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  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 20 weeks 1 day ago Blog entry Lawrence M. Ludlow
    today Justin Raimondo had this commentary on the same topichttp://original.antiwar.com/justin/2014/06/03/hating-on-bowe-bergdahl/
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 20 weeks 4 days ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    Kinsella's arguments do not impress me much, since they depend on the notion of rights, which I think are imaginary. Whenever you see a lot of arm-waving going on, you can be sure the subject being discussed is "rights". Anyway, the IP dispute is handled like all others. If you initiate violence you are in the wrong. And no, copying a book is not initiating violence. But breaking a contract is actionable...
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 20 weeks 4 days ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    These are all good questions, but I'm not sure I can provide any definitive answers. On one hand I'm not even sure if that battle took place in the way it is described. In addition, the little bit that I have read about it indicates that there was another possible cause based on conflicts with other origins. I noticed in an article in my 11th edition of Encyclopaedia Britannica that the British author of the article made some unkind remarks about the Irish (surprise!). So I really cannot answer this question with any certainty. As to the bigger question (failure of arbitration) that you asked, this may certainly be a case of one failure, but not of the concept itself. A lawyer friend of mine once told me that 90% of all legal disputes are settled through arbitration, so I would have to say that it is a much more popular method than the monopoly courts of government--as it should be. I am wondering a little bit, too, about the theories of Lloyd Demause (psychohistory) on child rearing practices during different historical periods and the effect that such practices have had on how violent people were upon reaching maturity. You should know that many historians question the concept of psychohistory as a theory (in part because of the tendency to overgeneralize based on limited records), but on the other hand, studies in family history do reveal patterns of childrearing that one can acknoledge as having an effect on children when they become adults. As to any evolution of mankind, now that various laser weapons and sonic guns and death by remotely-operated drones (whose software resembles commercial video games and oftentimes is developed with this resemblance in mind) have been in the ascendant, the psychological distance between predator and prey have enabled many people to dis-associate their actions from any kind of ethical self-awareness or need to experience the impact of their actions to such an extent that even if Lloyd Demause is correct in his thesis (for example, in his work "Evolution of Childrearing") I wonder if technology has made up for any positive evolution in human behavior and has thus rendered man more detached, more deadly, and less conscious of the nature of his actions than ever before--much as a narcotized person does not have to face the full meaning of his actions while under the influence. Frankly--and this may be a sign of aging more than anything else--I suspect that while the ethical standards of the average person today may possibly encompass greater self-awareness than in the past (for an average person), I certainly would have to say that the ethical standards of many intellectuals, and even the ability to reason using logic, are possibly lower today than they were in the Middle Ages. I of course grant an exception in the case of you, Psychoticnut! (Does your online name ever lead to trouble?)
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 20 weeks 6 days ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    The last page of this thread contains some thoughts on theism, atheism, and agnosticism that you may want to see.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 20 weeks 6 days ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Excellent point, Tzo. See the last page of this thread for some analysis of what passes for Christianity and atheism.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 20 weeks 6 days ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    That's why I remain agnostic and am not either an atheist (in the sense of god-denier) or a conventional Christian. I think that if I were a Christian, I would be burned alive because I think that much of Christian theology is entirely unwarranted and shows its contamination by Greetk philosophy and all of its existential shortcomings.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 20 weeks 6 days ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Some good stuff in there. Too few people have studied the "history" of either philosophy or science to look at either discipline with any kind of adult perspective! And that goes double for Molyneux, whom I like for so very much of what he does for freedom--and does much better than I ever could.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 20 weeks 6 days ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    I'm an agnostic, but I find most atheists to have as silly a notion of higher powers as most Christians -- and for the same reason. They never studied it seriously. See my note on the last page of this thread.