Recent comments

  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 3 days ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    "If there are any of you out there who are government plants and agents, come on in. This is the place for you. You can't harm us."   In one sense, Sam, you're quite right: STR exists to promote liberty, obviously to those who don't understand or value liberty; and it cannot fulfill that mission unless such people "come on in" and read what STR writers have to offer. And sure, anyone here who has his head together about the principles of liberty isn't going to be "harmed" when such folk visit and pay attention.   That's not the same, though, wouldn't you agree on reflection, as having someone actively opposed to liberty engaged as a writer for STR? - for then, it would be opposing its own mission by promoting the opposite of liberty, in one or several respects, to readers who still need convincing.   Test this, I suggest, rather easily. Would you really invite Paul Krugman to write an article for STR on economics? Or Hillary Clinton, one on foreign policy? Or Admiral Rogers on the dangers of surveillance? Might you really welcome a re-publication of some account of the virtues of Social Security written by F D Roosevelt?   If so, nice a guy as you are, I'm rather glad you're not our Editor.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 23 weeks 3 days ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    "...your pathological accusation that Paul Bonneau is some kind of government plant..." And this, Alex, is also an interesting study. So... what if you, or I, or Davies, or Bonneau, happen to "...be some kind of government plant(s)..." -- or, conversely, "...be some kind of anarchist plant(s)..." Would that by itself indicate that we (or they) would best be banned from STR??? Or any other libertarian-oriented forum??? Is my stance (behind the great facade that I present to y'all) so fragile that I can't sort the wheat ("right" of self-ownership) from the chaff (statism)??? If you "...are a government plant...", I'd like to be of influence in helping to effect the overcoming of your delusion. I can't very well be that influence for you if we throw you out. If my foundation is firm, I can do that (be a positive influence). If not, I'd better run. I recall the early days in Alcoholics Anonymous, and the controversies over "...how to tell if a newbee (I can't remember the term we used to use to refer to newcomers in AA) is really an alcoholic, or if s/he just wants some attention s/he can't find in other groups or associations..." The girls discovered early in the game that AA was one of the few places where the guys outnumbered the gals. Groupies showed up in droves. I wouldn't vouch for the health of "13th step romances" that developed as the result -- but a few did result in sound and happy marriages that have lasted for many years. There were lots of "closed" AA meetings in those days, for-alcoholics-only. Well, we were paranoid. There was the old joke, "..just because you're paranoid does not mean they're NOT out to get you!.." But we'd come down to the principle that YOU determine whether or not you belong in our group. Go over to the nearest bar, take a couple drinks (do it more than once) -- you'll quickly find out if you really belong in AA. You're an alcoholic (and a fully inaugurated AA member) if YOU say so. Nobody can make that determination for you. Most closed AA meetings are a thing of the past, in deference to "open" meetings. Outsiders will not harm us. So, what if I'm a government plant??? If I am, I can assure you that I'm quite well educated and highly skilled in the covert art of obfuscation. You won't know I'm a mole. Not if I'm good at it. Remember, I was trained for almost two years at Yale University as a snot-nose kid in the field of "Military Intelligence" (an oxymoron if there ever was such a thing). At age 19 I spoke much better Mandarin Chinese than I've ever spoken English -- and I'm supposed to be an "English Major". If there are any of you out there who are government plants and agents, come on in. This is the place for you. You can't harm us. You might even benefit by your presence at STR and your association with us. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 23 weeks 3 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "...do you feel that a government contractor or supplier should be held responsible for the use to which customers put their products?..." Interesting but important question that became lost in the "rights" squabble. But it's a topic that should possibly be at the very top of anarchist and libertarian discussion forums. Because it asks us to get to the bottom of our understanding of what it actually means to be free, to promote liberty, and to grasp and promote "self-ownership" concepts (I refrained from "right of self-ownership" because we've already bloodied each other over that one). I think, unless I choose to judge you and/or others (I don't), the question must be rephrased: "...as a libertarian or anarchist, do you feel it incumbent upon yourself to refuse to accept orders for products you think (or suspect) might be used nefariously?..." Because I'd be fearful that those "...holding (the seller) responsible..." would feed from the same nosebag of those placing the orders in question. It opens up discussion of many highly sensitive issues we've engaged in on STR over the years: displaying and/or promoting religious faith, displaying and/or promoting atheism, accepting "social security" monthly payments and/or other government "benefits". Even driving on government highways and streets. We had one guy a few years ago who insisted one cannot be free and libertarian while in possession of a government-issued drivers license. This was the same guy who challenged me over my proclamation, "I do not have the right to walk barefoot in the woods" (I had been droning on about dealing with or avoiding police with the same caution that I use to avoid rattlesnakes). He convinced me that I DO have the right to walk barefoot in the woods. I think that might have been about the time I decided that it is more appropriate (for me) to use "choices" in lieu of "rights" to sidestep the appearance of servitudinalism (my new word). I choose to wear high boots to the woods to reduce the chance of snakebite. But I have the right not to do so. The question not only addresses accepting government contracts and "benefits", but also spills over into other dilemmas: accepting orders for wedding cakes if I believe the customers are homosexual, or if I suspect the cake might promote and encourage behaviors in which I might not approve. And it could include the probity of selling alcohol and tobacco to children, which gets into ascertaining just when an individual ceases to be a child and enters adulthood. And "...do parents 'own' their children?..." We've discussed many of these topics over the years without rancor. Debilitating rancor, I mean. Because many of the discussions get quite animated. I'd enjoy seeing it happen again. