Recent comments

  • GeoffreyTransom's picture
    GeoffreyTransom 8 years 47 weeks ago Page Mark Davis
    Let me preface this by stating clearly that I don't think that the State ameliorates the public goods problem - and even if it did, the 'welfare gains' from adding up little triangles of formerly-non-existent consumer surplus from 'correcting' market failure in the public-goods case, are more than wiped out whenever the political-parasite class has a turf war (a.k.a. 'war'). The only defensible position is anarchy, and that involves accepting that certain goods (e.g., national defence, basic education and basic health care such as inoculations) will be underprovided (in some 'utilitarian' framework) - in that a notional aggregate utility functional would be increased if the production of the good was increased (or decreased in the case of a social bad). That said, anyone who has read Buchanan knows that the logic of the theory that there are goods with publicness-aspects (asymmetric utility interdependence) is unassailable, and to say otherwise just makes one look like a bit of a dill. There are issues of utility-comparability and differing marginal valuations of money and consumption goods, for certain - but that is a SEPARATE ISSUE. No economically literate person can defend the assertion that public goods - goods that are non-rival (or partly non-rival) or non-exclusive in consumption - don't exist. We will remain the 'daft uncle' of the discipline of economics while we permit these sorts of whackery to persist. Put it this way: if you believe in externalities, you A FORTIORI believe in utility-interdependence. If you don't believe in externalities, then you don't accept that you should be compensated for pollution associated with my production; you undermine one of the basic tenets of property rights. Under a 'no externalities need be compensated' theory of property, I could build a plant that accidentally spilt toxic waste into a river, and assert that nobody was affected. And public-goods arguments are simply the assertion that in some classes of good, those externalities are economically significant and failing to account for them is a fault if you are trying to participate in discussions of efficiency (the best use of resources to maximise consumption subject to constraints: the CRUX of the economic way of thinking). Now to qualify this, there are some who believe that interpersonal (and intertemporal) utility comparisons are nonsense, and I have some limited sympathy with that: my preference map changes all the time... but at a GIVEN point in time, I know that my preferences satisfy the requirements for a utility functional (ordinal preferences, transversality and so on). Anyhow... too many folks in our world try to score the 'big get' against elements of economic theory without properly understanding them: I think that Hoppe's constant use of straw-man arguments in this matter is faintly ridiculous. Confession: my background is in economic modelling... I was institutionalised at what our enemies called a 'right-wing think-tank' for ten years as an Honours and grad student, but I escaped into the wild in 2002. I got an HD (high distinction) in Public Finance at 3rd year, if memory serves, so I must have known something about this crap once upon a time. Cheerio GT
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 8 years 47 weeks ago Page Mark Davis
    Perhaps you missed the qualifying statement before the list "So much for definitions, let’s look at some things commonly believed to be public goods..." I've recieved e-mails from many people listing these examples as public goods, so I felt I must address them. Some can meet the definition, if loosely i.e. roads once built can have one or a hundred cars use it at no additional cost. The whole point of the article is that the existance of these goods is a myth and don't really exist, and why this myth is perpetuated. I welcome any examples that you wish to suggest that are "really" public goods.
  • Guest's picture
    ScoobyDoo (not verified) 8 years 48 weeks ago Page Mark Davis
    But a bunch of the examples listed in the second paragraph (electricity, water, sewer, parks, roads, air travel, and sporting events) aren't even public goods. Your own sources say this about public goods: "[public goods] have the special characteristic that their enjoyment cannot be restricted to those who have actually financed their production." (Hoppe), and "A public good, as defined by economic theory, is a good that, once produced, can be consumed by an additional consumer at no additional cost. A second characteristic is sometimes added, specifying that consumers cannot be excluded from consuming the public good once it is produced." (Holcombe) Or as wikipedia puts it, non-rivalrous and non-excludable. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_good The examples are almost all clearly rivalrous, excludable, or both. You say you're making an argument about public goods, but you aren't actually describing public goods.
  • DennisLeeWilson's picture
    DennisLeeWilson 8 years 48 weeks ago Web link Cheryl Cline
    I have yet to read ANY Paul Craig Roberts' article where he didn't reveal his not-so-hidden and misplaced love of government.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 8 years 48 weeks ago
    The Great White Lie
    Page B.R. Merrick
    High praise, indeed, coming from Glen. Thanks!
