“Clover” & “Gil”

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The other day, Prison Planet published an article about government trolls who are paid to post disruptive comments on contrarian (anti-government/anti-corporate) web sites. We’ve long suspected such trolls have attempted to cause problems here. troll pic

Now we have proof.

EPautos’ most legendary troll, of course, is Clover. He’s been posting his non sequiturs here for years. Clover’s habit is to repeat – over and over – the same cliches, and to ignore all factual rebuttals. It is very tiresome to have to correct him on the same point dozens of times. But that is just the point (for Clover). To be tiresome. To waste time. To divert meaningful debate/conversation.

Gil is another recurrent troll. Also been coming here for years. Like Clover, Gil never – not once! – acknowledges a factual rebuttal or point made. He simply repeats the same non sequiturs over and over and over, hoping someone will respond and waste time and energy attempting to set the record straight. (Hence the term, troll; Gil is trolling like a fisherman, hoping someone will “bite.”) The classic example of Gil’s technique is his adamant refusal to acknowledge the non-aggression principle as the basis of Libertarian ethics. The concept has been carefully explained literally scores of times – yet Gil goes on and on about how Libertarians “just want to do whatever they like” regardless of the consequences. No genuine person can be this stupid. Therefore, his obtuseness is contrived. He is here to annoy and disrupt – just like Clover.

Both of these clowns have never divulged their real names, never revealed any personal details such as what they do for a living, their educational background or any other such qualification to critique/comment.

I mentioned proof of trollness. Here it is:trolls pic 2

Both these characters magically go away – and return – at almost exactly the same time. For example: Both have been absent – no posts, not “lurking” – for several weeks now. This morning, I find posts from both of them. This sort of thing has happened before. It’s a pattern – and such patterns are usually not a coincidence.

Clover’s IP is bounced from somewhere in the United States. Gil’s from Australia – on the other side of the world. In a different time zone. What are the odds of two random people on opposite sides of the planet, in different time zones, just happening to log on to the same web site at the same time and post annoying comments at the same moment? Not just once. Recurrently.

These guys are on the payroll, folks.

I’m outing them for purposes of illustration – and to give you all an idea of the scheisse Dom and I deal with here.

We have another very interesting little bug in the system, too. Something – someone? – is making it harder for you (outside people) to view and post while Dom and I are not seeing or experiencing any of these issues ourselves when we log onto the site. It’s as though someone wants Dom and I to think the system is working fine, while others are constantly dealing with access issues. (If you have experienced problems accessing the site, posting comments, etc. – please let us know. Ideally, take a screenshot so we can see what you’re seeing.)

The site is also being flooded with “new subscribers” – spam bots – at a rate you have to see to believe. These bots are extremely aggressive – and very smart.Smart enough to get around Captcha prompts and other security measures. (Any advice in re preventing these SOBs from registering would be greatly appreciated. Our Captcha system is totally ineffective. I have to manually look at each one of these – and 9.9 out of 10 are fake – and delete the 9.9 on a rolling basis. Every single day… several times a day.)

And there are – apparently – issues with our Donate button or PayPal that have made it more difficult lately for people to support the site. troll last

It’s truly weird – and more than a little unsettling. I am beginning to feel like Mel Gibson’s character in that movie.

And he wasn’t crazy, either.

Anyhow. I have allowed Clover and Gil’s most recent posts to appear to back up the above “conspiracy theory.”  But I think the time has come to lock them out and throw ‘em in the woods, permanently.

Unless you guys want them around… .

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  230 comments for ““Clover” & “Gil”

  1. Tor Libertarian
    March 17, 2014 at 11:36 am

    Wealth definition via The Black Swan(NNTaleb)

    Contra the prevailing belief, “success” isn’t being on top of a hierarchy, it is standing outside all hierarchies.

    Or, even better, for those who can, not being aware of, or not giving a f**k about hierarchy.

    Troll psychology via The Black Swan(NNTaleb)

    Humans need to complain just as they need to breathe. Never stop them; just manipulate them by controlling *what* they complain about & supply them with reasons to complain. They will complain but will be thankful.

    ON THE BENEFITS OF FRAGILITY – NNTaleb
    Neckties are fragile and delicate; they force people into a tame social behavior; they get damaged in fights and when one rolls in the mud.

    The Four Bs: Brain, Balls, Brawn, and Business Sense – NNTaleb
    You can have 4 out of 4 (Thales), 3 out of 4 (Plato, who had poor practical sense), 2 out of 4 (most great scientists and great businesspersons), 1 out of 4 (the typical “incremental” modern academics, or people you tend to find in jail), or 0 out of 4 (journalists).

    Linguistic Shortcuts – NNTaleb

    We invented language in order to be vague, if you sort of see what I mean.

    People are natural skeptics, but speak in shortcuts that seem categorical but are not; when they say “bureaucrats don’t have courage” they mean “a high percentage of bureaucrats don’t have courage”, which is why proverbs and aphorisms are heuristic and economical, held to be imperfect approximations.
    On the other hand, when an academic writes the overly hedged statement “it appears that under some conditions, there have been historically a high percentage of bureaucrats who did not prove have courage”, he generally truly believes that “all bureaucrats don’t have courage”.

    • mikeLL
      March 17, 2014 at 12:12 pm

      Tor, thanks for the Taleb comments/aphorisms. I am a big fan but I didn’t realize he was on Facebook. Enjoy it while it lasts; he’ll burn out faster than the rest of us did on that piece of crap.

      • Tor Libertarian
        March 17, 2014 at 12:34 pm

        facebuuk’s been the only place to follow him until recently.

        His anger at internet/journalist creeps finally abated, and he reopened his fooledbyrandomness site, but there’s far more available on facebuuk.

        I find him to be as close to modern day Ionian-Enlightenment Thales as anyone now living.

        Thales Quotes
        Time is the wisest of all things that are; for it brings everything to light.

        A multitude of words is no proof of a prudent mind.

        The most difficult thing in life is to know yourself.

        Hope is the only good that is common to all men; those who have nothing else possess hope still.

        Nothing is more active than thought, for it travels over the universe, and nothing is stronger than necessity for all must submit to it.

        Place is the greatest thing, as it contains all things.

        A happy man is one who is healthy in body, resourceful in soul and of a readily teachable nature.

        Thales asserted Water to be the principle of things. For he saw that matter was principally dispensed in moisture, and moisture in water; and it seemed proper to make that the principle of things, in which the virtues and powers of beings, and especially the elements of their generations and restorations, were chiefly found. He saw that the breeding of animals is in moisture ; that the seeds and kernels of plants (as long as they are productive and fresh), are likewise soft and tender; that metals also melt and become fluid, and are as it were concrete juices of the earth, or rather a kind of mineral waters; that the earth itself is fertilized and revived by showers or irrigation, and that earth and mud seem nothing else than the lees and sediment of water; that air most plainly is but the exhalation and expansion of water; nay, that even fire itself cannot be lighted, nor kept in and fed, except with moisture and by means of moisture. He saw, too, that the fatness which belongs to moisture, and which is the support and life of flame and fire, seems a kind of ripeness and concoction of the water.

        Thales Theorem
        http://www.mathopenref.com/thalestheorem.html

        Thales of Miletus, Ionia, Greece.
        http://www.iep.utm.edu/thales/

        • mikeLL
          March 17, 2014 at 1:10 pm

          Shows how little I follow f**kbook. I just finished re-reading Taleb’s trilogy of books and I am amazed by how much I learned on the second (and third) reading that I didn’t catch the first time. Not so much in Fooled By Randomness, but Black Swan and Antifragile (the latter is his Masterpiece, I think) were definitely worth the extra effort.

  2. Helot
    March 17, 2014 at 3:43 am

    I thought of Bob, and his description of the French health care system with all it’s perks of ‘cheap this’, ‘free that’ – without mentioning ‘who pays for what’ in the end – when I came across this:

    Brain Drain: The Young and the Rich Are Leaving France
    Must view video: here.

    http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2014/03/brain-drain-young-and-rich-are-leaving.html

    • eric
      March 17, 2014 at 5:42 am

      I’ve been to Europe several times; my mother is a native Swiss.

      What “bob” and other admirers of “free” health care never care to discuss is that in Western European socialist countries, there is nothing comparable to our middle class. To have, as an example, a free-standing house of say 2,800 sq. feet of living space with a double garage on several acres of land – and to own multiple vehicles – is for the most part for the rich only in Europe. The typical “middle class” European lives in a smallish apartment or condo. He does not have a double garage – and if he owns a car, it is probably the only car he owns. And it is a small car.

      This may be a desirable exchange for some people. But the point – which Bob misses – is that there’s no free lunch. And no free health care, either.

    • Garysco
      March 17, 2014 at 6:31 am

      Bob picked a fine system of healthcare that Mr. Teleprompter the Community Organizer Prez can’t wait to emulate. But spa treatments will be replaced with “you are your brothers keeper” forced pay for transgender surgery.

      Anita Manfredi got nine massages and 18 mud baths at a luxury spa in November. The French government paid two-thirds of the $1,022 bill. “The treatment has done me a lot of good,” says Manfredi, a French retiree who suffers from arthritis and enjoys a three-week retreat at the southern spa town of Dax every year. “I no longer have flare-ups.”

      For decades, France has held up its health-care system as a model to the world. Homeopathic remedies, support tights, and taxi rides to the hospital are among the many costs reimbursed by the health-care branch of France’s social security system, known as l’assurance maladie. Average life expectancy is 81.3 years, longer than in the U.S. Adults are less likely to live with diabetes or die from heart disease, and the rate of infant deaths in 2010, the latest year on record, was almost half that of the U.S., according to the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development.

      Yet France’s looming recession and a steady increase in chronic diseases including diabetes threaten to change that, says Willy Hodin, who heads Groupe PHR, an umbrella organization for 2,200 French pharmacies. The health system exceeds its budget by billions of euros each year, and in the face of rising costs, taxpayer-funded benefits such as spa treatments, which the French have long justified as preventive care, now look more like expendable luxuries. “Reform is needed fast,” Hodin says. “The most optimistic believe this system can survive another five to six years. The less optimistic don’t think it will last more than three.”

      http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-03/frances-health-care-system-is-going-broke

  3. Bob Benette
    March 16, 2014 at 11:09 pm

    Do yourselves a favor and look up sociopath.. They are the most sucessful amongst us. I don’t for a moment think that I am not but I don’t have the stomach for that behavior normally. I try to avoid business relationships with that type but they canbe very persuavive and sometimes hold the keys..

    Just sayin… it’s not easy to be sucessful without having to at least have some of these around your business. You just have to know how to reign them in when it’s necessary. Some call it drive, some of us know it for what it really is and accept that these people have a purpose as long as you can handle what they decide to do..

    I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again… sometimes the choices are bad or worse and time is not your friend.

    • eric
      March 17, 2014 at 5:21 am

      Bob,

      Most of us here are well-acquainted with sociopathy – it defines the lust for power and the urge to control/dominate others for the sake of one’s own gain and pleasure. In other words, the opposite of – the mortal enemy of – the non aggression principle that forms the basis of Libertarian political philosophy.

    • Jean
      March 17, 2014 at 1:08 pm

      Bob,
      If you can’t beat them, join them.
      Then knife them in the back.

      Problem solved…

  4. Tor Libertarian
    March 16, 2014 at 4:14 pm

    Bob is of course, deeply wrong. What I find concerning, is how successful his type might be in forcing their folly on the world to come.

    I remember making geodesic shapes out of construction paper as a kid. Struggling to assemble tensegrity structures.

    Playing the World Game on the Dymaxion Map. Wearing multiple watches and taking phonecalls from people throughout the world, asking what day and time it was.

    Calculating the amount a bushel of a wheat cost in various currencies. Keeping track of happening with various stocks each day. Diagramless crosswords. Cryptograms. Logic puzzles. If Sesame Street was turned on, it was only to learn the opening song by ear on the piano. We were training to become the most innovative and accomplished generation in history.

    In the 1940s, Buckminster Fuller began publishing articles which assured one and all that the human race could be a complete success.

    We could use existing technology to guarantee survival for
    very human being on the planet, into the future. That meant, and means, food and clothing and shelter and unlimited healthcare and unlimited education and mobility.

    This would be given as a precondition of being born on this
    Earth. Fuller had the technological background to make such a statement stick.

    At that moment, it became apparent that making the world better is as easy as playing tic tac toe. We no longer need to be geniuses and masters at playing chess.

    The struggle for survival was no longer a mystery into which
    only the very brilliant people could see secrets exposed; it was a very finite game which we could all solve if we had the will for it.

    At that point, the major power players on the planet became
    aware to an intense degree that there was a fork in the road.
    From then on, if they chose to continue their fanatical pursuit
    of land, resources, slave labor, technology, and money — instead of changing their mode and becoming true heroes of the human race — they would literally have to invent world conditions in order to lock in the cover story which says that life will always be dog eat dog, war, and shortages.

    They opted for the second choice.

    Ever since then, they have stepped up their INVENTION of
    the world as a place which is full of war and sickness and oppression and struggle for food and shelter.

    They have done this by creating the theater of the haves and the havenots, and that theater is a work of art which draws all of us in and has been responsible for millions and millions of deaths and untold suffering.

    We have to realize this.

    The world which we see reflected in the great newspapers
    and television networks of our time is the LIVING MURAL of
    the controllers in action. Not a place of abundance for all —
    which Fuller realized was eminently in our grasp — but a world where conflict and pain and shortage rule.

    The major players have decided to prove that the reality in
    which they greedily take, take, take is the only one, and the one we all have to live in. This is a lie. We can wake up to that.

    We can wake up so much that WE actually begin to overturn
    this fictional world that has become real. The propaganda wings of the planetary-controllers have floated certain kinds of quasi-science to justify their world-view.

    Darwinism and Malthusian economics have both been co-opted to “prove” that only the fittest survive, that this is the law of the jungle and the planet, and that there are not enough resources to go around for everyone.

    It was this propaganda that Buckminster Fuller destroyed
    with his analysis of current technology and what we could do
    with it. Because we have lost track of, and faith in, our own creative powers, we find it hard to see how power elites could
    literally invent our world, bring about wars and support all sides and maintain starvation on a vast scale and profit from that too.

    Our inability to see that inventive act is, again, the result of
    only one thing: our misplacing our own creative power and,
    therefore, our ignorance about its fundamentally far-reaching nature.

    Up until the 16th and 17th centuries, this world was ruled
    by bloodlines, by families which took it upon themselves to
    manufacture and maintain concepts of royalty and divine right, and backed them up with raised armies.

    When technology came on with a rush, that monopoly melted
    and cracked. Mercantile princes who could trade in the new
    technology began to ascend, and the royals and the great banking families began to see their moat around wealth disappear.

    They made adjustments, and they did not disappear, but they
    had to share the world stage with other players. Those players grew and coalesced into the gigantic transnational corporations of today.

    These corporations and their partner governments and partner intelligence agencies and partner armies would be the natural people to extend technology, redirect it and make a new world in which there is a guaranteed groundbase of survival for every human.

    Except that those leaders are bent on exterminating that
    vision of abundance wherever it pops up. In favor of their own greed and power.

    Therefore, we have to look to other sources. We have to bring
    about the future of abundance in other ways. The new monopoly of power has a pleasant corporate face, but turns out to be brutal. It moves further and further in the direction of the same absolute hold on the planet that the royals
    once enjoyed.

    In fact, now, as we probe the membership of the elite clubs of power at the turn of the century, we see that some of the old names and the old families and the old pushers of greed are still around. Their descendants have reshaped their
    participation in money and corporate control to align with the
    times.

    And the same kind of fakery that originally conjured up the
    concepts of royalty and divine right has been used to create
    fake technology when that is seen as necessary. For example,
    huge segments of the medical monopoly of today, with its vast pharmaceutical profits, are based on a cheap art of phony science.

    By staging myriad fake studies and licensing trials, companies bring toxic medicines on to the scene to “heal dis-
    ease.” When you have medical societies, schools, professional
    journals, government agencies, physicians, research labs, and
    drug companies all flying the same flag, and when that flag
    celebrates the religion called science with an icon’s hypnotic
    face of fake Objectivity, everybody is in trouble.

    Out of the Masonic lodges of Europe, before their 18th-
    century infiltration by various political opportunists, there grew up a secret core of highly intelligent men who found fellowship in the idea that human beings could bring about freedom from authoritarian religion and organized tyrannies of government.

    In the eighteenth century, these men formed the inner circle of the American revolution. They not only led the colonies away from the British king, they ensured that individual freedom to pursue happiness would be written into the foundation of the new nation. They were battling
    against various aristocrats and against their own prejudices
    and cruelties, but a unique wedge was driven in against the
    external control of populations.

    From that platform can now be launched another kind of
    revolution without guns. A revolution based on the idea that
    freedom means decentralization of all power that is oppressive.

    Freedom must now also mean a renaissance of creation. The
    creation of communities, technologies, organizations, art, healing, local money-systems, off-planet exploration, and more, all dedicated to the proliferation of power out into many hands and minds and souls, beyond the ability of any corporation or messiah or general or monopolistic wielder of food to control.

    And somehow, through this decentralization, we have to find
    a way to guarantee that groundbase of survival for every human being, while we unseat the elite planetary control mongers.

    While we also preserve the idea of evolution of humans, of
    meeting challenges, of the ecstasy that lies at the core of life.
    While we avoid falling into the trap of blunted energy, sloth,
    passivity, a massive welfare world, and surrendered freedom.
    Who said it would be easy?

    Not many people know it, but the founding fathers of
    America pushed a radical business sentiment which became law in most states of the new 18th-century union. All corporations would be chartered by state legislatures to carry out the corporation’s announced objectives. The legislature could revoke the charter of any company which harmed the citizenry.

    All interpretations of capitalism as the original free spirit
    of America must be understood in this light. After all, the
    colonists were not only wary of tyrannical governments,
    religions, and armies, they were also suspicious of huckstering corporations.

    Gradually, however, these tough state laws eroded, through
    the corrupt bribes of businessmen. Although some corporations did have their charters yanked. The most famous of these companies was Standard Oil of New York, which was thrown out of the state, only to find a home in New Jersey, much to that legislature’s discredit.

    If Standard Oil had been denied a license there, perhaps it wouldn’t have survived long enough to cooperate with the Nazi industrial juggernaut, I.G. Farben, during World War II. There is now a grass-roots movement in America
    to get state legislatures to dust off those old laws about corporations and reinstate them. It is an admirable fight.

    For example, those chemical giants which pollute the landscape to the hilt, while paying nominal fines, or which loose toxic medicines on the public, would have their charters to do business pulled out from under them in an efficient manner.

    Freedom erodes to the degree it is not given its full due. To
    those despots who run the affairs of the world, freedom not
    only threatens their control, it reveals the basic lie of their propaganda. That basic lie is: “The universe implies a system, and we must live according to that system.”

    With this lie in tow, the elite players can convince millions and billions to bow before some icon or symbol or supernatural idol or divine leader or set of constricting laws or fake harmonies. It can be done and it has been done, over and over.

