Recent comments

  • Paul's picture
    Paul 3 weeks 2 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    I'm continually amazed at how people who were against war become for it, and vice versa. It's as if they attach themselves to a ruler, or even just a label, rather than consider the carnage. Why? I guess I am just missing the loyalty gene myself, so don't understand the concept.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 3 weeks 3 days ago Web link KenK
    Nixon was also responsible for this in order to try saving himself politically, post-Watergate:   http://strike-the-root.com/72/knight/knight1.html    
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 3 weeks 5 days ago Blog entry Don Stacy
    The video is perhaps of some value in deterring the natural warring mentality that is extant in your innermost soul. But videos depicting "....the horrors of war..." are a dime a dozen. They never zero in upon the cause of war -- only the horrors. Some years ago I stumbled across this essay by the late Delmar England. England, within the first few paragraphs, began to show us why war exists and what we -- individuals -- can do about it. Sad to say, far too many "libertarians" (quotes needed and intended) will read those first few lines, throw it down in disgust, and then go on reading and writing essays that never interfere with the warring mentality that creates the evil about which they're writing. Mr. England has the knack of kicking your icons in the schnozzel. You're not going to like that. Particularly if you are prone to flashing dogmatic "libertarian theories" around. The enormity of the truth is incredible. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 4 weeks 4 days ago Web link Government Deni...
    Here is the text of a comment Sam has contributed to the website: "...First, I’m truly happy to see you once again editing at STR. Second — and as usual — this treatise on “political philosophy” is exceeding long. So much so that I can’t get through it in one sitting. But I’ll make one glaring observation regarding Huemer: he has the bad habit of interchanging “citizens” with “individuals” — which rather negates his presentation before he gets it underway. Citizen(s) [to me] is a collectivist term. Individual(s) is not. Third: Throughout, Huemer uses reification, which nullifies critical thinking. “The State” cannot “exercise coercion” — the state IS coercion. Only individuals (psychopaths hiding under the mantle of “state”) can exercise coercion. Once again, it’s nice to see you again! I’m old (81), inundated with information overload; and tend not to go to various sites not heavy in discussion forums..." Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 4 weeks 4 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "...I'm just not a collectivist. I don't naturally look at things as a collectivist would, as a government bureaucrat would, so this government solution does not appeal to me. I don't see why the IQ of averages of people with different backgrounds are anything that should concern me. It doesn't fit my worldview, which looks at people (mostly) as individuals..." Excellent observation on an old (presumably expired) but very important thread. "Collectivist vs individualist mentality" stands at the helm of the very most important of forum topics as I see it. The Gotto quotation is extremely pertinent. Long prior to my ever darkening the door of STR I recognized IQ measurements as defective at best, segregationist on down the scale. I was a government ("public" ha ha) teacher in white schools deep in Jim Crow country. Crow was alive and well at the time, Martin King still a small-town preacher with little to say. And, once he did become a factor, he added to rather than having made less oppressive, the problem of government "education". We needed John Taylor Gatto's, but he (they) would have been shouted down. I'm strongly convinced the whole "civil rights" phenomenon was a gigantic false flag operation. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 4 weeks 4 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    (Sorry -- twice posted reply to Paul's comment)
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 4 weeks 5 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "There is an enormous amount of data clearly indicating that there are differences in IQ test results among the various races when considering averages of those groups." Certainly this is so - assuming one can get past the little problem of defining race - what race is Obama? One might also find, that if piles of taxpayer money was devoted to determining, via studies, the IQ differences of left-handed vs right-handed people, then differences would be found there too. Or of people with curly hair vs those with straight hair. Or Catholics vs Protestants vs Buddhists. No doubt then, having found such differences, self-interested bureaucrats in government agencies would start lobbying to reduce them, or whole new agencies would be built. And the living standard around Washington DC would go up another notch. But, I'm just not a collectivist. I don't naturally look at things as a collectivist would, as a government bureaucrat would, so this government solution does not appeal to me. I don't see why the IQ of averages of people with different backgrounds are anything that should concern me. It doesn't fit my worldview, which looks at people (mostly) as individuals. Whenever I do catch myself looking at things collectively (no doubt infected by the general collectivist milieu), I stop and slap myself around before I go overboard. Not that I'm entirely immune to the old chestnut of walking through a "bad" neighborhood and feeling nervous. Any time I am a minority (at least where looks are concerned - but I could also be for example, a cultural or religious minority) I am going to have heightened awareness; that's just human nature and has some good evolutionary reasons for it. But that's about as far as it goes. I don't turn it into self-serving studies. I don't put faith in tests that have the purpose of pigeonholing people for the bureaucracy to manipulate. I don't imagine because some people have lower IQs (whatever that measures), they can't have a decent life - or people with higher IQs must necessarily have a good one. Racial theorizing cannot explain the deaths of millions of Chinese in the "Great Leap Forward" and the Cultural Revolution. Most problems are cultural, or territorial, not racial (other than being a "divide and conquer" tool for the ruling class). "If you believe nothing can be done for the dumb but kindness, because it's biology (the bell-curve model); if you believe the capitalist oppressors have ruined the dumb because they are bad people (the neo-Marxist model); if you believe dumbness reflects depraved moral fiber (the Calvinist model); or that it's nature's way of providing someone to clean your toilet (the pragmatic elitist model)... if you believe any of the various explanations given for the position of the dumb in the social order we have, then you will be forced to concur that a vast bureaucracy is indeed necessary to address the dumb. Otherwise they would murder us in our beds. The shocking possibility that dumb people don't exist in sufficient numbers to warrant the careers devoted to tending to them will seem incredible to you. Yet that is my proposition: Mass dumbness first had to be imagined; it isn't real. Once the dumb are wished into existence, they serve valuable functions: as a danger to themselves and others they have to be watched, classified, disciplined, trained, medicated, sterilized, ghettoized, cajoled, coerced, jailed. To idealists they represent a challenge, reprobates to be made socially useful. Either way you want it, hundreds of millions of perpetual children require paid attention from millions of adult custodians. An ignorant horde to be schooled one way or another." -- John Taylor Gatto, "The Underground History of American Education"
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 4 weeks 6 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    Jim,   Just caught your spell check. "Writen" means it's a pretty good Write. Surprised nobody caught my misquote of Thoreau. Should have been writen (sic) as:   "Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate Enterprises?"     No prizes for misspellings or Miss Quotations. Only in beauty contests, I suppose.        
