Recent comments

  • J3rBear's picture
    J3rBear 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    It's also important to remember that pragmatism can be a tempting tool that can easily drag one away from rational principles. It is the cliche "slippery slope". We live in a world of moral relativism precisely because people simple do what is practical or what works. And of course, one can substantiate any action by pointing out it's practicalities or effects. I'm very wary of arguments such as the one made above.
  • buzaman's picture
    buzaman 4 years 20 weeks ago
    Complete Liberty
    Web link Sharon Secor
    Wes's podcast is great. I highly recommend it. The group discussions he has are great. Many of the shows include Brett Veinotte (school sucks podcast) and Daniel Lakemacher (www.warisimmoral.com) as well as a few other people who really round out the show. Each podcast includes detailed show notes (links, youtube videos, etc.) on the podcast page. The Non-Violent Communication work he's been doing over the last 5-7 shows have been fantastic and very educational.
  • Sharon Secor's picture
    Sharon Secor 4 years 20 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Melinda... a lot of locals are talking about this right now. I don't know if we're going to see any action, but I told Dave to let me know if anybody puts together a Marfa-like protest, because I'll assist in any way possible. I think we should write to the city counsel and the chamber of commerse members, as well as the bigger chain stores in the area, letting them know that people on our side are going to start traveling up the mountain to shop, even though it is further away, since out local officials refuse to do what is right and stand up to the feds. You may want to post that bit of info about traveling the local roads with their equipment on Dave in the Can's blog, he's been talking about the issue, too. Julie who is suing the ranch is also interested. Suverans2... I always enjoy reading your comments on STR wherever they are and on whatever subject you deem worthy of your well written and researched response. For a multitude of reasons, the American people have decided that their rights are no longer worth the time and effort to assert. Shameful, sad, but true. We pay for this shit, we submit to this shit, accepting such treatment from people whose salaries we pay through the taxes we pay. If enough people refused to pay, submit, accept it simply would not happen.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Bob Wallace
    Wonderful insight and excellent point Bob. It makes me wonder why the Eastern peoples/philosophies that stress the importance of being humble seem to end up with the most tyrannical states and despots? Are humble people easier to exploit? I really don't know. Thanks for the inspiring article.
  • wkmac's picture
    wkmac 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Michael Kleen
    This is why I think war and military empire should be a front burner issue. Not only is it an issue that defies the typical left/right construct that to me is nothing but a chinese finger trap but it is war that causes so many imbalances in society that both the right and left often rail about in regards to overreaching gov't. One side screams about poverty and the other side screams about paying for it while neither ever consider the harm done of extracting monetized labor out of the local economy and via central planning giving it to the big boys to play with. The very ill they both speak of have their root in the State itself and yet both look to the state to fix it all. Both fear anti-statism in that abandoning the State will allow the otherside to gain power and win the day. Opposition to war and empire IMO is a training wheels issue so we can learn how to work with yet respect each other without the chinese fingertrap. From an anti-statist pragmatist POV, it just seems on so many levels to address effects that both the the right and left don't like yet creates further problems in society. I'm not saying for those who think the Federal Reserve is the problem or the security state is troubling should drop all they are doing and refocus but instead if you drill down to the heart of statism and look at it's core, you'll find good people on both the so-called left and right who oppose it and one area that I see more and more a growing consensus is war and the military state. Also pulling out $1 trillion plus annually from local economies to fund this venture will cause other consequences across society and what if that amount was just cut in half, just in economics what would the benefits be if $500 billion were either not borrowed from future generations or left to work in local economies? Could local economics improve thus the pressures on safety net programs lessen making both those on the left concerned with poverty growth happy while those on the right have less taken from their pocket? One does have to ask the question, are we being idealogues to achieve a collaspe of the whole thing or are we afraid to go piecemeal because if things starts to turn to the positive and get better, a comfort zone is reached, our idea of perfection will be put aside andthe state to lesser degree will live on for another day? On an evolutionary scale, are we ready to evolve away for such organized, centralized, heirarchial societies to begin with? On that level, are pragmatic steps the better way to go and have a 1000 year vision instead of wanting it for ourselves next week? I like next week too but at some point the pragmatic wins need to happen. I'm not one for voting but Ron Paul has forced a very different conversation to enter the landscape and people who onced thought themselves opposites are now shoulder to shoulder on the battle fronts they agree. And inside that, names like Proudhon, Tucker, Spooner and Rothbard are gaining wider audience than they once had along with Locke, Bastiat, Mises Garrett and Mencken. Paleo is seen as a positive and Neo is becoming the negative. Classical left is being discussed for it's free market traditions more than it's typical "Matrix" creations. We can't ignore how important this has been to the larger discussion and the pragmatist idea is worthy of some consideration at some level. However, being a realist or is that pragmatist, I'm not holding my breathe that we idealogues are just going to quietly change overnight either! LOL! Good article and good ideas to ponder. Very timely IMO.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 20 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    AMENDMENT IV [1791] The right of the people to be secure in their persons, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized. Guess your government doesn't deem using portable/mobile backscatter porn-scanners on its 14th Amendment "citizens" as, Unreasonable. Irrational; foolish; unwise; absurd; silly; preposterous; senseless; [or] stupid. Southern State Lines Co. v. Public Service Commission, 135 Kan. 657, 11 P.2d 985, 987. (Source: Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 1538) Well, it's either that or 14th Amendment citizens aren't protected by the Fourth Amendment. Take your choice. ;)
  • Melinda L. Secor's picture
    Melinda L. Secor 4 years 20 weeks ago Web link Sharon Secor
    You know, I've read a bunch of news reports over the past few days about this issue, and all state that DHS considered mobile backscatter porno-scanners, but deny that they are using them. Meanwhile....I have seen two of them in use here in Texas. We saw Homeland Security using one at a highway weigh-station for trucks, and those bastards, with no notification, consent or probable cause, irradiated my children as we passed through the local gestapo (border patrol) checkpoint on the way to a medical appointment. The machine was pretty much concealed at the end of the building as we drove through...we didn't see it until the little "scanning" light flashed. I am frothing too. And....Sherri....I didn't mention did I, that Gary saw that same truck traveling the local roads...the one we live on specifically. Perhaps randomly scanning traffic on the roads or people's homes? But still, DHS says they thought about it....but dismissed the idea. So yes....the danger of being scanned on the sidewalks and football games is real....in fact....it is already here, despite the outright lies fed to the sheeple.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 20 weeks ago
    Natural Law
    Web link Don Stacy