    Freedom is not woven into this universe. Freedom is not an illustration of this universe in action. Freedom is a thing which was seen by human beings within themselves, a power, a release from overbearing restraint, an
    always-present capacity to choose, to reject, to ignore, to affirm, to take, to give away, to love, to not love.

    With the consciousness of freedom comes the abandonment
    of all attempts to characterize the universe as an ultimate Thing which must be obeyed.

    No painting, no piece of music, no novel, no poem was some
    intrinsic part of this universe. It was made. Human creativity is the thing which reveals the true structure called universe.

    The universe, whether we think of it as alive or as a gigan-
    tic home, does not contain any ultimate lessons about freedom and how it will be used. We must supply that. That is up to us.

    And all the way along the line, we have given away and re-
    fused to enact that freedom to the hilt. We have said no to that. We have opted instead for various systems which we believe are external to us and superior to us.

    Spiritual and political paramedics rush to the scene to
    discredit true freedom. They subtly try to impose on us some
    “universal incorporated feeling,” some “way.”

    That is not freedom. That is not why the human race has come down this road of time. That is not why we have reached inside ourselves now and then to grasp incredible glimpses of our own POWER TO INVENT and choose.

    So fight this fight. Or else keep your rulers. Keep your fear that without a Control worn around your head like a shackle you may suddenly do something destructive. Keep your ideas of the mediocrity of humans, keep your idea of some fake “wonderful” harmony.

    Keep all that. Play directly into the hands of those who want to run the world as their private preserve. They have none of your inhibitions.

    They depend on you to give in, to see the wisdom
    of overlords and overlord structures and overlord ruling thought-forms. They expect to see you submit with beatific smiles on your faces. They are banking on it.

  5. Bob Benette
    March 16, 2014 at 1:31 pm

    Let’s just ask the big corporations to not destroy our living space with deadly toxins. Let’s ask the big corporations to take care of the people that they displace. Let’s ask the big corporations to not gouge us for what they sell.

    I live in this world and asking usually requires a lawyer and a demand. They generally don’t give a shit and have to be forced to do things they normally wouldn’t. What will you do if they frack for oil/gas right under your house destroying your well water? Are you going to ASK them to fix the problem? Good luck!

    My back is better and I have things to do, things that are more productive than talking to a dogmatic group of people that don’t understand who they really are..

    Have a good day.

    • eric
      March 16, 2014 at 3:49 pm

      Bob,

      Why must you constantly add personal insults to your posts? You’ll note that none of us have called you a “dogmatic” person who “doesn’t understand who they really are” or attacked you personally in any way whatsoever.

      We – I – have pointed out the ugly violence that underlies what you defend. But this is merely pointing out the truth of the thing – as opposed to calling you names.

      In any event…

      You assert that big corporations sometimes cause harm. I agree.

      But I disagree with your solution – big government.

      Government has caused more mayhem and mass murder than any “big corporation” – and that includes the government of this country.

      Cite for me the death toll caused by corporations – literal murder – since say 1970.

      Now cite the death toll caused by the government.

      And you know what’s happening now, Bob? Corporations and government are becoming overtly the same thing. Each using the other to enhance their power and control, financial and otherwise, over us.

      Yet you take issue with people like me for taking issue with that.

      • Darien
        March 16, 2014 at 3:57 pm

        I would contend that the main reason “corporations” — and if anybody could explain to me in what respect the United State government is not just the biggest corporation in the world, I’d be much obliged — can do awful things is because they have the backing of the guns of government. Pre-progressive era (which is to say, until about the 1880s), corporations couldn’t pollute willy-nilly any more than I could come to your house and dump my garbage on your lawn. Then the government overruled the property rights of individuals, declaring that some pollution is necessary for “progress,” and therefore people would just have to deal with it.

        The other points are just demagoguery. “Price gouging” is an emotional argument with no basis — who decides which price is appropriate and which is not? Bob himself? In reality, “price gouging” is simply not a thing. And as for “ask[ing] the big corporations to take care of the people that they displace” — what could that mean? If it’s talking about eminent domain, it’s hard to see how that’s not a government-caused problem. If it isn’t, then: what?

      • Boothe
        March 16, 2014 at 4:42 pm

        Eric, Darien – Bob was whining about having to guarantee a lease in his own name in an earlier post, rather than being allowed to do so through “his” corporation. Bob obviously has no problem using the shield and mantle of the corporation to his own benefit. Now maybe Bob is environmentally responsible and wouldn’t dream of dumping paint thinner down a sewer drain or polluting his neighbors’ air with toxic fumes from his enterprise. Or maybe not…if there was enough money in it and thought he wouldn’t get caught.

        It has been my experience that not all, but many if not most, men will compromise their moral principles if the price is right. Let’s say Bob’s river cottage is far enough up the York River that dumping chemicals into the James River won’t pollute HIS beach front. And let’s say Bob figures out he can save millions in toxic waste disposal costs if a valve get’s left open “by accident” in the middle of the night. How good is Bob’s environmental resolve when it’s (A) worth millions of dollars, (B) he probably won’t get caught, and (C) from a pragmatic standpoint he’ll be diluting the toxic waste with trillions of gallons of dirty river water anyway? It’s only a matter of degree and it’s not like he’s running Allied Signal, right Bob?

        After all, Bob has already exposed his pragmatic side, so we know he can be bought. Now it’s just a matter of determining the right price. No; Bob figures biggov.org will keep him straight. Never mind that biggov.org contaminated their nuclear site as Oak Ridge Tennessee to the point that if you kill a deer there, you have to have it whole body counted to see if it’s contaminated. Never mind that the U.S. Navy at one time was the worst polluter in Boston Harbor. There are countless other examples of similar government environmental “stewardship” around the globe. Bob’s counting on the coyotes and weasels to watch the hen house methinks.

        Bob also conveniently forgets that corporations (one of which he claims to own) are legal entities created by the state primarily to shield the operators thereof from personal liability when they do things the rest of us would go to jail for. And as creatures of the state, corporations live under the wing of the state relying on it to shield them from true free market competition through rules and regulations. Run afoul of the big corporations and gun-vernment will step in and waste you. In the car industry Preston Tucker comes to mind. We would have had disc brakes, fuel injection, a modular drive train and enhanced safety features decades before we did. But who thwarted Tucker? Biggov.org did. And who solicited this legal thuggery? Why “the big three” automakers of course. Don’t mess the status quo, don’t rock the boat. Never mind that thousands of lives could have been saved if Tuckers cars had been allowed to succeed. The free market, rather than the NHTSB would have made cars much safer much faster. Fascism at its finest…

        Bob was apparently having a little round of principle versus pragmatism, so he came here to try to reason us into agreeing with him. After all, if a bunch of recalcitrant, rebellious, Liberty loving freethinkers would agree with his circular logic, what he’s doing must be okay. Right Bob? Nice try. It didn’t work. Now it’s back to his usual programming. Bye Bob.

        • Darien
          March 16, 2014 at 4:55 pm

          I’ve given a lot of thought over the years to the idea of “all men have a price” and so forth, and I’ve concluded that it is definitely the case. It’s an uncomfortable thought — an ugly truth about myself — but true intellectual rigor demands that I admit that I, too, can be bought.

          Gedankenexperiment. I am firmly, wholeheartedly committed to the non-aggression principle, as I believe many of us here are. For me to punch you in the face would be wrong, and that’s not because I’m afraid of what some thug in a blue suit might do to me — wrong is wrong is wrong. But would I punch you in the face for a billion dollars? I would be lying if I said I would not. I would later apologise to you, explain my decision, offer you some part of my newfound riches as compensation. But I would still, in that circumstance, make the wrong choice — of this I am confident. I don’t like this about myself, but it remains the case.

          One could argue that this is a very minor example; the violation is relatively small, and the reward is ridiculously large. But it’s the principle that matters. And is there anyone here who truly believes he would not make the same choice?

          Not that I’m trying to be a downer; far from it. I’m just doing the best I can to, in Albert J. Nock’s wonderful turn of phrase, “present the world with one improved unit,” and that involves not hiding from the ugly reality of my own failings. :-)

          • Boothe
            March 16, 2014 at 5:15 pm

            Darien – I understand how you feel. But you have to take the law of unintended consequences into your decisions too. Let’s say I have an aneurism, you punch me in the face for that billion dollars and I die right there. That would be murder. Would you do that for a billion dollars? Or you attempt punch me in the face. But I’ve been a street fighter most of my life and I retaliate putting you in the hospital with a closed head injury and now you’re in a permanent vegetative state. Would that be worth a billion dollars to you? These things are never as simple as they seem on the surface. The point we all need to reach “is wrong is wrong is wrong” no matter what material gain we may believe we will receive. No one has ever said it will be easy to deny the flesh and overcome temptation; just that it’s worth doing.

          • Darien
            March 16, 2014 at 5:25 pm

            I agree with you 100%, Boothe, and your examples are clearly more difficult than my own. Would I commit true moral enormities for a billion dollars? Put myself at extreme risk?

            I am completely comfortable declaring that I *should* not. Wrong is wrong, regardless of the potential benefit to me. I am less comfortable declaring that I *would* not. I am a flawed person who has done wrong in the past, and, though I have never (thankfully) killed anyone, I have committed lesser evils for much smaller rewards.

          • MamaLiberty
            March 16, 2014 at 5:27 pm

            We could “what if” and come up with all sorts of things, but even though it is remotely possible for some people to arrive at this decision, it is not honest to proclaim that decision as an absolute “norm” for everyone because you think YOU would do it. :)

            The only real question actually is “what is right?” You obviously know what is right, in this case especially, and I suspect very much that you would not be able to carry it out, no matter how much money was involved. But that would be between you, the man you punched and the stupid person offering the money.

            What you forgot to put into your little scenario is the response of the person you proposed to strike. Did you expect him to just stand there and take it? Or did you think there might be a good chance you would be beaten yourself, or maybe even shot? Why would he not defend himself?

            That changes the whole picture, doesn’t it? All choices and actions have consequences… some more obvious than others. And some more painful/costly than others.

            So, in reality, and especially in a free society, the greatest “good” for each person is his own continued existence. We (who can see it and understand it) choose what is right because it IS in our own best interest. And one of the great tragedies of the current age is that this has been so often distorted and the understanding of it lost because we’ve been duped into thinking that “others” actually have some legitimate authority to control us, and to deprive us of what is truly in our own best interest.

          • Darien
            March 16, 2014 at 5:36 pm

            Just for clarity: I never ‘proclaim[ed] that decision as an absolute “norm” for everyone,’ nor do I intend to do so.

          • Helot
            March 16, 2014 at 10:57 pm

            RE: “all men have a price” “would I punch you in the face for a billion dollars? I would be lying if I said I would not.”

            What if I was only 9 months old at the time?

            There’s not a price I would accept to do something like that.

            I wouldn’t punch an adult for the Billion Dollars either. But I’m not the rule, rather it seems I’m the exception.

            So it would seem, not all men have their price.

          • Helot
            March 16, 2014 at 11:15 pm

            Nevermind, I should’ve hit the refresh button before I posted the comment as the others answered far more eloquently.

          • Darien
            March 17, 2014 at 1:51 am

            Thank you everybody for your responses. I would like to ask a few questions, but first I want to promise everybody that I’m not trolling — these are honest questions, even if I seem like an idiot. :-)

            Mama: you state that “the greatest “good” for each person is his own continued existence.” Do you believe this is universally true? Is it even conceivable that there could be a situation in which one could correctly prefer an outcome that results in discontinuity of existence?

            Helot: you imply that there is no inducement that would cause you to abandon your principles (please correct me if I’m misreading you). Are you confident that this is the correct decision? Should one’s principles necessarily be the overriding concern in all situations?

          • Helot
            March 17, 2014 at 3:15 am

            “Should one’s principles necessarily be the overriding concern in all situations?”

            Pretty much.

            [I wonder where you're taking this line of thought. After having watched the film, 'The Pianist' (at the urging of someone here? Thanks.) I imagine you'll showcase some way that that's not a rule.]

          • MamaLiberty
            March 17, 2014 at 7:09 am

            The nesting comments thing is pretty much overwhelmed here, but I’ll thry this…

            To answer Darian:
            “Mama: you state that “the greatest “good” for each person is his own continued existence.” Do you believe this is universally true?”

            An individual might certainly decide that he/she would make an exception. Human beings decide to do many things that are ultimately against their own “greater good” or even threatens their continued existence. The key is their individual choice, action. It can’t legitimately be decided for them by others. Suicide vs murder, for one example.

        • Bob Benette
          March 16, 2014 at 9:59 pm

          You make a lot of the same points as I do. I can’t compete against large corps, I just don’t have the scale. And I know corruption when I see it, I’ve seen it and had to participate to get things done. You are right to say that individual decisions on morality can be changed through greed. But then you jump to “free” markets which can’t and never will exist. There is always going to be competition and that’s always going to make people think about cutting corners. It’s up to individuals to say no, unfortunately individual circumstances can be bought, silenced or shall we say influenced. It’s our nature.

          What you fail to understand is that the very rich amongst us can not only squash us like bugs, they also never relent. You have things to do to survive, they have all the time in the world to figure out how to screw you and they make it their job..

          • eric
            March 17, 2014 at 5:56 am

            And what do the very rich use to “squash us like bugs,” Bob?

            Government force.

            Obamacare is the perfect example, but there are countless others that are of a piece.

            If I, as a for-instance, open the door to my garage and put out a sign that reads, “motorcycle repairs” – what will happen? The government will “squash me like a bug” for zoning violations, failure to obtain the requisite licenses and permits. Not because I’ve ripped anyone off. No customer has complained. My work hasn’t been faulted by anyone; I may have scores of satisfied customers – who esteem my work because it’s competent and because I am able to charge them less for it because I did not have not build a separate, “approved” facility or buy a bunch of permits and so on that amount to nothing more than a form of legalized extortion a la Luca Brasi from The Godfather.

            Who benefits?

            The big chain dealership down the road.

            Smaller “upstart” competitors are thwarted; the bi dealer’s high prices are supported.

            Take away government force – officially sanctioned state violence rendered “legal” – and, minimally, the victim can at least defend himself.

            Corporations can, indeed, be malevolent. But they are pikers compared with the malevolence of official/legal violence; that is, the violence of government.

          • Boothe
            March 17, 2014 at 10:40 am

            Bob Bennette – You can indeed compete against large corporations by offering personal customer service, flexibility and innovation they cannot. Large bureaucratic organizations of any stripe are slow to respond and often non-responsive even when their customers (or subjects in the case of gov.) are leaving them.

            Did you really “have to participate” in corruption to get things done Bob? Was someone holding a gun to your head? Or did you make that choice based on expedience and financial gain? I faced a situation some years ago where I either exposed what was going on in the workplace and risked losing a very good job or keeping my mouth shut and losing my self respect. I (naively) believed that upper management would want to know the truth, because I know you can’t make sound decisions based on fiction and supposition. I fully understood the risk of “blowing the whistle.”

            When I notified senior management with two lengthy letters, a V.P. came down to see me. He explained how the industry we were in was “cut-throat” and that he had done similar unsavory things to what our local managers were doing when he was a young exec. Two days later they laid me off “due to the economy.” Six months later his superiors did the same thing to him. What comes around goes around. You really do reap what you sow.

            I think you misunderstand the difference between true free-market competition and “cutting-corners.” Competition involves delivering the goods and services the market wants at lower prices than the other vendors in your niche, as you should know. Cutting corners often involves reducing quantities or quality to increase profitability with no benefit to the customer. Do that, as the American car manufacturers found out in the 70’s, and you will lose your market share.

            I do understand that the very rich can squash us like bugs. But why would they? It has been my experience overall, that if I do what’s right, treat people the way I want to be treated and watch out for those who would try to harm me and mine, I do just fine. I know from experience, when I was young and foolish (despite what older and wiser people told me) that when I tried to “cut corners”, deal unethically and do things that were wrong, it invaraibly came back on me. It’s like a fellow told me years ago “People are always kicking my ass for shit I didn’t do!” I responded “If you weren’t doing shit, people wouldn’t be kicking your ass.” If you’re worried about the uber elite squashing you Bob, two things: (A) You’re probably not that important, and (B) you need to take a long hard look at what you might be doing to bring that on yourself. Just sayin’…

    • BrentP
      March 16, 2014 at 11:58 pm

      Why not learn how government failed regular people instead? That’s the root cause of the problem. Government’s courts, government not protecting property rights, government creating corporate personhood, government & corporate partnership. A failure of government all around.

      • Jean
        March 18, 2014 at 3:28 pm

        What you see as failure, they tout as success.
        Napalm is too good for them…

  6. Bob Benette
    March 16, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    One last correction.. If you have raised children you must have had rules and enforced them right? That would make your house somewhat a benevolent dictatorship not a socialist commune as you stated in the past. As head of the household you set the rules and you did the sometimes VIOLENT enforcing, if not you got lucky with the most charmed children on the planet, I can assure you that this situation is not the norm.

    • BrentP
      March 17, 2014 at 12:01 am

      Government as the parent.
      No freedom.
      Sad.

  7. MamaLiberty
    March 16, 2014 at 12:02 pm

    Only one thing, Bob. None of that has anything at all to do with the free market. There never truly has been a free market in the US. It flourished for a while in the old West, before the statists took over. Non-voluntary government – the ownership of everything and everyone by the “majority” or the favored few – is totally incompatible with a free market.

    I think Eric made the important point. If you feel it is legitimate to take what belongs to others, for any reason (personally or through government), you should not be so surprised when others feel free to take what you consider to be your own property.

    Productive, free people can’t be “sucked dry” because they continuously produce new wealth. Statist “government” produces nothing but that loud sucking sound; that which destroys the productive people by destroying their freedom.

    Expecting government to make life “fair,” by destroying the freedom of others, is the vicious cycle so many find them selves living in these days. It’s a crooked, immoral, and deadly game they all play.

    • Bob Benette
      March 16, 2014 at 12:19 pm

      “There never truly has been a free market in the US. ”

      I rest my case.. There has NEVER been anything close to a free market even in the times that you state. There was always someone with the power to take from you with force, it just wasn’t the “government” as is currently configured.

      If you have raise children you had a mini government in your house. You made the rules and enforced them and you probably forced your children to share which is what government currently does amongst other less savory things..

      • eric
        March 16, 2014 at 12:54 pm

        So, because we don’t have an absolutely free market, the solution is to endorse more violent, coercive means to “correct” it?

        Equating a family with minor/dependent children with interactions between adults in society is absurd.

        • Bob Benette
          March 16, 2014 at 12:59 pm

          “So, because we don’t have an absolutely free market, the solution is to endorse more violent, coercive means to “correct” it? ”

          So are we to ask the big guys at the table to not crush us and take our things? Let’s give that a try and see how far it goes…

          “Equating a family with minor/dependent children with interactions between adults in society is absurd.”

          Only in your mind, it’s only a matter of scale. There are so many things in common that it’s hard to tell the difference except in size. You are blinded by your dogma..