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 23 weeks 3 days ago Web link rothbardian
    The issue is collectivism vs individualism. The larger any entity becomes, the greater the bureaucracy and the more virulent grows the loss of efficiency and efficacy. I think Henry Ford was one of the first to make that observation (or to be quoted with it). And, of course, all the larger "non-profits" are engendered and held together and nurtured by the greatest "non-profit" of them all -- that brainless, mindless abstraction called "government" -- the lunatics who make it up and presume to define "non-profit". The obfuscation "non-profit" is a mirage created by those thieves. Because every entity (especially your own household) must take in more than it spends, no matter what you call it. The idea of "profit" must be maligned for the state to remain ecclesiastic in the minds of the hoi polloi. So it is no wonder that administrators of Red Cross and especially United Way are so clumsy and destructive at "do-gooding", yet rake in unbelievably large salaries for all their officials. That's why it is so important that people like us maintain the attitude "...I'm more important to you than you are to me..." when it comes to the job marketplace: I am the seller, you (the one "offering" the job) are the buyer. I am an important factor in your supply chain. Don't scam me -- it's not worth it to you. When and if I give, only I shall know about it. So lay off that coercive "United Way" business. Call this a side note if you will, but here at STR many get all wigged out over the "religion" business. But on the other hand, sometimes you can play the "religion" card to your advantage. This could be one -- on how to deal with "employers" when they hit you up for those coercive "contributions". Tell 'em your religion forbids it. Sam
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 23 weeks 3 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    The real lesson of Eric Garner's needless death is that the states's taxes WILL BE COLLECTED, even if it kills you and which is also the case for ALL their other laws too, (Granny Sociopath of course, is excepted). This isn't reason, consent, persuasion, etc., but naked ass force. That is why their agents all carry firearms. To kill us with if we resist. 
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 23 weeks 3 days ago Web link rothbardian
    One big thing I like about not being a corporate employee any more is no longer attending the twice a year meeting where we'd all get mugged by United Way and the other mega charities while our bosses held us down. Red Cross was the worst of all cuz they wanted money and blood, as in the literal blood from out of our veins. 
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 23 weeks 4 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Shame he didn't have accounts in Luxembourg, Lichtenstein, or Switzerland, and some BitCoin. 
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 23 weeks 4 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    Mixed feelings. I don't like that Unce Beast has these things, but at least it ain't near DTX or in Michigan. Just sayin'...
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 23 weeks 4 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    All this is easier to understand if you keep in mind that the government fucking HATES us...
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 23 weeks 4 days ago Web link KenK
    "...We do truly live in a marvelous universe..." Well said. I choose to use the term "marvelous" also -- simply due to the knee-jerk reactions of some of my very dear friends who might interpret "miraculous" to be a religious lament. That entire squabble is eerie, when you boil it down. Because nobody knows. Even our old and late friend, Carl Sagan, no friend to "religion" -- but also not a friend toward "atheism" -- didn't claim to "know". He was smilingly philosophical toward both extremes. Which, I submit, might be the attitude best suited to all of us at STR who are genuinely serious about making a difference to folks who might be considering "joining our ranks" after this dog-and-pony show is over next month. Referring, of course, to the U.S. "election". Sam
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 5 days ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    When you've cooled down and before you go, do re-read my Liberty: Rooted in Rights. I just did, and cannot improve here on what it says.   It includes this: "suppression of an understanding of the self-ownership right is a vital priority for government people" and Suspected-Agent Bonneau has done a fine job for them. You, alas, have given him useful assistance, and having known your former self, that brings me much sadness.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 5 days ago Web link KenK
    Alternatively if the composition of the milk had been anything other than perfectly suited to the job, we would not be here to wonder at it.  That's what evolution does; the best survive, the rest don't.   However, the wonder is real enough. We do truly live in a marvelous universe.
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 23 weeks 5 days ago Web link KenK
    Got to admit the way it all comes together so perfectly is a miracle if anything is.