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 8 years 48 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Hello Kerri -- Wow. What a great comment! You've made my day.
  • winston smith's picture
    winston smith 8 years 48 weeks ago Web link Cheryl Cline
    http://thesuperfluousman.blogspot.com/2010/06/with-enemies-like-these-wh...
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 8 years 48 weeks ago
    The Great White Lie
    Page B.R. Merrick
    Merrick displays powerful and appropriate feeling here. He's absolutely right: horrors like what the State (in the form of three or more governments, but they're all the State) inflicted on Mr. Arar are not minor, they are not something to be shrugged off with a meaningless apology that has no cost to any of the perpetrators. If you or I did something like this -- kidnap someone for no good reason, and then torture that person extensively -- can you imagine a jury letting us off, should we be caught and go on trial for the crime, JUST BECAUSE WE APOLOGIZED? The denial and self-deception people display in regards to the State is staggering.
  • Guest's picture
    kerri38846 (not verified) 8 years 48 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Wow. This is a beautiful article. Definitely made me rethink how to change the government. Thank you very much. Very profound and I won't think about the government in quite the same way.
  • dobropet's picture
    dobropet 8 years 48 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    Wait, this video is from 2 years ago?
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 8 years 48 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    He feels happy-y-y-y! He feels happy-y-y-y-y!! :)
  • Mike in Tokyo Rogers's picture
    Mike in Tokyo Rogers 8 years 48 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    So what's the problem? Maybe he got better.
  • Glen Allport's picture
    Glen Allport 8 years 48 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Your "Joe Stack" piece is excellent. You made an interesting point near the end: "I now believe that love and freedom cannot exist without at least two other distinct and indivisible conditions: peace and truth." I agree, and there are additional things needed as well, such as customs and traditions that help preserve love and freedom (and peace and truth) and which can project all that into the future. All of it, though, is contained in the concept of LOVE; the problem is with finding just how much elaboration is needed and what particular wording best gets the message across -- to people who might otherwise misperceive the term "love" yet who are still open enough to grasp and gravitate to the basic message. I'm moving to "Love, freedom, and nurture" because it is more compact than constantly adding "especially for the young." Peace and truth belong within love, but breaking them out and highlighting them as specific needs is important. Other things also need to be highlighted, and again, it's a matter of how much data should go into something meant as a slogan or tag-line, something meant to be as brief, catchy, memorable, and attractive as we can make it while still conveying enough of the message RIGHT THERE, in the slogan itself, that a large number of people will understand it and resonate with it. It's a very delicate thing we're trying to do.
  • B.R. Merrick's picture
    B.R. Merrick 8 years 48 weeks ago Page Glen Allport
    Glen is spot-on. As I tried to point out in "Joe Stack and the Incomprehension of Liberty," the desire to use coercion to direct the outcome for others is at the heart of the problem. Whatever causes that desire must be rooted out. Government is the physical manifestation of that desire writ large. In "The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, The Ring -- power -- could be used to coerce an entire world, or for the perverted pleasure of a single individual, like Gollum. Either way, it destroys the life-oriented individual, and encourages death orientation. Glen provides the only examples any logically thinking individual should need to show the end result of that desire.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 8 years 48 weeks ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    Hi, Ken: Thanks for the comment, and yes, it's unfortunate that the Europeans are adopting the American chain-store way of doing things -- abandoning their various local specialties frequently in favor of the McMeal. Sad. Lawrence
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 8 years 48 weeks ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    That was an interesting perspective on Germany. When I was in Europe last I had the same general impression as you did, although I was sad to note that they are changing too and not for the better.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 8 years 49 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Paul, that was not a definition! This was a definition. "...right, i.e. [that is to say] "Just claim; legal title; ownership; the legal power of exclusive possession..." to your life, liberty and justly acquired property..." ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language And this is another definition, and "please pay attention" to the bolded part of this definition. “Rights” are defined generally as “powers of free action.” And the primal rights pertaining to men are undoubtedly enjoyed by human beings purely as such, being grounded in personality, and existing antecedently to their recognition by positive law. ~ A Dictionary of Law (c.1891), page 1044 Now, "please pay attention", Paul, because this is important, and because she's right, Paul. IMO ;) Without a moral code no proper human society is possible. Without the recognition of individual rights no moral code is possible. ~ Ayn Rand The most important part of the house is its foundation.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 8 years 49 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    As I said several times now (please pay attention), because I doubt the existence of rights, does not mean I won't (for example) defend my life. I just see no need to puff up this natural tendency by calling it a "right". Any animal has it, but biologists don't talk about their right to life. "As I wrote in the above response, Paul, men don't have a right to live, they have the natural right to try to live, Paul, so "the actual, correct" statement is, "we have the right to defend our life", as do all other living creatures." The problem with this is that it is circular. I was trying to suggest how this concept of rights came up, and how it was perverted. That is, people noticed that most of the time, other people did not want to kill them, so maybe they started thinking of it as a "right". You here define a "right" by using the word "right" in the definition! Anyway I doubt your other notion that people used the word only to mean "we can defend our lives". That goes without saying; any amoeba can do it. You don't have to proclaim such a thing or argue it. You don't need government to recognize it or laws to be passed about it. Anyway, this discussion is going nowhere, and it is off topic from my essay besides; so I am done with it.