          • Boothe
            March 16, 2014 at 3:01 pm

            Bob, your right it’s just a matter of degree. Once murdered crackhead in Detroit versus 200 million + dead at the hands of government in the 20th century alone is also a matter of degree. I’m more likely to run afoul of government even inadvertently, than I am a pissed off Detroit crack dealer though. So matters of degree are indeed important. With respect to family: If you are a tyrant at home or a really nice guy it only affects your small sphere of influence at the family level; it doesn’t affect me. I may disapprove of what you’re doing, but it really isn’t any of my business.

            Now, if you and your family come after my family and our property you may have started a feud. That will affect me; I will defend what’s mine and you may find out who the better marksmen are. There is also the potentiality that your lot or my lot may come up missing from the gene pool. That still only affects us and our immediate vicinity. If we are sloppy with our marksmanship, which stress and strong emotion are prone to cause, it may well become a public matter. Once again a matter of degree with the potential for unintended victims of very real crimes.

            But when you decide to get together with other people, form a group with armed enforcers and claim ‘governmental legitimacy’ to take a portion of all your neighbors’ property under pain of death that affects everyone. When it reaches that degree, expect resistance; not everyone will roll over for you. It doesn’t matter if you are ostensibly doing it for what YOU believe to be “the public good.” The road to hell is paved in good intentions and there are eight lane stretches of that road laid by government every single day.

            If you leave us no way of avoiding “taxation” (like a system wholly restricted to imposts, excises, duties and tariffs once did in America) then you are stealing from everyone else. Forcing the rest of us to pay into a system that is doing things we find morally reprehensible, with the threat of imprisonment and violence, is involuntary servitude, your pragmatic view of the matter notwithstanding. Involuntary servitude, if you will recall, is prohibited by the Supreme Law of the Land. Often times “the rules” are designed to skirt the law for the benefit the few and “rules and regulations” become the epitome of lawlessness. Expect black markets, dealing under the table and many creative forms of resistance. Liberty will always find a way in the face of tyranny.

            So you seem to have come up with a pragmatic solution to this theft and slavery, at least for yourself, by operating within “the system” or playing by the rules as you put it, to generate enough wealth to be, in your estimation, better off than the rest of us. Bravo for you Bob the braggart…as long as none of that wealth comes from the government (i.e. receiving stolen goods). If you’re taking any subsidies, tax credits or benefits from the system, you’re still stealing from the rest of us, like it or not.

            I’m moderately comfortable myself through my skills, training and experience despite what I consider to be onerous taxation (with none of the benefits of your corporate shelter). But that doesn’t assuage the sting of having the fruits of my labor stolen from me and used for things I vehemently disagree with. I’m sorry you’ve gone numb. Bob, I even have a compensable “service related disability” and various of my fellow veterans have urged me to file with the VA. Putting principle aside and viewing it pragmatically I could use that “benefit” to offset some of what is being stolen from me, since I can’t deduct many of the corporate expenses you can. But I won’t collect on it because it is stealing from my neighbors and that is wrong. I signed the enlistment papers of my own free will, I have since repented of “my service” to the transnational thieves and their empire and I know I have no right to take money from the public coffers.

            I do view it differently for those veterans who were actually drafted and came back shot up through no choice of their own. I suspect many of my fellow “volunteer” veterans choose not follow this line of reasoning to its logical conclusion because they get “free money” for things like ringing in their ears, back pain and the ever popular PTSD. It all comes down to principle versus pragmatism. Just because a thing is legal doesn’t make it right. If your “playing by the rules” involves doing things that you wouldn’t want done to you or that you realize others wouldn’t want done to them, then fie upon thee Bob.

          • MamaLiberty
            March 16, 2014 at 3:10 pm

            Outstanding, Boothe!! Very, very well said.

          • Darien
            March 16, 2014 at 3:23 pm

            I was on the point of typing up a long retort to our friend the troll, but it’s good to see Boothe has already said what there is to say. Excellent post!

      • MamaLiberty
        March 16, 2014 at 1:10 pm

        No, no, Bob. You missed the whole point. There has been a free market in America… just not the parts controlled by the central governments. You do understand the distinctions, I hope.

        Furthermore, the fact that people have allowed this unfree market all these years does not negate the importance or the value of the free market. That’s like saying love and marriage have no value because some people get a divorce… or worse.

        Utopia is not an option. Nobody is going to set things up to be “fair” or give you freedom. It is something you have to do for yourself. Everyone who wants to be free must not only work for it, they must live it daily and always. Being willing to steal from others and force them to do what makes you happy simply isn’t a part of that.

        And no, a family is not a good analogy.

  8. Bob Benette
    March 16, 2014 at 11:56 am

    <>

    You seem to like the subsidy that made it possible to live where you do, don’t you? They took money from one group to make it possible to get electricity and phone to people like you. Could you afford to do that yourself, I think not!

    I’m done with your circular arguements. You fail to understand human nature and you seem to thing you can have the cake without paying. Good luck!

    I’ll live in the world that exists, you can enjoy the world that exists only in your mind… again good luck!

    Did you notice that I have not once talked about violence and guns? That seems to be your territory. Enjoy!

    • eric
      March 16, 2014 at 1:03 pm

      Bob,

      This of a piece with your “what about the roads!” argument. These things pre-date my existence. I had no say in their creation – and I am not somehow culpable (or hypocritical) by dint of their having been created (by other people, in other times).

      The bottom line is you’re defending collectivist coercion in principle as well as fact. I oppose it in principle and abjure it wherever feasible in practice.

      Meaning: I cannot realistically help using existing “public” roads. But I oppose the creation of future collectivist-coercive enterprises.

      You don’t “talk” about violence and guns. Quite so. You evade dealing with the fact that violence and guns ultimately are behind all your “public goods.”

      That’s the difference between us.

      • Bob Benette
        March 16, 2014 at 1:13 pm

        “You don’t “talk” about violence and guns. Quite so. You evade dealing with the fact that violence and guns ultimately are behind all your “public goods.”

        That’s the difference between us.”

        I just happen to live in the world that exists and is the way it is because of the way we are, you prefer to believe in something that is against our nature and somehow beleive that it can be different. Prehaps we can evolve to that world but certainly not in my lifetime or even yours. This is reality, your fantasy isn’t and has never been. I can live with that but apparently you can’t.

        I have tried and failed probably more times at business than any of the people on this board and Id’ go as far as to say that my net worth exceeds a large percentage of the people her collectively. Why is it that way? I choose to play by the rules and if I fail I get up and do it again a different way, most of the time. Sometimes not so much and that hurts..

        I would even go as far as to say that most of the posters here are relatively poor and can’t afford to have much taken from them (hence the infatuation with no taxation) but they don’t understand how much individual power they have to change thier situation. It’s not easy but it does require a bit of knowledge that comes from failing. Failing upward..

        • eric
          March 16, 2014 at 4:05 pm

          Bob,

          You keep speaking of “our” nature… speak for yourself, please. Don’t presume to include me in your sweeping generalization.

          PS: Your net worth (and mine, for that matter) has no bearing whatsoever on the discussion at hand. No more than me claiming my dick is bigger than yours.

          • Boothe
            March 16, 2014 at 4:51 pm

            Thanks Eric! I was thinking exactly the same thing. “Alright boys, lay ‘em up on the bar and get out the tape measure.” That’d make a fine David Mann painting, now wouldn’t it!? Sick minds think alike. Ha! Bob are you a biker by chance? Yee-haw!

          • Bob Benette
            March 16, 2014 at 9:44 pm

            “You keep speaking of “our” nature… speak for yourself, please. Don’t presume to include me in your sweeping generalization.”

            Denying human nature does not change a thing, it is what it is. It a well explored area of our being and I’d suggest that you get a psychology book or two and try to understand it. Your preoccupation with violence and guns says a lot about your individual demeanor but I’m not here to comment on that…much. People ALL fall into some category or another, some good, some bad, but at the base is the fight or flight instinct, it’s what you conjure up with your gun theme. Along with so many other predictable themes that I don’t have time to mention them. You seem to think that you and your friends here are special but you are not. In a given circumstance under certain conditions you will act as anyone else would, it’s human nature. Just as an aligator will never be your friend for very long before you become his food. Get over it you are the same as the rest of us. You just are more narcisistic than some. It’s no big deal…

            The reason I said anything about net worth is that I have made and lost more than most of you here combined and I have been there and done that all before so I know you haven’t a clue as to how a different system would work since some of the things you state are just plain nonsense. If you want to reinvent the wheel, you are more than welcome, I think I’ll just but one and move on..

            I think I have wasted enough time here trying to bring the horse to water. It has no chance of drinking so I’m done giving you page views for now. You really should thank me for being your chum but I know that you aren’t that greatful for anything I do so… Ta Ta..

            • eric
              March 17, 2014 at 5:30 am

              Bob,

              The question is whether your definition of human nature is absolute – and correct. There are human beings, and while there are some general commonalities, there is no set definition as to what constitutes the “nature” of every human being. Just varying opinions. Human beings are not assembly line machines, the first production model more or less exactly like the last one down the line.

              Who are you to define “human nature”? Your condescending tone is both annoying and tiring. The fact is you haven’t even mastered spelling/usage and yet – like our resident Clover – presume to lecture to doctors (methyl) about medicine and about business to businessmen and to others about various other topics about which you’ve demonstrated imperfect knowledge at best.

              You make grand, universal statements – and when it’s pointed out to you that these do not universally apply, or are straw man arguments, or the underlying premise is questioned… you refuse to respond to the points made and instead issue more grand, universal statements, etc.

              I’ve attempted to engage you civilly, rebutting your wild assertions with precisely defined factual counter-arguments. You respond with pathetic eruptions about how you’ve “made and lost more than most of you here combined and I have been there and done that all before so I know you haven’t a clue as to how a different system would work… ” which (a) may not be true and (b) in any case is of zero relevance as an argument – the equivalent of my “countering” an argument by whipping out my penis and proudly noting the circumference of the head and the girth of the shaft.

              You have, indeed, wasted enough of our time here, “bob.” You’ve repeatedly threatened to take your ball and run home.

              Please do so.

  9. Bob Benette
    March 16, 2014 at 11:49 am

    Your threads here are fucked, it’s impossible to keep track of a conversation so I’ll just say this. HOARDING is in ALL of our nature, you as well. I’m not going to have a long discussion about human psychology, that’s for you to do if you care to understand the world around you.

    WE ALL hav it in our nature to win, it’s on display right here for all of you to see. It’s the same when it comes to food, women, land, etc. Try to deny that you didn’t compete at any point in your life. You did and you even seem to accept that it’s the basis of business but you won’t look into the mirror and see what makes yyou act the way you do. This is YOUR site, a point that I have made repeatedly and I’m sure that you’d like it to provide you a good living. If it were to grt real big and put other sites like it out of business you wouldn’t mind that either. Do you see?

    Or am I just wasting my time. Pretty sure it’s the latter.

  10. Bob Benette
    March 16, 2014 at 11:15 am

    “Bob Bennette – If you are having to make a personal guarantee on the lease, then I presume you don’t have a “real” corporation, but some lesser entity such as an “S” corp or LLC? Depending on your state, if you set up a full blown “C” corporation, you should be able to do much of what the “big boys” do and write it all off while paying yourself a virtually non-taxable pittance. Remember old John D’s advice; own nothing, control everything.”

    You obviously don’t know much about business, S, llCs are the same as C corps in terms of scale. Some of the biggest private companies out there are S and LLC corps. It just a structure that flows cash in different ways for taxation purposes. S and LLCs have different requirements of ownership. I have set up all three types, the only major difference is that C corps pay taxes and have all profits flow as employee paychecks. With S and LLC, the corp flows all proceeds to the owners who pay taxes. There is also a limitation of the number of owners and shares in S and LLC corps, whereas a C corp can have unlimited number of shares. There are your major diffferences. There are other legal differences as well in terms of who can be held liable, very slight. If you don’t beleve me look it up for yourself.

    “As far as the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act goes; that’s not socialism, that’s government attempting to force people to buy a service, a.k.a, insurance, from their well connected cronies. It’s more along the lines of Big Paulie selling us fire protection…or else. The fact that it may favorably impact your bottom line at the expense of the rest of us makes it stealing by government fiat nothing more; hardly an improvement. Read what Fred Reed has to say about medical care in Mexico sometime: http://archive.lewrockwell.com/reed/reed178.html Although the basic healthcare system is “socialistic” for the masses, there are apparently still private hospitals for the well heeled. Hardly my idea of ideal, which would be totally free market and competition driven, but it’s probably about the best compromise one can hope for in this world.”

    Let us be clear about something here, I don’t for a moment think that ACA is “good” it is better but certainly not “good”. Some of the ascertions that you made are somewhat correct, some not but I’m not going to get into a long discussion about the details. The main difference for the average person that wants to be in business and has a family is that health insurance has become affordable for them to be out on their own. If you think that’s a small deal you have never been in a situation where you had to buy your own insurance for you family, I have, I know. It used to be non insurance. My favorite saying regarding that is “smash your car, new car, burn your house, new house, get sick, go bankrupt! That is the way it used to be until just recently.

    here is no such thing as a “free” market, there is always someone who will step in and attempt to horde for them selves by being unscupulous thereby eliminating the “free” part. There are no free lunches and there is no free market it’s not in our nature. Left to our own devices, a small number of people will take all they can get. Look at what is happening now with all of the freedom that large corps give themselves through lobbying better known as corruption. How would you like it if you played a game and the big guy at the table could change the rules at will but you couldn’t? It’s the same in this world. Make no mistake, if you come up with a grand plan a big player can come in an take your business at will, I give you walmart and it’s destruction of small towns throughout america. I have been there and gotten my head handed to me after years of building a business. We were doing great, this is ~20 years ago, walmart came into our areas and took all of our business. They did it mostly by moving town centers rerouting most people to the other end of the towns we had businesses in. That was painful to watch. We could match prices but we couldn’t sustain traffic, everybody went to their nrighborhood, we folded and in a few of these towns so did they after it was sucked dry.

  11. Bob Benette
    March 15, 2014 at 9:55 pm

    Ok so you guys hate crony capitalism. How do you propose to prevent it from happening?

    • eric
      March 16, 2014 at 6:33 am

      Bob,

      If the non-aggression principle were accepted as the basis of human interaction, then such problems largely disappear. Not entirely, of course – human nature isn’t perfect and will never be universally perfect. But it is a damn sight better than accepting/endorsing the idea that’s morally ok to force another human being to do as you order, to compel him to hand over his property for purposes you deem to be “good.”

      And this is not merely a moral issue. It is also a practical issue. If you countenance the use of force against me in order to compel my obedience to something you believe to be “good” for me (or force me to provide funds to support that which you believe to be “good”) then you have tacitly conceded it is ok for me to use force against you in order to compel you to do “as ordered” (or provide funds, etc.) and that is precisely, exactly, why we now live in a hyena society of mutual predation and parasitism at gunpoint.

      • Bob Benette
        March 16, 2014 at 10:47 am

        Ok so “if” is a big word and in this case we cas assume it’s not going to be that way so what do we do given the obvuios human nature to horde for himself or his tribe. Tribe being defined at multiple levels from family to business to nation.

        How do we deal with it in the reality that we live? We have ~400 people in the world that own over half of all tangible wealth. How do we rectify this?

        • eric
          March 16, 2014 at 11:13 am

          I’d like to begin by questioning some of your premises. For instance, “hoarding.” If it’s mine – no matter how much – it’s mine. Not yours. Not anyone else’s.

          The fact that someone “has” does not mean some else who does not have it has a right to take it.

          Theft isn’t made not-theft by dint of the wealth of the victim.

          I own six motorcycles – more than some people believe I “need.” Does the fact that I have six bikes – and so and so has no bikes – mean that so and so is entitled to take one of my bikes? Or force me to “help” him buy one?

          ….

          What do “we” do?

          Well, each of us can choose to take – and to live by force. Or not to take – and live in peace with others, interacting with them on the basis of mutually agreeable free association.

          • Bob Benette
            March 16, 2014 at 11:28 am

            “I’d like to begin by questioning some of your premises. For instance, “hoarding.” If it’s mine – no matter how much – it’s mine. Not yours. Not anyone else’s.

            The fact that someone “has” does not mean some else who does not have it has a right to take it. ”

            You talk in the personal possession scale, i’m talking business scale, there’s a BIG difference. I’m talking finite resources and you talk motorcycles, we can make more.

            Theft isn’t made not-theft by dint of the wealth of the victim. It’s mostly not thieft it’s the cost of being in the civilized society that you seem to think has no cost. How did electicity and phone get to your house since there are no cities close by? The rural electrification was provided by taxation and your government. If not you’d have to make your own way and you didn’t did you? You like the fruits but you fail to see the costs.

            I own six motorcycles – more than some people believe I “need.” Does the fact that I have six bikes – and so and so has no bikes – mean that so and so is entitled to take one of my bikes? Or force me to “help” him buy one? ”

            That is a fallacy no matter how you slice it. Most transfers are for basic needs, and I assume you know that but don’t want to admit it.

            ….

            “What do “we” do?

            Well, each of us can choose to take – and to live by force. Or not to take – and live in peace with others, interacting with them on the basis of mutually agreeable free association.”

            If that had a chance of happening it would have by now but unfortunately it’s not in our nature. Our nature is to horde, look up “the tragedy of the commons” it’s a pretty good explanation of what happens in “free” situations.

            • eric
              March 16, 2014 at 11:36 am

              No fallacy, Bob.

              “Basic needs” does not justify theft. Nothing justifies theft. Theft is theft. Period.

              And remember: Theft relies on force or its threat. That is, I will (pick one) beat you up, threaten to beat you up, kill you, or threaten to kill you (or kidnap/cage you) if you do not “stand and deliver.”

              This is either – or.

              Either you believe aggressive violence is acceptable, according to your own subjective criteria.

              Or you believe (as I do) that aggressive violence is always morally wrong – and the victims have an absolute right to fight back.

            • eric
              March 16, 2014 at 11:40 am

              You write:

              “Our nature is to horde, look up “the tragedy of the commons” it’s a pretty good explanation of what happens in “free” situations.”

              Whose nature, Bob? Mine? Yours? Please note that you are making generalizations that do not apply universally.

              I have already addressed “hording” (you mean hoarding). A demagogic term. I keep what’s mine – however much (or little). The quantity is irrelevant to the question: Is it mine? Or is it – somehow – yours?

              This term, hoarding, is used to impugn possession of more of whatever than someone else believes the person “needs.” This despicable doctrine is the looter’s mantra. The parasites call to arms.

      • Me2
        March 16, 2014 at 11:04 am

        Should I post my ‘insanity’ definition again Eric? :)

        I am still amazed at the ‘yes I agree with you “X” is wrong but just a little “X” is OK because of the children, safety…….’. What mental defect keeps people from understanding that NOBODY has the right to tell ANYBODY what to do?

