The Middle East
December 17, 2007
At the time of this writing, the British were set to turn over the Basra region of southern
Iraq to the Iraqi government. The British will be cutting their troops 2,500 by the spring. They originally had about 40,000
troops in Iraq. Contrast that with the 160,000 troops the US has there and you start to wonder something. How did the British
manage to get to a point where they could cut troops and now, turn over the section they are patrolling to Iraqi forces?
Some people will claim that the
southern portion of Iraq isn’t as violent as the areas the US is patrolling, and that would be true. But why isn’t
it? The US has been doing more intense patrols, more policing work, and putting themselves into more sectarian conflicts.
That is until recently. Reports now say the US is taking a more British approach and has been since the “troop surge”.
Are we on to something here? I think so. Violence seems to drop when there aren’t soldiers walking around heavily armed.
That doesn’t mean Iraq is any less dangerous, because it surely is, but when foreign troops keep their nose out of the
middle of the sectarian violence, there is less violence. And now the British are going to turn their area over to the Iraqis.
Maybe we should take a lesson there too.
But I don’t think we will
be. See, the US has taken a different approach. We are giving MORE weapons to the Sunnis. That’s right, the group that
has been aligned with al Qaeda in Iraq, the group that is very upset with the Shiite led government, and we are arming them.
OK, I am not there, I don’t know everything that is going on there, maybe it is a good idea, I really don’t know.
I just hope we don’t have to “fight them over here since we armed them over there”. Or wait; is that how
that saying goes? Oh well, you know what I mean. This isn’t the first time we armed people in the Middle East that had
very tenuous ties to some groups. The best thing to do, in my opinion, would be to follow the example of the Brits and get
the hell out of Dodge, or Baghdad or wherever we are. Oh yeah, and the Iraq government, who we are supposed to be there to
support, they said don’t arm the Sunni’s or it will lead to lots of problems, for us and for you. Three cheers
for military intelligence. Of course we have already been arming them for at least 6 months, so I don’t really know
what the difference is now.
Than of course, there is always
Iran. The NIE report says that it looks like Iran isn’t actively trying to build nukes. Hawks in congress are now calling
for a new report. Unless reports come out the way they want them too, the Hawks always get upset. It probably has something
to do with the way the Neo-Cons approach life in general. If they have a feeling, a gut feeling, that something is one way
that is the only proof they need. Maybe it goes back to that social conservative idea that God talks to them. I don’t
know about that either. The public security minister for Israel, Avi Dichter, says that the NIE is wrong too. He said that
the US misconception about what Iran is really all about, destroying Israel, is going to lead to a massive war. Unless the
US keeps up the pressure war is imminent. Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert and Dichter have both vowed that they will try
to increase pressure on the US to revisit the report. Again, I am not in the Middle East, I don’t know the answer. The
problem seems to be that people that ARE in the Middle East don’t seem to know the answer either. The reality of the
situation is that nobody can know 100% what any other person or group is going to do.
Meanwhile, 300,000 Palestinians
showed up for a rally in Gaza to mark the 20th anniversary of the founding of Hamas. The exiled leader of Hamas,
Khaled Mashaal, vowed that Hamas would not give up violence, despite Palestinian president Abbas recently working with Olmert
to work something out. What a mess.
Back in Iraq, oil is pumping better
than it was before the invasion. Remember the promise to fund the war through Iraqi oil money? I do. But instead the president
is asking for and getting more money for the war. The democrats just can’t win against the president is seems. No wonder
they have an approval rating right around Bush’s. One question on that, if we all can’t stand congress or the
president, why can’t we get rid of them?
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Could It Be Me?
December 10, 2007
I think I have had enough. This week there was a ton of interesting
things going on in the news, but none of it really got to me. It could be this week long flu I have been dealing with. It
could even be that I have too much medication in my system. Maybe it is the long nights with the sick kids. Maybe it’s
the early mornings and the funky weather. I don’t know what it is for sure, but it had to be something. I mean, because
really, overall, this week was loaded with strange crap.
Some of you might have noticed that normal stuff in the news doesn’t impress me much. It usually doesn’t
even really get my attention. I mean, we had the normal stuff this week, even though some of it was strange.
Some guy strapped a fake bomb to himself and went to see Hillary, that was kind of interesting, but overall the campaigns
all had their little jigs and jabs, but that is more business as usual. To me, the funny thing is that leading up to the primaries,
both major parties candidates attack the hell out of each other. They point out how their opponents are incompetent, lack
experience, don’t really stand for what they say they do, their going to raise taxes, start wars, blah blah blah blah
blah. At this point, I am not really listening anymore. And why should I? As soon as the primaries are over most of them will
undoubtedly back up the winner of the primaries and throw their full support behind them. All the talk about how they are
the wrong person for the job will be gone. Instead, they will be the far better choice than the other major party is putting
up. I think they are all right in the primary campaigns; none of them will be worth a damn.
Then there was the mall shooting. That is of course and awful thing and will no doubt lead to more discussions on gun
control. One side will say we need to get those guns out of the hands off the streets, the other side will say that if the
people had been allowed to be armed in the mall, this never would have happened. Hey folks, how bout we work on the problem
we have in this country of effectively dealing with mental illness. Than maybe sick people won’t feel the need to shoot
up the place. Hey, it might even keep them from strapping fake bombs to themselves and hitting the campaign trail, who knows.
Of course, this will just bring up more about Universal Health Care. What a mess that is going to be when we finally get it.
Than of course there is Bush the Second and the fact that the hammers he was beating the war drum with got yanked from
his hands. I don’t know that will slow his stupid ass down, but it might. We have to the face the fact that Bush is
either a liar or a moron. I am leaning towards the fact that he is a lying moron myself, but that is nothing new either.
No, those aren’t the stories that catch my attention. I am more interested in the story of the lesbian couple
in Rhode Island who were trying to get a divorce. It seems that, even though they were legally married in Massachusetts, they
can’t get legally divorced in Rhode Island. You might wonder why this is interesting to me and I will tell you. The
Supreme Court had to hear a case that, although about interracial marriage, draws some interesting parallels to the case.
That case was Loving v. Virginia. Anyone that isn’t familiar with that case should really do some research into it.
Although the circumstances were different, I think the underlying issue is the same. If something is done legally in one state,
is that thing that was done, legal in all states, even if that state has a law against it? I think gay marriage shouldn’t
be an issue at all. If the state is going to issue a license for something, they can’t discriminate who they issue those
two based on gender. I think that, for no other reason than to maintain that the government is legitimately in the marriage
racket, the Supreme Court with have to rule that sexual preference can’t be a determining factor in whether someone
can get married. The other choice is that the Court says it is a matter for the states to decide. Either way, I think the
Defense of Marriage Act will be biting the dust before you know it. Of course, the Supreme Court may never hear the case,
but I think eventually they will have too.
Another story that caught my eye was an interesting take on pollution. The reason it caught my eye was because of what
the pollution was. A man in Washington State wanted to burn a Mexican flag on the steps of the state Capital. Some of you
know my position on the anti-immigration crowd, but to me this isn’t really about that. This case is about free speech
and whether or not we have it. Burning an American flag has been ruled constitutionally protected free speech. So you would
think burning a Mexican flag would be just as protected. But alas, they found a way to stop this man from doing just that.
You see, since the flag puts off pollutants when it is burned, burning it just can’t be allowed, for public safety reasons.
What a crock.