  • Guest's picture
    incoserv (not verified) 8 years 49 weeks ago Page Alex Schroeder
    I wholly agree with your observations in principle. The problem with modern society is that we have reached a point where people can remain separated from their neighbors, hiding in the crowd. You said, ". Murder, rape, and theft are acts that essentially make the perpetrator unable to smoothly function in society. Even if there were no law prohibiting such behavior, the market would give rise to mechanisms that effectively isolate the social deviant from civil society..." The lack of community relationship that has become the norm in our society creates a situation where mutual community accountability becomes impossible. When the murderer, thief, rapist or pedophile can walk amongst us unknown, unrecognized, then there is really nothing to discourage the social deviant from his behavior. It is only when neighbors know neighbors and when there exists accountability at a community level that this paradigm works. The answer to this conundrum is, of course, not more legislation and enforcement. The answer is to build communities where there exists true community relationship and mutual, community-wide accountability. How do we do that in our society? Is it even possible, given the status quo of our society's structure and attitudes regarding relationships within a community setting?
  • rita's picture
    rita 8 years 49 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    Great article -- Having experienced first-hand and lost a good friend to the violent nature of drug cops, I would add only that every drug raid, right address, wrong address, botched or not, is an assault on civilians by police. And keeping in mind that drugs are never, ever, found until the shooting stops, this is violence perpetrated against constitutionally innocent people. And if they can do it to us, they can, and will, do it to you.
  • rita's picture
    rita 8 years 49 weeks ago Web link strike
    Oh, please! Can anyone say "invasion of privacy"? Can anyone say "endangering the many in order to rob the the few"? Can anyone say "enough"?
  • Guest's picture
    Michael Terry (not verified) 8 years 49 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    At least he tries to give us back a little bit of our freedom.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 8 years 49 weeks ago Page Alex Schroeder
    Alex, there are even better examples of the uselessness, if not actual danger, of having traffic signals and signs. Look at the "shared space" experiments all over Europe. Towns are eliminating all sorts of traffic controls and barriers; even curbs are going. The planners themselves have recognized that anarchy works; imagine that! Here is a fascinating street scene from 1905 in San Francisco that lewrockwell.com posted a while back: http://www.lewrockwell.com/blog/lewrw/archives/47031.html
  • rita's picture
    rita 8 years 49 weeks ago Web link Mike Powers
    The prohibition of drugs in America has its roots in racism. Even that "noble experiment," alcohol prohibition, started as tee-totalling protestant backlash against the wine- and whiskey-swilling Catholic Italian and Irish immigrants of the day. Prohibition laws are, and always have been, a tool of oppression. That's why it goes on, and on, and on, despite having failed in every way possible to control drug use. Because it was never meant to control drug use. Prohibition hasn't failed; the so-called "war on drugs" hasn't failed. At least from the perspective of the drug warriors, their campaign to destroy human life and liberty is an unqualified success.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 8 years 49 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Well, Suvarans2, you seem to have a religious view of it. I prefer the scientific view, that stuff only exists if you can detect it in instruments, measure it. Then perhaps you'd enjoy The Science of Justice by Lysander Spooner. http://lysanderspooner.org/node/59 I see no evidence that rights exist. Then, perhaps for you, Paul, they don't exist, perhaps you don't have the lawful right to defend your life, liberty and justly acquired property. Bastiat is a favorite of mine, but he's wrong in that quote. Well, it just so happens that your “favorite” author mentions these rights, which you call “phantasm”, I believe, no less than SIXTEEN TIMES in his pamphlet called The Law. http://bastiat.org/en/the_law.html People in government do not make laws to protect the life, liberty and property of people. They make laws to turn men into sheep. 99.99% of the laws have nothing at all to do with protecting our life, liberty and property - in fact a good hunk of them steal our life, liberty and property. And the other 0.01% that are alleged to protect our life, liberty and property are window-dressing, ignored by governments with impunity and designed to make us think government is needed. After all, Lon Horiuchi is still not in jail serving a life sentence. 