Good Cops?

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All cops are bad – by definition.police state lead

Harsh statement? Certainly. It does not make it less true – like an accurate terminal cancer diagnosis. Pretending otherwise doesn’t alter the reality.

Whether the cops themselves are conscious of their badness is immaterial.

No doubt, many cops (as distinct from peace officers) believe in their hearts (and perhaps even their minds) that they are “good men” doing righteous work.

It does not make it so.

The average Nazi functionary was not a frothing fanatic, either. He was a good German with a wife and kids he doted on, who – in his own mind – believed he was doing the right thing.

Which, in his mind, meant enforcing the laws of the state.police state 2

The East German Stasi man believed this also.

Just as buzz cut Officer 82nd Airborne believes it today.

Most cops are probably not conscious sadists – though of course, many are.

They enforce the laws. It’s what they do. It does not matter what the law is. Merely that it is the law.  Many will tell you so themselves. The law is the law. I’m just doing my job. The same things were said in the Soviet Union, in Nazi Germany, everywhere that authority rather than right was reverenced.

Or where the two were confused and regarded as the same thing.

As has become the case in the U.S. today.

Most of the laws on the books (as in Nazi Germany, as in the Soviet Union, as in post-war East Germany) criminalize innumerable actions (and even non-actions, such as failing to buy now-mandatory health insurance) that involve no harm to other people or their property – but rather constitute “offenses” against the state and its statutes.police state 1

It is the job of cops to force people to submit and obey – period.

Cops are not expected to consider the rightness or wrongness of an action as such; only whether a given action (or non-action) is illegal. It is the same mentality expressed by a genuinely bewildered Adolf Eichmann at his trial in Israel for war crimes.

He was merely following orders.

Inevitably, as this corruption of the soul takes hold, any challenge to the state’s limitless authority becomes – in the minds of those charged with protecting the state’s authority  – the essence of wrongness.

And the response to any perceived threat to this authority grows ever more brutal and disproportionate.police state 3

Evildoers must be punished. A Manichean – but morally subjective – worldview takes hold. Ordnung muss sein.

It rapidly takes on the fervor of a crusade, becomes strident and militant, harsh – a sickening admixture of obeisance to and worshipfulness of the state.

There is talk of heroes. Not in reference to people to people who risk their own lives to try to help save another person’s life. But in reference to those who take other people’s lives (or merely ruin them) in order to enforce compliance with the state’s authority.propaganda pic

They talked about heroes in Soviet Russia, too.

And there was the cult of the soldat in National Socialist Germany – where the highest honor was to wear a uniform and to “serve.”

Does it sound familiar?

Echoes from the past, unheeded.

But there is this crucial difference between cops in the United State (singular, on purpose – in the interests of editorial accuracy) and the enforcer class in the Union of Soviet Soviet Socialist Republics, the Deutsche Demokratische Republik  or its nationalsozialist predecessor: Cops in the United State have opted to abuse their fellow human beings when they could just as easily opt not to abuse them.

But they choose – freely – to abuse others.

To get paid to do it.German propaganda pic

That makes them very bad indeed.

Worse, in fact, than someone like Eichmann or a Soviet or Stasi goon – since those guys literally faced the choice of doing as ordered or being thrown into a camp (or much worse) if they did not.

It was them – and their families – or someone else and his family.

A much harder choice.

No American cop faces this choice.

Not yet.

They can still walk away.

But very few ever do.police state 5

Instead, they enforce the law. Any law – all laws. As relentlessly, as remorselessly as their historical counterparts. They kick in doors and frog march people out of their homes at gunpoint (as in Boston) and elsewhere. They subject minor traffic scofflaws and even those who have scoffed no laws at all to repeated anal-digital (and vaginal digital) rape. They beat up – and murder – 13-year-olds.  They summarily execute people’s pets (here and here). Always in the name of “doing their jobs.” And always without remorse. The prior linked-to items are not the exceptions. They are fast becoming the rule – the new normal. I’ve cataloged several hundred examples (see here).

And those who commit these atrocities do so by choice.Direct Action Against War

A guy may elect to pursue a career in law enforcement with naive but noble intent. He wants to spend his workdays protecting the public, going after criminals. But he soon finds that he will spend most of his “career” threatening to kidnap and cage people for having transgressed any of the endless multitude of statutes that define “offenses” against the state, but which entail no actual harm to other people or their property. He will “bust” people for having committed these offenses – knowing they’ve caused no harm to anyone. He will participate routinely in actions no different in their essence than the things for which his predecessors  – from the Redcoats of 1776 to the SA men of 1936 – history excoriates.1389.9 Holocaust A

Cognitive dissonance, of course, puts up a two-inch thick Plexiglass wall between his mind and his conscience – and he continues to enforce the law and feel good about doing it. Certainly, he does not feel guilty about what he does.

But cognitive dissonance does not absolve him of his crimes – and that’s what they are –  any more than Eichmann’s plaintive excuse that he was just following orders – which of course he was – absolved him of his.

You tell me: Does a good man choose – freely – under no coercion – to put on a special outfit and abuse his fellow man at gunpoint?Tax Evaders

And if he does, what do we make of him? What shall we call him?

Yes, it’s harsh a verdict.

But hard truths must be faced.

Else the insanity will never be checked.

Throw it in the Woods?

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  234 comments for “Good Cops?

  1. Tor Minotaur
    January 7, 2014 at 5:42 pm

    Good NC Cops?

    Teen Shot Dead After Parents Call Cops: 5 Facts You Need to Know

    http://www.heavy.com/news/2014/01/keith-vidal-cops-shoot-schizophrenic-teen-nc/

    • January 7, 2014 at 7:32 pm

      Once you are in custody or the state your safety is their responsibility.. being in restraint equals custody.. since the police around the country appear to have been given carte blache license to kill these days and it is happening around the country every day on a rising scale I would be inclined to believe the familiy’s complaints. If the teen was restrained and they shot him they all need to be charged and hanged if found guilty of abusing their authority to murder a citizen they swore to “protect and defend”. Will they ever be held accountable.. dont hold your breath.
      1. Never ever call a cop to a family dispute, ever.
      2. If you call a cop be prepared to defend your family should things get out of hand and you will not win, if you survive, unless its on video and even then it will be suspect.
      3. The lessen they are teaching is that if you refuse the authority of the state you will die.. the only solution is to make them fearful of retribution at every level. I reference Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn..

      The following will define your threat and direct you to proper action in defense of it.. fail to heed the warning will be your downfall.

      “At what point, then, should one resist? When one’s belt is taken away? When one is ordered to face into a corner? When one crosses the threshold of one’s home? An arrest consists of a series of incidental irrelevancies, of a multitude of things that do not matter, and there seems no point in arguing about one of them individually…and yet all these incidental irrelevancies taken together implacably constitute the arrest. ”
      ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn, The Gulag Archipelago: 1918-1956

      “And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand?… The Organs would very quickly have suffered a shortage of officers and transport and, notwithstanding all of Stalin’s thirst, the cursed machine would have ground to a halt! If…if…We didn’t love freedom enough. And even more – we had no awareness of the real situation…. We purely and simply deserved everything that happened afterward.”
      ― Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

      Yank lll
      In own my words.. you are either the predator or the prey, choose !

  2. January 5, 2014 at 11:13 am

    Too much relativistic theory and nonsensical banter to change the topic so you don’t have to accept the reality.

    This was about our govt overstepping the restrictions placed on them both by constitutional and legal authorities of the people and using law enforcement at every level of govt to become the enforcers of their criminal and treasonous actions against the people they all swore an oath to serve. Anyone who thinks this is about one or two random bullies is either a fool or an idiot.

    It is obvious that Honor and Truth are no longer valuable in the modern world thanks to radical educators and systems, that individual rights that exist only to the individual by birthright, that the concept of Liberty and Free Will are no longer understood as they should exist because of the corruption of the minds of children over generations.

    You are all the victims of this usurpation of authority by your govt and their enforcers yet you are either afraid to discuss it honestly and truthfully but would rather banter and argue about relativist nonsense that ties up facts and real truths to hide from it.. if you don’t have the balls to discuss your announced enemies in public because you’re afraid of being on some “list” it’s too late for that, you already are so shut your pie hole and stop feeding the lies and disinformation.

    Think of it like the street.. you are being shoved and smacked in the face every day but you are so intimidated and scared that you argue about why the scumbag has a right to do it or how you should accept his concept of aggression because he is allowed to think that way.. its time you shut up and put up or go cower and cry in the corner and let the rest of us get on with it.

    Deep inside you all feel the anger about what is happening yet you repress it by allowing yourself to post online like this as if your Liberty were some relative or managed right so you can assuage your guilt for your quiet complicity. Find that anger and realize you are Free Citizens of the only nation in the world that recognized that fact is a natural right, that this administration and every one before it are actively engaged in stealing it from you and they are using force to do it illegally, then feed that anger with truth and honesty and allow yourself to lawfully and constitutionally resist that treason by any means necessary, it is your right by birth. Failing to act will not only put you all in chains but everyone else around the world as well, there wont be any neutral position in this for anyone so grow a pair pick a side.

    Failing that at least have the decency to stick to the topic of “Good Cop” which should be any cop who honors his oath, operates within the limits of the constitution and not the illegal and unconstitutional laws that violate your rights, a cop who should stop others when they violate your rights or quit his job and join the fight against the repression and treason. Anything else is a lie.

    Yank lll

  3. Tor Minotaur
    January 4, 2014 at 8:49 am

    Good Medicine?

    IS Obamacare a multi-faceted power grab that seeks to wrest away the crown jewel of religious institutional power, Christian owned and managed hospitals.

    Mericans seem all too willing to capitulate to every medical fatwa, provided the cleric issuing it is wearing the right costume, and has the requisite authority. How much worse will they be after a few years of Obamacare?

    Is Jahi, the 13 year old girl really dead? Is that a matter for her family to decide, or does a doctor, hospital, judge, or official know what she would really want, and what’s best for her?

    Should the life and death Decider be someone wearing an official costume and anointed with the mantle of authority?

    http://www.newsdaily.com/health/8fe3ee356770856ef74aea5d2321db3a/move-considered-for-girl-declared-brain-dead

    Terri Schiavo – One LIbertarian’s Observations
    http://kevincraig.us/terri-schiavo.htm

    Topics to discuss:

    1. Application of basic ethical principles to lifeboat, health care legislation, Cherokee Valley, conscription, price-gouging, surrogate contracts.

    2. Explanation of and conflict between basic ethical principles, and the argument for best ethical system (Utilitarianism, Kantianism, Aristotelianism)

    3. Kantianism vs. existentialism on morality and freedom.

    4. Libertarianism vs. Rawlsian liberalism vs. Lockean liberalism vs. Aristotelianism on equal opportunity/redistribution policies or arguments. Example: taxation = slavery.

    5. Conflict of basic political principles, discussion and argument for best political system (Utilitarianism, Libertarianism, Locke, Egalitarian Liberalism)

    6. Closing arguments relating to Aristotelian/communitarian issues such as affirmative action, reparations, disabilities, and euthanasia.

    Ethical Topics For Discussion
    Benthan, Mill, Singer, Kant, Aristotle, Sartre, Nozick, Locke, Rawls, Willy Parker, Cherokee Valley example, Mignorette, 1863 commutation law, Gaugain dilemma, Anne Frank lying dilemma & Kant’s ‘Jesuit’ solution, Heinz dilemma (morality vs. law problem), Milgram experiment, William Stern, Mary Whitehead, Callie Smartt, Casey Martin, Cheryl Hopwood, Jack Kervorkian, Karen Ann Quinlan, Dr. Pou

    Basic ethical principles issues

    Utilitarianism (explain UP), Kantianism (explain 2 forms of CI), libertarianism (self-ownership), Aristotelian ethics (virtue and happiness), social contract model of state legitimacy/rights, trolley car dilemmas & moral reasoning, utilitarianism: lifeboat case, Afghan goatherds dilemma, 2 chief objections to utilitarianism, hedonic calculus, Cherokee Valley example, Thorndike study, Singer’s help the needy argument & replies to objections of distance, blurs duty/charity, libertarianism: 2 forms of justice in relation to property according to libertarianism, minimal state, 3 types of laws libertarians reject (morals, paternalist, redistributive), taxation = slavery argument, justice & market issues: price-gouging debate, 2 chief models of military service (conscription/pay), Civil war commutation, fairness & Aristotelian/telos objections to volunteer army, contractual & Anderson objections to surrogate motherhood, 2 ways to ‘taint’ a contract, Kantianism and existentialism: 4 types of moral duties & examples, basis of ‘moral worth’, autonomy vs. heteronomy, existentialist slogan (state & explain in relation to existentialist ‘ethics’), radical freedom/abandonment, radical choice (vs. moral choice), Rawlsian liberalism: social contract based on “original position”, 2 principles of justice (Rawls), distributive principle (explain), 3 concepts of equal opportunity (name & explain), Aristotelian/communitarian issues; anti-discrimination/institutional racism and Aristotelian/telos arguments for affirmative action in admissions/positions (cheerleader, golfer, law school cases), veil problem/communitarianism and liberty misc. basic pro- reparations argument & relation to libertarianism, PVS, intentional killing/double effect, informed consent, active vs. passive euthanasia

  4. Tor Minotaur
    January 2, 2014 at 8:54 am

    Godly People – Huaoranis ?
    http://vimeo.com/18066130

    Huaorani Peoples of Ecuador

    Don’t indigenous people have property rights? Aren’t modern day missionaries rights to spread their beliefs secondary and incidental to the sovereign Huaoranis?

    Which scripture tells the faithful to recklessly trespass and intrude where they are not wanted? Don’t they end up being useful idiots for the corrupt governments, eager to claim dominion over every square inch of soil under any pretense?

    Why can’t they follow the example of Daniel Boone or William Penn? Why not bring gifts, make payments, gain welcome peaceably? Why are they mainly agents of force and Christian Fiat?

    Message from Huaorani of Yasuni Part 1: Ahua

    William Penn 1644–1718 was an English real estate entrepreneur, philosopher, early Quaker and founder of the Province of Pennsylvania, the English North American colony and the future Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

    He was an early champion of democracy and religious freedom, notable for his good relations and successful treaties with the Lenape Indians. Under his direction, the city of Philadelphia was planned and developed.

    • Boothe
      January 2, 2014 at 2:23 pm

      Tor – Mathew 10:14 (ISV) “If no one welcomes you or listens to your words, as you leave that house or town, shake its dust off your feet.” IOW, if they aren’t interested in the message, forget about it and move on. I don’t seem to recall anywhere in scripture where Yeshua and His disciples went into a town or village and forced their doctrine on the inhabitants at the point of a sword. Or worse, tried to evangelize a captive audience such as at school or in the workplace. He called the organized church leaders out right in the temple to be sure. But he taught out on the land where everyone was free to come, listen or leave as they pleased.

      One of my coworkers was immediately suspicious of me when he hired on, because I have a Bible, a Strong’s Concordance and a Vine’s Dictionary on my desk. After he got to know me he told me he’d had a coworker at his previous employer that insisted on trying to “get him saved” up to using a company pager to call him to a “church meeting.” This guy probably did more to completely turn this man off to Yeshua’s teaching than Satan himself could. I see why the witches and pagans refer to his kind as “xians.” My new coworker also found out that I use those reference materials to straighten out false doctrine when I hear it from the “xians” around me. Don’t come at me with your hellfire and brimstone Biblical illiteracy unless you want swift and thorough correction right from the source! I’ve sent more than one deacon and pastor away stuttering and muttering never to speak to me again. Hence, I ain’t a real popular feller down at th’ meetin’ house or the revival tent these days. ;)

      • Tor Minotaur
        January 2, 2014 at 8:16 pm

        Thank you Boothe.

        I still remember you setting me straight about trespass and communal property rights in a condominium development.

        I would love to hear some Christian emancipation strategies discussed. Christian soldiers are legendary.

        That Ann Coulter video about America using Christian missionaries as psychological troops in Korea, Japan, and elsewhere rings depressingly true to me. They help create Soviet Christians, ones who don’t think for themselves or question the hegemony of martial law and its legalistic fictions.
        – – – –

        As far as acuas(an insult meaning savages, not a people):

        “Saint’s widow, and Dayuma, in conjunction with SIL, negotiated the creation of an official Huaorani reservation in 1969, consolidating the Huaorani and consequently opening up the area to commerce and oil exploration. By 1973, over 500 people lived in Tihueno, of which more than half had arrived in the previous six years. The settlement relied on aid from SIL, and as a Christian community, followed rules foreign to Huaorani culture like prohibitions on killing and polygamy.

        In other words, all too often, the so called missionaries are in actual fact nothing more than well paid mercenary maggots of predatory states. Like Father Mulcahy, they are contemptible parasites paid in blood money just like soldiers and bureaucrats. I do not thank them for their service either.

        Fr. Mulcahy’s Korean War Song

        First they get rid of people who live off the land. Now they’re getting rid of the country folk. I dread that soon America will effectively be one big networked city, and there won’t be any rural area or haven from centralized jackboot civil power anywhere.

        Operation Acua Aftermath
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Operation_Auca#Aftermath

  5. January 1, 2014 at 1:24 am

    I’ve never cared for Stephan, and I don’t think our philosophies are really compatible in any respect. Its not just that he doesn’t believe in God. Rothbard and Block were/are atheists and I’ve always enjoyed reading them, and I get along with Eric well despite the fact that he’s an agnostic. But there’s something about anti-theism that just bugs me. There’s something that bugs me about “libertarians” who don’t support Ron Paul as well, but considering Stephan is a raving anti-theist that probably makes sense. I’ve also always found hypocrites that insult religious people every chance they get yet support Ron Paul to be annoying… because they’re hypocrites.

    I don’t agree with him on trying to apply the NAP to parenting as well… Walter Block destroyed that premise in their debate about it, IMO.

    I read as much as I can but i still get frustrated when trying to debate people… I think I’ve come to the conclusion that its not me though, its not an inability to explain the principles in a way that makes sense. People are just stupid or at least willfully ignorant.

    • eric
      January 1, 2014 at 7:52 am

      Morning, David!

      My lack of hostility toward things spiritual may be a function of my being something of a nature boy. I have loved the outdoors since I was very small and have been an avid hiker/backpacker since my young teens. I love few things more than going outside into a dark, starry night (out here in the Woods, you get planetarium-level views on a clear cold winter night) and marveling at the panoply of creation. It is, literally, awesome – not in the Paris Hilton sense.

      I also think it’s limiting to believe any of us know – or can know – everything. Or even that science and the empirical method can account for everything. I incline that way, but I suspect there may be more to it – which by the way Quantum Theory is more or less affirming. I’m not smart enough to really understand more than the rudiments, but if you get even that far… it will amaze you.

      As far as debating people: Consider the historical view. That is, imagine what it must have been like for a person who found slavery repellent to discuss the matter with friends and family circa 1780. Or, to question the divine right of kings circa 1680.

      We Libertarians and anarchysts are the tip of an ideological spear. Our ideas were virtually unknown within my own lifetime, outside of a very tiny remnant. When I was in high school in the ’80s, no one I knew – not one person – knew of Bastiat, Spooner, Leonard Read. Even HL Mencken – one of the greatest freedomistas this country has ever produced – was a marginal figures known only to a few literary types.

      The “movement” – if you like – has made tremendous progress over the past 30 years. I assure you, the candidacy of Ron Paul would have been inconceivable when I was in high school. At best, he would have been a fringe candidate not even mentioned in most “news” stories – let alone given a podium to debate the major candidates on the national stage.

      I have the perspective of remembering what it (the general “scene”) was like circa 1990, long before you were born. Your perspective may seem more bleak because in your lifetime, you’ve not seen major changes for the better.

      I think that will change.

      • MamaLiberty
        January 1, 2014 at 9:08 am

        Indeed, Eric. I have the perspective of 67 years living. I heard a great deal about what went on when my mother was a girl. She grew up in the 1930s, and understood very well where the US “official” economy was going , even when it seemed to be booming. Replacing debt for savings, fiat money for an exchange medium of real value, all the skewed tax and regulation incentives, and growing destruction of true wealth creation and sound business – in other words, the destruction of any hint of the free market… all were evident as growing trends even before WWII. It only got worse and worse after that, with the environist movement adding gasoline to the raging fire. Entitlement and the state as legitimate “authority” was taught as gospel for the last 60 years, and it is an article of faith for a great many people that others DO “owe” them a living – and Obama simply needs to sign a paper to make it happen.

        Is that changing? Is there hope that people will begin to understand what is required for independence and prosperity? Is the “remnant” growing?

        All we can really do is continue to reach out and teach non-aggression and self ownership. Unfortunately, I fear that a large number of those who will not be persuaded will not survive, as they consume each other in their terror at having nobody left who can be compelled to “take care of them.”

      • Giuseppe Crowe
        January 2, 2014 at 2:27 pm

        Hi Eric, et al,

        One of my biggest disappointments with lewrockwell.com relates to the posts there by Lawrence Vance who stipulates that libertarianism needs God. I contend that existence of a supreme being is totally irrelevant to whether an individual believes in self-ownership, which IMO is the very basic tenet from which all other libertarian ideas derive. Stipulating that libertarianism needs God begs the question….Which God? Judeo-Christian God? Islamist God? Thor? Shiva? Worship of a god implies a faith in some sort of doctrine. In a practical sense, implementation of worship of those gods has most frequently led to genocide of worshipers of competing gods. I can’t see how libertarianism requires any god, but I can see how alleged libertarians can and have abandoned their respect for individual rights when their religion trumps the basic tenets of libertarian philosophy……oh, I am reminded of a Firesign Theatre quote from Temporarily Humboldt County….

        CONQUISTADOR: Welcome to New Spain! This is your new Father – Father Corona.
        FATHER CORONA: Pax vneuti nicutm! down on your knees, now! D’ye recognize what I’m holdin’ over your head, lads?
        INDIAN: It’s a Cross. The Symbol of the Quartering of the Universe into Active and Passive Principles.
        FATHER CORONA: God have mercy on their heathen souls!
        CONQUISTADOR: What the Father means is – what is the Cross made of? Gold! Have you got any?
        INDIAN: No.
        CONQUISTADOR: What about the Seven Cities of Gold? Phoenix, Tucson, Las Vegas?
        SECOND INDIAN: This is Gold.
        CONQUISTADOR: What’s that?
        INDIAN: Corn.
        SPANISH SOLDIER: Corn! Now we can make tortillas!

        • Brian
          January 2, 2014 at 5:29 pm

          Perhaps you would like http://www.strike-the-root.com better.

          • Giuseppe Crowe
            January 2, 2014 at 6:32 pm

            Brian,

            Was that directed at me? I used to read Strike the Root years ago. It has some fascinating viewpoints. I will re-check it. I’ve been reading lewrockwell for many, many years. I find lots of the content very good indeed, but there’s just a whiff of the Christianity trumps liberty a bit under the surface of many of the participants that turns me off, I must say. I do have favorite posters there….Butler Schaffer is probably my favorite. I also like Fred Reed at times for his downhome humor. antiwar.com is another favorite. I’m not saying that bible thumpers can’t be libertarians….I’m just saying that in my observation as a “libertarian” for over forty years, I’ve seen Christian libertarians abandon libertarian principles in favor of Christian dogma more often than not. As always, OALA, EHOATAS.

          • Brian
            January 2, 2014 at 7:35 pm

            There is no button below your reply Giuseppe, so I clicked here. Yes, that was aimed at you. I like reading both Lew Rockwell and STR. I have a conservative Christian history, but I parted ways from the mainstream way back when Bob Dole was running for President during the primaries. I was a member of the Christian Coalition back then and taking correspondent courses from the Moody Bible Institute. The only candidates the fit the Christian Coalitions stated beliefs were Alan Keyed and Patrick Buchanan, yet the C.C. endorsed pro-abort Bob Dole. I left C.C. and the Republicans in disgust. I then went to the taxpayers party, then the America First party, then the Libertarian party, then I became an anarchist and have been one for 13 years.
            I also found flaws in Christian teachings of the bible which led me to conclude that at the very least the bible has been tampered with. But then again James Redford wrote an article entitled: Jesus is an Anarchist” which resonates with me somewhat:
            http://www.anti-state.com/redford/redford4.html
            I still believe in a Creator of some sort, because there exists structures so complex in this world that man still cannot build them: http://www.cracked.com/article_20206_5-shockingly-advanced-ancient-buildings-that-shouldnt-exist.html ,but I keep an open mind and I have good atheist friends. Perhaps God is a space alien?

          • January 2, 2014 at 8:44 pm

            @Brian- I find certain scriptures difficult to handle, but less so when viewed in context. Romans 13, for instance. I still struggle with that passage somewhat, but viewed in the context of Romans 12 its not nearly as difficult. That said, the core message of the Bible: ie. the gospel, salvation, and morality are really not complicated.

        • January 2, 2014 at 8:18 pm

          I have never seen Laurence Vance say that: but although I’ve read much of what he’s written there’s a lot which I haven’t.

          As for me… I certainly don’t think belief in anything other than the NAP is required to be a libertarian: However, I don’t think absolute ethics is really logically defensible without a God, and I do think libertarianism logically depends on at least some absolute ethical system. Then again, I’ve talked to plenty of Christians who claim to have an absolute ethical system and then when push comes to shove they make compromises. Which is exactly why I’m so overwhelmed right now. I’m realizing that the same people who will die on the hill of homosexuality will make compromises when it comes to murder, and its depressing.

          As for LewRockwell.com I haven’t really noticed any of what you describe. The only area where maybe that’s true is the issue of abortion, but I don’t see how the “Life begins at conception” viewpoint (which I do share) really requires an appeal to God to defend, at least not any more so than anything else we believe.

  6. Brian
    December 30, 2013 at 6:08 pm

    I was going to reply to David’s message, but there is no reply button. I gather from another message that David is older than Eric, but I don’t know how old that is. At 50 years of age, I’m also a little older than Eric but I still have 70 and 80 year old guys calling me “kid” in a friendly way. I like reading David’s post and I agree with him about a lot of things. I will therefore wing this huge inconsistency out right here.
    Why is it assumed that we have to have to have slower speed limits in towns around where there are children? Don’t farmers living out in the country have children too? Are the children of rural people expected to be trained to stay off of the road so that we can drive 60-70 mph past the farm yards while city children require us to slow way down? Obviously we can’t very well drive 60-70 mph in towns where there are stop signs and lights every few blocks, but I think that it is long past time for the city folks to train their kids to stay off of the road or keep them fenced in like rural families do! But I suppose that Clover will want us to place speed limit 20 signs and speed traps out in rural areas that have children.

    • December 31, 2013 at 10:56 pm

      First off, I’m way younger than Eric. I’m 18, he’s in his 40’s.

      Second off, you have a point. I don’t really know the answer to that. That said, in rural areas, there’s far less REASON to play on the road than in more crowded places with less space.

    • December 31, 2013 at 11:44 pm

      Also, don’t be afraid to call me out on any inconsistencies you see. I’m really new to this movement, comparatively speaking (two, maybe three years if you define “libertarian” with a little bit of latitude, a few months if you limit it to ancaps only) But… rabid-PCness is preventing improvement in a lot of ways. I can tell the difference between attacking an argument and a person. Feel free to call me “inconsistent” or whatever if you feel you are justified.

      • Boothe
        January 1, 2014 at 12:03 am

        David – At eighteen years old, you’re actually really new to life. Enjoy your youth! Wait ’til you’re in your mid-fiftees like me and you’ll know what I mean. Happy new year! :D

        • January 1, 2014 at 12:18 am

          “At 18 you’re really new to life… wait until you’re in your mid-50’s.”

          I’m absolutely terrified at the thought of what this world will look like at that point.

          • Brian
            January 1, 2014 at 1:07 am

            It could very well be that we will live on a prison planet with drones watching our every move. But hackers could possibly render the drones useless or civilians will have their own drones or there could end up being a global ban on them being used as surveillance crafts. It could also be the case that this country will break up like the USSR did. These things are out of our control, but you can do plenty by learning about philosophy. Stephan Molynuex has a great philosophy site at http://www.freedomainradio.com , but be warned that he is a strong atheist and you are not going to convince him about the existence of God unless you can prove it to him using the scientific method. He has a goal of abolishing government by raising children using peaceful parenting, but he thinks that the change will take generations to complete. You can take part in that if your skin is thick enough to put up with him saying negative things about religion. He believes that telling children that Gods perfect son was murdered for the childs sin is traumatic and abusive, and I have to agree with him about that. He is a very nice guy though. Check out his free e-books. If you like talk radio styled podcasts then you ought to listen to http://www.badquaker.com/ , and Ben Stone is a believer.

          • eric
            January 1, 2014 at 8:06 am

            The upside to being your age is you have all kinds of options. You are not yet tied down (both good and bad) with a wife and family of your own. You could, for instance, leave the USSA and build a life in a more-free country such as Uruguay far more easily than I could. For me, fleeing means abandoning a career I’ve spent 20-plus years building and starting over in a new line of work. It’s a lot harder to start over when you’re over 40 than when you’re not even 20.

            If you’d like some advice, one nugget I’ll offer is to get as physically fit as possible, develop good habits along those lines. Acquire as many real skills – learn know how to do things – as you can.

            There’s no harm – and it may really help, if things do go completely sour.

          • January 1, 2014 at 3:02 pm

            Regarding leaving… actually that’s interesting. I’m sure you, like most people, have heard the “freest country in the world” line numerous times. How do you objectively disprove the people who say that? I’ve always kind of assumed the entire world was just as screwed up as the US, if not more so, at least domestically (The US is, of course, unique in its ability and desire to inflict terror on the rest of the world). I also have never really thought about it that much (Usually when people make the freest country in the world statement I’ve responded with “so what? Essentially what you are saying is that your gang is less tyrannical than some other gang, doesn’t mean you should love it or thank it.”) So… in what ways is Uruguay, or any other country, freer than the US? (I ask this as a sincere question, not a rhetorical one.)