        The lack of comprehension that the ultimate, final and inevitable action the state will take is violence to even passive resistance or non-compliance is also baffling.

  12. Tor Minotaur
    March 15, 2014 at 12:31 pm

    Why pay bills anymore, when you don’t intend to use a service again. Why have a bank account in your name.

    “All over the country, I’m seeing the same
    Nobody’s winning, at this kind of game
    We gotta do better, it’s time to begin
    You know all the answers
    Must come from within?

    Don’t you have a girlfriend, family member, neighbor, drinking buddy, who’ll open an account for you and keep his name on the account for a few bucks?

    Get yourself a second social security card and drivers license from your local ghetto entrepreneur or craigslist guru.

    Just have a throw away cell phone. Change your number every so often. Give your old phone to someone you know, but they don’t know you.

    Don’t keep a steady address. Move frequently with no forwarding. Leave a cable bill or water bill in your name hear and there. You want to obfuscate the Borg a little.

    Apply for credit, but slightly mispell your name and data. Many places have salesmen who need the sale, and they’ll make your credit score work so they’ll get their commission.

    Plenty of places don’t e-verify. Or do the mandatory report of new employees with 20 days. Start working in those kind of places.

    Get one of those boxes in TX that RV dwellers keep, and use that for all your mail deliveries. No one cares who’s living in RVs. Pay some Texan to scan what’s in the box and email to an account you both know the login and password for.

    Get lots of people on the internet. Set up their emails, facebooks, twitters. Keep records of the passwords and answers to security questions. Do the reciprocal of this for your fellow deadbeat Soviet agents.

    If you can be found, determine the entity that is behind the hospital itself. Always, there’s somewhere to go to plead poverty. They’ll take your poverty at your word, be sure to dress down for the occassion and seem broke.

    They’ll probably settle for some reduced amount. Maybe $500 total instead of the $87,000 they billed you for. Be sure to pay it in installments.

    Paying for services and goods is so passe. You’ll never beat them all, so why not join them?

    “The mountain is high, the valley is low
    And you’re confused ’bout which way to go
    So I flew here to give you a hand
    And lead you into the promised land”

    Come on and take a free ride with Dear Leader!!
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SUn_qYeDPsg

  13. Clik
    March 15, 2014 at 12:04 pm

    I had a plumbing business until a year or so ago with a dozen employees. I offered them the same Blue X Blue Shield plan that I had since 1972.

    None opted for the plan. They knew that the hospitals had to treat them without insurance. Some ran up extensive bills when serious health issues hit them, but never once did I get a garnishment order to collect unpaid bills.

    Apparently word had gotten out that if you simply claim to be poor the hospital will shuffle the bill to State aid programs where the likelyhood of getting paid is higher. Just claiming to be poor tells them up front that you don’t plan to pay the bill even if you could afford to.

    Sort of like unwed mothers claim they don’t know who the daddy is because State money is more reliable than deadbeat dad.

  14. Tor Libertarian
    March 15, 2014 at 6:14 am

    Why the Banksters Don’t Care About Your Gold
    http://www.freemansperspective.com/banksters-dont-care-about-your-gold/

    Why are they unconcerned so many hold precious metals?
    The reason is people who hold these metals never use them.

    I regularly hear people asking, “How do we destroy the banks?” And the answer is obvious: Stop using their products.

    That, of course, is where the inquiry usually ends.
    As long as your coins remain static, they remain powerless. If you use them like money, big things can happen.

    The Bitcoin Kids Have It Right

    A lot of silver and gold people hate Bitcoin. But regardless of Bitcoin’s features or flaws, the Bitcoin community is doing one thing very well: They are using their currency, rather than merely admiring it.
    – – – –
    Why the Founders Made Their Own Money
    http://www.freemansperspective.com/rebellion-money/

    – – – –
    Freeman Perspective (Googul robots and mark of the beast, Katy Perry occult grammy rituals, )
    http://thefreemanperspective.blogspot.com/

    Third World Objectivism
    http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/third-world-objectivism

    Refusing to Associate with gays, blacks, women, foreigners, muslims, whoever, Isn’t Wrong, It’s A Right
    http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/refusing-to-associate-isnt-wrong-its-a-right

    I Will Never Go Back. “I will pick up a gun. I will fight in the streets. But I will never . . . go . . . back.” Vlad – from Ukraine
    http://www.fee.org/the_freeman/detail/i-will-never-go-back

  15. Tor Libertarian
    March 15, 2014 at 5:25 am

    Free Hawai’i
    http://freehawaii.blogspot.com/

    The Kingdom of Hawaii has learned the hard way, just what we is better than me means.

    Do you really think these formerly sovereign peoples traded their freedom and culture for some hotel and bank skyscrapers and an Interstate Highway system to nowhere?

    I mean come at me bro. Just because a bunch of American corporations and military vessels come ashore and occupying things and start voting and freeing the poor islanders half to death, can you with a straight face say that the Hawaiians are better of as a We?

    “The Hawaiian Kingdom is a multi-ethnic country comprised of citizens not only of Hawaiians by blood but also many other races. In 1993, the US admitted in US Public Law 103-150 that it violated its own Constitution, its treaties, international law by perpetrating an outrageous armed theft of the Kingdom of Hawai`i and the forced American citizenship of Hawaiian national citizens.

    America recognized in 1894, and again in 1993, that the Kingdom of Hawai`i has a right to exist.”

    Free Hawaii
    http://www.freehawaii.org/

    Rightful King of Hawaii
    http://www.freehawaii.org/kohn.html

    Coronation of the King of Hawaii
    http://www.freehawaii.org/corn.html

    Top 10 Countries With Monarchy Form of Government
    http://listdose.com/top-10-countries-with-monarchy-form-of-government/

    Qatar citizens are the wealthiest in the world by a large margin. Qatar is a monarchy.

    Monarchy Is Best – Hobbes – Leviathan
    http://taylormarshall.com/2008/02/hobbes-on-monarchy-in-leviathan.html

    Archaic Period In Greece
    http://www.ancientgreece.com/s/ArchaicPeriod/

    Archaic is one of five periods that Ancient Greek history can be divided into; it was preceded by the Dark Ages and followed by the Classical period. The Archaic period saw advancements in political theory, especially the beginnings of democracy, as well as in culture and art. The knowledge and use of written language which was lost in the Dark Ages was re-established.

    The Dark Ages of Greece brought about the solidification of the Greeks’ religion, mythology and founding history. The Greek people no longer lived in cities, after the collapse of the Mycenaean civilization (known as the “fall of the palaces”), but instead they formed small tribes.

    Some of these tribes were sedentary and agricultural, whereas others were nomadic and traveled Greece throughout the seasons. However these small tribes began to form one of Greece’s greatest political achievements: the ‘polis’, meaning the city-state, which is what the word ‘politics’ is derived from.

    From around 800 B.C. trade flourished between the communities as market places were built up in the villages, and they began working together to form defensive units and fortifications.

    In this way the Greek people developed and began to form strong city-states as their political centers,

    • Helot
      March 15, 2014 at 5:22 am

      Ahh, I didn’t click the link, but the title was funny, ‘Child Labor in Bitcoin Mines Exposed’.

      It’s too bad Bitcoins are what they are, they seemed to hold such promise:

      Warren Buffett Blasts Bitcoin as ‘Mirage': ‘Stay Away!’

      http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2014/03/warren-buffett-blasts-bitcoin-as-mirage.html

      The Future of “Crypotocurrencies” in General

      http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2014/03/the-future-of-crypotocurrencies-in.html

      • Tor Libertarian
        March 15, 2014 at 5:43 am

        Child Labor is hilarious to me. Just some blanket accusation that all children working are exploited because they say so.

        It would be so simple for public good education centers to use far less taxes. Or even to break even.

        Why can’t snotnose brats clean their own damn floors?
        Maintain their own buildings?
        Grow their own food. Pasture their own animals.
        Prepare and serve their own meals.
        Sew and clean their own clothes.
        Parents can pitch in as needed.
        It’s not got-damn rocket science.
        How stupid are these helots?

        Designate the smartest kids to teach their own classes?
        Who wants those douchey oldsters around in the first place?
        Bunch of creeps and sissies, most of them.
        Maintain their own discipline.
        Conduct and grade their own tests.
        Devise and execute their own lessons.
        Divide and assemble in their own ways.
        Pursue, study, and document subjects they find interesting.

        I just don’t get the Soviet Brick Wall Mindset. Help me understand how this shit keeps happening, even with the internet and smart devices now available?

        Patrol the schools with cameras and drones even. But keep them open 24 hours and 365 days. And secure from all enemies foreign, domestic, or government.

      • Tor Libertarian
        March 15, 2014 at 5:59 am

        It’s Coinion. Bitcoin’s finest news source.

        Bitcoin + Internet means potential complete anarchy. You can buy anything. Invent anything. If it’s not nailed down and encrypted, you can duplicate anything. Take someone else’s work or leaked files, make a few changes, and call it your own and sell it at a discount anonymously. Dangerous stuff indeed.

        Will the onion sue coinion. How will they succeed, if a bitcoin world continues to exist and thrive, a world indifferent to lawsuits, nameable plaintiffs, and without attachable assets.

        After Bitcoin, Congress also considering banning surgery and space exploration, says ‘too complicated’
        http://www.coinion.com/2013/12/07/after-bitcoin-congress-also-considering-banning-surgery-and-space-exploration-says-too-complicated/

        US Drones looking for Bitcoin Headquarters
        http://www.coinion.com/2013/12/31/u-s-drones-looking-bitcoin-headquarters/

  16. Clik
    March 15, 2014 at 1:56 am

    In my State there are many roads that are privately owned. Many Home Owner Associations were required to build and maintain their own roads which are in far, far better shape than the public roads.

    Same goes for many shopping centers and their access roads.

    Then there are the tech centers which have their own well maintained roads and many industrial areas are also responsible for their own roads.

    Public roads could be put up for bid and sold with the idea that the new owners could then bid on the amount of money they would charge to maintain those roads. The money paid to them would come from sold subscriptions.

    Subscriptions would be sold based on where you plan to drive. My 83 year old mother would only buy a county subscription. I might buy a tri-State subscription.

    Something similar is already done with big trucks. I had to buy a Fuel Tax Sticker for each State I drove in. If I had to make a trip out West I could order stickers on line for the States I planned to travel in.

    • Helot
      March 15, 2014 at 3:55 am

      I like that idea, Clik. There could even be an expensive ‘vacation subscription offering’ if you wanted to travel far.

      I’d buy that. …If it meant I wasn’t subject to some kind of shake-down along the way for no reason other than I was from out of state.
      Heh, a Pass Go, stay out of jail card? A.k.a. ‘Leave me alone ya fucks, I’m just passing through’ card. ?

  17. Tor Libertarian
    March 14, 2014 at 8:19 pm

    Damns, lol.

  18. Tor Libertarian
    March 14, 2014 at 8:18 pm

    Maybe I’m out of the loop here. But at what place. In what time. Were the top ever designated to be the ones to pay, and then they actually paid and it worked out?

    Various people, nations, classes are often demonized as being the ones who should be robbed. Various things are destroyed. Many things are prevented from ever being created and brought into the world to avoid the thefts of state.

    Grand schemes are always promised. But bloody heists are all that’s ever delivered.

    People always react and adapt. No plans ever come to fruition, but instead backfire. Things escalate and get ugly quick.

    That’s why I’d prefer retreating back to simpler times. Maybe we only need Egyptian style project design and execution. Canals. Bridges. Buildings. Factories. Terraces. Walls. Damns. Beaches. Vessels. Barriers.

    Huge open-ended pits of labor, that will always be there, so there is always plenty of things to be done, by the types who need and want these kind of public works. The will work for food, lodging, and tradecraft learning system.

    Show up at public works. Get fed. Have a place to sleep. Create a tool and then execute a trade. Nothing more complex or hierarchical than that.

    Nowhere, ever, have the top ever been designated, and then subsequently just quietly paid.

  19. Bob Benette
    March 14, 2014 at 7:21 pm

    BTW – ERIC if you delete anymore of my posts, I will stop being your chum. GET IT?

    You just deleted the netcraft post, what are you afraid of? I aslo noticed that you don’t leave a placeholder for the deleted posts which says a lot. Most sites delete but mark as offensive or violation of TOS.

    I’m having a few drinks now since it’s a weekend and my back has a knife in it so I doubt that I’ll be back all that much, besides the family is home..

    Have a good night.

    • eric
      March 15, 2014 at 6:34 am

      Bob,

      I delete posts that are personal attacks – and which divulge private information of people here. The comments section is for intelligent back-and-forth discussion of the issues raised by the articles.

      Period.

  20. Bob Benette
    March 14, 2014 at 6:05 pm

    No it’s not unless you happen to be a dick or some random person that the cops mistreat. Oh it does happen, just not all that much.

    So far, in this country, the fact of the matter is that when you don’t comply it definitly is dependant on what it is that you are not complying with that determines your fate. Some things people don’t comply with cause very little discomfort for the non compliant person. Others… well I happen to like that fact that murderers are taken by force possibly with a gun.

    It’s only a reality to the deluded and perhaps those that drive fast and then get beligerent with a cop…

    • eric
      March 14, 2014 at 6:07 pm

      Nonsense. Simply decline to obey and – ultimately – force will be applied.

      Even as regards trivial things that in no way entail harm caused to others. Mandatory seat belt laws, for instance. What will happen if I refuse to buckle up when ordered to do so? The cop will use force. If I defend myself against his assault, he may very well kill me.

      But the bottom line is violence or its threat to enforce compliance.

      Period.

      • Bob Benette
        March 14, 2014 at 6:32 pm

        Last I knew you got a ticket perhaps I haven’t kept up with the times. If you choose to be a dick to the cop or just happen to be part of his bad day, I suppose that could happen.

        BTW – we’re back to strawmen… The discussion was about social services and public goods at one time.. now we are here…..

        All of you that don’t like the militarization of the police but cheered on the wars have no one to blame but yourselves. I wish we had made different decisions but I’m not in charge. War always reduces the rights of the waring countries. Look at what’s left of the bill of rights or should I say bill of right..

        • eric
          March 15, 2014 at 6:49 am

          No, Bob – it works like this:

          Your are “pulled over” – implicitly threatened with violence if you do not pull over.

          Your are forced – implicitly threatened with violence – to sign a document that will ultimately result in the application of violence against you if you throw it away/refuse to acknowledge its legitimacy and pay the fine.

          If you refuse to sign, the cop will arrest you. That is, he will physically assault you. Kidnap you. Cage you. If you resist this assault, you may be summarily executed by him.

          If you refuse to wear the seatbelt, he will force you to do so.

          If you fail to pay the fine, the court will rescind your “permission” to drive – and you are now subject to being arrested at gunpoint if you do drive.

          Why do you evade the fact that violence is the core of all this, Bob?

      • Tor Libertarian
        March 14, 2014 at 6:57 pm

        Top 10 Most Socialist Countries
        http://blog.peerform.com/top-ten-most-socialist-countries-in-the-world/

        Probably all 10 of these are outperforming the USSA right now.

        Personally, I’m anti-isms all the way. I like laissez faire. Leave stuff alone. Leave people alone.

        The worst case of keeping public goods sacred, was the 1917 Russian revolution. They revered every scrap of their authorities property. Shortly thereafter, the new authority used all the public goods against them in the most brutal way. The lesson is, always loot public goods, whenever you can get away with it.

        That definition of public good is what’s currently listed in english wikipedia, with some editing and summarizing. I was just trying to engage with our guest, I don’t have a dog in the fight. Come to think of it, I’d like everyone to abandon English as a means of conversation, at least how it currently exists. It’s probably a lost cause.

        I don’t know Eric, what can be gotten out of these driveby people who take offense to everything and then respond in kind and try to make it personal.

        It’s like trying to have a conversation with a wacky waving inflatable arm flailing tube man. Perhaps I should invite rathbonez back for my further education?
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6GznhT__PXs

        • Bob Benette
          March 14, 2014 at 7:06 pm

          I don’t know Eric, what can be gotten out of these driveby people who take offense to everything and then respond in kind and try to make it personal.

          I screwed up my back the other day and have nothing to do for a while beside chew flexeril by the handful which might also explain some of my crap ass typing.

          I have been trying to have a conversation and quite frankly haven’t been offended much because I know that you don’t know me. It’s worth a try to see if you can see me through your preconcieved notions.

          Again, I doubt that we are all that far apart, we are just looking at the same problems from a slightly different angle. It it right that apple sells you and iphone made in china from a subsidiary in ireland the takes all of the profit to the isle of man to avoid paying any taxes? Same for google..

          If you want porportional taxes, the most efficient waty to do that is on a per unit basis at the point of production..

          • eric
            March 15, 2014 at 6:39 am

            Bob,

            I want no taxes.

            Taxation is the forcible taking of other people’s rightful property; i.e., it is theft by another name.

            The purpose/ends of taxation – no matter how “good” you may consider them – do not obviate the fact that a theft has been committed. I do not consider theft to be “good” under any circumstances.

            If I point a gun at you and compel you to give me your money – and then give that money to an old widow so that she isn’t evicted from her home – you have still been the victim of an armed robbery. Does it make you feel better that a “deserving” person has been helped after you’ve been threatened with lethal violence?

            My position is that all human interactions should be voluntary and non-violent.

            If you think “x” is a worthy cause, then you are free to work to see it realized and to encourage others to freely consent to provide their assistance.

            But you have no right to force anyone to do so.

            This, I think, is the core of the difference between us.

            You believe it’s ok to use violent coercion for reasons you deem to be “good.”

            I believe it’s never ok to use violence or its threat in any case except self-defense against those who initiate violence themselves.

      • Bevin
        March 14, 2014 at 8:22 pm

        Dear Eric,

        An excellent example.

        Why?

        Because it underscores the real agenda. If the real agenda of the criminal organization calling itself “The Government” was your physical safety, why would its response to your refusal to obey be to reach for a truncheon or handgun? Why would its response be to threaten your physical safety?

        Obviously its real agenda is your obedience, not your physical safety.

        Obviously they don’t give a rat’s ass about your physical safety. What they really care about is your obedience. That’s why when they encounter disobedience, they go ballistic and you can kiss your physical safety bye bye.

        As always, to figure out what someone is really concerned about, simply “bottom line” it. It’s not that difficult. One merely has to break out of one’s 12 years plus of mandated “conditioning.”

    • Tor Libertarian
      March 14, 2014 at 7:20 pm

      I don’t care about comfort and wealth per se. My criteria for best is “enlightenment.” That means Ionian Greece of 3000 years ago.

      Key question: What are the main contributions of the Ionians to science and philosophy?

      Answer: Their main contribution to science and philosophy is that they invented them.

      Also they invented the world’s best art and sculpture later to become famous and admired in Athens. No other artistry comes even close in terms of excellence and mastery.

      http://askaphilosopher.wordpress.com/2012/05/01/the-ionians-contribution-to-philosophy/

      Ionian Enlightenment
      The Ionian Enlightenment is a term used to describe the advances in scientific thought, naturalistic explanations, and the application of rational and scientific criticisms to all spheres of life in Ionia of ancient Greece in 6th century BC.

