Recent comments

  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 7 years 42 weeks ago
    Timing Is Everything
    Page Bill Butler
    No disagreement that 20% or so has recently been pumped in to the "money" supply; but I notice the strange anomaly that, according to one respected source, the M3 aggregate has nonetheless FALLEN. The chart showing this is at http://www.nowandfutures.com/key_stats.html The total peaked in mid-2009 at about $14.7T, then slid down to the present $13.9T. The rate of growth, meanwhile, plunged dramatically since mid-2008 and is at present mildly negative. I notice that prices have not (yet) dramatically risen; overall, I have the impression that they are about level with those of two years ago. That seems consistent with a roughly-constant M3 value. So where have the freshly-minted $2T gone? Any ideas? Bill?
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 7 years 42 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    In this immediate context at least, I beg to differ with Tzo. Paul's words in Romans 13:1 closely echo Jesus' own, in John 19:11, when he was being interrogated by Pilate: "Thou couldest have no power at all against me, except it were given thee from above." He, too, therefore, clearly believed that God had ordained the Roman empire and its provincial governors. Both of them were being ill-treated by that political power, so the fact that both held fast to the view that it was a divine institution is remarkable. Both were cases in which belief flew in the face of rational evidence. Neither of them seem to have taken account of the contradiction.
  • GregL's picture
    GregL 7 years 42 weeks ago
    Valor and Discretion
    Page tzo
    BTW, I tried to enter a vote of "Awesome" for this column but as soon as I moved my cursor over the voting area, the screen moved to the top of the article.
  • GregL's picture
    GregL 7 years 42 weeks ago
    Valor and Discretion
    Page tzo
    Very original and thoughtful article about a moral dilemma and situation that we've all been in.
  • tzo's picture
    tzo 7 years 42 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    Romans was written by Paul, who self-annointed himself an Apostle. Some people a couple of hundred years or more later decided that Paul's writings were divine. How did they decide? They were divinely inspired, I guess. Paul's writings have very little to do with the life and teachings of Jesus Christ, which is a bit odd since the religion is called Christianity. If Christians actually focused on Jesus's words and actions and ignored the other self-proclaimed Apostles and such rabble then we could assume Christians would actually be a help to a civil society instead of a bane. If you want to take Paul's words literally, then you have to take the side opposite of Jesus, whose words and actions contradict Paul. Then call yourself a Pauline, not a Christian. Since this is STR, I will quote Jefferson here: "Paul was the first corrupter of the doctrines of Jesus." The Bible should be, at most, a pamphlet.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 7 years 42 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    Romans 13:1 is a tough one for theists who recognize that government is the root of all evil. Paul the Cab Driver does a creditable job, indeed, of trying to square the circle; but it really can't be done. "For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God" and they are stuck with that. Fine and dandy that ordination isn't license; but the verse implicitly assumes that "good government" is a logical possibility, whereas we can very clearly see that it's an oxymoron. If humans are self-owners, ALL government denies that fundamental right and is, therefore and thereby, evil. Consequently God either (a) exists but is evil, or (b) doesn't exist. As I see it (b) is by far the most likely; he is simply an invention of those who try to add a layer of moral justification for their violation of the self-ruling rights of their fellow men.
  • golefevre's picture
    golefevre 7 years 42 weeks ago
    Valor and Discretion
    Page tzo
    One of the best philosophers of the modern age, Jim Croce, summed your sentiments up nicely when he sang, "You Don't Mess Around With Jim." The entire premise of government is one of violence, both implied and also very explicitly stated by the guns "law enforcement" carries with them. A routine traffic stop has the potential to end very badly for a citizen who is flippant or confrontational (and guess who gets to determine these attitudes). I think you hit this concept square on the head when you identify this encounter into degrees of indignity. Answering a question humbly does not show weakness, it shows wisdom. Our belief in these fundemental human liberties needs to be so ingrained into our psyches that our egos suffer not a bit of indignity by playing along with inane inquiries from the enforcers. Had the patrolman also asked, "Why are you heading home THIS way?" then discretion is still advised, because law enforcement loves to play games and bait people into answering a question in a way that is incriminating. Give them as little as possible and be on your way. Another well-written essay and I look forward to reading more about your journey from "AAC" to your present state of mind.
