Recent comments

  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 11 weeks 4 hours ago Page Paul Hein
    From the essay: "Freedom is impossible when assorted strangers claim the power to dominate you--and you accede to their demands." The key phrase here is "...and you accede to their demands..." I'm an advocate of what's called the "Serenity Prayer" -- where a Power greater than I is asked to help give rise to... "...the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, The courage to change the things I can, And wisdom to know the difference. I'm an over-the-road trucker. You mentioned Jefferson City, indicating you're Missourian. I stopped at a restaurant down in Kennet, MO, one day last fall. As I was sitting there I sensed there was something different about the place. Then it dawned on me: there were ash trays on the table with butts still in them. Then I looked around and realized several of the customers were smoking. I felt like standing up and cheering! Kennet is located far down in the "boot-heel" of MO (almost in Arkansas on two sides, and within 20 miles of TN to the east). I figured the owners must have decided to ignore the state "law" against smoking, calculating the psychopaths probably wouldn't venture that far into the remote outreaches of MO to "enforce-the-law". Like you, I'm not a smoker. In a free society I would be one to choose a "non smoking" cafe -- or one with ventilated zones for smokers. Smoking is an act that takes into consideration nobody but the smoker. The owner of the establishment, however, is the only individual who can legitimately allow or ban smoking, based upon his or her ability to satisfactorily accommodate both types of customers. Your property is not our property. Anybody who says otherwise should be ignored when practicable. Sam
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 11 weeks 4 hours ago Web link A. Magnus
    You can turn an old computer into a router that is not so compromised, by loading it with pfsense. See pfsense.org.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 11 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Glock: When I was a kid, I knew old folks who harvested some rain water from their roof in an open tank. Soon after the rain, sediments would settle in the bottom and the water was crystal clear. Certainly good enough for washing, and if you boil it, you could surely drink it too. Even from a smallish roof and in a fairly dry climate, you can harvest thousands of liters of water from your roof every year. If, that is to say, you don't get arrested for doing so.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 11 weeks 1 day ago
    The National Non-Debt
    Page Paul Hein
    Around here (South Africa) there are lots of jewelry stores that sell necklaces made of 9 carat gold. These are fairly cheap, and the chains are rather simple in design and machine-made, so I would guess that most of the value resides in the gold itself rather than the value added by turning it into chains. It seems to me that these may be an affordable way for people who live on a very low budget (like me!) to invest in gold, and should there be an economic collapse, bits of such chains can easily be snipped off and used as medium of exchange. But I don't really know - would be interested to hear further comments on this.
  • Thunderbolt's picture
    Thunderbolt 11 weeks 1 day ago Page Paul Hein
    Dr. Hein: This is really striking at the root of the entire game! Glock is correct here also. Who gave them the authority to take your money? Jim Davies has created a list of various government employee types, to whom one can send an explanation about how their employment is immoral. It is to be found on his Anarchist Alternative site.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 11 weeks 1 day ago Page Paul Hein
    What about all those IRS agents who received healthy bonuses and don't pay taxes. How do they do that? I don't want to pay taxes, but they will be after me if I don't and then take double or tripple that in fines, fees, and other hidden costs.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 11 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    I like that Sam. Seven to eight cars ahead. I would venture two to three cars behind is that is managable, the of course there are those side roads, but your eyes should have noted them a long way back. I do hope your eyes and ears are far better than Mine, I am one of those who needs seat belts and a knife to cut the belt to get out.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 11 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    I like that Sam. Seven to eight cars ahead. I would venture two to three cars behind is that is managable, the of course there are those side roads, but your eyes should have noted them a long way back. I do hope your eyes and ears are far better than Mine, I am one of those who needs seat belts and a knife to cut the belt to get out.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 11 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Why not start your own garden using heirloom seeds and saving those seeds, Next year another species and so on till you have your seeds. I do it every year and never spend a cent of packaged seeds. Have you seen the price they are asking for just ten itty bitty seeds?
