are proclaimed at the spur of the moment. That's supposed to be a joke. But MY sovereignty does not hinge upon "the rest of society" (another abstraction) to exercise THEIR sovereignty. I can't get to them all. Neither can you. Many probably will never even desire or understand or agree with the term. Ever. Many may even feel duty-bound to expend large blocks of energy in attempt to douse my sovereignty. Some will "...believe in slavery (some humans ruling others)...", and will attempt to "...impose that slavery if they have the chance to do so. On you..." My responsibility is strictly to myself -- to achieve and to maintain my sovereign statehood -- in spite of the naysayers. I feel a need to and would enjoy the opportunity to help you along -- if and when you ask for my help -- to the extent that I have the expertise to counsel. I'm happy to declare that of my 25 grandchildren 19 are homeschooled. We start homeschool at birth, not age 5 or 6 or other arbitrary state-mandated jejunity, and my newest little granddaughter just came about September 23rd on the Gregorian calendar. She is being homeschooled as we speak -- largely by her 4 older ornery brothers. I'm glad that I urged homeschooling to my adult children. But some of them are caught up in a religiosity (thanks, Paul Bonneau) to which I do not subscribe. That is their responsibility -- not "grandpa's" -- and I lend whatever support I can without trying to subvert them or their beliefs or their adoration for Dr. Paul. My stance is to lead by love and example, not tyranny. For that, I am responsible. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 5 days ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    Very glad it was all in jest, Mike. Fun is good.   I'm still horrified though that you see my vision of liberty as "a bureaucratized version of anarchy". I wonder how you could possibly have gained that impression. From the chapters to which I provided a link,  can you give me an example or two?   They are (or are meant to be) visions or estimates of how a free society will function. It may - probably, will - work out differently, at least in minor detail. But each chapter does try to address real questions that are bound to arise, and suggest how in a zero-compulsion society they will be resolved. The very last thing it will need or attract is some kind of overseer!   You refer also to the old canard known as "Panarchy" and yes, I certainly see that as a distraction, a snare and a delusion. In its nature, a free society will be just that - free; each person does his or her own thing.  The only prohibition will be not to impose an obligation on someone else. So far, so good. But it just doesn't end there, if there remains an element of statism; because statists by definition believe in governing. Sooner or later, belief produces action. Inevitably, aggression will happen.   Now, if the aggression is minor (eg, 1% or 2% of the people aggress) then a free-market justice system will handle it readily; this chapter suggests how. But in a panarchistic society there is no such limit. Hence my insistence that panarchy is utopian; even if put in place, it could not possibly survive.    
  • mhstahl's picture
    mhstahl 23 weeks 5 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "I still favor abolishing the police :-)" Agreed.
  • mhstahl's picture
    mhstahl 23 weeks 5 days ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    I was really just having a little fun...   I say "in any way" mainly because of the "universality" that you find so essential, as well as you oft repeated assertion (including in this thread) that an individual's freedom is predicated on the actions of others. I truly disagree, I see no reason that there can't be a full spectrum of ideas and social structures...why not? Likewise, unless someone is actually doing me harm, why do I need to concern myself with what they do, or why? In fact, that's what I do now, and aside from some irritating but prudent steps to avoid the tender caress of the government's costumed crusaders I do as I please. I've never deliberately hurt anyone, and outside of those in government employ I've rarely been harmed by anyone else deliberately. I think most people live that way, frankly.   Perhaps "in any way" is a bit strong as there is plenty of common ground, but when you put your notion of a free society forth it reads like a bureaucratized version of anarchy, with complex rules that are immutable and "universal." In the end, I think the entire system almost begs for an overseer with the ability to apply force at will. Hence my fear.   I don't think all of that is necessary-people already know how to get along for the most part, and are quite capable of adapting and forming societies with all manner of customs. What I don't think people are capable of is embracing a single overarching philosophy- I for one wouldn't wish to.   