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 20 weeks 6 days ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    I am an agnostic and find atheists to be as absurd as most poorly educated Christian believers. Most atheists have never studied either medieval philosophy or theology and are simply not up to the task. The philosophers (so called) who address diety usually are the cookie-cutter types that skip from Aristotle to Descarte wthout so much as a pause. They are simply too ill trained to know what they don't know. See my post on the last page of this thread for a bit more detail.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 20 weeks 6 days ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    The existential  nature of medieval Christian philosophy was explored by Etienne Gilson at the Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies in Toronto--where he explored that "I am...I am" statement in Exodus 3.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 20 weeks 6 days ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Excellent point. You may want to see my analysis of the faults of atheists on the last page of this thread. Too many atheists and Christians have never studied theology or medieval philosophy and are thus simply not equipped for the task.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 20 weeks 6 days ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    I'm not so sure about your analysis. See my write up on the last page of this thread. You make an exception to causality that many people do not buy-into.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 20 weeks 6 days ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    Hello, Jim, and thank you for writing this piece. My favorite sentence was the following:   "In the first case, the irrational belief is that someone else can order one's life better than one can order it oneself (or as I noticed somewhere recently, "A politician is someone able to spend your money better than you can"), which is obvious nonsense on its face. "   Because I lack the ability to have faith, I am an agnostic. I am not one who denies the possibility of diety, however. It is important to note that most people who call themselves Christian and most people who call themselves atheists have all kinds of false notions about god and theology. I have never yet met a single atheist who has taken a graduate-level class in theology—likewise for Christians, which is even worse. But then again, most people assume that they know something about ethics, too, but this is false as well. Furthermore, most of the straw-man arguments that people like Stephan Molyneux use to "destroy" Christian theology (he’s otherwise an excellent worker for liberty) are just that, straw men and myths. Even your statement (above) that Lucifer fell because he used free will is incorrect. It was the sin of pride that did him in, and my future Dante essay (it's being reviewed now) will clear this notion up. But to give you a peek, the sin of pride is the one that politicians and all wanna-be rulers are guilty of. They lift themselves above their "station" as peers and fellow humans and catapult themselves into an overseer position--judging and ordering people about as if they were their masters. Perhaps this is why Dante considered pride the worst of the seven deadly sins. And we can all agree that the sin of pride is the source of politics and slavery. Pride--as understood by Dante and Aquinas and Catholic theology--is not the good feeling that follows upon performing skillfully or completing a task with excellence. That is satisfaction in a job well done and should not be confused with pride.   It is true that the study of diety by Greek interpreters of Judaism and Christianity—and others who were influenced by the philosophy of Plato and of Aristotle—have pasted lots of adjectives such as omniscient, omnipresent, and omnipotent to the concept of god, but none of these attributes is either necessary or warranted. They are the result of the perceived problems of perception and attempts to explain the idea of “change” and “stability,” which the pre-Socratic philosophers focused upon. These Greek philosophers, however, never focused on existence itself and its importance. That’s why their philosophical perceptions were so inadequate to address or grapple with the famous self-declaration of god in the Hebrew writings, namely in Exodus 3:14, where God defines himself by declaring “I am that I am.” That is a purely existential statement--an assertion that there is a kind of being whose existence is necessary. Another translation of "I am who am" or "I am that I am" would be the following: I am that which must exist. I am what is. I am existence itself. I am what must exist. In all of these, existence is the prime reality.   But we rarely hear of this existential aspect of Christianity and Judaism in discussions about god and atheism. Why? Because the “bar” of discussion is very low indeed. You have people who never studied theology actually arguing about it, which is why it is so disappointing and absurd. Even most Christians cannot discuss god in a way that is not designed to satisfy the herd, who wants adjectives attached to its golden calf. There are many Christian theologians who concur with me on this--from Augustine to Aquinas—but even they, too, muddy the waters in much of their writing. Nonetheless, it is possible to view Christianity in this existential light. That viewpoint also does away with the "how dare god condemn those who lived before Christ for not knowing Christ" argument. Why? Because it admits that god is NOT omnipotent or any of those other things that the Greeks imposed upon diety without so much as a “by your leave.” Perhaps this diety tried to