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 5 weeks 1 hour ago Page Douglas Herman
    Hi Jimbo,   THANKS-! Yessir! I wrote most, okay, some of Tasha's best lines. And of course, being a very good actress, she ad-libbed even BETTER lines. Of course the old blue-eyed miner added his Excellent Unscripted lines.   We shot the "gold panning" scene at Lake Pleasant, just north of Phoenix. I highly doubt much gold has ever come out of there. I took my camera out into the water, both there and at the Colorado River. Sorta cold as I remember. Tasha didn't really want to get into the water at the Colorado river there near Laughlin & Bullhead City. 
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 weeks 10 hours ago Page Paul Hein
    Hasnas' insight is correct; "government" is an abstraction, a religion, a mysterious entity that has no contractual reality. He's also correct in saying that people say otherwise and act in a statist way. For that very reason, it's not possible for you or anyone else not to worry about them or to "stay out of harm's way." They will tighten their grip on all of us, gradually but relentlessly, until it is total.   If you or I manage to stay relatively free of harm, the next generation will not. To me, that matters.   If it were impossible to dislodge or remove these "individuals acting in a statist manner", the question would be academic. But it is not impossible at all, and so it is far from academic. As it happens, the Zero Government Blog out today touches on that very theme.  
  • James Clayton's picture
    James Clayton 5 weeks 2 days ago Page Paul Hein
    John Hasnas: “I intend to show that a stable, successful society without government can exist by showing that it has, and to a large extent, still does.” Max T. O'Connor put forth the suggestion that “We already live in an anarchy. There is no “State.” There are only individuals acting in a statist manner, often because they believe it to be right, to be necessary, and because they see no alternative.” [from Deep Anarchy - An Eliminativist View of “The State”]   Maybe today it’s enough for me to think about my actions and not worry about abstractions; to do no harm and stay out of harm’s way.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 weeks 2 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    Best YouTube clip I ever saw!   Are you sure though that it was "Writen by" your good self?
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 5 weeks 2 days ago
    The Last Barricade
    Page Terry Hulsey
    Terry, nice to see you back! Need more individuals like you to think through essays to post here. "...This ought to be a time of revolutionary excitement, even adventure, where we stand on the barricades of a world unlike any that has come before. But it’s not..." I say this often: this is an exciting time to be alive! Never a dull moment. But I speak as an individual -- "individual=ist" to you intellectuals. But to me, merely an individual -- immune from "the left" as well as "the right". Funny (speaking of heresy) virtually all on the "right" look at individuals like me as "left-wingers"; and those on the "left"??? Guess. Oh, yes -- I be a red-neck "right winger" fer sure fer sure. "Heresy" is normally applied to religion -- with churches, rituals, litany, etc. But only a few firmly grasp "the left" and "the right" (and all in-between when gaming with the idea of central political authority -- or even if limiting the gaming to "local" political authority) as religions. Wendy McElroy saw through the mirage. In a sense, so did the late Harry Browne, who observed: Conservatives vs Liberals Conservatives say government cannot end poverty by force, but they believe government can use force and threats of violence to make people moral. Liberals say government cannot make people moral, but they believe government can use force and threats of violence to end poverty (redistribute wealth). Neither group attempts to explain why government is so clumsy and destructive in one area but a paragon of efficiency and benevolence in the other..." ~Harry Browne Liberty A-Z p 35
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 weeks 3 days ago Page Paul Hein
    It can't be impossible, James, for at least a couple of reasons:   1. Freedom is the natural state of mankind. We are reasoning, choosing, decision-making animals and the only framework consistent with that is that we control those choices, each as a self-owner. It is therefore absurd that our basic human nature should be over-ridden by the way we relate to each other - by means of force, of denial of choice. Goverment absolutely conflicts with our very nature.   2. Dating the existence of hom. sap. from the time our ancestors quit Africa 50 millennia ago, they progressed wonderfully for about 40,000 years all over the world, before government showed its ugly face. If our race can manage without one for 80% of its history, it can do so again for the remainder.   Government will cease to exist when its employees quit. No sooner, but also no later.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 5 weeks 4 days ago Page Paul Hein
