Recent comments

  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 18 weeks 13 hours ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    There are two problems with Taser's cameras, and the police departments testing their use. First, the camera can be turned off by the person wearing it. Second, the footage can be kept secret from the public indefinitely. This is emphatically a "soft" approach, so that when the public demands that police officers be filmed while on duty, the departments and the union can respond that cops are already wearing them. As a result, these will produce no greater reform than dashboard cams in cruisers. In any event that would cast the police in an unfavorable light, the camera will be "malfunctioning" or the resulting footage "lost" or "recycled". And we will continue to see theatrical nonsense, such as repeated orders to "Stop resisting!" against people who are already limp as a rag doll because they have recently been beaten to death. It is our responsibility to ensure that the cameras recording police conduct are always on and always accessible to us. You cannot trust the police cameras for this, therefore every person should record every police encounter they witness with their own camera.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 18 weeks 13 hours ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    The headline does not match the article, which appears to be about a plea for the voluntary suspension of tobacco sales. I wouldn't say it is contradictory at all to provide your customers, who have varied tastes, with a wide variety of products--products that, I might add, no one is forced to buy. One might as well complain that it is contradictory for a government to have a justice department at the same time that it employs hundreds of thousands of people to create millions of tiny injustices.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 18 weeks 13 hours ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Crime management is now a for-profit industry. The crime itself still doesn't pay, but rather the "services" to criminals and criminal suspects--and more importantly, their associated fees--are the growing business. The criminals cannot refuse to pay, you see. Metaphorically speaking, the judge will order you to eat a $10 sandwich. The jailer will then give you a $1.50 sandwich and charge you $18 for it. It is not necessary that you eat that sandwich, but if you do not pay, you will be ordered to eat more sandwiches. Privatization of the prison industry needs to stop, immediately, before everything is criminalized in pursuit of profit.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 18 weeks 13 hours ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Had this man decided from the start to defy the law, and build without prior approval or permits, it is likely that the EPA would be blissfully unaware that this had even happened. The same trap is laid in the states where marijuana growing is at least legal some of the time. The DEA is taking the state's records of people compliant with their own laws, and using them as the basis for federal investigations and prosecutions.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 18 weeks 13 hours ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Technology advances at a pace enabled by Moore's Law and human imagination. Government advances at a pace dictated by the weight of the VIP carried in the palanquin. It is inevitable that, sooner or later, a technology will emerge that will make government itself obsolete. And in resisting that technology, it will turn against itself all the people who yearn for progress, who will finally begin to question just why, exactly, it has recently become so difficult to get anything worth having.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 18 weeks 13 hours ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    My paranoia compels me to suspect that these are compliance drills. When these children are grown, this experience in the classroom during a "lock down" will be directly transferable to homes under martial law. And we have already seen the prototype procedure executed in Boston. Stay in your homes. Lock your doors until you are approached by the recognized authority, then follow their instructions to the letter. Any people found outside their designated safe zone may be arrested or killed.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 18 weeks 14 hours ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    The story now is that this happened. The story you will not hear in the future is that no one will be held responsible for this action outwardly resembling the pre-revolutionary practice of executing general warrants and writs of assistance. And the saddest part is that I saw no mention of anyone having the courage to resist in any way.
  • Log from Blammo's picture
    Log from Blammo 18 weeks 14 hours ago Web link Bradley Keyes
    Actually, I think that sometimes the Empire treats garbage more respectfully and more carefully than it treats living people. It is just another symptom of its growing psychological chasm between itself and sane, rational civilization.