The last story that really caught my eye was about the federal government having “incentives” to states
for issuing citations to drivers. The list is long, but basically most states have gotten little extra bonuses for writing
a bunch of tickets. See, when you are pumping gas, a part of that tax you pay on every gallon of gas, well that is used to
reward different police jurisdictions for writing the most tickets. All it really amounts to is a revenue scheme for the government,
of course, we all knew that was what most tickets are for anyway, but this program gets you coming and going. It is a program
sponsored by the National Highway Transportation Safety Agency and it is called the National Law Enforcement Challenge. This
one pisses me off for any number of reasons.
Anyway, through my medicated haze I found myself more drawn to these stories than the big headlines. The headlines
are all the same and none of them are good. I for one am tired of the campaigns. Why don’t they just let the Supreme
Court decide who our next president is going to be, couldn’t be any worse, could it?
Of course, it could all be me.
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Lesbian Couple Story - http://www.thebostonchannel.com/news/14800073/detail.html
Mexican Flag Burner Story - http://www.kirotv.com/news/14801929/detail.html
Prizes for Tickets - http://www.thenewspaper.com/news/21/2106.asp
This Is The War That Never Ends
December 3, 2007
is the war that will never end. It goes on and on my friend. Some people started fighting it, not knowing what it was. And
they just keep fighting it forever because – (go back to the beginning of this sentence and start over).
Did you think it would be over in
a few weeks, like the first Iraq war? Did you think it would be over when Saddam was captured? Did you think it would FINALLY
be over when the Democrats took control of the Congress? Somewhere in there, we probably all thought it would be. Now, I don’t
think it ever will be.
After 9-11, the world had sympathy
for the US because of the attacks. Almost every country in the world was ready to lend help and support to go after bin Laden.
Even his protectors in Afghanistan were ready to make a deal and give him up. But really, bin Laden took the back burner pretty
quick. The administration planned on attacking Iraq, even before 9-11, and since they were sending troops to the neighborhood,
they thought the world wouldn’t notice too much. But of course, like everything else the government puts their hands
on, it became a cluster ****.
I wish I had some wonderful idea
that would make the world a better place and would bring peace to the Middle East. What I do know WILL NOT bring peace to
the Middle East is more US interference in their politics. I know I am not the only one that found it kind of ironic that
Bush wants to broker a peace deal there, when he is waging the only wars in the area. I mean, that can’t have escaped
everyone’s notice. Want peace in the Middle East, quit fighting wars there. Bring home the soldiers and let the people
that actually live there determine how they will learn to live together on their own. The idea that the US needs their hands
in the mix is insanity, and it goes on and on and on.
I thought when the Democrats took
the Congress there might be at least a different direction taken in Iraq. That didn’t happen. Now the war drums are
beating for a war with Iran, surely they plan to put the brakes on that.
Alas, the answer is NO. The leading
Democratic Party candidates for President are beating the drums right next to their blood brothers the Republicans. The current
US government is a war government. The fever is among them and they need a good dose of medicine to show them that WE THE
PEOPLE don’t like were they are going.
So this leads to a strange phenomenon.
I know, if you’re anything like me, you are probably tired of hearing about Ron Paul. If you spend any amount of time
online, you are likely to be inundated by the “Paulistas”. Now, I have to admit, I am not a Paul supporter, but
not really a Paul detractor in the big scheme of things. So I don’t know what “Paulista” means. For me,
it brings to mind the Sandinistas, but surely that’s not it. Anyway, the strange thing I have noticed is that some of
the very liberal people I know have thrown their support behind Paul.
It should be no surprise that a
lot of Libertarians have thrown their support behind him. He did once run for President as a Libertarian. Lots of his views
could be taken straight from the Libertarian Parties platform. He is also getting support from the more traditional, (ie.
NON-NEO-CON), Republicans. So, in the polls they take, his numbers are low. But if you look at his fund raising feats, he
rabid online supporters and the attention he is getting from all across the political spectrum, it tells me that something
he is saying is striking a chord with the general public. I think that message is, “End the war.” It has to be.
And that sounds damn good to me.
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For The Greater Good
November 26, 2007
cheers for the government looking out for our best interests for us. Some people love it of course. Every attack on liberty
and freedom comes in the name of the “greater good”. Why does no one seem to care about that. They will argue
their position on why when the government does X it is a good thing, but when they do Y it is an awful thing. YAY for universal
healthcare, BOO for national defense. Or vice versa. Doesn’t really matter in the end, because they will do both and
everything else be damned.
A Farmer and His Cow
In a case in Michigan a farmer named
Greg Niewendorp refused to let his cattle be tested for Bovine TB. He said that since the cattle are butchered and used by
friends and neighbors, who trust his ability to raise cattle, that he shouldn’t have to have his cattle tested for something
he knows they don’t have. The beef isn’t going out on the general market. No one that is going to get and consume
the beef is unaware of where it is coming from. We are talking about one of the oldest most basic private transactions known
to humankind. But, the government said, NO WAY.
They quarantined his farm for eight
months. They came without warrants on a couple of occasions to try and force him to have the cattle tested, but he refused
and told them they were trespassing. Eventually they did get a warrant and they did test the beef. No TB, of course, just
like he told them in the first place.
Ignore the fact that this is how
farmers markets and organic growing groups purchase their stuff. All for “the greater good”, if you happen to
be in the business of processing food or distributing food, it is really in your interest. Even the officials admitted that
this type of farming presented a problem for the overall economic “greater good” of the big beef industry. Boo
Get Your Shots and Go To School
The recent court order, in Prince
George county Maryland, for parents to appear over their “failure” to have their children immunized is another
good example of government looking out for us. Forget for a moment that there are waivers to getting the immunizations and
people can get these waivers for religious or other reasons and vaccinations are really “optional”. The state
has decided that first, you kids must attend their schools and second that they must have these shots to do it. Hey, at least
they have a choice. Do what we say or go to jail. Choice is a wonderful thing.
So what about being able to get
a waiver? Why should parents have to sign a waiver to make decisions about their children’s health care? I don’t
really know why. Seriously, I am asking you.
Lets recap. You are being forced
to put your children through a medical treatment so that they can participate in a government program. That sounds like a
great thing for a society to accept. I think it has been done before, but my memory fails me, hmmmmm.
Search and Seizure
Ok, there are a million examples
of the government taking peoples property for “the greater good”, but the one that I found interesting lately
is the plan in Boston.
The police there are going to start
a new program. They are going to go to the homes of kids who they THINK MIGHT have a gun and ask the parents if they can search
their kids rooms. No warrant of course, they won’t need it if the parents allow the search. All fine and dandy I guess,
unless anyone isn’t aware that they don’t have to let the police in their house to search it for things they think
might be in there even though they don’t have proof or a search warrant. And how about the single mom or less educated
parents, already fearful of the police in these “high crime” neighborhoods that the police are targeting? I am
sure none of them will feel intimidated into throwing away their rights in the name of “the greater good.” I mean,
if you have nothing to hide, you have nothing to fear, RIGHT???
And than what happens if they find
NO guns, but maybe something else in there that might be illegal for the kids to own, like say, CIGARETTES? Well, I guess
I don’t know what will happen for sure. I can imagine the scenario though. First they arrest the kid, next they have
the parents taken to court to prove they are a fit parent, and than they get more money added to their budget because they
are catching so many “criminals”. Wonderful life you have there cop-o.