    James, I see you as having accurately underpinned anarchy. I've stated repeatedly that the human family is the only legitimate jurisdiction -- all other claims are no more than threats by psychopaths, backed by loaded firearms. The human newborn comes into being fully and totally subject to adult caregivers -- hopefully a loving Mom and Dad. S/he didn't "consent", but would not survive if Mom did not feed, clothe and shelter her, restrain her from falling from the bath table or bassinet or down an unblocked flight of stairs; later prevent her from ingesting dangerous stuff (everything goes into their mouths! :-[ ), etc etc. Later still, Mom and Dad set rules for driving the car, dating, etc etc. And on down the avenue of time, the now-adult child will likely assume supervision of aging Moms and/or Dads, often suffering from dementia, etc. The complete circle in the authority of love. We "libertarians" can get ourselves into mindless and silly squabbles over "...do parents 'own' their children?...", "...rights...", etc etc; while overlooking the obvious: that the family is a viable -- the only viable -- governing unit, and this pale blue dot upon which we all reside is filled with brainless abstractions called "nations", "countries", etc. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 5 weeks 4 days ago Page Paul Hein
    "...People have been living in subjugation to Rulers for countless centuries--even millennia. It is the status quo, and accepted by the Rulers and the ruled. But it is based upon nothing more than an ASSUMPTION..." Nice assumption, Paul :-) I submit one more indicia (assumption, if you will) that makes up a major stratagem in the science of rulership and the art of war: a phenomenon we've been trained to label "Stockholm Syndrome". I say "trained", because it has been essential from the beginning for the hoi polloi to believe that condition will only exist in isolated occurrences such as a place called Sweden in 1973 (bank robbery/hostage situation). In that discipline ("science") it's extremely important that those subject to rule not comprehend it as an ever-present but easily overcome affliction. The jig would be up were ordinary folks to know how easy freedom is to attain. The individual in history you refer to as Thomas Jefferson obviously understood capture bonding quite well. In his soothing words he was eerily capable of making the average "citizen" accept her "consent", rather than see that she had been subject to brutal rape. After all, it felt so good -- and finally "we" were free of that evil "king" (a mythical bogyman that no average individual had seen or had dealings with) "over there". The enormity of the truth is incredible. Sam
  • James Clayton's picture
    James Clayton 5 weeks 4 days ago Page Paul Hein
    Paul, I agree with you that it may be impossible to eradicate government, since (as other people have pointed out) "government" is perhaps just an abstraction. Ideas are probably more difficult to eradicate. Maybe "our Rulers" want everyone to continue to think-speak about the faceless and nameless "government", a collective term that is not very clearly defined. It might even be prudent to question the assumption that there is something called "government", and to shift focus to the actual individuals and their actions. Perhaps "government" is just "aggression" - but, obviously, not all aggression is government. And it seems highly unlikely that aggression (broadly defined) will ever be eradicated, since aggressive behaviour will probably always be a potential strategy. There will probably always be some people who will sometimes choose to behave aggressively in an attempt to acquire some wealth and/or power, and they won't care about my consent or "rights" and "freedom".  Every person can presumably choose to behave aggressively or not, and to respond to aggressive behaviour. Perhaps there will always be some people who will try to dominate and maybe there will always be some people who will submit. Maybe it all boils down to some measure of perceived costs and benefits. James
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 5 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    This was the atmosphere in which I grew up and from which I was inundated from birth (1935 Gregorian): '... “A viper is nonetheless a viper wherever the egg is hatched—so a Japanese-American, born of Japanese parents—grows up to be a Japanese, not an American.” — Los Angeles Times, February 2, 1942 ...' So, please be patient as I attempt to make the transformation from xenophobe to critical thinker. Libertarianism, anarchy, is merely a lengthy exercise in critical thinking as I see it. Dogmatic ideas and attitudes don't fit well in freedom and liberty. Managers and controllers are always standing in the wings, attempting to inhibit and hamper free thinking. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 5 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Extraordinary.   Quote: The very fact that no sabotage has taken place to date is a disturbing and confirming indication that such action will be taken. — General John L. DeWitt, head of the U.S. Army’s Western Defense Command.   Such is government logic. Strike back, you're a saboteur. Do nothing, you will be one.  