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 18 weeks 14 hours ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    For the record, I don't worship Murray Rothbard, either. Neither do I regard his opinions as sacred. But when a man speaks sense, a man speaks sense.   Any libertarian worth his salt recognizes the yawning gulf that separates persuasion from coercion. Thus, in the labor-relations realm, "an employer is not a stick-up artist," as Rand succinctly put it, notwithstanding the protestations of leftists. How much less, then, is the institution of marriage in the realm of love?    "Marriage as an institution, therefore, ought to be opposed if you follow the Non-Aggression Principle"?! Any professed libertarian writing such a statement stands in rather desperate need of a good epistemological housecleaning. Violation of the NAP rightly meets with retaliatory force. Against whom shall we direct it? The bride? The groom? The person officiating? Perhaps "society" itself?   Bad beliefs, like the poor, we will always have with us. They will remain, however defined, even in that devoutly (!) to-be-wished future day when we anarchists relegate the scourge of State to the dustbin of history. But we'll not make any progress toward that goal if we confuse the State's modus operandi with that of voluntary associations, no matter how flawed or antiquated we may deem them.     By all means, lambaste marriage, family, faith, friendship and community to your heart's content. Just keep half-baked applications of the NAP out of it.    
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 18 weeks 18 hours ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    If I may, a further comment on traditional marriage contracts. I checked Wiki here, and while a couple should certainly decide for themselves what agreement they wish to make, if any, those forms of words are not all that bad and might serve as starting points.   So the groom promises: "I take thee to my wedded Wife, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, till death us do part..." and further says "With this Ring I thee wed, with my body I thee worship, and with all my worldly goods I thee endow..."   And the bride responds "I take thee to my wedded Husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better for worse, for richer for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love, cherish, and to obey..."   Those are pretty heavy undertakings!   There is no term, because it's intended to be permanent, ended only by death. The care is mutual; each promises to cherish the other, unconditionally. The groom promises to "endow" his bride with all he owns, and that looks odd if a lowly guy marries a rich gal, but makes sense in the general case in which the husband earns the bread and the wife makes the home and cares for the kids; he is promising to share the net present value of all his future earnings, which will be substantial.   And the little lady promises to obey him, currently a contentious notion. But that's a quid pro quo, firstly, and secondly it's one way in which the contract deals with and anticipates how to resolve differences. Alternatives would be to toss a coin, to consult a guru or judge, to have a fight, etc.; but when the number of participants is even and not odd, majority rule is not an option. Whatever; the point is, that important issue is addressed.   Certainly it can be improved, particularly with pre-nup paragraphs about how things and children are to be divided in the event of agreement to end the deal (and not, hopefully, to divide each of the latter down the middle.) But as a first draft, it ain't bad.      
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 18 weeks 19 hours ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    I became a libertarian in 1980, but for several years failed to grasp that to embrace individual freedom is a matter of intellectual necessity,  not one of transcendental faith; that self-ownership is an axiom, not just a premise. Accordingly, I founded a libertarian religion and ordained myself its first (and only) minister. In that capacity I was invited to marry a couple, of whom the bride lectured in economics at Yale, so the ceremony took place in the august chapel of that University. It was suitably grand, but the whole of it was scripted by the couple themselves, as should be the case. I therefore married them, and though we have lost touch since I believe they stayed married and raised a family. The libertarian glue seems to have been reasonably sticky.  
  • PSYCHOTICNUT's picture
    PSYCHOTICNUT 18 weeks 1 day ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    I may not have been as clear as I would have liked at the beginning of my article. I fully believe all that's voluntary should be allowable and stated at the beginning of my article that I love my friends, I wish them the best, and fully support them in all their endeavors and decisions including their marriages. I disagree with that decision but it's their decision to make. I would also like to point out that I don't worship Murray Rothbard nor do I believe his opinions to be sacred. I'm sorry that you feel that topics outside of condemning the state are useless but I feel there is a greater freedom to be found outside of mere statelessness and I wish that for my friends and family and indeed everyone. I don't consider someone my enemy if they disagree but to quote Paul "All things are lawful, but not all things are profitable. All things are lawful, but not all things edify."