  • golefevre's picture
    golefevre 7 years 42 weeks ago
    Timing Is Everything
    Page Bill Butler
    Mr. Butler is easily one of my favorite writers here. But I disagree that only Austrian economists understand inflation. The Keynesian crowd understands this concept too but unfortunately suffers from the delusion that they can control inflation and that in moderate amounts it is "good" for everyone (when in fact is only good for the insiders and cronies as he rightly suggests here). It is sort of like someone telling you that a little bit of cancer is good for the body or that "mild" amounts of arsenic can be a stimulant.
  • Gwardion's picture
    Gwardion 7 years 42 weeks ago
    Valor and Discretion
    Page tzo
    Great column. This is the kind of logic that needs to get around to the radicals. Even though I agree with them on principle, looking like an ass, breaking stuff, and getting into dust-ups with the current "authorities" does not help a movement that is supposed to be based on mutual respect and non-violence. Sometimes "winning" an encounter means being able to walk away a free man.
  • Bill Ross's picture
    Bill Ross 7 years 42 weeks ago
    The 'Rule of Law'
    Page Bill Ross
    This information regarding law was posted by Bruce at: http://www.thedailybell.com/777/Ron-Paul-Legalize-Competing-Currencies.html There is a clear distinction between what is legal and what is lawful. The word lawful implies what history has found to be moral and just, and pertains to what we perceive as the common law. The word legal relates to what is legislatively declared to be the law. Condense law to its lowest common denominator, you have on the one hand cause and effect, which relates to the common law, and what constitutes a harmonious society; and on the other hand you have agreement of the parties. That too can result in a harmonious society. Where the two diverge is when two parties agree to commit unlawful acts, such as plunder ones neighbor. Under the common law that is not tolerated. Under the civil law, that is encouraged; and therefore under the civil law unlawful acts are declared legal. When we speak of the civil law we speak of the ancient Roman Civil law. Check Oxford dictionary of the English language. Civil law is another form of feudalism. Rather than have a king as a ruler, you have a group of oligarchs. Civil law is foreign law to these united States of America. The law form authorized by the Constitution is the ancient common law. The Northwest Ordinance recognizes the same in stating that the inhabitants of the Northwest Territories are to forever enjoy their actions brought according to the course of the common law. The United States Congress is an interface between the inhabitants of these united States and the Monarchies of Europe. Congress exercises commercial powers. For whom does it exercise them? We presume they do so for the inhabitants of the various states. Examining who benefits from the exercise of Congressional powers one would come to a different conclusion.The United States is a commercial venture.These united States describes an association of people joined for the purpose of mutual protection and the declaration of what is acceptable behavior. The people are governed by the precepts of the common law. Legislate = to make law = to enter into agreements (to contract) for the purpose of creating or maintaining a public utility. Legislative branch decides what is to be accomplished and at what cost.Executive branch is the party contracting with the Legislative branch to accomplish a public utility. Legislation is binding upon the executive branch only, and not the people, unless the people by contract or application join the executive branch, or worse yet, create the illusion that they are property of the public realm. Look up the words resident, subject and citizen in a law dictionary. A description of something that is manifest in the physical world is called actual. What is real belongs to the abstract, contrary to common usage. The word real is short for the word realm. Hence real estate is estate of the realm. And titles in real estate are described in abstracts of title.Through confusion of words and phrases, the people have been deceived into believing that they are bound by legislation. Yet, anyone in and around the courts for any great length could tell you that officers of the court do not abide by legislative edicts or rules of the court if they can get away with not doing so. Thus, we can describe law as having the following attributes, all of which can be summarized in the phrase: agreement of the parties.The law is whatever you are allowed to get away with -- and the corollary, the law is whatever you allow someone else to get away with. The law is whatever you can get someone to believe the law is -- and the corollary, the law is whatever someone else can get you to believe the law is.These describe the relationship of law between two parties. The implications are obvious when the State is one of those parties. So, the question arises, "Can the state, a fiction, have an agreement with someone who is actual?" I think not. Hence an interface must be devised. That interface is called the person. It has never been unlawful for men and women to use gold or silver coin as money. It has never been lawful to force another to use any other medium of exchange absent prior consent in which there has been full disclosure and a valuable consideration exchanged. Yet, while persons are creations of the state, the state can declare whatever it wants to be used as money, and persons must comply. For that reason it is imperative that you be convinced that you are a person, and that legal tender laws apply to you.