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 “The law perverted! And the police powers of the state perverted along with it! The law, I say, not only turned from its proper purpose, but made to follow an entirely contrary purpose! The law has become the weapon of every kind of greed! Instead of checking crime, the law itself is guilty of the evils it is supposed to punish!” ~ Frederic Bastiat Tell me, the Jews in Nazi Germany, did they have a right to life? What good did it do them? Those Iraqis in that wikileaks video, did they have a right to life? What good did it do them? When you show me a right that actually does something, I'll start believing you. Until then, I'll stick with my opinion that "most of the time, most people don't want to kill you". And that's as good as it gets. There is no "right". If people want to live, they had better arm themselves, and stop believing that phantasms will protect them. As I wrote in the above response, Paul, men don't have a right to live, they have the natural right to try to live, Paul, so "the actual, correct" statement is, "we have the right to defend our life", as do all other living creatures. This does not mean that they will always be successful, Paul. Where did you get these rights, anyway? God gave 'em to ya? A phantasm giving another phantasm. When rational defenses fail, Paul, personal attacks are sure to be the weapon of choice. I don't believe I mentioned anything about God, Paul, but one of your “favorite” authors most certainly did, Frederic Bastiat wrote, “Each of us has a NATURAL RIGHT - from the Creator - to defend his person [body and soul] his liberty, and his property. These are the three basic requirements of life, and the preservation of any one of them is completely dependent upon the preservation of the other two”, so perhaps you should take this argument up with him. Sorry, I'm not a believer. No one asked you to be, Paul. Like I said, I prefer the scientific view. And, like I said, perhaps you should read The Science of Justice by Lysander Spooner. http://lysanderspooner.org/node/59 in which he mentions “rights” no less than TWO DOZEN TIMES, and “natural rights”, FIVE TIMES, Paul. Not that I want to dispute with believers; I suppose we all have a little religion in us. Probably just me, but it sure sounds like you'd like to initiate a dispute. But I refuse to participate. But belief in government is not for me. No one asked you to, Paul. May I ass-u-me that you do not retain membership in or take any benefits or privileges from the god called “government” then, Paul? ″…in modern society, with its religious, ethnic, and cultural diversity, it would be much harder for any single group to demand allegiance — except for the state, which remains the one universally accepted god.″ ~ Roderick T. Long, Assistant Professor of Philosophy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Oh, and it's not a valid debating tactic to say that what I wrote is so full of errors you have no time to address them. Perhaps you are correct, Paul, but I certainly have the RIGHT, since it is my time. But if it is your desire that I refute what you wrote, item by item, I will try to find the time to do so. Let me know, Paul. And arguing some distinction between "lawful" and "legal" is not very impressive. Well, it should be, Paul, since they are, more often than not, contradistinct, notwithstanding that statists will certainly try to CONvince us otherwise. As an example, there is nothing “unlawful”, i.e. immoral, or wrong, about me using my automobile to procure food for my family without the STATE's written permission (LICENSE), but it would most certainly be “illegal” if I was a consenting member of that political society. Lawful. ...The principle distinction between the terms “lawful” and “legal” is that the former contemplates the substance of law, the latter the form of the law. ...Further, the word “lawful” more clearly implies an ethical content than does “legal.” The latter goes no further than to denote compliance, with positive, technical, or formal rules; while the former usually imports a moral substance or ethical permissablility. A further distinction is that the word “legal” is used as the synonym of “constructive,” which “lawful” is not. ...Again, “legal” is used as the antithesis of “equitable”... ~ Black's Law Dictionary, Sixth Edition (c.1991), page 885 [Emphasis added] See that, even they begrudgingly admit that there is a distinction, Paul. They both have to do with government (that's what governments do, pass laws, after all) that same entity you have seceded from. I'm curious, Paul, what are your thoughts on the natural laws, the laws of nature, the laws discoverable by the rational minds of men? Do you consider these to be “phantasms” too?