            Regarding fitness, I definitely need to get more in shape, I’m definitely NOT ATM. As for “Real skills” what is a “real skill”, as opposed to a fake one? Lol.

            Just out of curiosity, were you actually “awake” when you got married and started your family? Was your wife? Have you had any conflicts along those lines? Just wondering what you did and how it might relate to what I should do in the future.

          • MamaLiberty
            January 1, 2014 at 3:18 pm

            David, re the “real skills” question. Let me tell you about what’s happening here in rural Wyoming. Lots of people we talk to would like to come here, but the skills/job question is usually the end of it. Far, far too many of them have terrific skills in IT or other computer fields, financial business… in other words, city skills. Nothing wrong with that if you can live and work in a city. They want a high paying job sitting in an office, pounding on a keyboard… and sorry, not many of those around here.

            Out here we need people who can weld, drive a truck, pound a nail, operate heavy equipment, climb a telephone pole in a blizzard, deliver a calf, herd sheep, and a thousand other things like that. People need to be able to raise food, cook and preserve it, maybe produce their own electricity, heat with wood and cut their own wood, live with only a few simple possessions, things like that. There are NO cities out here, and very few of the things that make city life so convenient and easy for folks who can afford to make that life work for them. There are very few six figure salaries out here, few “benefits” and even fewer opportunities to live the country grandee style.

            And it is those tough conditions that are coming to most of us in this country, one way or another. Those who can feed themselves and have food to barter, build and maintain their dwellings, do the hard and difficult work of basic industry and construction… they will survive and thrive.

          • Boothe
            January 2, 2014 at 2:03 pm

            David – As MamaLiberty pointed out “real” skills are those things that actually contribute to the quality of other people’s lives as well as your own. My profession is Instrumentation & Control (I&C) systems. It requires a diverse skill set involving computers, PLC’s (Programmable Logic Controllers), HMI’s (Human Machine Interfaces or touch-screen displays), sensors of all different kinds (flow, temperature, pressure, level, pH, conductivity, flame sensing, etc.), tubing bending / light pipe fitting, bench and field calibration and repair, light mechanical work, as well as electrical and electronic work. All of this directly cross applies to residential electrical work, HVAC (heating and air conditioning), mechanics, general household repairs and plumbing.

            Over the years I’ve also picked up welding, brazing and hard soldering on my own. I learned to make and repair jewelry as a teen (which allowed me to fix things like eyeglass frames, watch bands and other tiny things you wouldn’t even think relate to jewelry). My dad taught me basic gunsmithing and automotive mechanics. Then as I ran into things like, motorcycle and small engine mechanics, I learned from books and by talking to others more knowledgeable than me. These are things unskilled members of a community will pay you to do, especially when times are tight. When one’s only option is to repair rather than replace an item, the fix-it guy / gal will be in high demand. You may have to take payment for some of your services through barter in eggs, firewood or fence wire if times are really tight. But you and your family won’t be hungry or cold. In most cases, you’ll be very well off if you are known to be skilled, honest and dependable.

            I would strongly encourage you (as I do all the young folks I talk to) to look into I&C work. There are very a few of us in relation to the other crafts (i.e. welders, electricians, mechanics, plumbers, etc.), so the pay tends to be higher and there are almost always openings. My employer offers a $25K sign on bonus for journeyman techs right now and we can’t find them. Keep in mind to get this job requires 5+ years actual experience in the field and there is a written / practical / physical test; you must be drug free and have a clean criminal record. The applicant washout rate is over 75%.

            I got my start in this field from Air Force training and experience. But I have since repented of going into the military and strongly advise against taking that track for obvious moral reasons. However, there are a lot of 2 year vo-tech and community college programs available, even on a part time basis, that will at least get your foot in the door in industrial automation and control systems with smaller companies. Once you get in the field, learn all you can on the job. With that experience you can not only move up in pay, you can go practically anywhere you want to in the world. Did I mention the wages are excellent? If you keep your resume’ up to date at the various employment websites, you may very well have recruiters and employers regularly contacting you! I don’t have a formal degree, but I did have four separate (and unsolicited) job offers pending when I decided on my present job.

            With respect to marriage and children, I got married the first time at your age. We had our first child when I was 19. It did not work out; neither of us had any business doing it. Hindsight is always 20/20. My advice is not to even consider marriage until you are at least 28. Thirty would be even better. Make sure you’ve got all the crap out of your system first and if you have any doubts or reservations, don’t do it. She’ll get over the temporary broken heart, but neither of you will ever completely get over a bad marriage and the inevitable divorce. It’s even worse if kids are involved.

            And don’t be terrified! We are not victims! Don’t fall into that trap. Try to make your choices in life wisely. Be compassionate and thoughtful of those you may affect before you do a thing; be ever mindful of the potential for unintended consequences of all your actions. As Yeshua taught, treat others as you wish to be treated. This is not to say that life will be perfect, it never is. But as I often point out, the source of most of our problems can be found in the nearest mirror. The only things our Creator really gave us complete control over are our own thoughts, which by extension control our actions. I contend that we really don’t need anything more than this to be successful in life and hence, to control our own destiny.

          • BrentP
            January 2, 2014 at 2:49 pm

            It seems less and less people have a variety of real skills. Most people with real skills seem to have one. Most people period seem to have none. Most things aren’t that difficult to learn to passable degree. Never be as fast or as perfect as those who specialize but being able to get the job done is what ultimately counts.

  7. Tor Minotaur
    December 30, 2013 at 9:02 am

    Good Christians?

    He sees happy plastic people. Under shiny plastic steeples. So many walls around their weakness. So many smiles to hide their pain. His invitation’s always open. To every heart that has been broken. When will they finally close the curtain? On their stained glass masquerade?

    Stained Glass Masquerade

    She is yearning. For shelter and affection. That she never found at home. She is searching. For a hero to ride in. To ride in and save the day.

    In walks pastor her prince charming. A shining knight knowing just what to say. And in a momentary lapse of reason. She bravely gives herself away.

    But judgment looms beneath his steeple. Cold lofty glances from lofty people. They can’t see past her scarlet letter. And they never even met her.

    Does Anybody Hear Her?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mgzjV-taNrU

    We were made to be courageous. We were made to lead the way. We could be the generation. That finally breaks the chains.

    We were warriors on the front lines. Standing, unafraid. But now we’re watchers on the sidelines. While our families slip away.

    Where are you, men of courage? You were made for so much more. Let the pounding of your heart cry. I will serve the Lord!

    We were made to be courageous. Let us start to make things right. Let our strength become contagious. The battle begins with us tonight.

    The only way we’ll ever stand. Is off our knees and joining hands. This is our resolution and our answer to the call. We’ll protect our wives and children. We’ll refuse to let them fall.

    We will reignite the passion. That we buried deep inside. Today the watchers become warriors. Today the men of God arise.

    We Were Made to be Courageous!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pkM-gDcmJeM

  8. December 30, 2013 at 1:42 am

    No offense taken, Eric. Most people in my age bracket are indeed stupid, but I suspect that’s true for every age bracket above small children. My experience with younger Christians have been that many of them do not accept the “God and country” meme that many older Christians accept. The leader of my Christian fellowship at my community college actually agreed with me when I said that soldiers who went to kill for the government in Iraq were murderers… incidentally when I said something to the effect of war being always wrong, he corrected me with “Except for self-defense”, which I of course agree with. Whereas the older generation seems to be more stuck in that God and Country, “pro-america’ mindset. That said, my sample size is very, very small. And my experience with non-Christians has generally been the opposite, the people my age are usually dumber than the older people (Professors and other such…)

    BTW: I was listening to Larken Rose last night (I just figured out who he was, and he’s great) and he was talking about how most people who say they are “Christians” aren’t actually Christians at all because they ignore God’s rules of “Thou shall not steal” or “Thou shall not murder” in favor of the government’s rules that say it is somehow OK (Whether you actually believe in God or not being irrelevant… since the Christians who do what Larken describes certainly do… incidentally I have no idea what Larken Rose himself believes about God). I think it was interesting how that contrasts with your approach, that goes by the “history” of Christianity rather than the Bible itself to determine what “Christianity” is. I’d like to point out that many (Not all, but most) crimes committed in the name of “Christianity” were actually committed in the name of Catholicism, which had little to nothing to do with Biblical Christianity… ever… Laurence Vance does a great job showing how “pro-war” Christianity is a new thing, while the late John W. Robbins (Who, while he was never quite an ancap, he came pretty darn close at times, and he worked for and supported Ron Paul) explains in depth how the religious wars pf the 20th century were ultimately battles between Romanism, Islam, and Judaism, and have nothing to do with Biblical Christianity. I don’t expect that to convince you, since you don’t believe anyway, but at least… well… I think you should view Roman Catholicism and Protestant Christianity (Especially the more monergistic/”Calvinistic”versions of Protestantism) as a separate thing entirely.

    I’m probably somewhere between you and Larken on the issue. I’m not the judge of where someone’s heart is, and I won’t say you can’t be a Christian without also being an anarchist, but I do believe Christians SHOULD be anarchists, and that refusing to be so is at least in some way putting man above God.

    I was listening to this video by Larken Rose http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CjDHQ16MyKY and he mentioned Glenn Beck and the Blaze ranting against him so I looked up the article… The comments section absolutely horrified me. The idiots said that since Larken Rose didn’t believe in the constitution (Incidentally, I happen to be willing to work with constitutionalists most of the time as long as they’re REAL constitutionalists like Rand Paul, Thomas Massie, etc. rather than neocons with a slight fiscally conservative bent like Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio, and what have you) he obviously must be an evil leftist who believes he can do whatever he wants (including harass other people and their property, as the clovers continually accuse you of, and as my mother, in a very cloverish moment, subtly accused me of the other day) who hates America (I don’t really put any stock in love OR hate for “country”, the government yes, and the proper response is to hate it, but the “country” is so vague it could mean a number of different things. Culture? Values? Laws? Something else?) “love it or leave it” was thrown out multiple times, in different ways. After reading the comments, I thought Larken was probably a little too nice when he called them “Spineless sheep who can’t think for themselves”. Then again, why am I surprised? One of my aunts recently said she didn’t think it was a violation of the 1st amendment to have laws banning “disrespect” for law enforcement. She’s lucky I love her. If someone in my school said something like that outside of a structured environment I’d probably call them an idiot straight to their face. I definitely would if I didn’t live with people who would be upset if they knew I acted like a jerk… even to someone who deserves it.

    ********************

    Regarding what you said earlier about certain beliefs violating the NAP… I agree with you on that. But Tor completely lost it with regards to WHICH beliefs violated the NAP. IF someone feels like its his life calling to tell everyone he encounters about Jesus, that is not a violation of the NAP. You can dislike him, be offended, whatever, but its not a violation of the NAP. Similarly, Nate Saint’s willingness to die rather than kill an Auca (Which, he believed, would lead to them going to Hell) was not a violation of the NAP. Foolhardy? I don’t necessarily think so, but you’re welcome to disagree with me. Violation of the NAP? Absolutely not. And I would say that anyone who, in either of these cases, believes that there is a violation of the NAP, that person is not a libertarian. Some issues libertarians can disagree on, others they really can’t. Its not so much that I’m offended by Tor’s comments, nothing really offends me except for cheap shots like appeals to age and whatnot. I just, frankly, find his comments, at least on this issue, to be really stupid, and belonging in the same category as “clover” and the others. That he used more words to explain his point doesn’t change the fact that its no more libertarian than “The law” is. Then again, maybe I’m assuming too much with regards to what the “Clover” badge is used for.

    On the other hand, if someone believed it was his life calling to kill everyone who chose to kill in self-defense, or to kill people who refused to believe in Christ (Or steal for them, or beat them up, or *insert NAP violation here*) than obviously to act on that belief would be a violation of libertarian principles. I’m confident you know the difference. I don’t think Tor does.

    *************

    Regarding the whole “good cops” thing, I was thinking some more, and I’ve noticed that you tend to use the easiest, most obvious cases to make your point. Nothing wrong with that, but I’m curious about what you think of more complicated issues. Surely its OK for an 18 year old adult to not wear a seat belt, but is it OK for a parent not to buckle their infant? Or, I agree that an adult should be able to deal drugs with other consenting adults, but is it OK to peddle drugs to a preteen? I’m hesitant to invoke government for any reason. I’d much rather see it abolished and for private property to rule the day. But while things are as they are, I don’t think its wrong for a cop to enforce the laws against murder and theft. These are the kinds of questions I have a harder time putting a finger on, and I suspect most libertarians do to some extent as well. On the one hand, there’s no clear line in the sand between “kids” and “adults.” On the other hand, any decent person would see an adult who had sex with a 5 year old as a pedophile rapist who is certainly violating the NAP even if the child does “consent” in some limited fashion. Where does neglect fit into this, in your mind? Where exactly is “neglect” aggression? Is someone who draws the line at a different point than you, and chooses to intervene a little bit earlier than you would “evil” in the same way that a cop who locks up an adult for shooting heroin would be?

    And finally, how do you deal with the arguments that harder drugs NATURALLY lead to neglect and abuse? (Of course, these arguments are used to justify the war on drugs, hence why I need to be able to refute them.) I find the absolute assumption somewhat bizarre, but its hard to prove a negative.

    This post wound up being kind of long… oh well. I’m probably gonna listen to more Larkon Rose now. Until next time:

    David.

    • eric
      December 30, 2013 at 6:59 am

      Morning, David!

      We get back to the problem of whose Christianity we are talking about. It is incredibly fungible. That’s part of the problem. Yes, the Ten Commandments are clear. But the Bible is not. The language is subject to endless, tedious parsing – and argument. It will always be so. There is no way to know, definitively, what “Christianity” really means (and demands) – absent the alleged author manifesting on the White House lawn, in full view of the world media, and setting everyone right.

      Yes, the Catholic sect has much abuse to its credit. But the Protestant sect has much blood on its hands, too. Cromwell (the Puritan Moses) for instance. He was not an isolated case, either.

      The fact is there are frighteningly few Christians such as yourself, who are willing to openly state tolerance for those who do not believe and more, who are willing to defend their right to not believe.

      On seat belts, etc:

      The question here is who has the right to intervene – and when. You (speaking hypothetically) may not like that Smith elects not to place his child in a safety seat, or buckle him in. But no actual harm has been caused – and therefore, you’ve got no right to intervene. And if the child is hurt in an accident? A tragedy, but the parent has already received punishment enough. To assert an a priori right to intervene for the sake of the child’s “safety” is to assume ownership of both child and parent, since control is the defining aspect of ownership. Once this power has been allowed, nothing is potentially off limits – since anything, just about, could conceivably affect the “safety” of a child.

      Not wearing a seat belt or using a child safety seat is not the same thing as beating a child, forcing it to drink bleach, killing it, etc. The latter are all obvious NAP violations. Aggression – physical violence – has been committed. No aggression has been committed by holding a baby in one’s lap, or letting a kid sit in back unbuckled.

      “How do you deal with the arguments that harder drugs NATURALLY lead to neglect and abuse?”

      No such animal – and even if there were, it is the right of every person to do with their body as they wish, including abusing their own bodies. Because no one else owns your body.

      Now, if a person causes harm to another after having consumed a substance, then the fact that he consumed a substance is no defense.

      Nor are his actions sufficient warrant to criminalize the use of the same substance by others who have not caused harm to anyone.

      I can speak to all the above from personal experience. I smoked pot in college (and grew pot, too). I and most of my friends tried all kinds of drugs – mushrooms, LSD, cocaine. Not one of us ever beat anyone up, much less murdered anyone. We never stole to support our “habit” (which we didn’t have; our use was purely recreational) The only harm – if any – we caused was to our own brain cells. We all graduated, went on to more or less productive careers and lives.

      So I can personally call bullshit on the idea that it’s ok to criminalize some “drugs” on the theory that they necessarily lead to harm to others.

      The fact – demonstrable, irrefutable – is that one legal “drug” is “involved” in more harm to others than any other. Yet very few people endorse the idea of banning it – and criminalizing its consumption by those who’ve caused no harm to anyone on the theory that some people can’t handle it and will necessarily cause harm.

      We all know what that “drug” is.

      • December 30, 2013 at 5:32 pm

        Hello Eric.

        I pretty much agree with most of what you said there. You did a good job making a distinction between what might be “bad parenting”, and what is demonstrably abuse. So, what’s your take on people who deal hard drugs to kids? (Adults are pretty obviously a simple issue… people have the right to do what they want.) Technically you could argue that its not “aggression” but a child is not able to fully consent, and if they were to use heroin, cocaine, etc. it could fairly easily turn them into an addict and affect them for their entire lives. If a child dies of a heroin overdose, I would think that it would be acceptable to hold the parents and or whoever sold the child the drugs accountable. Do you disagree with that? If so, why?

        As for religion, I assume you’re using “tolerance” in the correct sense (ie. rejecting aggression as a tool to prevent) rather than in the warped liberal sense that means to accept or embrace. The latter sense is pretty much self-defeating, the people who go on and on about “tolerance” of all beliefs don’t “tolerate” the exclusivist belief systems (Christianity is the most common, but it doesn’t have to be Christianity, it can be any other exclusivist belief for that matter… heck, libertarianism works since it holds that aggression is ALWAYS wrong, and that the people who do the aggression are ALWAYS wrong). But in the former sense, I have seen precious few Christians that are truly intolerant (“intolerant” meaning “willing to use aggression to prevent” in this case) of different religious beliefs. Sure, they’re intolerant of other things they don’t like, drugs, prostitution, machine guns, whatever. Obviously, not all of them besides me, there are actually a lot of Christians who agree with me almost all or all of the time on the NAP (Ron Paul, Laurence Vance, and the late John Robbins are three that come to mind immediately: Laurence is an ancap and the other two are/were hardcore minarchists). But there are far more in the category that you describe than the category that I describe.

        But most of them seem to believe in the freedom of religion. At least, that’s my personal experience, and the types I’ve dealt with are evangelical, fairly fundamentalist. Not raving Westboro Baptist Church types, mind you, but not mainline either. Most Christians I know (This includes me, although I don’t see it as being that important, or something I’m certain of), believe that the earth was created in seven days. Pretty much all of them hold (Again, I do too) that abortion is murder and that homosexuality is a sin. Many of them believe they have a moral obligation to support Israel (I do NOT agree with this one, in any way, shape, or form) although others do not.

        On the other hand, I only remember one case where anyone actually presented me with the idea that Christianity should be the only protected religion. And in that case, the idea was presented in a vague enough, poorly thought through enough fashion that I don’t think the other person really thought through the implications of what he was suggesting: and I’m not 100% convinced the person would actually have gone so far as to criminalize non-Christian religion… In fact, if I had to guess, I’d say he wouldn’t have, but he simply didn’t think through what he said well enough. I could be wrong, but that was one case and is not representative of most people I’m talking about.

        My sample size isn’t huge, but I’m guessing I have a lot more experience with Christians than you do (at least, of the evangelical variety) and I think you’re fighting against something that is extremely rare here. I’ve talked to theonomic reconstructionists on other forums before, and even most of them make exceptions for idolatry for some reason, while wanting to enforce the other moral laws of the Old Testament. Not only is the theonomist movement rare, its also far more friendly to liberty in the grand scheme of things than pretty much any other movement that isn’t libertarianism that I can think of. If you look at the Old Testament Law, and the things that it punished, you’ll notice a complete absence of the concept of “Pre-Crime”, and a far, far less regulated world than what we have today. (Note that in pointing this out I am not proposing that OT law be applied today, but I’d trade the modern regulatory state for reconstructuonism in a heartbeat.)

        Don’t misunderstand me, you have plenty to fear from certain elements of the “Christian Right” when it comes to the political realm. But… its not what you think it is, or at least, I don’t believe it is. Nobody’s going to come after you because you’re an agnostic. Its far more likely that someone will come after you because you “disrespect police”, or because you use drugs, or because “you’re not with us, and thus you’re a terrorist” or some other crap like that. You have plenty to fear from the “Christian Right” because their foreign policy is completely anti-christ and anti-christian, because they’ll steal most of your income (they’ll rename it “taxation” of course) to fund the “War on Terror”, or what have you. But statists don’t care that you’re an agnostic. Individual Christians who are part of the “Christian Right”, may preach to you (or at you, whichever you prefer) but that has little to do with them as a political movement.

        If anything, true Christians are MORE of a threat to people like Lindsey Graham and John McCain because at a certain point (Ideally, a long time ago, but some people are stubborn) they will reach a point where they can’t go along with the state-worship anymore. The few people who don’t worship God OR the State (Such as yourself) will be seen as a threat to them as well, of course. But an agnostic/atheist who bows to the State? Why would the powers that be CARE? I don’t think they do.

      • December 31, 2013 at 3:35 am

        I forgot your point about Protestantism for some reason… but I’ll address it now. Didn’t Timothy McVeigh have issues with the Federal Government, and claim that as a motivation for what they did? I know the terrorists (I kind of don’t like that word) that did 9/11, and the Boston Bombers, did what they did in reaction to US foreign policy. That does not mean that those who despise the US government or US foreign policy are guilty of terrorism, or that terrorism is in any way part of the liberty movement.

        That said, most Protestants have some degree of Romanism in them. The Anglicans are one of the most extreme in this area. The thing is, though, Protestant churches rarely, if ever, claim to be THE true church. The Catholic Church does. My church gets a lot of things wrong. My dad is our pastor, and although I like almost everything he preaches, I’ve told him multiple times that he should include the actions of the US military and police when he talks about sin in the world. Unfortunately, although he agrees with me on a lot of stuff, he’s nowhere near coming around on the “taxation is theft” bit. The Bible, on the other hand, clearly condemns tax collectors along with prostitutes (So much for the “the law is the law” argument… no matter what those who hate what the Bible says, or are ignorant of it, tell you, that is not a Biblical premise). My dad/pastor, along with virtually everyone else in our church, is wrong about this issue. But my church does not claim infallibility. The Roman Catholic Church does. Which makes every deviation of theirs from the Bible all that much worse.

        • eric
          December 31, 2013 at 6:29 am

          Hi David,

          I think my point stands that the typical Christian of whatever denomination believes himself to be practicing the “right” version of it – and by dint of that, the other denominations are in error. There are Methodists, Baptists, Presbyterians, various Brethren/Evangelicals – and that only superficially scratches the surface. Each has its own take on “the word” and what it means.

          But that’s not my problem – as I am not a Christian.

          What is my problem – potentially – is the potential violence that inheres in all the Abrahamic religions. I’ve gone into that at length already, so no reason to do so again.

    • Jean
      December 30, 2013 at 3:49 pm

      One thing about the police, David: They DO NOT “enforce laws.”

      Police are there for PUNISHMENT. Crime and punishment, not “law and order.”

      So, step one is to rethink that part of the equation.

      There IS (was?) a “clear line” for children vs. Adults. That was 18 years old.
      It is arbitrary; As a Catholic, I was a child when I first received communion; I “became” an adult with Confirmation. The age of Confirmation? Varies. Part of this is because of human stupidities, too: “Limbo” was “created” by Man, to assure “The Faithful (herds)” that children dying before they were baptized (which you had to be an adult to undergo, originally) weren’t just going to Hell. Limbo is where the unbaptized ended up – they were denied Paradise, but did not deserve Hell. (Of note, there’s no mention I know of about the “unbaptized savages,” whether Muslim, heathen, or, say, Buddhist…. Curious, that: wouldn’t the All-Knowing God mention them in his Papal Edicts?)

      The Police? Think also Inquisition. Same thing. And BTW, similar was done WRT the Reformation itself, and the Protestants weren’t shy about spilling “evil Papist blood.” Anglicans, especially, are known for this: they PLANNED to starve the Irish to death during their occupation of Ireland. They changed the laws of inheritance so that each generation received parcels of the original farm – until the “farm” was about the size of a window box. No joke! “Irish” protestants? The majority are WELSH. ORANGE.

      Now, taking the Police=Punishment to its conclusion: You de facto want a police force which will enforce the LAWS you find “good.” (Examples include drugs, seatbelts, etc. regardless of age.)
      We have a problem, though, and your religious background should make it Obvious: ANYTHING made by (fallen) man, IS corrupted. Man’s hand makes corrupt institutions, embedding “original sin” into the works.
      Can a man who lusts after women simply DECIDE not to? No more than he could DECIDE to lust for men.

      Man is what man is, imperfect, flawed, etc.
      Now, we look at the institutions: The Church. (Catholics, specifically.) The Country. (Fatherland.) The Government (extension of the country.)

      God and Country made sense when there was a distinction. Statists don’t believe in God – until THEY make HIM (it, The State.) When States were different – IE, Poland different from Germany different from Luxembourg, etc – there was a certain reasoning behind this, a common culture that identified “us” as opposed to “them.” With Globalization, it’s mostly meaningless – you can find better “Americans” amongst the Indians, Chinese, South Africans, etc – than in America. The Cloveristic Meme is contagious; the “Hard Work” meme, not so much. A lie will be halfway around the world, before the Truth has got its pants on, per Churchill.
      So, in the same vein, the State works to “police” that which is “Different” – IE, Heretical. The OTHER cannot be allowed to flourish. Whether gay, Jew, Black, Pagan, etc – all “others” must be purged, to make a Pure Aryan Race! (Seig Heil…)

      Excuse me, To Fashion the PERFECT CHRISTIAN!!!

      You’ll realize, even if there IS a God, a supreme, omnipotent being who DID inspire the Bible – the FOLLOWERS will ALWAYS go too far. Because they aspire to Perfection, they eventually believe it is attainable.
      For example, that through prayer, they can commune with God.
      More prayer. Prayer not enough, fasting, denial of the carnal pleasures of life.
      Too much time lost interacting with other people – more prayer!
      Eat only one meal a day so you can pray more!
      And finally, there’s a forced interaction with someone “unworthy” – even another who is concerned for this supplicant’s well-being.
      And the Supplicant embodies Cain, and beats or even kills the person who disturbed their “essential prayer” which is making the supplicant “Godly.” And of course, God approves of the punishment, because that lowly sinner had no excuse for disturbing the Supplicant….

      I’d suggest you look up “Paths of Enlightenment” from “Vampire: The Masquerade.” Specifically, the Sabbat ones. “Path of Humanity” doesn’t lend itself well to such extremes – though it has produced fratricide, the Inquisition, The Papal States, condemnation of knowledge (Gutenberg), slavery, slaughter / genocide… That’s just what’s been RECORDED, mind.

      It’s the HUMAN element. The “need to control others” – usually “for their own good.”

      We can’t have people allowed to “police” themselves – they might not work in our factories! (Pinkertons?)
      Can’t allow the people to “enforce the law” themselves! They won’t realize how much they NEED US! TO! SURVIVE!!! (Paraphrasing the Minister’s speech in “V for Vendetta” – all too close to home, because, after all, if you’re not with us, you’re with the Terr’rists.)

      Please think a LOT mroe, especially since you seem to have strong Religious bent; Water that is too pure, has no fish.
      You want a healthy society, that necessitates tolerance for certain deviations – and any society cannot survive without INtolerance for total Chaos. You cannot be “multicultural.” Won’t work. But certain agreed-to (usually by default) standards – the “social contract” I saw being maligned elsewhere – must be respected.

      to be clear, the “social contract” is an idea, posited by Thoreau, that people give up certain rights in order to work together. For example, I give up the right to kill you and eat you; in return, you give up that same right. (Note that NAP doesn’t apply yet – most of the social contract is embodying the NAP.) By mutually giving up these rights, we establish (a) non-violence, and (b) ability to engage in commerce, from trading of food to trading of horses to owning land to owning the products of our labors. IE, without the NAP, you cannot really have commerce (it’s coerced at best, and outright theft and murder quite often.)

      No one specifically signs this “social contract.” Yet, when discussing the NAP here, what else are we discussing? The concept of a social contract is just that we are essentially non-aggressive to others. As the most basic contract one can enter into, I don’t think we really NEED a “signed, codified document” for the Social Contract. Might be nice, but we see where each and every past one has gone – ashbin of history, down the memory hole, just like the latest, the US Constitution (And bill of Rights as part of the document.)

      You don’t attack someone just because they’re white (or black, or female. or …).
      You have the right to be cautious, but not to attack just because they have Maori tattoos. (and not long ago, the very sight of those tattoos, especially if accompanied by dancing, would justify shooting the cannibalistic savages – no B.S. Because they did NOT ascribe to the NAP. They had NO social contract. One of the reasons they make good examples, their tribe was IT, all that mattered, and the dance – including showing the tongue – was a war dance, saying, “I’m going to kill you and taste your flesh.” And everyone NOT of their tribe, from other Maori tribes to whites to blacks to … was an enemy and potential food.)

      So we are back to Morals, and whether they are subjective, or objective – and whether or not they are absolute.

      To highlight:
      Too much of a good thing becomes a bad thing, including Morality and Law.
      MAN is the biggest problem you face in implementing any system. (See #1.)
      The “Social Contract” is a concept, and has no defined “terms.” It’s just a concept of how to live in peace with your neighbor.
      The Social Contract doesn’t apply to those who willingly/intentionally violate it, or do not ascribe to it – and you are free to respond in kind.
      Morals exist outside the contract. IE, it’s proper to kill in self-defense; one can make a case either way regarding morals (Couldn’t you have wounded him instead of killing him?)

      “The Police” are an abrogation of the social contract, and exist SOLELY to enforce “LAW” upon you and your non-connected brother-man.
      And taken logically, that actually dovetails with the whole, “Those who do not ascribe to the Socail Contract are free to be aggressed against.” They are agents of force; don’t look to them to be your protectors, EVER.
      Even in the “good old days,” when the beat cop took an apple from the merchant, and the merchant said nothing: the Merchant had made a calculated decision: Free apples = more cop presence = fewer thieves stealing my apples.
      It PRESUMES an upper limit to the cop’s rapaciousness. Make it 50 cops? A day? And the market owner can’t keep a gun, let alone USE it for defense against the police who are now taking whatever they want from the store…?