  • pedalman's picture
    pedalman 7 years 42 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    Thank you, Paul the cab driver, for taking the time to explain the spiritual application of Romans 13. I agree and would add that a believer is not one who ONLY believes in Jesus, but actually lives his teachings, as Jesus said, if you love me keep my commandments. Jn. 14:15. Also, in James 2:19,20, we read that the devils believe, and tremble in their belief, which is a lot more than most professing Christians do, yet we know the devils are not "saved". So there are many hypocrites who profess to be Christian, yet do not live it, and we might expect to find such in government positions, yet they are "ordained" of God to punish the evil doers in the world so that God's people might be able to live lives of peace and righteousness. (I Peter 2:13": Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme; "14": Or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. ) And of course, we can not serve two masters so when the ordinances of man conflict with God's Word we must choose God's way. After all, John 18:36 clearly says that a follower of Jesus is not to use force or violence against evil, as Jesus set the example of self-sacrifice, yet many in the military would claim belief while living lives contrary to God's Word and will. So basically the Christian expects the unbeliever (in gov't) to use force to punish evil so the world is a better place for all. At times believers also get wrongfully punished by gov't, but they are pilgrims and strangers here, and take no active part in physical warfare, even in self-defense--it is better to die and go to heaven, than kill an unbeliever and send their soul to eternal damnation, since the dead can not repent and be saved. Also, Mr. Roberts asserts correctly that this nation was founded by violence, and my ancestors who had settled in southeastern Pa. had to deal with George Washington--was he ordained of God or was the "king" of England the one to follow? Since my relatives were Anabaptists, they did not fight for either side, but gave aid such as horses and food and medical care to both sides as the opportunity presented itself. Many local churches back then held that First Peter 2 required allegiance to Britain: " Honour all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king." Others believed as the cab driver above writes, that the King of England had forfeited his divine ordination or position, and therefore they rooted for Washington and the troops to win and establish a new, more Godly form of government, especially in areas of religious freedom, which happened. But today, Christians can not pay allegiance to this U.S. gov't which condones baby killing, sodomy, adultery (divorce and then subsequent remarriage with a previous partner still living), forced insurance programs which are a form of gambling, etc. So I and others live under the radar, waiting to see if a more Godly gov't will allow us to live in a land of which we can be proud.
  • Persona non grata's picture
    Persona non grata 7 years 42 weeks ago Web link Robert Fredericks
    Harrison Bergeron.
  • Evan's picture
    Evan 7 years 42 weeks ago Web link Robert Fredericks
    Is to get Politics out of Money...?
  • mrlibertarian's picture
    mrlibertarian 7 years 42 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    I'm not sure that the fact that Obama is black is the main reason why many on the left are reluctant to criticize him, it is one of many. I think it has more to do with the fact that he is from the Left, if there is a such thing as Left and Right today. I compare Obama to Bush. Bush was also a failure as president. He enjoyed his most fervent support from White self-proclaimed Evangelical Christians. Even today, many of them sitll will not criticize him directly. Bush was seen as the culmination of years and years of fighting to bring a "christian" to the oval office. Plus Bush represented that "aw-shucks" and idolator of American Exceptionalism that is also very popular among white evangelicals. I see Sarah Palin as the next embodient of that mentality. Black self-proclaimed evangelical christians are the most ardent supporters of Obama, they likely will be even if his presidency goes down in flames as Bush's did. Obama is a good father, represents american values and plays basketball. Since I am also black, I relate to alot of Obama's characteristics. As long as America is awash in statism and socialism the emperor will always be well liked, maybe not adored, but well liked, no matter what.
  • Truth-Bringer's picture
    Truth-Bringer 7 years 42 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    I'm not going to bother reading this article. I've read others like it before. I'm just going to say that I've used homeopathy successfully for years and years. Each time I do an experiment. When I'm sick, I go to an allopathic physician, a licensed M.D. and get them to verify the infection or problem. Then I ignore their treatment advise and take homeopathy. Without fail, it works every time. I believe a lot of these anti-homeopathy experiments are flawed and there may be fraud involved. After all, homeopathy is dirt cheap compared to standard medical treatment. One other story to relate - a good friend of mine had serious heart problems and was diagnosed by a cardiologist as requiring a mandatory heart transplant. His surgery was scheduled, but he decided to see my holistic doctor in the meantime. After electro-dermal screening, my doctor found an infection in the heart. My friend was given some herbs to strengthen the heart and some homeopathic remedies to kill the infection. Two weeks later, his heart felt normal again. He went back to the cardiologist who ran some tests and found that his condition had completely reversed and his heart function was significantly improved - the surgery was no longer necessary. 8 years later, he's still doing fine and his heart is in great shape. So, I've seen quite a few experiments with homeopathy - and either human beings have the ability to heal themselves with the power of their minds via placebo effect (which should then obviously be the subject of an extensive study by the medical community - if they're intellectually honest) or homeopathy works. I think it's the latter.