  • John deLaubenfels's picture
    John deLaubenfels 5 weeks 6 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Yawn!  We're talking minuscule amounts of radiation that far from Fukushima.  With so many serious problems going on in the world (most of them involving government thugs gone wild), it amazes me that anyone can get excited about this.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 6 weeks 4 hours ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Anybody interested in this should also read the most recent blog at Daily Bell: http://www.thedailybell.com/news-analysis/rothbard-vs-propornot-feud-exp... I've never been an avid fan of Glenn Greenwald. Not that I dislike or disagree with him to any extent or for any specific reason. I suppose I've generally seen Greenwald as what I would call "faux-libertarian". This could fit many (most) individuals who end up gaining much in the way of celebrity in the field of libertarian writing. I can feel the red flags now, excusing Rothbard, Mises, et al. from this blanket style of labeling -- which could aptly send some flak up against me, so I'd better watch out. This "fake news" thing is steaming up to be quite a hubbub. And Bell, in the above referenced article, I think, outlines on a global scale what our little ruckus over "rights", et al., here at STR, have amounted to locally. In thinking about that, I was struck with Greenwald's term, "...malleable political labels...", which lack clear definition and are essentially useless except as instruments of propaganda and censorship (his words, but in our case attempted censorship against each other). I'll repeat something pertaining to one of our good STR friends who seems to have disappeared in the last year or so. But he used to chime in almost every STR discussion, and was heavy into "definitions". You old-timers will know to whom I refer. Anyhow, on one discussion I was ratcheting away on my thesis of treating policemen like I treat rattlesnakes -- with watchfulness and caution. I said something like, "...and I don't have a right to wander in the woods without high boots..." To which he countered, "...yes, Sam, you DO have a right to wander in the woods without high boots..." Which is probably what set me to thinking back that several years ago along the lines of what Greenwald is describing with his "...malleable political labels..." We can, if not careful, get ourselves into big fights over trifles -- even here, amongst friends. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 6 weeks 5 hours ago Web link A. Magnus
    You're right, Jim. You and I really have no major disagreements regarding "rights", "freedom", "rulership" et al. It's merely focus and the arrangement of words that often separate us. My focus is upon voluntary compliance to the oppressor. Your focus appears to center upon the oppressor herself; who (to me --and to Étienne de La Boétie nearly 5 centuries ago) is merely the natural consequence of voluntary compliance. But your TOLFA endeavor indicates we're indeed and inarguably in the same arena with each other philosophically. Because neither of us would disagree that the evil beast, "government" ("the-state", "'our' great nation", "'our' leaders") can only exist within a culture of voluntary servitude. My emphasis is that I must not (nor should you, I presume) spend precious time and emotional energy flailing away at something in which I have absolutely no control. I can put forth my best effort to set the example for liberty and freedom. I can encourage my neighbors, family and friends to abstain from beans. But I can't set them free. I can lead a horse to water -- and, if s/he's thirsty s/he will drink. I might can have some minuscule effect on the level of thirst, but not a lot -- not enough to become emotionally distraught over. My emphasis also surrounds the way I process the stuff between my ears. If I think in terms of servitude, it's likely I'll experience much more difficulty side-stepping and escaping the beast. Oh, I know the argument: the beast is still the beast no matter HOW I "think". And I sometimes get the feeling that not a few of my libertarian friends rue the day I stumbled across the late Delmar England -- whose primary message over the quest for acquiring liberty was in encouraging me to examine the way I process knowledge. The way I say things in my head. If I think that a place called "Washington, DC" is a threat to my freedom I may never become free. If I allow myself to understand that it is only a few psychopaths residing in that fair city who can be threats to my freedom I'll probably in time find the solution to circumvent and sidestep them, and be on my way to liberty and freedom. And, of course, if everybody desires to and learns how to circumvent and sidestep the beast, he will starve and die. The oppressor must be fed to stay alive. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 6 weeks 1 day ago Web link A. Magnus
    Serenity is fine. In your case it is well based; you and I know that by right, we are owners of our own lives. That realization is enormously liberating, and we share it. No disagreement, so far.   But my sugestion that you are "not free" is not merely my opinion, even though what you wrote seems to imply you think that's the case. I have in this very exchange presented hard evidence to support that opinion; you have been dominated, with the sad result that you lost your wife, and are by your own admission losing part of your property as "tribute" and part of your time in fending off legal annoyances etc. Fact, Sam: to those extents are least you are not free. Admit it!   You and I never will be, until the dominators - the governors, the State - no longer exist. Now, it may be argued that it's impossible to eliminate them (I disagree) but surely it cannot be argued that full freedom in practice is impossible until they vanish?