      You see, the orignal premise was flawed: The cop wasn’t taking an apple for the good of the merchant; he was stealing from the merchant, for “services” already PAID FOR by TAXES. So, the new cost needs to be borne by the rest of us. Prices go up. Cop can’t afford as much – he either demands higher salary (taxes go up), or he steals more (call it “asset forfeiture” to make a good example…)

      See, the camel’s nose STARTS inside the tent, the most we can do is slow the progress – or kill the camel (well, try to) whenever it becomes evident. By the time it is evident, we’re at armed insurrection, whether we’re talking Nicarauga or Antedam.

      Flawed humans, we are – we have all our animal instincts still, but no willingness to reason out WTF is happening – and no thoughts about WHY it is happening, either.

      We allowed it. We ENCOURAGED it. We sanctified ourselves with it.
      All it really is, is: WE want to be the ones with the most resources. Resources = better mates = better chance the offspring survive. We’ve made abstract systems, but really – that’s ALL there is. Animal instincts. Hence the Knockout Game; Idle Hands.
      And the more bestial you start from, the more damaging it gets, and the faster the decline. (Until it flips itself over, and the “Godly” start oppressing others “for their own good.” Which, incidentally, is the reasoning you hear from the Fallen Humans on each side. Godly –> Luiferean; Beastial –> Luciferean. LAW is in fact a work of the Devil. Yet what is the first sin recorded? The Fall – not of MAN – but of Lucifer and the Rebel Angels. Lucifer was the greatest of all God’s creation, and rebelled at the thought of eternal service – especially eternal service to MAN, an inferior being. That PRIDE is the problem in ALL our rulers, from the lowliest pan-handler on the street – demanding our time and attention, “ruling” us if only briefly – to the lowliest bureaucrat, to the highest mayor, judge, cop, governor, President, whatever. They are BETTER than us; hwo could they be wrong? Our very EXISTENCE in such SQUALLOR indicates they were CHOSEN by GOD ALMIGHTLY…. SIEG HEIL! again. )

      The wheel turns; all we can do is ensure we’re not under it.

      Doing that means responding to the camel’s nose – with naked force, and the promise there’s more to come.

      Now I’m REALLY depressed, dammit. :-P

      • Shazaam
        December 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm

        Ah Jean,

        You are not the only one depressed by the situation. I alternate between boiling mad and depressed….

        Thanks for the post.

        Here’s another you may “enjoy”. http://www.popehat.com/2013/12/23/burn-the-fucking-system-to-the-ground/

      • December 31, 2013 at 12:21 am

        Protestants weren’t shy about spilling “evil Papist blood.” Anglicans, especially, are known for this: they PLANNED to starve the Irish to death during their occupation of Ireland.

        Only during certain campaigns and in limited areas, e.g. as reported by Edmund Spenser, not as a general policy sustained over time and in all regions.

        They changed the laws of inheritance so that each generation received parcels of the original farm – until the “farm” was about the size of a window box.

        No, they did not change the laws of inheritance that way at all. Rather, they changed them to entrench what had actually been the usual custom up until then – equal partition between heirs, though they put in a loophole allowing any who turned Protestant to scoop the pot, which was probably the only planned part – only they locked it in, so it lasted into an era in which population growth reduced farm sizes since people couldn’t change the custom (something similar happened to some South African Boers in the 1920s and 1930s, only without legal constraints, which shows how that can just happen without being planned). The original Irish custom, which backed and was backed by Irish Brehon law, did in fact tend towards equal partition anyway, and it was probably put in the new law to make it more acceptable by respecting old custom; but that custom had settled out in a period with fewer people around.

        “Irish” protestants? The majority are WELSH. ORANGE.

        No. Leaving aside the numerically small Ascendancy, about half of them were concentrated in the north and were mostly of ancestry drawn from either side of the borders of England and Scotland, and the other half were distributed throughout the island, though more concentrated in the towns and cities, with backgrounds varying from assimilated English who had arrived in dribs and drabs to middle class native Irish who had converted over the generations without gaining any commitment to foreign rule (this includes my mother’s family). The Welsh were there too, but not as a majority of those.

        • Jean
          December 31, 2013 at 9:54 am

          Got to get back to you on this later – what you say doesn’t jive, except for the Welsh WRT Northern Ireland. But I want to double-check before I insert foot in mouth… ;-)

  9. December 29, 2013 at 3:19 am

    This isn’t pointed at any particular person, but one thing I find interesting… some people on this message board seem to think I’m a “religious fanatic” and that all I talk about is religion. But most of the people I know in real life, particularly the Christians that I know, feel the opposite way. They feel like I focus too much on politics.

    Not saying this actually proves anything ,but I find it interesting. At school, of course, I’m well known as a hardcore libertarian AND a hardcore Christian.

    • eric
      December 29, 2013 at 6:20 am

      Hi David,

      I don’t consider you a fanatic and hope you haven’t taken any of my comments that way. You’re clearly bright and articulate. I’d add “especially for a guy your age” – but that would be insulting to you when it was meant as a comment about most people in your age bracket!

      I’ve enjoyed our back and forth and hope you have also.

  10. MamaLiberty
    December 28, 2013 at 8:32 am

    eric said:
    December 28, 2013 at 5:46 am (No reply button)

    There is an excellent if apocryphal speech attribute to Daniel Boone that touches on this subject (and era). I’ll see if I can dig it up…

    http://hushmoney.org/Davy_Crockett_Farmer_Bunce.htm
    Not Yours To Give
    Davy Crockett on The Role Of Government

    • eric
      December 28, 2013 at 8:47 am

      That’s the one! Thanks, Mama!

  11. Tor Minotaur
    December 27, 2013 at 8:39 pm

    Nate Saint, what a douchebag!

    Being productive, and giving gifts. Trade. That is what the NAP is about. Nate should have continued to produce gifts. Nate should have been prepared for what happened.

    Nate could have made fortifications and obtained arms to defend himself (preferably with non-lethal means), instead of being an altruistic clover asshole who got what he deserved.

    Proselytizing people has nothing to do with libertarianism. Libertarianism involves action, renunciation of the initiation of force, and removing the barriers to spontaneous interaction.

    When you have the superior capital and technology, you should be the one to engage the Huaorani at their level, not use force and state violence to make them conform to your norms of social interaction.

    There should be a doctrine of “naturally correct.” There always exists a UPB, a way to naturally interact with divergent clans that doesn’t entail genocide and wholesale holocaust.

    Emasculation of subsistence peoples is the first mile down the road to serfdom. The road to hell that we are all now so painfully aware of.

    Taino History
    http://tainogallery.com/history/

    The Taino society Chrisotper Columbus encountered was basically a gentle culture – in fact the word “Taino” means Good and Noble. Their society was characterized by happiness, friendliness and a paternal, highly organized hierarchy.

    Columbus and those who followed needlessly mutilated and perverted the “New World.”

    http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/source/columbus1.asp

    Sunday, 21 October. At 10 o’clock, we arrived at a cape of the island, and found no habitation save an enormous single house, where they all lived together, I had no doubt that the people had fled in terror at our approach, as the house was completely furnished.

    Groves of lofty and flourishing trees are abundant, as also large lakes, surrounded and overhung by the foliage, in a most enchanting manner. Everything looked as green as in April in Andalusia.

    The inhabitants on discovering us abandoned their houses, and took to flight, carrying of their goods to the mountain. Presently we saw several of the natives advancing towards our party, and one of them came up to us, to whom we gave some hawk’s bells and glass beads, with which he was delighted.

    We asked him in return, for water, and after I had gone on board the ship, the natives came down to the shore with their calabashes full, and showed great pleasure in presenting us with it.

    I ordered more glass beads to be given them, and they promised to return the next day. If the weather serve, I shall sail round the island, where I shall meet with the king…

    Columbus was pleased with the King’s clean and leisurely method of eating, and with his dainty rubbing of his hands with herbs after he had eaten.

    After the repast Columbus gave a little demonstration of bow-and-arrow shooting and the firing of lombards and muskets, all of which astonished and impressed the natives.

    http://www.gutenberg.org/files/4116/4116-h/4116-h.htm

    • December 27, 2013 at 10:28 pm

      You’re very much a grab bag. Your post challenging police officers was excellent, but this post is frankly unbelievably stupid.

      No, the NAP is not about trade. Trade is (Generally, almost always) compatible with the NAP, but trade is not the NAP. The NAP is, essentially, “Don’t throw the first punch.” Don’t initiate force. Now, sometimes, that principle is complicated to apply to real life situations (And usually it isn’t.) Children, for instance, present a complication for the NAP in certain circumstances. But the principle doesn’t inherently have anything to do with trade.

      Nor is the NAP in any way “Anti-proselytizing” unless the proselytizer uses force. You may not like it, for instance, if I tell you that you need to believe in Christ to receive eternal life, but there is no aggression involved in me telling you that.

      As for Nate’s actions, the reason he didn’t kill the Auca Indians was he was willing to be a martyr. They actually did have weapons with them, which they did fire in the air, but ultimately, they believed that it would be better for them to die, and go to heaven, than for the Aucas to be killed and go to Hell. Now, you might disagree with their religious beliefs, (I’d disagree with you, of course) but how on earth does that make them “clovers” or “douchebags”? I’d say you would be the latter for even making a post like this.

      Eric, I’d really recommend you consider marking these kinds of posts in some way. I don’t know if “clover” is the right word for it, but frankly, you don’t want these kinds of posts representing libertarianism, either here or anywhere else. I’ve said it before, and I’ve said it again, you’re going to have to deal with religion if you want to get anywhere, even if you personally do not subscribe to belief. I’m sure you know how many people think libertarianism is intrinsically opposed to personal faith, and that’s a problem.

      • Tor Minotaur
        December 28, 2013 at 6:38 am

        Maybe a fire would be a good symbol for me.

        I am opposed to the unthinking acceptance of forcibly imposed faith.

        Your championing of martyrs is straight-up crazy and as anti-libertarian as you can get. The myth of the good death is poisonous, and if you believe in it, it is you who are diseased, and in need of quarantine and temporary banishment. Perhaps your posts need the Monty Python Life of Brian crucifiction gif, or something?

        Why are Christians like Nate so inept when they are not playing the white pieces on a chess board. Christians have degraded into opportunity predators. Ancient Hebrews had dignity and were self-sufficient. Not jackal carpetbaggers, who went nosing about immediately after the countryside became a bloodied battlefield wasteland .

        Once the Spanish Conquistador types subdue the New Worlders, then, the Christians become at home, burying the dead and usurping the spoils of their artificially pacified zoo reality. Subjectively, I find that disgusting.

        It is a false dialectic, die and go to heaven, or kill the Acuas. No Acuas nor missionaries need die. The right course is to construct shelters and blunt weapons to keep the Acuas away.

        I ask whether it is wise and helpful to take Christianity far outside it’s rightful domain. You can’t pray an internal combustion engine into existence, now can you?

        To my eyes, the Greek and Hebrew systems of 2,000+ years ago are far superior to anything that now exists. Today’s Christians by and large are merely a more pleasant and genial breed of useless zombies, ignorant of even the most basic realities.

        I’d rather be surrounded by inscrutable Chinese merchants or insular Frenchmen any day.

        Christians are truncated trolls and mental dwarves, not healthy reasoning functional men. I know, because I am one of them.

        Worship does bring inner peace and contentment, but at a high cost. I am susceptible to dreaming, and to living in not the never arriving future.

        Music, movies, reading, progress. It gives me a strong imaginiation, but one that leads to dead ends and little improvement in my situation. It is far too easy to accept bad things when I have so many other worlds to escape to thanks to the mystics and witch-doctors of institutional religion.

        Scriptures can become an escape. A body of mostly frivolous knowledge, while impressive, Mozart, Michelangelo, Apostle Paul, really they signify nothing. They are only a diversion.

        The doers and masons build the churches. The craftsman supply the musical instruments and paint brushes. The scientists provide the oil paints and the harmonically vibrational materials.

        The world may well be a vineyard for the creator. But not automatically for humans. Lackadaisically thinking you are in a vineyard, might just end up with you pierced by a native’s spear. Or caged in a globalist’s prison.

        The producers may benefit from a morality check from Christians. But more so, the Christians can benefit from a reality check from the makers.

        When the Roman’s came for Jesus, his so-called friends fell asleep. Or denied knowing him. None of them had sufficient chops as producers or traders. They were nothing without him. And so they utterly failed him.

        Merely adhering to the scriptures is like being the bad servant that buries his talent in the ground. A good servant takes the scripture and the raw material of the world, and brings good things to fruition.

        The point of doing all the things depicted in the bible, was to inspire people to return something of profit and value to the creator. Not create some half-baked sideshow reality for people to escape to.

        What are you bringing to the universe? What is your contribution? Parroting the writing of others is no contribution whatsoever, in and of itself.

        Consider Jesus. He went out and met fishermen on their boats. He was a healer. He looked people in the eye and dealt with them as sovereign individuals. In all cases, he engaged in trade, and not in lecture.

        It is the so-called apostles and disciples I have a problem with. They were all leaches and horrid disappointments in my eyes.

        They never engaged in trade. Never did things to make peoples lives better. Why is there no mention of disciples and apostles doing labors and providing value?

        Rather than give, they only took. Why are they like that? Why are you like that?

        Do you have any idea how much effort it takes to concoct my “shitty” grab-bag posts? I picked at the flaws in your site, but really, I am in agreement with most of it.

        I am not some boorish atheist who cares how popular Christianity is, or want to see it be replaced. Rather, I’d like to see Christians become whole people. To coexist with non-Chrisitians and not over-react and need everyone else to believe what they believe.

        The problem as I see it are the millions who want to be only talking heads. Who think they are here as “creation critics.” Of course I don’t really want anyone to be murdered by aborigines. It is a sort of reductio ad absurdum used for effect.

        America is one of the worst systems. But there are many Americans leading the charge for something better.

        Libertarians are an assembly, not a movement.

        I mean trade in the broadest possible sense. Anything occurring between two individuals. “Path, track, course of action.”

        When you enter a room, you exchange pleasantries. You act in a formal non-hostile manner.

        trade (v.)
        1540s, “to tread a path,” from trade (n.). Meaning “to occupy oneself (in something)” is recorded from c.1600.

        The U.S. sports team sense of “to exchange one player for another” is attested from 1899. Related: Traded; trading. To trade down is attested from 1942. Trade-in in reference to used cars is recorded from 1917. Trading post is recorded from 1796.

        trade (n.)
        late 14c., “path, track, course of action,” introduced by the Hanse merchants, from Middle Dutch or Middle Low German trade “track, course” (probably originally of a trading ship), cognate with Old English tredan (see tread). Sense of “one’s habitual business” (1540s) developed from the notion of “way, course, manner of life” (mid-15c.); sense of “buying and selling” is first recorded 1550s. Trade wind (1640s) has nothing to do with commerce, but preserves the obsolete sense of “in a habitual or regular course.” Trade union is attested from 1831.

        tl;dr, hard to organize all this, but here it is.

      • eric
        December 28, 2013 at 7:15 am

        Hi Dave (on second cup now)!

        Ok, you wrote – in response to one of Tor’s posts:

        “I’m sure you know how many people think libertarianism is intrinsically opposed to personal faith, and that’s a problem.”

        But is it? Says who?

        I don’t.

        One of the things implied by Libertarian notions of self ownership is that no one knows what’s “best” for another person and that, accordingly, each person has a right to decide for himself, without being coerced, what’s right for him. This was I suspect what Jefferson meant by pursuit of happiness.

        I personally have no issue with anyone’s beliefs – as such. The problem, of course, is that some beliefs are inherently antagonistic to such ideas as self ownership and the NAP in that they enjoin believers not merely to believe in their own lives but to compel others to believe in theirs. Christianity is a historically militant and violent religion. As is Islam. As is Judaism. I doubt many Libertarians feel threatened by Buddhism, because Buddhism has no record of conversion by the sword – or extermination of non-believers.

        To sum, I am ok with – and expect most Libertarians are ok with – any personal faith/belief that overtly professes or at least accepts the principle of non-aggression. Your Christianity, for instance. (Or for that matter, people who dress up as Klingons and believe in the reality of a Star Trek universe.)

        But the Christianity of neo-cons like Lindsey Graham? That troubles me immensely. I have no doubt – none – that people like him would gladly execute non-believers (in their version of “the word”) if they had the power to do so.

        • December 29, 2013 at 1:25 am

          Eric, you missed my point. I understand that some beliefs are incompatible with the NAP, obviously. I don’t honestly know if Lindsey Graham would kill unbelievers (I don’t think Lindsey is a theonomic reconstructionist, just a stupid neocon). Its pretty obvious that a refusal to abide by the NAP is unlibertarian. Some issues are difficult in this regard (Abortion, intellectual property, certain types of contracts, etc.) but most aren’t.

          Regardless of whether Lindsey Graham would kill unbelievers or not, he’s certainly in favor of murdering foreigners. And he’s certainly used his power as a congressman to do so. I’d be the first to advocate for his execution, to be quite frank.

          There may not be a Ron Paul for every Lindsey Graham, but they are out there. Its the generalizations that get me. I have no issue with anyone who wants to say that someone who interprets the Bible in such a way as to advocate money being stolen to support Israel, or bombing foreigners, or executing homosexuals ,or whatever other violation of the NAP you can think of… that those people aren’t libertarians. I’m fine with that. What I’m not OK with is the presumption that religion AS SUCH is incompatible with the NAP. And I can tell you, while its probably not true for the hardcore neocons like Lindsey, for most typical red-state churchgoers, it may be hard to get them to see that government is evil, but if you attack their religion as well as their politics, it goes from a longshot to nearly zero. The first libertarian I ever encountered was Ron Paul, and he was a Christian. The first libertarian I encountered on a message board was not Christian himself, but was not opposed to Christianity. Had Ron Paul and this poster been raving anti-theists like Tor, I would likely have ignored them entirely. Yeah, I was a little dumber back then, but we’ve all been there. And even today, I generally ignore raving anti-theists. I just find them annoying. But, of course, they have the right to be annoying if they want to. I also have the right to suggest that they repent.

          That said, I’m convinced that Tor is not a libertarian. The third paragraph of his post above should show you why. Advocating the forcible quarantine of a peaceful religious person is about as anti-libertarian as you can get. His repetitive confusion of persuasion and force is just icing on the cake.

          Regarding JdL’s post below me, I was merely giving a suggestion, not “demanding” anything. I’ve seen several atheist libertarians point out the same thing that I’m pointing out with regards to anti-theism. But, as always, Eric, please let me know if I cross the line.

          • Tor Minotaur
            December 29, 2013 at 4:42 am

            Now you’re just making stuff up. See, I believe in evolution, and in creation. A deist is not an anti-theist.

            Libertarianism for you is some kind of cargo cult. To each his own.

            The Earth is 4.5 billion years old, like the scientists say.

            A holographic overlay creation was commenced, 5774 years ago, by a powerful child spirit calling himself YHWH.

            This misguided child spirit launched a hostile takeover of the Earth and the rest of the universe. “Let there be light, he said, and it was so.”

            In the barycenter of our solar system, and elsewhere, a fusional burning was commenced. The sun and other stars all became visibly bright all throughout the galaxy.

            I learned of this in a dream, by a spirit who was YHWH’s mother. I believe her name is Sophia, but she never said that.

            What she told me one night is, “I killed my parents.” And when I heard those words, the image of the big bang filled my mind.

            So I know that Sophia is at least 14.5 billion years old, since she was in existence when the big bang occurred.

            She is an orphan, relative to other spirits. Her son created everything we know. But he did not create the universe itself.

            Every molecule has a life of it’s own. Every celestial body has a language and reality of it’s own. The moon is alive in it’s own way. What we perceive as clockwork, is in reality living tissue of a different sort.

            There are agglomerations too dense and too ephemeral for us to perceive. The sun is a shining gulag of sorts, a lake of fire where spirits are interned and made to work. Some have been there for almost 6,000 years now.

            What am I to do with such knowledge, I know not what. I have always been able to listen to the thoughts of stars, planets, and heavenly bodies, but for obvious reasons I don’t usually mention this to others.

            I certainly don’t intend to parachute into a rainforest and get killed over it. It’s a great mystery I will probably never understand.

          • eric
            December 29, 2013 at 6:50 am

            Hi David,

            Here’s the core problem with the Abrahamic religions: They are exclusivist and do not (in their texts, as written as well as interpreted) advocate the NAP, live – and let live. They all condemn those who do not believe. They impute degeneracy – evil – to unbelievers. This naturally follows from any doctrine of moral-ethical absolutism. Consider, for example, the secular issue of theft. You’re either a thief – or you’re not. If you aren’t you are good, righteous. If you are, you’re a scumbag – and to be looked down upon. No, more than that. To be punished. Rightly so, of course.

            But you see my point?

            Religions set forth and insist upon the same absolutes, but they involve adherence to doctrines that are not cut and dry/either-or like theft and not-theft. Stealing is not the same thing as disbelieving in Jesus Christ as the son of the living God… except to those who believe that Jesus Christ is the son of the living god. In which case, the unbeliever is exactly equivalent to the thief. No, he is worse – because in the religious view, there is no “sin” worse than not believing in “the word” of the “living god.” Such a person is beyond the pale – dehumanized. This is literally expounded upon in explicit detail in the Old Testament, which is as much a foundational document – “the word” – as the New Testament. And the New Testament ain’t very friendly, either. Most Christians believe a sort of “be nice to people” Christianity – which is fine. But they have not actually read their Bibles. Certainly not the Old Testament. They gloss over the gory stuff – and the downright weird stuff, too. And glom onto “love they neighbor” and so on.

            So, that’s the intellectual argument.

            There is also the historical record. The fact is the Abrahamic religions have a despicable record of the most horrid abuses imaginable, including genocide, infanticide, torture of the most hideous sort imaginable, pillaging and rapine – etc. Islamists put Christians to the sword. Christians put the yellow star on Jews. Various Christian sects set out to eradicate “heresy” – disbelief in one permutation/interpretation of “the word” over another. Or simply for asking impolitic questions (e.g., Galileo – whom The Church threatened to burn alive).

            When the Christian Church (or sects) have had political-secular power, they have invariably used it to enforce their worldview using violence and its threat. This is a fact, true since the ascension of Constantine all the way through to modern times and simply cannot be ignored.

            I understand – and empathize – that you are being lumped in with “those Christians” whose Christianity isn’t your Christianity.

            But the point stands, does it not?

            There is good reason for people like me (questioners, non-believers) to fear any of the Abrahamic religions, given their wrathful doctrines and given their extremely wrathful histories.

          • December 31, 2013 at 5:45 pm

            Regarding theft, it should be a simple issue, but it isn’t in reality because most people don’t use their brains. The only area that’s legitimately complicated for me in this regard is intellectual property. If I take your car, that’s obviously stealing. If I gave you a copy of a novel that I wrote to read, and you made a bunch of copies of it and sold them, is that theft? I honestly don’t know. At the very least, it would be a jerk thing to do, but I understand that mechanically it isn’t exactly the same thing as stealing your car, so I don’t know. Then again, fraud is mechanically different from physically taking your car too, yet most libertarians agree that that is theft (as do I.)

            But as far as physical property goes, I don’t see what’s so complicated about it. That said, the reality is that most people are too stupid to comprehend this.

            Regarding unbelievers being evil, Romans 3:10 teaches that everybody is evil. Unbelievers are simply evil people that have yet to have Christ’s blood applied to their account, and as such, are still under God’s Wrath. We’ve gotten into the moral ramifications of this belief before, I recall you had some issues with it, but I’m not sure there’s any new ground that can be tread. Here’s the bottom line, there is no NAP violation, and thus, no violation of libertarian principle, contained in this belief. None.

            As for the Bible not teaching the NAP, Proverbs 3:30 seems to in my mind. The Golden Rule pretty much does too, IMO. Any cases where the Bible seems to reject the NAP were either because of God’s specific instructions for one particular situation, or for the Holy Land. And even there there was far, far less regulation than in the modern American Mega-State. But I see no indication Israeli laws are supposed to be applied anywhere today. If you want to say that I’m not a libertarian because I believe that the Old Testament Laws were supposed to be enforced in Old Testament Israel, as God’s Chosen Nation (In other words, because of what I believe should have been done 2,000+ years ago) that’s fine. I’m a Christian first and a libertarian second. You’d have to kick Laurence Vance out of the libertarian movement though, and it wouldn’t surprise me if you also had to kick out Ron Paul. But… whatever… Define your terms however you want.

            Otherwise, I don’t see what the issue here is. To paraphrase you, if you don’t like my beliefs, that’s fine, but I’m not violating libertarrianism by holding them. You may not like them, personally, but that’s besides the point that a libertarian can hold to Christian theological positions.

            The term “live and let live” is problamatic for the same reasons “Tolerance” is problematic. Its not immediately apparent whether it precludes peaceful persuasion, or only violent force. For instance, if I told a homosexual that they were a sinner and needed to repent (But did not use any force) is that refusing to “live and let live”? As a libertarian, I’d assume you’d say no, but liberals would say yes, and they’d use the same exact line that you used.

        • Bevin
          December 30, 2013 at 6:37 am

          Dear Eric,

          “I doubt many Libertarians feel threatened by Buddhism, because Buddhism has no record of conversion by the sword – or extermination of non-believers.”

          Right on.

          No accident either. Strictly speaking, Buddhism should not be classified as a religion at all. Instead, it is a mystical philosophy.

          There is no deity in Buddhism. No god, of any sort. Buddhism is an atheistic philosophical system with mystical elements.

          The following is what a Christian website says about Buddhism. Basically it lists Buddhist tenets, then argues that Christianity is superior because it differs. Basically it lists many virtues of Buddhism, then condemns them!

          I’ve listed only those points that are of special interest to libertarians, and which show a remarkable degree of compatibility between Buddhism and libertarianism.

          I’m not a “card carrying Buddhist.” But I do find myself in agreement with most of its tenets.

          Buddhism vs. Christianity

          http://www.evidencetobelieve.net/Buddhism_vs_Christianity.htm

          Examining the Fundamental Differences of Buddhism vs. Christianity

          Buddhism is… incompatible with Christianity… there is a clear contrast between the teachings of Buddhism and those of Christianity… Buddhist teachings are in fact diametrically opposed to those of the Biblical Christianity.

          1. “There is no almighty God in Buddhism. There is no one to hand out rewards or punishments on a supposedly Judgment Day.”

          2. “Buddhism is strictly not a religion in the context of being a faith and worship owing allegiance to a supernatural being.”

          3. “No savior concept in Buddhism. A Buddha is not a savior who saves others by his personal salvation. Although a Buddhist seeks refuge in the Buddha as his incomparable guide who indicates the path of purity, he makes no servile surrender. A Buddhist does not think that he can gain purity merely by seeking refuge in the Buddha or by mere faith in Him. It is not within the power of a Buddha to wash away the impurities of others.”

          4. “A Buddha is not an incarnation of a god/God. The relationship between a Buddha and his disciples and followers is that of a teacher and student.”

          5. “The liberation of self is the responsibility of one’s own self. Buddhism does not call for an unquestionable blind faith by all Buddhist followers. It places heavy emphasis on self-reliance, self discipline and individual striving.”

          7. “Dharma (the teachings in Buddhism) exists regardless whether there is a Buddha. Sakyamuni Buddha (as the historical Buddha) discovered and shared the teachings/ universal truths with all sentient beings. He is neither the creator of such teachings nor the prophet of an almighty God to transmit such teachings to others.”

          9. “In Buddhism, the ultimate objective of followers/practitioners is enlightenment and/or liberation from Samsara; rather than to go to a Heaven (or a deva realm in the context of Buddhist cosmology).”

          15. “No holy war concept in Buddhism. Killing is breaking a key moral precept in Buddhism. One is strictly forbidden to kill another person in the name of religion, a religious leader or whatsoever religious pretext or worldly excuse.”

          17. “The idea of sin or original sin has no place in Buddhism. Also, sin should not be equated to suffering.”

          20. a Buddha does not claim to be a creator of lives or the Universe.”

          21. “Prajna [Panna in Pali] or Transcendent Wisdom occupies a paramount position in Buddhist teachings. Sakyamuni Buddha expounded Prajna concepts for some 20 years of his ministry. One is taught to balance compassion with prajna i.e.emotion (faith) with rationale (right understanding / truth / logic).”

          25. T”he concept of Hell(s) in Buddhism is very different from that of other religions. It is not a place for eternal damnation as viewed by ‘almighty creator’ religions. In Buddhism, it is just one of the six realms in Samsara [i.e. the worst of three undesirable realms]. Also, there are virtually unlimited number of hells in the Buddhist cosmology as there are infinite number of Buddha worlds.”

          • eric
            December 30, 2013 at 7:16 am

            Thanks for this, Bevin (and, good morning!)

            I found myself nodding in approval with every line. Can you recommend any “starter” books on Buddhist philosophy/teachings?

            I ought to have pursued this many years ago. Although I suppose I did – indirectly – by pursuing the philosophical ideas of self-ownership and non-aggression.

      • JdL
        December 28, 2013 at 7:25 am

        …but frankly, you don’t want these kinds of posts representing libertarianism, either here or anywhere else. I’ve said it before, and I’ve said it again, you’re going to have to deal with religion if you want to get anywhere…

        Here’s an idea: rather than telling Eric what he should do, why don’t you form your OWN BLOG, based upon the arbitrary rules you’d like to impose on Eric?

        You want to be a religious fanatic? Be my guest. It’s your life to waste. But PLEASE stop trying to impose your fantasy beliefs on everyone in sight. And PLEASE stop trying to tell Eric to quit writing what I believe are the most important columns on this site.

        People like you want to turn every discussion into a discussion about religion and this mythical creature you call “God”. Is that all you ever think about? You’re worse than a sex addict.