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 18 weeks 1 day ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    Murray Rothbard, lifelong agnostic, wrote about "lifestyle libertarians." Google the essay if you're interested. I can tell you he had no use for them. These are the libertines who conflate the culture's freely embraced moral authority with the state's imposed legal authority. The difference is one of kind and not degree. Faith and civilization have authority over you only if you recognize their authority, whereas government doesn't give a flying fig whether you recognize its authority or not. Of course, libertarians are free to pursue whatever lifestyle they choose. All that matters is that they refrain from initiating violence. So how does marriage--traditional or otherwise--initiate violence? Who's forcing whom to get married? It's bad enough that "liberals" regard faith and civilization (and employment!) as equivalent to slavery. Discussions like this among professed libertarians get us nowhere.    
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 18 weeks 1 day ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    You make a good case that customary marriage contracts are poorly drawn, but if each partner wants to formalize the association, good. One or both does not, also good. Freedom!  Some kind of pre-nup can save a lot of heartache (and lawyer fees) later, though.   You would not be implying, I hope, that voluntary contracts are undesirable generally. In the coming free society, they will as I see it be the mainstay of all time-dependent exchanges and the root of order. Yes of course they place an enforcible obligation on each voluntary participant; if you agree to pay me for my valuable services and I deliver, you have an obligation to produce the moolah; and a well drawn contract will specify the judge who will resolve any dispute.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 18 weeks 1 day ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    There may be some readers interested to learn whether you have yet discovered a good source of "hot, sexy, twenty-something Anarchist bikini-babes" :-)
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 18 weeks 2 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    http://strike-the-root.com/62/knight/knight12.html
  • PSYCHOTICNUT's picture
    PSYCHOTICNUT 18 weeks 2 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    Voluntary contracts employ force. That's the point of them. They employ legal force to create a sense of stability and trust through legal control so that a given translation(s) that benefit both parties can take place. Marriage, has never been a valid voluntary contract historically or even in modern society. Valid contracts include a variety of concepts to be valid. Any valid contract must be voluntary AND include an offer, acceptance, consequences, consideration, and term limit. With marriage the offer, acceptance, and consideration is present but it doesn't include consequences or term limits. Consequences are determined later arbitrarily by a judge with a monopoly to make such decisions and the term is "till death" which can hardly be considered enforceable which is part of the reason a judge can be so arbitrary. In the interest of full disclosure, I was married and divorced but the relationship was not a poor one and the divorce wasn't nasty. We drifted apart due to a lack of time spent together and separated with no great fighting. Again though, my question would be "why?". I have friends that are as close to me as family. I wouldn't dream of even asking them to sign a contract for our relationship. Why would you think a romantic relationship would require a contract unless you sought to control that other individual?
  • PSYCHOTICNUT's picture
    PSYCHOTICNUT 18 weeks 2 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    You make an excellent point and I think you're absolutely right. My point is though, you don't need a contract for such a relationship. I think the key is making a good decision with whom to be intimate. I don't think, for instance, (and I don't really know the two of you so this is pure speculation) that you and your wife would have split up without the marriage contract. You sound like people who understand and deplore the disposable mentality. I don't think it's wrong that you made such a written commitment and I don't think commitment ceremonies are entirely useless. My point is that historically and even in modern society, marriage is an institution for control and in cases such as yours I think the contract is unnecessary.
  • PSYCHOTICNUT's picture
    PSYCHOTICNUT 18 weeks 2 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    Of course I would honor anything voluntary but my reaction would be to ask why. Why would you feel you NEED a contract? I don't make contracts with my friends. Contracts, as I see it, are meant for people I have less evidence for trust or a deal with a high amount of investment. For instance, I might sign a contract even with someone close to me for living arrangements or a deal involving the exchange or pooling of resources. Anyone could make contracts like that though. It would hardly require a romantic relationship. Any valid contract also includes a term limit. I don't believe any contract held in perpetuity should be considered binding. I could understand a contract in the case of kids, for the sake of raising and caring for them as well. I think that would be appropriate but a romantic relationship or any relationship really with someone you highly trust shouldn't require a contract. Really a contract is inappropriate for such a relationship in my opinion.