  • Plant Immigration Rights Supporter's picture
    Plant Immigrati... 7 years 42 weeks ago
    Sorry, Wendy and Lew
    Page John deLaubenfels
    I think one of the main problems is that many in creative fields (i.e. art, writing, programming etc.) are used to the current copyright and patent paradigm. This paradigm has created business models that would not exist without it. What is needed is a new business model. Many in the FLOSS community use a “software as service” model. In this model you would use your talent and would get paid during the actual act of writing or manipulating the software. You may want to look at what Canonical does for an example of my meaning. http://www.canonical.com/services
  • JoshuaPettigrew's picture
    JoshuaPettigrew 7 years 42 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    IP, patents and copyright should die. It's sad that a guy like Spooner did not realize that making ideas property make natural property rights shaky. I wonder what he would think of the RIAA?
  • Evan's picture
    Evan 7 years 42 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    "The truth and justice of this proposition are too nearly self-evident to need much argument in their support." lol, that's a good one, Spooner.
  • strike's picture
    strike 7 years 43 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    Hi Abolitionist, Thank you for your constructive feedback. Switching STR and its 8+ years of content to a new platform while continuing to publish a new edition every day was a massive and complex undertaking by a number of different people, only one of whom was paid (at not very much at that). I think it's a miracle that it turned out so well. We are still working out the bugs and trying to make improvements. Much of the progress depends on how much free time I have, and at this point in my life, I am extremely busy. STR would not be possible without the help of the guest editors, all of whom volunteer copious amounts of their time so that people like you can come to a site and read content that interests them. I do not necessarily agree with everything they link to; frankly, I don't have time to vet everything they link to, and I trust their judgement. Sometimes guest editors don't include a synopses of some or all of their links, probably because they are pressed for time. If that bothers you, you are welcome to volunteer your time as a guest editor and see just what is involved to bring content to you for free. We are going to change the links back to the way they originally were. Until now, I was not aware that Drupal could do it that way. Again, thank you for the feedback. You mention that this article http://amconmag.com/article/2010/feb/01/00045/ which a guest editor linked to attempted to exonerate John Yoo. Did you read the article? It does the opposite. And for years, STR has linked to numerous articles that were extremely critical of Yoo. But I am very sorry that you did not approve of this article. Should I send you the links each night so you can personally approve each one? I appreciate the feedback, but what have you done to help make STR better? All the best, strike
  • zrated's picture
    zrated 7 years 43 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    as a Christian, i've had trouble with this for a long time and wrote about the inherent contradictions of these types of verses, not only with the Christian ethic, but with the actions of biblical heroes and even Christ himself. state loving Christians hate the article - i'm proud of it. http://anarcholife.blogspot.com/2009/01/christianity-and-state.html
  • H.O. Charles's picture
    H.O. Charles 7 years 43 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    The way I take that passage is that if you disobey your governing authority -- good or bad, you take your life in your hands. As far as I can tell, this is true, regardless of whether or not the Bible says so. Have you decided to overthrow the government? If you are successful, then "the powers that be are ordained of God" now applies to you! This concept hinges upon how you see God. If you see him as an magnified human, then of course it won't work. But if you see him as a spirit (John 4:24), then you might see some possibilities...assuming you have a heartfelt grasp of what "spirit" means. And don't forget that the Bible also says that God "removes kings and raises up kings" (Daniel 2:20-23). This seems to be right in line with your observation about America's foundation. On another note... I am going through a divorce right now and I have learned something from it. My wife has made up her mind that I'm a horrible person. Therefore, when she asks me if I did something horrible, I can either say "yes" and justify her bias, or I can say "no", which will *prove* [to her] that I'm lying. It's a lousy situation for both of us, but there is nothing I can do about it because one cannot fight prejudice with facts. (This applies to my prejudices as well, whatever they might be.) But slightly deeper than that is the fact that sometimes my truthfulness seems to be conflicting. I will claim "A" and then later claim "Z". For instance: Sometimes my statements will be of fact and sometimes of desire. Sometimes they will be of a specific nature while other times they will be general. Sometimes they will be statements of past events and others statements of present or future. And so forth. My wife, having abandoned all real communication with me, will use any perceived differences as evidence of a blatant discrepancy (either between my two claims or between my claims and her point of view) and conclude that I'm lying. The problem here is not that I'm lying, it's 1) that she has made up her mind that I'm deceptive, and 2) she has no interest in really knowing about items "B" through "Y", which would help