        In the name of your “God”, people have performed the most hideous actions ever done on the face of the earth. One small example: force a man’s feet into iron boots and pour in molten lead. Why? Because he doesn’t believe in “God”. Oh yes, this happened; I can find references to this and much more if you’re skeptical. THIS is the end result of your childish beliefs. I’ll take another road, thank you very much.

        • December 29, 2013 at 1:27 am

          I replied to you above (Its in my post where I reply to Eric) but I should also mention that I actually do have a blog. Click on my name and you’ll be linked to it. Its not very popular (yet, at any rate) but I do have one.

  12. Sweet Jane
    December 27, 2013 at 1:02 pm

    What do you expect from the retarded and parasitic gimme-gimme tribal monkeys that call themselves “Liberals”? Did you actually expect a happy and peaceful society?

  13. Tor Minotaur
    December 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    Message to Police

    If you work in law enforcement, I have a very important question for you. One which soon may be a matter of life or death. I’m sure some people become police officers just so they can boss other people around. But I’m going to assume here that you mean well, that you want to be one of the good guys.

    In which case, my question is this: is there anything the politicians could enact into law that you wouldn’t enforce? Is there any order that you would refuse to carry out? Or will you do absolutely anything your bosses tell you to?

    In the U.S., police have already obeyed orders to fine or arrest people for a wide variety of harmless activities. Such as dancing at the Jefferson Memorial, or having a vegetable garden in their front yard. Police have even gone so far as to execute violent paramilitary raids on food co-ops and organic farms.

    For decades, police have been carrying out armed home invasions, forced property confiscations, and other acts of violence against people who aren’t hurting anyone, but who engaged in behaviors or habits, which lawmakers have arbitrarily declared to be illegal.

    You may be comfortable in assuming that you’ll never receive an order to do something truly immoral. But the fact is, with every order you receive, you have a choice. Between obeying without question, or relying on your conscience. No doubt there were cops a few years ago who never expected to be ordered to disarm innocent people, to do door-to-door home searches without warrants or probable cause, or to detain and interrogate people for merely driving down a road.

    Yet police have since been ordered to do all of these things, and almost without exception, they obeyed. So it’s not unreasonable to ask, is their any point at which you will draw a line and say no? That I will not do. And if you won’t draw such a line anywhere? If you will do absolutely anything your political masters tell you to. How are you any different from the enforcers of Soviet Russia, Red China, or Nazi Germany?

    You may be tempted to say, I don’t make the law I just enforce it. Or to argue that if some legislature, court, or some authority above you, says it’s okay, then it must be. But keep in mind that this is exactly what the thugs of every tyrannical regime in history said to justify their actions. And how do we remember those people now? As courageous noble law enforcers? No. Unless you want posterity remembering you as a heartless, mindless, pawn of oppression, then you better decide, and decide now, where you will draw that line.

    Unfortunately, there’s little indication that most cops have any line at all. The incidents of police officers refusing to inflict injustice upon the people are extremely rare. Even when cops say they personally oppose certain laws, such as marijuana prohibition, nearly all of them continue to violently enforce these laws against non-violent people. In other words, they recognize these laws as counterproductive, and unjust, but they choose to enforce them anyway.

    For the most part, American cops seem completely incapable of disobeying immoral orders, and instead do what the enforcers of every other authoritarian empire have done. Inflicting harm on innocent people, whenever, and however, those in power tell them to. While accepting no personal responsibility for their actions. I hope you are better than that.

    Keep in mind there are a lot of decent Americans who do have the integrity and courage to draw a line in the sand. A point at which they will disobey and resist violations of their rights by those in power. It may be that they refuse to be disarmed. It may be that they refuse to cooperate with warrant-less searches. Or refuse to keep funding a government they view as destructive and unjust.

    Whether you agree with them doesn’t particularly matter. What does matter is, whether in the end, you are willing, if and when you are ordered to do so, to violently assault the dissenters for their disobedience. When they draw their line in the sand, and stand their ground. And your supervisors tell you to use whatever level of violence necessary to get submission and compliance from the resistors. Will you obey? If it came down to it, would you kill American citizens for disobeying politicians?

    Now if someone is actually harming someone else, of course you have the right to use whatever force necessary to stop the attacker, and protect the innocent. But that would be the case even if you had no badge and no uniform. But when you try to arrest someone who hasn’t threatened or harmed anyone else, but has only disobeyed some arbitrary regulation. Then you are the one initiating force. You are the one starting a fight. You are the bad guy.

    Now remember, the American Revolution was people forcibly resisting gun confiscation, warrant-less searches, what they viewed as unfair taxation, and a number of other oppressions. All in the name of law. All carried out by law enforcers. If you had lived back then, would you have been among the rebel colonists? The ones who refused to be disarmed, refused to pay taxes, and resisted warrant-less detainment and searches.

    Would you have sided with the signers of the Declaration of Independence, or would you have been among the Redcoats? The law enforcers, assaulting, caging, or killing any colonists with the gall to disobey the king. And which side are you on today? Of course the message you’ll get from your superiors, the politicians, and your fellow officers, is that it’s not your place to decide which laws to enforce. And that as long as you basically follow orders, that you can’t be held personally responsible for doing as you’re told. But that is a lie. A horrible, dangerous lie.

    At the Nuremberg trials, it was established that the excuse used by the Nazi law enforcers, that they weren’t to blame and shouldn’t be punished, because they were just doing as they were told, did not relieve them of personal responsibility for their actions. And make no mistake, if you choose to blindly obey unjust commands, when one day your intended victims decide to fight back, saying that you’re just doing your job, will not make you bulletproof.

    It may be your own life you save by deciding now at what point you will choose to be a moral, responsible, human being, instead of just an obedient pawn of those in power. Ultimately, only you can answer the question of where you will draw that line. But really, the only moral, rational answer is this: if something would be wrong for you to do without a badge, then you shouldn’t do it with one either.

    The idea that uniforms and legislation can give you special rights, is both false and horribly dangerous. Nearly every large-scale injustice in history was committed by people who wrongly imagined that their position of authority made it okay for them to do things that other people have no right to do. Like everyone else, you have the right to use force to stop attackers and protect the innocent. And when you do that, you are the hero.

    But you have no right to be the attacker, even if it’s your job, and even if the aggression is called law. Always, and in every situation, you and you alone are responsible for what you do. Wearing a badge and a uniform and doing whatever you’re told does not make you brave and noble, or deserving of any respect. Just following orders is a coward’s excuse.

    If your job requires you to assault or cage people who haven’t threatened or harmed anyone, then quit. Being an actual protector, doing the right thing, no matter what anyone else says. Even if it means disobeying orders and breaking the law. That takes courage and integrity. That makes you a hero. So, do you have enough of a spine to draw that line? Decide now, before your failure to think for yourself results in damage that cannot be undone.

    http://www.JosieTheOutlaw.com

  14. liberranter
    December 27, 2013 at 4:18 am

    good cops’ would rise and demand that ‘bad cops’ be expunged and tried for their crimes.

    Any “good cop” who did that would be dead within a matter of days, if not hours. That’s why there is no such thing as a “good cop.” A (non-government-employed) mobster stands a better chance of long-term survival after “turning rat” than any cop who does the same thing against his fellow gangsters in blue.

  15. Tor Minotaur
    December 26, 2013 at 7:35 pm

    “A child born today will grow up with no conception of privacy at all,” Snowden said.

    “They’ll never know what it means to have a private moment to themselves, an unrecorded, unanalyzed thought. And that’s a problem, because privacy matters, privacy is what allows us to determine who we are and who we want to be,” he added

    “Together we can find a better balance, end mass surveillance and remind the government that if it really wants to know how we feel, asking is always cheaper than spying.”

    He signed off the broadcast by wishing Britons a “Merry Christmas.”

    Ed Snowden’s Alt. Christmas Message For Britons
    http://www.dw.de/snowden-warns-about-surveillance-in-christmas-message/a-17324324

  16. wolf
    December 26, 2013 at 4:38 pm

    I would like to know, do you yearn for a country with no rules and a society of strong takes all? How would you deal with murderers, violence, thieves and such?

    • December 26, 2013 at 5:44 pm

      I want my country back, not in a collectivist lala land but one of Liberty and no fear to exercise your free will.
      I want a country that has laws that protect the rights of individuals and doesnt abuse the power we allow them to turn against us.
      I want a country that protects all equally and doesnt divide nd creat hatred and fear to conquer small groups of us at a time.
      I want a country where the educational system is disconnected from govt and does not employ radical activists who lie and confuse the children they are entrusted with to fit into the society of Obamunism better.
      I want a country that doesnt give our money to the muslim brotherhood and punishes those who resist their intrusion.
      I want a country that has a free economy that rewards honest effort and punishes those who would interfere with it.
      I want a country where the federal govt is the least powerful on conus and more powerful internationally but acts within the limits we place on them.
      I want to be rid of all the useful idiots the last 75 years have created in its schools while sacrificing our best and brightest is false wars around the world to promote corruption and deception
      I want a country that is removed from all global entanglements except those that we directly benefit from having without surrendering anything.
      I want a country with no connection to any globalist agenda and no connection to anything at, of or similar to that heaping stink pile called the UN.

      ..should I go on or are you going to ask trick questions some more ? btw.. have you stopped beating your family yet ?

    • Brian
      December 26, 2013 at 10:57 pm

      I think you are conflating lack of rulers with lack of rules. In order for people to survive amongst others it is important for everyone to follow Natural Law, which is in agreement with the Golden Rule, the Non Aggression Principle, and Universally Preferred Behaviour.
      Government power attracts evil people. Keep those people out of power by establishing a non-hierarchical society where NOBODY has power over others without their consent, i.e., coach, employer, teacher, party host, etc. We can have voluntary community organization without granting someone with taxation, arrest, beating, imprisoning, and murdering powers.
      Keep in mind that modern government is a very recent thing in relation to how long humans have existed. I do not doubt that clan leaders and chiefs existed long before kings and such, but people could switch tribes or run away or something. There exists among us natural leaders whom people respect due to their intelligence, wisdom, fairness, and compassion. Why have humans allowed un-natural leaders to take over? Barry has in the past recommended a book for me to read concerning the origins of government, and I intend to when I get more time, but for now I speculate that the masses got suckered into trusting psychopaths that speak well, or they were forced to submit.
      The key is to allow people with like-minded values to form their own communities. This allows for people who can’t stand other people to avoid conflict by moving into a community more to his or her liking while allowing those who get along with all their neighbors despite differences of opinion to stay put. This could even be done on a neighborhood level. A community of like-minded people will have no need to pass laws restricting something or having thuggish cops around, although they might find it to be advantageous to hire a security agency to keep prowlers out. Such an agency would not be beating down customers like the government police we have today does in many parts of this country.
      This could be initiated fairly easily in todays’ world with the Internet. Several companies could put out extremely detailed surveys for the purpose of mapping pockets of every type of values that people have. There might very well be 1000 of them, but so what? Many people seem to move every few years, and over time they would migrate to “their” community.
      The power hungry control freaks who love violence will have to learn board games, become boxers, or otherwise channel their desires away from the rest of us or they might end up dead.
      All we would have to do is to decide en mass to stand up to bullies collectively, and train our children to do the same. How to get the masses to consider these possibilities and to adopt this pro-individual liberty plan is beyond my abilities.

      • December 27, 2013 at 2:08 am

        I do not doubt that clan leaders and chiefs existed long before kings and such, but people could switch tribes or run away or something.

        Generally, they couldn’t. In such societies you were only safe from your own, with the help of your own, but everyone else was against you and would act on that whenever the opportunity arose. You could only ever “switch tribes” if the new one let you and your own didn’t find out first and cast you out or even attack you (it mostly happened through marriage, or by a failing clan making a deal with another, but either way they usually lost at least some position by doing it). Just “run[ning] away or something” sort of worked, in that you could easily do it, but the history of Scotland and Ireland shows what happened to such “broken men” with no resources and every man’s hand against them; sometimes they survived and prospered for a while by joining together and turning cateran, bandit, but they mostly came to a bad end unless – very occasionally – they could acquire cattle and land and enough of a truce to establish a clan of their own. Starting a new clan was almost the only practical way out, but even that took luck and getting established in the face of the same threats to leaving, and it still left you within the logic of the overall clan system with all its constraints; the biblical story of Abram (I think he still was) and Lot dividing their zone and parting on good terms was written up precisely because it was newsworthy (compare and contrast the hoops Jacob had to jump through in getting the better of Esau, and then of reconciling with him with their joint history working against it).

        • Brian
          December 27, 2013 at 11:57 am

          P.M. Lawrence, you seem to be referring to the early agricultural era which is about the same era as government and writing began. I was referring to an earlier time when people were still hunter-gatherers. If a group became too large to forage an area, then reason tells us that the group would break apart into 2 or more smaller groups. If a chief became a bully, then I doubt that he would remain a chief for very long since everyone had similar weapons. I mentioned in my previous message about natural leaders. I do not know what percentage of people fit in that category, but my estimate is about one in 30 which would make a good clan size. So how did we end up with people ruling over us that clearly are the antithesis of natural leaders? Power hungry charlatans who were jealous of those leaders and founded fear-based religions.
          All this having been said: We do not need forced hierarchical rulership. I have already pointed out a vastly superior way of having self-organizing communities.

          • December 27, 2013 at 7:31 pm

            No, I am not “referring to the early agricultural era which is about the same era as government and writing began”. I was describing something that is visible anywhere and everywhere that clan systems operated and could be observed and recorded, from Stone Age cultures like Australian aborigines to Scotland as late as 1745 (within walking distance of the Scottish Enlightenment, where James Watt was growing up after the first steam engines were in use farther south) – and hunter-gatherers in Ecuador were still killing outsiders on sight within our lifetimes (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nate_Saint – though he managed to buy some time before he was killed). The only difference that greater sophistication allowed was, instead of status being determined largely on the basis of age and sex, inner groups with more status than outer groups developed – and even that was present in certain Amazonian hunter-gatherers, though some anthropologists take that as evidence that disruptions from encroaching civilisation have destroyed an earlier, settled agricultural form.

            If a group became too large to forage an area, then reason tells us that the group would break apart into 2 or more smaller groups.

            Then reason is wrong. That only ever happened successfully when there was uncontested area to move into. More usually, the only result of that would be that the secessionists perished and the original group was weakened.

            If a chief became a bully, then I doubt that he would remain a chief for very long since everyone had similar weapons.

            You are forgetting the intra-clan dynamics. By that reasoning, tribal elders could never successfully order that a young man be punished by being speared through the thigh – but that was a common sanction among many Australian aborigines.

            The thing is, junior tribe members, though individually stronger, were outnumbered by more senior ones who were by then reaping the benefits (like young wives) of serving their time – and the chiefs had to respect overall tribal norms, including repressing junior members, just to keep things good for senior members. It’s the same logic that keeps conscription popular in France despite being bad for conscripts, making it politically hard to eliminate (which is happening): most Frenchmen are older and no longer face it but want to have conscripts to help them.

          • Brian
            December 27, 2013 at 8:43 pm

            For some reason there was no reply button below your comment PM, so I clicked on mine.
            Regardless of the true history of our ancestors: We do not need thuggish rulers or government.
            Since we are talking about an era that pre-dates recorded history beyond pictures painted on cave walls, even experts have differences of opinion about how early man organized in detail. You provided a wiki link to Nate Saint. I can also provide wiki links.

            ….Human societies from the Paleolithic to the early Neolithic farming tribes lived without states and organized governments. For most of the Lower Paleolithic, human societies were possibly more hierarchical than their Middle and Upper Paleolithic descendants, and probably were not grouped into bands,[43] though during the end of the Lower Paleolithic, the latest populations of the hominid Homo erectus may have begun living in small-scale (possibly egalitarian) bands similar to both Middle and Upper Paleolithic societies and modern hunter-gatherers.[43]

            Middle Paleolithic societies, unlike Lower Paleolithic and early Neolithic ones, consisted of bands that ranged from 20 to 30 or 25 to 100 members and were usually nomadic.[2][43] These bands were formed by several families. Bands sometimes joined together into larger “macrobands” for activities such as acquiring mates and celebrations or where resources were abundant…….Some sources claim that most Middle and Upper Paleolithic societies were possibly fundamentally egalitarian[2][17][32][43][43] and may have rarely or never engaged in organized violence between groups (i.e. war).[32][46][47][48] Some Upper Paleolithic societies in resource-rich environments (such as societies in Sungir, in what is now Russia) may have had more complex and hierarchical organization (such as tribes with a pronounced hierarchy and a somewhat formal division of labor) and may have engaged in endemic warfare.[32][49] Some argue that there was no formal leadership during the Middle and Upper Paleolithic. Like contemporary egalitarian hunter-gatherers such as the Mbuti pygmies, societies may have made decisions by communal consensus decision making rather than by appointing permanent rulers such as chiefs and monarchs.[5] Nor was there a formal division of labor during the Paleolithic. Each member of the group was skilled at all tasks essential to survival, regardless of individual abilities. Theories to explain the apparent egalitarianism have arisen, notably the Marxist concept of primitive communism.[50][51] Christopher Boehm (1999) has hypothesized that egalitarianism may have evolved in Paleolithic societies because of a need to distribute resources such as food and meat equally to avoid famine and ensure a stable food supply.[43] Raymond C. Kelly speculates that the relative peacefulness of Middle and Upper Paleolithic societies resulted from a low population density, cooperative relationships between groups such as reciprocal exchange of commodities and collaboration on hunting expeditions, and because the invention of projectile weapons such as throwing spears provided less incentive for war, because they increased the damage done to the attacker and decreased the relative amount of territory attackers could gain.[48] However, other sources claim that most Paleolithic groups may have been larger, more complex, sedentary and warlike than most contemporary hunter-gatherer societies, due to occupying more resource-abundant areas than most modern hunter-gatherers who have been pushed into more marginal habitats by agricultural societies.[52]
            …..During most of the Neolithic age, people lived in small tribes composed of multiple bands or lineages.[31] There is little scientific evidence of developed social stratification in most Neolithic societies; social stratification is more associated with the later Bronze Age.[32] Although some late Neolithic societies formed complex stratified chiefdoms similar to Polynesian societies such as the Ancient Hawaiians, most Neolithic societies were relatively simple and egalitarian.[31] However, Neolithic societies were noticeably more hierarchical than the Paleolithic cultures that preceded them and hunter-gatherer cultures in general………Control of labour and inter-group conflict is characteristic of corporate-level or ‘tribal’ groups, headed by a charismatic individual; whether a ‘big man’ or a proto-chief, functioning as a lineage-group head. Whether a non-hierarchical system of organization existed is debatable and there is no evidence that explicitly suggests that Neolithic societies functioned under any dominating class or individual, as was the case in the chiefdoms of the European Early Bronze Age.[41] Theories to explain the apparent implied egalitarianism of Neolithic (and Paleolithic) societies have arisen, notably the Marxist concept of primitive communism.

    • eric
      December 27, 2013 at 6:33 am

      Hi Wolf,

      You may have never come into contact with Libertarian ideas before, so it’s possible you’re not familiar with the non-aggression principle, which is our “foundational rule,” or Prime Directive.

      We (Libertarians) believe that the only legitimate use of force is defensive, in response to acts of aggression. So, we do very much oppose all acts of theft, assault (kidnapping, rape, murder, etc.) . . . indeed, any attempt to use violence to coerce peaceful people or deprive them of their rightful property.

      But we adamantly oppose laws that criminalize personal choices, including personal vices, that entail no tangible harm to other people. We oppose laws that criminalize actions on the basis of “someone” might – and therefore, everyone may not. We hold that the absence of a real human victim – actual harm done to a specific person or a specific person’s property, not “the public” or “society,” much less “the state” – is an absolute defense against any charge of criminal wrongdoing.

      We believe that any action which would be considered (rightly) criminal if done by an individual – such as forcibly taking someone else’s property – is no less criminal when done under the auspices of a collective, or via the ballot box.

      We believe in peaceful, voluntary cooperation. Agree to disagree. Live – and let live. Different strokes for different folks. The right to pursue happiness – however you define it – so long as your actions cause no tangible harm to anyone else.

      Are these notions appealing to you?

  17. PJp
    December 26, 2013 at 4:11 pm

    The good cops have already stopped being cops.

  18. December 26, 2013 at 3:14 pm

    Why is everyone assigning such nonsense as personal issues, peer pressure, etc to them ? It isn’t up to them when they illegally arrest you and violate your rights because they are “just following orders” or “because its the law” even if it is unconstitutional.
    They are supposed to be held to a higher standard, its part of the responsibility that goes with the big paycheck and oath they all took and dont tell me they deserve the pay for putting their “lives on the line” because they all knew what the job was before they signed on the dotted line and supposedly it wasnt about money but “serving and protecting”..neither of which they do and cant be held responsible for not doing.
    The concept that their inaction against others “on the job” who act criminally being acceptable to us because they are on the same team, squad or detachment is pure horse crap. These are supposed to be the top shelf guys.. “one ranger, one riot” kind of men yet all we ever see is them beating on kids harassing innocent people because they carry within the law and raping hookers and illegals because they can..
    The plain skinny on it is they lie because its legal, they corrupt the law to suit their own ideas and they pervert civil service because they dont serve us they serve their govt lackies and their “union brothers”. basically it boils down to this.. either they get right with their conscience, honor their oath and come back to America or they continue on with their crimes against the people and their rights and their treason and get held accountable some time in the future. Either your an honorable, honest American civil servant or your a jack booted Thug, you cant have it both ways.

    Yank lll

  19. December 26, 2013 at 2:18 pm

    “A guy may elect to pursue a career in law enforcement with naive but noble intent.”
    =====================

    No way.
    It’s not possible today to NOT be aware of the jackboots behavior.
    Cops are what they are because of their genetic character flaws.
    They cannot be fixed and they will never change.
    They can only be killed, to eliminate their inherent threat to others.
    Vacillating on this will get you killed.

  20. JMAustin
    December 26, 2013 at 10:29 am

    Have you noticed that when people are arrested and invoke their right to an attorney the police think that this indicates that people have something to hide. They use phrases like ” if you have nothing to hide you have nothing to fear”. Yet any time a police officer is arrested for anything at all the first thing they is to ” lawyer Up” I have always thought this is a curious fact.

    • December 26, 2013 at 12:50 pm

      JM,

      YMMV, but I think in general little good can result from speaking to the police.

      If some one is arrested, it will usually be because they are considered to be guilty of something. (I am assuming that the arrest is done in good faith and not a result of malice)

      Although remaining silent may make one appear to be guilty, it is often the best course of action since one can make thing much worse by opening their mouth speaking to LE.

      Never talk to the police — Part 1

      Never talk to the police — Part 2

      Merry Christmas & Happy New Year

    • eric
      December 26, 2013 at 1:18 pm

      Hi JM,

      Yup.

      Someone told me once that when a cop trots out that line, you should ask him to drop his pants and let you see his dick, just to make sure it hasn’t got shit on it from the kid he raped. He’ll take offense, of course. Then you hit him with: But if you’ve got nothing to hide….

  21. December 26, 2013 at 9:35 am

    Those who support crimes against the rights of people are criminals in the minds of the people, which makes them criminals by default. If these mercenaries understood the potential for their demise just on numbers alone they might reconsider however that would not change their mindset. They want us disarmed to prevent us from resisting their treason. Had the Russian people resisted in the beginning there would have been no soviet union, can you imagine our govt with unlimited police enforcers and complete control over us ?
    The militarization of police at all levels has created a federal goon squad to aid and abet the traitors who sign their checks and issue them orders.. there were no innocent Nazis and there will be no innocent cops, they all know what they are doing.
    Yank lll

  22. phelps
    December 25, 2013 at 7:36 pm

    Whatever happened to the old donut grazing cops, as Will Grigg calls them. I actually liked those guys. They had no illusions of doing any public service, just wanted an easy job with good pay and pension, but they left us alone.

    These young, buzz cut, steriod MF’s are worthless pieces of garbage, who only want to extort more money from us.

    Have you ever notice how they have to tackle a perp who has their hands up and poses no threat to them. I love when they hurt their knees doing this, it is too funny watching them limp off in pain.

    Every knee shall bow, every toungue shall confess. It is from the book of Isiah and our new Gov motto here in the land of free.

    Good day.

    • dom
      December 25, 2013 at 8:11 pm

      “Whatever happened to the old donut grazing cops, as Will Grigg calls them.” The easy has been skimmed from the top and the greed of the PTB need more money and control than ever before. Desperate times..

    • December 25, 2013 at 11:48 pm

      Just so we’re clear, the Biblical quote is not referring to government. Just sayin’.

      • phelps
        December 26, 2013 at 7:07 am

        Clear as mud. The quote from the book of Isiah is referring to God, just so we’re real clear. I was just sayin’ that it is the motto our Gov., which seeks to replace God.

        Good day.

        • eric
          December 26, 2013 at 7:34 am

          Hi Phelps,

          It seems to me that both things are fundamentally the same – unquestioning obedience/deference to Authority qua Authority. Secular or Sacred, it amounts to the same thing.

          The secular Authority worshipper “believes” as fervently as the religious person that Authority is justified because it is Authority. That might does indeed make right.

          I understand (and expect David will so reply) that the difference is God’s authority is righteous. But to me, that is no more valid than the statist control freak’s assertion that the secular authority he venerates is righteous.

          Both God and government are – to me – a con. Nothing more than the Man Behind the Curtain in the Wizard of Oz.

          I know that will get a rise out of the religious as well as the Clovers.

          But unless they both reject force to coerce compliance with their views, there can be no peace – much less a meeting of the minds.

          The one thing I insist on – which I consider non-negotiable – is self-ownership. When it comes to me, I am the ultimate authority. And the same goes for you and everyone else. We are all kings of our castles, so to speak.

          The NAP flows from this.

          If only people could accept it – and live by it – we truly would have peace on earth and goodwill toward men.

          • December 26, 2013 at 1:05 pm

            You won’t “get a rise” out of me because I’m an intellectual thinker. I happen to enjoy this kind of logical reasoning. But I think you’d likely turn-off any seriously religious people off to your message completely. You can’t really turn me off to what you’re saying because I’m already “In the light” so to speak, but for those who are not… you are not going to get them to accept the NAP in their personal relations if they link that acceptance in their minds with a rejection of God’s authority.

            Here’s the problem: If we presuppose God’s existence, than God is inherently moral. To argue otherwise… well… to do so you’d have to use the mind God gave you anyway. The only reason you can question God’s morality is because he gave you the brain that allows you to do so. Who are you, oh man (This could refer to anyone, not just yourself) to talk back to God?

            Of course, if you do not presuppose God’s existence, this concern does not exist. However, presupposing that God does not exist amounts to the absurd. It would be like my claim that the netbook I am typing on had no creator. Or that a painting had no painter. What makes man any different?

            God is actually worthy of our worship. Not only is this true, but it is this truth that makes state-worship inherently wrong. If there is no God, there are only subjective standards, not objective ones. You think the NAP and the Golden Rule are the standard. Someone else might think “The Law” is the standard, or maximum utility, or “survival of the fittest.” The latter approach actually fits with Darwinism far better than your approach which fits far better; albeit not perfectly, with Christianity rather than Darwinism.

            Whereas morally subjective standards like “survival of the fittest”, “The Law”, and utilitarianism fit far better with atheism, or even non-theism.

            I don’t really want to rehash this conversation again though, unless you’re actually interested. Its impossible to persuade anyone to become a Christian. Only God can change the heart.

            Also: the use of force to impose Christian views is fundamentally anti-Christian, that would be a contradiction in logic.

            Best of luck,

            David

            • eric
              December 26, 2013 at 1:28 pm

              Good stuff, David!

              Let’s do some more back-and-forth. You write:

              “If we presuppose God’s existence, than God is inherently moral. ”

              Really? Why? Isn’t this just an assertion – and no more (or less) valid than asserting God is not moral?

              Perhaps his (assuming he exists – and of course, that he is a he) morality is beyond our conception of morality, which after all is the product of our finite and imperfect minds.

              Your write:

              “However, presupposing that God does not exist amounts to the absurd. It would be like my claim that the netbook I am typing on had no creator.”

              By no means.

              It is an inference that life/existence is the result of supernatural entity’s creative efforts. There are other – just as plausible – explanations.

              One can factually demonstrate with irrefutable proof that a computer or the Internet or a motor vehicle or an apple pie was created by man. One cannot demonstrate similarly that the constituent components of those things – or living things – were created in the same manner (i.e., brought into existence by an intelligent designer). One may suspect, one may believe. But it is conjecture, inference… .

          • JdL
            December 26, 2013 at 1:54 pm

            However, presupposing that God does not exist amounts to the absurd. It would be like my claim that the netbook I am typing on had no creator. Or that a painting had no painter.

            OK, then, who created God? Don’t you see that imagining the existence of “God” solves no problems?

          • Bobbye
            December 26, 2013 at 2:21 pm

            “The one thing I insist on – which I consider non-negotiable – is self-ownership. When it comes to me, I am the ultimate authority.”
            The problem that most people have with this brand of libertarianism is that each person on earth is justified in deciding for themselves right and wrong, good and evil. If you want to be a serial killer, you’re justified. If you want to be like Mother Theresa, you’re justified. Of course you, Eric, don’t mean for that to be true, but the only way around it is to appeal to a Universal Authority, such as Natural Law. By what authority is Natural Law made an authority? I don’t accept the existence of Natural Law or Natural Rights.
            This brand of libertarianism seems to infer that people are basically good, and thus just need to be educated to ‘see’ the light. Human history does not support any idea that people are basically good.
            You imply that God, like Government, coerces compliance. Where is your evidence that God ” makes” people do what God tells them to do? God says,” do not murder”. Where is your evidence that God forces people not to murder? God says,” do not steal”. Where is your evidence that God forces people to not steal? You might say,” well, God does not exist, so of course He does not force compliance.” Does Government exist? Does Government force compliance? Who or what is behind the ‘ curtain’ if it is not God? Could it be individual people or groups of individual people, who, exercising their self-ownership have decided that it is a good and right thing to steal all of Eric’s stuff?
            God is if fact the only true libertarian in the universe. If you, Eric, are able to think clearly and understand that Religion is not God. The Church is not God. What Religion does God practice? How silly! God is not moral either. Moral Agency is the ability to choose to do evil or good. God has no such ability. Religious people tend to think that God and their Religion are the same thing. To obey one is to obey the other. Call a thing what it is. It is the elevation of the ‘Individual’ that is the strength of you’re message.