    In a true[1] republic “...the rule of law limits the authority of men exercising governmental power.” Quod prius est verius est; et quod prius est tempore potius est jure. What is first is truest; and what comes first in time, is best in law. Co. Litt. 347. ~ Bouvier's 1856 Law Dictionary [Emphasis added] Therefore, the Supreme Law of the Land is the Law of Nature, the Natural Law of Man. NATURAL LAW. The rule and dictate of right reason, showing the moral deformity or moral necessity there is in any act, according to a reasonable nature. Tayl. Civil Law, 99. ~ A Dictionary of the Law (Black's 1st c.1891), page 801 Law of nature, is a rule of conduct arising out of the natural relations of human beings established by the Creator, and existing prior to any positive precept. Thus it is a law of nature, that one man should not injure another, and murder and fraud would be crimes, independent of any prohibition from a supreme power. ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language [Emphasis added] This law of nature, being coeval[2] with mankind and dictated by God himself, is of course superior in obligation to any other. It is binding over all the globe in all countries, and at all times: no human laws are of any validity, if contrary to this; and such of them as are valid derive all their force, and all their authority, mediately or immediately, from this original. ~ 1 W. Blackstone, Commentaries at 41 [Emphasis added] 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 [Emphasis added] [The natural] law is the paramount law, and the same law, over all the world, at all times, and for all peoples; and will be the same paramount and only law, at all times, and for all peoples, so long as man shall live upon the earth. ~ Natural Law; or the Science of Justice by Lysander Spooner "...it is everyone's right and duty to forcibly uphold natural law..." ~ Natural Law and Natural Rights by James A. Donald ___________________________________________________________________________ [1] REPUB'LIC, n. [L. respublica; res and publica; public affairs.] 1. A commonwealth... COMMONWEALTH, n. 1. ...A commonwealth is properly a free state... [2] COEVAL, a. Of the same age; beginning to exist at the same time; of equal age; usually and properly followed by with. ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language [Emphasis added]
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 20 weeks ago
    Natural Law
    Web link Don Stacy
    Well as I (Rob S.) quoted in my book The New History of America, the case of Cruden v. Neale, where the court states a principle of natural law so clear that it cannot be twisted by any lawyer, that man is only bound by the laws of nature. Here is what the court stated: "...That the majority shall prevail is a rule posterior to the formation of government, and results from it. IT IS NOT A RULE BINDING UPON MANKIND IN THEIR NATURAL STATE. THERE, EVERY MAN IS INDEPENDENT OF ALL LAWS, EXCEPT THOSE PRESCRIBED BY NATURE.. He is not bound by any institutions formed by his fellowmen without his consent." ~ CRUDEN v. NEALE, 2 N.C. 338 (1796) 2 S.E. 70 Excerpted from an article entitled HOW "CITIZENS" ARE TRANSFORMED INTO "PERSONS" found HERE
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Paul Hein
    Paul Hein, (1) "What we call 'government,' or the 'state,' is people: actual living, breathing human beings" If so, then we may call it a set, in a mathematician's sense of the word set, for these human beings are not like the cells of an organism that is itself a living being. Instead, this set is a mental object. Even though the members of this set are living psychophysical beings, the set itself is without physical reality. The set is not alive, and it does no deed, either good or evil. Furthermore, if you and I conceived of a set of the same 99 individuals, we might call them by the same name, "government", but we would have in fact formed two separate sets, just as we have two minds among us. There would be quite literally two governments comprised of the same 99 individuals. That there are two governments, each with the same 99 persons, would hold unless, perhaps, our minds have as their object the same nonphysical entity which each of us is calling government. (We might have given it different names, but the names would have a common, single referent.) Now we've come to speculative metaphysics, but my main point remains the same. You defined government such that it's a set of people, not their activites. To disperse the government would be no more than to disperse the set conceived in one's mind. Not exactly a worldchanging revolt. If, on the other hand, you define government as the coordinated actions of several actual, living breathing human beings, then the sets problem vanishes. Now the government is something in the physical world, but again it does no work, for government, itself, is the work or activity. This definition suggests what I think you already realize is true anyway: Halting the organized criminalism is no more complicated than preventing the individuals responsible for government, in this latter sense of government, from acting in concert with one another. No great earthquake there, but I hope it suggests something important about liberals establishing an advantage over statists in terms of being able to act in concert. Another implication is that once most of the people who perform the actions called government fall asleep, most of the government vanishes from existence. In fact, much of the government has vanished by the time they are getting into bed. (2) "nobody reads the constitution" So it would appear. Or perhaps lots of people read it, or small portions of it, but they tend to project on to it what they want to find. Or they keep their mouths shut if they find an incoherency or something of which they disapprove. As Paul noted, it's a useful tool for the political class. Nevertheless, I would argue that lots of people read the federal one but almost no one thinks about it very carefully. Take Article VII, for example. It reads that nine states' conventions must ratify the Constitution for it to be established as supreme law. But prior to establishment, that article can provide no such criteria. To suppose that it could is to presuppose establishment before establishment. So the criteria must come from outside the text of the Const. If ever the C. were established, Art. VII would be superfluous. (Note that Art. VII ends with the word "Same", contrary to what one regular contributor at LewRockwell.com claimed in a long book about the C. and its adoption.) (3) Illinois' constitution has a few doozies. One is theocracy. The preamble begins, "We, the People of the State of Illinois—grateful to Almighty God for the civil, political and religious liberty which He has permitted us to enjoy...". (Emphasis mine.) Granted, theocracy is common among the provinces' constitutions. Later we find the preamble larded with soft socialism and parental mush "...in order to provide for the health, safety and welfare of the people;...; eliminate poverty and inequality; assure legal, social and economic justice; provide opportunity for the fullest development of the individual;...". (4) "So, when?" How about at noon on day of the next equinox? A silent standing against the organized crime state. Wear black. Noon would be when the sun is at its highest in the sky wheresoever one happens to be, thus noon is not necessarily at 12:00. I have some other ideas, too, and have already written down a few. Hat tip to TED. See video http://www.ted.com/talks/wael_ghonim_inside_the_egyptian_revolution.html, esp. 4:55. Ghonim mentioned everyone gathering for an hour, so if we followed that example and raised our hands at noon for a minute, harmony and balance suggest arriving thirty minutes before noon. These suggest also raising one's hand thirty seconds before noon. Since movement building is important, I think it wise to repeat this silent standing procedure at the following equinox, as well as the solstices. The periods in between are, as ever, when the difficult work would be done to cultivate harmonious thinking on key points such as voluntaryism, the right to private property, ownership of one's own body, nonmonopoly of protection services (as with military communism), and so forth. Anthony Gregory published a long list of important concepts. The list can be found at The Libertarian Standard.