What is ultimately going to be necessary is wresting control of resources from government-but there is hope there, the universe is vast, as is the seabed, and who knows, perhaps someone will unlock fusion, or find a way to convert matter to food without agriculture(all of which is completely possible.) It is government force of arms that enslaves us all to artificially scarce resources, not a misunderstanding of philosophy(which is, I would suggest, not even possible anyway), at least in my opinion. It is technology that has permitted that overwheming force, and with it the nasty tendancy for government to make itself indispensible by passing out favors to the select, but it is also technology that might unlock the cage. Violence will never work, as it will only exchange masters(though it can check the rise of new ones.) It took millenia to get to this sorry state of affairs, it will take a long time to unwind the clock.   For what it's worth, you are in good company, Hoppe's view of society with (very) strict property "rights" causes me almost the same concern...in fact even more so.   I am a firm believer in disagreeing without being disagreeable, I hope I've managed to do that in our frequent jousts.   Best,   Mike
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 5 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Thanks, Alex and daeuri, I stand corrected. You're no doubt right, tasers just make it easier to subdue the victim, without the need for too much exertion.   I still favor abolishing the police :-)
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 5 days ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    Please don't be hurt! - and even less, frightened. You aren't even on my list of nattering nabobs.   Now, however, I'm not so sure :-)  You say my vision of freedom doesn't comport with yours "in any way"? Really? You've read A Vision of Liberty, perhaps, and still say so? That would be a real puzzle. Details here and there may be wrong or disputable, but "in any way"... hmmm. I have to wonder in that case whether we are even on the same page.   BTW, in case you have not read that book, several of its chapters appear on STR, see index here.
  • daeuri's picture
    daeuri 23 weeks 5 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Jim: If the police are confronted with a "kill or be killed" sitution, they will deploy their firearms every time. Tasers are for situations that haven't escalated to kill or be killed yet. The problem with the police use of tasers is that their purported non-lethality makes it easier for the police to use force under circumstances where firearm use would be more heavily scrutinized and criticized. A related problem is the mindset of police officers who feel justified using violence of any kind against citizens who question authority or resist illegal encroachment by the police. Of course, if the police were under surveillance as much as our phone conversations and internet searches, taser abuse would probably not be an issue. Truth of the matter is that we will not be getting rid of the police until the entire apparatus of the state crashes under the weight of its corruption and inefficiency, and even then, you will need to have a sizeable amount of the population ready and amenable to life outside the state (Which is something very few of us have ever known), otherwise, you would have to deal with a new generation of statists laboring under the illusion that it was the state's agents, not the state, that needed to be replaced.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 23 weeks 5 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Jim:  While you would be right if tasers were only used in situations where firearms might otherwise be necessary, I try to point out here that this is far from being the case.  Cops use tasers with far greater impunity that guns, precisely because of the lesser likelihood that their use will result in an arrestee's death...which all too frequently, occurs anyway.  Now, true, it might be argued that a small percentage of that 540 plus would've warranted use of guns anyway -- but I cast serious doubt on all of them by any measurement.
  • mhstahl's picture
    mhstahl 23 weeks 6 days ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    Jim, I'm hurt. Here I'd thought I'd been quite forthright and direct in my natterings of negative nabobery! :)   I do respect your efforts and certainly your enthusiasm, but your vision just doesn't comport with my view of freedom in any way, in fact it is more than a bit frightening to me.   Of course, I am teasing you a bit, though I really don't think I (and several others, IIRC) have ever shown any shame in challenging your views. You do stick to your guns, and I can respect that. Best,   Mike
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 23 weeks 6 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    This is a great example to show people who laugh when you say government schools are brainwashing children.