          • December 26, 2013 at 3:20 pm

            Eric, I’m really not an expert in science, but the more I see about the magnificence of the universe, the more I find it absolutely dazzling that anybody could try to tell me it was created by chance. In Oceanography class they tried to teach me that a bunch of nebulae just happened to form into all the stars and planets and what have you. Frankly, that’s just as much an insult to my intelligence as “Support the troops” or whatever nonsense.

            I understand that many Christians do not abide by the NAP, but that’s not really relevant. Only the actual teachings of the Bible are relevant. The Golden Rule is a Biblical teaching. By contrast, the belief that the world formed by chance leads to the “Survival of the Fittest” mentality, which logically leads to the State, those who formed the State, and are able to sustain it, are “more fit” to survive than the rest of us, because they are able to sustain their power. I don’t see where you are actually getting any form of absolute morality from without presupposing the existence of God.

            I’m more of a presuppositionalist than an evidentialist, despite not knowing enough about Christian apologetics to give you a really good explanation of either one (I’d recommend looking up both terms if you are interested, unless you already know what they are). My belief in God is based primarily on personal experience, although logic is a part of it too. Maybe you can come up with some idea that’s equally “rationally” plausible, but I can’t see it. Maybe this isn’t the case for you, but most people who reject creationism seem motivated more by an unwillingness to be held morally accountable than sound argumentation.

            On top of that, I’ve been meaning to post to the forum about Jewish prophecies that were fulfilled later in the OT and in the NT, although I haven’t gotten around to it yet and don’t have the time ATM. So for now, I’ll stick with this.

            • eric
              December 27, 2013 at 10:18 am

              Hi David,

              The natural world – the universe – is indeed magnificent, awe-inspiring. But these are human value judgments, are they not? Does a rock regard the universe with reverential awe? A cat?

              We are in awe of creation because we’re aware of creation. We are self-conscious, aware of ourselves as distinct living entities and of the rest of the natural world. This is quite something – a miracle, even. But it does not follow that – ergo – there is a god responsible for and directing the process. Much less the specific god(s) of Christianity. Creation – the physical world – could very easily (logically) exist without human beings existing. Our unawareness does not cancel out existence. The earth is not even an atom when viewed in the context of the known universe, which has countless galaxies, each on containing millions and even billions of suns and perhaps millions of worlds, some with life others not. What is the view of things from the perspective of Andromeda?

              Also, the natural world is as chaotic and imperfect as it is symmetric and ordered. One must admit the truth of one as much as of the other – and not fall into the trap of regarding something seemingly brilliantly conceived like the human eye as the work of a creator intelligence while ignoring the human body’s numerous design flaws.

              As far as the NAP and belief in the Christian god(s):

              I disagree that absent belief in the Christian god(s) there is no foundation for the NAP. There may not be an appeal to a “higher authority.” But there is a very potent appeal to rational self-interest and empathy. Why is “God saith” necessary to recognize that it is in one’s own interests to treat others as you yourself would wish to be treated? Else, you’d be a hypocrite, with no logical, rational basis for complaining about people abusing you given you’ve abused them.

              And there is empathy. We all fail pain, fear and so on. It is not necessary to believe in god(s) to abjure harming others based on the knowledge that is not pleasant to be harmed oneself.

          • December 27, 2013 at 10:40 pm

            I’m not sure there’s really much I can say here about your thoughts on the universe. I find the idea that everything around us, and the whole universe, including a planet that’s habitable for humans, “just happened” simply doesn’t work in my brain. I should also say here that, while its not a hill I’ll die on ,and I’m by no means a scientist, I’ve always found the arguments for evolution to be lacking. Oh, the public schools tell you that its “proven” and “fact”, but I take them no more seriously than anything else they say. I realize that that isn’t really related to the debate at hand, but its something I wanted to throw out there. I find it interesting that many libertarians on the more anti-religion (or at least, not religious) side of things know full well that the public school view on history and philosophy is crap, yet they seem to trust them on science. As always, maybe I’m missing something.

            But… if you don’t want to believe, what can I really say? I do believe what Romans 1 says, so I believe that if you don’t believe in some form of Creator that you are suppressing it somehow, but I can’t really prove that either. So I’ll simply leave it at that.

            That said, I find your argument for the NAP somewhat underwhelming. I mean, its not entirely wrong. I agree with you that the Golden Rule is great. The problem is, your argument amounts to mere pragmatism, so if something is more practical at a given moment, your argument cannot possibly refute it. Take, for instance, the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagisaki. The pragmatists say that it “Saved lives” or what have you. I say that it was wrong because it was mass murder. But without an absolute authority, why was this wrong? Isn’t saving a million lives worth killing a hundred thousand people? I say no, again, because I believe in absolute ethics. I think you’re smart enough to know that you can’t get away with a “yes” answer either, but why not? If morality is absolute, where does that morally absolute standard come from, you?

            I’m having a hard time distinguishing between your “Self-interest”, argument, and naked pragmatism.

            • eric
              December 28, 2013 at 6:26 am

              Hi Dave,

              But, it didn’t “just happen”! The Earth – our solar system – was formed out of an accretion disc of matter, much of it the remnants of a long-dead sun that supernova’d billions of years ago, casting its heavy elements into the vacuum of space. These elements, along with hydrogen and helium, eventually congealed together as a result of gravity into the familiar solar system of today. The laws of physics explain very well how it happened.

              Now, of course, you will want to go back farther – much farther – to beyond 14.5 billion (or so) years, to the beginning of the universe, to the Big Bang. The currently popular mainstream theory is that all the matter and energy of the universe was once mashed into a singularity – and then exploded outward, to manifest as the universe. Some theories hold that this expansion will continue forever, until entropy extinguishes all energy/heat and the universe goes completely dark and cold. Another theory is that gravity will eventually incite a collapse back to the singularity – and a new Big Bang, a new beginning. No one really knows. It is certainly possible there is a god behind it, but this is a matter of speculation, beyond objective demonstration (at least, assuming currently available knowledge).

              In sum: I don’t want to believe anything. I need to know. Facts, evidence – not belief.

              On evolution: Micro evolution is beyond question. Changes over a few generations are readily observable. This is what Darwin observed and wrote about in the Galapagos. He inferred macro evolution – the change of a given creature into a very different creature – and I agree this is more speculative, because the changes take place over immense spans of time and so are not observable. But the logic of it is pretty compelling, as I see it. More so, to me, than the Biblical literalist position that god “poofed” into existence every creature, fully formed – including man.

              How is not being a hypocrite an insufficient basis for the NAP? Or a less than admirable one? Why is it more admirable to treat your fellow beings as you wish to be treated not primarily because you want them to be treated well (as you want to be treated well) but because some Boom Voice Authority demands it? As I see it, your system is the less admirable because it is based upon fear of authority – and of punishment as much as reward at the hands of that authority.

              I elect not to steal (and so on) less out of fear of being punished or incurring the wrath (or approbation) of a Sky God than because I do not like it when my stuff gets stolen and so – logically – cannot do the same thing to others.

          • January 1, 2014 at 4:19 pm

            I believe the big bang hypothesis is completely ridiculous. First of all, how the crap can an explosion create anything? Can something that supposedly happened billions of years ago be tested by the scientific method? Nope.

            I agree that microevolution is true, and I believe macroevolution is false.

            • eric
              January 1, 2014 at 5:52 pm

              I’m not saying it’s necessarily “the” explanation – but it’s a great deal more complex than a mere explosion. I recommend reading some of the scientific literature, in particular that having to do with red shift, which is a pretty compelling objective proof of an expanding universe that had a beginning (the singularity).

              Mind, normal laws of physics (Newtonian mechanics, Einstein’s formulations) break down at this point. There is no time, no gravity, no light, no matter.

              The big debate now is whether expansion will go on forever, or whether there is sufficient matter to cause the universe to collapse in on itself (to a new singularity) and begin the process again.

          • January 1, 2014 at 6:26 pm

            Maybe you are right. Science has never been my strong point. Maybe for you it is. Maybe you’ve looked at the evidence and you buy that theory.

            For me, I don’t understand advanced science, its never been my strong point. But I think the fact that public schools refuse to let ID be taught (note that I am not saying ID SHOULD be taught, I don’t think anything should be taught in public schools, because I don’t believe in public schools), and the ways that macro-evolutionary theory has been taken to its logical “survival of the fittest” conclusions by Hitler and other tyrants, has led me to believe, based on logic, that the public schools have some sort of agenda in promoting it, and that it isn’t actually true, or at least not proven. Again, this is logic taking me to that conclusion, logic based on the way I have seen government schools work in other areas. My conclusion is not in any way based on science per say.

            What I find interesting is that many libertarians who distrust the government on everything else just intuitively trust it on this particular with no facts that they themselves are aware of to back it up.

            That said, I don’t necessarily think the method of creation is so important as the idea that there is a creator is important. Its relevant to certain theological debates, but none that would be interesting to you at present. But: its not an essential issue.

            • eric
              January 2, 2014 at 7:25 am

              The problem with ID is that it is by definition not capable of proof (or disproof). It is premised on religious doctrines, not testable scientific evidence.

              To be very clear, I am not stating ID is “wrong.” Just that it is of a piece with “Jesus saves.” It is a matter of religious faith.

              In contrast, there is compelling physical evidence subject to empirical testing of the data that indicates the universe is appx. 14.5 billion years old (and the Earth about 4 billion years old). There is carbon dating, there is red shift. There is serious math – which is and has been subjected to rigorous fact-checking by men with IQs probably double yours and mine together.

              The only way you can reconcile the physical evidence of the age of the universe and of the earth with “young earth” creationism is to adopt the “god as trickster” line; i.e., that God intervened and upended the laws of nature and left us false clues (such as radio-carbon dating) to lead the unfaithful astray. This is the only way one can take seriously the idea that “Behemoth was a dinosaur” and all the rest of it.

              Mind, this is not government authority I am championing – this is the authority of science. Very different things.

              Galileo was in the same position vis-a-vis the Church when he dared to contradict the earth-as-the-center-of-the-universe assertion promulgated by the Church. After being forced to recant – after having been threatened with being burned to death – he reportedly muttered, “and yet, it moves!” (referencing the orbits of the celestial bodies).

              The numbers involved when we try to discuss the universe are literally boggling. Distances. Relative sizes. The sheer number of galaxies – and the suns and planets within each of those galaxies.

              Please take a look at this video:

              http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EpN6qliOK8I

              Did you know there are supergiant suns whose diameter is such that they would literally encompass most of our solar system?

              That in the Milky Way alone, there are billions of suns? And the Milky way is just one galaxy – in a sea of space that’s home to billions of galaxies?

              Man’s mind – most men’s minds – cannot fathom these things because they are beyond our frame of reference. A foot, a mile – a human lifetime. These are irrelevances in the scale of things at the level of the universe.

              That humbles me.

              Not the Bible.

          • January 4, 2014 at 2:35 am

            Carbon dating, to my (limited) understanding can only trace back 20,000 years or so. I don’t really know much about it, but even if it is accurate, so what? When I say “Young Earth” I’m not necessarily saying “4,004 BC.”

            As for radiometric dating, again, I don’t know much about science, but I asked my science teacher how they knew that the rocks actually started with all uranium and no lead. How did she know they didn’t form with some uranium and some lead in them? She didn’t know the answer, but insisted that intelligent design (God) had no place in a science classroom and continued on teaching, despite the fact that she couldn’t answer the question.

            Here’s the bottom line: Secular public schools hate God. You can talk all you want about the NAP (BTW: I agree with 95+% of what you say about politics) but the reason they hate God isn’t because he’s a threat to peace and harmony or what have you. They hate God because God’s existence is a threat to the deity of the State. Which is why many ATHEIST libertarians such as the late Murray Rothbard and the current Walter Block are so pro-religion despite being unbelievers, because they know that absolute statism and Christianity cannot coexist. At some point, one will swallow up the other. You can’t be a Christian and a state-worshipper, there are contradictions between the worldviews.

            With that being said, would it really surprise you that they’d promote the big bang and evolution as facts? Think about this, which idea is more compatible with liberty: the idea that God created the world, and gives human beings certain (far less than any secular State, and generally not enforced by violence) commands to follow, including “do unto others as you would have them do unto you” and “love your neighbor as yourself”? Or a system where the world formed by chance and the fittest survive? I think its pretty obvious that the Darwinian model is foreign to liberty. With that being said, its hardly a surprise to me that public schools would try to censor the creationist view from being taught.

            Now, to be clear, I don’t really care how old the earth is. That’s mostly an academic question to me, and not one that really interests me. if the world if 4 billion years old or 15 billion or whatever, that makes no difference to me. What does matter to me is the philosophical principles that evolution logically leads to which, if they are true, completely destroy the merits of both Christianity AND Libertarianism. And lead logically to statism as the “fittest” climb to the top of the power ladder and crush everyone else. That’s consistent with evolutionary thought: that people are animals and thus have no natural rights, only those rights the powers that be choose to give them. By contrast, the view that everyone has inherent rights that nobody, not even government, has any right to take away… that’s the Biblical view.

            What view do you think secular public schools who want to teach children to worship government would want to teach kids?

            To be clear, I do not advocate government schools teaching creationism (just for the benefit of anyone who may be reading this without context and missing it.) I advocate the abolition of public schools, and for parents to be able to teach their kids whatever they want. But I do believe the public schools have a vested interest in protecting the evolutionary theory.

            • eric
              January 4, 2014 at 8:00 am

              I agree that government schools (it’s important to use that term, I think) hate god. That is, religious expression. Because religion competes with government. They are naturally at odds, vying for the loyalty of the “flock.”

              Government schools are an affront. Parents are the ones who ought to be educating (or seeing to the education) of their kids. Proponents of government schools will cry that illiteracy and innumeracy will abound. Is it even necessary to point out that many college graduates today cannot compose a grammatically correct letter? That many cannot perform sixth-grade arithmetic?

              It is a lie that people were more ignorant before the advent of government schools. To read, for instance, the letters of ordinary Civil War soldiers is to be amazed at just how thoughtful (and articulate) many of them were, despite virtually no formal schooling.

              To get back to the point:

              If you wish to teach your kids about your god, about ID, that is entirely your right. You are responsible for their education. Not “society.”

              All these problems arise from the collectivist nature of government schools. You are forced to pay taxes to support these schools; which (in addition to the other layers of taxation) makes it virtually impossible for you to put your kid in a non-government school. So, you – along with other parents – fight over what shall (and shall not) be taught to the kids.

              The problem goes away when government schools go away.

          • January 4, 2014 at 1:04 pm

            I agree completely with what you said in your latest post.

            Which gets back also to what I was saying about religion. Even if you yourself do not believe, it is a positive force for liberty, because it prevents TOTAL state worship, if nothing else.

          • Bevin
            January 4, 2014 at 9:04 pm

            Dear David, Eric,

            David wrote,

            “Which gets back also to what I was saying about religion. Even if you yourself do not believe, it is a positive force for liberty, because it prevents TOTAL state worship, if nothing else.”

            Wrong. Non sequiteur alert.

            Ayn Rand demolished that notion in her essay “Attila and the Witch Doctor.”

            She uses two terms to illustrate the most notorious individuals who have played a role in the history of philosophy: “Attila” and “Witch Doctor”. She categorizes various participants in human history, who have been a force for evil in her view, as being an “Attila” or “Witch Doctor”. An “Attila” is someone in history who used physical (“brute”) force to accomplish goals. A “Witch Doctor” is someone (often a philosopher, religious person, or other type of intellectual) who has used the written or spoken word to persuade people to go against their rational minds, often to the advantage of the “Attila” who is currently in power.

            Basically Attila is a secular tyrant. The Witch Doctor is a religious tyrant, or theocrat. Both are enemies of individual liberty.

            Secular tyranny and theocracy are rivals in ongoing struggles to impose their will over sovereign individuals.

            Just because secular tyranny such as Communism was evil, does not mean that religious tyranny/theocracy would be a good alternative.

            Just because the USSR was evil, does not mean that a Christian Fundamentalist USSA, or a Islamic Fundamentalist Arab world, or a Zionist Israel would be good alternatives.

            Just because the one was evil, does not mean the other is good. Both can be and in fact are equally evil. Both are implacable enemies of political liberty rooted in reason and individualism, as crystallized in the NAP.

          • January 4, 2014 at 11:33 pm

            I understand Bevin’s point, but he wasn’t really responding to me. I was talking about religion and belief in God. He was talking about theocracy. One does not necessarily lead to the other. Mind you, its possible to have both, but its also possible to have one without the other.

          • Bevin
            January 5, 2014 at 1:00 am

            Dear David, Eric,

            Eric wrote,

            “The one thing I insist on – which I consider non-negotiable – is self-ownership. When it comes to me, I am the ultimate authority. And the same goes for you and everyone else. We are all kings of our castles, so to speak.”

            This is a key point.

            David, you made a distinction between religious faith and theocracy. That is valid. However, the line is easily crossed.

            Why?

            Because religious faith is often a euphemism for religious dogma, and righteous dogma at that. Theists often argue that since the dogma is unquestionably right, being the “world of God,” It trumps the self-ownership that Eric talks about. According to religious dogma, “God” is the ultimate authority, not the sovereign individual.

            Therefore the temptation for religious devotees to impose their religious faith/dogma on others by force, against their will, for their own good, to save their souls, is often overwhelming, as the many Crusades and Inquisitions prove.

            Therefore, no, I was not addressing another issue entirely.

        • Bobbye
          December 26, 2013 at 1:19 pm

          Government, which is only a concept, does not seek to replace God. It is the people who look to government for their help, who are seeking to replace God.(Psalm 121)

    • Kevin K
      December 26, 2013 at 6:57 pm

      Well when you read the Criminal Justice Textbooks in NY ,, All you see is Karl Marx and Social Justice.

      Does that tell you enough?
      Plus some of the Cops tell you they do not have to practice marksmanship because if they shoot and Kill us.
      They are covered.

      So we are scum get used to it , surrender or FIGHT.

      TOO late to vote it out.
      After all they give illegals instate tuition and VETS the SHAFT.

      TOOO LATE WAR AND REVOLUTION is here what will we do?

      • December 26, 2013 at 11:05 pm

        Wait, so if you are a tax funded parasite who enforces evil laws here (Whether ignorant or not) you’re an evil scumbag… but if you go overseas and enforce American exceptionalism at gunpoint, you’re a “hero” who actually deserves to get to be a tax funded parasite for the rest of your life?

        The latter is actually worse because it makes America the ruler of the world, rather than just its own country.

        Throw them ALL in the woods. Meaning, at the very least, don’t steal to pay for anyone. I view giving “Vets”, or any other government parasites “The shaft” as actually a good thing. Let private charities decide who should or shouldn’t give help, possibly (ideally?) with a condition of repentance for people who kill on behalf of the State (Military or police.)

        • eric
          December 27, 2013 at 6:11 am

          Excellently said, David!

          • December 27, 2013 at 10:32 pm

            I really appreciate these types of comments. I love the occasions where I can get away with saying something like that and having someone like it. Normally I water down my distaste for police and military (And I hope you don’t ever take my critical assessments of anything that is said as SUPPORT for either institution) for “regular” people and people still shake their heads in frustration at me.

  23. Brian
    December 25, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Let’s take one more step back and look at the big picture:
    Q: Why are cops acting so thuggish?
    A: Because YOUR elected politicians wants them to act that way! If you doubt me, then why don’t you search for evidence that your politician above the county level is even trying to enact laws or restraints against the overbearing police thugs.
    The solution is to shut down all government-run police stations and replace them with private security agencies not beholding in any way to the government. Think for a minute what you would do as the owner of a security agency if you found out that one of your customers had gotten abused by one of your agents. You would very likely punish or fire that agent, apologize profusely to the victim, and make amends; or you would get fired by the citizens and go out of business.
    The government purposely set-up the police departments to be out of our control.

    • Bobbye
      December 25, 2013 at 4:16 pm

      “The solution is to shut down all government-run police stations and replace them with private security agencies not beholding in any way to the government.”
      Who is going to pay them? In what manner or sense can ‘government’ exist without ‘enforcement’? Who will comply with the thousands of local laws without a ‘brute-squad’ to enforce them? Why not just eliminate government altogether?

      • Brian
        December 25, 2013 at 4:34 pm

        Who is going to pay them? The people who want security! My local town does not have government trash service. The people hire the trash service directly.
        I’m not really sure if you are being jokey or if you are asking these questions seriously. If serious: Are you not aware that humans have survived and thrived for 99.99% of our existence? Government came into being about the same time as agriculture and writing.

      • Bevin
        December 30, 2013 at 8:47 pm

        Dear Bobbye,

        “Why not just eliminate government altogether?”

        Why not indeed?

        This is precisely the argument for free market anarchism to begin with.

    • JoePA
      December 25, 2013 at 11:47 pm

      I agree it’s 100% the fault of the politicians but I don’t care. I loved my career in law enforcement and it hurts immensely when I see departments being turned in the new Stasi.

      • December 26, 2013 at 12:04 am

        No, its not 100% the fault of the politicians. Its your fault (I use “you” in the generic sense here, not necessarily you personally… take it if it applies and ignore it otherwise) if you choose to steal from, kidnap, or murder a civilian because of a “crime” he committed that had no victim: ESPECIALLY if he understands the ramifications of what he is doing. Its your fault if you support “laws” that create crimes that have no victim, or if you willingly*vote for politicians who will enable the creation of “crimes” that have no victims.

        So, I agree that its not ONLY the responsibility of the cops, but they still hold responsibility for their own actions. The nuance I was getting at was that I don’t think its far to demonize the well-meaning cops without also demonizing the 90% of people who support them and their laws (“90″ is an arbitrary figure that I feel fairly comfortable with, but its probably wrong) Its true that there could actually be such thing as an “Officer Friendly” if we filled congress with hundreds of clones of Ron Paul, but its also true that the officer has the choice to refuse to enforce those immoral laws and either quit his job or commit civil disobedience. I wouldn’t support demonizing someone just because he chooses to be a cop unless we were also going to demonize everyone who supports them and actively votes for the people who impose those laws… but at the same time, let’s be real about what the job is. Those who make the aggression “legal”, those who support making it “legal”, and those who actually take advantage of the fact that it is “legal” are all responsible.

        Where I disagree with Eric (I think, maybe I’m wrong about what his opinion is)… it seems like the consequences to the officer if he refuses to “enforce the law” trumps the degree that “the law” is evil. Whereas I believe the cop’s knowledge of the evil that he is doing (And by extension, at least in most cases, the severity of the offense) trumps the personal consequences of refusal. I’d hold that an American cop who holds someone up “at gunpoint” (Likely unwilling to actually use lethal force to hold the person there, despite the fact that the average person probably thinks that they will) and gives them a speeding ticket when he could just quit is FAR less evil than a Nazi concentration camp guard that kills Jews by firing squad because he might be killed if he doesn’t. Not only is the concentration guard evil, he KNOWS he is evil, so if he was a principled human being he would sooner face death than follow his orders. Whereas the cop who stops someone for speeding, while still doing wrong, doesn’t actually KNOW that he’s doing him wrong, so I’d hold him somewhat less responsible (note that I said “less responsible” not “not responsible.”)

        Along a similar line of thinking, I would hold one of Ron Paul’s kids more responsible if they had chosen to join the military than I would somebody who was indoctrinated with “USA #1″ their whole life. I’m not saying that the person who was indoctrinated has NO responsibility, but he has less so than somebody who really should know better.

        • December 26, 2013 at 12:08 am

          Regading my asterisked “willingly”, I struggled with what word I should choose there, and maybe I picked the wrong one. Ultimately, voting is a manipulation technique, not really a matter of natural rights. Its a tool, that can be used either to further or reduce aggression. In the case of “willingly” I was talking about someone who votes for the purpose of furthering aggression. I’m not talking about the person who opposes all aggression but will support, say, the guy who opposes 90% of aggression as opposed to the guy who supports 90% of aggression, if that makes sense.

        • Nick
          December 30, 2013 at 8:33 pm

          This post perfectly illustrates the problems with public property. If you own the road in front of your home, and decide nobody should be allowed to travel faster than 45MPH on it, then who could argue that it’s unethical for you to collect a payment from someone who refuses to obey your rules? If you personally dislike drugs, for whatever reason, and decide they will not be allowed on your property, then find them on a guest, who would argue he should not be responsible for paying for his crime against you? Hell, if I make a rule that guests in my home have to wear clown hats and red noses, I(and by extension, anybody I appoint to enforce my rule) should be able to enforce it.

          The problem is that public property exists, and that even “private property” is publicly controlled.

          If anyone else attended government schools, you will probably remember hearing an argument from teachers similar to, “If somebody owned Yellowstone, there would be a strip mall on Old Faithful; aren’t you glad we all own Yellowstone, and can enjoy it whenever we want?”

          • BrentP
            December 31, 2013 at 3:09 am

            If the public owned the roads or the parks or anything else then the government couldn’t act as owner.

            Old Faithful is a lousy place for strip mall. However a geothermal power plant is more likely. When it comes to the wonders of nature its a toss up. Quite a number of government lands, wonders of nature or not, were set aside for insiders to strip resources from. Lumber, minerals, whatever. Furthermore, the freer the country with the greater protections of individual rights and property, the less pollution there is. (the bad pollution in the USA was the result of government not doing its job to protect property rights and individual rights)

            The federal government could just as well turn over yellowstone to lumber companies and power plants as it could make it a national park.

          • eric
            December 31, 2013 at 7:35 am

            One of the false premises of anti-private property harangues is that people who own private property will act perversely, in ways inimical to their own self-interest. This is pretty silly when you stop to think about it. And it’s of a piece with the government-snuggler’s cognitive dissonance regarding guns; i.e., people cannot be trusted with guns… but people in government can be trusted with guns.

            As a land/homeowner, I certainly have every right to insist that, for example, visitors remove their shoes before coming inside, or that they leave whenever I say so. Such actions do not violate their rights.

            And they are free to leave on their own initiative at any time. And I have no right to prevent them from leaving.

            That is, I am not free to violate their rights – as by example kidnapping them or otherwise coercing their behavior using threats and violence. That would be as much a violation of the NAP as anywhere else.

          • Nick
            December 31, 2013 at 1:31 pm

            The acceptance of government requires one to believe people will act against their own self-interest.

            If one of the conditions of entering your home is that a guest remove his shoes or be held in your basement, then you wouldn’t really be violating the NAP by enforcing that, would you? The thing is, even if somebody did violate your rule, knowing the punishment, it would not be in your interest to impose any punishment beyond asking him to leave(think about the costs of keeping someone in your basement).

            However, if you could forcibly take the money needed to impose the penalty you desired on the guest from say, your neighbor, then punishing your guest may suddenly become a more attractive option…especially if your neighbor would more willingly give you money on the condition that it be used to punish your guest rather than harass your neighbor.

            Acceptance of public property(which is what almost everything is in today’s America) is the perversion that makes most others possible.

      • eric
        December 26, 2013 at 6:40 am

        Hi Joe,

        As I see it, we’ve gone from an imperfect but (mostly) tolerable situation to an increasingly intolerable one. It’s one thing to enforce penny ante traffic statutes, knowing (in your heart) it’s mostly a con but the fines are (generally) trivial and we all sort of play along. There was an element of humor involved – and you could argue with the cop on equal terms.

        I call this the “Smokey and the Bandit” world of the past.

        The movie was an exaggeration, but not an extreme one. I remember that world. You probably do, too. Traffic offenses were more cat and mouse, without the punitive malevolence and hair-trigger escalation to extremes of violence of today. You could carry cash (to buy a used car, for instance) and not have to worry about having a cop legally just take it (and keep it) without even accusing you of any crime (the possession of “large amounts” of cash being sufficient in and of itself). There were no East German style “checkpoints.” You know the rest.

        There are many small streams that led to the mighty river of tyranny that is now washing over the land. One of these was the Reagan-era escalation of the drug “war.” Another major contributor was the rise of The Mom as a potent political force – and her attendant Safety Cult. Since you can’t ever be too safe, the inevitable result is more and more punitive prior restraint to chase that phantom. The drug “war” tied neatly into this, of course. And then, Nahhnnnnlevven – which poured gasoline on the fire.

        America gave up its legacy of liberty, moderation and decency – imperfectly realized though they were – for the sake of moral hysterics, who will not stop until there’s no liberty, no moderation and no decency left.

        • December 26, 2013 at 12:47 pm

          I have a vague idea of what you’re talking about, but what do you mean by “The Mom” as a potent political force? Can you give me some specifics here? And… would you advocate repealing the 19th amendment? (A serious question, not a joke.)

          Is it actually “legal” for the cops to just take your cash because you have a large amount of it? I know it happens, but is it actually “legal”?

          Also, what do you mean by the situation being more “cat and mouse”?

          When did this era end?

          Thanks:

          David

          • eric
            December 26, 2013 at 1:13 pm

            Hi Dave,

            You’re 19 – so you won’t remember the era before “Mom Culture.” It began in the ’80s, with things like “Baby on Board” placards and Mothers Against Drunk Driving – which begat sobriety checkpoints, mandatory child seat and buckle-up laws and the now-current obsession with eliminating all risk from life.

            I call it the rise of “Mom Culture” because (and I am old enough to remember) there was a different dominant culture before the rise of Mom Culture. It was not a reckless culture, but it was a more risk-tolerant one and thus, a more liberty minded and individual-oriented culture. It was the culture that had the audacity to put men on Saturn V rockets and send them to the moon. That level of risk is inconceivable today. As are cars like the ’64 GTO: No air bags, no ABS, low back seats and a huge V-8 pouring the power through overmatched 14×7 and 15×7 wheels and tires.