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 11 weeks 1 day ago
    Never Say Die
    Web link Bradley Keyes
    I thought that waas a science fiction piece, B grade movie. You are always in my thoughts Sam.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 11 weeks 1 day ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Ha! That s--t has already started in Michigan. The Michigan Agricultural Commission has now extended to local authorities to criminalize gardens, small animals as chickens, rabbits and goats. You have to be, currently, 250 feet away from your nearest neighbor. If you are a suburbanit and raised a garden your days are numbered here in Michigan. Not much different than Colorado criminalizing catching rain water in buckets or barrels. (P.S. If you catch rain water from your roof, please don't use it. Birds and squirrels and other critters poop on your roof and it all comes down into your barrel)
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 11 weeks 1 day ago
    The National Non-Debt
    Page Paul Hein
    If you do not mind Paul. Would you share with us what form of monetary exchange you are using. Some say I am stupid, but I am collecting bottels and bottle's of liquor as my medium of exchange for what I need. I just picked up a bottle of 12 year old scotch for half the price listed. In times to come I am guesstimating it will be worth three times the face value. Of course if you don't drink I could be poop out of luck. I would go tobacco, but that goes bad in a short period of time unless you can freeze it. Toilet paper is a good one also, but for now I an standing over the edge of the cliff with an alternative under me.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 11 weeks 2 days ago
    The National Non-Debt
    Page Paul Hein
    "What passes for money today is not mined, or extracted from the earth. It is created by the banks with a few keystrokes." What is amazing to me is how long this farce continues. Print up some paper notes with dead presidents on them, and people continue to take them indefinitely - because others continue to take them as well, and because they can "always" be traded for things of actual value. Until they can't. And even those who understand the farce won't last forever, continue to use them. We are like those cartoons of Wile E Coyote, who has just run off the cliff in pursuit of that annoying bird, standing in mid-air with nothing beneath us.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 11 weeks 5 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    One can only hope that enthusiasts of heirloom varieties will create an underground network in which seeds are exchanged for other seeds, or freely given away. Of course, that will also be illegal, but far more difficult to control than commercial operations.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 11 weeks 5 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Just now I posted a rant at another site over Yahoo's attempts at "big brotherism" (and my distaste for that entire collectivist robotic phenomenon) -- overriding my links with "drops" that have been programed with their recent formatting: "we-know-what-you're-trying-to-say-better-than-you-know-what-you're-trying-to-say". My kids accuse me of just being old, senile, and resistant to change. I accuse them of robotic collectivism. Somehow I think we're both (all -- I've got 7 kids) correct. Collectivists (particularly state costumed and dangerously armed DOT and Highway Patrol types) incessantly chant slogans: "Seatbelts-Save-Lives!" etc. Their mission is to pull truckers over (most of whom know more about highway safety than any or all of them individually or collectively will ever know) for, of all stupid things, "safety checks". Of course parasites are not the least concerned they're taking up an hour or more of your precious drive time -- their hourly pay from the monopoly upon violence that employs them is quite arresting (pun intended). "Police Presence" is their byline ("we're watching you!"). It is important to them that their flashing lights present a warning to all onlookers -- along with their swagger. They didn't teach the swagger when I went through State Patrol Academy in Virginia in the 50's (as a condition of receiving an early discharge from the military). As far as "seatbelts-save-lives" goes, the only way by which a seat belt can save your life is if you're slamming into something or somebody. If you plan on that, I recommend them. What is going to save your life is knowing what's going on 6 or 8 car lengths ahead and avoiding the accidents unfolding out front of you. But, like in the article, one might retort: "...b...but what about the guy who plows into you?"; to which I respond: "if you're not professional enough to have seen that coming, you're one who should definitely wear a seat belt!" Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 11 weeks 5 days ago
    Never Say Die
    Web link Bradley Keyes
    Blammo: "...You can twist your brain up in knots on that one..." I'll start with makin' it to 1,000 (I'm near octogenarian now and counting up fast) -- will I still suffer the perplexity of racking my brain to remember why it was I came into this room??? :-( Sam
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 11 weeks 5 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    I'm glad that America would never submit to such foolishness. No, in America, the law would close that blindingly obvious "seed club" loophole by also criminalizing mere possession of unregistered plant material, rather than just sales to the general public. This seems like more Codex Alimentarius nonsense, and we have already been repeatedly told that it was not just the first step on a slippery slope. Yet here we are, making seed merchants into criminals, by political decree. I'd like to catch the bus to interstellar space, please. Earth is doomed. And also apparently full of dangerous unregistered plant material.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 11 weeks 5 days ago