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 8 years 49 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Well, Suvarans2, you seem to have a religious view of it. I prefer the scientific view, that stuff only exists if you can detect it in instruments, measure it. I see no evidence that rights exist. Bastiat is a favorite of mine, but he's wrong in that quote. People in government do not make laws to protect the life, liberty and property of people. They make laws to turn men into sheep. 99.99% of the laws have nothing at all to do with protecting our life, liberty and property - in fact a good hunk of them steal our life, liberty and property. And the other 0.01% that are alleged to protect our life, liberty and property are window-dressing, ignored by governments with impunity and designed to make us think government is needed. After all, Lon Horiuchi is still not in jail serving a life sentence. Tell me, the Jews in Nazi Germany, did they have a right to life? What good did it do them? Those Iraqis in that wikileaks video, did they have a right to life? What good did it do them? When you show me a right that actually does something, I'll start believing you. Until then, I'll stick with my opinion that "most of the time, most people don't want to kill you". And that's as good as it gets. There is no "right". If people want to live, they had better arm themselves, and stop believing that phantasms will protect them. Where did you get these rights, anyway? God gave 'em to ya? A phantasm giving another phantasm. Sorry, I'm not a believer. Like I said, I prefer the scientific view. Not that I want to dispute with believers; I suppose we all have a little religion in us. But belief in government is not for me. Oh, and it's not a valid debating tactic to say that what I wrote is so full of errors you have no time to address them. And arguing some distinction between "lawful" and "legal" is not very impressive. They both have to do with government (that's what governments do, pass laws, after all) that same entity you have seceded from.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 8 years 49 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Next, I went here http://www.depressedmetabolism.com/la-rollins-the-myth-of-natural-rights/ and read, L.A. Rollins – The Myth of Natural Rights and the word that kept coming to mind was "sophistry", in the negative sense of that word. SOPH'ISTRY, n. 1. Fallacious reasoning; reasoning sound in appearance only. These men have obscured and confounded the nature of things by their false principles and wretched sophistry. ~ Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language It's erie, old Noah's example, "These men have obscured and confounded the nature of things by their false principles and wretched sophistry", seems almost to have been written with that article in mind.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 8 years 49 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Okay, Paul, I went and read Libertarian Dogma, and intending no disrespect, it is so chock full of errors, (in my opinion), as to take up too much of my time refuting them all, item by item. Suffice to say that it confuses "rights" and "privileges", more often than not. And this, "...the actual, correct "right to life" is this statement: "Most of the time, most people don't want to kill you", is nonsensical. We don't have a right to live, Paul, we have the natural right to try to live, Paul, so "the actual, correct" statement is, "we have the right to defend our life", as do all other living creatures. As Frederic Bastiat correctly wrote (IMO): "Life, liberty, and property do not exist because men have made laws. On the contrary, it was the fact that life, liberty, and property existed beforehand that caused men to make laws in the first place."