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 23 weeks 5 days ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    The "concept of rights."  Imagine that!   Other than being a laughable and wholly childish attempt to avoid actually answering to the points I've raised (you've once again provided zero evidence of your preposterous contention -- only more opinion) your pathological accusation that Paul Bonneau is some kind of government plant...well, I think it speaks for itself in terms of how truly delusional you are.   This happens, I understand, to those unable admit wrong -- those whose egos and narcissism are of such magnitude that they cannot even conceive of a world in which their thoughts, ideas...and opinions...are not always 100% correct and in turn regarded as such -- even objectively -- by everyone with whom they come into contact.   I won't say that when you're ready to provide concrete evidence of "rights" we'll talk, because I already know you can't provide such evidence.  I think you do too, but are simply unable to deflate your own absurd sense of self-worth enough to admit it.   So be it.  This is a worthless and time-consuming conversation at any event, and I have better and more intelligent things to do than to continue to be party to it.  
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 23 weeks 6 days ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Thanks, Sam! Tony
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 23 weeks 6 days ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    I think I know I'm right, so I'm right. I think.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 6 days ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    "one major player childishly picks up his bat and his ball and leaves the playing field..."   Just in case this refers to me, Sam, thanks for calling me a "major" player but no thanks at all for saying my departure from the ranks of current STR authors was "childish".   On the contrary, it was done with deliberate forethought and strenuous attempts to avoid a breach, on the grounds (with which Paul Bonneau fully agreed at the time) that STR does not have room for both of us. We made a joint approach to the Editor to pick which of us he preferred to keep,  but unfortunately he declined to do so. I therefore quit. I will not be identified with a writer who in my considered opinion is a government infiltrator and agent. That was principled, not childish.   To any who wish to know, however, I continue to write, but in a different place: the Zero Government Blog. It offers "Rational, Refreshing Reflections on What's Happening Now" and so far since August 2010 I've published some 434 essays, or a little over one a week. All of them are firmly based on the rational, accurate and orthodox libertarian understanding of the right of self ownership and anticipate a society from which government has been completely removed.   Its current issue can always be reached via TinyURL.com/ZGBlog, and its "RECENT" button reveals an indexed archive of the 434 issues. There is an RSS feed option offered, to remind regular readers that a new issue has been published. I also usually post a short notice in the "Blog" section of STR when one has appeared.  
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 6 days ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    No straw-grasping here, Alex, and no ego-blinding either. Kindly bottle your anger against me personally, it doesn't help your credibility. Very far from having "zero value", the concept of rights is fundamental to libertarianism and to justice.   Try this: if arguendo humans have no rights, what basis do you propose for rational ethics?   What it seems to me to lead to is the view that might makes right. The guy with the biggest gun prevails, and if a Jew (or a few million Jews) are exterminated because they lack the power to prevent it, too bad, so be it. No wrong has been committed, no sense of justice outraged, no recompense due. This is of course exactly the principle upon which government operates.   Some here who hold that view may well do so after having been misled, or confused - yourself, I think, among them. Others may be here full well knowing that they are spreading disinformation, in a deliberate attempt to undermine this vanguard of the freedom movement. A few years ago I suggested that Paul Bonneau was one such.  I cannot prove it. But his latest lamentable article, above, adds one more item to the evidence supporting my opinion.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 23 weeks 6 days ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    I think you're right. But what if you're wrong??? Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 23 weeks 6 days ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Fired in the manner of a true marksman, Tony! I wish I could have been that kosher. And that brief! Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 23 weeks 6 days ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    "...99 people could cheerfully agree to violate all the property and personal rights of the 1 whom they dislike, without any basis for complaint..." Which is more-or-less the way the world shapes up today, looking at it (inversely perhaps) from the perspective of the non-sovereign -- the 99%. I think the "Occupiers of yore" may have been onto something, seeing the world from their points of view. And contentious me, of course (in my dotage): I could not resist the temptation to bike up and down streets and bike trails with a large yellow sign with black writing: "I AM THE 1%" affixed to my backpack and providing the base for my red flashing light for night riding. Purposeful contention is what we're dealing with here on the "rights" issue. And there's really no need for it at STR (as I see it). Because nothing changes: so, if I'm "right" (pun intended), so what??? Or if I'm "wrong", what's the big deal??? I'll still choose the term "choices" over "rights". To you it might appear a huge impediment to freedom. To me it's not whether "rights" is "right" -- it's the quarreling and the bickering that present the greater impediments -- on this particular forum, at least. Because -- with this and a couple other minor squabbles over "theory" -- one major player childishly picks up his bat and his ball and leaves the playing field, taking the majority of the participants with him. Well, not "taking them with him" -- he certainly hasn't gained any followers. But he has succeeded in creating an unfriendly climate. They