rectify a great cosmic catastrophe in the only way possible for it--by subjecting itself to death to "get around" (or fulfill)  a blood contract or some similar universal law that demanded the punishment (equation-balancing) of an early existential transgression committed by mankind. And by paying this blood price on behalf of humankind, this diety can only redeem those who become aware of it afterward, not being capable of reversing the flow of space-time itself. It's not a perfect solution for all of our needs for wanting to believe in an all-powerful Oz, but it's a good best attempt by a diety that tries to pay a price out of an overwhelming sense of empathy and love. So you might say that my theory about this Christian god is a scandal because it makes him a bit of an under-archiever in comparison with that Greek straw man that possesses the three Os of omnipotence, omniscience, and omnipresence. But  it helps to keep the focus on existence and thus provide one answer to that eternal question: What was there before space-time existed? Nothing. In this perspective, an ex nihilo creation makes sense. And why is the universe here at all? That's an important question—one that atheists cannot address in the sense of causality—even though they use the concept all of the time anyway. Of course, we can accept Aristotle's theory that the universe is eternal, but the quest for causality is buried in all of us like hard-wiring. No?   Anyway, if you are interested in this heretical variant used to define god, I took an idea and twisted it away from a very Catholic source, Professor Etienne Gilson of the University of Toronto's Pontifical Institute for Mediaeval Studies in his book, "The Spirit of Medieval Phiolosophy." That word "mediaeval" is very important. Most philosophers--including Stefan Molyneux are woefully ill-prepared because they jump from Aristotle directly to Descartes. They, without fail, leave out the very important discoveries of the medieval Christian philosophers, who were the first, among other things, to disabuse the world of Plato's (and Aristotle's watered-down version) extreme idealist/realism fallacy--the source of the reification fallacy. The medieveal nominalists such as Roscellinus were the ones who rescued us by acknowledging concepts as mere puffs of air (flatus vocis). Fellows like Molyneux falsely claim that there is a vast gulf between Plato’s super-realism and a fictitious Aristotelian view that properly recognizes concepts as a human construct. Aristotle actually believed that the “universals” or “idea” was indwelling in an object and fused with the matter of that object. But these details are overlooked by the over-generalizers like Molyneux and his many co-atheists. Medieval philosophy is very complex and nuanced and difficult to understand, and that's why most who study classical philosophy and modern philosophy are never aware of their mistakes. They also know nothing of the difficult medieval Latin that is required for its study. So they don’t even have the rudiments of the language needed to study it. Surprise! Modern writers refer constantly to Occam’s Razor, but they have never read Occam. Such philosophers also do not understand the "history of philosophy" which is as important as the "history of science" as opposed to simply studying either "philosophy" or "science." The road to knowledge is littered with people who thought that they had arrived at the final truth for all time. But only the student of the history of philosophy and the history of science will acknowledge this.   I write this to you, Jim, because you are probably the most insightful writer on this page in addition to the wonderful Glen Allport--although I love Tzo, too, and many of the other fine writers here. There's a whole fascinating world of theology and heretical theology that beckon!   Best, as always, Lawrence
  • PSYCHOTICNUT's picture
    PSYCHOTICNUT 21 weeks 12 hours ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    I'm well aware of the story in 1 Samuel 8. I wasn't aware that it is in 1 kings 8 in the Catholic scriptures. I find that interesting but that's for another discussion. I do understand why this might remind you of that story though. It's an interesting correlation. I'm also well aware of Stephen Kinsella's work. Against Intellectual Property was the first thing I ever read from that point of view and I agree with your assessment completely. What do you think there is to learn if anything from the subsequent war that cost the lives of 3,000 people over a disagreement about a book? Do you think that was a result of a violent culture? If so do you think that violent culture was due to their religious views? Do you think that it was the result of man being a more primitive beast 1500 years ago? If so do you think we have evolved significantly from that point? Do you think there is a significant amount of evolving that must occur before a completely free society can be realized?
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 21 weeks 14 hours ago
    Who Wags Whom?
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    This is an excellent piece, Jim. Thanks for bringing it to our attention. Have you ever noticed that so many "progressives" [sic, NOT!] spend oodles of time castigating these large, sometimes unwieldy organizatings becuase they hat their "bigness" and their aspirations to monopoly, but all of them--to a man and to a woman--bow down and lick the golden-calf of the biggest corporate monopoly of all? Which is government, of course. Go figure, eh? Why don't their heads just explode from the built-in hypocrisy and contradiction?  