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 8 years 49 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    I agree that “blowback”, if and when it happens, almost certainly will affect me, but that will not stop me from refusing to be a part of the cause. I beg to differ with you, Paul, “lawful right” is not a government concept, “legal right” is, and therein lies the distinction. “Lawful” and “legal”, in fact are many, many times contradistinct (“distinguished by opposite qualities”). By that I mean, what is “legal” is very often not “lawful” and vice versa. Lawful rights, or natural rights, are inherent, (we are born with them), they are not given by governments, in fact they are very rarely, if ever, “legally recognized” by governments. Legal rights, or civil rights, are rights that an individual has as a result of his membership in a political association. “Legal rights (sometimes also called civil rights or statutory rights) are rights conveyed by a particular polity, codified into legal statutes by some form of legislature (or unenumerated but implied from enumerated rights), and as such are contingent upon local laws, customs, or beliefs. In contrast, natural rights (also called moral rights or inalienable rights) are rights which are not contingent upon the laws, customs, or beliefs of a particular society or polity. Natural rights are thus necessarily universal, whereas legal rights are culturally and politically relative.” ~ Wikipedia [Emphasis added]
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 8 years 49 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "The phrase "in our name", as you no doubt know, means "in our authority", and that is only true for those who consent to be, or remain members, (i.e. citizens), of it. As an Individual Secessionist I am not a part of your government, Paul, and it is therefore not doing it in my name." Your distinction here will be lost on those who are suffering the effects of US actions. Blowback will affect you whether you personally secede or not. Please consider the context of my statement. "Are you saying you don't have the lawful right to defend them, Paul?" "Lawful right" is just a government concept. Whether I defend my life (for example) does not depend on government. I do it regardless what the law says about it. Saying I have a "right" to do so adds nothing to the discussion, and can actually be deleterious. My exposition on this point is here: http://www.ncc-1776.org/tle2009/tle507-20090222-03.html I got thinking along these lines after reading an interview with Jeff Snyder here: http://lewrockwell.com/orig2/stagnaro2.html
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 8 years 49 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    The very government you depend on to keep invaders out is the same one going around the world in our name and making life miserable for everyone. ~ Paul The phrase "in our name", as you no doubt know, means "in our authority", and that is only true for those who consent to be, or remain members, (i.e. citizens), of it. As an Individual Secessionist I am not a part of your government, Paul, and it is therefore not doing it in my name. There is no such thing as rights. ~ Paul I have never understood that utterly ridiculous statement. Are you seriously saying that you do not, (because you most certainly do not speak for me), have the inherent right, i.e. "Just claim; legal title; ownership; the legal power of exclusive possession...[1]" to your life, liberty and justly acquired property, Paul? Are you saying you don't have the lawful right to defend them, Paul? One more question, Paul, does a group of individuals, in your opinion, have the lawful authority, i.e. the right, to form a purely voluntary protectorate to defend their lives, liberty and justly acquired property? If the answer is yes, do they also have the lawful right to call that protectorate anything they like, even "government", if they so desire? [1] Source: Webster's 1828 American Dictionary of the English Language
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 8 years 49 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    Geez, I guess I'd better start throwing my pop cans away. I sure don't want to be evil! Heh. One can go overboard with this anti-recycling stuff. Yeah, the ruling class twists recycling and other versions of "living lightly" to their own ends, just like they twist everything else. That does not mean all people who want to be less wasteful are idiots or tyrants. The fact is, if people want to recycle, there is nothing freedom lovers can do to stop them (without using violence). It's not recycling per se that is bad, but forced recycling. Let's keep focused on the evil here. Sometimes I think libertarians like to talk tough, just like conservatives, so they do it by bashing harmless behavior. Pretty funny, I think.
  • rita's picture
    rita 8 years 49 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    Please! This is NOT "drug-related" violence; it's DRUG WAR violence. Every day, millions of people buy, sell and use a variety of legal drugs, many produced in Mexico, without causing so much as a harsh word among suppliers. Because the link between "illegal drug trade" and "violence" isn't "drug." The link is "illegal." Drug cartels, drug smugglers and drug traffickers wouldn't even exist if not for our government waging war against its own citizens. Drugs are not violent and they don't cause violence. War, by definiton, does.