  • mhstahl's picture
    mhstahl 23 weeks 6 days ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    "Consider the political implications if the personal weapon continued to improve at the rate the automobile did, such that it could provide mutually assured destruction to a half dozen attackers, or a dozen attackers, or twenty attackers."   This is a crucial point. States exist by granting favors to select groups, and then enforcing such with overwhelming force. Without the ability to bring such force the state is hamstrung. It doesn't matter what one has been taught, what one's philosophic alignment might be: if groups or individuals can successfully counter the state's force when it comes for them, its ability to come for them is stymied. No one can be taught to submit in the way Jim thinks that they have been-some may, but most do so primarily out of self-preservation or greed.   This does NOT mean there needs to be violence, but rather the "mutually assured destruction" that julyfrank suggests. Now, to get from "here" to "there" is a long, arduous, and doubtless dangerous road that will, by necessity, require a far more radical shift in social, economic, and cultural norms than most "libertarians" are willing to accept or forecast. We are talking about a true paradigm shift, and it will not come about through stockpiling of arms, or through education-because neither of these truly addresses the nature of the "state."   Really think about how government maintains control. It is not just from the barrel of a gun, the gun only secures its true source of power-the resources and wealth that it uses to curry favor and secure loyalty. It can only do this because on Earth, resources are finite and therefore valuable. Jim suggests that "America" started out as a far more "libertarian society"(which is debateable, but beside the point...after all it was founded in part on the slaughter and enslavement of innocents) than it is today-well, why? Great Britain at the time was surely not "libertarian" by any stretch of the imagination, why were the colonies different? Education? That would be a hard case to make. Weapons? Perhaps, but that is not the "root".   Instead, what the "New World" had in comparison to the old was relatively unlimited resources, and despite the old world powers attempts to claim such and thereby dispense favors, they simply did not have the means to control and distribute such vast property(I recommend Rothbard's Conceived in Liberty for an overview of this.)   So what are we left with? The high-voltage third rail of libertarianism-property. And more specifically the state's control and dispersement of such. So, what is to be done? To me, the real hope-the only real hope- twinkles in the night sky. Nothing else but resources on such a scale can truly render the state powerless and pointless. None of us will see this.   That's not to say conditions cannot or should not be made better, but we ought to remember that, to paraphrase Thoreau, we are only hacking a path through the branches of evil, and not striking at its root.   Best,   Mike
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 6 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Excellent piece as usual, Alex.   I wonder if the numbers might bear adjustment. You say "over 540 people would likely still be alive today..." had tasers not been used on them; but tasers are in use as an alternative to guns, which are much more frequently lethal.   Assuming they are always lethal, if G is the number of times guns would have been deployed and T is that of tasers, the number police would have killed is G-T+540.   I suspect that, horrible though they are, tasers may therefore have saved some lives, net.   Rather than abolishing tasers, I'd favor abolishing police. And in the coming free society, that's exactly what will happen.
  • jd-in-georgia's picture
    jd-in-georgia 23 weeks 6 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    At the time it was released, Bad Lieutenant starting Harvey Keitel was the exception and not the rule. Times they are a changing.
  • julyfrank's picture
    julyfrank 23 weeks 6 days ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    > nobody can reverse the effect of wall-to-wall government propaganda > over several generations by reaching one in a thousand If the school-like approach is to work, then it will have to successfully make entry into this market. Your political philosophy will have to exponentially grow using this population as growth media. One of your planning assumptions appears to be that all humans are equally susceptible to libertarian education. I do not agree with that assumption. Observed history matches what we would expect if a fixed 1-in-100 are libertarians. I think libertarian education can reach the remnant, as described by Nock. I think you and I are members of that remnant. I suspect that due to religion and alcoholism, the remnant will permanently remain small. Mencken reached more than his paper's circulation. I've read a lot of Mencken output, but I've never seen a page image of the Baltimore Sun. Nevertheless, if Mencken's reach was too low to disprove the school- like approach, consider Ron Paul. He had the public platform of being in congress, he said the same things in his speeches for 30 years, he wrote several books, and he ran for president. President! Is this not enough of a national reach? I'm getting the impression that what you will count as an example of an "education facility to reach the whole population" is nearly the same as the libertopian victory condition. Your business plan to get from here to there seems missing.
  • Emmett Harris's picture
    Emmett Harris 23 weeks 6 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "[T]hese 'non-lethal' devices have caused 540 deaths."  But it's okay, as long as they're called non-lethal.