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 6 weeks 1 day ago Web link A. Magnus
    Thanks! Sam
  • James Clayton's picture
    James Clayton 6 weeks 2 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    Sam, Just to throw in my two cents (well, pennies have been phased out of production up here in this place called "Canada", but if you'll accept credit...) - you might not change the world beyond your own bellybutton but you do provide insightful considerations about this thing called freedom, by patiently challenging and encouraging readers of STR to think about the ways "we" think, speak and act. I enjoy your comments and the links that you provide. Thank you. James  
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 6 weeks 2 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    One more addendum: When all is said and done I strongly believe I've somehow received an opportunity to live out my life on this pale blue dot -- that houses a human population of nearly 7.5 billion souls -- during a time when monumental changes for the entirety of all human beings could take place. I believe I will live to see, not just philosophical freedom; but, as Mr. Davies has phrased it, freedom in practice. In praxi. I linked (above) to a "world population clock". Naturally, the call is for global government to "save" the masses. I'm convinced we're witnessing severe fault-lines in that movement. I have strong hope to live to see free-market solutions instead. I sincerely wish you that moment also. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 6 weeks 2 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    After flailing away here and finally coming to the conclusion (as always): "...it's a fun time to be alive..."; and touting "...Trump, Brexit, and now Renzi..." -- it might be prudent for me to give ear to Daily Bell: "...Populism is featured throughout this issue of the (Time) magazine and is the defining description of Trump himself. But here is a disturbing thought: The bottom line is that globalism must eventually win out if internationalism is to continue to expand. This means that populism – and Mr. Trump – must lose in the long-term. There is seemingly no doubt (whether he knows it or not) that new president is embroiled in an unfathomably vast propaganda campaign..." This referring to an article in Time naming Trump "Man Of the Year" -- and alluding to the distinct probability that this entire Brexit, Trump and European Union phenomenon could be (and quite likely is) a gigantic propaganda effort. That the alleged "powers-that-be" might have pre-arranged this entire charade (including Trump's election) in order to, among numerous other devious actions, plunk down the Global Government card in the end. To save us all, as usual.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 6 weeks 2 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    "...I was asking, rather, how you or anyone could validly claim to be free now in practice, prior to the elimination of government..." Dilemma: How does one respond to a friend who insists that you ("I") are not free??? Or that your ("my") declaration of freedom is merely a "claim"??? (With questionable validity) You don't. That's how you respond. Because no matter how you do respond, you will be challenged. Not that I shy away from challenges -- that's not the point. It's just that there are some who are right, and others who are wrong, no matter what. Philosophically speaking. You and I come from different parts of town. Again, philosophically speaking. I like to think that I accept reality. And that you may not. Would it be remunerable for me to attempt to convince you of that??? Hardly. Could I be wrong? I thought I was wrong once. But later discovered my error. OK -- don't laugh at my crude jokes. That off my chest, I'll merely repeat what you've heard from me before. In order for me to live freely (in a sovereign state) I've had to acquire and embrace serenity. This concept has been visualized as having serenity to accept things I cannot change, courage to change things that I can change, and wisdom to know the difference. I don't believe I can through my own wisdom and/or eloquence relieve any large plurality of people of their apparent cravings to be ruled by others. You believe that you can. So did Irwin Schiff. Irwin, sorry to say, was in the process of painting a large target upon his back during the 1970's when he and I spent hours in long distance phone calls (expensive before cellphones) trying to fend off the beast at my door. The internet appears to be doing what neither you nor I nor Irwin could accomplish -- if Trump, Brexit, and now Renzi are any indication. A fun time, indeed, to be alive. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 6 weeks 3 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    No question about your courage, Sam, nor about the very great benefit of knowing that by right, you and I are sovereign over our own lives, not mere pawns at others' disposal. That is the theme for example of para (a) in TOLFA's Benefits page.   I was asking, rather, how you or anyone could validly claim to be free now in practice, prior to the elimination of government.   From what you say, your brave contest with the IRS has cost you a wife, plus "legal annoyances", and some "tribute now and again" as an alternative to being robbed. Factors like those are the ones I suggest make the difference between freedom and domination in practice. They are heavy costs.   Your remarks about Irwin are accurate. In case you haven't already seen them, here are some photos of his resting place.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 6 weeks 3 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    "...So do you, in fact, comply and pay taxes?..." I pay no income tax. I'll say one good thing for you, Jim: you didn't ask, "...do you pay 'your' taxes?..." Far too many libertarian writers engage in what the late Delmar England called "The Lies of Language -- the psychology of oppression". As the result, I suspect, many never fully climb away from "...fear-of-big-brother-watching..." That minuscule possessive pronoun "your" in the lament about taxes is the difference between freedom and serfdom. A goodly sum in the form of fictitious "money" is robbed from me each year -- none through "voluntary compliance". Last time I submitted a confession ("filed-a-return") for the purpose of my voluntary rape was 1977 Gregorian. In the 10 or so years after I ceased wilful compliance I was embroiled in several legal annoyances -- including divorce from the mother of my 7 children. The late Irwin Schiff helped me a number of times through that period. Irwin's problem was that he never gave up hope that the brainless abstraction we like to call "government" might eventually serve a socially useful purpose. If the "bad hombres" would just come to see the error of their ways and do government "like it was intended to be done" things might turn around. And Irwin Schiff, of course, would be instrumental in that turn-around. Not. Ever now and again I pay tribute to avoid being kidnapped and robbed. Like the price of a good pair of boots to maneuver snake-infested woods, tribute is the price of walking to and fro in an unfree world filled with voluntary-compliers. It's not the tyrants who are the threat to freedom -- they are the natural outcropping of voluntary compliance. I have learned to be(come) free in an unfree world. And that's not a claim, Jim. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 6 weeks 4 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    The alleged obligation to pay taxes has no connection to whether or not the victim voted, or for whom, and confers on him or her no privilege or right. There is no contract. It's just brute force; pay, or die.  The best that might be said of tax is that it's a fee, to keep you alive and out of jail; but not even that is true.   Question, Sam; and don't feel obliged to reply if you prefer not. Big Brother is watching, and you are fully entitled to privacy. But I'm curious; you often write here that you are "already free" and sovereign, or words to that effect. So do you, in fact, comply and pay taxes?  If so, and do that against your will, might you consider modifying your claim to be free now?        