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 21 weeks 14 hours ago
    The God Question
    Page Jim Davies
    PS: I have to re-read my George Smith now!  
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 21 weeks 14 hours ago Page Paul Hein
    ...and our physical health!
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 21 weeks 14 hours ago Page Lawrence Samuels
    Hello, Lawrence: First, thank you for writing this excellent piece! I met you briefly after your excellent presentation at Libertopia in San Diego in 2011. And yes, the history writers are bent on deception in many cases, and they refuse to be corrected. They are dipped in concrete and will not budge. Just as an added dimension to your exploration into fascism and socialism, you of course already understand the difference between American private-property anarchism (as described by Rothbard) and the faux "anarchism" of the European socialists. Only the Americans adhere to the accurate etymological roots of the term which means, quite literally upon exploring its Greek roots "no dictator." It has the same meaning as "no caesar" would have in Latin. Consequently, we liberarians, voluntaryists, or market-anarchists are the only REAL anarchists who are honest about our beliefs--both in practice and in terminology. The misuses of this term by closet-socialists depends upon the "historical" acquisition of this term by the Europeans. And they can have it! It is dishonest to the core. Likewise, the term fascism was correctly used in the Italian idiom because it derives from the Latin word "fascis/fasces," the bundle of sticks or rods with the axe sometimes hidden inside. The important thing to recognize here is that it's all about the aggressive use of force--intiatory aggression. This type of behavior is shared by fascists and socialists alike, and they are consequently anti-choice, anti-freedom, and anti-consumer. Instead, they prefer to interpose a dictator (wielder of the fasces) into human relationships to obtain the results they want. The frauds at Wikipedia are sticking with the bargain-basement thinking that keeps this bogus left-right dichotomy in place as a distraction to keep us from realizing that the real enemy is ALWAYS the one who uses bundles of sticks on people to whip them into line. In otherwords, the fascist/socialist creeps.  
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 21 weeks 15 hours ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    See below.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 21 weeks 15 hours ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    Hello, Psychoticnut: I'm glad you liked this piece, and I think that your assessment of the Irish King as more of an arbitrator than a dictator is correct. I am not, however, an expert on Irish kingship, although I am aware that Irish society in general was more anarchic then we realize. The situation with the king here reminds me of the Old Testament story regarding the replacement of judges by kings--a big mistake! The reference to that story is in chapter 8 of 1 Samuel (1 Kings, chapter 8 in the Catholic scriptures). I believe that even Stephan Kinsella would agree with this argument as presented by the king as it addresses only the understood use of an object between two people. Usually a request to copy a book took place in an overt manner. In many cases during the Middle Ages, a book was lent out for copying, and in return another book was lent back to the original lender so that they could make a copy as well. Sometimes the copier would also provide the lender with a new copy as well as returning the original. In the case of a particularly rare book, the lender could demand a higher "price" of this type. This was a very reciprocal form of trade. In the case of this tale, St Columba clearly violated the well-understood norm that St. Finnian was insisting upon, and it corresponds to much of what Kinsella wrote. It is important not to confuse this kind of just restriction regarding the use of a physical object with current copyright restrictions that bind parties who have no contract. Kinsella spells this out very well in his papers. I sent a link to him, so he will probably say something on his site. I will mention it when it comes up.
  • PSYCHOTICNUT's picture
    PSYCHOTICNUT 21 weeks 16 hours ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    I'm also curious to hear whether you think the Irish king made the correct judgement.
  • PSYCHOTICNUT's picture
    PSYCHOTICNUT 21 weeks 16 hours ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    That was an excellent assessment Larry. It does bring to mind another question however. I'm wondering if this story isn't evidence of the failing of private arbitration. It's true that they went to a king (head of a government) to make the determination but they did agree to allow his arbitration. In fact it was Saint Columba, according to this, who chose the arbiter. When his arbiter chose not to side with him, he still resorted to violence. The fact that the king could not thwart Saint Columba's refusal to comply seems to be more evidence, in my opinion, that this government was not a strong controller of the people of such a kind that we perceive of governments today. I'm interested to hear what you make of that.