    Never Say Die
    Web link Bradley Keyes
    You will die, eventually. At some point the energy gradient of the universe will no longer be sufficient to support the computational demands of human consciousness. When the whole sky is dark, and you are floating in an unending expanse of cold iron dust, and you haven't yet worked out how to get yourself to a younger universe, you just might not make it another trillion years. My point was that the only way to achieve extreme longevity is make it so that we don't need to check off a thousand items on our survival checklist every day. It has to be automatic, divorced from conscious intent. It doesn't have to be genetic. We could have tiny programmable machines in our bodies doing all the work instead of natural cellular activity, but at the moment, that solution is more difficult than genetics. But even then, we have no idea what causes of death might crop up in people who live to be 200, or 1000, or 100000 years old. You don't know it can kill you until someone dies from it. It may well be that 1000-year old humans can die unexpectedly because they simply remember too much, and a millennium of memory entangles itself to the point where any common, everyday stimulus biochemically cascades into catatonic episodes of drowning in your own memories. You might have to selectively forget things in order to live normally. And if you have to forget the first 500 years of your life 1000 years from now, isn't that almost like the you that you are now is dying in the future, even though the body goes on? Your past self is killing your future self, so your future self has to murder the past self to survive. You can twist your brain up in knots on that one.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 11 weeks 5 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    It is ethically unacceptable for the software designer to allow the resulting program to select an intentional collision decision rather than pruning it. If a collision is truly unavoidable, the only choice for the automaton to make is no choice. Stay in the current lane of traffic, apply the brakes, and minimize damage to the passengers in its cabin. But if either other car is also machine-piloted, the situation changes. The center car can broadcast an urgent warning and request for assistance. This communication can take place many times faster than human reaction time. The other pilot programs can plot a safe way to provide the center car with an accident-avoidance path, as an alternative to minimizing the damage from an unavoidable collision. From the human perspective, when the giant pipe hits the road in front of the center car, several different cars swerve simultaneously, like schooling fish around a dolphin mouth. Traffic behind the obstacle parts and moves around it, slowing immediately to a speed safer for the new condition of the roadway. But without that new information from other machine pilots, the pilot has no choice but to accept the inevitability of a wreck, and simply minimize the damage to itself without trying to dump it on someone else. In reality, the hypothetical is not going to happen. If you are allowing your AI to make an impossible choice with all bad outcomes, you haven't done your job as a programmer. Part of your piloting software should always be evaluating safe contingency paths. And that means not cutting off your escape options by driving between two human-piloted cars in the first place. I even do this as a human driver. I try to be aware at all times of which direction I can swerve if I need to. Most of the time, it's to the right, onto the hard shoulder. If I don't have multiple possible travel paths, it's time to slow down and try to open my options back up. So no, the robot car of the future will not be programmed to hit you. It will be programmed to treat you like a dangerous maniac that is actively trying to maneuver it into assuming fault for an accident. If you match your speed to it, it will change its own speed to get away from you.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 11 weeks 5 days ago
    Never Say Die
    Web link Bradley Keyes
    Blammo: "...We cannot make ourselves live forever..." What you don't understand, Blammo, is that the world revolves around MY belly-button, not yours. My world. Thus, if I die (note I did not say when I die) I'll take the world with me -- including "forever" (well, time as I know it). The advantage of this outlook is in the knowledge that YOUR world revolves around your belly-button, whether you acknowledge it or not. That helps me to understand that you didn't get out of bed this morning looking for ways to denigrate or find fault with me. Is this a joke? Not. It is, as I see it, the root of libertarian philosophy. Everything else is muck-raking. Sam
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 11 weeks 5 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    One jurisdiction down, 50+ to go. Civil forfeiture, as the federals and most states do it, is one of the most unjust and corrupting procedures condoned by the U.S. justice system. Hopefully the change will not only persist, but also spread to other states.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 11 weeks 5 days ago
    Never Say Die
    Web link Bradley Keyes