cease participating and find other games -- the ones who truly want to continue "the movement". The rookies get lost in the shuffle. And the poor manager of the playing field is caught in the middle -- he has no dog in the fight. He just wants to present a habitable and hospitable environment for all participants of the very important activity for which the arena was designed and kept in place. He doesn't want newbies, potential heavy-hitters, thwarted. He'd just like to see everybody get the chance to play. Divide and conquer: the sustenance of the Hillaries and the Trumpsters. We libertarians are so good at fighting amongst ourselves -- and snatching defeat out of the jaws of victory! If there's one thing I've had to learn in gettin' old: I've got to constantly stave off the natural rage that seems to beset old men if we're not vigilant with ourselves. My kids -- and I'm truly proud of each and every one of them -- have strayed from "...everything I've tried to teach 'em...!". Some have chosen to be Demopublicans, others Republicrats. At least one is a Libertarian (capital "L"). And I won't get into the religion thing (which I don't see as "religion" at all, but a way of life that them kids otta be adhering to and teachin' to my grandkids!). All but one have left the Israelitishness of their youth. And that one's a royal pain in the arse -- chiding me over my lackadaisical slippin' and slidin'! And to top it all off, each of my children has the cheek to earn more money and acquire more "titles" than their Pa ever did! Well, I'll just ride my bike and stay young to age 120. It'll be the first time in the history of mankind that kids have gotten older than the old man. That'll teach 'em. Sam
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 23 weeks 6 days ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    No, I think it's YOU who happens to be rather confused, Jim -- not to mention blinded by your own ego, and grasping at straws.   You've only proven my point.  All you're expressing are opinions that possess ZERO practical value.  You contend that Jew had a "right" to live?  Really?  Fat lot of good it did him, if so.  So now prove he had that "right."  Concretely and absolutely.  No opinions -- just hard proof.  That I happen to think he did, and you too, is of zero moment.  No "right" existed outside of a number of opinions insufficient in this case to save his life.  In another kind of society, in a different place and time, he'd have lived.  In neither case did some abstraction become solid granite separated from human opinion.  I can't think of a more useless and purely academic contention that he somehow had a concrete "right" that exists, entirely outside of human constructs, no matter what anyone else might think or do.  Simply put, such an idea is pure bullshit.   As is your pathetic attempt to justify yourself, or even your presence here.  
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 23 weeks 6 days ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Yes, Sam, I most certainly do. STR's "About" page states "The mission of STR is to advance the cause of liberty." It is not an open-to-all-views forum, it is an advocacy site, and long may it remain so. Therefore, articles that fail to conform to that mission should be excluded.   The one I referenced establishes that liberty is rooted in rights; hence, an attack on rights is an attack on liberty and hence on STR's stated mission. If you think I (and Rothbard, and many others) got that wrong, go ahead and try to rebut its reasoning.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 24 weeks 4 min ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    The confusion here is immense. Rights, you say, Alex, are contingent on popular assent? Nonsense! If that were the criterion, nobody would have any. 99 people could cheerfully agree to violate all the property and personal rights of the 1 whom they dislike, without any basis for complaint.   And they are contingent on one's ability to restore or defend? Nonsense again! At any one time, it's quite possible that such restoration is beyond reach; that emphatically does not mean they do not exist. Consider a Jew, freshly arrived in 1944 Auschwitz. He is being marched into the gas chamber. His situation is 100% hopeless, he has no chance at all of defending his right to life. Does that mean he has no such right? - very much the contrary. Otherwise, Rudolf Höss did nothing wrong.   Then, does one have rights if one is alone in the world? - of course! Suppose there were 2 people living, or some other small number. Each would have the right to life, self ownership etc. Then unhappily a plague took all their lives except the one. He had his rights before the last of the others died, so he has them intact and unchanged after that moment.  Naturally, since nobody remains who might challenge them, they are no longer of great practical use, that I concede, but so long as he is alive he retains them. They are integral to being human.   What I'm opposing and will certainly continue to oppose are the false perceptions that seem to penetrate even STR. I'm sorry if that seems sometimes to spill over into ad hominem attacks. Take the example of an IRS agent who flouts reason, logic, law and all the rights we have; we agree he is doing evil, yes? But is he personally evil, would you and I demean him, call him a tyrant etc? There is a fine line, I'm not sure. In your post above, you have written some stupid things; does that make you stupid? - I am not saying so. I'll try harder to maintain the difference.
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 24 weeks 9 hours ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    A Randroid, Rothbardian, and Catholic monarchist walk into a bar: two rationalists and one Sky Wizard obscurantist. As Natural Rights theorists, all three agree Rights are objective, discoverable, and rational.   The Randroid and Rothbardian insist a woman has "a right to choose," much to the consternation of the Catholic monarchist. The Rothbardian and Catholic monarchist insist no nation--not even a "civilized" one like the U.S.--has the right to target "savage nation" noncombatants in wartime, much to the consternation of the Randroid. Nobody can come to any agreement on intellectual property, slant drilling, or the morality of the income tax.   The rancor generated by their conflicting versions of Natural Rights prevents them from enjoying a pint together. That "objective, discoverable, and rational" thing doesn't work for them. Stupid metaphysicists. 