Liberty Dollars are Real Money
The FBI raided the headquarters
of the Liberty Dollar this week. For those that don’t know, the Liberty Dollar and its cohorts is basically a coin made
of an equivalent amount of a precious metal. If you have one, and someone else has something you want, and they agree to trade
you for the Liberty Coin, well, you have committed a crime. At least, that is the premise of the raid. There will be more
to come out on this case, so I don’t think I should blow my whole wad on this in this one section. But what “greater
good” is threatened by circulating these coins? The only one I can think of is the government monopoly (really not even
the government, but a PRIVATE CORPORATION known as the Federal Reserve) on money. What can two individuals trading something
do to the Federal Reserve? Well, which would you rather have? $20 worth of gold or a piece of paper with a 20 written on it,
that really isn’t good for anything but a place holder for your debt? Rhetorical question.
A Red Under Every Bed, A Terrorist In Every Closet
So, we have to give up freedoms
and liberties so that “the greater good” can be served. Nowhere is this clearer than in the area of our defense.
Privacy, well, forget it. To be safe you have to give that up. Spending your money in any country you want to? Hell no, that
supports terrorism. Hanging out with Muslims? Not allowed, since they may be a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend
that has some slight connection to a “terrorist” group, and that makes you guilty by association. We all know
what lengths the government will go to in their never ending fight to end anti-American thought. First they will throw out
the constitution, then they will invade foreign countries that are not connected to the problem (all the while lying to the
world about it), and then they will get back to the citizens and restrict everything they can find. Even speaking out against
this “war on terror” is considered a crime by many.
We should have learned by now, but
I don’t think we have. When you give the government the opportunity to decide what “the greater good” is
and how to act to ensure that, you are giving up essential freedoms in exchange for their actions. Is it really worth it?
If you think it is worth it in the
area of say, health care, don’t turn around and complain about it in the area of national defense. If you think it is
ok in the area of national defense, don’t turn around and complain about “those gun grabbing liberals.”
You all think there is a difference, because you feel your in a superior moral position to decide what the “greater
good” is. But if I have said it once, I will say it a million times more, THERE IS NO GREATER GOOD THAN FREEDOM!!!
I know, you hate me, send mail to
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November 19, 2007
let me say that when I say "illegal immigration" it is just to differentiate the topic, not because I think any immigration
is illegal or in any way different from any other immigration. My personal view (from an anarchist’s perspective) is
that people can't be illegal. Every person born has the same natural rights and liberties and no government borders can change
that. One of my favorite anarchists was Thomas Jefferson (people think I am crazy for calling him an anarchist), but something
he wrote applies to this thought. "We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are
endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness."
Those rights are for everyone and they don't come from a government, we are born with them. I think that applies to everyone,
everywhere. Doesn't matter where they are born. The reason the government raises and issue with illegals has nothing to do
with them taking jobs, or using welfare, or any of the stuff they talk about illegals being a problem for. The money for those
programs doesn't come out of the governments’ pocket, so why would they care about it. The only problem the government
has with illegals is that they don't have the power to tax people they don't know about. That’s it. PEOPLE that have
a problem with illegal immigrants are very upset and vocal about the problems they perceive them causing, but if you notice,
the government hasn't really done anything to address their concerns, except when it will get them votes. Politicians that
still feel some obligation to US citizens have tried to do things to address it, but it doesn't gain much traction. Partly
because some of the politicians realize that, despite the cost associated with "illegal" immigration, a simple economic principle
is in play. People are capital. They represent a real unit of capital. It is ALWAYS good for a country to get more people
into it. They stimulate the economy, even if they aren't paying taxes. The not paying taxes part is probably the ONLY part
the government is really concerned about. I don’t buy the, “They could be terrorists” argument.
I have to point out that government
has a monopoly that they force on the people. They have a monopoly over a bunch of things, but the particulars related to
immigration have to do with taxation, control of land, and the use of force to require compliance. It is in their best interest
(not the interest of the people) to define an area of land as theirs and theirs alone. The idea that we have private property
in this country is really a misnomer. The government can force anyone to comply with anything they want, even though a person
owns a piece of paper that says the land belongs to them. They charge a yearly rent for that land in the form of taxes. They
make rules about what you can and can't do with that land. And if the mood strikes them and they think they can do something
better with that land than the owner, they can and do take it for themselves. So what does that have to do with illegal immigration?
The main reason for borders is to show the world where their sphere of influence lies. If they fail to enforce those borders,
at least to make a showing (no matter how half assed), than they are saying we don't really care about this area or our influence
over it. The reality than is that they care less about who comes in those borders than who goes out those borders. I mean,
yes they are going to be opposed to other governments trying to move in to that area and trying to assert force on the people
inside them, but as far as people crossing them, it is mostly in their best interest to have more people to be able to exert
that force over.
But, as you know some people inside
those borders are opposed to other people coming over them. I would say they have some legitimate concerns based on their
perceptions of what is going on. They know that the government is going to force them to give up money to pay for stuff. They
know that people that come over those borders without paperwork that makes they share in being forced to pay for stuff are
getting a free ride for any of those things they are forced to pay for and the newcomers aren't. It pisses people off, but
they are pissed at the wrong parties in my opinion. I would personally be pissed at the people who are exerting the force
and are REALLY stealing from the people, which is the government. If there were no illegal immigrants, there would still be
welfare programs. If there were no illegal immigrants, hospitals would still have to see people that won't pay for the services,
because by law they still have to treat people regardless of ability to pay. The illegal immigrants really are doing jobs
people don't want to do, along with some jobs that people probably would want to do, but either way, first come first serve.
Ask the onion farms in south Texas about the jobs that Americans won't do. Because of the rhetoric concerning illegal immigration,
lots of people that usually work the fields didn't show up to work this last harvest. And it wasn't just in south Texas fields
either; it was all across the US. Even the ones that have come to do the work legally didn't come this year. There were advertisements
looking for workers, paying in some places $20 an hour to do the work. But the reality is that the work sucks. 12 to 14 hours
a day, hunched over in the beating down sun, usually 7 days a week. Most Americans don't want to do that, for any amount of
money. So I don't buy the "taking jobs Americans would do" argument at all. The social programs that are being taken advantage
of will exist regardless of who is using them. So the argument goes back to what the governments argument is, they aren't
paying taxes. On that point I can only say, good for them. No one should pay their taxes. Anything that is getting taken out
of your check is theft, plain and simple. Any other taxes we pay, illegal immigrants pay the same taxes. Any illegal immigrants
that are using phony social security numbers are also paying income taxes, and that is free money for the government, because
no one will ever try to claim a return on it.
I think there is also a constitutional
issue involved with illegal immigration, even though I don't hold much for the constitution itself (which is a different topic
for a different time). The first amendment says in part, "the right of the people peaceably to assemble". If you think, like
I do, that "the people" applies to all people (that everyone is born with equal rights), than stopping people from assembling
anywhere is wrong. If you believe that the constitution only applies to US citizens, it is still an abridgment of my rights
if you want to keep me from assembling with illegal immigrants by keeping them out of the country. But really it is all probably
a moot point.
I think nationalism is the same
as racism. To me this is the reason, even if people don't realize the reason behind it, that some people see the anti-illegal
movement as closet racism. It is about feeling that one group has more rights or a better station in life, merely by accident
of birth. With racists it is by being born a certain race, with nationalists it is being born in a certain country. Everyone
is free to feel however they want and to associate with whoever they want. But excluding people for whatever reason cuts a
percentage out of your possibilities. Instead of looking for the things we think are wrong with illegal immigration, we should
look at what is in it for us. If the government is doing something that is unfair to us, instead of saying the immigrants
are taking advantage, we should place the blame on the ones who are forcing us to participate. If social programs and taxation
are being taken advantage off, we should cut them off, no matter who is doing the taking advantage of. Let us give our money
to programs that will spend it how we want, or lets us keep our money, either way. We shouldn't be forced to participate in
things we think are scams. We shouldn't be forced to associate or not associate with anyone.