  • Emmett Harris's picture
    Emmett Harris 23 weeks 6 days ago Page Glen Allport
    Nicely done.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 23 weeks 6 days ago Page Glen Allport
    Brilliant as always Glen.  Clear as a bell; as profound as it is comprehensive, thank you.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 23 weeks 6 days ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    Education is the only way to overcome the normalcy bias inherent in all victims of statist indoctrination, because it was mis-education that created the problem to begin with.  Jim's program is but one of many, which is a good thing, but also a significant program due to both its scope and the emphasis on a simple strategy.  The alternative of violence is counterproductive at best, and destructive at worse.  Perhaps when all is lost and desperation rules the day, then violence becomes unavoidable as a survival strategy, but we are not there yet.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 24 weeks 2 hours ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    Okay, it's time to end this garbage. You argued that education had been tried and failed, and chose the example of Mencken to prove your point. I asked where and when Mencken had established an education facility to reach the whole population, with chapter and verse, and now you say - as I expected - that "his Baltimore Sun output was exactly an attempt."   But I had already pointed out that the Sun had a circulation of roughly one person in a thousand of the population, so your answer is claptrap. Mencken was widely quoted and respected - but nobody can reverse the effect of wall-to-wall government propaganda over several generations by reaching one in a thousand.   Mencken ran no freedom school, and you know that, but you failed to admit it. This exchange is over.   You have a very great deal to learn, julyfrank, and you've come to the right place to do it. There is a very rich archive on STR, of excellent articles  by scores of authors. I suggest you write less, and read more.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 24 weeks 2 hours ago Page Glen Allport
    Your reminder that even as late as the 1930s a physician could say of those unable to pay his fees "I don't think any doctor turned anybody down" points to a logical problem in health care.   In any other business, the principle "no pay, no way" applies; you didn't buy a ticket, you don't board the plane. That's normal and unsurprising.   But not in health care, because doctors are expected to treat the sick regardless of ability to pay. Does this go back to Hippocrates? A long time, anyway. Apparently it does go back as far as Jesus, whose parable of the Good Samaritan taught that to do nothing was morally wrong while to give care without charge was morally good.   But how, then, can a physician make a living?   A possible answer is that there is an unwritten, unspoken understanding between physicians and the community they treat: a sense of mutual obligation. I wonder whether the monstrous degree to which government has already inserted itself into the industry, with its outrageous claim that everyone has a right to health care (something that would enslave those providing it) - let alone the degree yet to come - has destroyed that cultural norm, and what dire consequences will follow its loss.    
  • Thunderbolt's picture
    Thunderbolt 24 weeks 11 hours ago Page Glen Allport
    Glen: You are a wonderfully prescient and expressive thinker and writer. Your Love and Freedom theme meshes nicely with the anarchist message of Jim Davies. Kudos.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 24 weeks 14 hours ago Web link A. Magnus
    I went through that list to see if I qualify. Looks like 35 of them, give or take a few, apply to me. Can anyone beat that? :-)
  • julyfrank's picture
    julyfrank 24 weeks 20 hours ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    I think his Baltimore Sun output was exactly an attempt at that kind of re-education. I don't think public school type educational facility details are important, or necessary, or a good idea; I think the critical path is getting correct libertarian analysis in front of lots of eyeballs in a way that is engaging to read. Let me try to state that in a disprovable way. I will consider my education-can't-succeed claim disproved if you can show that the freedom-through-education approach has worked even once, anywhere, to move the majority of any population of millions to liber-topia. I will accept examples in Switzerland, which is not liber-topia, but sufficiently better at retaining liberty that I would like to understand it better.
  • Emmett Harris's picture
    Emmett Harris 24 weeks 1 day ago Blog entry Emmett Harris
    Thanks, Jim!  Yes, I had originally planned to put in a jab at the Bretton Woods conference, but the ghost of Lord Keynes would've been too scary.  :)
  • Emmett Harris's picture
    Emmett Harris 24 weeks 1 day ago Blog entry Emmett Harris
    Thanks, Alex!  Happy Halloween!