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Hi, A Liberal in Lakeview -- Actually, by "love" I mean the compassionate sense of connection with others that characterizes emotional health. People who are treated with compassion and respect in childhood, and who are not badly traumatized (from birth on, and even including the third trimester during pregnancy) are empathic, compassionate, relaxed, and respectful of others. Freedom for children plays a HUGE role in creating adults who deeply understand freedom. Most people have no idea of the importance of freedom in the lives of children. Here are excerpts from a 1949 report on Summerhill School by British government inspectors; the full text is at http://www.paradise-paradigm.net/summerhill.htm -- and note that these results were achieved on a shoe-string by a private school with a chicken-scratch budget -- "The main principle upon which the School is run is freedom. ... the degree of freedom allowed to the children is very much greater than the inspectors had seen in any other school and the freedom is real. No child, for instance, is obliged to attend any lessons. As will be revealed later, the majority do attend for the most part regularly, but one pupil was actually at this School for 13 years without once attending a lesson and is now an expert toolmaker and precision instrument maker. This extreme case is mentioned to show that the freedom given to children is genuine and is not withdrawn as soon as its results become awkward." "... the children are full of life and zest. Of boredom and apathy there was no sign. An atmosphere of contentment and tolerance pervades the School." "... the children's manners are delightful. They may lack, here and there, some of the conventions of manners, but their friendliness, ease and naturalness, and their total lack of shyness and self-consciousness made them very easy, pleasant people to get on with." "...initiative, responsibility and integrity are all encouraged by the system and that so far as such things can be judged, they are in fact being developed." "Summerhill education is not necessarily hostile to worldly success." The report backs up that last point with a list of degrees held and careers followed by former pupils. Clearly, the lack of a "normal," coercive education has not harmed the children of Summerhill. More importantly, compared with a modern American public (that is, coercive-government) school, Summerhill clearly produces -- and has, for over 75 years -- exactly the kind of people we would all want as neighbors. For more examples, look into Sudbury Valley School in America and other schools on the same model. In today's America, most children coerced constantly throughout their school years, and worse, birth and post-birth practices are increasingly traumatic for newborns, shutting them down to deep feeling (including to compassion and empathy) before they even get started in life. In most of the world, inc. Europe, home births, midwives, and (at least somewhat) natural birth practices are the norm. Here in the States, the medical industry has evolved into a system that pushes C-sections (25% or so of all births! -- vs maybe 4 or 5% that might really be medically necessary ) and that uses other "technologies" designed to both protect the physical health of the baby and enhance the doctor's income and convenience (such as induced labor, for birth by appointment). The result of all this, plus the educational nightmare and other problems, is this: "College Students Are Less Empathic Than Generations Past" "Research presented at the conference of the Association for Psychological Science found that today's college students are far less empathic than their counterparts 30 years ago." ( http://www.scientificamerican.com/podcast/episode.cfm?id=college-student... ) Love (or compassion, empathy, a sense of connection, or whatever you prefer to call it) is the lubricant and anti-corrosive for the market and for a free society generally. Creating millions of semi-sociopaths, which I believe is exactly what we're doing, is NOT a good thing for any society that hopes for freedom.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 20 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    All governments use theft, rape, torture and murder.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Paul Hein
    "I take it as virtual proof that nobody reads the constitution, including those that swear to adhere to it, that such language remains." Perhaps. My reading of such prose is that it helps maintain the fantasy that "the peepul" run the government. As long as no one important (e.g. a judge employed by that same government) pays any attention to it, there is no harm keeping it there and lots of potential benefits for the rulers. Quite some irony here: the very language proclaiming the right to dump the old government for a newer one, is that which keeps people sleeping and bought into the old one. "In recent years, however, I’ve come to realize that local gangs are no better, despite their being closer to the people..." This reads like someone from a high population state. In Wyoming, the legislators are guys you can meet down at the local cafe getting coffee. So I think their proximity to the people is such that it actually does restrain them a little. But having only 30 working days (average) per session probably helps even more.
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    dogismyth, I must object, albeit politely, to the claim that "many Americans will be relying upon social security funds for their retirement, and rightly so since they have paid into 'the scheme'." The SSA raids and pays as it goes. What you and I have had taken from us thus far has been redistributed to others. For us to receive retirement benefits from the SSA in the future, still more people must be robbed. But who can be entitled to the benefits of robbery? Reconsider Ponzi's scheme in the following way. Perhaps the people who paid in very early made money, but the people who became involved late lost their shirts. Were the late investors entitled to get their wealth back? Certainly so, but only from Ponzi and no one else. They chose to give Ponzi their money and had their own cupidity to blame in addition to Ponzi's deceitfulness. To arrange for payment by anyone but Ponzi would have required voluntary contributions, which fools might have paid, or coercion and violence, such as government organizes for the SSA. Now suppose that coercive and violent means had been used to repay the late investors. People who'd not chosen to invest in Ponzi's scheme, which involved international reply coupons, would have been robbed. Would not these people too count as victims and, by the standard of conduct set thus far, be entitled to compensation for their losses? After all, they were less guilty than Ponzi's investors. In fact, they weren't guilty at all. Given the nonterminating nature of the SSA racket and the obvious potential for conflict between the young the old, the SSA scheme is much worse than any confidence trickster's scheme. Is it not? I think you can see where the discussion goes from here. A few more steps are all that's needed to establish that each person who paid the SSA did so because he or she expected the benefits to exceed the costs imposed upon him or her. So each of those persons submitted. But how can their choice obligate others to submit to the racket? If retirees had not chosen submission and cooperation in the evil, which they calculated was to their advantage, the racket might have died out by now. So, I don't think it's necessarily true that Americans who have paid into social security have any valid claim to being paid.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 20 weeks ago
    On Social Contracts
    Page Mark Davis
    G'day Mark Davis, I've only begun reading this, but I have a question, a comment, and a suggestion, already. You wrote, "The phrase is emblazoned in “our” Declaration of Independence and embodied in the sacred Constitution, which submits all persons born on these shores to the rulers de jure." Could you do me a favor and show me precisely where the U.S. Constitution "submits all persons born on these shores to the rulers de jure"? Be careful now, because it is not the 14th Amendment. What that Amendment states, very precisely, at section one, is, "All persons born or naturalized in the United States, AND subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and the State wherein they reside." Note well that that highlighted portion does NOT say, "ARE subject to the jurisdiction thereof". That's because it is, rather, a second "condition" that must be met before one can be a citizen of the United States and the State wherein one resides. The question we need to answer is "how", precisely, does one become subject to the jurisdiction thereof"? It was established in Herriot v. City of Seattle[2] that, "Citizens" are members of a political community who, in their associated capacity, have established or submitted themselves to the dominion of a government for the promotion of their general welfare and the protection of their individual as well as collective rights." Most individuals would rather believe that they had no hand whatsoever in their own enslavement, and so will attack anyone who says that they did. "WHERE DID I EVER SUBMIT MYSELF TO THE DOMINION OF THE GOVERNMENT?!?!", they will scream. Well, I don't know, let's start with these three, (1) When an application asks you if you are a member of a "political community" [See Herriot v. City of Seattle above], do you voluntarily check the "Yes" box? [Remember, generally it will be asked in a fashion similar to this: "Are you citizen of CA or SC or GA?" or, "Are you a Resident of ND or MA or MO?"]; (2) Have you ever voluntarily checked the "Yes" box where it asked, "Are you a citizen of United States?"; or, (3) Do you voluntarily use a membership/chattel number [a T.I.N.], because it is so-o-o inconvenient not to? For most individuals it would be, ALL OF THE ABOVE. Also, we should always keep this maxim of law in mind when using the word "person". Homo vocabulum est naturae; persona juris civilis. Man (homo) is a term of nature; person (persona) of civil law. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 736 I shall now continue reading. ______________________________________________________________________ [1] Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 425 [2] Herriot v. City of Seattle, 81 Wash.2d 48, 500 P.2d 101, 109