  • James Clayton's picture
    James Clayton 6 weeks 4 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    In The Folly of Fools by Robert Trivers he mentions "mafia-like" behavior of cuckoos and cowbirds and suggests that for hosts/victims "It becomes a matter of accepting a degree of parasitism or being really badly treated - like a demand payoff (tax) instead of an outright killing". Fear of possible consequences is one explanation for "voluntary compliance" when human hosts/victims pay taxes to human parasites. It would be interesting to see what would happen if 65 million people stopped paying some taxes.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 6 weeks 4 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    Absolutely. There's a lot to like. Let's all cease submitting confessions ("filing returns" ha ha) to the beast in that form that creates the illusion of "self-assessment" for absolute and abject robbery. I didn't vote for Trump, so I rightly qualify for membership in that group who should definitely cease "voluntary" submission of confessions ("compliance"). Unless you voted for Trump, you also qualify. Well, even if you did vote for Trump, you could start doing your share to expose the buffoonery that they like to label "voluntary compliance" if you let "them" (whoever "they" are) come after you in order for them to extract the tribute they like to call "tax" -- rather than docilely "taxing yourself" to make it appear that robbery is just a duty for which we should all be "in compliance". Think what an improvement it would be to "...the system..." if everyone who did not vote for Trump would join that group -- everyone -- immediately. It wouldn't stop the robbery, but it would call attention to the farce of "voluntary-self-assessment" for theft. Voluntary compliance is an amazing phenomenon. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 6 weeks 6 days ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    Lawrence, your fine suggestion bore fruit. I got three of Shaffer's books and have now finished "Boundaries"; it was a very good read, with many beautiful insights.   Just slightly heavy going, I thought, though perhaps that's a symptom of my senility, but it was interesting that his comprehensive exposition of the importance of ownership rights was mainly utilitarian. To me it's simple: there is no logical alternative to self-ownership and therefore that premise is an axiom; but I don't recall that Shaffer ever made that argument. Instead, he proves conclusively that society makes no sense at all, and has no future at all, without it.   One high point, for me, was the way he quietly impoved on Locke's proposal about how property rights are acquired from unclaimed wilderness; to "mix one's labor" with the land claimed. Like him, I've always seen that as the best reasoning around, but still not as clear as one would like. What's to stop somone claiming an absurdly large area and then working just a corner of it?   Schaffer's improvement is to say that like everything else one does in interaction with others in a free society, the claim will be subject to the market. You might make a wonderful widget and price it at $1,000 - but if nobody buys it, nobody profits. So, he reasons, a claim of wilderness land will be subject to market approval; not of course a majority vote, but by large numbers of individual decisions about whether the claim is reasonable and to be respected. He supports that by reminding us that in the Californian gold rush, prospectors made claims and then left quantities of gold dust in open view within the staked area, with no police presence, and nobody stole it! No doubt the ubiquity of handguns helped, but basically the market was respecting the boundaries.   Thanks again!
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 6 weeks 6 days ago Web link A. Magnus
    What's not to like about this?
  • John deLaubenfels's picture
    John deLaubenfels 7 weeks 8 hours ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    It's Jo (girl), not Joe (guy).
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 7 weeks 2 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Interesting factiod, that the "Allies" burned more books than the Nazis. I didn't know that. Of course it's evil, to burn books. Extinguishing from the non-private domain expressions of belief, however bizzare and poisonous, is always evil. Bad ideas need countering by reason, not bombs. But just as there are degrees of evil among governments, there are degrees of evil among such acts of governments. The German Nazis were very evil, in that they denied the rights to life of certain classes of human being; notably Jews, Gypsies and Communists. Some or most of these, they consigned first to emigration, then to slave labor, then to death. About six million of them. The British and (later) American governments were also evil, in that they too denied the rights of all within their domains to own and operate their own lives. But although the US one confined some to concentration camps on the basis of race, they did not indulge in systematic extermination - so they were somewhat less evil then their German counterparts, during the decade 1935 to -45. The great evil of the "Allies" is that they waged needless war on the German people, more than half of whom were innocent even of electing the Nazis to power. They killed seven million  of them. They had also (by 1945) destroyed large parts of the German economy, in which ordinary survivors might have expected to live and regain some degree of normal life. The evil they did by burning Nazi books was less evil than all that mass murder. Blame them, by all means; government is intrinsically always evil, because in its nature it denies the universal right of self-ownership. But blame them more for burning humans than for burning books.