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 24 weeks 1 day ago Blog entry Emmett Harris
    Great Blog, Emmett - especially its closing para.   You didn't mention that Mount Washington Hotel's most famous month came in 1944, when representatives of all the governments that mattered (excluding Germany and Japan) gathered and agreed to make the US Dollar the world's reserve currency, in place of the British Pound. A dark day, indeed, for His Late Majesty. Sic transit gloria mundi.   The switch was promoted by a promise that the dollar could be redeemed for gold @ 35 to the ounce, which solemn undertaking was stabbed in the back by Tricky Dick Nixon, and whose remains have been pouring away ever since like blood from a corpse... currently (as it were) to the extent of nearly 40 times that rate, taking the fair name of America with it.   Ominously, that famous "Bretton Woods" conference  was noted on a bronze plaque at the entrance to the hotel driveway, until the end of the 1990s when it was removed. Somebody, somewhere, decided it didn't pay any longer to advertise the dirty deed.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 24 weeks 1 day ago Blog entry Emmett Harris
    Very well written, Emmett!  Happy Halloween!  :-)
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 24 weeks 1 day ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    Mencken was the most perceptive journalist of the 20th Century, no question. But I had no idea he had a multi-decade strategy to re-educate 120 million Americans (the 1930 population) in some kind of freedom school, to negate the effect of pro-government propaganda in 12 years of schooling, 4 of college, and 24/7 of media saturation (his part of the Baltimore Sun excepted, with a circulation of around 120 thousand.) What is the chapter and verse, please, where I can read about that educational facility?
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 24 weeks 2 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Ten stars. In light of this essay, you will no doubt enjoy this, Paul.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 24 weeks 2 days ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    Of course, Sam, every human being is by natural right "sovereign" - over himself. That's what self-ownership means, and it's what Naylor so miserably failed to grasp, in the first of his three benighted opinions.  Not everyone comes to understand that, but you have - good for you! And that single realization brings one part-way towards freedom. We get to stand up straight, to know that while freedom is viciously curtailed in practice, those who curtail it have no right to do so. I don't want to belittle the great feeling that produces.   But we part company, alas, if you maintain that that's all there is, to freedom. For sovereignty to be exercised in practice and in full, the rest of society must come to exercise theirs. There is no way around that. For as long as some believe in slavery (some humans ruling others) some of them will impose that slavery if they have the chance to do so. On you. So the full enjoyment of your sovereignty certainly does depend on others embracing the self-ownership axiom.   Further: the limited extent to which you can enjoy it now is predictably going to shrink. It has shrunk terribly, every decade in living memory. Until and unless a program of radical, universal re-education takes effect, it's reasonable to expect that process to continue, and possibly accelerate.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 24 weeks 2 days ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    (Re-posted as a reply. Sorry.)
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 24 weeks 2 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    This was a good essay, Paul. Those evangelists promulgating religion and those conquerors who initiated government have been inextricably yoked from the beginning of history. The unwashed masses are simply sucked in through the natural state of victim mentality. Lets not us be victims any more. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 24 weeks 2 days ago
    Naysayers
    Page Jim Davies
    I am a sovereign state. My sovereignty does not depend upon your becoming free. I hope you do, and if you ask and to the extent I have the expertise I will be glad to help you. But I will stay free. Nattering nabob of negativism? The fact you are here sharing with me should put that to rest. What you believe counts -- whether I agree or whether I don't. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 24 weeks 2 days ago Web link Serenity
    "Anarchy refers to a society without a central political authority. But it is also used to refer to disorder or chaos. This constitutes a textbook example of Orwellian newspeak in which assigning the same name to two different concepts effectively narrows the range of thought. For if lack of government is identified with the lack of order, no one will ask whether lack of government actually results in a lack of order. And this uninquisitive mental attitude is absolutely essential to the case for the state. For if people were ever to seriously question whether government is really productive of order, popular support for government would almost instantly collapse. ~John Hasnas, "The Obviousness of Anarchy" http://faculty.msb.edu/hasnasj/GTWebSite/Obvious.pdf