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 20 weeks ago
    On Social Contracts
    Page Mark Davis
    G'day Mark Davis, Sorry if I seem to be nit picking, but this is anything but, in my opinion; it is precisely because it is almost “universally accepted by its citizens” that makes it imperative that we dispel this false notion. Those men and women who carry the status of “citizens”, of which you speak, (and who may be reading your essay), need to understand the truth of the matter, i.e. that there is absolutely nothing, "embodied in the sacred Constitution, which submits all persons born on these shores to the rulers de jure." Rulers “de jure”, (of right), rule only over the men and women who have voluntarily, (albeit ignorantly*), “submitted themselves to dominion of [the] government”. (*If you enter into a covenant/contract without fully understanding it, whose mistake is that?) “Government is in reality established by the few; and these few assume [presume] the consent of all the rest, without any such consent being actually given.” ~ Mark Davis And a “rebuttable presumption”, in law, stands until “rebuttal evidence” is given. Stabit praesumptio donec probetur in contrarium. A presumption will stand good until the contrary is proved. Hob. 297. ~ Bouvier's 1856 Law Dictionary and Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 1403 If you are presumed to have “submitted [yourself] to the dominion of [the] government”, and you fail to rebut[1] that presumption, whose mistake is that? Have you “rebutted the presumption” that you are a “member” of the political community? Omnes licentiam habere his quae pro se indulta sunt, renunciare. [It is a rule of the ancient law that] all persons shall have liberty to renounce those privileges which have been conferred for their benefit. Cod. 1, 3, 51 ; Id. 2, 3, 29 ; Broom, Max 699. ~ A Law Dictionary, (Black's 2nd c.1910), page 851 and Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 1086 [Remember, anything in brackets is not part of the definition! Bracketed material is “for information only”.] Have you renounced the “member-only” benefits and privileges conferred on your “person”? And, please, don't anyone say, well, then, you can't use their “legal tender”, you can't use their highways, and other such malarkey. Those are not “member-only” benefits and privileges. Men and women foreign to their jurisdiction may utilize such things without binding themselves to the political community. Lex non cogit ad impossibilia. The law does not compel the doing of impossibilities. Hob. 96. ~ Bouvier's 1856 Law Dictionary and Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 912 Nulla impossibilia aut inhonesta sunt praesumenda. Impossibilities and dishonesty are not to be presumed. Co. Litt. 78. If this were not so, then there would be no place on earth that a free man could stand. This would create an impossibility. ____________________________________________________________________________ [1] Rebut. In pleading and evidence, to defeat, refute, or take away the effect of something. When a plaintiff [the accuser] in an action produces evidence which raises a presumption of the defendant's [the accused] liability, and the defendant [the accused] adduces [presents] evidence which shows that the presumption is ill-founded, he is said to “rebut it”. ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 1267
  • Michael Kleen's picture
    Michael Kleen 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Very well argued, Paul. I just finished sending Rob a column on ideological vs. pragmatic anti-statism that I hope will add to this discussion as well
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Glen, you concluded "Love and freedom, or cruelty and tyranny: It seems an easy choice". Indeed. By "love", it seems you indicate something cognitive, like benevolence, rather than a mushy sentimentality. Pls correct me if I'm wrong.
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 4 years 20 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    Thanks for posting the link to a very interesting diversion from politics. That stated, I hope that the theoreticians do not formulate a correct theory of quantum gravity during our lifetimes. The record of history teaches very clearly what the usual suspects will do with the knowledge once they get enough government funding for their projects. This world would become much more dangerous. And besides, a TQG would do the average person little good, for he has little knowledge of the mathematics needed to understand such a theory and not even enough gumption to learn the rudiments of special relativity. I can already imagine secular humanists (like those in a skeptics group I joined in Jan.) gnashing their teeth in anger about my comments if they were to read them. Immediately they'd be telling me about my opposition to science, about how I don't want advances for computer technology or medicine, yada yada. On a related note, how about posting an article that explains how the vector of gravitational acceleration could be directed vertically downward on Earth, as entry level physics textbooks claim, even though we know that upward acceleration, as in a rocket or in an elevator, increases the g load on the passengers? In fact, it would compare three reference frames for a person (i) standing on Earth (or the Moon, or Mars, etc.), (ii) accelerating in Einstein's space elevator, or in a rocketship, and (iii) standing on the inside of the rim of a large, rotating, wheel-shaped space station, like the one in 2001: A Space Odyssey. Take (ii), for example, as a rocket is leaving its launch pad. As the rocket accelerates upward, the g load on an astronaut's body increases in proportion to the magnitude of upward acceleration. One briefly feels just such an increase when riding an elevator that starts to move up, although the acceleration soon drops to zero as the elevator reaches its maximum upward velocity. The implication is that the vectors of terrestrial gravity and of the rocket's acceleration are additive. However, if on Earth the vector of g were directed downward, as claimed in the entry level physics texts, its sign would be negative; the sign on the rocket's acceleration would still be positive nevertheless. So, if g on Earth were directed downward, accelerating a body upward in the rocket should make that person feel as if gravity were diminished. (In fact, upward acceleration of 9.8 m/s/s would make the astronaut feel weightless.) This theoretical result contradicts experience, thus on Earth the vector of g points up, not down. The normal force, which those physics texts add to balance the force of gravity, points down or is simply ficticious. In fact, it seems the authors add that normal force (usually designated F sub N) to avoid silly questions about why gravity doesn't cause an object to accelerate upwards from the ground. When one falls off a chair or the ledge of a building, one can treat the ground as if it were accelerating upward; that person, however, experiences weightlessness, as do astronauts training in the vomit comet. (We need to ignore the resistance of air in the case of the person falling off the building. But you could put him in a tall vacuum chamber to test the principle.) Far out in space, reference frame (ii) would require no normal force to explain the force that the astronauts experience as if it were gravity. That gravitylike sensation is supplied by the rockets. In (iii), the vector of centripetal acceleration is directed from the rim to the hub, and anyone standing on the inside of the rim enjoys artificial gravity. There, too, no normal force is needed to complete the explanation. Finally, for (i), curvature of space resolve the paradox of the vector of g being pointed upwards on opposite sides of the planet while at the same time stationary bodies on the surface remain at a fixed distance from each other.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    This column was originally posted in my Archive but not on STR's front page, because there were formatting issues that needed to be resolved. During that time, user "Paul" wrote an insightful comment that got removed when the new, properly formatted version of this column went up. I made two changes to this column based on Paul's comments and mentioned that in my OWN response to his comment, which of course also disappeared when the column was changed out for the better-formatted version. So, Paul, whoever you are (there are several Pauls who write for STR and THIS Paul might be someone else entirely) -- thanks, and the changes you see early in section 2 are indeed thanks to your input.