  • zygodactyl's picture
    zygodactyl 21 weeks 2 days ago Page Paul Hein
    I have no intention of engaging with anyone in the government more than what is absolutely necessary because it is a real waste of time. I did fall into temptation a few years ago when Texas at first passed the anti-groping law. I e-mailed the local Missouri state level Republican representative and requested that our state do the same thing or else I just might move to Texas. I also had noticed the hundreds of bills listed on-line that were being considered, so I also expressed strong disapproval for big government growth at the state level as well as at the federal level despite our bad economic times. He never even bothered to reply back to me, and the pathetic Texas politicians caved to the feds, so I still live here. I think that a more effective way to plant seeds in the minds of some people is by calling your local talk radio morning shows. I live close to a lake that has quite a few resorts, so my closest radio station chats about the local events around the lake, along with some politics with a Republican slant. I don't bother listening to that one, but I do listen to one that is just beyond the reach of my portable radios' antenna via computer entitled The Gary Nolan Show. His show is based in Columbia, Missouri which is very close to the state capital, and is on-air from 9 AM to noon M-F. Gary Nolan , unfortunately, is a minarchist who still believes that most cops are good people, and believes the official version of the 9-11 events. He also ran for Presidency as the Libertarian candidate in 2002. I disagree with him about many things, but his show is far better than Rush Limbaugh's show, and you can actually call into the show and talk to him. The two times that I have called in so far were when Jim Babka, President of Downsize DC dot org sat in for Gary. I'm sure that many heads within the listening area were exploding when I said that Constitition should be disposed of properly, that the founders illegally replaced the Articles of Federation with the Constitution, that the first three Presidents violated the Constitution without being punished, and a few other things. I ended by saying that I believe in genuine self-government as opposed to the pseudo self government that we now have. Surprisingly, Jim said that my dream was beautiful and he invited me to visit his Zero Aggression Project website.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 21 weeks 2 days ago Page Paul Hein
    That's OK, I suppose, if you've got nothing better to do with your time. I made some similar suggestions here: http://ncc-1776.org/tle2013/tle745-20131117-04.html However I question being motivated by the minions' annoyance. They are usually pleased if you engage them, because engagement itself confers legitimacy. Maybe better to ignore them. That's bureaucrats, by the way. As to politicians, I see little profit in wasting time with them.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 21 weeks 2 days ago Page Paul Hein
    While the phrase is essentially mock Latin to begin with, I believe it is usually "illegitimi non carborundum." Corundum, as emery, is a useful abrasive in its own right, but as ruby and sapphire is considered a precious stone. Carborundum, otherwise known as silicon carbide, has been grinding things down for 120 years as a synthetic mineral, and is only known to jewelers as moissanite. It still works either way. But the reason why it works for them is that nickel-and-diming the human livestock is how they earn their livelihoods. They can spend six hours a day chipping away at us and still goldbrick among themselves for another two, while the people like you and me are still trying to do something useful at our day jobs. Pestering the government happens on our own time and on our own dime, and competes with hours that could be used on something else. And it is about as rewarding as fishing for muskellunge in an inflatable kiddie pool, or painting a wall just to watch it dry. That is how we can be ground down by a gang with far fewer numbers. They simply have more man-hours in the day to wear away at our resolve, not having any more useful occupation that could otherwise turn their labor into wealth. Having rejected the proposition that we might take the necessities of life without offering back anything in return, we give to the economy, that we might get something back. That is why I do not endorse fighting fire with fire, in a war of attrition. They have so much time to waste, they must have load of extremly ironic meetings about how to waste less time. If we make an overt attempt to waste their time, they might simply opt to hire another person away from the productive economy just to dream up more bureaucratic snipe hunts. That is why it is best to use the state's propensity for wasting time against itself. Bureaucrats are *experts* at wasting time. How about we play let's you and him fight? Turn some of those government guns back toward the government, and they are no longer pointed at us.