  • Tony Pivetta's picture
    Tony Pivetta 24 weeks 10 hours ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Rights (not God, mind you--that would be "mysticism") are the Ventriloquist. Rights theorists are the Ventriloquist's dummies. There is (or is not) a Right to civilian safety in wartime, "reproductive choice," intellectual property, slant drilling in oil fields, collecting 100 percent of one's income. The dummies all disagree. But they all know Rights exist nonetheless, on a Platonic plane (not Heaven, mind you--that would be "mysticism") somewhere.    Likewise, the horse I see before me is not a real horse. The real horse exists on a Platonic plane. As does the horse's shit. The horse and horseshit I see before me, in the here-and-now, are not real. For the real horse and real horseshit, I have to visit the Platonic plane.    So it is with Rights. What Rights I do or do not enjoy in sensory-sensual space-time are meaningless. All that matters is Platonic Rights. You'll find them right next to the Platonic horseshit. It's all so rational!
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 24 weeks 15 hours ago Web link KenK
    This comment to the article (by Popular Science of all folks) augments a comment I just made to Ken on another thread. My ongoing mantra is that the human family is the only legitimate governing unit. Others are merely coercive interlopers, enforcing their "jurisdiction" with loaded firearms. I look forward to the day that genuine anarchy prevails, and those intruders are all cast into outer darkness. I have no idea how it happens that Moms are equipped with this immune-giving and highly nourishing milk when they give birth. All I know for certain is that they are -- most of them. I'm not a religious man, but I consider this function of human procreation a miracle. Watch this old 9 minute video, by a true scientist who appears to be more religious than I: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fKyljukBE70 Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 24 weeks 16 hours ago Web link Westernerd
    I sense in your comment an indwelling, subtle misgiving of hard-shell individualism in deference to comfort in mild collectivism. Now, please don't misinterpret what I'm saying here, Ken: I'm definitely NOT accusing or lumping you in with collectivists. You would not be here and remain here and comment on and participate in the discussions here if you fit that category. You don't. You're an excellent "devil's advocate" for this forum. But use of the thought, or the interpretation '...Stirnerite view that they are "the law unto themselves"...' tells me something about how you approach testing the strength of my argument. So at the outset I must repeat that my oft-used "sovereign state" is itself a test of strength of the reasoning of critics I might have. Many "libertarians" seem to have a knee-jerk emotional reaction to use of the term "state". Well, aren't we supposed to "...hate the state..."??? So if I were (in sobriety) to rephrase it, I would be constrained to use the expression "in a state of sovereignty" (as opposed, for instance, to being in a state of melancholy). But if I did that I'd lose the "state" reaction, which is priceless. So, for now, I'll remain a sovereign state. I do not know how the world about me will play out once central political government collapses and disappears -- never to be resurrected; but replaced by free market, "common law" consequences that you outlined. I hope to be alive and cognizant when that takes place. It will be interesting (in a macabre sort of way, I suppose) to observe how the likes of Charles Manson will fare in a totally free "society". I have a hunch that the entirety of that murderous debacle was exacerbated egregiously by and within the structure of monopoly "justice" existing in California (and the world) at that time. As it is yet today. Will the Charles Mansons in a free world have the capability of getting off first base with their evil deeds? Won't free (and armed) folks have them stopped in their tracks before they leave childhood? I have faith that is how justice will develop once central political "authority" is scuttled once and for all time. Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 24 weeks 18 hours ago
    He Pays No Tax!