  • dogismyth's picture
    dogismyth 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Excellent summary. I am passing this article on to others, as everyone should if they believe in the conclusions. One problem I see in "fixing" social security is that you have two antagonists: the government and those making a good earning (e.g., >$100,000). Those making >$100,000 encompass approximately 15% of the total population (http://www.mybudget360.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/12/incomedistribution...) with the average annual income in the high $40,000. The top 1% of the population have secured ~43% of the nations wealth. The next 19% of the population have secured ~50% of the nations wealth. That leaves a measly 7% for the remaining 80% of the population.http://sociology.ucsc.edu/whorulesamerica/power/wealth.html That means many Americans will be relying upon social security funds for their retirement, and rightly so since they have paid into "the scheme". I would asked the upper 20% who own the most wealth whether they would feel comfortable if someone decided to withdrawal their 401k funds as a source of funding for whatever projects. The 401k owners have no formal contract to those funds, and certainly less contractual rights than the average American expecting Social Security. I realize that the funds will not be there for me when I retired which is only a decade or so away. My solution is that I no longer volunteer to pay these taxes. And if I am coerced to submit to paying, I will demand a contract under the law of the land....which is the Uniform Commercial Code. Its time that Americans pulled together and collectively "turn their backs" on this government. We must stop submitting our hard work and wages to their ponzi scheme and irresponsible management. Our government is complicit in genocide, fraud, torture, and treason to this country. I realize that the hollow windbag politicians are not the true enemy BUT they are the front line in protecting this country and its assets, including the American people. I have been horrified by the behavior of this government since I began researching the ugly truths that holds our world together. I began that research effort in 2003 when I was yanked from the safety of my home and separated from my children by government kidnappers. After decades of loyalty to the government and their non-positive and positive laws, I was scratching my head on what the hell was going on. I did everything right, never hurt anyone and I find my life being destroyed for some nefarious reason that generates "good" statistics for AG Ashcroft. Let's just say I know the truth and the author has provided a glimpse of one of the many unknown truths or realizations that are never spoken by major media, the politicians or any powerful leaders. I wish the best for everyone but until you begin to suffer as I and others have, your priorities and beliefs will likely not change. For this change to occur, you must change your thought process. To change that process, you must be subjected to a life-altering experience. The United States government is a ruthless, destructive and vile collection of arrogant and evil souls. How this has gone on for so many years is beyond me. But I guess that happens unless...like I said...you experience something life-altering at the hands of this rogue government.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 4 years 20 weeks ago Page R. K. Blacksher
    Hear, hear! Great column, Mr. Blacksher. I'm always stunned and appalled (and maybe even kinda terrified) when I reflect on how much of the public is willing, even eager, to see seriously disturbed people as "special" and to follow them as leaders. Watch video of the VAST crowds cheering Hitler -- and watch Hitler's mannerisms, listen to both the words and often-insane tone of his speeches. My god, how could anyone be fooled into thinking that psycho was anything other than a hugely-damaged, hate-filled psychopath? But even many in the US thought he was just fine, at least until we entered the war. You are right as rain: serious emotional damage remains a near-universal constant among the power elite and certainly among those who run governments, from Libya to the US. Point this out over and over again; it can't be described too often.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Thanks for the quote, Persona non grata, and for the nice comment below. The meme of civilization's inevitable fall has, as you point out, been around a long time and for good reason: history shows it happening repeatedly. Paul Rosenberg (the CEO of Cryptohippie.com, a service worth considering by anyone concerned about identity theft or other data mining by any group) recently published "Production Versus Plunder: The ancient war that is destroying the West". It's a terrific, fun read and a mind-altering view of history, from the beginnings of civilization to modern day. Rosenberg says, and supports, that the big-name civilizations and empires we all learned about in school were in every case the results of productive societies (whose names and personages we generally don't know) being taken over by plunderers, who extracted ever-more of the wealth being produced and then used that wealth to build the huge monuments we still see today, and to subjugate other peoples and so on. In the process they naturally destroyed the productive mind-set and other elements necessary for production and then began bleeding the wealth from producers ever-faster in a spiral that ended in collapse of the civilization itself. Seriously -- this thing reads like a thriller but provides an eye-opening look at the underlying dynamics of the "rise and fall" meme. Best of all, Rosenberg points out that this problem doesn't HAVE to happen; he's more optimistic (not very, but some) than I am about our present situation and talks about what might yet turn things around. An excerpt from the book: http://dailyanarchist.com/2010/08/28/the-fall-of-rome-the-fall-of-the-west/ The Kindle version (also available in an unfortunately-high-priced paperback: http://www.amazon.com/Production-Versus-Plunder-ebook/dp/B001XUS4YU/ref=...