  • julyfrank's picture
    julyfrank 7 weeks 2 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    On the contrary, gun control in the US has been mind-bogglingly effective. In 100 years, the common man's travel speed improved from horseback to jet airplane. In the same timeperiod, the common personal defense weapon improved from a revolver to a revolver that won't go off if dropped.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 7 weeks 2 days ago Web link KenK
    Michigan has been blessed, so far anyhow, in that the Supreme court here (stacked at the time with "conservative" justices) outlawed them but for very specific exceptions. The cops can set up perimeters and check cars and even look in trunks for a fugitive, or for an amber alert, but nothing like the trawling for violations that they do in other places. Of course I expect this happy state of affairs to change at some point. Sadly, feds can still do them.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 7 weeks 3 days ago Web link KenK
    Hail Britannia in its great victory over donkey vids!
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 7 weeks 4 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    This, Paul, is one of your best. You've exposed the nemesis of the beast: the free exchange of information betwixt and amongst the hoi polloi. Read this: http://jim.com/killer.htm And this: https://jonrappoport.wordpress.com/2016/11/30/mainstream-news-is-humpty-... Anthony Wile outlined what you've described thusly: http://www.thedailybell.com/editorials/anthony-wile-defining-the-moment-... A fun time to be alive. You can bet that very quickly there will be moves of one kind or another to quell and/or quash and/or truncate the web. Trump will no doubt be among the loudest proponents. But the cat is out of the bag. There will be many and divergent cries to manage and steer. For your own good, of course. Sam
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 7 weeks 4 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    And now cryptocurrency is being co-opted, and the bureaucrats are learning to become more sophisticated about tracking and taxing it via the FBI and IRS.   The parasite must always learn to adapt to the host to stay alive.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 7 weeks 4 days ago
    The Swamp of War
    Web link Westernerd
    From the Tomgram article: "...you don’t have to be either a genius or a general to draw a simple enough lesson from these last 15 years of American war, even if it’s not Trump’s lesson: don’t do it..." Individuals who write tripe such as this are the ones who believe that if "we" can just get a better class of people "in-office-to-rule-'us'" things will go much more smoothly. None, it appears, can come to really, really believe that war is the health of the state, and/or that insanity is the social norm. Precious few, it seems, can come to see that it is the state itself (or, more accurately, that group of psychopaths who claim to represent that mindless abstraction we've come to call "the state") that is the enemy. The enormity of the truth is incredible. Sam
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 7 weeks 4 days ago
    The Swamp of War
    Web link Westernerd
    It isn't the general officers that are the cause of all these conflicts that USGov finds itself embroiled in; it's the hubris, idiocy, and criminal incompetence of the political appointees of the last four American presidents. Never been a big fan of Bacevich either, although I read his stuff sometimes.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 7 weeks 5 days ago
    A Wake-up Call
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    For the good reasons stated in this ZGBlog, I asked Rob, STR's Editor, to cancel the membership of Bonneau and Knight. He has declined. There's quite an irony here. Rob owns the STR site, so is entitled to do with it as he pleases, including driving it off a cliff and contradicting his own Mission Statement. I deplore his decision, for STR has been a major asset to freedom, but support fully his right to control its future. As Hope said to Miss Daisy, "It's yaw chicken!" Paul and Alex, on the other hand, are no doubt celebrating his decision even as they maintain he has no rights, and therefore no right to make it. Those interested in authentic libertarian commentary - "Rational, Refreshing Reflections on What's Happening Now" - are welcome over at the Zero Government Blog. The current issue can always be reached via http://www.theanarchistalternative.info/zgb/ or via http://TinyURL.com/ZGBlog for short; you could place it among your bookmarks. Its "Recent" button leads to a full dated list of earlier offerings. Its "About" button has a reminder that all genuine market anarchists are welcome to submit articles for publication. It would be neat if a few regular contributors were to join me, and so provide more frequent reader refreshment. With that encouragement, and other resources like QuitGov, The Anarchist Alternative and above all TOLFA, we can contribute to human freedom. To the rest - choristers, clergy, ex-libertarians and psycho-babblers - farewell.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 7 weeks 5 days ago
    A Wake-up Call
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    It's now been a week since you posted your peacemaker proposal, which I accepted at once; but there's no response from Alex. I conclude he is not interested in reconciliation. It might well have succeeded regarding the many harsh lies he wrote about me personally; those I'm ready to forgive as soon as he withdraws them, and so resume our former friendship. The clash of ideas, though, would have been much harder. Either humans have the right of self ownership or we don't; these are logical opposites and this one is vitally important, as explained in Warning! Poison!  There is no way to turn A into Non-A. Even so, it would have been right to try (though properly dressed, Sam, thank you) and you, Enoch, made a worthwhile attempt. Be happy.  