clarify a lot. I used to try to explain it all to her. I have to say that I did a pretty good job of it too -- these issues were not nearly as complex as she was making them. However, she had already made up her mind that I was unreliable and simply could not see the sense in what I said. So I eventually quit trying and have resorted to letting her work things out in her own time. She's leaving and there's nothing I can do to stop her. My point in sharing this is that we can't truly know a person based on facts alone, there is a spirit to that person that -- if you can relate to it -- tells their true story. I would extend that to the "person" of God (either real or fictitious) as well. It is clear to me that all I needed was a slight bias (or benefit of the doubt) toward the Bible to see a simple truth in the above passage. I would suggest that it is a slight (or more) bias *against* the Bible that can only see utter nonsense in the same passage. Of course, I won't deny that well-intentioned-but-evil-hearted people will manipulate a given truth to support their selfish indulgences, but that makes *them* unreliable -- it has no effect on the truth they exploit, whatever it might be. However, once we've been immersed in that perverted version, it is often very difficult to ever take it as it was originally intended and it's easy to dismiss it as "nonsense". Just food for thought. Have a great weekend! H.O.C.
  • DennisLeeWilson's picture
    DennisLeeWilson 7 years 43 weeks ago
    Siege Mentality
    Web link Little Alex
    "2008 and 2009, ... were the safest years to be a police officer in over 110 years." "...it’s never been safer to be a cop in America than it has been over the past 2 years. Yet boss cops, spokespeople for the government police, and articles written by cops and for cops, constantly repeat the demonstrably false claims that criminals are more violent than ever before, and that government cops somehow face more danger on their patrols now than they ever have before. That this is a complete lie would be obvious to anyone who had spent 15 minutes perusing the police’s own institutions and resources for honoring their "fallen comrades." "The interesting question, then, is what kind of purpose the constant refrain of this unfact from government police serves —..."
  • DennisLeeWilson's picture
    DennisLeeWilson 7 years 43 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    "The Declaration goes directly and strongly against the teachings of Romans 13:1-7 and rejects completely any idea that governments and rulers are sanctioned by God." This excellent article EXPLAINS WHY Christians have such a difficult time rejecting the notion of rule by governments and accepting the idea of self governing individuals.
  • Paul the cab Driver's picture
    Paul the cab Driver 7 years 43 weeks ago Page Robert L. Johnson
    Since the governor is going to rule by biblical principles, perhaps he can start with Romans 13:8, the very next verse after his favorite passage. That verse says "Owe no man any thing but love." Does this mean he is going to abolish Virginia's debt? And if so how is he going to do that without violating Romans 13:9 which says "thou shalt not steal"? Since taking any man's property without his permission is stealing, taxation is theft. (Well, theft plus paperwork.) Bob McDonnell is apparently making the same mistake of many Christians in reading this passage. Unfortunately, so is the author. The passage in Romans 13:1-7 legitimizes some governmental authority, but it never authorizes all governmental authority. In fact, when closely read, it provides an outline of what government is allowed to do in a Biblical model. Romans 13:1 says the powers that be are ordained by God. But ordination is not free reign. Ordination is the assignment of specific duties or functions. It comes from the same root word as "orders". A pastor is ordained. That does not give him the authority to order the church secretary to sleep with him. A marriage is ordained. That does not give Bonnie and Clyde the right to go rob banks. The next few verses outline exactly what the province of government should be. Rom 13:3 says "For rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil." Thus, when a government (which is simply a group of people, by the way) acts in a way which sanctions evil, or which punishes good, it is clearly out of bounds and exceeding its ordination. And what are Christians told to do in this case? Romans 13:7 says "Render therefore to all their dues: tribute to whom tribute [is due]; custom to whom custom; fear to whom fear; honour to whom honour." It also says in Romans 13:8 we are to owe no man anything but love. We do not owe our government tribute, custom, fear, or honour when it oversteps its ordination by ceasing to be a terror for true evil doers, or when punishes good people, or when it commits evil itself. This principle was very clear to early Christians. St. Peter and St. John disobeyed a direct order from their government when ordered to stop preaching. In fact, they answered their governmental accusers by saying that we should listen to God rather than to mere mortals. (Acts 4) Throughout the Book of Acts, and later through early Church history, we find that the early Christians refused to obey their government when it violated God's commandments. This is why Christians were fed to the lions. There is a possibility that St. Paul was deliberately ambiguous when he penned Romans 13. After all, he was in prison, and it could probably be assumed the guards would read his letters. However, such ambiguity should always be clarified relevant to the rest of the Biblical context. And believe me, if Christians understood this passage better, and preached it so, we probably would not be in as bad a mess as we are now with our government.