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Good points, Scott. I agree with you in many ways: other things are involved, not only television but also coercion and mal-education in the schools [ http://www.lewrockwell.com/orig11/gatto6.1.1.html ], deceitful economics teachings, and perhaps just the exhaustion that civilizations are said to go through, mentioned lower in the comments (although I believe such exhaustion need not happen, despite it having always happened in the past, for reasons too long to cover here). But I decided to go with the provocative statement I used -- "entirely caused by government action" -- because the dead hand of coercive government is nearly everywhere, including in the supposedly free-market media. Television shows -- not all, but plenty of them -- push the pro-coercion, pro-elite, pro-Statist line and do so both blatantly and subtly. The news shows are infamous for this but sitcoms and dramas are equally guilty; they are written to make it seem that only horrid people would oppose "compassionate" government programs and that coercive government interference in our lives is as right and natural as rainfall. In a truly free society where systematic coercion has been abolished, the coercive elite wouldn't have the money to buy or control all the media (and the schools, and everything else that might help them sway opinion) nor any reason to do so, because no government would exist to grant special favors, to "stimulate the economy" by handing billions of dollars to corporate interests, to build and maintain a military-industrial complex, and so on. No government would have licensing and censorship and other weapons to use against the media, for that matter. Children would grow up able to think for themselves and with experience in respecting others and being respected BY others; even if television were as it is now (it wouldn't be) viewers would be far more choosy about what they watched and less confused about any anti-freedom messages they encountered. So again: I agree with your comments about the negative influence of television, but I see that negative influence itself as being only possible, really, because of the State. Television would be very different and less toxic in a free society.
  • Dabooda's picture
    Dabooda 4 years 20 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    What can I say? How about: "Hahahahahah! So you found me out! Yes, I am a shill for the New World Order, paid by my evil masters to justify a return to the Divine Right of Kings. But you'll never take me alive! Hahahahhah!" (vanishes in a cloud of noxious black smoke.) Or: "Beam me up, Scotty. There's no intelligent life down here." (Well, actually there is. But you, Darkcrusade, are not it.)
  • Persona non grata's picture
    Persona non grata 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Nice essay Glen
  • Persona non grata's picture
    Persona non grata 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    18th century Scottish historian Alexander Fraser Tytler: "The average life span of the world's greatest civilizations has been 200 years progressing from "bondage to spiritual faith ... to great courage ... to liberty ... to abundance ... to selfishness ... to complacency ... to apathy ... to dependence and ... back into bondage"
  • jd-in-georgia's picture
    jd-in-georgia 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    This is a good reply, Mr. Lazarowitz. Ironically, through the means of television, the late great George Carlin has established an alternative reply to the depletion of Social Security. Some may find the content of this video inappropriate and it is intended for mature audiences. However, the message is spot on: George Carlin~The American Dream (Youtube)
  • rita's picture
    rita 4 years 20 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    The law against compenstaing donors is yet another example (as if we needed ANOTHER example) of deadly government interference disguised as "protection." Even if we assume that these laws were passed with the best of intentions (and that's a big assumption) it must be clear by now that they are doing harm. But one thing you can say for American politicians -- they never back down, never admit mistakes, never, ever, repeal a law, regardless of the cost in human suffering.
  • rita's picture
    rita 4 years 20 weeks ago Page R. K. Blacksher
    I can't help but notice that, unlike most illegal drug addicts I know, violence and power addicts seem completely unable to speak in complete sentences. Prolonged non-use of illegal drugs also interferes with the non-users' ability to tell the truth, and in severe cases, non-users develop a bizarre compulsion to make asses of themselves in public.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 20 weeks ago
    On Social Contracts
    Page Mark Davis
    "It can be difficult to reveal what is hidden in plain sight. Not being able to see the trees when looking at the forest is a human trait common to both the elite intellectual and the simple-minded." ~ Mark Davis I think that is backwards, my friend, it's impossible to see the forest (the big picture) when you are looking at a tree (a "brush stroke"). One has to back off from "the tree" (the "brush stroke") in order to even see "the forest (the big picture)". "Locke greatly influenced Thomas Jefferson and others in his generation, leading to the American Revolution." ~ Mark Davis I believe it lead to "secession", a "declaration of independence", which was met with violence resistance. "The “consent of the governed” postulated that since subjects/citizens received benefits from the state, then they must submit to the state." ~ Mark Davis Hmmm, I am of the opinion that in order to receive benefits from the state, individuals must submit to the state, i.e. become subject/citizens. When simple truths are revealed, as when the little girl stated “The Emperor has no clothes”... ~ Mark Davis Was that a "little girl", I always thought that it was a little boy who said that. "Political States are parasitical, coercive social institutions that undermine, shackle and pervert Natural Rights, but the State of Nature never left us." ~ Mark Davis Amen, brother, amen. Scream it from the roof tops!! "For anybody still clinging to the status quo fiction over established fact, Robert Higgs recently wrote an excellent demolition of the Consent of the Governed. Would you sign that agreement?" ~ Mark Davis Other questions, Mark Davis, that might be asked is, "If it was presumed that you had signed that agreement, would you manifestly rebut the presumption?" Or, in the event that you actually had, somehow, ignorantly, signed it, would you manifestly withdraw from membership? I have to go to work now, and I know that you will sorely miss me. LOL I hope that you don't take any of this as a personal attack on you, my friend, because it is certainly not put forth with that intent. Have a great day! Suverans2
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 4 years 20 weeks ago
    On Social Contracts
    Page Mark Davis
    Thank you Tzo. G'day Suverans2, that's why I like you: holding my feet to the fire on precise language and honest phrases. But I think the Constitution is universally accepted by its citizens as the basis of the US Federal Government's claims of soveriegnty over this great land and its people whether or not there is a particular phrase in it that does explicitly claim thus.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 20 weeks ago
    On Social Contracts
    Page Mark Davis
    "So start with a monarch, mix in a little democracy, stir up a little fear of anarchy and voila, you are a bona fide serf, eh…subject, I mean citizen." ~ Mark Davis Start with these and you will get virtually everyone to check the "Yes" boxes.
  • Scott Lazarowitz's picture
    Scott Lazarowitz 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    "Our present economic plight -- and worse, what's coming -- are, at bottom, entirely caused by government action..." Well, I wouldn't say "entirely," because there have been other factors. For instance, the invention of television has encouraged generations now to habitually sit in front of that thing, getting hypnotized by constant visual images, as they stare non-stop at the screen for hours every day. There is little active thinking going on during that process, as opposed to reading articles on your computer screen. I have noticed that there are several writers and bloggers of the libertarian variety who have stated that they either no longer watch television, but don't even own one. My own experience is that my thinking became much clearer in the months following my stopping watching TV, which was in the mid-'90s, and there were other various "improvements" in my life as well. I am not surprised to see that others who have stopped watching TV tend to think for themselves, and thus are more apt to challenge the status quo. Generally, status quo ways of thinking seem to be pro-statism. There are other aspects of life besides the TV-watching habit that have also contributed to America's decline. (You can call me an "anti-TV elitist" if you want to. I'm just sharing my experiences in this area.) But I believe that "our present economic plight" is not "entirely" caused by government - America's societal attitudes and personal habits amongst the masses that have tended toward laziness, including lazy thinking (or no thinking at all), are contributors.