      The enlightenment challenged the flawed morality of the gods, suggesting that the will of the gods did not cause the “bad” in the world; rather it was caused by natural means.

      Philosophers removed the gods from their reasoning, and concluded that things occurred naturally and independently from the will of the gods.

      It was ionian natural philosophy, which we call science today. Even so, there is much more behind it. You would surely not believe that Thales said to himself one day: I’m going to create science!

      Before such a thought can occur to you, it is necessary to have liberty to think, and flexibility in your thinking. In a sense this is real difficulty and greatest contribution the Ionians made. Effectively the Ionian philosophers discovered what it means to think, and then they taught us all what thinking is good for.

      The background to this is that the Greeks were just as deeply religious as we Christians were 500 years ago. They believed that gods and spirits were everywhere and that you had to worship them and fear them, because they were so powerful.

      How and why the Ionian philosophers began to think about existence and the universe is of course very difficult to explain.

      By the time Aristotle and Plato came around, Greece was far below their former apogee. Modern students are taught only a blurb about Greece, and generally have no idea how far above us, their intellect still towers.

      The tone of discourse to this day is superstitious and magical in nature. People are taught to view civilizations as having different customs, and art. They’re not asked to evaluate the depth of their intellect and reach of their science and philosophy.

      They don’t debate on fundamentals and first principles. They immediately devolve in to superficiality and attempts at rhetorical point scoring.
      – – –

      Ionian Greece is the undisputed champ in many fields too numerous to list.
      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionian_Enlightenment

      Ionian (major scale) Ionian columns. They originated the distinct school of art which later flourished in Athens in the 5th century BC. Greek statues distinguished by the fineness of workmanship and minuteness of detail above anything else ever to have existed.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionian_School_(philosophy)

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ionia

  21. Tor Libertarian
    March 14, 2014 at 4:54 pm

    Bob, I don’t think health care is yet a public good. If the government wanted to make it so, they need only take steps to quadruple the supply of doctors, until such time as supply far exceeds demand.

    The internet is a good example of a public good. My use of the internet doesn’t affect others simultaneous equal use of it. There’s no good way to prevent certain people from accessing internet. Someone often finds a way to get things free, or to access things meant only for paying customers.

    A public good is a good that is both non-excludable and non-rivalrous in that individuals cannot be effectively excluded from use and where use by one individual does not reduce availability to others. Examples of public goods include fresh air, knowledge, lighthouses, national defense, flood control systems and street lighting.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Public_good

    • Bob Benette
      March 14, 2014 at 5:07 pm

      Bob, I don’t think health care is yet a public good. If the government wanted to make it so, they need only take steps to quadruple the supply of doctors, until such time as supply far exceeds demand.

      It a social service. And there no shortage of docs, just GPs because they don’t pay well for the position so what we get is minutely indistinguishable specialists that charge way more. Fee for service is the dumbest thing there. If your car repair guy had you make a separate appointment to change your spark plugs when your car was there for an oil change you’d be pissed and yet that’s how our healthcare system works.

      The internet is a good example of a public good.

      No it’s not. I have to pay for it to be on it and so do the majority it is a PRIVATE service that incidently was created by that darned state thingy.

      A public good would be something more like street lights, roads or public parks.

      • methylamine
        March 14, 2014 at 7:35 pm

        Fee for service is the dumbest thing there.

        Define your terms. What’s “fee for service”?

        Background: I’m a non-practicing doctor who switched to software–better lifestyle, money, and fun–and my wife’s an OB/GYN. I spent the summer before med school touring the UK studying their health “care” system in all its socialist splendiferessness.

        First point: of fucking course your doctor should be like your mechanic. You take your car for routine maintenance, you take your body for the same. Something’s wrong, you take the car in and describe the symptoms, the mechanic diagnoses, gives you a rundown on costs, and you decide what to fix at the agreed-upon price…usually posted on the wall.

        Same with your body.

        It is precisely because we’ve gotten away from that model that medicine in broken!

        My dad is a retired doc. So’s my grand-dad. They were small entrepreneurs, small businessmen; doctors in the grand old sense of private practitioners. They did most of their careers without taking insurance; just cash payment, as it should be.

        Because it’s only when you PAY for a service that you price-shop, and the providers compete on price and quality….like every other free enterprise.

        Put an insurer–a third-party payer of any type–into the mix, and you get price distortions. Because the price signal is hidden.

        Throw government and regulation into the mix, and off to the races–you’re on the path to hell…the same hell I saw in the UK system.

        And let me tell you, it is a NIGHTMARE. Go ahead. Contradict me especially on the last point; there is absolutely, categorically no denying that health care in the UK sucks compared to even ours. Ours has declined dramatically in the last thirty years; but the last vestiges of free enterprise still keep it pretty good.

        • Bob Benette
          March 14, 2014 at 8:45 pm

          “Define your terms. What’s “fee for service”?”

          If you are in the biz you know that there is a code for every service that is rendered, it’s the basis of common insurance rejection “the code is wrong so we won’t pay”. It has the “cost” attached to it and if it’s wrong… no pay..
          Secondly a GP can’t do anything for you that a specialist can do so you pay him to refer you to a specialist unless you have a ppo and know that you need a podiatrist for your foot.

          Your podiatrist can’t help you with that cough, you need a GP for that. Your podiatrist cant solve your auto immune problems that is also causing you problems so he sends you to a Rheumy for that. When you arrive you have a rash but now you have to make an appointment with a dermatologist..

          THAT is fee for service not including the radiologist and the guy that gives you an MRI. IT”S FUCKED! Tell me I’m wrong and that you have experience that differs..

          INSURANCE fucked it all up and it’s a capitalist’s dream. You kinda said it yourself. Health insurance used to be a capitalistic front end with a scoalistic middle and a darwinist back end. It hasn’t changed all that much, the darwinist back end is gone for now from what I can see. That’s about it.

          The government is the reason the darwinist back end is gone…. for now.

          • Tor Libertarian
            March 15, 2014 at 4:13 am

            Bob,

            I’ve had a friend who did some medical billing for a GP friend a few years back when his partner in medical practice had a nervous breakdown and left him all alone with his patients. The friend also assisted in minor ops and entered all kinds of data into dispensary systems and medical charts and the like.

            None of it was particularly hard since this friend had a science background and no particular reverence for the pretense of the state. Also this friends Dad had a full home lab growing up, and trained my friend with what he learned while drafted as some kind of triage center medic in nam, though his Dad wouldn’t really talk about it.

            The Dad was a published university chemist, and was part of several pending patents, but at the time, had no pull or connections, so got his ass drafted, and made to do his part for the socialist utopia.

            Turns out at least in some places, my friend just threw on some scrubs, and began to literally play doctor.

            This doctor friend, sees a few patients each day for egos sake and force of habit. But all his money really comes from a seeing a few high net worth patients, for cosmetic work, some of whom pay him to meet them elsewhere in the world. And also athletes, who apparently are a cocktail of dozens of undocumented performance chemicals. His first language is arabic, and he cares not a bit about so-called specialties or corporate shenanigans of revolving appointments.

            He prefers cash in payment. His credit card machine is usually “broken” shall we say. He’ll see friends and old clients on the basis of insurance, but he’s lucky if he gets 10% of the value of the services he provides when he does. Plus it takes many months to get paid.

            The fact that goons with guns and bureaucrats with clipboards don’t approve of my doctor friend, means nothing to me. I don’t consider boards of medicine integral to the free market. Or corporations integral to the free market.

            Nor do I care for medical specialties conferred by state boards of health. So much of what you dislike about so-called capitalism, I’m not attached to either. I also see no value in giving people immunity from their actions just because their registered at the state as some sort of legal fiction.

            I guess you’ll win all these debates at least with me. I’m just using terms as they’re defined in wikipedia as a baseline, and correcting what seem to be glaring errors.

            It seems ridiculous to say there are plenty of doctors. There are plenty of cooks. Cleaners. Bookkeepers and recordkeepers. But never enough doctors.

            It all seems random to me. Why is it, no one patents the idea of a hamburger, or chicken noodle soup. Why is anyone allowed to attempt to duplicate a competitor’s frozen yogurt, but not take apart their ABS system, and make their own version.

            Probably most of what’s hollowed out America a while back, is plagiarism, reverse engineering, and so called theft of ideas. Since this helps the individual, I’m not inclined to be against this.

            I don’t care how damaging leeches and copycats are to these corrupt systems. I do care when practitioners are unable to earn their livings. But protecting bad systems with legal means just doesn’t seem possible.

            I’d like to free the market further, and not have duplications and attempts at imitation be criminalized in anyway. Leave it to the makers, to find ways to protect their inventions. I think they could, if we’d only untie their hands and let them take action.

            Socialism works, because it copies or seizes the work of producers.
            I do think many Russians at least at one time were Socialist Femnists. They nearly all believed in empowering Mother Russia
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y4D96fPl_hI

            You can’t make people compete the way you want. Laws and soldiers can’t either. Certainly there may have been Socialist Nations, whose love of country compelled them to come to America and simply steal technology, rather than invent for themselves.

            So yeah, Socialist Thievery might be the most effective system of all. But some one has to innovate. Someone has to create. Someone has to individually bear arms, and protect themselves and their families. And guard their creations. And keep their producer goods in private hands.

            Most Socialists never do this, so that leaves America, Serbia, Yemen, Israel, Switzerland, and a handful of other nations who won’t lay down their arms and be rag dolls for the state.

            Even the most avowed committed Socialist should understand that, he needs some peoples to stand their ground, and keep the moocher’s hands off the fruits of their labors. And their fruit trees. if the Socialist moocher is to continue having someone to rob and pillage technology from. Right?

          • eric
            March 15, 2014 at 6:23 am

            Insurance at gunpoint is crony/cartel capitalism; fascism, actually – since it is big business using the police powers of big government to force people to “contribute” and forcibly preventing free-exchange alternatives.

            Nixon – a Republican – is most culpable for cartelizing “health care” by colluding with Kaiser Permanente to establish HMOs.

          • methylamine
            March 15, 2014 at 1:17 pm

            “INSURANCE fucked it all up and it’s a capitalist’s dream.”

            I would amend that slightly…with “…it’s a crony capitalist’s dream”.

            Here’s how the scam works–and it also answers your very correct objection to how retarded the referral system is:

            Medicare/Medicaid.

            But how? They dictate terms. They started the insane “coding” system. There were precursors in the insurance industry, but they were very light-handed; none of this Draconian “code right or we don’t pay”. It was the FedGov who “standardized” the codes–and made it a felony to mis-code even by accident. Doctors can be, and are, literally put in jail for incorrectly crossing t’s and dotting i’s.

            Hence, they are super-reluctant to stray outside their direct field. They’re also forbidden from coding outside their specialty in most cases, or risk non-payment.

            So the insurance industry, sensing a very fine scam in the brewing, adopted Medicare/Medicaid billing practices–and in fact are legally required to do so in most cases. They also follow M&M billing rates plus a percentage–so the FedGov is fixing prices, too!

            Needless to say, it’s destroying competition–competition for quality AND for price. And that destroys the industry; there’s no incentive to do better.

            Go back to two-party, payer/payee! It really IS just like your corner mechanic. Price list on the wall, a handshake, cash on the counter, thank you very much. Some catastrophe insurance for the Big Hit when you wrap your car around a tree or get shot by a trigger-happy pig.

            Or get cancer from one of the hundreds of oncoviruses they spike in the vaccines.

    • eric
      March 14, 2014 at 5:20 pm

      Hi Tor,

      I cannot accept the notion of “public good” as other than a dangerous rhetorical sleight of hand.

      Who is the public? Is it me? You? Those people over there? All of us together? What if some of us do not agree that a given thing is “good”? Does the fact that some others believe it is “good” give them the right to compel us to agree? To provide funds toward its furtherance?

      In fact, the notion of “public good” is nothing more than the rule of the stronger – with the element of force soft-pedaled by the oily premise of “goodness” (says who?) as well as false universality (hey, it’s “good” for everyone!).

      Demagogues use the “public good” to further their aggrandizement of power, to control everyone according to their notions of “good.”

      Concrete example:

      I own myself – and assert my right to care for myself as I see fit. I feel no need for “health care” (that is, for insurance) and choose to skip it on the theory that my risk profile for major illness is low and I’d be better served eating sensibly, exercising, and saving the money that would otherwise go to pay for insurance.

      But “public goodians” deny my right to control my body – and to take decisions regarding its care. They intend to force me to buy insurance.

      They are slavemasters – nothing more. Less, actually – because they are dishonest about their true motives.

      • Bob Benette
        March 14, 2014 at 5:31 pm

        Then you get a terrible disease like cancer now what are we to do? Let you die because you didn’t understand risk pools and failed to pay you share to be in the pool?

        I don’t like risk pools for healthcare BTW, it’s just that it’s currently that way in this country. it is what it is.. Certainly not “slavery” but not exactly good either. The rest of the developed world does it way better. JMHO

        • eric
          March 14, 2014 at 5:32 pm

          All I ask, Bob, is that you don’t point guns at me unless I have pointed mine at you first.

          • Bob Benette
            March 14, 2014 at 5:38 pm

            Why all the hyperbole? Who points guns at who in the majority of one’s life? Most people not only don’t point guns, they don’t own guns. So why all the gun talk? And what does that have to do with treating your cancer when you don’t have a way of paying for it?

            • eric
              March 14, 2014 at 5:56 pm

              It’s not hyperbole. It’s a fact. Fail to comply and the end result, ultimately, is a gun pointed in your face. Why do you evade dealing with this reality?

          • Bevin
            March 14, 2014 at 8:27 pm

            Dear Bob,

            Why the evasion?

            Is it getting a little too real for you now?

            Why point guns?

            Ask your LEO chums that.

          • Tor Libertarian
            March 15, 2014 at 4:40 am

            That’s where these public gooders lose me. When they don’t concede that force is not warranted to maintain their public dogooder systems.

            Their minds are so opened, that their brains fall out, as someone said recently.

            To me charity is taking up a collection to help the poor. To get them through tough times, to get them down the road to not being poor.

            But for them charity is also enforcing women’s equality in African nations through force. And forcing Irish business owners to prohibit smoking in their bars.

            I remember a while back looking at an Annual Oxfam Financial Report. And seeing their charity first hand. This so-called charity bragged about helping ban smoking in Irish Pub Culture. And forcing women’s equality in East Africa.

            How the heck is that charity? How is that helping the less fortunate. Non-profit has become this blanket license to impose any number of unwanted things on peaceful people. Impose them with guns, law, and punishments. The very opposite of charity.

            These charities make the poor much poorer. They enable the strong to rule over the weak. And then lie to themselves and everyone, and say what they are doing is good. What they are doing is charity.

            The British Heart Foundation is not a charity
            http://www.rethinkeurope.co.uk/blog/2014/03/12/no-smoking-day-2014/

            Oxfam is not a charity. It’s a Socialist Front. Women’s rights
            The potential for lasting change lies in the hands of millions of women currently living in poverty. That’s why Oxfam puts women’s rights at the heart of everything we do.
            http://www.oxfam.org.uk/what-we-do/issues-we-work-on/womens-rights

            Irish Charities want tobacco firms to pay more tax.
            http://www.irishexaminer.com/ireland/charities-want-tobacco-firms-to-pay-more-tax-242114.html

            Science used to be about discovering new knowledge and accomplishing new tasks. Like space travel and vaccines.

            Now science is corrupted and about power and keeping the masses ignorant and dependent on Governmental Hierarchies, Crony Cartels, and Corporations.

            – We continue to live in an age of endarkenment. Where more and more things are hidden from the masses. And fewer and fewer things are open and as they appear. I can’t fathom how people don’t see the danger and treachery of purveyors of public goods. Or the acolytes of secret knowledge.

            I don’t ask them to champion libertarianism. Or embrace capitalism. I just ask them to agree to the imperfections and evils that are plainly obvious to anyone who is willing to look.

          • Helot
            March 15, 2014 at 4:50 am

            “an age of endarkenment”

            Now if that doesn’t describe the current state of things.

            I’ve seen it written elsewhere: ‘The New Dark Ages’ are upon us.

            …We’re surrounded by willfully ignorant bastards.

        • methylamine
          March 14, 2014 at 7:44 pm

          Another fallacy promulgated by statists in defense of socialist medicine.

          What happened to people in America before the socialist crap stated in the mid-60’s?

          Were they dropping in the streets from untreated cancer? Did they die in pools of blood after car crashes?

          No. Look around; most hospitals are still “St. Something’s”–they were, and still are in some measure, charities. It is FACT that until recently–even when I took the Hippocratic Oath in 1996–it was expected, it was your moral obligation (not State-enforced) to give away 10 to 30 percent of your work for free, for charity. Ron Paul did it. My dad did it. My grand-dad did it. My wife does it.

          But the State is a jealous god–and it does not like competition. Private charity puts it out of business; the business of “providing” and thereby gaining control.

          So it’s making it nearly impossible financially to provide said charity–and designing regulations in such a manner as to make it legally impossible as well.

          THAT’S how people used to be taken care of when they couldn’t afford treatment–private, consensual, voluntary charity.

          Nobody in American actually went without care. In fact today, nobody goes without care–if you’re in a crash, you WILL be taken care of.

          • BrentP
            March 14, 2014 at 8:22 pm

            The system that exists today is because medical care cost too much. What people refuse to do is study why it costs too much. How it ended up costing too much. Why we can’t get it cheaply like say a cell phone.

            Oddly enough, the people making the newest patches to get the system they want in the end do have a decent understanding of how it got to where it is:

            http://www.economicpolicyjournal.com/2014/03/the-long-evil-history-of-government.html

        • methylamine
          March 14, 2014 at 7:50 pm

          The rest of the developed world does it way better. JMHO

          Well Bob, there are opinions, then there are facts. The first are based on assumption; the second, on observing reality.

          Why, if most other countries do it better, do I have at this very moment a family from the UAE living down the street…they’re here for cancer treatment. Houston is a nexus for medical treatment world-wide; patients come from all over the globe to the Houston Medical Center just five miles from my house.

          I’ll readily admit–as we’re sliding into socialist medicine, our standards and results are dropping. But before this, we were simply, without question, automatically and unhesitatingly–the best.

          But like all other emblems of our freedom and prosperity, that’s all circling the drain as we devolve to collectivism.

          The “gifts” of collectivism just keep on coming, don’t they?

          • methylamine
            March 14, 2014 at 7:52 pm

            BTW I use “socialist” to describe our system very loosely. It’s more accurately crony capitalist, and very strictly speaking, fascist–the perfect merger of corporation and state, the socialization of losses and privatization of profit.

          • Bob Benette
            March 14, 2014 at 8:07 pm

            “Well Bob, there are opinions, then there are facts. The first are based on assumption; the second, on observing reality.”