  • ReverendDraco's picture
    ReverendDraco 18 weeks 2 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    "Those homeless dudes should go to the library and enjoy the wonders showered on us all by our betters; keep ‘em out of trouble." Only thing is. . . when they do that, someone inevitably writes a letter to the editor, denigrating the homeless for making use of a service which they helped pay for. Of course, the person is usually a Statist shill or sycophant.
  • ReverendDraco's picture
    ReverendDraco 18 weeks 2 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    This is similar to the way my wife and I entered into our marriage (5 years this coming May). It was publicly declaring our intent to *work* for our relationship rather than giving up/moving out at the first sign of trouble. The way we see it, when a couple is "merely" living together, it's too easy to say "screw it," and leave - we've both been in those kinds of relationships. . . We both feel an intense dislike for the modern "throw-away" society. We both have cars over 10 years old (hers is 20, and mine is 27); we held on to our CRT television until it died entirely; most of our furniture is family heirlooms. What we see, much too often, are people who treat marriage in the same "throw-away" manner as they treat everything else - whatever is new and shiny must be had; tried-and-true be damned. We also believe that the concept of a "50/50" relationship is nonsense - it's either 100/100 or what the hell are you even together for? Marriage is a full-time job. Funny thing - if you look at the "traditional" wedding vows, they read much like a contract - Do you promise to Love, honor, cherish, obey, for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness & in health, til death. . . the only significant difference is, there are no listed penalties for failing to abide by the terms and conditions. Nothing in the traditional contract stating that, if either party fails to uphold their end of the bargain, the contract is dissolved - no-one gives up X property for breach of contract (you don't find that out until divorce court - or by word-of-mouth). . . Nothing.
  • Scott Lazarowitz's picture
    Scott Lazarowitz 18 weeks 2 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    "One might say, 'All this may be true, but marriage is good for keeping couples together.' To which I would reply, if you need to force your partner to stay with you through the institution of marriage, it may be better that you split. There is no virtue in force and the institution of marriage is an institution of force."   So a voluntary contract is "force"? (Unless you're talking about a "shotgun wedding"...)   No, marriage is not "force," it is voluntary. There's nothing wrong with a contract associated with personal and/or romantic relationships. (I wonder if you've been through a bad marriage and are resentful, or perhaps no marital experiecnes at all?)
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 18 weeks 2 days ago Page Paul Hein
    These are devilishly tough questions, Darkcrusade!   Seems to me they show what a lot of homework the enemy has done. Mr Gov, at the table, can point to all that in-depth preparation, done over centuries.  Much of it stems, I dare say, from the stroke of the pen of George III, by which he laid claim to North America, and the Treaty of Paris which transferred his declaration of ownership to the winners of the Revolutionary War.   I don't think, though, that they alter Paul's point. The governmental declaration of ownership may go back deep into history, but it's still a declaration and nothing more. Mr Gov has no more just and moral right of ownership than His Late Majesty; he "owns" it only because he says so, and can enforce his claim.   You asked about a remedy, but within the paradigm that government exists, I see none. There is no hope that they will interpret their rules in our favor. Therefore, the only remedy is for it to evaporate. If you're not on board the program to bring that about yet, join now.
  • Thunderbolt's picture
    Thunderbolt 18 weeks 2 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    Nice article, Steven, with powerful implications. Most men are aware of how badly they fare in divorce court. This is truly a paradigm shift in power.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 18 weeks 2 days ago Page PSYCHOTICNUT
    Interesting history, Steven, and welcome aboard!   I wonder if the idea of marriage as a contract might be given greater prominence. A contract not between a father and the bridegroom, but between bride and groom. A mutual promise to stay together, rather than to part company as soon as turbulence arises.   If so, would you still oppose the honoring of such a contract?    