  • dhowlandjr's picture
    dhowlandjr 4 years 20 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    Thanx 4 clearing that up : )
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 4 years 20 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    lol.I knew it. Pure B.S. ,that a child can see though. When you were about to pin him down to the fact that right = just claim(personal souvreignty) He was forced to back-pedal quicker than a chuck norris round housed drunk. Notice also that he was the only one mudding the waters with the verbose,qualified rights.That is the government granted privliges or simply stated ' benifits '. The dogma he is pushing distills down to Might is Right. http://technoccult.net/library/mightisright.htm Or the divine right of kings.This is how the elite veiw the slaves, We have the right to do these things to the serfs,if this was not so, we would not be in the position we are (that is,at the top RULLING). The agenda is transparent.........i hope no one partakes of that kol-aide.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 20 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    While insertion of this clause is indeed revealing, the whole notion of going to the UN or international court for justice is a joke. The people know what to do with these mercenaries.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 20 weeks ago Web link Jad Davis
    The upshot: whenever a dog is called in, you are being railroaded. The only question is, what are you going to do about it? Just submit to it? To me, the reasonable response is to shoot the dog. Take it from there...
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 years 20 weeks ago
    Kingdom of Evil
    Web link Jad Davis
    "What is the source of the rage which the U.S. government directs at this man?" It is not rage. One does not rage against a harmless insect, which is how the ruling class views Manning (and us). It is simply what is done to maintain their position above us. What all rulers have always done.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 4 years 20 weeks ago
    On Social Contracts
    Page Mark Davis
    Most excellent, Mark.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 20 weeks ago Page tzo
    G'day tzo, "...the human being raised by the government master cannot survive if set free into the world. The reasoning abilities that are critical to human survival have not been developed, and so the individual finds himself mentally and physically dependent on the government master in order to live." That the "reasoning abilities have not been developed", is perhaps an understatement, my friend, they have been very deliberately, and systematically, stunted[1] by the masters. This is the real “dumbing down” of America, in my opinion. [1] STUNTED, pp. Hindered from growth or increase. ~ Webster's 1828 Dictionary of the English Language
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 20 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    When, in fact, it doesn't, "it is bad when people think[sic] government protects rights". "The [government] perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The [government], I say, not only turned from its proper purpose, but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The [government] has become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the [government] itself is guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!" ~ Adapted from The Law by Frederic Bastiat You wrote, "...I don't have a "just and legal claim" to anything." Addendum: Only slaves [voluntary as well as involuntary] have no "just and legal claim" to anything. Quicpuid acquiritur servo, acquiritur domino. Whatever is acquired by the servant, is acquired for the master. 15 Bin. Ab. 327. If you are still a 14th Amendment citizen, i.e. a citizen of the United States, you very well may be right, Paul. "The ultimate ownership of all property is in the State; individual so-called "ownership" is only by virtue of Government, i.e., law, amounting to mere "user" and use must be in acceptance with law and subordinate to the necessities of the State." ~ U.S. Senate Document No. 43, 73rd Congress, 1st Session (c.1933)
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 20 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    G'day "Lackey", Well, break out the white lightening (pronounced lite'nin) and let's have a party, my friend, there's now, apparently, two of us that this makes sense to.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 20 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    "If offense was taken, I do apologize." ~ Dabooda, posted on March 05, 2011 “The philosophy of liberty is based on the principle of self-ownership”, i.e. the right, or “just claim”, to one's own life. This is NOT a mere “definitional quibble”!! But I will trouble you no longer on the subject, because I have lost interest in your sophistic arguments. And, if offense is taken, I extend to you an apology equal to the one you have given me.
  • A Liberal in Lakeview's picture
    A Liberal in La... 4 years 20 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    "Our rights proceed from the moral code we accept", claimed Dabooda in a comment added on February 27. Not true. " 'Rights' do not exist" at all, or so claimed Dabooda in his own essay. They are Santa Claus. Maybe unicorns, too. But if Dabooda clings to the claim that "our rights proceed...", then it must be true that Dabooda is playing a wordgame called equivocation. What he really means is this: "My entitlements proceed from the moral code that I accept, and these entitlements may be changed by me at will, for the power of choice exists. Furthermore, I am free to act with respect for the individual preferences of others,....or to act without respect. Of course, this would be true even if individuals had rights in the traditional sense. But there is no such force as a natural right that will reward virtuous action, or punish evil. There is only one force in human affairs. That is the force of my individual will. If you dare to challenge it, so be it. May the mightiest will prevail." So every human is to be his or her own Elohim who harbors the sense of entitlement that is harbored by any spoiled child. Now, Dabooda pretends to oppose "various authoritarian moral systems", but he prescribes a system certain to warm the hearts of tyrants and their sycophants. And why shouldn't it? They already enjoy power and might and so are positioned very well to prevail in the contest of wills that must result from Dabooda's subjectivistic system. So what can be the conclusion of Dabooda's moral code but the intoxification of power among those who adhere to Dabooda's moral code and who acquire the might to "act without respect" for the preferences and choices of others?
  • rickdoogie's picture
    rickdoogie 4 years 20 weeks ago Page Per Bylund
    Per, thanks for clearly stating the principle, "we cannot have a unified movement spanning both proponents and opponents of this monstrosity." The real issue that defines this entire debate is the clear line that anarchists draw between legitimate, moral use of immediate defensive force vs. illegitimate, immoral use of force for various other social purposes. Minarchists do not see this delineation, they do not accept it, they do not allow it. In my experience, they throw fog around the issue whenever they debate the merits of their mini-state. They muddy the issue for themselves and every other liberty lover who is seeking to strike the root. No matter that most anarchists have previously been minarchists, and that most of us have come to anarchism via the minarchist path. I'll gladly urge minarchists to keep evolving their anti-statism, but I'm also very aware that a small "minarchist" government acts as a springboard to the very worst totalitarian state. A small government allows the market enough freedom that the state can quietly feed on massive amounts of tax revenue at very low tax-rates, eventually releasing all of that energy in an explosive expansion of state power. Greece, Rome, United States, - what other giant Leviathon states began with a nearly idyllic "minarchist" state?
  • dogismyth's picture
    dogismyth 4 years 20 weeks ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Yeah it was Issa and Grassley...known zionist supporters. Schapiro is also a zionist. More dog and pony. More good cop bad cop. More nonsensical actions by the hollow windbags on Wall Street and politician.