We do have a problem in this country
and I think illegal immigration makes it glaringly apparent. But it doesn't have to do with the people, but with the government
abuses of all of us. We need to quit letting the government shift the blame, especially when experience tells us that they
have no real plans to do anything about it.
I don't think people are ever illegal.
I would never tell a man he can't cross an imaginary line in the sand to feed his family or make a better life. There are
some real issues that should be dealt with that the immigration problem points out though. I could also probably go on for
a couple of more pages on private property rights and the difference between private property and "public" property, but I
will let it drop for now.
A Conversation with a Socialist
November 12, 2007
A Conversation with a Socialist
Ok, I admit it. The deadline for this article drew closer and the words would not come. Not that I didn’t come
up with lots of good material, because I did, but nothing that I could flesh out in time and still have them put out the message
I wanted to get across. When suddenly it hit me, “Why not send in something that you just wrote off the top of your
head?” What a novel concept.
The following is in response to a question a socialist friend of mine asked. The response was off the cuff and purely
in context to the discussion that was going on in that group at the time. Once in a while in groups, I make posts like these
and they seem to have the unfortunate effect of ending the discussion, right when I am really getting into them. Hopefully
it will spark an interest in carrying on the discussion with some of you. So here you go…
Q: Is it possible to fix the problem with resource and wealth distribution without
A: Just like socialists, libertarians believe that profits earned by a company that get government breaks
are a bad thing and not legit property of the company. Libertarians oppose most corporations for this reason and a few others.
There would be no "corporate person-hood" for companies under a libertarian flag.
But we don't have a wealth distribution
problem, even though we don't have a capitalist society either.
In a socialist society wealth is NOT distributed equally,
because the government takes a cut to run itself. That is a wonderful myth to perpetuate, that wealth is redistributed, but
it really isn't. Marx had a very definite idea about distribution, but it has proven unworkable. A socialist society can't
get past state-capitalism. There is no way to do it. Also, in a socialist society their is a tendency to ignore TRUE capital.
You have to realize that capital is not money, although we use money to represent that capital. Capital is the resources,
mixed with the labor, that much is true. But capital also represents the means of production and the means of distribution.
Even people are capital. Only during the middle of their lifespan are they positive capital, but that doesn't mean we get
rid of them when they are kids or old fogies, we just have to make adjustments to our approach to the market, specifically
the market of caring for those two groups.
Societies increase, always. They will go through periods of MINOR reduction
due to disease or when the baby boomers finally die off, but that is always temporary. And you see what implementation of
socialist programs has done in that area (namely social security). Instead of taking a market approach, the US has chosen
to take a collectivist approach. But now we are coming up on a time when, unlike back in the day when 17 people were pitching
into to social security to pay for 1 person, we are fixing to reach a point where the ratio is 2 to 1. The only way to fund
that obligation is through higher taxes, there is no way around it, if you want to keep that program around.
back to capital...
A shovel represents capital. The person using the shovel represents capital. If the person that
is using the shovel bought the shovel, he has an interest in the "means of production". If he provides the labor and someone
else provides the shovel, they both have an investment in that piece of capital. The guy with the shovel doesn't have to care
about the labor end of it. He gets his cut for the investment, but he can't tell the labor what their labor is worth, only
the laborer can fix the price on his labor. The other end of that is the cost of the shovel is a fixed investment. It has
to be replaced at the cost to the original person that provided it. At this point, labor has no interest in that capital investment,
because what he is providing is worth more. A shovel with no one to use it is worthless, but so is labor with no shovel. So
they have to reach a deal. In a free market they reach the deal and all production is split between them based on that deal.
In a socialist (or mixed economy like the US has) there is a third person that has a stake in production values, the state.
They have to ensure that they get a cut. In return they promise both the owner of the shovel and the owner of the labor certain
things in return. They promise the labor that they won't have to do the job for less than X amount. They promise the provider
of the shovel that the cost of that shovel won't have to be totally on them, they will get breaks for letting the laborer
use it. Really they are only acting in their own self interest though. Without the consent of both the shovel owner and the
labor, they get nothing. So they get involved in the process and then they "borrow" against the labor to pay a portion of
the cost of the means of production. They haven't really done shit, but they get a cut anyway. In this scenario, neither labor
nor the person with the shovel has any motivation to care for ALL the capital involved in the transaction. The shovel doesn't
count for shit. You can see this on a larger scale by looking at all the beautiful new cars being produced in completely socialist
countries (don't bother looking for them, they don't exist, and before you say China, bear in mind that in the market arena,
China has WAY more of a free market than even the US as far as production goes. But their cars still suck and car companies
don't last long there. This will change soon since they have turned vehicle manufacturing over to the market there now).
only effective means of distribution is between individuals. Every government encroachment in this area promises something
to both sides that they can only get by raping both sides equally. In a free market, you won't see these giant corporations
(probably) because they only get to be that size because of government corporate welfare. They create the "worker class" so
that THEY can oppress them. It isn't the companies that get blamed for it that are accumulating wealth into a few hands; it
is the government that is doing it. Every call for more government intervention in the market process is a call for a wider
gap. That doesn't effect the government and it doesn't effect the accumulation of wealth. Only when labor gets to set their
own prices, when companies aren't granted special treatment by the government, can the market really work.
is a great thing. The accumulation of wealth that Marx rallied against isn't really capitalism. Plus, the idea of an oppressed
"proletariat" class is old and outdated. People can and do move up and down the ladder of economic position today. The land
and the means of production and the labors home and where labor buys their food are no longer controlled by a "bourgeoisie"
class. ALL of those things are controlled by the government today. There is a class division in this country and around the
world, but it isn't haves vs. have nots. It is the government class vs. the citizen class.
Hope you enjoyed my rant, if not, send the
hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
I am still waiting for some mail, LOL.
Quit Saying Public, Please
November 5, 2007
Quit Saying Public, Please
It is interesting how much power is in that one little word, “Public”. From where I am sitting, it
is the word used to commit all kinds of atrocities in the US. The idea that there is some kind of collective greater good
that can be imposed on people against their will is implied in the word. Private property is subjected to the whims of special
interest group’s because of that word. Education and discipline are taken from the hands of the parents because of that
word. A feeling of subjugation is implied in that word. What I want to do is take a closer look at “public”.
The idea sounds good on the face of it. But what it really means is “funded by everyone”. They really
aren’t public. You can’t go down to you local elementary school in your bathrobe and go check out a book from
the library. If you don’t have kids in the school you may get to vote for school board members, but you have little
to no say in anything else that has to do with the system. Even if you do have kids in the school system you have very little
say. This is the local level, the place were you should be able to exert the greatest control. But instead we see schools
that run from the top of government down. And we get government results out of our school systems. We spend the second highest
amount on education in the world, but rank consistently low on all scales that measure education.
We continually hear about how the “public” doesn’t get involved with education. How they need
more money, more teachers, more everything, but truthfully, your input is not really all that welcome. We hear about our school
system failing and our future falling further and further into doubt. The answer? More money, more teachers, more schools.
If you have pile of crap in your front yard, does it make it less of a problem if you pile more crap onto it? That just doesn’t
make sense to me.
There are some good and interesting programs around that are making a difference and doing things that seem to
offer a ray of hope for education in this country, but they are not coming from the government and they never will. The Bill
and Melinda Gates Foundation comes straight to mind. They have been able to go into some places were drop out rates are high,
reading and comprehension are low and a myriad of other problems are evident in the system and to turn it all around. And,
they end up doing it for less than the government spends.