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 18 weeks 2 days ago Page Paul Hein
    Your delightfully simple scenario, Paul, conceals the fact that behind Mr Gov (or perhaps outside but surrounding the room) stand at his command several Kevlar-covered thugs with an unlimited number if guns, ready to take from you anything and everything you were unwilling to surrender at the table. In other words, Mr Gov is not merely saying "That property is ours because we say so", but also "and if you don't agree, we'll take it by force." He is therefore revealing and exercising the government view of property: that stuff belongs to whoever can acquire, retain or recover it, forcefully. That's another way of saying that "might is right" or that "possession equals ownership" - that is, whoever presently has stuff and can forcibly retain it, owns it. The notions of rights to property, of morality, are foreign to that government view. That ownership and physical possession are two different things, separated by concepts of morality and justice, is not only a fundamental libertarian premise but has antecedents going back centuries, probably millennia. Those who conflate or confuse them are no better than government agents. "Property rights" did not begin with Rothbard, but their denial is a high government priority.
  • ReverendDraco's picture
    ReverendDraco 18 weeks 3 days ago Page Paul Hein
    Just out of curiosity, how do you deal with reposting these articles elsewhere? I would like to repost it, verbatim (including a link to STR and credit to Paul) - but am unsure if it is allowed. All that aside. . . a well-written bit for sure. I can almost see Mr. Gov having an apoplexy. . .
  • Darkcrusade's picture
    Darkcrusade 18 weeks 3 days ago Page Paul Hein
    ''Suppose you are seated at one end of a table, and government is seated at the other. Between you lies your wallet, the deed to your home, title to your car, and all other assets you own.'' Devil's advocate states; Who's image and subscription are upon those Federal Reserve Notes(nots) babelbux within 'your wallet'? Who's control number is upon 'your' deed-simple, that you submitted(applied for) paperwork to generate? Who's control number is upon 'your' (EN-)title(MENT) for your car,from the government, that you submitted(applied for)paperwork to generate? All other assets purchased using the kings currency and Satanic debt-money scheme? Here lies the mystery of why the creator gets control of his creation. He that creates gets to control. Perhaps there is an escape hatch on this Emerald city? http://www.suijurisforum.com/it-doesn-t-work-t174.html
  • John deLaubenfels's picture
    John deLaubenfels 18 weeks 3 days ago Page Paul Bonneau
    Lately I've read several columns with the theme, "We have to be careful not to behave (or advocate) in a way that will cause average people to think we're kooks."  Tucker's offering is another of this genre.  I couldn't disagree more!  This is a game that can never be won, but can only cause its practitioner to water down his own principles until he stands for nothing.  Of course, nobody should act (or advocate) in a way that is gratitously offensive, but the best way to teach the world that liberty works is to live it!  Make and live our choices, even the ones that seem unthinkable to many people.  Show that it doesn't make the sky fall.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 18 weeks 3 days ago
    M for Malaysia
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    Early this morning Wired Magazine published a theory by Canadian pilot Chris Goodfellow about what happened to this flight (and thanks to LRC for the link.)   It makes a lot better sense than any other I've heard - including, alas, my own. It accounts for the aircraft silence right after leaving Malaysian airspace, the long flight somewhere over the Indian Ocean, and the direction it took at least initially; the latter with great accuracy. It does not require either of the crew to have been murderous, nor the presence of a hijacker. Worth a read.
  • Mark Davis's picture
    Mark Davis 18 weeks 3 days ago Page Paul Hein
    Revealing circular logic to a fool typically gets little more than a blank stare, but this profound attempt just may do the trick for some.  Well done, sir.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 18 weeks 3 days ago Web link Emmett Harris
    If I understand this article, it sounds like the undriver license thing is pretty harmless (although a tad preachy). The "commuter trip reduction law", on the other hand, is just another tyrant grab for power.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 18 weeks 3 days ago Page Paul Hein
    "On one side, we have the owner of the property, whose ownership is unquestioned and unquestionable. On the other hand, we have Mr. Gov, who claims a greater right to the property because he’s written down that he is entitled to it, and that by some ineffable power this transfers ownership of the property from its owner, to Mr. Gov." Both notions are wrong. Your property, is just the stuff you can prevent others from taking. :-) http://strike-the-root.com/private-property-vs-your-stuff
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 18 weeks 3 days ago Page Paul Hein
    Thank you, Paul. This is frighteningly simple. You have a great way of clarifying complexity.