            I give you this…

            http://blogs.reuters.com/anya-schiffrin/2014/02/12/the-french-way-of-cancer-treatment/

            When my father, the editor and writer Andre Schiffrin, was diagnosed with stage four pancreatic cancer last spring, my family assumed we would care for him in New York. But my parents always spent part of each year in Paris, where my father was born, and soon after he began palliative chemotherapy at Memorial Sloan Kettering my father announced he wanted to stick to his normal schedule — and spend the summer in France.

            I humored him — though my sister and I didn’t want him to go. We felt he should stay in New York City, in the apartment where we grew up. I could visit him daily there, bringing takeout from his favorite Chinese restaurant and helping my mother.

            I also didn’t know what the French healthcare system would be like. I’d read it was excellent, but assumed that meant there was better access for the poor and strong primary care. Not better cancer specialists. How could a public hospital in Paris possibly improve on Sloan Kettering’s cancer treatment?
            After all, people come from the all over the world for treatment at Sloan Kettering. My mother and I don’t even speak French. How could we speak to nurses or doctors and help my father? How would we call a taxi or communicate with a pharmacy?

            But my dad got what he wanted, as usual. After just one cycle of chemo in New York, my parents flew to Paris, to stay in their apartment there. The first heathcare steps were reassuring: my parents found an English-speaking pancreatic cancer specialist and my dad resumed his weekly gemcitabine infusions.

            My parents were pleasantly surprised by his new routine. In New York, my father, my mother and I would go to Sloan Kettering every Tuesday around 9:30 a.m. and wind up spending the entire day. They’d take my dad’s blood and we’d wait for the results. The doctor always ran late. We never knew how long it would take before my dad’s name would be called, so we’d sit in the waiting room and, well, wait. Around 1 p.m. or 2 p.m. my dad would usually tell me and my mom to go get lunch. (He never seemed to be hungry.) But we were always afraid of having his name called while we were out. So we’d rush across the street, get takeout and come back to the waiting room.

            We’d bring books to read. I’d use the Wi-Fi and eat the graham crackers that MSK thoughtfully left out near the coffee maker. We’d talk to each other and to the other patients and families waiting there. Eventually, we’d see the doctor for a few minutes and my dad would get his chemo. Then, after fighting New York crowds for a cab at rush hour, as my dad stood on the corner of Lexington Avenue feeling woozy, we’d get home by about 5:30 p.m.

            So imagine my surprise when my parents reported from Paris that their chemo visits couldn’t be more different. A nurse would come to the house two days before my dad’s treatment day to take his blood. When my dad appeared at the hospital, they were ready for him. The room was a little worn and there was often someone else in the next bed but, most important, there was no waiting. Total time at the Paris hospital each week: 90 minutes.

            There were other nice surprises. When my dad needed to see specialists, for example, instead of trekking around the city for appointments, he would stay in one room at Cochin Hospital, a public hospital in the 14th arrondissement where he received his weekly chemo. The specialists would all come to him. The team approach meant the nutritionist, oncologist, general practitioner and pharmacist spoke to each other and coordinated his care. As my dad said, “It turns out there are solutions for the all the things we put up with in New York and accept as normal.”

            One day he had to spend a few hours at Cochin. They gave him, free of charge, breakfast and then a hot lunch that included salad and chicken. They also paid for his taxi to and from the hospital each week.

            “Can’t you think of anything bad about the French healthcare system?” I asked during one of our daily phone calls. My mom told me about a recent uproar in the hospital: It seems a brusque nurse rushed into the room and forgot to say good morning. “Did you see that?” another nurse said to my mom. “She forgot to say bonjour!”

            When the gemcitabine stopped working, the French oncologist said he would put my dad on another drug — one my dad’s U.S. insurance plan had refused to approve in New York.

            By this time, I had become a French healthcare bore. Regaling my New York friends with stories of my dad’s superb care in Paris, I found people assumed he was getting VIP treatment or had a fancy private plan. Not at all. He had the plain vanilla French government healthcare.

            I had read many articles about the French healthcare system during the long public debate over Obamacare. But I still I hadn’t understood fully, until I read this interview in the New York Times, that the French system is basically like an expanded Medicaid. Pretty much everyone has insurance, it explained, and the French get better primary care and more choice of doctors than we do. It also turns out, as has been much commented on, that despite all this great treatment, the French spend far less on healthcare than Americans.

            In 2011, France’s expenditure on health per capita was $4,086, compared to $8,608 in the United States, according to the World Health Organization. Spending as a percentage of gross domestic product was 11.6 percent in France while in the United States it was a far higher 17.9 percent.

            Last fall, my mother asked me to come and see their general practitioner in Paris so we could plan ahead for my father. My mom got an appointment for the next morning and we walked to the office, five minutes from my parents’ apartment. We waited for a half-hour on a comfortable couch, chuckling over the very French selection of magazines on the coffee table (Elle and Vogue) and admiring the lush garden view. The waiting room was quiet. I realized what was missing: There was no billing department.

            We spoke with the doctor for about 45 minutes. My mom wanted to know what would happen when my dad was no longer able to walk. “Oh,” said the doctor, speaking in English. “I prescribe a wheelchair and it’s delivered to your house. Shall I do it now?”

            When I asked the price, she looked surprised. No charge. She asked if we wanted someone to come to the house every day and it was my turn to look surprised. What would they do? For example, someone could come and give my dad a massage to alleviate his neck pain. Again, no charge.

            At the end of the appointment, my mom pulled out her French insurance card. Total cost of the visit? 18 euros.

            When my dad began to get worse, the home visits started. Nurses came three times a day to give him insulin and check his blood. The doctor made house calls several times a week until my father died on December 1.

            The final days were harrowing. The grief was overwhelming. Not speaking French did make everything more difficult. But one good thing was that French healthcare was not just first rate — it was humane. We didn’t have to worry about navigating a complicated maze of insurance and co-payments and doing battle with billing departments.

            Every time I sit on hold now with the billing department of my New York doctors and insurance company, I think back to all the things French healthcare got right. The simplicity of that system meant that all our energy could be spent on one thing: caring for my father.

            That time was priceless.

            Notice that it’s just a little different arrangement but a lot more convientient and cheeper. WE have the ability to be better, we just choose to not be better. We are not #1 for a reason.

            • eric
              March 15, 2014 at 6:26 am

              Bob,

              Whether the French (or any “health care”) system is regarded as “good” by you – or anyone else – is beside the point. You have no right to force me – or any other unwilling person – to participate (that is, to compel us to hand over money, to accept “care” we may not want, to deny our right to transact business freely with others on the basis of voluntary exchange, etc.).

              If you want insurance, then buy it.

              But you have no right to force others to buy it.

              And please: No straw men arguments such as “well, what happens when you get cancer…”

              If I do get cancer, it is my problem. You – and others – may wish to help me (assuming I need help). But I have no right to force you or any other person to help me. Your unstated premise is that I am a hypocrite and would use force to compel others to help.

              But this is just a gratuitous assertion – exactly like saying I am going to commit murder because I own a gun and therefore ought not to be allowed to own a gun.

          • Bob Benette
            March 14, 2014 at 8:11 pm

            “BTW I use “socialist” to describe our system very loosely. It’s more accurately crony capitalist, and very strictly speaking, fascist–the perfect merger of corporation and state, the socialization of losses and privatization of profit.”

            OMG… we are in complete agreement of the problem. I am speechless!

            WE AGREE WE AGREE WE AGREE WE AGREE WE AGREE WE AGREE!!!

          • methylamine
            March 15, 2014 at 1:30 pm

            @Bob re: cancer treatment

            I give the example of the UAE family here for cancer treatment to demonstrate we still have elements of the best.

            However it’s FAR from “the best available”–because we’re totally beholden to the pharmaceutical/government cartel. The FDA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Big Pharma.

            Hence, we have very little of the extremely effective cancer cures available at private clinics here and elsewhere.

            So it’s a mixed bag.

            As far as your French story–sure. But that was palliative care.

            Now let’s talk about, say, hip replacements for 65-year-olds in Canada or the UK–not gonna happen! You get–a cane–see, ’cause a hip’s too expensive at that age. 40, maybe. 60, if you’re “connected”. 70? Fuggeddaboutit.

            Need an MRI for your unlikely-but-maybe brain cancer in its earliest stage of suspicions? Fuggeddaboutit. Go across the border to Detroit and get it there for cash.

            Collectivist medicine becomes all about group cost savings, the illusory “greater good”.

            As for the 18-euro office visit–sure! I believe it…but someone ELSE paid the rest.

            TAANSTAAFL–There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch!

      • Tor Libertarian
        March 14, 2014 at 6:14 pm

        Eric,

        I believe the pinnacle of civilization was probably Greece, and they had tons of public goods. (I hate such words, who knows if we’re even thinking of the same things) They had public baths, public temples, public libraries, public inns and dining halls, and everything. But there were definitely class systems at play. And 75% of Greece were slaves of some kind. But it worked, and it made people prosperous and productive.

        I’m not sure exactly why. But Roman public goods were not goods of the many at all. They were a facade. A mockery of the old Greek ways. It failed, and it made people predatory and destructive.

        Roman civilization was a case of people being slaves to the system. Their class system was antagonistic. Instead of the learned men of goodwill being in charge. It was the most brutal psychopaths that ran everything. I’m not sure what all the differences were. But there is no doubt, that all Roman goods, were evil goods just as you say.

        I think socialism has it’s place, where people see themselves as family. Perhaps Sweden is a good example of it. 10 million people with fairly similar values and a long tradition of willingness to act as a whole.

        As long as they don’t shoot you for trying to leave Sweden, which I don’t think they do, then I’m fine with it remaining a shitty doomed social democracy just how it now is. At least in theory, the Swedes can vote in conservative christian democrats, or green communists, or whatever other oligarchy system choices they get each year.

        Definitely everything you say about socialism is 100% true for America. For that matter it’s mostly true for what they’re trying to foist on us as being capitalism also.

        The reason all the system suck, is the fiat currency central bank scam. Which seems more than happy to be the wizard behind the curtain no matter what face you put on the curtain.

        I am only trying to engage in a conversation, but like you, I assume, I can’t for the life of me see how risk pools and technicalities have anything to do with the Affordable Care Act scam.

        I am all for a one world bridge system being built. Private is best. But public is second best. Specifically, one to get across the Bering Strait and the Darien Gap.

        I’d like to see one road that truly was usable by the whole world and could be used to drive from Buenos Aires to London to Johannesburg. A road and public access for all citizens of the world to travel, and to put an end to these national cages and needing to fly or take boats everywhere. I’d like those who use it to pay. Again I’ll accept that it may be subsidized as second best.

        • Bob Benette
          March 14, 2014 at 6:54 pm

          I believe the pinnacle of civilization was probably Greece, and they had tons of public goods.

          I doubt that we have reached a pinacle as of yet. Greece at the time you were talking about had fairly miseralble lives compared to your own today. You just take it for granted that it sucks now when it really doesn’t. Try to consentrate on the good things and you’ll be a lot happier. Being a slave has never been a good thing for most.

          The romans collapsed for the same reason that our economy is currently failing, they outsourced their production to the people that they annexed and gutted their own production. It’s not completely the same but it is very similar.

          Hey eric what wrong with netcraft stats and hosting costs. I noticed you deleted it. So what’s the deal? I pit this here so you’d miss it andother could know that you do indeed delete.

          I don’t think socialism is all that good but if WE do something right we’ll use socialist ideas where they fit, capitalism where it fits and communism where it fits. We used to do a better job than we do now but we are self dividing through paranoia thereby helping those who choose to concour us. We need to band together to make the top pay what they should be paying to use our public goods.

          • eric
            March 15, 2014 at 6:43 am

            What you believe as regards general notions of “public good” is irrelevant. Only individuals know what is “good” for themselves; or rather, have the right to decide for themselves what is “good.” It is the height of arrogance to presume to know what’s “good” for some other person – especially a person you literally do not even know personally – and an abomination to use force to compel him to accept your vision of the “good.”

            PS: The Greeks practiced slavery; was that “good”?

        • eric
          March 15, 2014 at 6:51 am

          I have no problem with socialism – if it’s voluntary.

          A family is socialist in that the parents care for the children and share responsibilities. But it is a voluntary association and adults are free to come – and go.

          My issue is with violent/coercive socialism – or any “ism.”

          • Tor Libertarian
            March 15, 2014 at 7:31 am

            Me too. It’s demeaning, and I intend to refuse to listen to these people who have violence backing them up.

            I am comfortable “talking out of school.” Also, it seems the more clovers/”enemies” posts get through here, the more “out of school” I temporarily become.

            But absolutely, voluntary is the thing.

            One trouble with myself as an American holding Socialists to account, might be America’s wide dispersion of a world wide empire, and also America’s violent crimes and coercions record is appallingly horrid.

            I don’t think I can yet escape sharing responsibility and accountability for the monstrosity that is America. Until I stop showing up in their databases. Using their currency. Paying their fees and taxes. Accruing the benefits and obligations of an American.

            Pointing a finger at someone like me, who lives in Nevada, and saying “bugger off, you’re an American” is a pretty compelling argument really.

            I only refute that argument when I stop acting like an American.

            It’s an encouraging gesture, but ultimately not of consequence, what I think or say about America.

            The damning piece of testimony is how much I continue to participate in the American Nightmare, regardless of how much I truly loathe every iota of it on a molecular level.

            America at least doesn’t have as much violent crimes as Australia or Britain. Places with hardly any “evil guns” in private hands.
            http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-25671/Violent-crime-worse-Britain-US.html

  22. Bob Benette
    March 14, 2014 at 2:59 pm

    “But what about the roads?” and act as if I’m obligated to obey some parasitic gang of thugs

    The point I was making is that roads are a public good. It’s pretty much the same everywhere. It’s also a form of socialism. You get all caught up in this parasidic thing and it really helps to divide the population. The best part for the REAL them is that we are self dividing and much easier to conquer. Most of what you guys say about your fellow humans boils down to failing to understand that the parasites sit at the very top and the very bottom. I would suggest that most others in the middle should get their act together and work on taking down the top, the bottom will get crushed by their very position in life, you really don’t need to help them in that way.

    BTW – Eric invites people like me to feed his coffers. Chum gets page views which adds up to a paycheck, notice the radar dectector ad to the right? Apparently google got fed up with him that’s why he tiurned to you guys to pay his bills, hence the since taken down “donation” meter at the top right. So he really loves throwing chum into the mix but not for the reason he states. Eric is a bit of a deciever and definitely a liar. And I’m likely not what you think I am…

    Just sayin..

    • Tor Libertarian
      March 14, 2014 at 4:31 pm

      Now Eric’s taking down the donation meter, huh?

      Or, maybe the meter only displays on the homepage?

      And you’re making wildly false slanderous accusations.

      Eric’s at 24% of goal. Which by the way, said goal is simply to bring in the bare minimum to keep the site going.

      Seeing as the month is 42% complete, and he’s only at 24%, it appears your claims of Eric rolling in Clovers, and stacking up cash, would also be incorrect.

      Might want to loosen the tinfoil there, Bob.
      http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-sVw7g0srOHI/TkxSx2faFbI/AAAAAAAAIqI/nagCYeJ7Qgk/s400/tinfoil2.jpg

      And ease up on the friendly fire too, Amigo.
      http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=581_1392722392

      • Bob Benette
        March 14, 2014 at 4:47 pm

        “And you’re making wildly false slanderous accusations. ”

        Oh I don’t think so.. eric knows how the web works and perhaps I just didn’t know where the meter was /is but he does indeed need page views and will likely do what is necessary to get them. Throwing chum is the way most others do it so why is he any different.? Think about it for a second..

        I really don’t care, perhaps you do, I dunno….

        • methylamine
          March 14, 2014 at 7:17 pm

          I hope you’re not missing the irony, Bob–you’re chumming faster than a diesel woodchipper in an Amazon rainforest.
          I get all the posts in my email and if I weren’t so darn busy at work right now I’d be circling with the other Great Whites here.

          It’s interesting that you don’t put out a position, or enunciate your principles so we can compare and contrast…because that’s pretty much the meat and potatoes of this site. A while back we had a knock-down, drag-out fight over abortion. Not a whole lot of agreement there. Ditto the discussions re: religion–a hotbed of contention.

          There’s one thing we all agree on 100%–individual liberty as the highest good in society.

          All other good in society flows from it.

          Conversely, all evil in society flows from collectivism.

          I’m verklempt now. Talk amongst yourselves.

          • Bob Benette
            March 14, 2014 at 7:59 pm

            “the other Great Whites here.” WTF is that about?

            “It’s interesting that you don’t put out a position, or enunciate your principles so we can compare and contrast…because that’s pretty much the meat and potatoes of this site. ”

            What position or principle are you asking me to define? I see a free world with a smorgasbord to choose from with little in the way of roadblocks. I live in the US, so I am right to think that way. I am well traveled so I KNOW what is TRUE for me.

            “There’s one thing we all agree on 100%–individual liberty as the highest good in society.”

            I’m with you there, again, I’m basicly a capitalist, I just understand that We are better than me in SOME circumstances. Defining the line is where we probaby have a difference.

            “Conversely, all evil in society flows from collectivism.” I give you team sports or a business, they both REQUIRE a degree of collectivism. If you pit you employees against themselves you have lost. They have to believe that they are together in their pursuits or you are screwed, same for any sport.

            Every good has a bad if used inapropriately. It’s a fact of nature.

          • Helot
            March 15, 2014 at 5:05 am

            Bob wrote, “I just understand that We are better than me in SOME circumstances. ”

            It seems that what you’re saying there is, “I am better off if ‘we’ rob others to pay our bill.”

            Ya, you’re better off. But what does that make you?

            A part of a robbing collective.
            A.k.a. a mob. The mob. Same as any other mob.

          • Helot
            March 15, 2014 at 5:13 am

            Bob wrote some bullshit about how, “If you pit you employees against themselves you have lost.”

            Ever heard of competition?
            It happens All the time.
            Companies profit from such competition. From within their own ranks. It’s called ‘merit’ and ‘incentive’ and many people get bonuses for getting there.

            Pardon me, Bob, but I think you’re full of shit and know Jack.

  23. Bob Benette
    March 14, 2014 at 11:39 am

    Well, at least somebody here get’s it… congratulations jean, you are a thinking human. The rest of you are acting like fish provided chum. Circling and biting without thought.
    I was not attacking eric, I was pointing out how he acts. If you like his pond so be it but it doesn’t change his actions. And yes he did delete my posts, I don’t care what he says.

    You see I am the “them” and obviously you all are the us. When I tried to have a conversation here I had to answer to all of you no matter how insane your thoughts. I couldn’t just talk to one person, it was all of you circling around and taking a bite just as you have done above. Talk about attacks, did any of you notice that that is all most of you did to me?

    That is the reason I can’t “debate” you because most of you don’t want debate, you want chum to chew and spit out.

    Let’s try this for fun. What exactly is wrong with socialism, you participate every day in it so what do you find wrong with it. Did you drive your car today?