    Blog entry Jim Davies
    To repeat an oft-made comment by me, I sort of hope Trump "wins" next month. Not that I have a dog in the fight or believe my world (which revolves around MY belly-button :-] ) will be affected one way or the other. But, like the "Brexit" vote, it could give us some indication as to how many of the unwashed masses are moving in our direction. "Win" or "lose", we can still glean some signal from the vote -- and it will be fun to see how many of the hoi polloi have been able to skinny out from under the constant inundation of the press and, as you mention, the 12 year indoctrination. Each day or week or month I gain an insight or two that solidifies my desire to be and to remain a free, sovereign "state". And I also have an indwelling curiosity as to just what percentage of adults around me are also are absorbing some of the increasing "alternative media" phenomenon. Just when I feel most alone in this thing, someone up or down the street will say or write something that gives me hope. As I commented recently, last time I voted (1964 -- devastated by the trouncing of my hero, Barry Goldwater) there was no such thing as the internet. "Mainstream media" was for the most part all there was. I suspected my new-found friend, Karl Hess, was rather of a kook -- until he introduced me to Harry Browne. Lots of h2o under the bridge and hope for the future. Sam
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 24 weeks 20 hours ago Web link Westernerd
    If each "sovereign" person had the Stirnerite view that they are "the law unto themselves" and so acted accordingly, the world we live in would swiftly become a Hobbesian hell, and in very short order, Sam. At least that's how it seems to me. I'm no legal scholar but this is how the whole thing about societal order seems to me to work, (when it works) at optimum. Culture > politics > laws. In a group where most people have shared values about right & wrong, cultural norms (i.e., "laws") are well known, so there's no need for arcane legal webspinning nor any opportunity to lobby lawmakers for special considerations. An ad hoc panel of judges picked by the defendents and plaintiffs themselves should be able to come to some form of settlement both can live with about 99 percent of the time. Persons that ignore court summons or decisions would swiftly find themselves unable to live or do business in a community if they did so by being declared an outlaw.  See Sam, if you are a sovereign state unto to yourself, so is Charlie Manson. (I dont think I need to explain the problems with that, do I?)  If some Amish people, for example, want to live how they like & according to their beliefs, their courts would probably get it right the vast majority of the time (n.b. "right" as in something that everybody can live with.) So revenge, retaliation, "pay backs" etc. are greatly disincentivized.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 24 weeks 1 day ago Web link Westernerd
    Absolutely. "...as long as the law remains a state monopoly, there will always be a political struggle for its control..." (John Hasnas, Myth of the Rule of Law) "We" have a long, long hill to climb, Ken. I strongly recommend anybody meditating your above assessment read Hasnas' short essay as linked above. Especially the conclusion, where he states, "...The time has come for those committed to individual liberty to realize that the establishment of a truly free society requires the abandonment of the myth of the rule of law..." Of course Hasnas talks about "...the establishment of a truly free society..." But I do not foresee a critical mass of individuals abandoning the idea of "the-rule-of-law" in order to establish a-truly-free-society. Therefore, I've found it necessary to establish a truly free society. A society of 1. I am a sovereign state. Sam
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 24 weeks 1 day ago Web link Westernerd
    The real answer is abolishing government and government police. The entirety of the legal system should be local courts of justice who seek restorative settlements between parties. The only "crimes", as such, should be the seven (of the original eight) common law felonies. Everything else should be a private tort. Tweeks and reforms to the present system are but tail chasing that lead in circles. If you want to end prosecutors, bureaucrats, judges, and cops abusing us, then we have to end their authority over us entirely. 
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 24 weeks 1 day ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    "...why he continues to be allowed to publish on Strike the Root..." (emphasis decisively mine) And why not??? Would you prefer STR to be an exclusive "club" -- not to permit "...outside..." perspectives? Sam
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 24 weeks 1 day ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    My contention is that "rights" are in reality little more than opinions. However, they possess two essential characteristics: 1.) They must be something that at least a significant portion of the population recognizes as such, and; 2.) they must be things that you have a reasonable chance of defending or restoring, in the event they are abrogated, by either peaceful and/or violent means.   Think about it: If you were alone in the world, would you have "rights?" The entire concept becomes superfluous. We only entertain the idea of "rights" once other humans come into the picture. This pretty much deep-sixes the idea of stand-alone concrete "rights" that don't depend upon outside human approval. Any contention to the contrary, again, is instantly reduceable to mere opinion.    Beyond that, Jim, your need to attack, attempt to belittle, and talk down to anyone who happens to disagree with or distemper you -- even when they present a perfectly valid viewpoint worthy of consideration -- seems to continue unabated, doesn't it?  So you shouldn't wonder when others prefer to sever communication with you altogether.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 24 weeks 2 days ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    I'll take the word of Carl Watner over that of Paul Bonneau any day of the week, and twice on Sundays.   As for rights being a "religious" concept (ie one grounded not in fact and reason but on faith) my STRticle Liberty: Rooted in Rights should dispose of that nonsense. It quotes Murray Rothbard on the subject, in part with "For the assertion of human rights is... because of a rational inquiry into the nature of man and the universe."   Bonneau is therefore setting his opinion against those of two of the most distinguished minds in the libertarian movement, and so once again raises the question of why he continues to be allowed to publish on Strike the Root.    