    We cannot make ourselves live forever. All we can do is discover additional ways to die and avoid them. The specifics of how to avoid them change subtly when you look at different people. The great thing about encoding those specific methods into DNA is that those methods can then be carried out without conscious thought, and without additional economic activity. It becomes free and automatic. The tremendous advantage can be seen by analogy. Imagine two people. One breathes normally. The other must constantly expend conscious effort to inhale and exhale, and must also remember to breathe faster when doing something strenuous, and more slowly when relaxing. The second person has to remember to use an artificial respirator every time they go to sleep. Their friends and co-workers have to be aware that if they ever fall unconscious, to begin pulmonary rescuscitation immediately and unconditionally until the person regains consciousness or until help arrives to take over. A dearth of oxygen exchange in the lungs is just one way to die. Now multiply that difference in effort by thousands of folded proteins and enzymatic pathways. And now try to remember to do something to avoid dying that you didn't even know you had to do in the first place. It really is a great advantage for your body to take care of all that stuff automatically. Unfortunately, it is not a profitable business to identify and transplant those genes that automatically mitigate some cause of death. Pharmaceutical companies derive more revenues from treatments than permanent cures. Open source biology is the only way the genetic advantages of centenarians will ever filter out to the general human population. What if instead of taking an ever-changing list of pills to survive just one more year, you could get an injection of re-engineered cells that would last for decades? The only path to that future is spending the research money now, as an investor, rather than later, as a drug-dependent customer.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 11 weeks 5 days ago
    Never Say Die
    Web link Bradley Keyes
    Megan Scudellari: "...life expectancy soared in the United States over the last 50 years, thanks to better health care and expanded use of vaccines. Medicine today provides my generation with a carefully curated set of healthy-living guidelines: if I don’t smoke, and if I run two miles a day, eat more vegetables and less meat, get regular health screenings and drink a glass of red wine every night, I’ll have a real shot at dancing at the weddings of my great-grandchildren..." Can't resist playing my normal anarchist "devil's advocate". The late Delmar England phrased it this way, which is much better than I can come up with: Truth + truth = truth. Fallacy + fallacy = fallacy. Truth + fallacy = fallacy. There is no compromise. The author did not -- could not, must not -- appeared duty-bound to avoid saying this: "Stay away from doctors and hospitals" So, like most popular fallacies, Megan contributed her share by attributing "healthy-living guidelines" to "Medicine" (the almighty g-d) -- and implied that "...expanded use of vaccines..." were a part of the puzzle leading to longevity. "Science" (much -- most -- tax-funded) craves that I believe in "genetics" as my magic elixir to staying healthy to 100+. Think about it: "...But what if there was a way to distill the essence of this genetic lottery ticket? What if you could pop a pill that would give you the same protective benefits?..." The enormity of the truth is incredible. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 11 weeks 5 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Thanks for posting this, Bradley. AAPS is to the medical establishment much like STR is to mainstream media. Licensing and "board certification" are merely barriers to entry. They serve neither your interests nor mine -- but they do augment the presumed legitimacy of that mindless abstraction we like to call "state". Butler Shaffer describes this in detail with "In Restraint of Trade..." Sam
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 12 weeks 12 hours ago Web link Emmett Harris
    I suppose one could say "Better late than never," but I'd be really pissed at the ones who took my life away when I got out.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 12 weeks 1 day ago Web link Emmett Harris
    How many of you are surprised at this? Angry? If you are, I submit you're allowing a large group of psychopaths organized into that mindless abstraction called "the-state" to have too much emotional control over you. Nothing to be done for this poor chap who has been fried by psychopaths. But you can take measures to protect yourself. For starters, abstain from beans. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 12 weeks 2 days ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Not only are your children now our children, your fetus is now our fetus. How long will it be before your semen becomes our semen? Or your sperm....or your penis....or your vagina....well, you get the picture. Sex gets everybody's attention. Collectivists play the sex-tunes with supreme artistry. And the memes abound. Sam
  • Steve's picture
    Steve 12 weeks 4 days ago Page Steve
    Ilya Somin generally agreed with Haidt's findings, but with some caveats that I found reasonable: http://www.volokh.com/2012/10/01/the-libertarian-personality/
  • livemike's picture
    livemike 12 weeks 6 days ago Web link Westernerd
    What baseball is really about: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qmXacL0Uny0
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 13 weeks 2 days ago Web link Sharon Secor
    We have a similar situation here in South Africa. Partly to protect us against ourselves, and partly through sheer greed, the government has, over the past decade or two, levied ever increasing "sin" taxes on tobacco and alcohol. Result? There is now a huge underground market for smuggled cigarettes, and of course, a whole new class of criminals has been created, and this in a country that already suffers from one of the highest crime rates in the world.