  • Paul the cab Driver's picture
    Paul the cab Driver 7 years 43 weeks ago Web link Cheryl Cline
    So the officer who beat the stuffing out of an unarmed teenager was the recipient of officer of the month? What do you have to do to get officer of the year? Run over a toddler in front of the local WalMart? The people who should be fired for this are the four officers involved in the beating, their immediate supervisor, and the chief of police. In addition, the four cops should face assault charges. I am willing to bet they won't. One city spokes-fool said that "we are going to have to pay for this". No, darling, neither you nor your beloved cops will have to pay a single red cent. Instead the long-suffering tax payers of Pittsburg will have to pay. This is one of the best arguments for the privatization of police forces. No private security firm could ever get away with an incident like this.
  • Guest's picture
    Abolitionist (not verified) 7 years 43 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    Anyone else think that STR is going downhill? -I initially thought the Drupal interface was going to be an improvement, but after a month I find that I really don't capice the new structure at all. Just for one example, an article title is a link to comments on that article, but to link to the article itself you click on the word "Link" after the title? Huh? I have 35 years in IT and believe me I've seen some counter-intuitive UI stuff, but c'mon... -I saw an article linked to from here last week attempting to exonerate that infamous festering fuckstick John Yoo. It wasn't sarcasm or linked to to discredit it either, I tried to make it come into focus that way, but no joy. WTF was that despicable douchebaggery about? If I feel like vomiting, I can find plenty of articles by neocon apologists elsewhere, thankyouverymuch. -And now I see that we no longer get synopses of articles linked to on other domains? I can't be the only one who browses here via some secure channel that is somewhat, ah, s-l-o-w, and I really like to have some sense of what an article is about before I commit to watch paint dry, i mean a page load. I used to really value coming here, but lately, between the strangeness of the new facade, and the recent equally strange behavior by the editors, I just dunno...
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 7 years 43 weeks ago Web link Anthony Gregory
    Baldwin is a kook.
  • Bill Ross's picture
    Bill Ross 7 years 43 weeks ago Page Bill Ross
    What this really means: When you strip the rhetoric and educational subversions away, all of history is REALLY about: We have been and are in an eternal war between the productive (those who produce more than they consume) and the greedy (those who consume more than they produce). Civilizations rise (honesty in control) and fall (predators in control). The reader should be able to determine the current state of affairs.
  • Mitrik_Spanner's picture
    Mitrik_Spanner 7 years 43 weeks ago
    Truckers vs. the State
    Web link Anthony Gregory
    I was a long haul trucker in the '80s and '90s. I lived during the tail end of the old era of the independent trucker. Now paramilitaries staff many of the roadside truck inspection stations, all drivers are on random drug testing programs, you need to pass an FBI background check to haul hazardous materials, and have a passport to enter port facilities. Today most trucks have satellite tracking and there are proposals for in-cab monitoring of drivers. Fines for minor infractions can run into the tens of thousands of dollars. So much for the freedom of the open road and the independent drivers.
  • Guest's picture
    SpykerSpeed (not verified) 7 years 43 weeks ago
    Hayek vs. Keynes Rap
    Web link Anthony Gregory
    This is fantastic. Forward this to every economics/history/government teacher you can. Kids would love this, and it's very educational. We need to spread the word!
  • Evan's picture
    Evan 7 years 43 weeks ago
    Hayek vs. Keynes Rap
    Web link Anthony Gregory
    Hayek is my homeboy.