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 7 weeks 5 days ago
    Fundamentals
    Page Paul Hein
    "...In a people adrift without a moral compass, basic things will sooner or later go awry..." How would one define a "moral compass"? Or, for that matter, "a people". Am I a people? Or are you? These, of course, appear to be superfluous questions. But here's one that is not: Is "without a moral compass" referring to anarchy as it is properly defined? Here I'll present Hasnas' definition and his observation: 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 actions are really productive of order, popular support for government would almost instantly collapse. Now, Paul, I present this quandary without intention to be argumentative. This is my succinct outline of my entire philosophy and reason for engaging in discussion on STR: I believe I must be(come) free if I am to be instrumental in assisting you or anybody else to be(come) free. Especially members of my own rapidly growing family (51 folks, including my wife and me, all the kids, kids-in-law, grandkids-in-law, grandkids and great-grandkids). You used the term octogenarian. I'm well into that phase of life. I can't argue one way or another "...the fact that things are seriously wrong in America..." I don't have time. I've gotta deal with the things that might be wrong with ME and MINE. My freedom (and the liberty of those I love) will depend upon my (and their) ability to side-step and circumnavigate the beast at hand. My concern is the statism (or vestiges thereof) that may still be residing between my ears. Example: Am I still using language such as "our-leaders" or "our taskmasters"? Or "our money"? Because for me to be free, I need to divorce the "our" and the "we" words. The late Delmar England, whom I see as among the very best authors on anarchy (partly because he is one of the least acclaimed among "libertarians"), calls that "the psychology of oppression". I need to be free. Today. Here. Where I'm "at". Now. Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 7 weeks 5 days ago
    Fundamentals
    Page Paul Hein
    Another fine piece, Paul. I don't vote, otherwise I'd rate you 10 again.   Is "moral decline" the root? Maybe. It's a tricky question, though. If the average person is less moral now than in 1935, why? To a considerable extent one's morals reflect one's upringing, and the latter was arranged by government from 1840 onwards. But then, in the 1840s the ordinary voter chose to welcome government schooling, even though he must have known it was a scheme to force his neighbor to pay for his kids' education. A vicious circle?   I'm a bit foggy about the Spanish American War, but didn't the US do some invading then, of countries incapable of attacking us? - and in 1917 wasn't there an invasion of German occupied France, when there wasn't even a whisper of Prussians marching down Fifth Avenue? As for when you and I were lads, US intervention in WW-II was "unnecessary" even for the UK, let alone this one six time zones away from that guy with a moustache.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 7 weeks 5 days ago
    Fundamentals
    Page Paul Hein
    '...Many similar questions to a variety of authorities have only confirmed that their “answers” are no answers at all....I’ve received no answers yet, and if I do, I fear they may be evasive and/or non-responsive....' I submit, Paul, that you are seeking information from the wrong source(s). I mean, why would a thief attempt to present logic to you as to why s/he stole your resources??? Of course, you would have a distinct advantage with free-market robbers and thieves on that undertaking -- they are not politicians. You wouldn't expect sagacity or reason from them in the first place. You'd quickly recognize you were wasting your time. But I can see how you'd be enjoying a spectacle of standing up, twisting around, scratching butts, sitting down, etc etc.; when attempting to elicit rational explanations from the political criminals who are the prime rustlers to the pulling off of the heist. Because they no doubt think your queries sincere, if not naive. "...The octogenarians among us--present writer included--can recall a vastly different America..." I should have recognized my first signal the day I received my notice of enslavement ("military draft notice") when I walked out of high school in the early 50's. However, after 12 years of having been indoctrinated with the ideology that central political power served socially useful purposes (and deserved my -- as well as your -- support), I sincerely believed this just might be a good opportunity to "serve". Fourteen months in a place called "Korea" solved that problem for me. You mentioned the names of two men in history, a Thomas Jefferson and a John Adams. I submit that the individuals we know as Clinton, Trump and/or Obama have suffered no more in the way of "moral decline" than did the former gentlemen. It's just that the malignancy we like to refer to as "government" has had 200+ years to metastasize. The Huns and the Khans of early history (our true "founding fathers" if you're a libertarian historian) came to see the absolute necessity of coining "money". You can see evidence of that in early writings. "...the role of money in society is of utmost importance..." If the conqueror failed to quickly control the money supply, he'd just as well have allowed his warriors to rape the women, slaughter all the men, women, and children (as did his predecessors), leaving their carcasses to rot in the desert sand. After that they could pillage the city, leave it in burning ruins. The Genghis Khans of history fully understood the nature of the conquered. They would soon refer to coinage (later fiat currency) as "our money". Insane. Sam
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 7 weeks 6 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Oh, Sam, I don't expect you to agree with everything I say. How boring that would be. :-) Anyway, I know what you mean about not understanding your own points. Happens to me too. Also, I have a thick hide by now. Nice thing about getting old is that a lot of rain rolls off one's back, like a duck.