  • Thunderbolt's picture
    Thunderbolt 13 weeks 2 days ago
    The National Non-Debt
    Page Paul Hein
    Dr. Hein: Beautiful explanation of the perfect con game. Of course the government will, post collapse, try to steal anything tangible, to pay themselves.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 13 weeks 2 days ago Web link Sharon Secor
    No doubt those who push these taxes have Mafia connections so they can profit off the smuggling.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 13 weeks 5 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    No doubt the R's will beat him up for doing this. If in fact he does it.
  • mkghandi's picture
    mkghandi 13 weeks 5 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Normally if a bully approaches you on the street and does everything in his power to intimidate you and pick a fight with you, how do you extricate yourself from that situation? Talk to him? Try and reason with a bully? That's like negotiating with a terrorist. No matter what you do, the outcome will be the same.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 13 weeks 5 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    I have on occasion shown my own (primary school) students how to make gunpowder. I'd probably not last long in an American school, and may well receive a transfer to a school in Guantanamo Bay... :-)
  • mkghandi's picture
    mkghandi 14 weeks 4 hours ago Web link A. Magnus
    This is what I call the "Caecescu Moment". It was that moment in December 1989 when then Dictator of Romania gave a speech to a very large crowd outside his palace, and the young kids booed him. That set off a revolution, and by Christmas, he was tried and executed. I remember that look on his face when the crowd booed him for the very first time. He was completely surprised by it. And now, the dictatorial NYPD have had their Caecescu Moment on twitter, and although I can't see anyone's face when it happened, hopefully they got the message about peoples non-existent positive feelings about them.
  • mkghandi's picture
    mkghandi 14 weeks 4 hours ago Web link A. Magnus
    David Gregory is an a** kissing suckup to the powers that be, and his audience is able to discern that on their own, so they watch something else when he comes on. I'm encouraged by this failure. I'm hoping for many more in all the news media outlets.
  • mkghandi's picture
    mkghandi 14 weeks 4 hours ago Web link A. Magnus
    Clapper is the guy that lied to congress about NSA spying. Next to him, Snowden is an angel. The younger people see this juxtaposition. Nobody would hold Clapper up as a role model.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 14 weeks 11 hours ago
    The Rights Stuff
    Page Tim Hartnett
    "Contraband’s scent should have been suppressed as a legal pretext for roadside searches years ago. It is impossible to disprove what anyone claims to have smelled, and the litany of abuses in such circumstances could easily fill volumes." Much worse, being arrested by a dog. And don't forget "Clever Hans": https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Clever_Hans The dogs get their cues from their handlers, never mind the scent. It's amazing what sorts of things we permit the minions to do to us, and the justifications we are able to swallow for it. As a Colonel House once wrote, "What was done to those who permitted it is almost beyond belief." "If our society is to maintain any level of decency, all members of it need to fear legal strictures equally. If an illegal search is truly illegal, the searchers must be cuffed, printed, arraigned, tried and imprisoned." Not gonna happen. The rulers are not going to let their enforcers be tied up in legal strictures. The only strictures left are informal, generally illegal ones, applied on the spot by the victims. That, or bend over and grab your ankles. After a while one gets the notion that this meme of "rights", far from stopping state abuse, is actually necessary for its continuance. People without such fantasies in their heads would not be looking for the rulers to set things right for themselves, and would take things into their own hands. Then it would stop, because we far outnumber them. They would run out of thugs.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 14 weeks 3 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    I have some doubts about the reliability of the site from which this article comes - it seems steeped in the culture of paranoid conspiracy theories and stuff like that. But let me take the information on face value. Although I am a school teacher myself, I am somewhat reluctant to comment seeing as I am not formally qualified in education. I am instead qualified in the subjects I teach. I have to say, with that first example, I cannot make head or tails of the method they are using to arrive at the answer. On the whole, I think it is a perfectly good idea for kids to understand positional notation, and be able to break numbers into bits and pieces, but the way they do it here seems to me extremely convoluted and indeed incomprehensible. In my classes, kids are expected to be able to do two digit addition and subtraction in their heads, and with enough practice doing that, you quickly develop an ability to break apart numbers into convenient chunks all by yourself. And the notion that any answer will do, as long as the student can come up with some reason for it, is just daft. I expect my students to know their multiplication and division tables. Some of these are already tricky enough to remember; we really need not confuse them even further. Not being qualified in education, I am reluctant to criticize the presumed experts too much, but