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 21 weeks 3 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    eugenedw: "...Iraq, and places like Somalia, illustrate what happens when government disappears, but not people's desire for or belief in it..." And that, my friend, underscores the tipping point for all history. And it is the entrée, or liberty to enter, for anarchy (<== pdf). I don't know how many readers place credence in a Book called the Hebrew Bible. And that's really not important. It remains the world's best-seller, which makes It unwise to dismiss out-of-hand. Many see It as writings of old, long dead but superstitious men. To an extent they may be correct. Others base their entire life's philosophy upon It (or what they think they know and believe about It -- which is a unique topic in itself). So they, too, must be heard, since they represent the greatest percentage of religious folks in this part of the world -- and a large segment of the world's total religious. I submit The Book is a treatise on anarchy -- anarchy is its center core and theme. And the fulcrum, or code, of the entire Book rests on this short passage. In my humble opinion (which ain't so humble, so I'm told). For a discourse on the endless conflict you mention from the beginning of recorded history, please spend some time with this (it's not a real easy read, because he chops most professing anarchists off at the knees). It's by the late Delmar England, who at first appears to be an atheist -- but I believe he was more anti-religion than he was atheist. That, also, is a topic for discussion. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 21 weeks 3 days ago
    Untitled
    Page Joseph S. Bommarito
    War is the Health of the State. Please, please -- do not "...thank me for serving..." I served nobody. I did disservice to everybody. And I regret that it took me the better part of 70 years to come to this understanding -- and another almost 10 years to forgive myself. Sally, you can be thankful for Joe's memory. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 21 weeks 3 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Opening paragraph: "May 23, 2014 (Tony Cartalucci - ATN) - Life goes on as normal in Thailand's capital of Bangkok the day after the Royal Thai Army declared it was taking power from the diminished, ineffectual "caretaker government" Thursday. Businesses and offices were open as usual on Friday with no discernible difference for Thais. TV programming is expected to be returned to normal today as well." Think about this: let's say the same "royal army" (or its equivalent) thoroughly defeated and "took over" the District of Collectivism and its "Pentagon" and all it's gargantuan appurtenances (probably no such luck, but let's play house anyhow). Would "...life go on as normal.."??? Yes, it would. Citizenship is a directed mirage. There is no jurisdiction except at the muzzle of a firearm. Sam
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 21 weeks 3 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Steve: Yes, in a case like this, it seems to me the best anarchist opinion is neutrality. The Thai people have gone from the frying pan into the fire, and so it will endlessly continue until they realize they need neither a democratically elected government, nor a military dictatorship.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 21 weeks 3 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Iraq, and places like Somalia, illustrate what happens when government disappears, but not people's desire for or belief in it. Then everyone and his dog wants to be president, leading to endless conflict.
  • Steve's picture
    Steve 21 weeks 3 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    This article suggests that the US killed 1M Iraqis in the 2003 Iraq war, which is simply false. The total number was far lower, and the violence was mostly between Sunnis and Shiites, though the US certainly shares responsibility for having removed Iraq's previous flawed government, with a very flawed transition plan. Such hyperbole discredits an argument that is otherwise worth attention. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Casualties_of_the_Iraq_War
  • Steve's picture
    Steve 21 weeks 3 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Thaksin "is unelected and therefore a dictator"? Say what? "The coup has so far been peaceful and well-organized." Peaceful coup--now there is a new oxymoron for the collection. Apparently the king has blessed it, so that makes it even more legitimate.  I never thought to see an article at STR, even an external one, celebrating a military coup. Yeah, Thailand is a mess. Neither the red nor the yellows have the moral high ground.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 21 weeks 4 days ago
    The Compromise
    Page Paul Bonneau
    "...But I save my curses for the good people who, through their misguided efforts, keep the whole ugly mess going. The simple, basically decent, weak-willed and indoctrinated people who take the easy way without considering the bill that will have to be paid some sad future day..." About all we can do for now is to urge our family, neighbors and friends (and them "good" folks out thar in radio land) to abstain from beans. If 80% or 90% of them would observe that little recommendation much of the "battle" (pun intended) would be won. They won't. And, of course, you need to continue to publish hard-hitting essays such as this one. Don't ever sell yourself short in your understanding of the positive influence you have on me and many, many others -- including, I'm sure, members of your own family. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 21 weeks 4 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Paul: "It's not that people don't care; it's that they understand reality" I believe you've hit the nail on the head, Paul. Daily Bell describes it this way. More and more there appears to be no shortage of folks on the web who see the dilemma and are willing to outline the plight of those who suffer from tyranny. The daily entrées here at STR are filled with those examples; although I believe the attempt to rectify that was made here with the STR "blog" (I'll admit that I have perused it but not used it). Mencken may have died with his hit song still in his heart. I made a comment on another forum a few minutes ago -- let's see if I can reproduce it here: Holiday of the Hoi Polloi Inbox 12:34 PM (4 minutes ago) to Bobbers, Splinter Passing this on for what it's worth. I personally am more inclined to treat all the white man's public holidays with the indifference they deserve. But friends and neighbors will all be in a "celebration mode" -- few with any inkling of the bizarre nature of such "holidays" (why they exist, who is behind their promotion, etc etc). All I can really do effectively is to urge you to abstain from beans. That's the place to start. I could also encourage you to cease making "voluntary" confessions to the white man, and to refrain from what the late Delmar England called the "...language of slavery..." (referring to thievery as "tax", confessions as "returns", submitting to the coercion with what is supposed to sound like a legal term: "filing", etc etc). My friend -- our friend -- Irwin Schiff tried that, and see where it got him. But that would be going beyond the pale. For now I'll merely let you read Jeff's take on his public holiday: http://dollarvigilante.com/blog/2014/5/24/in-memory-of-those-killed-by-t... Sam
  • Sharon Secor's picture
    Sharon Secor 21 weeks 4 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Exactly. 
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 21 weeks 6 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    It's not that people don't care; it's that they understand reality: "People do not expect to find chastity in a whorehouse. Why, then, do they expect to find honesty and humanity in government, a congeries of institutions whose modus operandi consists of lying, cheating, stealing, and if need be, murdering those who resist?" -- H.L. Mencken
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 21 weeks 6 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Yet another WTF moment, brought to you courtesy of your friendly local government office.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 22 weeks 6 hours ago
    The Compromise
    Page Paul Bonneau
    An excellent, concise one, Paul.  Needs to be shared far and wide.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 22 weeks 14 hours ago Web link Westernerd
    The problem is that being a cop is one of the better jobs that a poorly educated person can get, especially if they have self-control issues. Compared to the alternatives for that specific demographic, the pay is good, the physical demands are low, and you have a lot of daily autonomy. It is no surprise that cops will be eager to please their bosses, to the detriment of their "customers". By their reasoning, it is far better to oppress the poor and be absolved of responsibility than to join them. The Milgram Obedience and Stanford Prison Experiments practically provide a blueprint for how to make your employees switch off their own ethics while on the job.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 22 weeks 14 hours ago Web link Westernerd
    I'm wondering why Reason felt the need to needlessly interject "already underpaid and underappreciated" into their narrative about police. That is emphatically an editorial opinion, and it conflicts with the narrative that police are routinely killing family pets without provocation, remorse, or consequence in multiple cities of the U.S. And police are hardly homogenous across the whole country. Andy Griffiths--if they even still exist anywhere--may be underrated, but I imagine that some residents of Albuquerque would opine that their cops are murderous swine, and overappreciated, while California residents may wonder why ex-cops, retired at the ripe old age of 55, are drawing 6-figure pensions. Hitting that phrase was like stepping into a deceptively deep pothole in a wintry parking lot.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 22 weeks 1 day ago Web link A. Magnus
    The pig/chimp hybrid hypothesis actually made me laugh out loud. It suggests that a "geneticist" is unfamiliar with how species work. The essence of humanity is not the sum of its DNA. I, for one, would not mind tinkering with my own genes. For instance, if I were to assemble a retrovirus that targets the phi-GULO pseudogene and repairs it, using a gene copied from practically any other mammal, my liver would begin producing vitamin C and peroxide. Is that "corruption"? It seems to me that the corruption was losing that capability in the first place, and having insufficient interbreeding humans to repair it from within our own gene pool. This particular djinn is already out of the jar. If you need to be alarmist, bang the gongs against misfolded protein prions arising from newer sciences such as preoteomics. It takes significant computing resources to calculate how a given gene sequence translates to a particular protein, and even more to design a protein and calculate backwards to a gene that creates it. This is coming within our grasp. If you are afraid of animal DNA corrupting the genome, cower in horror at the prospect that we can now design entirely novel genes. Why, imagine what could be done! You could design a venomous baby! Make a virus that kills only the Miller family! Cure a profitable cancer! There's really no more to fear here than any other potentially useful technology. You will likely not even notice it, unless your child chooses to become a bioengineer.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 22 weeks 1 day ago Web link A. Magnus