  • elkingrey's picture
    elkingrey 7 years 43 weeks ago Page Jim Davies
    For starters, CD is important right now. There cannot ever be a mass movement of CD without first a legion of pioneers. I, for example, will be moving to NH in 6 months. If I have the courage, I fully intent to engage in CD. Part of my courage stems from the videos of others I have seen in NH engaging in CD. Had I never seen those videos I would probably be resigned to staying in California and preaching to deaf ears. Secondly, my conscience dictates to me RIGHT NOW to stop obeying. My conscience is telling me that doing the right thing is not contingent upon others doing the right thing, or if I will have enough power to change the world. I know that I do not have control of others. And I don't want it. I do, however, have control of myself. And I have the power to not perpetuate violence on others. Nothing else matters.
  • buzaman's picture
    buzaman 7 years 43 weeks ago
    Sorry, Wendy and Lew
    Page John deLaubenfels
    The author of a book, software or music has the choice to either release the material for free or charge for the good. It seems that if the author decides to charge for the good, and they want to restrict further distribution of the material, then it is the author's responsibility to produce or purchase a protection or distribution method that is sufficient with their goal to restrict their product's distribution.
  • Wilton D. Alston's picture
    Wilton D. Alston 7 years 43 weeks ago Web link Mike Powers
    America is full of amazingly stupid people, and an alarming number of them wear uniforms and carry guns.
  • Wilton D. Alston's picture
    Wilton D. Alston 7 years 43 weeks ago
    Human Nature
    Page Jim Davies
    I'd go even one more step than does Davies in not worrying about how much violence is "created" by movies and such. I heard Paul Cantor say, in a long-format interview some time ago, "The expression of taboo behaviors [as seen in "The Simpsons"] provides a cathartic release that lessens the behavior versus increasing it!" I agree, and I think the data would support such an assertion. In other words, people get to release their urges to shoot--given that these urges actually exist--from these games. As such, this release does not increase those urges; it mitigates them. Further, I'd also assert that it matters very little if people are "good" or "evil" as long as we know that they are self-interested. If so, then all the conclusions Davies draws about the government are borne-out and it is only via the banishment of coercive rule that such expressions of evil as war can be eradicated.
  • Christopher Lempa's picture
    Christopher Lempa 7 years 43 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    @Ken I am familiar with both Chomsky and Zerzan. I was just wondering if you had read the articles or not. Many people attempt to tear Chomsky apart without actually reading or understanding his work.
  • Guest's picture
    Charles Chapman (not verified) 7 years 43 weeks ago
    Bush World Be Comin'
    Web link Robert Fredericks
    Fred Reed is my new hero! A man ready and willing to expose the Emperor's lack of clothes in a refreshingly direct and fearless fashion.
  • livemike's picture
    livemike 7 years 43 weeks ago Web link Robert Fredericks
    To be fair much of my sexual activity consists of quiet evenings at home by myself.
  • livemike's picture
    livemike 7 years 43 weeks ago Web link Robert Fredericks
    The article claims that they're trying to force people into buying government debt, but that doesn't seem to be happening (so far). What they're trying to do is get people to buy annuities. Annuities have two relevant characteristics, first they pay off a fixed monetary amount each year, quarter or month, second nobody wants to buy them. The latter is probably due to the near certainty of high inflation or hyperinflation that would reduce the value of these securities. Forcing people who don't want them to buy annuities changes the risks in financial markets, but it doesn't lessen them. Firms selling annuities take on the risk that the assets they buy won't deliver sufficient returns to make payments. This could lead to losses or even bankruptcy. Annuities are generally sold by insurance companies, who may not be as secure as they've lead the regulators to believe. AIG being a rather spectacular example. Of course if lots of companies providing annuities go bankrupt the Feds might step in to insist we buy T-bills, which people like even less. People who buy annuities, willingly or not, lose the incentive to manage their investments. They are divorced from the effect on their money of bad decisions, which is a big part of why the current crisis happened. It wasn't retail investors who drove us all into the ditch, it was professional money managers making lots of dough off of OPM.