it seems to me they are over-complicating things. My older brother taught me to read and write when I was six and he was ten. I.e. teaching kids literacy and numeracy is not rocket science. So why all the grand theories and complicated methods and huge bureaucracy? It doesn't seem to make any sense. The old methods, which are now suddenly so bad, produced generations of fine scientists and engineers. I have to wonder why we need to change everything now. The whole issue may well be a fruitful research subject for an investigative reporter. Here in South Africa, a lot of the government's education policy seems to be quite deliberately designed to keep people dumb, and to create ways in which kids who fail a grade can nevertheless be passed onto the next grade. We have become the world's major producer of illiterate and innumerate (and plain useless and quite unemployable) school leavers. The whole thing seems very weird, but there may be all manner of politics behind it that may be worth investigating.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 14 weeks 3 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    I don't foresee the end of schools any time soon. What we might hope to see is the end of is government schools. Of course I am biased, seeing as I am a teacher at the kind of private school I hope will soon replace government schools. :-) Here in South Africa, the current government inherited a fairly good, if extremely regimented, public school system, and within two decades managed to reduce it to utter ruins. But that is of course very good news for people like me: private schools have been mushrooming all over the place.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 14 weeks 4 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    So will a pneumatic nail gun. And you only have to hit the trigger once.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 14 weeks 4 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    This is training children to be passive citizens, willing to take any abuse. The schools are doing exactly what they were designed for.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 14 weeks 6 days ago
    Progressive Puritans
    Web link Westernerd
    "Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience." -- C.S. Lewis
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 14 weeks 6 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    "The whole aim of practical politics is to keep the populace alarmed (and hence clamorous to be led to safety), by menacing it with an endless series of hobgoblins, all of them imaginary." - H.L. Mencken
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 15 weeks 1 day ago Web link Emmett Harris
    Telkom also has a monopoly on telecommunications infrastructure. The result is hugely expensive internet. But of course, seeing as government has such a big finger in the pie, and it is such a lucrative way to extort money from already overburdened tax payers, I'm not holding my breath waiting for the situation to change. South Africa is actually a very useful case study for root strikers the world over: government has managed to run almost everything into the ground here, by heavy taxes, draconian labour law, corruption, crony capitalism and general mismanagement, not to mention outright theft by none other than the president himself. We have an election coming up; the very small, and just launched local libertarian party was effectively prevented from participating by the prohibitive cost of registering as participant. So much for the wonderful new democracy. :-)
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 15 weeks 1 day ago Web link Emmett Harris
    Some good news from, of all places, Zimbabwe: http://mg.co.za/article/2014-04-11-zim-informal-economy-fast-taking-over The article mentions something the article in the original STR post also does: it's pretty difficult for government to extract taxes from such small businesses. All the more reason then to have them. :-)
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 15 weeks 2 days ago
    The Name Game
    Page Paul Hein
    "Why? What’s the difference?" The difference, as others have noted, is that they can beat you up and get away with it. The reason they get away with it, is that their victims usually submit. But it seems lately, people are backed up against the wall and are starting to question automatic submission. Many have given up on it. The house of cards is about to fall. It should get pretty exciting...
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 15 weeks 2 days ago Web link Sharon Secor
    This horror of majority rule is a hangover from the aristocrat Montesquieu. I'm not a fan of it myself, being an anarchist; but I don't imagine "representative government" is any better for liberty than majority rule is. Indeed, in my current state Oregon, between what we get via Initiative and what we get from the legislature, I'll take the former every time, as it consistently leans more toward liberty than the legislature does. What's more, there is a lot less of it; the legislature considers something like 3000 bills every session. Oh, and it is not the job of a free people to ride herd on corrupt "respresentatives".
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 15 weeks 2 days ago
    Defending the State?
    Page Alex R. Knight III
    Paul: "...One manipulates people by manipulating the language they use to think..." A major reason I avoid the use of the term "right" or "rights" in these kinds of essays and conversations. Definition games, indeed. Like "...defining 'state'..." I am a sovereign state. Want me to define "state"? What part of "state" do you not understand? Sam