We spend an average of about $7000 a year per student in the US. Private school tuition averages about $3500
a year. And just look at test scores and overall student performance between “public” schools and private schools
and you wonder why we don’t just send all the kids to private schools, save about half the money and get better results.
I know I wonder why.
Well, really, I don’t wonder why. The school system is run by the government. It is really set up less
to educate students than it is to turn out “good citizens” who are used to bowing to government authority figures.
The schools are more concerned with instilling what students will accept over what they know. One of these days I am going
to write more on this issue, but for now lets move on.
When people talk about public funds or public funding, they are usually referring to a pool of resources gathered
at the expense of tax payers. Lots of people pay taxes against their will and don’t agree with the programs they go
to sponsor. That is the first three strikes against public funds and I haven’t even gotten into the concept of them
yet. Of course, unless it is against citizens, the government has no idea that after three strikes your out.
So what about this pool of appropriated resources? Is it really public? That should be easy to find out. When
is the last time you paid your bar tab with them? Never has happened has it?
Funds taken from the people are not public. Quite the contrary, they are more private than your own bank account.
When you get taxed, the money is no longer yours. The goods or services the money goes to are not yours either. The people
that pay for goods and services are the owners of those goods and services. When you buy goods or services, they become yours
to use of and dispense of as you wish. The money you used to pay for those things was yours and you can logically claim a
right of ownership over not only the funds, but the property you acquire with those funds.
This is not how public funds work. From a local perspective you can influence more control over were those funds
go and how much goes to what project, but the further up the chain you go, the further away from the funds you get. And when
you get all the way to the top you hit another obstacle. Just because you voted or were involved in saying where those funds
would go and how much would be spent on the local level, the federal level imposes all kinds of restrictions on what you can
do with them. Really, it is quite a racket the federal government has been able to pull off. First, they take your money.
They promise or guarantee certain things in return. Then they take part of that money and keep it for themselves. Then they
give a portion of the remaining money back and tell you how you can spend it. Its nothing more than a scam, plain and simple.
Advocates of states rights, though they are booed down by the left as wanting to bring back slavery, are really upholding
a higher standard of accountability to the government. The US government isn’t supposed to work from the top down, but from the bottom up.
I am going to go camping on Sixth Street. I will just put my tent up right in the center of the street. No one
should care, they are public roads. Then I am going to start me a little campfire, make smores and sing Kumbaya. Ok, I am
not really going to do that. It isn’t allowed. But maybe I will just sell the street in front of my house to someone
else. Then they can own a larger part of the public roads. They will have a controlling interest in the road system, because
they will own more of the public roads than anyone else. What? I can’t do that either? I thought I was part owner, that
they were public and I am part of the public that paid for them. I must be crazy.
At least I have a say so over where they put the roads, that’s something, right. Oh wait, I don’t
even get to say that. As a matter of fact, if the government decides they are going to put a road through my front yard, they
will do that. If they decide they are going to put a sidewalk next to that road through my yard, they will do that too.
I like the idea and use of toll roads. Pretty soon, you won’t be able to come to Texas without paying for
the roads you are using. To me that makes a lot of sense and I can’t believe anyone in the government went along with
it. I am going to talk more about roads on a later date too, stay tuned.
I think it is imperative that we take the word PUBLIC and remove it from use anytime we are talking about government.
Let’s call these things what they are, Government Schools, Government Funds and Government Roads. And lets continue
that are apply it to everything that we have been thought to believe is public. Public lands aren’t really public lands,
they are government lands. Public airwaves aren’t really public, they are government airwaves. Public buildings aren’t
really public, they are government buildings. If we took the use of the word public out and replaced it with government, people
would see how all intrusive the government has become. Of course, some people would champion that. Some people can’t
seem to get enough government. They want it everywhere; even in the bedroom (unless they are having gay sex with underage
kids, but that is another story). The left wants to work “for the greater good” and take my money to help out
a very small portion of the population. The right wants to “protect my safety” by killing people I have no problem
with and keeping people out of the country that I really like a lot. How about this, I will keep my money and if I see someone
in need, I will help them out. Or better yet, I will give money to charities that help them out. And if I see someone with
an AK47 trying to blow up my house, I will keep myself safe. I don’t need to give the government a portion of my money,
so they can give me back less, to do things that I am perfectly capable of doing myself without them.
As always, send you hate-mail to email@example.com
HR 1955 – Throwing down the gauntlet
HR 1955 – Throwing down the gauntlet
HR 1955 also known as the Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act of 2007 is to me way over the line. Anyone that doesn’t know what it is should definitely read up on it. This bill specifically
targets the civilian population of the US. There will probably be those that support this bill in the name of fighting terrorists.
That may be, but who does it say is a violent radical and a homegrown terrorist? Pretty much anyone that the government decides.
The language is vague in the bill and left entirely up to the government to determine who falls into this broad category.
(2) VIOLENT RADICALIZATION-
The term `violent radicalization' means the process of adopting or promoting an extremist belief system for the purpose of
facilitating ideologically based violence to advance political, religious, or social change.
So who could that include? Notice
that even though it says “violent radicalization” it doesn’t mention any violent action. Instead it says
“adopting or promoting” ideology based on violence. Basically, THINKING about violence is enough to get you labeled
as a terrorist. A TERRORIST??? Yes, a homegrown terrorist as defined by the bill…
HOMEGROWN TERRORISM- The term `homegrown terrorism' means the use, planned use, or threatened use, of force
or violence by a group or individual born, raised, or based and operating primarily within the United States or any possession
of the United States to intimidate or coerce the United States government, the civilian population of the United States, or
any segment thereof, in furtherance of political or social objectives.
have been half joking around that since the inception of the Patriot Act, the government is watching us all. I don’t
know how many times in an online discussion group we have joked with each other that the government was going to kick in our
door for something someone has posted. This bill makes that not as funny anymore.
The Internet has aided in facilitating violent
radicalization, ideologically based violence, and the homegrown terrorism process in the United States by providing
access to broad and constant streams of terrorist-related propaganda to United States citizens.
sad thing is that so many people will support this. The government has done such a good job of instilling fear in the general
public that this will go by fairly unchallenged. They will say, “Oh those Islamo Fascists are trying to start up groups
in the US, we need to fight them.” Or the other side may say, “Those crazy gun nuts are a danger to society, this
is really for the greater good.” The problem is that our country is made up of a series of checks and balances. When
people talk about checks and balances today they usually think of the checks and balances (all but gone now) between the branches
of the government. But the most important checks and balances are between the people and the government. The only authority
government has they get from the consent of the people. If they start to act without that consent, we have the right and responsibility
to remove them by whatever means necessary. Now, if you talk about removing the government, you’re a terrorist. Who
knows, maybe they will ship you off to Gitmo for reading this article, lets hope not.
have already been stripped of Habeas Corpus, we have already had our freedom of assembly severely limited, we have already
had our right to bear arms severely attacked, we have already given up any semblance of privacy and now we are a terrorist
if we say the government has to go. Well, put me down on the terrorist list. This government has to go. They are traitors,
they have committed treason. Any politician that puts Jefferson, Washington, Madison, Adams and all our other founding fathers
on the terrorist watch list is no friend of mine. They are no friend of yours either.
Send Questions or Comments to: firstname.lastname@example.org
On The Issues
October 22, 2007
On The Issues
Ok, I have been sticking to pretty
much libertarian “philosophy” and haven’t really laid it all out there on the issues. I have briefly touched
on abortion and I did an article on “A well regulated militia”, but I haven’t gotten down in the mud with
the general political issues. The reason for that is that I have little faith that politicians are going to change anything,
so why get muddy. But, I felt like maybe I should lay it out there and go ahead and hit on some of the current issues. Some
of them are current because they are always current and others, in my opinion, will all be blowing over as soon as there is
another distraction. But anyway, here it goes…
First, the continuing sagas
These are the issues that won’t
seem to go away. There are probably more that I could add to this list, but I am just going to hit on some that seem to be
so prevalent that they have become a part of the national discussion for some time now.