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 8 years 49 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "The problem with having only local governments is it leaves our whole country open to being conquered by another." By what other, exactly? Keeping in mind that it is one thing to conquer another country, another thing entirely to hold it? Will Canada invade us? Mexico? The latter is already invading (their own former territories) in a way the federal government is powerless to prevent (assuming they wanted to, which I doubt): by human reproduction. But who cares? I don't care where anyone comes from - only whether or not they believe in freedom. Let my neighbors be freedom-loving Chinese, Russians and Iranians. The very government you depend on to keep invaders out is the same one going around the world in our name and making life miserable for everyone. Ever hear of "blowback"? If we are invaded it will be *because* of the federal government's actions. Anyway, if the federal government disappears, the tanks, missiles, and heavily armed populace does not. Who would invade? Just after Obama's election, more weapons and ammunition were purchased by Americans than most militaries possess. We are already an occupied country. The occupier *is* the federal government. Only, it is worse than if some foreigners were here, because so many people still support the federal government, or grant it some legitimacy. "The only proper use of force for a de jure "Federal government", is the same as that of a de jure "local government", to protect individual rights..." This is a weird element of libertarian dogma, that I am amazed people still believe. Governments aren't for that purpose, never were for that purpose. They were always for gathering power and wealth at the expense of the productive class. Ours is not somehow special and different; it is exactly the same as all the rest, differing only in the propaganda it uses to keep us subservient. Only believers in the government religion would think that governments are for protecting our rights. There is no such thing as rights. And governments - the most rapacious institutions humans have ever invented - certainly are not for protecting these phantasms. Time to move beyond the government propaganda, and see the world as it is. See Stefan Molyneux' take on this, here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P772Eb63qIY
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 8 years 49 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    Agreed, Samarami, they only grant "privileges" masquerading as "rights". "You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments: rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws...." ~ John Adams "A right is not what someone gives you; it's what no one can take from you." ~ Ramsey Clark
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 8 years 49 weeks ago
    Bread and Circuses
    Page Mike Wasdin
    "The right of self-government rests on the right to withdraw consent [secede] from an oppressive government. That is the only really effective restriction on power, in the last analysis." – Clyde Wilson, Secession: The Last, Best Bulwark of Our Liberties
  • Steve's picture
    Steve 8 years 50 weeks ago
    Bread and Circuses
    Page Mike Wasdin
    >I was not required to move to New Hampshire (or is it Vermont?) The Free State Project moves people to New Hampshire. Maybe you weren't required to move there, but if you had, you'd be surrounded by a lot more like-minded people! http://freestateproject.org
  • Steve's picture
    Steve 8 years 50 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    Listen to journalist Charles Bowden talk about the organized killing going on in Mexico, especially Juarez: http://www.npr.org/templates/story/story.php?storyId=125427225 He says that most of it is out of the news because the police and the drug gangs have a common interest in keeping the body count down. The gangs maintain "death houses" throughout Juarez, where the torture and kill people, and then dispose of the bodies in lime pits.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 8 years 50 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "We still need a Federal government for the protection of the Nation as a whole from outside influences." ~ Andrew Wiggins [Emphasis added] "[O]utside influences"????? I hope you meant, by that, "outside aggression". The only proper use of force for a de jure "Federal government", is the same as that of a de jure "local government", to protect individual rights, i.e. to ensure its members natural, and thus inalienable, rights, among which are the right to defend one's life, the right to defend one's liberty, and the right to defend one's justly acquired property. Keeping this "use-of-force-rule" in mind, what other "proper purposes" do you envision your "Federal government" having, and how do you envision it "voluntarily" accomplishing these other "proper purposes"? The only other "proper purpose" I can envision any de jure government having is "to lead", and only in this very narrow sense of that word, "to guide; to show the method of attaining an object", "to induce; to prevail on; to influence". Beyond that it should remain powerless, in my opinion. Another thing we must decide upon is, how do we establish what a "proper purpose" is, by a 100% consensus of its members, by a majority of its members, by a majority of its voting members, or by some small group or individual? I cast my vote for "a 100% consensus". I can almost hear the "social engineers" screaming now, "Nothing will get done!" To which I respond, "EXACTLY!!" Imagine how few rules, regulations and statutes there would be if that were the case. My guess is that government would then be limited to protecting individual's natural rights, (as the so-called Declaration of Independence stated), and nothing more. http://www.thoughts.com/IndividualSecession101/blog/individual-secession...
  • GregL's picture
    GregL 8 years 50 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Andrew, I don't have anything to add to what Suverans said, but I'm curious about something. You're not also known as muddy waters, the poker player, are you? - Greg
  • rita's picture
    rita 8 years 50 weeks ago Page Roger Young
    I always appreciate the opportunity to use million-dollar words, and Sarah gave me "provincial;" as in "limited in outlook; narrow; unsophisticated." Picking her was, I think, John McCain's downfall, so I guess I should thank her for that as well.