  • Sharon Secor's picture
    Sharon Secor 18 weeks 4 days ago Page Paul Hein
    Excellent! I'm adding it to my children's reading list for next week.   Best Regards...
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 18 weeks 4 days ago Page Paul Hein
    "the failure to recognize it among so many people in our society" Oh, I definitely agree with that - it is maddening. But I still don't think of it as slavery, since real slaves, from what I have read, were acutely aware of their condition (read the life of Frederick Douglass for example). It's almost as if the people you describe are on narcotics, blithely unaware of reality, sleepwalking. Here's an article that describes more or less where I am coming from, just posted here on STR. http://betabeat.com/2014/02/outrage-porn-how-the-need-for-perpetual-indi... We have this giant information pipe, the Internet, funneling vast gobs of information (of varying quality) into our brains, but what should be more important to us is the local stuff, what we run into every day in our *actions*. Are we really going to pay a fee and get a permit to replace a damn toilet? Is that particular cop in our own town a bastard? And so forth.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 18 weeks 4 days ago Web link Sharon Secor
    An excellent article. Everyone should read it.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 18 weeks 5 days ago Page Paul Hein
    Thanks, Paul. Those are all good quotes. I do have to agree that on some days I do not feel like a slave either. On others, however, I feel the full weight of the imposition of government, and perhaps even more daunting, the failure to recognize it among so many people in our society. There is that wonderful book by Milton Mayer, entutledd They Thought They Were Free, about life in Nazi Germany. In many ways, it supports your thesis Because as we sink gradually into the swamp, we lose our sense of what it was like without the swamp in our very nostrils!
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 18 weeks 5 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    For some reason, Oklahoma is kinda weird about guns. In Oregon it is commonplace for legislators and ordinary peons to carry guns in the capitol building.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 18 weeks 5 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Good article, although the author for some reason assumes that there can be such a thing as a legitimate government.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 18 weeks 5 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Well, if we've ever paid a federal income tax, he's already seized some assets. Anyway he's already given himself permission to kill anybody he pleases. I guess I am not going to worry too much about this. I won't keep my trap shut about any damn war either.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 18 weeks 5 days ago Page Paul Hein
    Assange, Snowden and Manning angered powerful and evil men. That is the way to describe them, rather than calling them slaves. I tend to use the word "peon" a lot, to describe our status. I think it is more accurate. There is a tendency to suggest that a single restriction is enough to transform us from free to slave. Although I definitely think that the time to rebel is not when the thousandth restriction is imposed, but when the first is imposed, I still can't look at that as slavery. It is an imposition. Here is a quote I like, by John Dickenson: "Indeed nations, in general, are not apt to think until they feel; and therefore nations in general have lost their liberty: For as violations of the rights of the governed, are commonly...but small at the beginning, they spread over the multitude in such a manner, as to touch individuals but slightly. Thus they are disregarded...They regularly increase the first injuries, till at length the inattentive people are compelled to perceive the heaviness of their burdens. They begin to complain and inquire - but too late. They find their oppressors so strengthened by success, and themselves so entangled in examples of express authority on the part of their rulers, and of tacit recognition on their own part, that they are quite confounded." Of course to be (involuntarily) governed at all is itself a huge imposition. Dickenson was no anarchist, but he makes a point. The time to fight an imposition is at the beginning, ideally. Of course for us, that is a rather theoretical situation. I don't know, I just don't feel like a slave; maybe I'm just being stupid. But here's another way of looking at it: http://strike-the-root.com/government-force-of-nature
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 18 weeks 5 days ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    Sharon, thank you for writing and sharing your experiences with your own children. When I think of contemporary events and look for an answer to the question, Why? I am reminded of what Butler Shaffer writes in his books--and more particularly in Wizards of Ozymandias:   The state owes its very existence to the success it has in fostering division among us. Divide and conquer has long been its mainstay in political strategy. Blacks and whites. Christians and Muslims. Employees and employers. Straights and gays. Men and women. In this separation, the state gains power by exploiting fears and promising its protection.   Taking Butler's lead, we can take it a bit further. The government is always ready to launch a new war to stampede us into fearful obedience, subservience, and worship of the state. As George Orwell showed in his novel, 1984, there will always be a Bernstein to serve as an "official enemy" for us to officially hate and fear. The list of these enemies is long and grows longer each day: A war on drugs. War on poverty. On terror. Intolerance. Child slavery. Skateboarders run amuk. Guns. Lack of "healthcare access." Saturated fats. Goldstein. Goldstein. Goldstein!