The government has no place in a
woman’s womb. I believe in self-ownership. To me that means no one has the right to live in someone else’s body
against their will. The argument over whether or not a fetus is a “living person” with “rights” is
moot to me. No one under any circumstance has the right to use someone else’s body against their will, period. If there
was a way to evict the fetus and it to survive, maybe we could take a less lethal approach. But that isn’t possible.
Abortion is not an easy thing for
a woman to take. The anti-abortion people seem to act like women are just skipping down to their local clinic and killing
off babies. Nothing could be further from the truth. Most abortions in this country are performed on women who have absolutely
no other option. Its time to quit acting like they use it for birth control. If you can’t get honest, at least shut
up about it.
The argument that having sex is
giving consent for a fetus to form in the womb is also bull. That would mean that the only reason to have sex is for procreation.
That belief is beyond us in this day and age I would hope. So many other issues could be raised off this line of thinking.
Gay sex would have to be against the law, since they can’t procreate. Birth control, out the door. I would hope that
we have moved past this type of puritanical thought in this country. Now that brings up another issue…
Marriage period is a religious institution.
The government has no business saying who can and can’t get married. That should be left up to the religious institutions.
There should be no “breaks” for married couples. Any contract you enter into that has benefits or provisions for
after you death, should be payable or available to whoever you choose. If a company doesn’t want to provide for a significant
other, they should just not do it. If their policy is to provide them to heterosexual relationships, they should provide them
to homosexual relationships.
The converse of that is also true.
The government should never be telling religious institutions who they can and can’t provide marriages for. What about
separation of church and state. We shouldn’t be in the habit of dictating our morals through the government.
It is time to move on from this
issue, both in the political and the social arena. Oh, and in this article too.
I see nothing redeeming in our government
education system. First, it is a black hole as far as funding goes. We spend around $7000 a year to “educate”
the kids in our government system. In the private sector the average is $3500. Private school kids score higher or at least
as high on all testing we do. We spend the second most of any country in the world on education and we continually rank near
the bottom on results. The system is completely broken and should be shut down. Throwing money at the problem is obviously
not working, time to do something new.
Of course, I see some more sinister
aspects of our government education system. It seems as though we are more concerned with creating good citizens than we are
with creating educated ones that are capable of critical thinking. Government education spends more time making sure everyone
is equal than it does teaching children how to learn. We want “politically correct” students that will come out
of the system and enter the world accepting and tolerant, who cares if they can read or not. Lets get real and face reality.
We are falling behind the world and it is because we are more worried about creating citizens that will accept the yolk of
citizenship and compliance to authority than we are of helping kids get ahead in the world.
The right to defend your self is
the most basic human right. The “extra privilege” that our founding fathers laid on us is the means to do it.
They knew that the only way to maintain a balance of power between the government and the governed was through the threat
of the government from the people rising up. Any and all laws that interfere with that are illegitimate and should be ignored
by the people. I know that democracy is “mob rules” and in a democracy the minority will always suffer. But in
this instance, the minority is definitely in the right. It should be the sworn duty of all citizens to not only arm themselves,
but to do it in a way that takes the government out of the equation.
What do I mean by that? Simple,
get a gun and get it “outside” of the channels the government “allows” you to get it. Don’t
let them take this most important of the checks and balances out of the system. No matter what their “sheeple”
say, do or intend.
Now The Short Term Issues
I am not a fan of the show, at all,
but I do think there is an important lesson in it. The number of people that vote for their favorites is pretty amazing if
you ask me. The entire phenomenon of the show is based on being able to vote for someone and them having a good chance of
winning. It is a lesson that maybe we should think about for out national elections. People think I am joking when I say this,
but I am not.
We seriously need to look at why
so many people are disenfranchised with the voting process in this country. I say it is because we are continually faced with
voting for the lesser of two evils. That is no way to run a country. We still end up with evil. We are losing ground to the
evil influences in our government. We MUST find a way to get people involved in the process. This seems like a good model
to look at.
I still think she is hot. Not my
kind of music. Not my kind of woman. But she is still hot. But what does she have to do with politics?
Glad you asked.
We have spent time (some of us against
our will) being subjected to every thing this woman does. How she gets married, who she marries, how she raises her kids and
on and on and on. Since when did it become our business? See, this is the real question that we need to ask ourselves. What
makes us think we are so important and “right” that we are entitled to judge our neighbors personal lives? She
is not making decisions that affect our society as a whole. We probably all know more about Britney Spears than we do about
our city council. Give me a break. This is the type of sideshow that the public media puts up for us to focus on. It is a
sad thing I think.
Republican Sex Scandals
The list is long, so no use picking
any of them out. Needless to say people that concentrate so much on what people are doing in the bedroom have obvious fixations
on sex. The problem is we are not, as citizens, standing up and saying, “That is none of my business.” We should
be doing that, even with our politicians. Instead of attacking this closeted homosexuals and “deviants” we should
be reaching out to them, showing them that people have a right to love who they want, sleep with who they want and live their
private lives as they choose to live them.
Instead we go on the attack. This
is when we should NOT attack. Letters of support for people who have a problem coming out of the closet are more effective
than complaining that they over reacted to try and hide their sexuality. I don’t know why people can’t seem to
The Health Care Scare
Yeah, I think it is a scare. It
is true that we have lots of people without insurance in this country. What isn’t true is that people are dieing in
the streets because of it. We still have the best health care in the world in the US. What we don’t have is people
trying to live healthy lifestyles. And that is OK. Freedom is you don’t have to be healthy if you choose not too. Slavery
is making me pay for it when you don’t.
Poor people in this country do have
access to health care; we already have the social programs in place for them. Unfortunately these programs help drive up the
prices for everyone else. So the “right above poverty” people suffer the most. People who can’t really afford
to get sick. But is a national health care system really the answer? I say NO.
What would really benefit this group
of people? First, let’s get rid of government interference in what types of treatment people can get and where they
can receive it. The FDA doesn’t allow people to order their medications from out of the country were they can actually
get some they can afford. Lets fix that first and then take another look at where we are after that.
This irritates me to no end. I am
tired of hearing the sky is falling. It isn’t falling and even if it is, do you really think mere mortals have the power
to stop it? I don’t. The Earth has been dealing with its inhabitants for billions of years. I don’t think it is
going to stop just because some monkeys have learned to drive. Is global warming happening? Yes, we know it is. It is also
getting warmer on Mars. And it is getting warmer faster there than it is here. I am pretty sure Martians are not polluting
their ecosystem faster than we are.
I am sure there are plenty more
things I could discuss, but I am going to leave it at that. There are lots of things wrong with this country. But they all
have a common denominator. Government interference. Until we do something about that, we will continue to fall apart.