  • rita's picture
    rita 8 years 50 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    The drug war has not failed. Oh, it certainly has failed, consistently, to reach its STATED objectives, which are to reduce drug use. But the reality is that the stated objectives, like everything else about this dirty, ugly war, are a lie. Prohibition is, and always has been, a tool of oppression. And you don't wage war on people to help them, or protect them, or save them. You wage war on people to take what they have or destroy it. Well, it's working. Thousands of Americans die every year in drugwar violence. Countless families have suffered the reckless destruction of drug raids. Millions of harmless people have been imprisoned, and each one of those is a life damaged or destroyed, not by drugs, but by drug laws. Let's face it, no government campaign would continue at such a hideous price if it was a "failure." The so-called "war on drugs" continues because those who make the decisions are the ones who benefit from it. And in their eyes, their dirty, ugly war is an unqualified success.
  • rita's picture
    rita 8 years 50 weeks ago Web link Mike Powers
    What pollsters should be asking people is if they believe politicians have the right to dictate what individuals may or may not do to their own bodies and if violent police intervention and lengthy prison sentences are acceptable punishments for victimless activities (keeping in mind that illegal drugs are very much available in prison). Or in the immortal words of Jimmy Durante, "Why doesn't everybody just leave everybody else the hell alone?"
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 8 years 50 weeks ago Web link Mike Powers
    "..according to Israel"? According to the fox he was definitely acting in self defense. Once he entered the hen house, the chickens attacked him and he just fought back to defend himself. This act can result in more troubles and disputes in the near future.
  • winston smith's picture
    winston smith 8 years 50 weeks ago Web link Mike Powers
    what? of course 2 + 2 = 5. http://www.2plus2equals5.net/
  • Guest's picture
    KatrinaA (not verified) 8 years 50 weeks ago Web link Mike Powers
    The Turkish ship last week where nine individuals have been killed may have been on a diverse mission. The boat was said to be taking supplies into Gaza, even so rumors are rising the aim in the ship, Gaza Freedom Flotilla, was to break the blockade down, not bring aid to Gaza. Not only that but, according to Israel they were definitely acting in self defense. Once they boarded the ship, passengers attacked them and they just fought back to defend themselves. This act can result in more troubles and disputes in the near future.
  • Guest's picture
    Andrew Wiggins (not verified) 8 years 50 weeks ago Page Paul Bonneau
    The problem with having only local governments is it leaves our whole country open to being conquered by another. We still need a Federal government for the protection of the Nation as a whole from outside influences. It would be naive to think that if we just keep to ourselves, the rest of the world will leave us alone, and it would be irresponsible not to think of it at all. There are proper purposes for a Federal government to exist and protect individual freedom.
  • rita's picture
    rita 8 years 50 weeks ago Web link Cheryl Cline
    The police have taken up arms against the American people. And don't blame the "drug war." The so-called "war on drugs" was just a political metaphor until the police, themselves, made it a reality. And the police have the power to end it; right now. Notice I didn't say "end prohibition." I said "end the war." Politicians make the laws, but police wage the war; in doing so they violate more laws than most of us do in lifetime. And unlike our crimes, ALL of theirs have victims. And the victims are us. Not drugs. Us. All of us. People say that cops can't "pick and choose" what laws to enforce; that they're just "doing their jobs." Obviously the law ALLOWS them to invade our homes in the middle of the night, beat up our grandmas and shoot our children, no law requires them to do so. And no one will ever convince me that cops are stupid enough to believe they're protecting the public by attacking us while we sleep. No, they do it for one reason, and one reason only: They do it because they can.
  • Suverans2's picture
    Suverans2 8 years 50 weeks ago Web link Little Alex
    "There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root." ~ Henry David Thoreau So, how does "one" strike at the root? "The right of self-government rests on the right to withdraw consent [secede] from an oppressive government. That is the only really effective restriction on power, in the last analysis." – Clyde Wilson, Secession: The Last, Best Bulwark of Our Liberties That "right" belongs to you, the individual, no one else can withdraw your consent for you. If one knows that the group that he is a member of is doing evil, and he does not withdraw his consent to be a member of it, he is an accessory before the fact. He casts his vote by consenting to remain a member.
  • miamizsun's picture
    miamizsun 8 years 51 weeks ago Web link Cheryl Cline
    most excellent article.