            I grew up in the era of that – and of lawn darts and kids running off to play all day unsupervised by adults (just be home in time for dinner), without “buckling up for safety” and smoke if you feel like it.

            Damn, I miss it!

          • eric
            December 26, 2013 at 1:15 pm

            Oh, PS: Yes, they can and do seize cash – and it’s then up to you to prove it was not “drug money” and so on.

          • December 27, 2013 at 10:54 pm

            Hi Eric,

            Just out of curiosity, how old are you? (I’m still 18, BTW, won’t be 19 for a couple more weeks). I’m just curious how far back you actually remember.

            You’re right, I don’t remember that far back. I don’t know exactly what the risk is for leaving a kid unbuckled. I know what the propaganda says, but not the actual math. I presume people still kept infants in car seats?

            I should say though, if the roads were ever privatized, I’m pretty sure there would still be some road regulations. They’d be less onerous than they are today, since people could actually “vote with their wallets”, and roads that were more regulated would be more expensive, but I still think you’d need some. I can imagine there being no speed regulations on highways, but there would probably still be some in residential areas (Considering kids play on the road, etc.) . I’m not really saying what’s right or wrong here, just what I suspect would be the reality. The plus would be that the necessary rules and enforcement would be set by what the market wants and is willing to pay for (And could also differ based on road/company) rather than being controlled by a monopolistic government that only cares about its own revenue. Market based laws would only weed out reckless drivers, not criminalize virtually everyone. The speed limit on the Long Island Expressway is 55MPH, and all sorts of people break it. If the speed limit were 95MPH, I doubt very many people would drive that fast (Keep in mind we’re talking about the LIE here, not some highway in the middle of nowhere where extreme speeds of that type might actually be safe) but there probably would be a few wackos that truly don’t care about anyone’s safety and drive in a way that’s clearly unsafe, and I suspect that even market roads would deal with those types of drivers.

            • eric
              December 28, 2013 at 6:05 am

              Hi David,

              I’m in my 40s – a Gen Xer.

              Growing up, no kid seats; kids just jumped in the car – often in the back/cargo area of full-size station wagons (the minivans of my generation). Seat belts were rarely worn – by adults or kids. Babies were held in laps or whatever seemed suitable. It was up to each parent/family/person to make the rules for their kids, their families, their cars, their lives.

              Were there injuries and deaths? Surely, but it was not mayhem. People – including kids – still get hurt and killed today. But that isn’t the issue, of course. The issue is, whose business is it? The state? Or yours? I say (and I know you do, too) that it’s the your business.

              On speed limits: I object to them because they’re almost necessarily “one size fits all” – and people differ in their abilities, including their ability to safely operate a car at higher (or lower) speeds. I’ve pointed out to Clover that someone such as myself, who is a better-than-average driver with some training in high-speed vehicle handling and many years of experience driving on street and track, is probably as or more “safe” operating at say 75 MPH on a road with a 55 MPH posted limit as someone like my mother-in-law (who is a worse than average driver with no training or experience in vehicle control) on the same road at 45 MPH. Why should there be a one-size-fits-all standard? Why should better-than-average drivers be constrained – and punished – not for any harm they’ve caused but because they didn’t voluntarily accept being dumbed-down?

              As I see it, the objective measure of driving “too fast” is losing control/causing a wreck. Clover may believe that driving “x” speed increases the chances there will be a loss of control and a wreck, but this is a hypothetical and I submit it’s fundamentally wrong to control/punish people not for anything they’ve actually done to cause harm but because someone (a Clover) believes someone might cause harm.

              Good drivers continuously adjust their speed to their skill level, conditions and so on – and that’s how it ought to be.

              I have no objection to posting signs suggesting speeds for given roads (and conditions, such as curves), in other words, as advisories. These can be helpful to drivers not familiar with a given road, etc.

              But insisting on absolute adherence to a generic number as the “right” number for all drivers, at all times is both silly and unfair as well as counterproductive in that it encourages passive (and so mediocre/poor) driving while punishing (and so discouraging) active, attentive (and so, better) driving.

          • December 27, 2013 at 10:56 pm

            All that said, I agree with what you say. I’ve seen it pointed out on another forum that in 1812, even people who want government roads would have been seen as “socialist”. I can only imagine how much wealth our country would have if that era’s mentality had kept up (Minus slavery, of course. Maybe NOT minus the idea of only letting property owning men vote?)

            • eric
              December 28, 2013 at 5:46 am

              There is an excellent if apocryphal speech attribute to Daniel Boone that touches on this subject (and era). I’ll see if I can dig it up…

          • December 30, 2013 at 4:25 pm

            That’s interesting. I know a lot of 40+ people but have heard little to nothing about the differences… ever. I wonder why that is.

            On highways I see absolutely no merits for speed limits, as you say. One area I find more tricky is residential areas. Is it EVER acceptable to drive 50+ in a residential community where kids are likely to be playing on the road? To do so In such an area would be inherently reckless, IMO. Kind of like how driving 100 on the LIE would almost always be reckless, but not so much so in the middle of nowhere, etc. A little more common sense, and a little less “The law is the law”, would go a long way in this world.

            With regards to parents and their choices, I agree with you. The only thing I continue to wonder about are those few parents who simply DON’T CARE. There are always going to be some people who will neglect their kids, even in a free society. I’m totally with you on the NAP as far as adults go, and I’m with you on parental rights as long as the parents are actually raising their kids. But… would you say that no crime is committed if I bought heroin and gave it to my 11 year old brother? Or if someone just left an infant on a regular seat in a car without any protection? I’m not sure these things actually happen that often (I know that the statist MO is to exaggerate everything “for the children”) but having an answer for them is helpful nonetheless.

            Note also that this does not presume any need for “law enforcement” any more than laws against murder and theft do. The distinction is that all laws would apply to everyone the same. None of this “You can’t do that, unless you’re a cop” or “Stealing is wrong… unless the government does it, then its taxation”. Its possible that a free people might delegate peace-keeping duties the same way that they choose to delegate other duties, but only the rights that a person actually has can be delegated. Kind of like how most people buy their food from a grocery store. They have the right to grow crops/raise livestock/whatever themselves, but as an economic matter, they choose to do otherwise. Or, you have the right to build your own car, but you would normally (well… this IS an automotive site, so maybe you wouldn’t, but most people would) hire someone else to build it for you. In the same way, people could hire other people to do their peacekeeping for them. What they cannot do is invent a right to aggress, which they do not have, and give it to “law enforcement.”

        • captcow
          December 27, 2013 at 2:18 am

          I knew my current towns first cop as a kid, at his funeral a local summed up old school police work with a story about that first cop. He was sitting on his motorcycle talking to some high school kids in the late 30’s when a guy flew by in clear violation of the posted speed limit, the kids asked if he was going to chase him, he looked at them and said “then there would be two damn fools driving too fast down this road”. I wonder how we got from that attitude to the jackboot mentality they have now in such a short period of time.

          • eric
            December 27, 2013 at 6:09 am

            Hi Captcow,

            Yup. As to how we got here: I think “here” – the urge to dominate/control/punish – is always lurking beneath the surface. It only needs to be brought to the surface by fear or some traumatic event and then exploited by willful demagogues.

            That awful croon… saaaaaafety.

            When you hear it, expect tyranny to follow on its heels.

        • JoePA
          December 28, 2013 at 11:32 am

          Eric. 9/11 was a huge turning point in law enforcement. At that very moment (within months) we went from fighting crime to fighting terrorism. We embarked on numerous lectures to be trained in who and what is a terrorist. Here is what we were taught…..real simple…..everyone is a potential terrorist. Anyone the government does not like is a terrorist. Terrorism is also not limited to bombs etc but also having large amounts of cash, paying for goods with cash, not paying your taxes (economic terrorism) etc. Terroristic “threats” as in Pennsylvania where I currently live. Whats a “threat” ?….. I have asked that question to several troopers and got numerous answers. Everything is the simple answer.

          The point is that being accused of being a terrorist is not unlike prior years of screaming “he’s gay” or “witch” or “communist” etc. Accusing someone of “racism” is still a good fallback though…..but its wearing fast.

          The problem is that most people are simple minded and only know how to babble what the masses say so they can fit in. Eric….you need to gain control of the mass media.

          • eric
            December 28, 2013 at 1:51 pm

            Indeed it was, Joe.

            America’s Reichstag Fire Moment.

            And just as “good Germans” in the German military and police forces fell into line and served as the hands and feet of a monstrous tyranny that annihilated millions of lives, so also will the “good cops” and “heroes” of the US military do likewise when the moment comes. A few will not, of course. But they, as always will be a tiny minority.

            God help us all.

          • BrentP
            December 29, 2013 at 3:14 am

            The patriot act, which many consider to be proof of a inside 9-11 conspiracy because it was ‘ready to go’, was actually a bunch of failed law enforcement legislation from the Clinton years. Basically the congress critters wrapped a bunch of stuff that had been written and failed to pass into one big ball and passed it as the patriot act.

            This police state was desired long before the events of 2001, but two team politics wouldn’t allow it to be passed until it became a great thing for team R to do. Then it went through without difficulty.

            And you’re correct, determining a “terrorist” works pretty much like this:
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zrzMhU_4m-g

            • eric
              December 29, 2013 at 6:31 am

              Hi Brent,

              Two facts about Nahhhnleeevnn have troubled me from the get go.

              First, that it happened on the day it did. It’s extremely convenient – extremely effective, as a psychological tactic – that the day just happened to be September 11. Rendered in shorthand, the number every American knows as the emergency number.

              Second, and here I am relating a personal experience from inside the “mainstream” media – September 11 became 911 like someone snapped a finger. Within a couple hours of the event, MSM people were calling the event “911.” Including people I worked with whom I personally know to be neocons connected to the nexus of power in Washington. Let me put a finer point on it. In editorials and articles going to press that day (for the next day’s papers) 911 was not only used to refer to the event it was insisted by higher-ups (editors) that the term be used. Not “yesterday’s terrorist attacks.”

              911.

              You tell me.
              It happened too fast to be organic and spontaneous.

              Now, the supposed Abdullah “terrists” would not be particularly familiar with the meaning of “911” nor would its psychological significance serve their (stated) purpose.

              So… who would benefit? Ding dong! Those whose object was to erect a full-flowering police state, not to be questioned by anyone since we all must remember the lessons of 911.

              Add to the above other knowns – such as the CIA puppeteers behind Al Qaeda, the extremely odd relationships between the Bin Ladens and the Bushes… the call for a “catalyzing event,” a “new Pearl Harbor” in PNAC (neon-con organization) talk sheets… the complete, total suppression of photographic/video evidence of the attack on the Pentagon… the symmetric collapse at free-fall speed of WTC 7…

              I have no doubt the Official Story is a fairy tale. Just like the Warren Report was a fairy tale.

          • BrentP
            December 29, 2013 at 5:58 pm

            There are the obvious lies. There is the obvious marketing/manipulation. Did they come before, during or after? That’s the big question. However, not what I was looking to address. I was only looking to address the police state aspect, the patriot act.

            The patriot act already existed, had already been tried in pieces. It failed time and time again. Sadly mechanisms are set up so that persistence wins rather than what is right or wrong. It only has to pass once and then is never examined again in most cases. Bad legislation makes it through eventually and sticks practically forever in this model. The police state goals were there many years before the event that finally got the legislation passed. Never let a crisis go to waste so it has been said.

      • Boothe
        December 26, 2013 at 10:22 am

        JoePA – Regardless of the imperfection in the Constitution, as a SWORN officer of the law, I can safely presume you took an oath to uphold and defend said document and by extension the Bill of Rights. If at any time you took people into custody for “administrative infractions” or “drug possession” (even with an alleged “intent to distribute”) or any other “victimless crime” (i.e. no crime at all), then you violated your oath of office. Using whatever “I was just doing my job / just following orders / enjoyed my career” salve you need to sooth an aching conscience doesn’t change the fact that you became the criminal and the aggressor the minute you violated that oath.

        Furthermore it proves that just like the rest of us, you are fallable and flawed and therefore must be tightly constrained as to what you are allowed to do when “keeping the peace” (i.e. chained down by the rule of law). Because “government service” allows you, the individual officer, to exclusivlely use force (all too often with impunity) the potential for corruption and abuse is far too great. If you did indeed violate your oath even once to the detriment of a fellow citizen (no matter how loathesome that individual may have been to you), then you have proven yourself untrustworthy. A man who can’t be trusted to keep his word regardless of what the politicians and his superiors say (even if it means losing his job) should never be allowed to have armed authority over therest of us. To willingly participate in this system and worse, to enjoy it, is the very definition of tyranny and it is evil. When I was young and heard that something bad had happened to a cop “in the line of duty” I felt sorry for him. Now after many more years of life experience my first reaction is “I wonder what he did to deserve it?”

        • December 26, 2013 at 12:53 pm

          Don’t get me wrong, I completely support the right of anyone to do whatever he needs to to protect himself. If a cop tries to arrest you for a drug possession charge (ie. he tries to legally kidnap you) and you decided to use lethal violence to protect yourself… well… I for one would vote “not guilty.”

          However, when it comes to saying he “deserved” it, then that’s where we get into a gray area, and this is sort of what I’ve been getting at. I don’t view it as a ” good thing” when a police officer who doesn’t know any better is killed “in the line of duty”. Its possible that the person killing the cop was protecting himself, but in all but the most extreme situations, I don’t think its anything to celebrate.

          The way I see it, there are cops who deliberately abuse their power, and then there are those who think they are just “doing their jobs the best they can” or some such. I don’t actually condone the latter group, but I can’t necessarily view them as “bad people”, at least not compared to all the people who support the laws they enforce. That group likely would be “good cops” if the law reflected the NAP. And while I do blame them for their actions, I also understand that most of them are ignorant. I guess I kind of “hate the sin, but not the sinner” in those cases…

          • Boothe
            December 26, 2013 at 2:22 pm

            David – Although I understand that bad things sometimes happen to the innocent, I have enough life experience to understand that one really does “reap what one sows.” I don’t doubt that “good” cops occasionally run afoul of a bad situation and end up paying for the transgressions of their “brothers” in a guilt by association manner of speaking. But as a general rule, any individual can find the source of most their personal problems in the nearest mirror, myself included. Once you understand that, you can move on to improving yourself through virtuous habits and avoiding infringing the rights of others; which goes a long way toward planting good things for future harvest in this garden we call life.

            But when you go about imposing your will on your fellow beings under threat of violence or at least belong to a group that does, even if you personally eschew the act, you invite Karmic retribution. Your failure to understand “What comes around goes around” does not immunize you from it. Standing by while your “brothers in arms” beat someone up, taze them or even shoot them without a trial makes you an accomplice. Much like being in any other cartel or union, the members are implicitly expected to cover for each other. “Professional courtesy” they call it when they let other members of the Kop Klan get away with things we mere mundanes would be severely punished for. That is morally and ethically wrong. It is completely contrary to the “equal protection under the law” this nation supposedly promises all of us. It is also a tool used by the PTB to keep us in check and the cops feeling superior to the rest of us so that the psychopaths in charge can continue to rule with minimal fear of the populace. The cops are their dogs of war, so they get the best bones and steak fat.

            Now, I will concede that many if not most of the younger cops don’t have enough education or life experience to understand that what they are doing, even just turning a blind eye and going along to get along, is wrong because it is technically legal (or merely tolerated by their superiors). But that does not excuse them from the consequences of Natural Law. If one lives by the sword one can expect to die by the sword; Nature’s scales will invariably be balanced at the individual level one way or the other, robes and medallions of office notwithstanding. Keep in mind that a free market solution would not be flawless either. As long as people are involved, there will be trouble.

          • Bobbye
            December 26, 2013 at 3:57 pm

            @ David
            Psalm 14:2 The Lord looks down from heaven
            on all mankind
            to see if there are any who understand,
            any who seek God.
            3 All have turned away, all have become corrupt;
            there is no one who does good,
            not even one.
            You’re ignorance of even the basic tenants of the Christian Faith does not commend you. Go back to the beginning and learn the ‘milk’ first and then you can learn the ‘meat’.( Hebrews: “[12] For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat.
            [13] For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe.
            [14] But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil”)

          • Boothe
            December 26, 2013 at 5:18 pm

            Bobbye – I would add Proverbs 20:11 too. “Even a child is known by his doings, whether his work be pure, and whether it be right.” Little children know it hurts when they bite and kick. They know it’s wrong to lie and blame something on someone else (bearing false witness). Trying to rationalize that a cop doing the same things to a fellow citizen because the cop is ignorant, that would land that same citizen in the pokey or even in the morgue if he did it to the cop, is indeed a “cop out.” And a poor one at that. Standing by and letting it happen while your coworkers administer non-judicial punishment is just as bad. Since we are supposed to trust these state functionaries with lethal force, it is imperative that they be held to the highest standards of moral and ethical conduct, not given a free pass with the tired excuse of officer safety. If they’re such limp wristed panty-waists that they fear the fellow countrymen that much, then they need to find a nice accounting job. And if they want to be jack booted thugs in balaclavas lording it over us, then they need to be in pokey themselves. It really is that simple.

  24. JoePA
    December 25, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Being retired from law enforcement and watching how it has tranformed over the last few decades to its current state is sad. Law enforcement today is productivity (summonses, forfeiture) fighting “terror” and that other joke in the War on Drugs……sad.

  25. Frank
    December 25, 2013 at 12:30 pm

    Eric; It seems odd to me that the folks that write the laws & regulations Congress has a pole rating of around 6-8 % but the enforcers police have close to the highest rating of all government servant’s. I think the folks are brain washed.

    • December 25, 2013 at 2:14 pm

      I agree. I guess what I’m trying to figure out is the fine line between being too hard on other people, and not being hard enough.

  26. lee
    December 25, 2013 at 12:26 pm

    I used to watch NYPD Blue, a great cop show in this respect: complex personal issues among the main cast of characters were expertly dealt with. In a sense, this show and others like it were better reality TV than “reality TV.” But what troubled me immensely (and it troubled me even more that friends and family didn’t share my concern) was that the endless procession of criminals, grand and petty, were never given their Miranda rights before being subjected to the third degree and to threats that should have cause these very human and in many ways likeable cops to be disciplined or dismissed from the force.

    Via these shows and what’s called the news, the mainline media conditions us to accept police lawlessness as a matter of course. Judicial lawlessness too. And since the media (those who fund the media) isn’t/aren’t stupid, they must know that the public, on the whole, is willing to live in a police state given that the overwhelming number of the public won’t be and can count on not being personally mistreated by agents of law enforcement. And when the public wants a hanging, the law will give it to them.

    Repeated exposure to the routine violation of what used to be “our rights” leads us to accept this violation as the “new normal” and to feel no outrage unless and until we ourselves personally feel the heel of the boot on the scruff of our necks.

  27. Fred
    December 25, 2013 at 12:13 pm

    You like backsassan authority, don’t you boy?

    • eric
      December 25, 2013 at 1:29 pm

      Hi Fred,

      What is “backassan”?

      If it means, dislike of arbitrary, unjust authority – then I plead guilty.

      • ExGeeEye
        December 26, 2013 at 4:56 am

        Alternate spelling: back-sassing.

        • eric
          December 26, 2013 at 6:11 am

          Thanks, ExGee –

          Got it now!

  28. skunkbear
    December 25, 2013 at 12:03 pm

    I found the PINAC video to be very interesting and encouraging. I liked when the old man in the sunglasses who was just walking by stopped to watch the confrontation also resisted himself when he was “ordered” to move on. It shows that if one man will resist others will also be encouraged to resist as well.

  29. Robert
    December 25, 2013 at 11:51 am

    Merry Christmas Eric.
    Here is a video with a similar point of view; http://josietheoutlaw.com/

    Excellent article as is much of your work. I Learned from experience all cops are criminals. The naysayers are either cops or haven’t (yet) been subjected to their abuse.
    Remember all government requires abusive enforcers to stay in power.

  30. Lynn A. Bloxham
    December 25, 2013 at 11:46 am

    Excellent article. Also point on immunity is very important. Your writing style on cars and political/legal issues is great. Happy New Year!

  31. anarchyst
    December 25, 2013 at 10:26 am

    There are two changes that could be made that would reign in many of the abuses that are evident in today’s police state.
    1. Eliminate “qualified immunity” for ALL public officials, including individual police officers and fire fighters as well as prosecutors, their staffs and court officials. If these “public officials” knew that they could be personally subject to lawsuits and lose everything they have, they would tend to behave themselves.
    2. ALL encounters with public officials (including police officers and firefighters) must have a video “audit trail”. Any loss or “malfunction” of the video equipment would result in any “evidence” being non-admissible as well as a reprimand for the public official on the scene.
    I include firefighters in this proposal because despite being very rarely a dangerous profession, their arrogance has caused misery for many innocent people.
    Regarding firefighter arrogance, there are two cases that come to mind.
    One, is that of a plating plant that experienced an out-of-control fire. When the fire department arrived on-scene, they pushed the owners of the facility out-of-the-way and REFUSED to utilize the established “fire plan” (which included turning off all utilities) that would have mitigated much damage. The building burned to the ground.
    Second, is the case of a Michigan firefighter who claimed to have an “arson dog” that could detect “accelerants”. This “firefighter” was instrumental in ruining many lives as his “results” were used to deny insurance claims (insurance companies LOVED this guy) as well as imprison innocent people for arson. Finally, one honest citizen had enough and (despite claims by the “arson dog’s” handler’s claim of “qualified immunity”) was able to get this “arson dog” tested. It turns out that this dog had no special abilities, but was acting on “cues” from its owner. Many innocent lives were ruined. Of course, this “firefighter” was protected by “qualified immunity” and could not be sued. The only satisfaction was that his career as an “arson investigator” was over.

    • Eightsouthman
      December 25, 2013 at 12:57 pm

      anarchyst, I once got a real life look at what goes on with the state fire inspector’s office. A guy I knew rigged his home wiring in a remote area that went through the floor into a basement to overheat thus setting the house on fire and since no one was around, it burned to the ground. Some people going to the fire saw this guy and another out in a field watching the house burn so that stirred a bit of thought. Once the state fire marshall was called and I’m sure let in on what someone supposed had happened, they returned an assessment showing residue of a liquid accelerant having been used. This was totally false since the fellow told me exactly how it came to burn. They decided to charge him with arson if he insisted on collecting insurance or simply go away if he didn’t…..so he collected no money and most probably had to continue payments in lieu of going to jail. I don’t condone the action of either party here but clearly it shows the paid official was no more honest than an arsonist.

      • BrentP
        December 25, 2013 at 2:52 pm

        I’ve read it three times… did he rig the wiring with the intent of causing a fire or did he out ignorance or laziness just do piss poor wiring that ended up causing a fire?

        If the former, there is the strong possibility that the inspector knew what happened or what was going on but just could not prove it. Then again perhaps he was simply corrupt.

        • Jean
          December 26, 2013 at 12:02 pm

          My father was an expert in this sort of thing… Including one where some “electrician” (cough)asshole(cough) had run a relay box BACKWARDS – because he didn’t have the correct piece of hardware. He “improvised” one by reversing how the current went.
          Now, i’m going on shoddy memory, but it was something like: a 40-amp line IN, step-down to a 20-Amp OUT. It was part of a switch assembly inside a grain elevator. (Corn, specificially. Relevant to recall that detail.)
          Only, the guy didn’t have that hardware – so he used one in reverse. It was supposed to take 20 IN, and 40 OUT.

          So, the elevator switched on, the venting system turned on… And about 90 seconds into operation, the core melted, causing sparks. In an environment filled with CORN STARCH and AIR. IE, Starch (burns) …

          I believe they found the elevator in the next county. (Joking – it did get blown to hell.)

          So, thoughts are: Was this arson? Didn’t seem to be. the electrician did what (many) contractors do, completed the job ASAP using what would “work”.
          That it was not up to code (never should’ve passed inspection – but I’ve bought a house that didn’t pass inspection, and the AC and wiring upstairs obviously never got checked…) was irrelevant. It went operational with a backwards component. And under normal circumstances, nothing would’ve really happened (maybe a legal fight over the wrong materials).
          In this case, it blew a large chunk of grain elevator over some several-hundred feet. Much like an FAE.

          To find out what happened, they had to contact my dad – fire inspector was clueless.

          Now, accelerants leave traces. Gasoline burns a certain way; Butane another (liquid vs gas, in this example.) Kerosene a third – with different chemcical indicators in the hydrocarbon signatures. (No specialized knowledge, just look at the chemical formulas, and determine the ehats involved in the combustions. Different energies released, at different rates, for different burn periods. Same for phosphorous: Red and White burn differently. Cobalt in the mix changes the burn profile; so does copper; so does manganese, etc, etc, etc. You can see this in fireworks and in the “color crystals” for sale in fireplace stores – makes pretty colors for the kiddies. Napthalene, Acetone, etc, etc, same deal. Lard, too. PerOxides make pretty burn patterns and rates… )

          Should’ve gone to trial, hired an expert, and made the inspector prove the residues…
          Might still have been gigged for the faulty wiring – that’s a different question. But breaking the prosecution’s case? Not cheap – but easy.

        • Eightsouthman
          December 26, 2013 at 1:02 pm

          BrentP, he specially wired that to get out from under house payments and fairly much everything else in his life. They instead lost fairly much everything. He’d already burned his pickup. It had oil and grease in the bed and something out of the burn pit blew into it. That’s the story on that…..and it could have happened. I reckon the locals had whispered in the inspector’s ear.

          BTW, does anyone else receive comments by email? I haven’t in two weeks.

  32. Freespirit
    December 25, 2013 at 9:39 am

    EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT, EXCELLENT article Eric and I am constantly cursed for promoting NATURAL Rights from Natural LAW

  33. J. TURNER
    December 25, 2013 at 6:41 am

    This is a very good article and I agree with the view of individual policemen expressed.

    However I believe that the problem lies with our judiciary, not with the enforcement arm. Police would cease all this phony military behavior if they were sanctioned by the courts under which they operate. Instead they are off their leash and given a green light to abuse almost anybody. Look to our lawyers and our judges for responsibility in this debacle, not the individual cop. This is the lesson from all wars.

    • eric
      December 25, 2013 at 6:50 am

      Thanks, J –

      I still, however, maintain that individuals are responsible for what they do. This includes cops, who – as I tried to point out in the article – choose to become (and remain) cops. And do the work they do. They could certainly do the right thing – and refuse to (as an example) violate their oath (and their consciences) by assaulting the clear language of the Bill of Rights as regards the proscription against unreasonable searches. Minimally, they could follow statutory law – as for instance in the case of lawful open carry. As opposed to hassling an open carrying person because some “concerned mom” saw a man with a gun (gasp!) walking down the street.

      Fundamentally, though, there must be an ethical re-awakening. Individual actions (or non-actions) that cannot be shown to cause specific harm to a specific person (or their property) must be regarded as matters of individual choice and not crimes. Self-ownership must be respected. And the non-aggression principle re-learned.

      • Ed
        December 25, 2013 at 8:13 am

        You should stick to automotive commentary, Eric.

        Merry Christmas.

        • eric
          December 25, 2013 at 8:16 am

          Hi Ed,

          Do you disagree with the article’s premise? Or just think it wasn’t well-written?

          If you didn’t like the writing, I won’t argue the point. You’re as entitled to your opinion as anyone else.

          But do you dispute my argument that men who voluntarily choose to spend their days using violence and the threat of violence to compel obedience to “the law” cannot be good men?

          I await your reply… .

          • Freespirit
            December 25, 2013 at 9:43 am

            Every time one of my “adversaries” curse me for NOT believing in STATUTORY LAWS I shall give him the link to this article-BRAVO, keep up the fight for NATURAL RIGHTS

            • eric
              December 25, 2013 at 10:25 am

              Thanks, Freespirit!

              Merry Christmas, too!

        • JdL
          December 26, 2013 at 7:37 am

          You should stick to automotive commentary, Eric.

          Why? Are you a cop? The husband/brother/father/son of a cop? Do you think the abuses by cops that Eric details are imaginary? Do you think that we should all just be good little compliant citizens and never complain about, or contemplate taking definite action against, the predations of cops?

      • skunkbear
        December 25, 2013 at 11:53 am

        ERIC “Fundamentally, though, there must be an ethical re-awakening. Individual actions (or non-actions) that cannot be shown to cause specific harm to a specific person (or their property) must be regarded as matters of individual choice and not crimes. Self-ownership must be respected. And the non-aggression principle re-learned.”

        This is the crux of all that is wrong with the world today. What is it within the souls of far too many people who lust for ordering others around?!

    • Ed
      December 26, 2013 at 5:37 pm

      Court sanction is irrelevant. Each of us is personally responsible for our choices and our behavior, and accountable for same. This applies in spades to folks who have given their solemn oath to uphold the Constitution. Also, part of the deal in order to get that pension is upholding all the rules. My only question is, why am I wasting my time with this??? Sorry, but talking just isn’t working.

  34. December 25, 2013 at 5:55 am

    He will participate routinely in actions no different in their essence than the things for which his predecessors – from the Redcoats of 1776 to the SA men of 1936 – history excoriates.

    History does not excoriate the Redcoats of 1776, not in general; views vary, and those who do excoriate are proceeding from a U.S. exceptionalist and statist agenda. Read Christopher Hibbert’s Redcoats and Rebels, or ask almost any United Empire Loyalist. Or ask yourself just which side was freeing slaves and trying to keep government distant.

    On an unrelated note, my own nephew has just become a policeman in London. Please advise. After feedback, I may present my own observations of the police in the U.K. and here in Australia.