  • dogismyth's picture
    dogismyth 4 years 20 weeks ago
    In Defense of Apathy
    Page R. K. Blacksher
    Thank you for this post. I would mostly agree that doing nothing, i.e., ignoring, is one of the better solutions when dealing with this government. Of course, at some point in time, we will have to deal with the government, or certainly those hidden by the veil. This is inevitable since a world run by a fascist regime and appointed dictators will continue on without revolt from the people. People like L in LA do not like simple approaches or simple words that all can understand. We live in an egotistical society especially in America. I am better than you, and you are better than someone else...but not me! Political activism deals with the same thing...egotism. Political activism is largely constructed around issues that really are non-issues, thus the objective of activism leads to further dividing of people against a single heroic cause. One such cause might be holding the US government and its official (past and present) accountable for the illegal and contrived war upon Iraq whereupon millions of innocent lives have been destroyed. Its all fact now. There is no debate because such a debate would be exceptionally convincing that illegalities and crimes against humanity were committed. But, nevertheless, nothing happens. Why? Because it's not that simple! Well....that's what they want you to believe! And so the bombardment of propaganda, lies, fraud, treasonous behavior and cover-ups ensue so that enough folks can be convinced otherwise, or at the very least to confuse them. That's living in a complicated world. FYI - The world is not complicated! It's really very simple and prone to pragmatic solutions. The moral majority is still a minority. Until that changes, nothing changes. When your life changes, then your thought processes change also. And you begin to formulate more progessive beliefs about yourself, your life and humanity. Unfortunately, we need many more to experience a change in their life. And the change will not likely be welcomed but it will be through-provoking. And that's good. Because people need to re-think a whole lot of things about what has happen to our world and why it is this way. Civil disobediance is one outlet for letting off steam....for letting those in power know that you have changed your mind. It is a way of saying..."I stand for other things". It is a way of getting attention, and a way to instill fear into those that have done wrong on such a maniacal level. Anger is better than apathy. I know that all too well. Anger is energy. Fear is also energy. Both are better than apathy because of one simple thing....motivation.
  • Dabooda's picture
    Dabooda 4 years 20 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    * Suverans2, I'm sorry, but I've lost interest in your definitional quibbles. As we've both noted, the word "right" has about a gazillion different definitions. Your notion that only "a just claim" is the fundamental and proper one is sounding more and more like an evangelist's sermon about his One True God. i know that sounds insulting, and let me say that I do not intend to belittle your intelligence or your rationality. I do respect both. I just mean that you seem to have a fixation that I do not share, and I'm tired of it. Anything else you'd like to talk about? * I explained my defensive attitude toward the comments on this article; I didn't apologize for it. If you don't like it, my regrets. * I brought Rand into the conversation to help explain how I derive the idea of "rights" from fundamental moral premises -- which happens to be the same derivation Rand used. You proceeded to offer another quote from "Man's Rights" supporting your position; fair enough. Rand is now a legitimate part of the discussion, since we both seem to be familiar with her work on ethics and rights. My point about her not being an anarchist is a relevant tangent because her idea an objective ethics is quite similar to your own. (I won't say "identical" because I haven't read The Virtue of Selfishness in the last twenty years and no longer have a copy of it to refresh my memory.) Anyway, my point about her being a statist was intended to suggest that she suffered from what Harry Browne called "The Dictator Syndrome", a belief that she possessed a universally true vision of morality, ethics and rights which could righteously be imposed on all of mankind via the institution of government. She had to believe her own idea of "proper government" had a foundation in an objective system of ethics, else it would clearly amount to imposing an arbitrary, unjust rule over all mankind. It then occurred to me to wonder -- what is even the ultimate POINT of trying to craft an objective ethics? Men have free will, so even if you or I can come up with an ethical system totally in tune with objective reality, will all people everywhere adopt it for their own? Clearly not. We are not philosopher kings, let alone gods to coercively impose our will on others. If we possess integrity, we will each personally adopt the most rational moral standard we can conceive, and may try to persuade others to likewise adopt it. But will we try to impose it on others by force? By government? Rand was fine with that. I'm not. What about you? See, if you take away the idea that we need a government to impose and enforce ONE ethical system on all humanity, and allow competing private systems of justice to develop, the most rational system will eventually prove its superiority over all others in the free market for justice. Or so I believe. Trying to impose ONE system on the world, on the other hand, NO MATTER HOW RATIONAL AND OBJECTIVE YOU BELIEVE IT TO BE, is much more likely to lead to absolute tyranny and widespread injustice. (Which is another reason why you should read Larken Rose's book; he delves into this precise subject in depth, and brilliantly.)
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 4 years 20 weeks ago
    Rights Are Santa Claus
    Page Dabooda
    G'day Dabooda, I am of the opinion that it may be someone else who is confused. In your sentence, "One has A (moral) right to do what IS (morally) right," I believe you will find that moral is an adjective[1] describing the noun[2] right, and morally is an adverb[3] describing the adjective right. What I've been trying to point out, to you, and others here, is the fundamental definition of "right" as a noun, i.e. a "just claim". I don't have a "problem" with your formulation, Dabooda, other than, as earlier stated, "the cart is before the horse", in my opinion. It is "rights", i.e. "just claims", that determine what is moral, what is ethical, and what is just. Without this critical foundational stone, "relativity" reigns supreme, which is, in truth, what has "been given a fair trial over the last several centuries, and it doesn't work". It is evidently I who need to apologize, since you point out that it was apparently only I who thought your verbiage a bit rude. Ah, so anyone who challenges "the children of your mind" are "hyenas". How dare I challenge "superior arguments"?! What was I thinking?! I extend to you an apology equal to the one you have given me. Whether Ayn Rand was an anarchist or not, adds no value whatsoever to this conversation, and remember, it was you who brought her up, not me. Oh, and by the way, you inadvertently forgot to answer this question [slightly reworded for clarity]: If we define a "right" [noun] as a "just claim"[4], would you still say "Rights are Santa Clause", i.e. that ""Rights" do not exist"? If so, we may want to end this discussion right here, since we will seemingly be at an impasse. Thank you for your very kind offer to send me a copy of The Most Dangerous Superstition, but that won't be necessary. ______________________________________________________________________ [1] In grammar, a word used with a noun, to express a quality of the thing named, or something attributed to it, or to limit or define it, or to specify or describe a thing, as distinct from something else. [2] In grammar, a name; that sound or combination of sounds by which a thing is called, whether material or immaterial. [See Name.] [3] In grammar, a word used for describing a verb, an adjective, another adverb, or a whole sentence. Adverbs in English often consist of an adjective with “-ly” added, for example “quickly,” “mainly,” and “cheerfully [or, as in this case, "morally"]. [4] Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language, found at noun definitions 5, 6, 7 and 10