    Mostly alarmist nonsense. As for Dr. Eugene McCarthy, I have to wonder whether he even exists, and if so, when last he has taken his medication. :-)
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 22 weeks 2 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    If you send your kids into the belly of the beast for "education", you can't complain over this sort of thing. Homeschool. Sam
  • Sharon Secor's picture
    Sharon Secor 22 weeks 2 days ago Web link Sharon Secor
    You're right, the illegal zip-lock bags was humorous, all things considered. However, I should say, since it seems you're writing from South Africa, that I'm pretty sure the law doesn't apply to standard use sizes, like sandwich-sized, quart and gallon. I'm betting that what is illegal in that state are what you have to ask for using the term jewelry bag in most other places, the tiny ziplock bags that people sell small amounts of pot and other substances in. But, who knows, I don't ive in that state and there's no telling what drug war zealots have made illegal there. They very well may have legislated against all ziplocks -- you know, think of the children and all.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 22 weeks 3 days ago Web link Sharon Secor
    Cops abusing their power to enrich themselves is pretty much standard practice in Third World states all over the planet, including here in South Africa. We have lots of street vendors here, and for the most part, their businesses are technically illegal, though often tolerated. But now and then, out of the blue, the cops raid them, kick over their stalls, and blatantly steal their merchandise. I have to say though that what I found the most astonishing about the article was that it is illegal in Pennsylvania to sell zip-lock bags! Well, that one made me laugh - it sounds quite literally like something out of a Monty Python sketch.
  • wkmac's picture
    wkmac 22 weeks 5 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    You might also want to add this lady to the list. http://www.macon.com/2014/05/14/3097249/former-nw-georgia-judge-indicted...
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 22 weeks 6 days ago Page John deLaubenfels
    The thing is, in the modern world it has become so difficult to enforce copyright that the law has in any event become somewhat irrelevant, whether we like it or not. Then there is this bit: "Yes, J.K. Rowling would probably have made enough from writing Harry Potter books to justify her efforts, but struggling writers would be pushed from barely eking out an existence into giving up writing, if theft were legalized." ---I doubt this very much, because who would bother to copy the work of a failed writer? It's the successful books and movies and music that get copied. "Failed writers in the past are not seen today, and so it is easy to pretend that they never existed, provided one has sufficient motivation to do so." ---But did they fail because they had no copyright protection, or did they fail because they were just not very good at writing things that people actually wanted to read? One must in any event take a look at the history of copyright law: it was never intended as a way to reward writers. Right from the start, it was a tool for the state with which to exercise control. Then there is one last point: to enforce copyright law costs money, which the state gets from me. But personally, I have no use whatever for copyright law. So why the heck should I pay to have it enforced? If you don't want your stuff to be copied, don't publish it. It's that simple.
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 22 weeks 6 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    This is it! I am patenting oxygen! ("A new method for using oxidation in the generation of biochemical energy.") You want to breathe, you'd better pay me first...
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 22 weeks 6 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    I notice that he heads an organization called Stop Common Core Nevada. Now, if he spends all the time and energy that he lavishes on that organization on educating his own kids instead, he wouldn't have so many problems...
  • eugenedw's picture
    eugenedw 22 weeks 6 days ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    There is one thing that should perhaps be brought up here. I wonder how many of the victims described in the article, if you had interviewed them just an hour before they became victims, would have approved of the idea of a powerful government. How many of them are anarchists? How many became anarchists or libertarians after they fell victim to the system? Should we necessarily have much sympathy with statists when they become the victims of the very thing they so fervently approve of? Either way, it may be useful to start a sort of contact organization, that makes a point of contacting victims such as the ones mentioned in the article, and then attempt to convert them to anarchism. They might make easy converts. :-)