  • Sharon Secor's picture
    Sharon Secor 18 weeks 5 days ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    The concept of calling things what they are is one I've been discussing with my children and other people on a regular basis for years now. I encourage the use of very plain, simple language because it brings the message home so much more powerfully. Euphemisms, big words, and pretty language muddy the waters, hide what things are in many cases. Calling things what they are brings clarity to any situation and helps a person to see situations and people for what they are. It is a valuable tool in establishing personal and political values, as well as for decision making in difficult situations.   I stumbled onto the concept years ago, answering questions for my children when they were little. Explaining racism and slavery to a 4-year-old, using words small enough for her to understand, I wept... the small words made it all so raw, so ugly. (No, sweetheart, those children never saw their mommies again...) That child remembers Martin Luther King Day more, I suspect, because it was the first time she'd seen her mother cry than the for actual historical significance of the day.   Simple words reveal the essence of a person. What kind of person chooses to work in a position in which he or she violates the rights of others? What kind of people join professions and inflict pain and humiliation upon others while violating their rights or protect those in their profession that do? Our political "leaders" are murderers (often mass murderers), thieves, and liars. What rational, moral person would feel an obligation of loyalty or obedience to such people or their laws?   Often people ask me what I mean with the phrase/title "Practicing Resistance and Raising Revolutionaries." Teaching the next generation to see things clearly and call them what they are, to resist having their vision and intellect clouded by truth-masking euphemism and propaganda -- I believe these to be among the most important revolutionary acts a person can perform.   Best Regards,   Sharon Secor  
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 18 weeks 5 days ago
    M for Malaysia
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    Now that the Feds (alleging help from Rolls Royce) have declared that MH 370 left Malaysia in controlled flight heading West, that ass of a Prime Minister has laid the blame on the pilot(s).   That's my first pick too, and has been since Tuesday; but he made no mention of the other possibility - that it was hijacked. If hijackers got through his government's security net, he would be to blame; whereas pilot integrity is mainly an airline responsibility.   What a creep! These government morons perform no useful function at all.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 18 weeks 5 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Psst! Hey, Vlad, trade in Bitcoin!
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 18 weeks 6 days ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    Sorry, Paul. I must have been mistaken.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 18 weeks 6 days ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    Wow, Lawrence, I sure don't know how you got that from my story. I'm not advocating anything of the sort. It's just an anecdote, from 1980 when I hadn't even heard of libertarianism. But even with this imperfect example, it's clear the (entirely) free market would be just as capable of providing security. Not only was this not an example of a uniformly applied government solution, but I'm now someone who does not fly at all, which is arguably better than what you've come up with. If everybody did what I do, TSA would be ended instantly. If everybody did what you do, it wouldn't put a crimp in the TSA at all.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 18 weeks 6 days ago
    M for Malaysia
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    This morning's news shows that the Malaysian investigators are beginning to follow that lead which I gave three days ago - they are searching the Captain's home, and may soon check that of the co-pilot.   They are still looking all over the world, however, instead of checking Mecca first. Of course I could be wrong about that, but once one understands a bit about governments and religions, it tells one where to look first.
  • Lawrence M. Ludlow's picture
    Lawrence M. Ludlow 19 weeks 16 hours ago Page Lawrence M. Ludlow
    As late as the 1970s, people boarded flights at LaGuardia Airport with rifles.