    • Jean
      March 14, 2014 at 1:30 pm

      Bob likes me…

      I just threw up in my mouth!

      I hear “Lola” playing in the background…

      If you’ll excuse me, I need a shower. When a troll agrees with you or likes you, there’s something VERY wrong… :-P

      • Bob Benette
        March 14, 2014 at 1:52 pm

        Why?
        As I said before I doubt that we see things all that much differently but in order to actually communicate we can’t be us vs them. It’s been proven over and over. If you don’t like the person you won’t engage even if you don’t like that person for simple reasons like you don’t know me and perfer it to stay that way. Millions have died because of xenophobia.. is that not the basis of this?

        • Jean
          March 14, 2014 at 2:18 pm

          There is safety in obscurity. Ask the Romany, gays, lesbians, transsexuals. Shinobi and spies know it as well. Jews know it well, too. And the Irish, for that matter, WRT England…

          There is a single, key point you have ignored here: WE want to be left alone. YOU want to enforce edicts on us.

          THERE is the rub: YOU refuse to leave US alone. ANY of us, anyone who isn’t part of the “collective.”
          And you are not alone.

          But WE are… And end result, we end up aligned in places like this – where you then enter to disrupt any semblance of peaceful life.

          Like non-smokers sitting in the smoking sections of restaurants – then complaining about the smoke… And making it illegal to smoke inside. And then outside, too. And in our OWN. HOMES. [I'm not a smoker, but my father was. I saw how the laws affected him, and businesses.]

          Stealing my piece of mind?
          Forget the woods: You’re going in the River.

          (Piece was intentional.)

          • Bob Benette
            March 14, 2014 at 2:28 pm

            So we can assume that what is really going on here is not that I won’t debate, it’s that I’m not welcome in any way, debate or otherwise, because I am “them” regardless of what I may really be. Is that correct?

            BTW – Hi Bob,

            I’d be happy to reply in detail – but not via e-mail. Please post your comments over at http://www.epautos.com

            Look forward to seeing you there!

            It would appear that I was invited.. Just sayin.

          • lberns
            March 14, 2014 at 2:38 pm

            I don’t mind if you are here. Just try to be a little more original than “But what about the roads?” and act as if I’m obligated to obey some parasitic gang of thugs just because I was born on some chunk of real estate surrounded by a bunch of imaginary lines that gang of parasitic thugs claims to have the legitimate right to rule over.

        • Tor Libertarian
          March 14, 2014 at 2:52 pm

          Bob, are you the same Bob Bennett that was here earlier, without an e on the end of your name?

          If so, that Bob mentioned he’s a regular reader of lewrockwell. That Bob didn’t hit the ground running trying to throw sucker punches at everyone.

          We’re not all on the same page here, Bob. Some of us aren’t even in the same book.

          I don’t know the first thing about you. Or what you’re trying to accomplish.

          Let’s take your assertion that millions died from xenophobia.

          Xenophobia can manifest itself in many ways involving the relations and perceptions of an ingroup towards an outgroup, including a fear of losing identity, suspicion of its activities, aggression, and desire to eliminate its presence to secure a presumed purity.

          Xenophobia can also be exhibited in the form of an “uncritical exaltation of another culture” in which a culture is ascribed “an unreal, stereotyped and exotic quality”.

          Living among nearly a 1/2 million Mexicans, I couldn’t care less if America remains under it’s current culture. Or if starting tomorrow, we are all placed under Mexican culture and hereby ruled from Mexico City. Both are just empty bags of promises that are always broken, as far as I can see. What’s the difference?
          – – –

          The Vienna Declaration and Programme of Action urges all governments to take immediate measures and to develop strong policies to prevent and combat all forms and manifestations of racism, xenophobia or related intolerance, where necessary by enactment of appropriate legislation including penal measure.

          Vienna Declaration
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vienna_Declaration_and_Programme_of_Action

          How do we all stop dying from Xenophobia? Do we just hand over everything to the nice men from the United Nations and hope for the best?

    • Boothe
      March 14, 2014 at 1:33 pm

      Bob Bennette – What is wrong with socialism? Nothing I suppose…if you’re a recipient (i.e. a member of the FSA). On the other hand if you are a productive member of society forced under pain of violence and death (because that is ultimately what government does to ensure your compliance) to hand over part of the fruits of your labor to the non-productive, then socialism is merely naked theft. Taking things that to which you did not produce and do not belong to you is stealing. Stealing is wrong, regardless of whom you give the stolen goods to. You being poor Bob, does not entitle you to anything I have. Some, in fact many, people do believe they are entitled to their neighbors’ property and productivity which is precisely what socialism is and what’s wrong with it.

      To answer your final question, I did indeed travel in my private conveyance today. But when we examine the legal aspects of transporting people and goods over the public roads for hire or “driving” which is a licensed and taxed activity; that sir, I did not do. So you say I must buy the state’s protection in the form of a license and registration to excercise my right to travel? Really? Since travelling is a right acknowledged by “our” courts and rights aren’t taxable, why? Well, because the rank and file police officer will not see it that way and will write me a summons, potentially take me into custody and ultimately kill me if I resist his attempt to kidnap me if I travel over the public roads in my motorized conveyance without “papers.” Is that form of extortion what you mean by socialism with respect to driving Bob?

      Because if you are referring to the “socialization” of the cost of roads and bridges through tolls and fuel taxes, anyone who so chooses is free to avoid those taxes and tolls completely. So in my mind that is not socialism and that is one key reason “your” government is salivating over the idea of attaching a little black box to your “private conveyance” to milk you by the mile. The fact is Bob, we don’t have socialism here in Amerika. For the most part we have a quasi-governmental bureaucratic system of extortion set up by corporate cartels, lawyers and banksters for the benefit of corporate cartels, lawyers and banksters. They own what passes for “the government,” your vote doesn’t count and those letters you send to your congress-critter end up in the big blue recycle bin .

      This system has variously been called mercantilism or fascism or “crony capitalism” if you prefer. Here in the land of the fee and the home of the slave we suffer from a non-elected, non-accountable, pseudo-socialistic fascist bureaucracy sucking the life blood out of what productivity is left in this country. It’s all being done for the benefit of those who have already unjustly enriched themselves on a grand scale. And the transnational thieves will do anything to keep that wealth, especially when it comes to us “mundanes” and “proles” versus them. Wake up Bob, this ain’t your grand pappy’s ‘Murrica no more (and it never was). Ain’t the truth a wonderful thing Bob?

      • Phillip the Bruce
        March 14, 2014 at 2:24 pm

        But fascism IS socialism, one specific type of national socialism (aka Naziism).
        We do have what I consider an inordinate amount of individual socialism in the USSA. But we have just as much, if not more, corporate socialism. That’s why we keep fighting all these wars – to benefit Raytheon, GE, Boeing, et al.

        • Bob Benette
          March 14, 2014 at 3:16 pm

          Actually no.. fascism IS NOT socialism. They do share afew traits, very few, but they are nowhere near the same thing.

          Fascism /fæʃɪzəm/ is a form of radical authoritarian nationalism[1][2] that came to prominence in early 20th-century Europe. Influenced by national syndicalism, the first fascist movements emerged in Italy around World War I, combining more typically right-wing positions with elements of left-wing politics, in opposition to communism, socialism, liberal democracy and traditional conservatism. Although fascism is usually placed on the far right on the traditional left–right spectrum, fascists themselves and some commentators have argued that the description is inadequate.[3][4]

          Fascists sought to unify their nation through a totalitarian state that promoted the mass mobilization of the national community[5][6] and were characterized by having a vanguard party that initiated a revolutionary political movement aiming to reorganize the nation along principles according to fascist ideology.[7] Fascist movements shared certain common features, including the veneration of the state, a devotion to a strong leader, and an emphasis on ultranationalism and militarism. Fascism views political violence, war, and imperialism as a means to achieve national rejuvenation[5][8][9][10] and asserts that stronger nations have the right to expand their territory by displacing weaker nations.[11]

          Socialism is a social and economic system characterised by social ownership of the means of production and co-operative management of the economy,[1][2] as well as a political theory and movement that aims at the establishment of such a system.[3][4] “Social ownership” may refer to cooperative enterprises, common ownership, state ownership, citizen ownership of equity, or any combination of these.[5] There are many varieties of socialism and there is no single definition encapsulating all of them.[6] They differ in the type of social ownership they advocate, the degree to which they rely on markets or planning, how management is to be organised within productive institutions, and the role of the state in constructing socialism.[7]

          A socialist economic system is based on the organisational precept of production for use, meaning the production of goods and services to directly satisfy economic demand and human needs where objects are valued based on their use-value or utility, as opposed to being structured upon the accumulation of capital and production for profit.[8] In the traditional conception of a socialist economy, coordination, accounting and valuation would be performed in kind (using physical quantities), by a common physical magnitude, or by a direct measure of labour-time in place of financial calculation.[9][10]The exact methods of resource allocation and valuation are the subject of debate within the broader socialist calculation debate. Distribution of output is based on the principle of to each according to his contribution. In Marxist theory, this would eventually give way to the principle of from each according to his ability, to each according to his need when the productive forces are developed to a point where free-access based on superabundance is made possible.

          The socialist political movement includes a diverse array of political philosophies. Core dichotomies within the socialist movement include the distinction between reformism and revolutionary socialism and between state socialism and libertarian socialism. State socialism calls for the nationalisation of the means of production as a strategy for implementing socialism, while libertarian socialism generally place their hopes in decentralized means of direct democracy such as libertarian municipalism, citizens’ assemblies, trade unions, and workers’ councils[11] coming from a general anti-authoritarian stance.[12][13][14][15][16][17][18] Democratic socialism highlights the central role of democratic processes and political systems and is usually contrasted with non-democratic political movements that advocate socialism.[19]

          Modern socialism originated from an 18th-century intellectual and working class political movement that criticised the effects of industrialisation and private property on society. The revival of republicanism in the American Revolution of 1776 and the egalitarian values introduced by the French Revolution of 1789 gave rise to socialism as a distinct political movement. In the early 19th century, “socialism” referred to any concern for the social problems of capitalism irrespective of the solutions to those problems. However, by the late 19th century, “socialism” had come to signify opposition to capitalism and advocacy for an alternative post-capitalist system based on some form of social ownership.[20] During this time, German philosopher Karl Marx and his collaborator Friedrich Engels published works criticizing the utopian aspects of contemporary socialist trends and applied a materialist understanding of socialism as a phase of development which will come about through social revolution instigated by escalating and conflicting class relationships within capitalism.[21] The socialist movement came to be the most influential worldwide movement and worldview of the 20th century.[22] Today, socialist parties and ideas remain a political force with varying degrees of power and influence on many countries in all continents.

          THey are nowhere near the same thing. We practice all three systems to some degree. The problems we have right now are misapplied isms. Private everything has a lot of problems and public everything causes “The tragedy of the commons”.

          The right blocks through the right holes eliminates the need for the hammer… The hammer so many here dispise yet don’t seem to understand how to fix it.

        • Boothe
          March 14, 2014 at 3:46 pm

          Phillip the Bruce – As I understand it, fascism was a melding of corporation and government that maintained the facade of capitalism and allowed the government to appear to be keeping the trains running on time. In practice, of course, it was nothing more than the wealthy elite who controlled the corporations buying the government. Then promoting intense nationalism and militarism behind one leader to keep the masses in check and productive. The fascisti were opposed to communism, socialism, liberal democracy and even what we think of as conservatism. A big problem with fascism is the capitalistic element; it takes longer to collapse than true socialism. Fascism allows for self interest and profits, which can provide enough revenue to keep the state strong and healthy for a long time.

          True socialism never lasts very long for various reasons. First and foremost, when you try to take what everyone produces, put it in one basket and then dole it out on a share and share alike basis, the most productive workers have no incentive to succeed and rapidly become non-productive. They found this out the hard way in the early American colonies’ collective farming efforts; the young and strong resented feeding the weak and nonproductive, sat on their butts and everyone damn near starved. You very quickly run out of other people’s money and goods under socialism and it fails by design. Another problem is human nature. Anyone you put in charge from the commissary manager to the HMFIC wants and takes more than their fair share from the big socialist pot. Everyone else sees this and tries to work their own angle. Pretty soon the whole system runs on bribes, favors, theft and black markets. What’s more, socialism was never intended to be an end unto itself. Socialism was supposed to be the road to communism, which of course suffers from all the fatal flaws of socialism.

          Now that is not to say that the National Socialist German Workers Party didn’t employ elements of fascism. They certainly played the nationalism card and kept the (favored) big corporations intact. But they, as opposed to the fascisti, openly embraced socialism. This is probably in no small part because it played well with the impoverished masses in post WW I Germany. The German people were already well acquainted with socialism. It started in Germany much earlier than the Nazis, for instance in 1884 with Otto Von Bismarck’s system of socialized medicine. Pure “fascism” probably wouldn’t have sold too well with the Germans anymore than pure socialism would have gone over with most Italians. Know your audience. Tell them what they want to here, label it to make it palatable and you can get the masses to support your agenda. Then make them dependents of that system and they will go along with damn near anything just to get along. Sound familiar?

          • eric
            March 14, 2014 at 4:04 pm

            Fascism came two ways originally: The corporatist state of Mussolini – and the racial volksgemeinschaft of National Socialist Germany. Il Duce’s version lacked the racial element – but both were virulently nationalistic, corporatist (big business and big government became one entity) sought autarky (through empire) and denied the individual any rights as an individual.

            Mussolini’s slogan captured this as follows:

            All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state.

          • Phillip the Bruce
            March 14, 2014 at 4:05 pm

            Boothe – I don’t want to argue, we are on the same side, basically. But as I understand Fascism, it involves govermental “control” of industry, while leaving the ownership in private hands. Contrast with Stalinist “Communism” where the State took not just control, but ownership. Fascists may not like the word socialism, but any time you have either ownership or control of property by “the collective,” rather than private hands, you have socialism of some sort.
            Hitler was a fascist and Mussolini was a nazi, they just didn’t call each other that.
            Now that is not to say that there were not ‘corporatist’ interests collaborating with both Hitler and Mussolini. TPTB are TPTB.
            Agree with you totally regarding making things ‘palatable’ and the sheeple dependent.

          • Boothe
            March 14, 2014 at 5:05 pm

            Philip – I wasn’t arguing that government of any stripe doesn’t invariably morph into a corrupt statist system strongly resembling every other form of corrupt statism. I was only trying to point out that there were fundamental theoretical differences in the two systems regardless of what was actually put into practice. The fact is human nature always comes into play; once the people in charge start to lie, cheat and steal with impunity, it snowballs. In practice, it seems to me that regardless of what the original theory behind it was, when any organization becomes so large that ambitious, amoral men will do anything to control it, they will invariably screw it up. It usually happens much in the same manner, making one system virtually indistinguishable from any other as it collapses, regardless of its foundation.

    • BrentP
      March 14, 2014 at 3:19 pm

      Bob, Do you know how internet debate works? It often means debating many people at once. Especially when one ventures into places where he is in disagreement with the regulars.

      As to your ‘what about the roads’ remark, well, that’s the usual thing a statist does. He picks something that people need to survive and where the state has a monopoly, then demeans the libertarians for living. But what about the roads, if government were reduced to managing roads and charging appropriately for the service that would be a great improvement.

      Socialism is fine if it is voluntary. The problem is, socialism can’t be voluntary and function. It doesn’t work when those doing the work can just say no.

      • Bob Benette
        March 14, 2014 at 3:33 pm

        You see I am a statist now so “debate” cannot happen, it just can’t when you oppose me because you think something bad about me regardless of what the real me thinks. It becomes a pointless exercise because you already know the answers to the “statist’s” questions, so you don’t even bother to think about what I said you just shoot the “statist”

        Autofillm weak batteries and cataracts those are the reasons that I screw up spelling all the time and don’t see them, oh and reader bias. I could reread all of the crap I write and still not see my errors, that’s why newspapers have editors.. I just have a browser. I suppose I could install a dictionary for spell check. It got removed with the last round of viruses..

        • Tor Minotaur
          March 14, 2014 at 4:17 pm

          I’ll just gloss over the further unwarranted ad hominems about Eric for now. I guess there’s to be no further exposition regarding xenophobia?

          I’m going to put you down as a libertarian socialist.

          Freedom For Thieves?
          http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-ad1oslLZXvk/UVp8tqFHVUI/AAAAAAAAAKA/-yH8b5t4UAQ/s320/542757_451724571565682_10973525_n.jpg

          http://libertyandsocialism.org/2012/05/11/a-libertarian-socialist-critique-of-the-libertarian-party-and-ron-paul/

          That simply means your big difference from most of us is you don’t believe in private property the same as us, right? The Capitalist class must be brought to heel and to bend to the will of the workers? You’re a believer in ‎Social anarchism, ‎Libertarian municipalism, or ‎Luxemburgism?

          Personally I think LibSoc has worked wonders for France, and they are more free and successful than us. But I don’t think it will work in America.

          We’re simply too different. We don’t even have a culture. Just some shared consumer experiences and the American Dream Civil Religion you’d have to be asleep to believe in. Not much to build a commonweal from, IMHO.

          Libertarian Socialism
          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Libertarian_socialism

          – So you like LibSoc Chomsky, Tolstoy, Orwell, Tucker, Gandhi, or someone else?

          • Bob Benette
            March 14, 2014 at 4:33 pm

            That simply means your big difference from most of us is you don’t believe in private property the same as us, right?

            Wrong I am a business owner and basiclly a capitalist. I do how have the ability to see that capitalism has defects that make it incompatable with social services and public goods. Take for example healthcare, our capitalist version of it causes iit to cost twice as much while delivering crappy results. Leeme see, I’ll shop for a nurse and doc while in the back of an ambulance. It just doesn’t work and can’t work, so no “free” market. Take a public good for example, like a common road. I live in the city so exactly how do we divy up these roads that run past my and my neighbor’s house? Capitalism just doesn’t work there either.

            If you have tried to make a business you know the two biggest things to thwart your progress is the personal guarantee on the lease (what’s the point of a corp if you can’t sign as a corp?) and group health insurance (this has since changed.. Odramacare, yea it all drama.. Better but not quite fixed yet.)

            It’s as I said before jamming squares into circles with a hammer, Capitalism is great when used correctly..

          • Boothe
            March 16, 2014 at 10:34 am

            Bob Bennette – If you are having to make a personal guarantee on the lease, then I presume you don’t have a “real” corporation, but some lesser entity such as an “S” corp or LLC? Depending on your state, if you set up a full blown “C” corporation, you should be able to do much of what the “big boys” do and write it all off while paying yourself a virtually non-taxable pittance. Remember old John D’s advice; own nothing, control everything.

            As far as the Affordable Care and Patient Protection Act goes; that’s not socialism, that’s government attempting to force people to buy a service, a.k.a, insurance, from their well connected cronies. It’s more along the lines of Big Paulie selling us fire protection…or else. The fact that it may favorably impact your bottom line at the expense of the rest of us makes it stealing by government fiat nothing more; hardly an improvement. Read what Fred Reed has to say about medical care in Mexico sometime: http://archive.lewrockwell.com/reed/reed178.html Although the basic healthcare system is “socialistic” for the masses, there are apparently still private hospitals for the well heeled. Hardly my idea of ideal, which would be totally free market and competition driven, but it’s probably about the best compromise one can hope for in this world.