Send Questions or Comments to: email@example.com
Well Regulated Militia
A Well Regulated Militia
A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and
bear arms, shall not be infringed.
portions of the Constitution generate as much debate as the Second Amendment. I have heard every argument from “It’s
outdated” to “It only means the military can have guns.” It would probably take a book to explore in depth
every single argument made against firearms and the Second. Instead of trying to refute them all, I will attempt to hit on
some of the most popular, but only in passing. I don’t feel it is necessary to go into depth on all of the arguments
since they can be summed up in one general attitude; guns are too dangerous to trust my neighbor with one. To me that argument
is totally irrelevant to the Second Amendment and the reason it came into being. And it is certainly irrelevant to the world
in which we live in.
the most cited portion of the Second for pro-gun control people. The argument being that this phrase proves that gun ownership
is limited to those in the “militia” and that a “militia” was the state sponsored military of the
time. Sometimes they throw in that only able bodied men between 18 and 45 could be in the “militia”. This seems
to them to prove that only men in the military between those ages could possibly be included in “the right to bear arms”
and that the Constitution doesn’t grant the right to anyone else.
argue that there are no constitutional rights to anything. The constitution may spell out some of our rights, but not all
of them. Our rights are derived from common law. The right to defend yourself and your property by whatever means available
is a universal natural law, one that no arbitrary law can violate. Having the right to defend YOURSELF shoots down the "collective
rights" argument against the second. No (legit) law can be passed that removes your natural rights. This was reiterated in
the constitution itself, in the IX.
If you take the "collective rights" approach, you focus on the first part of the
second amendment, "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state". So I will make the argument
that we don't have a well regulated militia in the states. To me, the definition of "regulated" in their speech and writing
referred to what they strived for during their time, a "principled" force whose purpose was to throw off oppressive government
forces, a force that was "in good order" and a force that was used for a short time when needed and free to pursue other interests
when they weren't. In order to achieve that, private citizens would have to be allowed to own or posses "arms" consistent
with the "arms" of the government forces. This leads back to my assertion that the second is about INDIVIDUAL rights as opposed
to COLLECTIVE rights of firearm ownership. And to answer the question about whether the original colonial militia was an organized
state-sponsored military force, the answer is no. We were under British rule still and they certainly didn't fund the colonial
militias. It is also important to point out that it was MILITIAS, not a MILITIA, each under the leadership of their own choosing.
Many forces DID NOT follow any orders from Washington or anyone else. They had their own goals and protected and fought in
places that held significance to them personally, over the goals of Washington.
I think it is also important to point
out that the Second came about because the Anti-Federalists feared that the constitution would be used to limit civil liberties.
One of their big fears was that a standing military, funded by the government, not under civilian control, would eventually
be used against the people in order to limit their liberties. The Federalists felt it was unnecessary to add a bill of rights
because they should be so clear to everyone. In their arguments they said things like this...
Let a regular army,
fully equal to the resources of the country, be formed; and let it be entirely at the devotion of the federal government;
still it would not be going too far to say, that the State governments, with the people on their side, would be able to repel
the danger. The highest number to which, according to the best computation, a standing army can be carried in any country,
does not exceed one hundredth of the whole number of souls; or one twenty-fifth part of the number able to bear arms. This
proportion would not yield, in the United States, an army of more than twenty-five or thirty thousand men. To these would
be opposed a militia amounting to near half a million of citizens with arms in their hands, officered by men chosen from among
themselves, fighting for their common liberties, and united and conducted by governments possessing their affections and confidence.
It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops.
- James Madison
The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword; because the whole body
of the people are armed, and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be, on any pretence, raised
in the United States. - Noah Webster
The lesson they knew first hand that has been forgotten all these generations
of "peace" later is that governments can and do use force against their citizens. And in order to counter-balance that, the
people should be armed. People that argue against gun control for any other reason than to fight the forces of an out of control
government do the second a disservice.
As far as limiting gun ownership to "able bodied males", the equal protection
clause seems to work well enough to right that wrong, as it has in many other instances.
want to briefly touch on the argument make that banning certain firearms is not unconstitutional. If we are looking at the
reason all of the colonies and the founders wanted firearms, the reason (at the least) was to throw of the chains of tyranny.
The idea that they would not use any firearm or weapon available to do that is laughable. They surely would not have done
anything to limit the right of the people to own any firearm a government could own.
this is no where near an in depth look at the Second, I hope I have touched on enough parts of it and ideals behind it to
generate thought or discussion.
send your hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
October 8, 2007
Ok, I gave a basic outline
on self-ownership, now to look at something that comes from the idea of self ownership, the Non-Aggression Principle (NAP).
The NAP simply stated says
that the initiation of force, the threat of force, or fraud upon anyone or their property, is inherently illegitimate. Lots
of people think libertarians are pacifists because they misunderstand what the NAP is about. It is about the INITIATION of
force. I promise that a libertarian will definitely fight back against force. You would think the strong stance we take on
the right to bear arms would be a good hint, but some people miss that.
This is one of those things
you will often hear libertarians arguing about amongst ourselves. Or, if you believe what I do about the NAP, this is something
you will hear libertarians arguing with people who claim to be libertarians about. Not that there aren’t some significant
and legitimate disagreements about the NAP among libertarians, but it is ALWAYS the principle that divides real libertarians
from people that only have libertarian leanings.
I stated in the opening
sentence that the NAP comes from the idea of self ownership. I think this is an important point to make. Remember, self ownership
means I have complete moral right to my body and my property. My body should be obvious. No one can use my body against my
will, pretty much everyone would agree to that idea. My property some might have a hard time accepting, even though I don’t
know why. My property is the direct result of my labor. If my blood, sweat and tears go into something, it is directly tied
to my body. Although I am not going to go into depth over private property rights and the principles behind the idea of private
ownership, I will say that the idea of original appropriation and homesteading as put for by John Locke and expounded on later
by Murray Rothbard shed light on the subject. Indeed, the founding fathers were well aware of Locke and his influence can
be seen all of the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.
Libertarians are opposed
to all laws that punish people for victimless crimes. Just the act of doing something, say smoking pot, doesn’t make
you a criminal. Who have you harmed? How have you violated someone else’s life or property? Now, say you get high and
start breaking out the windows of your neighbors’ house (I know, not likely on pot). At that point you have created
a victim and you will have broken a law by destroying someone else’s property. Maybe you wouldn’t have done it
if you weren’t high, but an actual crime wasn’t committed until you interfered with someone else’s property.
You can apply the same theory to a multitude of “crimes”. My favorites involve driving. How does not having a
drivers’ license interfere with someone else’s liberty? Or mandatory insurance, or registration, or any number
of things they stick it too you for the “privilege” to drive. For libertarians, any law that doesn’t have
a victim, who suffers an actual loss, is illegitimate. So basically, people should be free to do anything that doesn’t
violate the NAP. Any law that punishes someone when they haven’t violated the NAP is illegitimate.
I think, and most libertarians
agree, that the largest violator of the NAP is the government. After all, they exact payment all the time for actions that
have harmed no one. They “steal” from some the fruits of their labor in the form of involuntary taxation. The
reason people pay their taxes is because if they don’t, force will be used against them. Very few people pay out of
the goodness of their hearts. I’m not saying that no one pays them because they enjoy paying them, just very few. Of
course, that is not the only way the government violates the NAP, but that my friends is a topic for another time.
Ok. I have talked about
what it means to be a libertarian. I have addressed the issue of Self-Ownership. And this week, we touched on the Non-Aggression
Principle. Even though each of those topics could be covered in more depth, I think it is a good bare bones outline of the
ideas I hold and with that being said, I guess it is about time to really start to delve into the issues.
I was hoping by now I would
have generated some hate mail at email@example.com and could get a general feeling about the direction to take the conversation,
but since that hasn’t happened yet, I guess I will keep up with the one sided conversation. So next week, I think I
will talk about…
The Right To Bear Arms.
hate mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
In the previous article,
I touched on self ownership (that sounds kinda kinky). The simple explanation of self ownership is that every person has the
moral right to control their own body and life. This logically includes your labor and the fruit of your labor, since those
things come from your self. The concept is called, by some, the Sovereign Individual. The only legitimate means of transferring
your “self” is through voluntary transactions. You can make a gift of your self or you can trade your self. This
only makes sense and very few people would deny it. The idea of self ownership can be seen in the constitution of the US…
slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall
exist within the United States, or any
place subject to their jurisdiction.