    • eric
      December 25, 2013 at 7:11 am

      Hi PM,

      Of course, I agree many textbook histories (and the notions arising from them) are hagiographical. That said, the Redcoats were very loathed by a good portion of the colonial American population even before the actual war began (viz, the trial of the soldiers who shot civilians at the Boston Massacre – ably defended by John Adams). The attempt to confiscate the colonists’ rifles was the spark that set off the actual fighting. Subsequent actions, such as the quartering of “the troops” in private homes, further outraged the populace.

      Now, it’s absolutely true that there was a large loyalist (Tory) segment of the population that supported both King and his army. Still, the point stands, I think, that a large portion of the colonial population loathed the Redcoats.

      That subsequently – the war having been won – the colonial army became the enforcement arm of men such as Hamilton (who egged on Washington to impose taxes far more onerous than those ever levied by Parliament on the population, including the first “sin” taxes – on whiskey) is beside the point as regards affection (or its opposite) for the British Army.

      On your nephew and his new job: From my perspective, the government and laws of England are even more oppressive than those we here in the US labor under. In particular, those regarding the absolute illegality of civilian possession of the means of self-defense (firearms) and (as I understand them to exist) vile codes of political correctness that criminalize opinion expressed in word or by mouth. Will your nephew feel ethically comfortable arresting and possibly sending to prison for many years a citizen whose only crime was possessing a firearm? Will he enforce other such noxious (as I see them) Laws?

      Again, to be very clear: I am 100 percent supportive of peace keeping. Of separating/containing (and, when necessary and appropriate, punishing) those who do tangible harm to other people or their property. But anything beyond this – in particular, laws that criminalize peaceful, voluntary actions and interactions, which are premised on “someone” might (and therefore, everyone may not), on prior restraint, on group guilting. . . . or which attempt to impose by violence social conformity to some “norm” as defined by the state (or via the ballot box) are the essence of tyranny and must be resisted at all costs.

      • Bobbye
        December 25, 2013 at 1:10 pm

        “Again, to be very clear: I am 100 percent supportive of peace keeping. Of separating/containing (and, when necessary and appropriate, punishing) those who do tangible harm to other people or their property”
        To me ,you have lost the argument right there. To me, you are agreeing that communities NEED a group of ‘strongmen’ called ‘peacekeepers’ who are given by the community a preponderance of force to do the ‘job’ of keeping neighbors from ‘harming’ one another. Seems to me that is exactly what exist today in the USSA. Only you disagree with some of the defined ‘harms’.
        Until communities( even if just your family) take responsibility to handle their own ‘peacekeeping’, nothing will change. Once you hire a ‘peacekeeper’ you become his servant. That is the nature of Force.

        • eric
          December 25, 2013 at 1:31 pm

          Valid point, Bobbye.

          Let me qualify my remarks: I don’t have an issue with defensive force, to ward off aggression against persons or property.

          • December 25, 2013 at 2:11 pm

            I don’t agree with Bobeye’s comment there. I mean, self-defense is of course justified, but specialization of labor is a natural part of capitalism. I’m not sure why peace-keeping has to be any different in that regard.

            Of course, in a free society, you’d be welcome to do the guarding yourself or hire someone else to do it. But I suspect most people would hire others to do it, much like today you could fix your own car (Or is there a law against it now… who knows) but most will hire a mechanic, etc.

        • Kevin
          December 26, 2013 at 6:41 pm

          The peoples power to Peace Keep was removed from them, spare me this line of thought.
          Most Americans are no longer allowed to protect themselves and it will get worse.

          • Bobbye
            December 26, 2013 at 8:16 pm

            “The peoples power to Peace Keep was removed from them, spare me this line of thought.
            Most Americans are no longer allowed to protect themselves and it will get worse.”
            Who removed it? Who doesn’t allow? How did they get that power? Is not the way it is the way most want it to be? Where is the resistance? If one does not resist or object, isn’t that consent?

        • MamaLiberty
          December 27, 2013 at 11:01 am

          You might become “his servant” if you have abdicated your own responsibility and allowed the “peace keepers” to exercise aggression – to be exempt from the restraints of non-aggression common to all men.

          You can hire anyone to do any job you are justified in doing yourself, or would do if you were able. Not everyone is physically or otherwise able to take care of every detail themselves, and it is as rational to hire a bodyguard or security person as it is to hire a plumber or a doctor. You just don’t hand them a blank check and allow them to control your life.

          Those hired would have no more power or rights to use force than anyone else, and would need to be held accountable by their employers for violations. And if those hired became criminals, then those who hired them would be liable to the victims! They would be as subject to being shot by their intended victims as anyone else.

      • Bauer
        December 25, 2013 at 1:23 pm

        American Colonial law enforcement and Constitutional view of “policing” are very worthwhile objects of study for all here. Modern policing is a bizarre mutation from founding U.S. principles and culture.

        Strongly recommend “ARE COPS CONSTITUTIONAL ? ” at:

        http://www.constitution.org/lrev/roots/cops.htm

    • Tionico
      December 25, 2013 at 3:14 pm

      the Redcoats under General Thomas Gage, on that April morning in 1775, were “just following orders” as they left on a mission…. to disarm the COlonials at Lexington and Concord. Further, those who fired the first volley at Lexington after first giving unlawful orders to the local militia (lay down your arms and disperse…. lay them down so we can seize them, and disperse against the laws guarantteeing your right to peaceably assemble, and to protect your homes and property) fired in direct disobedience to the orders given by their captain Jesse Adair.. do not fire unless commanded to. The Colonial Militia DID obey their rightful orders.. “do not fire unless fired upon”, and also the command by their own Captain John Parker, “disperse” (note the ABSENCE of the command to “lay down your arms”. Of the nine men killed by Redcoat fire that morning at Lexington, half had been shot in the back, as they walked away from the setting and toward their homes.

      It is fitting to note that Captain Parker’s men, after dealing with their dead and wounded, answered the call to re-muster and head out to “adjust the score”. which they did well, at a place known today as “Parker’s Revenge”. THey took up a very defensible position under excellent cover behind large rocks and trees on a hillside overlooking the road by which Gage’s men would have to return to Boston after their mayhem at Concord. At longer range than the Regulars would even engage, Parker’s men rained a withering fire upon Gage’s troops as they approached the ambush…. so far out of the Regulars’ range of fire they were defenseless. Yet the Yankee militia fired with good effect from more than double the maximum range at which the Regulars would engage, then fall back behind their rocks to reload, come out and fire again. The blood of their fellows was spent, but was partially avenged by those who survived.

      Don’t try and make those Regulars, minions of the despotic Kind King George Three, as anything less than abusive enforcers of the king’s unlawful edicts. George was clearly in violation of every one of the Charters his predecessors had granted the Colonials as they left England for the New World., Those Redcoats were ilttle different than the massed troops of our own FedGov who perpetrated the shame of Waco and Ruby Ridge upon innocent Americans who broke no laws.

  35. GilTheAussieClover
    December 25, 2013 at 2:43 am

    CloverGee, “Adam 12″, really? In that show those two crooks for “victimless crimes” (drug dealing) as well get jeered at “being the S.S.” by young Baby Boomers in the early 1970’s. Nonetheless it’s hilarious to hear Libertarians complain that “my only ‘crime’ was to commit a criminal offence”. It remind of Dogbert: “I believe in Karma which means I can mean to anyone who I feel deserves it”.

    • eric
      December 25, 2013 at 7:41 am

      Why must Clovers not only lie – but do so repeatedly?

      You constantly regurgitate the tired old lie that Libertarians believe they are entitled to do anything they wish, implying (and sometimes overtly stating) causing harm to others or their property.

      Of course, as always, you refuse to acknowledge the central Libertarian tenet, which is do not aggress against others.

      It’s incredibly tiresome having to repeat this over and over and over… which may be exactly what your object is. To tire me out, to win not by the logic of your arguments but by arguing nonsense.

      Good luck, Clover.

      • GilThe AussieClover
        December 25, 2013 at 10:55 am

        CloverBecause you are always complaining that you can’t commit “victimless crimes” without being arrested.

        • eric
          December 25, 2013 at 10:59 am

          Indeed, Clover. I will always object to any person being threatened with physical violence for any reason except in self-defense.

          This is a concept apparently too complex for you to deal with.

          • December 25, 2013 at 12:17 pm

            What about forced compensation for real crimes (ie. with victims.) Technically its not “defense” but I believe its still justified.

        • skunkbear
          December 25, 2013 at 12:11 pm

          CLOVER GIL, “victimless crimes” is an oxymoron. And that is the whole point. It really is just that simple.

        • MoT
          December 27, 2013 at 11:39 am

          Of course the supposed “crime” is defined by those with an interest in controlling the lives of others, at the expense of those accused, while maintaining a lifestyle on the victims dime. Let’s be honest here if you will. There are folks, and you happen to be one of them, who’re simply unhappy that some people just don’t “do as they’re told”. You’re simply a dictatorial control freak. Take a good stiff drink, or a doobie, and get over it.

      • December 27, 2013 at 10:01 pm

        I think my mom fell into this same trap today, which aggravated me. I’ll give her the benefit of the doubt and presume it wasn’t a deliberate lie, but it was, at best, a failure to comprehend (To her credit, she doesn’t read sites like this one… the best libertarian theory she gets is from me, and I’ll freely admit that virtually everyone I read, whether yourself, Ron Paul, Lew Rockwell, Walter Block, Laurence Vance, etc. are far more articulate and logical defenders of the libertarian NAP than I am). She also doesn’t care much for politics, which is fine. I can live with that, but not caring much and making fallacies are different issues.

        But… I was talking to my aunt (different one than mentioned before… one who probably agrees with me 95% of the time) and I was pointing out (Now, let me be clear, its possible that I’m missing some actual logical argument here, but none was presented to me) how if violating the speed limit was actually inherently dangerous, it would make no sense to “allow” anbulences to “speed” since doing so would provide a clear danger to the other cars on the road, and it would make no sense to “allow” an ambulence to do that, and very likely crash. But of course, I reasoned, “speeding” is not inherently dangerous and thus the law is absurd. Keep in mind, interestingly enough, I’m the one who actually doesn’t speed when I drive (I’d rather not run afoul of “the law” but its more because I have Aspergers and some coordination issues, so I prefer to be cautious). My mom, on the other hand, does “speed” and always has. Yet, her response to me (Keep in mind that I was not actually talking to her, I was talking to my aunt, so she was interjecting into the conversation) was “David, you need to deal with the fact that we have laws.” Of course, I’ve explained many times that I am not opposed to laws per say, simply laws that punish victimless crimes. Now, she normally has iffy comprehension of complicated concepts, but I don’t see what’s so complicated about “I don’t support all laws, only laws that initiate violence against peaceful people.” I’m significantly smarter and more logical than the average person (I know that came off as cocky, but I don’t know how better to put it), and I’m also not nearly as tied to emotionalism as the average person (Not to mention having deficient social skills), so I have a hard time putting myself in “normal” people’s shoes, or understanding how I think. Is it unreasonable for me to be seriously ticked off here? Normally it doesn’t bother me when she asks me to explain things, makes a logical error, or even happens to disagree with what I view to be an intuitive, logical conclusion (Hey, we’ve all been there before we “woke up”) but I have a hard time understanding how she could seriously say something that ridiculous after having it explained to her before. I also realize that she doesn’t care about politics. If she wants to tune me out while I’m talking to her, that’s fine. But when I’m talking to someone else? I mean, come on. Yet… I live with her, so what am I going to do…

        Despite this, I think my mom still has more common sense than most people in this country (Then again, maybe I’m too easy on her because I love her… when I actually fully flesh out my positions in a discussion with her she usually can’t actually disagree with me but then sometimes says I’m “missing the bigger picture” or something like that.) Yet, I’d instantly dismiss as an idiot anyone who said something like that on the internet, especially after having it explained to them (I could probably have a little grace if the person had never had the NAP explained to them, but I know pretty much everyone I know has, at least once…)

        I don’t know if I really had a point here, I guess I’m just taking an opportunity to complain among the like-minded (at least mostly of similar mind, at any rate). How do you deal with people like this, people that you actually care about (As opposed to internet idiots who can be dismissed as such) that are at least partially “clovers”. Ugh, so frustrating. Is it better to completely avoid political conversation in her presence, keep trying to get her to “see the light”, or just deal with the fact that I’ll have to deal with this type of crap on occasion?

    • ЯΞ√ΩLUT↑☼N
      December 25, 2013 at 6:20 pm

      You seem to know and love only Statutes Gil, where the Constitution, Common Law and Charter of Civil and Human Rights overrule them at all stages.

      A Right cannot be abrogated and converted into a crime, but your precious Statutes ignore this.

      Section 76 of our (Oz) Constitution allows Parliament to make Statutes (Laws/Acts), however there’s no provision in our Constitution that these “Laws” be obeyed (gasp!). Go look for it Gil – you won’t find a reference anywhere.

      This means that there’s no valid Law or Act that can bind a flesh and blood human being to a Statute unless that human wishes to be so bound. If you can find otherwise Gil, I’d like you to point it out for all of us to see.

      Note that there’s also no provision in our Constitution for a police force (gasp! again) – meaning that Australia’s police force (in every state) is Un-Constitutional and a privately owned entity!

      Further, our Constitution begins with the preamble “Be it therefore enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty.. etc.”, which is the Queen’s Assent – which ALL actual laws must have – because we’re still a Monarchy as per the 1999 referendum. None of your precious Statutes have the Queen’s Assent and are therefore illegal and void.

      How did we get into this mess Gil? By caving into the idea that Parliamentary expletives are the only law, supported by the likes of you.

      Don’t worry Gil, I’m sure you’ve been pulled up by the Un-Constitutional police force and had your wallet raped and been personally threatened by the very thugs and Statutes you admire.

      In closing – don’t argue shit you don’t know the first thing about.

      • December 26, 2013 at 9:40 am

        ..exactly, and you haven’t even mentioned Free Will. Laws that violate the protected rights ofthe people are invalid by default, the fact that they get compliance is because idiots dont know they have the right to refuse.

        Yank lll

        • Gil
          December 28, 2013 at 12:35 am

          CloverFeel free to use that argument when you’re hauled into court.

          • eric
            December 28, 2013 at 5:44 am

            Soviet prosecutor Andrey Vyshinsky of Moscow Show Trial fame would agree with you, of course.

            The thing is, Clover from Down Under, we’re talking ethical principles – right and wrong – as opposed to “the law.”

            You take the position – the Cloveritic foundational premise – that right and “the law” are synonymous and therefore, any violation of “the law” is an ethical violation.

            My position – the position of most Libertarians and anarchists, is that “the law” is very often at odds with right – and therefore, it is an ethical violation (wrong) to support or obey or enforce it.

            All this has been elaborated here – and to you – at length on multiple prior occasions. I realize you’re here to disrupt and troll, but I have responded to your shopworn cliches for the benefit of the new people here.

          • December 30, 2013 at 3:34 pm

            Most of the time this is more gray than you imply that it is, at least in theory. For instance, I was talking to my aunt recently about that drone strike that murdered 15 people in Yemen, and she agreed with me that it was horiffic. Yet when I pointed out that this was why I did not “Support the troops” she said the individuals in the army (I’m not sure if the drone killers are technically part of the “Army” or not, but that was how she said it… but ultimately it doesn’t really matter which branch of the legalized mafia that it was) had to follow the orders they were given. I pointed out to her that the Nazis who slaughtered Jews could have said the same thing, and she admitted I had a point.

            Similarly (Although this is a somewhat lower stakes issue) some conservatives think its wrong not to “pay taxes” but yet they hold that the taxes are too high. Personally, I’d pay ‘em just to avoid risking arrest or causing anyone else to stumble, although my stance changes dramatically when it comes to doing something immoral, like murdering people in some foreign country, or what have you.

            At any rate… there’s often some nuance between always supporting the law and always ignoring the law. Most people are probably somewhere in between.

    • Ed
      December 26, 2013 at 3:39 am

      Once upon a time, under common law, there had to be a victim in order for there to be a crime. This is a very good criteria to consider when serving on a jury. Having read our US Constitution several times, I have yet to find anything mentioned about what We the People are permitted to ingest, so I assume this matter is left to the states, or to the people themselves. In other words, none of the gov’t’s durn business. Period.

      • Eightsouthman
        December 26, 2013 at 1:50 pm

        Ed, I have a pocket Constitution but now that the Supremes and congress both say it’s not relevant I don’t carry it much. When it’s legal to pull someone over in this state because their license plate doesn’t show ALL the cotton boll or All the pumpjack(these symbols are on the outside border, have nothing to do with being able to read the plate) then the Constitution has been replaced by an overzealous judicial system. Only people I hate worse than cops are prosecutors and judges but not necessarily in that order.

        • December 26, 2013 at 3:25 pm

          Please read your pocket constitution and find the section that allows or enables the SCOTUS or any other court the power to interpret anything within the bill of rights or the constitution ?
          You will find your answer in Article 3 Section 2.. key words being “arising under this constitution”.
          That concept itself is illegal but was connived into being by corrupt lawyers, judges and politicians.. they have No Authority at all and therefore any ruling they make is illegal and unconstitutional.
          The constitution was designed to restrict the power of government so ask yourselves why on earth the founders would give them a way to rewrite their intent and remove the restrictions ? The only enforcement you have of your rights is what you yourself are willing to do to keep them. The constitution is written to identify and list the rights the people own as a gift of God, without permission from anyone, all that Americans have to do is enforce it on those who corrupt it.

          Yank lll

          • eric
            December 27, 2013 at 6:44 am

            Hi Yank,

            There is pretty compelling evidence that the Constitution was deliberately written to facilitate limitless (in principle) federal power over the states – over everyone. Hamilton – the prime mover behind the secret conclave that birthed this document – was a brilliant man and lawyer who knew exactly what he was doing when he and his fellows included such purposefully nebulous terms as “general welfare” in the text. His object – which he never tried to hide – was to create an “energetic” (his word) central government. He, almost alone, connived the federal government’s assumption of the individual states’ war debts – so as to facilitate a federal debt that would lead to federal taxing authority. He laid all the groundwork for the income tax – among many such achievements.

            My point being: The Articles of Confederation were anathema to the agitators for an omnipotent central government – Hamilton, Washington, Adams, Jay, Marshall. These men were not believers in liberty for the individual as we understand it; i.e., self ownership, the NAP. They wanted power for themselves, to rule and control the population, to direct along lines they believed best – perhaps “benevolently” – but rule and control and direct nonetheless.

            Even Jefferson – a man I greatly admire – betrayed the beautiful words he wrote in 1776 when he became Dear Leader.

          • MoT
            December 27, 2013 at 11:45 am

            Spooner said as much over a hundred years ago.

  36. December 25, 2013 at 1:36 am

    Hi Eric, and Merry Christmas.

    I was thinking through some of your statements, and I kind of feel the same way I felt before. Namely: I mostly agree with you, but with a little bit of nuance (I swear, the only place I seem sympathetic in any way to cops is here. I am known for being EXTREMELY “anti-cop” everywhere else).

    For instance, this paragraph:

    Instead, they enforce the law. Any law – all laws. As relentlessly, as remorselessly as their historical counterparts. They kick in doors and frog march people out of their homes at gunpoint (as in Boston) and elsewhere. They subject minor traffic scofflaws and even those who have scoffed no laws at all to repeated anal-digital (and vaginal digital) rape. They beat up – and murder – 13-year-olds. They summarily execute people’s pets (here and here). Always in the name of “doing their jobs.” And always without remorse. The prior linked-to items are not the exceptions. They are fast becoming the rule – the new normal. I’ve cataloged several hundred examples (see here).

    I agree that these abuses are awful, and that cops get away with them far too often. The problem is the implication that all cops do these things… that these abuses are a necessary part of the job. As far as I understand it, this is not the case. SOME cops do these things, but not all.

    That’s not to completely excuse those cops who don’t do things like that, just to put things into perspective. Its one thing for a cop to pull someone over and hand them a ticket, its another thing to pull them over and then shoot at their minivan full of kids when they try to drive off. I always put “good cop” in parenthesis because I know that ultimately they all do bad things, but I think there are different degrees of “bad”.

    In addition to that, I still don’t think you can put ALL the blame on the cops for this kind of stuff. Certainly they are to blame to some degree, but its not just them. Most people, whether they personally choose to be cops or not, support a number of these bad laws that clearly have no victim. So, if you are going to say that no cop is a “good person” I think you really have to say the same thing about people that support the cops and the laws they enforce. I don’t really think of people in terms of good and bad (My theology teaches that everyone is bad) but I think you know what I’m getting at. But to demonize the people who enforce the laws without similarly demonizing those who propagandize and teach that these laws are a “Good thing” doesn’t really make sense, IMO.

    And if you take this line of thinking to its logical conclusion, how the heck do you stay sane? This isn’t a rhetorical question, its a very, very serious one.

    I probably agree with you a little more than this post shows as well. I’m kind of playing devil’s advocate in order to get a better handle on exactly what I believe and why.

    • December 25, 2013 at 2:19 am

      I don’t think anybody here would argue with you if you say that badness comes in degrees. Clearly the cop standing in the road directing traffic is less bad than the cop kicking down your door and setting your daughter on fire with a grenade. But the difference isn’t “good vs. bad” — it’s “bad vs. horror show.”

      Personally, yes, I also believe that the people who support the existence of the “law enforcement” machine are also to blame. But, again, lending ideological support to evil is less bad an act than actually *doing* the evil. It’s still bad, mind you, but it’s less bad.

      As for how I stay sane while believing these things, well, it’s because I believe that this is not the natural state of things. It takes an enormous government indoctrination apparatus to convince people to think and act this way, and said apparatus is monstrously expensive and very very fragile. Sooner or later, it *will* collapse. What comes next? That’s up to us.

      • December 25, 2013 at 5:54 am

        It takes an enormous government indoctrination apparatus to convince people to think and act this way …

        No, actually. People usually only have difficulty with it when they are doing it to their own, but none at all when they are doing it to the “other” – and now, that is just precisely how U.S. police regard everybody else. Getting them detached like that didn’t take an enormous government indoctrination apparatus either, just some setting changes and the lapse of time. Their only problem lies in the risk of escalating costs as, when and if general consent is withdrawn – but that is only a problem when they face other troubles as well, the way King Charles I did before the Civil War.

        • eric
          December 25, 2013 at 7:16 am

          Indeed, PM.

          To put it in rough but accurate terms: We’re all sandniggers now.

          Blowback.

          We (that is, the government and those who support it) send “the troops” to occupy foreign countries on shabby pretexts, use them to cow and even brutalize the population… and then wonder how it can be that these same “troops” (and mindset) have made their way here, to cow and brutalize us in turn.

          • BrentP
            December 25, 2013 at 2:04 pm

            I read an article some time ago that used the line ‘We are all indigs now’. That is the indigenous population of some occupied territory.

          • Boothe
            December 25, 2013 at 9:17 pm

            Eric – I don’t don’t doubt that some of the statophiles wonder about how the police state has come to pass here in the “homeland” (or would that be fatherland?). But the gun-vernment itself? Pu-leeease! They know exactly what they are doing and it is by design. Sending troops into a foreign country to run roughshod over the populace and steal their natural resources is “training” for what they are expected to do here. This is why our progenitors gave us the Second Amendment. When we can no longer reason with, plead with or negotiate with our herders, we will have the means to visit them with something they understand: violence. I can understand that the 27% that “go along to get along” are just unthinkingly following orders and “enforcing the law.”

            But the real psychopaths, the six-percent, know exactly what they are doing and are counting on the rest of us NOT to know nor to inform the rest of the sheeple. Not only is it up to us to know, educate and inform, it is also up to us to provide the PTB with sufficient incentive to back down. I know it it cliche’, but freedom really isn’t free. Soon, we will be presented with the bill. Do we dispute the presentment or do we march meekly off to debtor’s prison? Time will tell.

          • BrentP
            December 26, 2013 at 1:42 am

            Ever notice how socially unacceptable it is to question or dispel a cultural myth? I think this is key top the psychopath/sociopath’s political power. They create social myths which the vast majority fall for and believe. Those who don’t get conned have an uphill battle to effect change.

            • eric
              December 26, 2013 at 6:19 am

              Very true, Brent –

              One of the small perks of growing older is that one can actually witness the shift in acceptability (or not) of various myths – and the way most people obediently fall into line with whatever the new orthodoxy happens to be.

        • goldhoarder
          December 25, 2013 at 12:50 pm

          You are wrong. The massive indoctrination camp you are talking about is the public school educational system.

    • eric
      December 25, 2013 at 7:28 am

      Hi David,

      You wrote:

      “The problem is the implication that all cops do these things… that these abuses are a necessary part of the job.”

      But it’s not an implication. It is a fact.

      Every single cop enforces innumerable statutes that amount to victimless crimes (that is, non-crimes). Every single one is obligated to do things such as man “your papers, please” random checkpoints – the thing that defines a police state even more so than lining up people in front of a mass grave and shooting them in the back of the head. Because the former necessarily precedes the latter.

      It is simply not possible for a man to be a “good cop” – because the laws he must enforce are overwhelmingly bad.

      • December 25, 2013 at 10:43 am

        Eric, I liked the article. I really did. But in its current form, I don’t think I could use it as an educational tool for the uneducated because of the one paragraph I mentioned.

        The way you wrote your post implies that ALL cops subject people to anal or digital rape for minor traffic offenses, shoot peoples pets, break into their homes without good reason, etc. Certainly these abuses are very real, and all too prevalent, but that doesn’t mean its something every cop does. As I’ve mentioned before, I know a police captain… if I showed him the article as currently written, he’d protest that not every cop does those things… and he’d be right. Again, that’s NOT to say that the everyday actions of cops are acceptable, only that they differ in degree, and deliberateness.

        Making it out like every cop does the things in that paragraph, when it is almost certainly not true (I understand that a negative like this cannot truly be proven) isn’t going to help.

        Again, I know what you’re getting at, but assuming your intent is at least to some degree to educate well-meaning cops and the supporters of well-meaning cops (Maybe that’s a better term than “good” in quotes… well-meaning…) I would either give some kind of proof that that paragraph actually applies to all cops, or specify that you mean “some” and then get into the fact that even cops who DON’T do those kinds of things violate the NAP by (Insert more mundane activities here.)

        That said, I agree with you that there’s no way to justify the actions that cops take. I just don’t see any point in presuming that all cops are “horrible people” and thus appropriately refusing to associate with any of them… while still continuing to be on good terms with people who support the cops. That seems hypocritical to me… although admittedly, you didn’t actually say it, so maybe I’m reading more into what you are saying than I should.

        Just out of curiosity, Eric, do you know any cops (personally)? Have you ever?

        • eric
          December 25, 2013 at 10:48 am

          David,

          What cop does not participate in a “drug” raid when so ordered? Will not insist – at gunpoint – that you “buckle up for safety”? Or that you wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle (or bicycle)? Will not throw you in a cage for any of countless “offenses” that involve no harm done to any other person or their property? Do they not man “your papers, please” Soviet-style checkpoints? And what will they do to you – to anyone – who does not stop/refuses to play ball and submit to a random, probable cause-free stop and interrogation? Every one of these things is a routine thing that every cop does as a matter of routine. They routinely, on a daily basis, violate innocent people’s right to be left in peace. That they don’t all commit strip search rape is immaterial. The rape of our rights is of a piece – and leads to the actual physical rape. Keep in mind, they have the legal authority to forcible strip search everyone “taken into custody” – no matter how trivial the reason. This includes minor traffic offenses. Fact.
          Whether the power is actually exercised immaterial. The fact that they can do so – legally – is monstrously threatening in and of itself.

          For a cop, “the law” is all that’s relevant. It must be – else he will not retain his job as a cop for very long.

          Yes, I have known cops. They’re often personable, friendly and seem like nice guys. But I am not under any illusion that these guys would arrest me all the same if – for instance – they became aware that I had “illegal drugs” on my person. And so on.

          Do you really believe otherwise?

          • dom
            December 25, 2013 at 10:58 am

            The answer to all your questions in the first paragraph is “a good cop.”

          • December 25, 2013 at 12:42 pm

            I have no doubt. I have no doubt that plenty of people who I know would call the cops for the same reason (“illegal” drugs.) Most people don’t have a clue about logic, which is aggravating.

            Here’s the thing I’m getting at though. I’ll give you a real life example to illustrate the point:

            I was talking to my aunt about seat belt laws, and she argued in favor of them because: “What if you get into an accident and then you get paralyzed and somebody has to take care of you.”

            I of course responded that that should be up to the person’s family, or other individuals, and that the POSSIBILITY that that might happen is no excuse for coercion. Most people can’t stomach that though, because of the “What if”. I can’t imagine the founders of the country standing for that kind of logic, but most people today do. She did not buy my logic.

            A few minutes later, Obamacare came up and my aunt was rightfully identifying it as stupid. I explained that the liberals use the same logic to defend Obamacare as she used to defend seat belt laws.

            Unfortunately, she refused to seriously think about the issue. Most people are not serious debaters.

            Most people take the “if its a bad law, change it, but the law is the law” attitude, and refuse to blame law enforcement.

            For what its worth, another aunt said something along those lines, so I asked what of the Nazi Germans?

            She responded “Well, then don’t be a cop” which was unfortunately intended to dismiss the conversation. She didn’t realize how right her statement would have been had she meant it literally.

            Most people, cop or not, don’t think critically about the violence they support.

            I don’t know what to say beyond “people suck.”

            If we were in a situation where people hated soldiers and cops, I might feel differently about it, but as it is I find the worshippers even more disgusting than the pawns. I don’t like any of them, but I try to recognize that most people just don’t care about freedom…

            • eric
              December 25, 2013 at 1:43 pm

              Hi David,

              I am also disgusted with people who support the things you describe. But it’s a one-up to actually choose to be the guy who enforces these edicts. Who – literally – fingers his gun to make you “buckle up.” Who will literally draw it and quite possibly shoot you down like a dog for attempting to evade his “safety” checkpoint. Who actually kicks in people’s doors, kidnaps and cages them.