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 24 weeks 2 days ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Oh, and I intended to comment on your main point: Carl Watner having difficulty letting go of latent statism. I see this as rather of an indisposition suffered by many "libertarian" authors nowadays. To truly strike at the heart of the root seems to create an eerie angst of sorts. Is there such a thing as "collective will"? The term appears to address fear of complete independence or a total individualistic poise that seems to create trepidation within rather than action without. It's almost as if I'm afraid that if I become totally independent -- an individualist -- I cannot be a good neighbor or friend or grandpa. A contagion that must be exorcised, I think, if one is to project good libertarian thought. Sam
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 24 weeks 2 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Armed SA squads were indeed part of the Weimar political unrest the fledgling post-war government couldn't hope to control, and most of their futile efforts to do so were instigated by Allied pressure.   I do feel that any contractor or business that provides products to governments should be expected to know that whatever is supplied will be put to detrimental -- if not in fact nefarious -- ends.  Yes, I think we can safely hold them liable for seeking profits from such a customer base.  In the case of IBM, it's pretty clear that it was known what all the early vacuum-tube computers and punch cards sold to Hitler would be used for.  The tattoos on the arms of camp inmates were the numbers fed into IBM machines for tracking and informational purposes.  Today, there are RFID chips....
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 24 weeks 2 days ago
    Consent and Secession
    Page Paul Bonneau
    Étienne de La Boétie had a peculiar skill nearly 500 years ago in assessing your quandary: I should like merely to understand how it happens that so many men, so many villages, so many cities, so many nations, sometimes suffer under a single tyrant who has no other power than the power they give him; who is able to harm them only to the extent to which they have the willingness to bear with him; who could do them absolutely no injury unless they preferred to put up with him rather than contradict him. Surely a striking situation! Yet it is so common that one must grieve the more and wonder the less at the spectacle of a million men serving in wretchedness, their necks under the yoke, not constrained by a greater multitude than they. ÉTIENNE DE LA BOÉTIE http://mises.org/rothbard/boetie.pdf Robert Higgs over 5 years ago: https://mises.org/library/consent-governed Apropos for the season, Paul. I hope a much, much larger plurality will take your cue and awaken this fall and choose to abstain from beans. Sam
  • Alex R. Knight III's picture
    Alex R. Knight III 24 weeks 2 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    True that.
  • Glock27's picture
    Glock27 24 weeks 3 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    The House Boy has effectively utilized the Cloward-Piven strategies for the destruction of the U.S.A. Once that is eventualized, do you honestly believe everything will become a strike-the-root ideology or will this nation become the United States of Communist/Marxist America??? Once a politician becomes elected by the huddled masses, he or she no longer has any interest or use for those people who voted them in. They turn a deaf ear and pursue their idiotic ideologies until it is time for them to come and reason again why they should be re-elected. "Look at all the good I have done for you!" What good. I find it to be craziness. Someone once said that the Constitution was not a legal document. Well. That is accurate and the politicians discovered this years and years ago. I believe, in the final end, which I will more than likely not be around for, this chunk of property will be man-o-ah-man-o! Oh, oh! What will be will be. What say you?
  • Douglas Herman's picture
    Douglas Herman 24 weeks 3 days ago Page Douglas Herman
    LOL - Thanks Paul.  Only saw the first Die Hard movie. Used to live not far from Nakatomi Plaza in Century City. Stalking in Los Angeles: Nakatomi Plaza from Die Hard    Memorable dialogue throughout that action movie, some of it from Hans Gruber. Think Hans was the guy that helped the Clinton Foundation create and fund ISIS.   Die Hard: Hans Meets McClane - YouTube    
  • rothbardian's picture
    rothbardian 24 weeks 3 days ago Web link rothbardian
    Sam, The author I'm sure understands your point. He is an ancap as well. At the same time that we abide by our principles, it is useful to understand how we got here. Also, the 17th isn't something people think about. IMO it's useful to show people who are libertarian leaning or minarchist that every thing the State does, no matter how "democratic" sounding, perverts liberty. I get your gut reaction to "school the minarchist" or the person who has the gall to discuss these kinds of "solutions", since they aren't solutions at all. The State doesn't regulate itself or limit its own power.  Again, it's an intellectual exercise. One could criticize Ron Paul and the "End the Fed" crowd for the same reasons.
  • Jim Davies's picture
    Jim Davies 24 weeks 3 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Good job here, Alex. I had not realized that the gun controls were in place before the Nazis took over; I'd thought they were instigated by Hitler.   Did you find in the book any reference to what I thought was the widepread, open use of guns by the Nazi SA before he was elected? - they marched and bullied extensively, I thought with rifles on the shoulder. But if those were all verboten in the Weimar republic, how was that possible? - the SA was not then a State outfit.   By the way (I'm an ex-IBMer) do you feel that a government contractor or supplier should be held responsible for the use to which customers put their products? One can refuse to accept government orders (I did, later, in my small business) but if they are accepted, surely the whole responsibility for use lies with the purchaser? The question becomes the more acute when recalling the orders for unusual quantities of bug poison ordered from I G Farben.
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 24 weeks 4 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Everyone should be armed. It is madness to entrust one's personal security to the murderous state. http://strike-the-root.com/become-dangerous
  • Paul's picture
    Paul 24 weeks 4 days ago Web link Melinda L. Secor
    I sometimes wonder at the crap people are willing to put up with, to remain in the government school indoctrination centers. And then they complain about the treatment they get!