It could be argued
that slavery (the state of one bound in servitude as the property of a slaveholder or household) and involuntary servitude
(a condition of compulsory service or labor performed by one person, against his
will, for the benefit of another person due to force, threats, intimidation or other similar means of coercion and compulsion
directed against him) are the same thing. The minor difference being that as a slave you are property and under involuntary
servitude you are not. Both, however, are contrary to the idea of self ownership. The only legitimate means of acquiring someone’s
labor or fruit of someone’s labor is through voluntary transaction. To be truly free, you must retain self ownership.
what’s the big deal? Everyone owns themselves; we did away with slavery, right? We did and we didn’t. I can think
of a few examples that, if we follow the line of thought that leads us to believe in self ownership, would fall short. Lets
look at some of them.
me this is the most prominent and easily identifiable area were self ownership is thrown out the window.
know what some of you are already thinking. “Oh no, here it goes. The old rant that taxes are theft. Social programs
are evil. Blah blah blah, heard it all before.” Well, you may be right. You may have heard it all before, but please
bear with me. What I want to point out is that to maintain a consistent principle, sometimes we have to accept facts that
we don’t agree with. If you don’t believe in self ownership, what are the other rights you are giving up? What
things do we give up when we say there are instances were self ownership takes second stage to others rights or needs? Lets
go over some other things and I will get back to taxation in a little bit.
is the big “A” word. Here is one of the things that seem to grip US politics. The principle of self ownership
says that a person has the complete moral right to their own bodies. That includes the right to say who can and can’t
use your body. Some people would argue that the principle of self ownership doesn’t apply in this way to a fetus. They
will say that the act of intercourse is giving the fetus permission to reside inside the woman’s womb. To me that idea
is ludicrous. It seems like saying, “The act of putting a gate in your fence means anyone can camp in your yard.”
Since everyone has the right to self ownership, the idea that a fetus has the right to exist inside another person can’t
be justified. I will talk more about abortion at a later date. Lets move on for now though.
It isn’t hard to convince most people that marijuana should be legal. After years of study, it looks like the
beneficial effects on health and well being far outweigh any possible detrimental effects on the body. But what about other
drugs? Drugs people consider to be hard drugs, like heroin and cocaine? Well, what are the effects on the people other than
the user? If they rob someone, we have laws against that. If they kill someone, we have laws against that. Really, the idea
of self ownership is that anyone can do anything they like as long as they aren’t interfering with the rights of others.
I see no reason that someone using drugs is any of my business, unless they violate my right to self ownership (since all
valid rights come from self ownership) in some way. And like Jefferson said, “I would
rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than to those attending too small a degree of it.”
Back To Taxes
If I have the right to
self ownership, to my property and the fruits of my labor, how can taxation on my income be anything other than;
a.) Theft by the government
b.) Involuntary servitude
I think the answer
is, they can’t. And by extension, programs that are funded by that taxation are exploitation. Can we really, in a civilized
society, excuse that type of action by our government? I know I can’t.
Send your hate mail to
I am a libertarian.
September 24, 2007
My friend and sometimes ideological sparring partner David asked if I would be interested in writing a piece
for his great weekly, Yoda’s World. I jumped at the chance of course, for lots of reasons, but one of them is because
I think the ideas and fundamental beliefs or liberty are held by the majority of Americans, regardless of political affiliation.
I have noticed in the last 20 years of being a libertarian that most non-libertarians don’t understand what one really
is. There is a good reason for this. There is not a “model” libertarian. They run the gambit of social liberals
to economic conservatives. From limited government Minarchists to zero government Anarchists. There are big L Libertarians
that are members of the Libertarian Party to small l libertarians that aren’t aligned with any political parties. There
are libertarians that don’t believe in participating in any government activities, including voting or paying taxes.
So there is no wonder that people are confused about what exactly a libertarian is. If you want to see some of the major libertarian
arguments, the best place to go is in a group of two or more libertarians. Getting libertarians to agree has been compared
to “herding cats”. It is a phrase so often repeated that I am not even sure who came up with it. But needless
to say, we are a diverse bunch. So, I can say with authority that I don’t speak for all libertarians. I am personally
an Anarcho-Capitalist or AnCap. Most of what I will write and say comes from this perspective. But, I also participate in
working to get big L libertarians elected and injecting the ideas of libertarianism into American politics.
So, to describe a libertarian I am going to tell you about MY beliefs and ideas and mix those with the policies
and platform of the Libertarian Party. I will also, at times, try and describe some of the other types of libertarians and
where they are coming from. Let me just run down two of the basics of libertarianism for the “unwashed” masses.
One of the main things that will separate a libertarian from most political beliefs is the general philosophy
of self ownership. Self ownership means that someone is free to do whatever they choose with themselves or their property,
as long as they don’t in any way deny someone else that same liberty. You and your labor are yours and yours alone.
No one else can make a claim to any part of you or your property. The only legitimate way to transfer those things is voluntarily.
There are easier ways to say the same thing. Live and let live. Don’t do unto me and I won’t do unto you. I’ll
neither be nor make a slave. Lots of things to say, basically, the same thing. Self ownership is not something new. As a matter
of fact, it is the basis of freedom. More on that on a later date.
The Non-Aggression Principle
The Non-Aggression Principle (NAP) is another fairly simple concept that is often misunderstood. When you hear
libertarians arguing with each other, this is the main weapon of choice. The NAP, simply put, states that “No person
or group of people may aggress against the person or property of anyone else.” Many people, including myself, feel that
this is the “true” defining line of libertarian principle. Aggression includes force, threats of force, fraud
or coercion. Thomas Jefferson wrote, "Rightful
liberty is unobstructed action according to our will within limits drawn around us by the equal rights of others. I do not
add ‘within the limits of the law’, because law is often but the tyrant’s will, and always so when it violates
the rights of the individual."
The reason I am only going with those two principles is because they make up the core of libertarian belief.
Almost all things libertarian spring from those two principles. These two concepts are shared ALMOST universally by all libertarians.
I say almost, because there are many, many types of libertarians. Basically they all fall into two groups though.
Minarchists believe in a very small federal government. They would limit the government to police, courts and
national defense. Barry Goldwater and Ron Paul are two examples of conservative leaning minarchists.
Anarchists believe that as long as there is a government, true freedom and liberty are not possible. They advocate
a free market approach to all things, including policing, courts and defense.
So basically, if you believe people should be free from being made slaves, you might be a libertarian. At the
very least you might want to find out more about them.
In coming issues I plan to address all the great topics of our times; taxes, gay marriage, abortion, liberals,
conservatives, political scheming, war, immigration and much more. Get those fingers stretched out so you can be ready to
send your hate mail. Until then, here are some links to learn some more about libertarians…
http://www.lp.org – The Libertarian Party
http://www.mises.org/ - Ludwig von Mises Institute
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian - WiKi on Libertrianism
http://www.hanshoppe.com/ - Hans Hoppe
http://www.lewrockwell.com/rothbard/rothbard-lib.html - Articles by Murray Rothbard
http://www.theihs.org/about/id.1084/default.asp - Institute for Humane Studies
http://www.libertarians.net/ - Libertarians.net
http://www.libertarianism.com/ - Libertarianism.com
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