  • Bill Ross's picture
    Bill Ross 7 years 43 weeks ago Web link Robert Fredericks
    They just don't want the sheeple to know how to THINK (and therefore, SURVIVE): http://www.strike-the-root.com/51/ross/ross2.html
  • Truth-Bringer's picture
    Truth-Bringer 7 years 43 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    I think they're right. The system is doomed because medicare, medicaid, and now the prescription drug benefit will never be repealed without some type of revolution or major economic disaster. And of course the mainstream media will never interview anyone who claims that government is the problem. So the pressure will always be on Congress to "do a little more" and "fix" the health care problem with more government.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 7 years 43 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    Yep. Many of them. Chomsky is statist hack IMHO. Have you read up on him? I'm not trying to start a flamewar but it sure doesn't seem like it to me. Just sayin'... This link will send you to a far better and more articulate critique of Chomsky than I could write and while I don't stand by the author's (John Zerzan) politics I think his take down of Chomsky is both accurate and fair.
  • Truth-Bringer's picture
    Truth-Bringer 7 years 43 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    A great video that will show you how to take control away from the government when they demand information of you is here: http://oneheartbooks.com/resources/videos/think_free_gov_deception.htm This is a MUST SEE video. Maybe Rob will link to it on a future STR because everyone needs to watch this. His method for dealing with traffic tickets towards the end is brilliant.
  • Truth-Bringer's picture
    Truth-Bringer 7 years 43 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    I disagree. Things are going to get worse because other countries don't want the dollar any more. This latest downturn might not be the next Depression - but that is inevitably coming at some point in the near future. The author loses credibility when he admits: "I feel your pain. The market value of my financial portfolio has been halved over the last year or so" So you lost money, eh? Well I know several folks who not only didn't lose, but they made money in 2008 and 2009. Richard Maybury chief among them. You can check out his website at http://www.chaostan.com if you want to start betting against the government and making money. The Austrian economic model is the correct model to follow. It explains precisely why all the government intervention we have can ultimately only make things worse.
  • Christopher Lempa's picture
    Christopher Lempa 7 years 43 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    @Ken Out of curiosity, do you read the Chomsky articles? If so, do you have specific disagreements?
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 7 years 43 weeks ago Web link Don Stacy
    More lame b.s. from America's so-called "best known anarchist".
  • Semmes's picture
    Semmes 7 years 44 weeks ago
    TSA Shenanigans
    Web link Guest
    If an average person had taken a few teaspoons of Stevia sweetener from a large container and put it in a small plastic bag to travel with you can imagine what would happen to this person. This screener who would be the one to declare DEFCON 4 on a Stevia carrier may have lost his job but was most likely promoted.
  • Dr. Q's picture
    Dr. Q 7 years 44 weeks ago Page John deLaubenfels
    The distinction you try to create between the types of works covered by patents and copyrights is completely arbitrary and you provided no explanation for why this distinction justifies copyrights.
  • Dr. Q's picture
    Dr. Q 7 years 44 weeks ago
    Sorry, Wendy and Lew
    Page John deLaubenfels
    "Let's dispose of the notion, popular with Stephan Kinsella and his hangers-on, that goes like this: Copies of an electronic work are almost effortless to make; therefore they're worth nothing, and nobody need feel bad for taking one and flipping off the original author." If Kinsella has argued this, it's news to me (and I've read most of his writing on "IP"). Kinsella's argument has nothing to do with the fact that it's easy to copy an electronic work; his argument is that property rights are a consequence of scarcity and ideas are not scarce. "To advocate a world without copyright is to advocate taking bread off my table, bread I have honestly earned, so that thieves can steal my program or anything else that has been created by another, and profit from selling it with zero creative effort on their part. It is a world which rewards parasites and fleeces the productive." If I "pirate" a program you wrote, what have I stolen from you? You've still got any copies of the program that you possessed before the act of "piracy". You can still run the program or sell copies of it. You haven't been deprived of anything. Trying to conflate copyright infringement with theft = fail. It sounds to me like you think you're entitled to an income. That's a peculiar idea to be expressing on a libertarian website.
  • Evan's picture
    Evan 7 years 44 weeks ago
    Sorry, Wendy and Lew
    Page John deLaubenfels
    In response to your second point, I think that calling it property in the same sense as tangible objects seems to me to be a stretch. What you seem to be describing is simply a kind of contractual secrecy, and would have little effect once the cat was out of the bag, so to speak. Say someone broke the contract and made a copy, he might be required to pay the penalty, (if he was caught,) but none of the people he gave it to would. Recipients of second-generation copies could not possibly be bound by any such contract, for the same reason we are not bound by the constitution or the "social contract," we didn't sign it.