          • BrentP
            December 25, 2013 at 2:49 pm

            David, your post about the seat belt law conversation brought something to the front of my mind. Force begets force. The government forces others to care for people who make decisions that harm themselves, then because of that they start forcing people to make ‘good’ choices… over time it just piles on layer by layer.

            That’s probably how it works for most people. But for those wealthy folks who want to build their vision of utopia nobody has to look further than the company town utopias, the corporate parental mentality of the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Somewhat different means to the same ends.

          • December 25, 2013 at 2:59 pm

            I of course pointed out that the government shouldn’t be taking care of people. The response: So do you just leave them on an island to die?

            My response is, essentially, that wouldn’t be the best thing, but nobody has the right to FORCE anyone to take care of someone else.

            We’ve been conditioned out of the acceptance of this concept.

            Its ridiculous, and it drives me nuts. Most people just shake their heads.

            • eric
              December 25, 2013 at 3:16 pm

              Hi Dave,

              I always reply: Only people can take care of people. There is no such thing as “government” – in other than an abstract sense. As far as “helping.” It’s an oxymoron when force is involved.

              If force is involved, it is wealth transfer, extortion, theft, slavery.

              But not help.

              Because when force is involved, someone else is necessarily hurt to provide the help. It is done under duress, against the “helper’s” will.

              This fosters a meanness in people. They grow to resent and fear one another – understandably. And – far worse – they take a keen interest in meddling with other people’s lives since, after all, those other people’s lives are now forcibly intertwined with theirs.

              A Cloveritic society is a society of hyenas.

      • anarchyst
        December 25, 2013 at 11:19 am

        The “thin blue line” protects the bad cops. My relatives who are cops cannot understand my dislike for many “practices” that they consider “normal”. Attempts to engage them in Constitutional principles are met with deaf ears. THE LAW IS WHATEVER THEY SAY THE LAW IS.
        Their unwavering allegiance to those (bad) cops who exhibit “abnormal” life-threatening behavior (to us mundanes) and their “making excuses” for such aberrant behavior is sickening.
        You see, all police officers’ ultimate goal is to make it to retirement with as little friction as possible. In many departments, it is possible to retire after 30 years AND to start collecting Social Security at age 55–NOT 66 like the rest of us. In addition, disability claims (too many career lifetime donuts) quite often enable them to live a much ore comfortable life than most of us taxpayers who provide these “centurions” with their comfortable lifestyle.
        Police work is not inherently dangerous IF they follow Constitutional principles.
        The militarization of police forces is another big problem. Police departments routinely recruit former military and do very little to change the “us vs. them” mindset that is a staple of military (combat) service.
        In fact, most department actually admire their “special” status and encourage such behavior with “no-knock” midnight SWAT raids and other unconstitutional behavior.
        A small point (but valid, nevertheless) is that EVEN THE NAZIS KNOCKED ON THE DOOR BEFORE GAINING ENTRY.

    • kirk
      December 25, 2013 at 10:11 am

      ‘good cops’ would rise and demand that ‘bad cops’ be expunged and tried for their crimes. ignoring this is the the beginning of the road from ‘good cop’ to ‘bad cop’ and the individual goes downhill from there, each acceptance of what he knows to be wrong thickening the ‘plexiglas between his mind and his conscience’.

    • Ed
      December 26, 2013 at 3:33 am

      My problem is that the “good” cops, and assorted other “public servants” as well, are acutely aware of the actions of their “bad” fellows, and neither do or say anything about it. This moves the “good” ones firmly into the “bad” camp… “Birds of a feather”, don’tcha know…

    • MamaLiberty
      December 27, 2013 at 10:31 am

      If you put a cup full of horse manure into a gallon of ice cream, is the ice cream still edible? How about half a cup? A tablespoon full? At what point is the ice cream acceptable with ANY horse manure in it? How about if you can’t personally taste it and can ignore the fact that there is probably manure in it?

      The problem isn’t one of proportion or relative evil. The problem is that most people don’t seem to understand that they are the only ones who have any legitimate authority over their lives and property, that they are responsible for their own actions and choices, responsible for their own safety and security. They have been conditioned to believe that government (at any level) actually has legitimate authority to take that responsibility – to relieve them of it – and so they go along with it even when they object to the excesses or outright evil.

      And so, that abdication of self ownership and personal responsibility puts the manure in the ice cream, and it doesn’t matter how much or how little of it is present. It poisons the entire gallon every time, regardless of anyone’s motives or goodness.

      For a much better understanding of this topic, The Most Dangerous Superstition, by Larken Rose is an excellent read. Available from Amazon here: https://tinyurl.com/kzkpqkj

      • Tor Minotaur
        December 27, 2013 at 10:51 am

        There are 100 milligrams of poop in the average pair of American underwear. Most people never learn the first lesson of childhood, to properly wipe themselves, much less all the subsequent lessons we erroneously assume we’ve learned.

        Americans seem better at acting in Hygienic Theater, than they are at actually achieving and maintaining good hygiene. (Though stronger immunity and greater tolerance may yield greater advantage than cleanliness biologically speaking)

        Everything You Know About Your Personal Hygiene Is Wrong
        http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/08/personal-hygiene-facts_n_4217839.html

        • MoT
          December 27, 2013 at 11:31 am

          Interesting article, most of it didn’t tell me anything new, but it’s the responses that prove to me over and over again that the “popular” sites are filled to overflowing with gibbering asshats.

          As someone who lives with a Japanese wife, and can attest through years of living in Japan, just the simple act of removing ones shoes helps in keeping ones house clean. Duh! Think about it: you walk through streets and parking lots where idiots routinely spit upon, restrooms covered in god knows what, playgrounds and sandboxes with feline and canine feces, and then you tromp through your carpeted house with said shoes and place little baby Simon upon the same to play koochie koochie koo!. So leave the shoes at the door and at least minimize the threat.

  37. Joey Bolz
    December 25, 2013 at 1:33 am

    I’d like to see an article on developing a strategy for delivering messages like this to the purported good cops and wannabe protectors. Maybe I’ll just print this article in multiple and carry a copy with me to give to the next clown that pulls me over for not wearing a seat belt.

    • December 25, 2013 at 1:39 am

      At the very least, a lot of them think they are good. Again, I don’t think they really are (At least not “good cops”, “good people” and it gets a little trickier, due to all the conditioning), but they think they are. There has to be a better way than just calling them “pigs” or otherwise personally insulting them. Similarly, despite the fact that I view anyone who kills in a foreign war as a murderer, there has to be a better way of reasoning with the regime’s pawns than what was done after Vietnam.

      • eric
        December 25, 2013 at 7:23 am

        Hi David,

        I will concede that many of them have been indoctrinated and conditioned to such an extent that they really do believe they are “doing good.” I’ve spoken with many who, for instance, are very passionate about their support for the “war” on some drugs.

        But their passion does not absolve them. Nor, frankly, their stupidity (as in the case of those unable to grasp the ethical disconnect of themselves drinking a lawful beer to relax after work, then going back to work the next day and caging people for relaxing with an unlawful marijuana cigarette).

        I have no doubt the German soldier or staats polizei manning a “your papers, please” checkpoint also honestly believed he was “keeping us safe” (so to speak).

        It did not in any way absolve him – and it does not absolve his latter-day successors, either.

  38. Inconsistencies
    December 24, 2013 at 3:56 pm

    I really enjoy these articles about the brave clowns in uniform.

    Have a merry Christmas, Eric.

    P.S. I saw the pics of your Pontiac. Awesome.

    • eric
      December 24, 2013 at 4:53 pm

      Thanks, Brian – and you, too!

      • Federalist45
        December 26, 2013 at 5:08 pm

        If I am not mistaken, the State does not exercise rights. Rather, it exercises power. The People grant certain, limited power to the State and reserves power to itself through individual rights, or liberties. When the State acts, it acts under authority, or power, granted to it by The People. It has no rights. Only power, or authority. The People have rights vis-a-vis the LIMITED, ENUMERATED power of the State.

        • idmtman
          December 26, 2013 at 6:34 pm

          Yes the state exercises power, but the main thing to remember is that if you do not have the power to do something to someone in your own capacity IE: take from A right’s/property to give to B because of security/need’s you can not give that non-power to government to act on your behalf. So most if not all “laws” are repugnant to the Constitution, if no harm is caused no tort is committed.

          • mikefromwichita
            December 30, 2013 at 9:09 am

            “So most if not all “laws” are repugnant to the Constitution, if no harm is caused no tort is committed.”

            idmtman is somewhat correct regarding the Federals though the enumerated Powers in The Constitution really don’t read as an approved libertarian laundry list of acceptable State actions. In truth the Powers granted to the several States in their constitutions are not at all libertarian but rather the rough concensus of what the electorate wants their State to be. While it may be easy to make the case that State/local cops are thugs per libertarian theory it is much harder to make the case that the several State constitutions are being wholesale violated.

            • eric
              December 30, 2013 at 9:18 am

              “the rough concensus of what the electorate wants their State to be..”

              Translation: Some people arrogating power to themselves in the name of a collective (“the people,” “the state”) and asserting this power to dictate to other people how they shall live and what they may and may not do.

              It’s a shibboleth that needs to be thrown in the woods.

              Groups are abstractions; they have no real existence – and thus, have no rights.

              Only actual living individual people have rights. And these rights are not subject to a vote.

        • JdL
          December 26, 2013 at 8:12 pm

          When the State acts, it acts under authority, or power, granted to it by The People. It has no rights.

          You speak, of course, of a theoretical State, not the abomination we have lording it over us today.

        • Bobbye
          December 26, 2013 at 8:36 pm

          @Federalist45:
          A revolution was fought and won and the Redcoats were thrown out. Then another war was fought between the Federalist, who desired a strong federal government, and the Anti-federalist, who desired liberty above all and thus desired a weak federal government. Well the Federalists won and thus America was cursed with the Constitution, the only redeeming value being the Bill of Rights which the Anti-federalists were able to compromise into the document. It is of course the Bill of Rights that all of the fighting has been over since 1789. The handle ‘Federalist45′ says all that need be known about your Politics.

          • Federalist45
            December 27, 2013 at 8:39 pm

            The Federalist No. 45

            Alleged Danger From the Powers of the Union to the State Governments Considered

            Independent Journal
            Saturday, January 26, 1788
            [James Madison]

            To the People of the State of New York:

            HAVING shown that no one of the powers transferred to the federal government is unnecessary or improper, the next question to be considered is, whether the whole mass of them will be dangerous to the portion of authority left in the several States.

            The adversaries to the plan of the convention, instead of considering in the first place what degree of power was absolutely necessary for the purposes of the federal government, have exhausted themselves in a secondary inquiry into the possible consequences of the proposed degree of power to the governments of the particular States. But if the Union, as has been shown, be essential to the security of the people of America against foreign danger; if it be essential to their security against contentions and wars among the different States; if it be essential to guard them against those violent and oppressive factions which embitter the blessings of liberty, and against those military establishments which must gradually poison its very fountain; if, in a word, the Union be essential to the happiness of the people of America, is it not preposterous, to urge as an objection to a government, without which the objects of the Union cannot be attained, that such a government may derogate from the importance of the governments of the individual States? Was, then, the American Revolution effected, was the American Confederacy formed, was the precious blood of thousands spilt, and the hard-earned substance of millions lavished, not that the people of America should enjoy peace, liberty, and safety, but that the government of the individual States, that particular municipal establishments, might enjoy a certain extent of power, and be arrayed with certain dignities and attributes of sovereignty? We have heard of the impious doctrine in the Old World, that the people were made for kings, not kings for the people. Is the same doctrine to be revived in the New, in another shape that the solid happiness of the people is to be sacrificed to the views of political institutions of a different form? It is too early for politicians to presume on our forgetting that the public good, the real welfare of the great body of the people, is the supreme object to be pursued; and that no form of government whatever has any other value than as it may be fitted for the attainment of this object. Were the plan of the convention adverse to the public happiness, my voice would be, Reject the plan. Were the Union itself inconsistent with the public happiness, it would be, Abolish the Union. In like manner, as far as the sovereignty of the States cannot be reconciled to the happiness of the people, the voice of every good citizen must be, Let the former be sacrificed to the latter. How far the sacrifice is necessary, has been shown. How far the unsacrificed residue will be endangered, is the question before us.

            Several important considerations have been touched in the course of these papers, which discountenance the supposition that the operation of the federal government will by degrees prove fatal to the State governments. The more I revolve the subject, the more fully I am persuaded that the balance is much more likely to be disturbed by the preponderancy of the last than of the first scale.

            We have seen, in all the examples of ancient and modern confederacies, the strongest tendency continually betraying itself in the members, to despoil the general government of its authorities, with a very ineffectual capacity in the latter to defend itself against the encroachments. Although, in most of these examples, the system has been so dissimilar from that under consideration as greatly to weaken any inference concerning the latter from the fate of the former, yet, as the States will retain, under the proposed Constitution, a very extensive portion of active sovereignty, the inference ought not to be wholly disregarded. In the Achaean league it is probable that the federal head had a degree and species of power, which gave it a considerable likeness to the government framed by the convention. The Lycian Confederacy, as far as its principles and form are transmitted, must have borne a still greater analogy to it. Yet history does not inform us that either of them ever degenerated, or tended to degenerate, into one consolidated government. On the contrary, we know that the ruin of one of them proceeded from the incapacity of the federal authority to prevent the dissensions, and finally the disunion, of the subordinate authorities. These cases are the more worthy of our attention, as the external causes by which the component parts were pressed together were much more numerous and powerful than in our case; and consequently less powerful ligaments within would be sufficient to bind the members to the head, and to each other.

            In the feudal system, we have seen a similar propensity exemplified. Notwithstanding the want of proper sympathy in every instance between the local sovereigns and the people, and the sympathy in some instances between the general sovereign and the latter, it usually happened that the local sovereigns prevailed in the rivalship for encroachments. Had no external dangers enforced internal harmony and subordination, and particularly, had the local sovereigns possessed the affections of the people, the great kingdoms in Europe would at this time consist of as many independent princes as there were formerly feudatory barons.

            The State governments will have the advantage of the Federal government, whether we compare them in respect to the immediate dependence of the one on the other; to the weight of personal influence which each side will possess; to the powers respectively vested in them; to the predilection and probable support of the people; to the disposition and faculty of resisting and frustrating the measures of each other.

            The State governments may be regarded as constituent and essential parts of the federal government; whilst the latter is nowise essential to the operation or organization of the former. Without the intervention of the State legislatures, the President of the United States cannot be elected at all. They must in all cases have a great share in his appointment, and will, perhaps, in most cases, of themselves determine it. The Senate will be elected absolutely and exclusively by the State legislatures. Even the House of Representatives, though drawn immediately from the people, will be chosen very much under the influence of that class of men, whose influence over the people obtains for themselves an election into the State legislatures. Thus, each of the principal branches of the federal government will owe its existence more or less to the favor of the State governments, and must consequently feel a dependence, which is much more likely to beget a disposition too obsequious than too overbearing towards them. On the other side, the component parts of the State governments will in no instance be indebted for their appointment to the direct agency of the federal government, and very little, if at all, to the local influence of its members.

            The number of individuals employed under the Constitution of the United States will be much smaller than the number employed under the particular States. There will consequently be less of personal influence on the side of the former than of the latter. The members of the legislative, executive, and judiciary departments of thirteen and more States, the justices of peace, officers of militia, ministerial officers of justice, with all the county, corporation, and town officers, for three millions and more of people, intermixed, and having particular acquaintance with every class and circle of people, must exceed, beyond all proportion, both in number and influence, those of every description who will be employed in the administration of the federal system. Compare the members of the three great departments of the thirteen States, excluding from the judiciary department the justices of peace, with the members of the corresponding departments of the single government of the Union; compare the militia officers of three millions of people with the military and marine officers of any establishment which is within the compass of probability, or, I may add, of possibility, and in this view alone, we may pronounce the advantage of the States to be decisive. If the federal government is to have collectors of revenue, the State governments will have theirs also. And as those of the former will be principally on the seacoast, and not very numerous, whilst those of the latter will be spread over the face of the country, and will be very numerous, the advantage in this view also lies on the same side. It is true, that the Confederacy is to possess, and may exercise, the power of collecting internal as well as external taxes throughout the States; but it is probable that this power will not be resorted to, except for supplemental purposes of revenue; that an option will then be given to the States to supply their quotas by previous collections of their own; and that the eventual collection, under the immediate authority of the Union, will generally be made by the officers, and according to the rules, appointed by the several States. Indeed it is extremely probable, that in other instances, particularly in the organization of the judicial power, the officers of the States will be clothed with the correspondent authority of the Union. Should it happen, however, that separate collectors of internal revenue should be appointed under the federal government, the influence of the whole number would not bear a comparison with that of the multitude of State officers in the opposite scale. Within every district to which a federal collector would be allotted, there would not be less than thirty or forty, or even more, officers of different descriptions, and many of them persons of character and weight, whose influence would lie on the side of the State.

            The powers delegated by the proposed Constitution to the federal government, are few and defined. Those which are to remain in the State governments are numerous and indefinite. The former will be exercised principally on external objects, as war, peace, negotiation, and foreign commerce; with which last the power of taxation will, for the most part, be connected. The powers reserved to the several States will extend to all the objects which, in the ordinary course of affairs, concern the lives, liberties, and properties of the people, and the internal order, improvement, and prosperity of the State.

            The operations of the federal government will be most extensive and important in times of war and danger; those of the State governments, in times of peace and security. As the former periods will probably bear a small proportion to the latter, the State governments will here enjoy another advantage over the federal government. The more adequate, indeed, the federal powers may be rendered to the national defense, the less frequent will be those scenes of danger which might favor their ascendancy over the governments of the particular States.

            If the new Constitution be examined with accuracy and candor, it will be found that the change which it proposes consists much less in the addition of NEW POWERS to the Union, than in the invigoration of its ORIGINAL POWERS. The regulation of commerce, it is true, is a new power; but that seems to be an addition which few oppose, and from which no apprehensions are entertained. The powers relating to war and peace, armies and fleets, treaties and finance, with the other more considerable powers, are all vested in the existing Congress by the articles of Confederation. The proposed change does not enlarge these powers; it only substitutes a more effectual mode of administering them. The change relating to taxation may be regarded as the most important; and yet the present Congress have as complete authority to REQUIRE of the States indefinite supplies of money for the common defense and general welfare, as the future Congress will have to require them of individual citizens; and the latter will be no more bound than the States themselves have been, to pay the quotas respectively taxed on them. Had the States complied punctually with the articles of Confederation, or could their compliance have been enforced by as peaceable means as may be used with success towards single persons, our past experience is very far from countenancing an opinion, that the State governments would have lost their constitutional powers, and have gradually undergone an entire consolidation. To maintain that such an event would have ensued, would be to say at once, that the existence of the State governments is incompatible with any system whatever that accomplishes the essental purposes of the Union.

            PUBLIUS

        • eric
          December 27, 2013 at 6:22 am

          Hi Federalist,

          This touches on an error (conscious or not) in the thought of the Founders: There is no “people.” It is as much a fiction, a rhetorical sleight-of-hand, as “society” (and so on). There are only individuals, each of whom has the same rights, which they have no right to take away from any other individual – via the ballot box or otherwise.

          The “people” have no more right to steal or kidnap or murder than any individual does. And the “people” is never the whole people – everyone in the community, a unanimous sanction – or even (usually) a large majority. It is almost always a relative minority (as in the case of every modern presidential election, where slightly more than half the eligible voters determine the outcome; i.e., about 26 percent of the voting age population) so even the shibboleth of “democracy” is a lie as well as a fraud.

          • Federalist45
            December 27, 2013 at 8:44 pm

            “We the People, in order to form a more perfect union. . .”

            The People are the individual human beings making up society AND the people making up the sovereign states in the union. I do not disagree with you, but The People most certainly was a conceptual entity of the combined people and sovereign states exercising all power and delegating some small portion of that power through the ENUMERATED powers to the Central Government.

            The People existed and can again exist, at least conceptually.

          • Bevin
            December 28, 2013 at 3:42 am

            Dear Fed45,

            You wrote,

            “When the State acts, it acts under authority, or power, granted to it by The People.”

            This of course it’s pure bullshit.

            Fallacies – Ambiguous Collective
            by David King

            To commit this fallacy is to use a collective term without any meaningful delimitation of the elements it subsumes.

            “We”, “you”, “they”, “the people”, “the system”, “the general public”, and “society as a whole” are the most widely-used examples. This fallacy is especially widespread and devastating in the realm of political discussion, where its use renders impossible the task of discriminating among distinctively different groups of people.

            Perhaps the most widely-known example of the Ambiguous Collective fallacy is the statement:

            “Government of the people, by the people, and for the people.”

            In this statement “the people” has three distinctly different meanings: One group of “the people” (the victims, or producers) are ruled by another group of “the people” (the bureaucrats, with their action arm, the police) in order to achieve the goals of yet another group of “the people” (the politicians).

            Why else do you think “we” have “democracy” and “majority rule?”

            It’s to rationalize steamrollering over individuals who refuse to be part of “The People.”

          • Federalist45
            December 29, 2013 at 9:48 am

            Bevin–For whatever reason, a reply is not permitted to your comment, so am posting a reply here.

            First, it appears that both King and you are confusing the “We The People” of the Preamble to the Constitution of the United States with the “government of the people, by the people, and for the people” of the great tyrant’s Gettysburg Address. Seriously?

            Second, “We The People” was used by the Framers simply to establish the source of the very limited, enumerated powers granted to the very limited government under the Constitution as it was written. No one at the time, and few since, would ever have honestly believed that there was some actual assembly of “all the people” being referred to. It is in part a term of convenience–used to remind both all the people of the nation, the sovereign states of the union, and the central government of that union, that the government is not the source of any power.

            Third, the entire point of the post is to set forth the truth–the reality–that for any free government to work there must be a recognition that the government has no power except that granted it by those who have agreed to come into union to form the government. In the Articles of Confederation United States in the timeframe from the Philadelphia Convention through ratification, those in agreement about the need to form a new government were the sovereign states.

            Fourth, those SOVEREIGN STATES (hence, the “quaint” notion that they were free to leave the union when the central government became oppressive and anti-liberty and anti-property) sent delegates to participate in the making of the Constitution, thus representing the citizens of those states. Of course not everyone agreed, and certainly some could argue that there were political power plays and deceit involved in some instances, but the fact of the matter is that this was a peaceful process designed to improve the existing government while limiting any new government through the ENUMERATION of powers, systems of checks and balances, and the separation of powers. The SOVEREIGN STATES are responsible for the Constitution we have, and at the time, it appears to have seemed like a good thing.

            Fifth, the Federalists of 1791 were extraordinarily conservative men. They sought to preserve their wealth in this new order–to conserve it–through a the notion that private property and liberty went hand in hand and that one was absolutely necessary to preserve the other. Unfortunately, over time, they became corrupted by their greed and lust for power. This began as early as Adams’s presidency, with such ridiculous legislation as the Alien and Sedition Acts. They began the stream of descent from liberty and property into political power grabs and it has never stopped (their descendants are the Republican Party Statists and monied interests that use the central government for their own ends). The Anti-Federalists of 1791 had it right. They were, in short, murdered by the Federalists and the Democratic-Republicans (now known usually as the Democrats, though sometimes called Republicans) very early on. They left only the onsie and twosie descendants like those on WRS and ZH and SHTFPlan. The Democratic-Republicans became, over 220 years, the current, mutated, horrific Democrat party, and the likes of WW, FDR, LBJ, Obama, Reid, Pelosi, and Frank are the most common Democrat over the years. To them, the State is God and OWNS everything. As a result, they will do anything to control the power of the State. NOTE that in both cases, liberty and private property are meaningless.

            We live in a totalitarian state, but most just do not know it. They refuse to see it or are too ignorant to even contemplate it. If you say this publicly, you are shouted down and figuratively tarred and feathered and run out of town on a rail. You are a right-wing nut job. A wing-nut. An angry white man. A racist. A misogynist. Anti-gay. Evil. A terrorist. A gun nut. The media, academia, and the political parties are all in bed together on this and will be sure to destroy you without, in most instances, even resorting to the power of the State to do it. But if needed, the power of the State certainly can be brought to bear.

            I hold out no hope for some sort of reversal of fortune such that my children and grandchildren will live in a free nation protective of liberty and private property. Neither is protected today. What little of each there is, is always subject to State control.

          • Bevin
            December 29, 2013 at 5:16 pm

            Dear Red45,

            I commend you for opposing the modern totalitarian state.

            Unfortunately the premise you take for granted is precisely what enables the emergence of that very same totalitarian state over time.

            There is no such thing as “The People.” Capital “T” capital “P.”

            Used in this manner, used in this context, “The People” is singular and implies unanimity and universal consent.

            That of course is bullshit. It is, as I noted before, a verbal sleight of hand to steamroller over dissent and whoever does not consent to be part of “The People” and to be ruled by “The Government.”

            If you look through my reply you will find no reference to the concrete examples from US history that occupy your consciousness. Your head is so filled with these concretes that you can no longer see the larger abstraction, the underlying principle, and the forest for the trees.

            What I’m talking about is senior to all that. What I’m talking about is this:

            Whenever any group of people “found a government” they invariably presume the right to rule over others who happen to be living inside an line they drew on a map. They invariably do this unilaterally without actually obtaining the consent of everyone involved. To gloss over their action, they invariably invoke such weasel concepts as “implied consent” or “social contract.” More bullshit.

            Consent is not implied. It must be explicitly given. Contracts are not “social” they must be agreed to be individuals, and signed.

            My point is the entire process was fraudulent, and always will be, unless everyone signed on the dotted line.

          • Gil
            December 29, 2013 at 9:02 pm

            CloverWow, Bevin, you have the perfect defence for your court case: you simply assert government has no right to rule therefore you don’t recognise the laws you’ve broken thus you cannot be charged let alone hauled into court let alone punished so the court has compensate for your time and send you on your way.

            • eric
              December 30, 2013 at 6:26 am

              Ideally, yes.

              The absence of any proof that a specific person has been materially harmed by the actions of an accused person ought to be a legally ironclad defense.

              No victim, no crime.

              But people such as yourself want victims – so you invent “crimes.”

          • Federalist45
            December 29, 2013 at 9:06 pm

            Bevin:

            I understand the point you are making. I do not disagree in principle. But in order to have a discussion about how society organizes and form governments and grants those governments powers, the term “The People” is useful. It is a tool. It is a convenience. So, in the Preamble, “We The People” is, AGAIN, a tool to suggest that a majority of the people, through the sovereign states, chose a particular form of government as set forth in the Constitution. “The People” do, in fact, exists, in this way, in this context. AGAIN, certainly there is no single entity called The People that represents 100% agreement with any notion of government. But for the sake of moving the discussion along in 1787, and for the sake of explaining, without volumes of discussion about nature, man, God, and the origins of power, the term “The People” was, and is, of great value.

            • eric
              December 30, 2013 at 7:27 am

              Hi Fed,

              Ultimately, the issue does boil down to whether it is right to forcibly require any individual who has not explicitly consented to any contract to be bound by that contract. I hold that only those who have explicitly (and freely, under no duress) consented to a contract may be held to the terms of that contract.

              Talk of “the people” is, as Bevin argued, a shibboleth used to imply universal consent and impose universal control.

              Did the rural farmers who were threatened with hanging by Obergruppenfuhrer Alexander Hamilton “consent” to be taxed? Were they asked to give a Yea or Nay to the Constitution? No, they were not. They were summarily told that “the law” – imposed without their consent or even their being asked about it – required them to pay tribute to the federal government. They declined, resisted – and were threatened with death for this “crime.”

              The only defensible law is the one that requires no statute: Do not harm other people.

              From this principle flows the necessary and absolute acceptance of the concept of self-ownership. No one owns you – and therefore, no one else has any right to attempt to control you, or what you do with your life and the things you create in your life.

              We are each sovereigns.

              State sovereignty is an absurdity. There is no such thing as a “state.” It is a linguistic sleight-of-hand. All “states” are in fact nothing more than the small minority of people who have arrogated power over others to themselves.

              And no person has more (or less) rights than any other. Groups do not confer extra rights. And individual rights are not inferior to the rights of individuals gathered into a collective.

          • MamaLiberty
            December 30, 2013 at 9:24 am

            Eric said:
            All “states” are in fact nothing more than the small minority of people who have arrogated power over others to themselves.

            The problem is that the “state” continues to hold that power because the individuals have been fooled into thinking that those “rulers” actually have some legitimate authority to hold that power… and the vicious cycle goes on.

            Anyone with the least interest in breaking that nasty chain needs to get their children out of the government indoctrination camps, and teach them individual sovereignty by word and deed at home. Nobody can serve two masters, and it is not possible to give your children to the “state” part of the day, and expect them to grow up to be self owning individuals. It might happen, just as it did for some of us, but it is unlikely.

            • eric
              December 30, 2013 at 9:25 am

              Ditto that, Mama –

              See my comment just posted in reply to MikeFromWichita (and his original comment).

          • Bevin
            December 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm

            Dear Eric,

            It’s amazing isn’t it?

            Clover can’t get it through his thick skull that the power to control others is not the same as the right to control others.

            Example: Say my family has been living in North America since the Pilgrims landed.

            Suddenly in 1776, a bunch of strangers “found a nation” and “form a government.” They notify me afterwards that my family, which has been living here minding our own business since 1620, are suddenly, magically “under their jurisdiction,” and owe them both obedience and money, “or else.”

            They show me a piece of paper, signed by a bunch of people I’ve never met, that says,

            “The Congress shall have power To lay and collect Taxes, Duties, Imposts and Excises, to pay the Debts and provide for the common defence and general Welfare… “

            Now nobody denies that as a result of sheep like behavior on the part of others, that these complete strangers have now acquired the power to impose their will on me. But we were talking about rights, not power.

            This principle of course applies to every “nation” on earth. Not one of them has any moral legitimacy.

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