  • GregL's picture
    GregL 24 weeks 6 days ago Web link KenK
    Agreed. I wouldn't mind at all if he indicts Cuomo and Deblasio.
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 24 weeks 6 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    Jonny, it's nice to see your comment. And you're so right. In my comment above I started out by claiming to propose the "answer" to Alex's query, "...What Defines Success in Alcoholics Anonymous?..." But my answer left the heavy side of the puzzle out. Old timers in AA insist one MUST go much further than to say, "I have not had a drink of alcohol today". The genuine answer is: "I have not found it NECESSARY to take a drink today". Because the Big Book never once admonishes the problem drinker to try not to drink. From stem to stern it provides ways of thinking and ways of living that make it UNNECESSARY to take a drink. But in addressing whether and how to stop drinking it insists one must first identify the problem: are you, or are you not (an alcoholic)??? Then, in the first part of Chapter 3 (end of p31 and start of p32 of the above referenced online publication): We do not like to pronounce any individual as alco- holic, but you can quickly diagnose yourself. Step over to the nearest barroom and try some controlled drinking. Try to drink and stop abruptly. Try it more than once. It will not take long for you to de- cide, if you are honest with yourself about it. It may be worth a bad case of jitters if you get a full knowl- edge of your condition. The "program" addresses how we should treat our neighbors, friends, coworkers, family members, etc. It's all about feeling OK about ourselves and our relationships with others. How to get along in a not-too-friendly world without finding it necessary to drink alcohol. So to the analogy with anarchy. Most who will ever read this understand that if everybody -- EVERYBODY -- would stop voting (and "stay stopped") our "problem" would soon be solved. That, along with ceasing to submit confessions to the white man ("file returns -- voluntarily" ha ha) outlining all resources and earnings. That, of course, is a greater hill to climb, because "we" have already given the beast his head in that regard. Reining him in brings forth the only "jurisdiction" in town (outside of family governance) -- loaded firearms in the hands of dangerous criminals. Our friend, Jim Davies, can illuminate a late mutual friend, Irwin Schiff's plight dealing with state gangsters -- and what happens when one attempts to publish and teach truth in an unfree world. But everybody won't. I remember early in my sobriety, I was in the midst of unbelievable lawsuits and parole violations, threats of further incarceration, etc., -- my AA sponsor (of soon to be 40 years) took me aside and admonished: "Sam -- don't TRY to make sense out of the world around you. IT-DOES-NOT-MAKE-SENSE. Just remember that, and you'll never need to drink again!" Sam
  • Samarami's picture
    Samarami 24 weeks 6 days ago Page Alex R. Knight III
    "Disutility" is an excellent assessment. And I'm pleased to see the link to your article of over 4 years back. Because I think it might have been that article (and the many comments thereto) that gave rise to my lament concerning lack of participation on so many of these forums of late. The essay was a good one; but it was that, along with the comments it elicited, that inspired me to rate it a "10". I was tempted to make a list of the many participants in that discussion ("pro" and "con") who seem to have totally disappeared. But decided against it for a couple of reasons. To incorporate your remark from a separate recent thread: "...But I don't think we should draw the conclusion that people are losing interest in liberty. Overall I see it going the other way..." Agreed. This thing is not going away. It's here to stay. And, hopefully, to grow exponentially. As an observation on the side, I sort-of hope Trump "wins"; 'tho I could care less one way or another who acquires the title of grand wizard of the klan. But it might indicate finale to mass and docile acceptance of mainstream propaganda on the part of the unwashed masses. Like "Brexit", it might cause them critters to twist and turn some -- but probably not stop the stampede toward destruction. It will no doubt take a drowning in their own phlegm to effect that. Sam
  • KenK's picture
    KenK 24 weeks 6 days ago Web link KenK
    All true, but I'd still like to see Bharara indict Cuomo and Deblasio before he becomes a high priced defense attorney at some primo Manhattan law partnership.
  • GregL's picture
    GregL 24 weeks 6 days ago Web link KenK
    Good riddance to Preet Bharara, but even if he’s not reappointed, I’m sure he’ll be back in some capacity. The fact that he’s going after a few corrupt politicians to pad his resume hardly exonerates him for all the harm he’s done. He’s a politically ambitious statist who has been particularly aggressive in prosecuting the non-crimes of gambling, insider trading, and money laundering. Freedom and personal liberty mean absolutely nothing to him. Besides his vigorous prosecutions against bitcoin and internet gambling and payment processors, he also issued a subpoena and imposed a gag order on Reason Magazine for vague supposed “threats” against the Silk Road judge in its comments section. Reason later condemned the action for "suppressing the speech of journalistic outlets critical of government overreach".