        • BrentP
          March 14, 2014 at 5:19 pm

          I debate statists frequently. So another one of your assumptions down the tubes. But if you don’t want to be considered a statist, don’t trot out tired old statist arguments. And I answered your tired old “question”.

          Let me know when you can have government shrunk down to just managing a few common interests with accountability. It would be a vast improvement.

          I made no comment regarding typos, spelling or anything else, so I have no clue why you wrote that second paragraph.

          • Bob Benette
            March 14, 2014 at 5:26 pm

            “I debate statists frequently. So another one of your assumptions down the tubes. But if you don’t want to be considered a statist, don’t trot out tired old statist arguments. And I answered your tired old “question”.

            I have no idea what it is you are talking about here.. What was the statist question? Perhaps you could give me the benefit of the doubt?

            Let me know when you can have government shrunk down to just managing a few common interests with accountability. It would be a vast improvement.”

            Good luck.. There is, and I agree with you somwhat, a natural tendency toward more government. Eisenhower warned us about the MIC and yet so many cheered on the last two BS wars without thinking. It’s a make work program, just look at it’s growth in the past decade, over double and it threatens our very existence. Can we have privacy oe democracy when war mongers want endless war?

            History says NO

  24. simplesimone
    March 13, 2014 at 7:30 pm

    Give the Axe to Clover and Gil. In reverse, those clowns that run their propaganda sites have no problem cutting off anything posted in opposition to their lies and agendas.
    So………that is my vote!

  25. Tor Libertarian
    March 11, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    I could wile away the hours,
    Conferrin’ with the flowers,
    Consultin’ with the rain.
    And my head I’d be scratchin’
    While my thoughts were busy hatchin’

    http://goldeneaglesofamerica.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/scarecrow-wizard-of-oz.jpg

    Yeah, it’s sad, believe me, Missy,
    When you’re born to be a sissy,
    Without the vim and verve.
    But I could show my prowess,
    Be a lion, not a “mowess,”

    http://www.queen-of-theme-party-games.com/images/cowardly-lion1.jpg

    When a man’s an empty kettle,
    He should be on his mettle,
    And yet I’m torn apart.
    Just because I’m presumin’
    That I could be kinda human

    http://www.johnstrange.com/edm310tt930spring07/Childers/tinman.jpg

  26. Clik
    March 10, 2014 at 10:33 pm

    I’m not much of a follower. Born rebel I suppose. I’m not much for being lumped in with anyone. I do have certain beliefs if you want to call them that. They are more like facts. After all, one should be able to whittle their philosophy down to as close to provable fact as their intellect will allow. Unfortunately some people, on many sides, don’t know how to use critical thinking to define their philosophy and this is reflected in their ability to debate. Some people tend to get lost in “glass half empty or half full”. “You’re a dope”. “No, you’re a dope”. If someone wants to put something out there that is actually debateable, I’d be happy to join the conversation.

    • Bevin
      March 10, 2014 at 11:23 pm

      Dear Clik,

      Actually, those moronic pissing contests you refer to go more like this:

      A: “Your an idiot!”

      B: “No. Your an idiot! Only your to stupid to realize it.”

      You have to include the spelling errors to convey the flavor of the exchanges.

    • eric
      March 11, 2014 at 5:18 am

      Hi Clik,

      Yup.

      I’ve tried to use the NAP as my Occam’s Razor – to determine whether a given action is acceptable for individuals and whether other individuals have a right to interfere with that action.

  27. Bob Benette
    March 10, 2014 at 4:07 pm

    Violence and agression I almost didn’t notice.. So when was this ERIC? Where were those words that were violent and agressive? Can you say “straw man”? There you go again.
    You have a few posters here that are “violent and agressive”. Need I point them out? Projection is what you do eric and let’s just take notice of who was “projecting”. Are we capable of comprehending our own words eric? It’s just one of your tools of control. Just like saying my delete posts were garbage, why not let all of them see the posts rather than you censoring? Let your deciples see what you deem to be “garbage”. I doubt that you would…

    BrentP you don’t5 rock the boat and generally agree with him so he gives you a pass like pretty much everyone else here “that he likes”

    • eric
      March 10, 2014 at 4:14 pm

      Your last five posts have been of zero substantive value. They are just spew. Your expression of personal animosity toward me. You have yet to intelligently challenge any of the ideas I’ve presented.

      I’ve been pretty patient, Bob. I’ve let five crap posts through.

      I think that’s enough.

      • Bob Benette
        March 10, 2014 at 4:31 pm

        See… KING ERIC — “I think that’s enough.” You control the conversation at all times. When you don’t like it you put an end to it. When we were debating you did the same thing when I used simple logic to poke holes through your assertions.

        The deleted posts, with one exception, were not inflamitory, they just didn’t support your argument so you deleted them. Some of them were simple regurgitations of historic facts that you didn’t like and that didn’t fit your narative.

        My point it simple. You can’t handle real debate because most of your crap doesn’t stand up to simple logic. When you get cornered you delete, name and shame or make it hard to continue at the least by throwing up technical obsticals..

        I get it, it’s YOUR KINGDOM and you make the rules. Anyone that doesn’t get that get’s banned, deleted or whatever. You control the conversation at all times.

        Just admit it and get it over with….

        • eric
          March 10, 2014 at 6:31 pm

          Here he goes again… post six, substance-free (but chock full of abuse).

          And note: I’ve allowed all six of these posts of yours to go public – for no other reason, incidentally, than to show I’m not hiding from anything. I’ll happily entertain any substantive argument you may have – but so far, all you’ve done (six times) is blather on about my “followers” and accuse me of being a Libertarian Hitler – which would kind of be funny if it weren’t so preposterous.

          PS: I thought you were “done” here?

          • Bob Benette
            March 10, 2014 at 7:03 pm

            Let’s just say that you “let” me post here, is that about right? You “let” me… I suppose you don’t see what it is I am pointing out.

            I had a good laugh, I guess I’ll just let it drop but you know… we aren’t as far apart as you think but you have no real interest in engaging in anything “intelligent” that resembles a conversation. You expect people tp answer you but you never answer anything awkward… ever.

            So yess I am done here. Yuk YUK YUK!!

          • Bevin
            March 10, 2014 at 7:13 pm

            Dear Eric,

            “Bob” is like a clothing store near my office.

            It’s been “Going out of business” for at least five years!

        • Bevin
          March 10, 2014 at 7:18 pm

          Dear Eric,

          “Bob” wrote

          “… by throwing up technical obsticals.. ”

          obsticals???

          I take back what I said about “upgrading.” “Bob” is not an upgrade even technically, let alone substantively.

          • eric
            March 11, 2014 at 5:24 am

            Hi Bevin,

            I think we’ve all had enough of “Bob” for awhile. I’ve approved seven posts of his in a row that consist of nothing more than personal attacks – each time asking him to quit attacking me personally and (if he can) challenge the ideas presented here. He has thus far refused to engage in any sort of meaningful debate and I see no point in approving further posts of his that amount to nothing more than “Heil Eric” (and so on).

            Then, having deleted such posts, he’ll accuse me of stifling “debate”!

          • Bevin
            March 11, 2014 at 5:49 am

            Dear Eric,

            Yeah. I think that’s advisable.

            “Bob” I’m sure is a “legend in his own mind.”

            He’s probably going to brag to his friends (assuming he has any) about how he “pwned” so and so but good.

            Gotta laugh at people so disconnected from any sort of reality.

        • methylamine
          March 10, 2014 at 8:34 pm

          Um, Bob–it IS his website.
          Or do you feel entitled to other people’s property?

          Oh. Right.

    • BrentP
      March 10, 2014 at 8:19 pm

      Bob,
      The more likely option is that whatever post you are talking about either failed to be saved due to a technical or network issue or got caught up with a bunch of spam.

      This site’s comment section is very transparent to those signed up for an account. From an intellectual dispute standpoint deletion doesn’t do much. Nobody who deletes comments they disagree with would do that. Also I’ve not seen another site with that kind of transparency.

      • Bob Benette
        March 10, 2014 at 10:36 pm

        It wasn’t technical, he did it and he knows. I have no reason to lie but then I suppose that there’s the possibility that I am in the same category as say gil. I have no interest in type fighting with a bunch of people. Eric didn’t like what I was posting and deleted it. It went from being moderated to gone.. It’s obvious. And he seems to have an issue with the very nature of all humans. We are tribal by nature, this is his tribe and he is the controller. He has made it clear.

        I was just having fun because you guys are so very serious for whatever reason.

        Ya get one of these, might just as well enjoy it! Have a nice life!

        • eric
          March 11, 2014 at 5:13 am

          Bob,

          No one here (not me, at any rate) has any clue what the heck you’re talking about – other than blathering about my supposed control freakery and web site despotism.

          One more time: What’s your beef with the ideas presented here?

          • Tor Libertarian
            March 11, 2014 at 7:17 am

            I guess it’s not serious for Bob to be commanded to buy overpriced health insurance. Or to have your legally purchased firearms retroactively deemed illegal 10 years after you’ve legally owned them.

            To face a hobbesian choice of having your kids kidnapped by public kiddy prison school, or super expensive religious indoctrination school.

            Or to have guns drawn on you at every traffic stop. To endure a border check in your hometown when you’ve never gone within 100 miles of the border. To have some CIA creep reading your hard drive, watching you thru your webcam, smartphone, xbox, smart tv; collecting all your emails, texts, credit reportings, social media postins, and cable channel changes. Yuck.

            We’re all just tribal, yuck, yuck.

            • eric
              March 11, 2014 at 7:24 am

              Hi Tor,

              Yup!

              And what’s this universal statement about humans being “tribal”?

              I am human – and do not feel myself to be part of any tribe.

              So much for Bob’s universal statement.

              I wonder whether Bob even understands what a universal statement is?

          • Jean
            March 11, 2014 at 9:14 am

            Eric,
            Humans ARE tribal, I’m afraid – always an “us” vs. “them.”
            It’s the Zulus vs. the Huttus, or the Celts vs. the Normans, or the Democraps vs. the Rethuglicans.
            IT vs. “the bsuiness.” Workers vs. management.

            Not saying it’s smart, but.. We’d* be “NAPers” vs. “Statists,” for example.

            *: Personally, I’m more a fan of Atilla…. But for simplicity, I decided to leave it as “we,” with the tacit understanding I’m on more of a hair-trigger than most people here. ;-) No offense intended to those who really DO BELIEVE in the NAP “uber alles,” and would accept some “compromises.”
            I’ll stick with the first law of making a deal with the devil: DON’T.

        • lberns
          March 11, 2014 at 6:03 am

          It’s his website. If you were invited into his house and started being a dick, he could kick your obnoxious ass out on the street. Same thing here.

          • eric
            March 11, 2014 at 7:43 am

            Hi Iberns,

            The thing that just slays me about “bob” – assuming he isn’t a troll – is that I have always welcomed a good debate and never deleted a post merely for expressing disagreement with something I’ve written. Bob doesn’t appear to comprehend the difference between expressing disagreement using arguments, facts, etc. – and personal attacks of the “you suck!” variety.

            I’ve given him literally half a dozen opportunities to articulate what it is exactly that he finds fault with as far as the ideas I’ve expressed.

            No joy.

            Just spew.

        • Helot
          March 13, 2014 at 10:31 pm

          A mindless, unthinking loyal slave says, “because you guys are so very serious for whatever reason.”

          That’s interesting. So, freedom and liberty are trivial things, not something to be bothered with, let alone worked up about? It’s all just, Not very important… to them?

          A lot of people are like that.

          It just amazes me they are that way. I cannot relate. I cannot even fathom the position. Dogs make more sense. At least when they are kicked enough times they turn on their master. Not so with some people. Strange, that.

    • Bill in IL
      March 11, 2014 at 11:29 am

      Bob, you don’t even know what a straw man is. Your posts lack any intelligence, are devoid of any facts, you come across as a mindless fool, parroting things you have heard on the MSM. You spew garbage, nothing else. I

  28. Bob Benette
    March 10, 2014 at 3:22 pm

    Your followers would back you on anything you are their messiah. You’d be a fool not to notice it. And you do take advantage of it. I presented facts in the last post and you removed the “reply” button. it’s another step that you take to avoid descussion.

    I don’t want to debate you because it’s impossible. Next it will be your “clover” routine, whereby you name the person, myself in this case “clover” so you can defame them as quickly as possible. You’ll even get a follower or two of yours to pile on. It’s the same every time. I just thought I’d point out your pattern.

    Enjoy… I’m done now.

    • eric
      March 10, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      Res ipsa loquitur

      It speaks for itself.

      • Bevin
        March 10, 2014 at 5:55 pm

        Dear Eric,

        The very presence of “Bob” here unintentionally confirms what Gary just noted.

        As he put it, “Ooh look everyone. We have been upgraded to a better more aggressive troll.”

        Well put.

        Unfortunately, as even “Bob” knows, it won’t really help. The only “upgrading” possible is in “content free” debating tricks. No upgrading is possible in philosophical principles, specifically ethics and politics. Hence the scrupulous avoidance of any reference whatsoever to matters of substance.

        Pretty sad, don’t you think? After all, “Bob” knows what he’s doing. We know what he’s doing. “Bob” knows that we know what he’s doing. Everyone knows the score. Everyone knows “Bob” is SOL.

        “Bob’s” superiors brought him in as a sort of “cleaner.” But they failed to fully brief him. They forgot to include the irreconcilable disagreements among many of us over IPR and religion.

        As a result “Bob” formulated his “You all recite the same mantra” counter strategy based on missing information. Well we all know what master strategist Sunzi would say about that!

        Back to the strategy game board, “Bob.”

        • eric
          March 10, 2014 at 6:30 pm

          Thanks, Bevin – I think that sums it up!

          • Tor Libertarian
            March 10, 2014 at 7:58 pm

            In some of Bob’s posts, it seemed to me he broke character and revealed himself to be Clover in the guise of a new sock puppet.

            If it is only Clover, I guess it is a Magnum Opus relatively speaking.

            I found myself reading many of the Bob comments in the same voice I assign to all of the Cloverian oeuvre.

        • Bob Benette
          March 10, 2014 at 6:58 pm

          You do provide humor… unintentionally.

          My superiors… LOL LOL ROTFLOL

          Did ya ever think that perhaps you are a tad shall we say paranoid.

          I saw a link elsewhere to this article and just couldn’t help myself. Eric proves over and over that he is a control freak, he just did it again, I point it out and you think that I’m on some apparently paid mission.

          LOL

          Don’t fret I’ll tell my “superiors” not to land the black helecopters on your lawn.. smirk…

          • Bevin
            March 10, 2014 at 7:06 pm

            Dear “Bob,”

            So you’re not getting paid for your time and energy?

            You’re doing this on your own dime, on your own time? Because you actually “belieb?”

            Ya got me. I was wrong. I thought you were smart. A mercenary cynic. Instead you turn out to be just another brainwashed dupe who parrots the CW for free.

            Thanks for setting the record straight.

          • Bevin
            March 10, 2014 at 7:10 pm

            More of the same old same old content free debating tricks.

            So predictable.

            So tiresome.

    • BrentP
      March 10, 2014 at 3:53 pm

      Bob, a fair number of us you label “followers” have had drawn out debates with Eric, including myself.

    • Garysco
      March 10, 2014 at 5:04 pm

      Ooh look everyone.
      We have been upgraded to a better more aggressive troll. Eric & Dom must be gaining traction.

  29. Tor Minotaur
    March 10, 2014 at 7:33 am

    Does anyone know how to do Webcam effects? Do you use camtasia or manycam? What about skype effects?

    I’m trying to learn right now, so I can post vids of myself, that’s won’t be physically identifiable. Because fuck that noise, I’m not exactly aging like a fine wine over here.

    Perhaps an effect like StormCloudsGathering?

    I could be SkyPissFalling.

    Grandparents Discover Photo Booth
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Re_IiPmGjWg

  30. Tor Libertarian
    March 10, 2014 at 3:59 am

    What were the three capitals of the Confederacy?
    http://www.civilwar.org/education/history/warfare-and-logistics/logistics/capital.html

    In what two cities does the oldest legislative body in America meet?
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Virginia_General_Assembly

    Who was Resuscitation Annie, why do we ask her “are you OK?” during CPR training?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aZed4kuFsJs
    – – –

    Hard to contemplate how much human labor, effort, and excellence goes into something seemingly so trivial as a music demo that later becomes Smooth Criminal. It’s dishonest to shrug it off, as if it isn’t a grand accomplishment far beyond the ken of us NAP-sters, at least for now.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c_P4VRebNjU
    – – –
    One has to face reality, and acknowledge how tall and mighty their fictional pyramids really are. I mean, Atlas Shrugged III? Really. Watch it this September 2014, and then soberly come to grips with how outgunned the 1% Ionian Rationalists really are compared to the 99% Socratic Pythagorean Mystics & Attilas and the gilded hierarchies seen and unseen.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9oWW3yHuAQ

  31. Tor Libertarian
    March 10, 2014 at 3:02 am

    wansui was once used casually to wish a person long life.

    During Five Dynasties and Ten Kingdoms period, its use included certain higher-ranking members of the imperial court.

    In later imperial history, using it to address someone other than the emperor was considered an act of sedition and was consequently highly dangerous.

    During certain reigns of weak emperors, powerful eunuchs, such as Liu Jin and Wei Zhongxian, circumvented this restriction by styling themselves with jiǔ qiān suì (literally “9000 years”) so as to display their high positions, which were close to or even exceeded the emperor’s, while still remaining reverent to the title of the emperor.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ten_thousand_years

    – Shíyī Qiān Suìyuè, Bevin
    – bǎiwàn, methylamine
    Zhōnghuá Rénmín Gònghéguó wànsuì Shìjiè rénmín dàtuánjié wànsuì, Tiananmen Gate / Gate of Heavenly Peace

    Beijing Postcards: Five Things You Didn’t Know About Tiananmen
    http://beijingbookworm.com/happenings/beijing-postcards-five-things-you-didnt-know-about-tiananmen/

  32. Bob Benette
    March 9, 2014 at 8:48 pm

    Just thought you might need a little boost and some good old fashioned trolling since I know that you don’t want good debate . That became obvious when you deleted long sections of posts of mine that just apparently made too much sense. So go cling to those strawmen till you get puncture wounds.

    Chum for your deciples….

    Hail ERIC the KING!

    • dom
      March 9, 2014 at 8:52 pm

      Heil Eric, long live the King!

    • methylamine
      March 9, 2014 at 11:36 pm

      My god this one’s good–notice it even throws in the odd authentic misspelling for that soupcon of authenticity?

      Hats of to the programmers; well done boys!

    • Bevin
      March 9, 2014 at 11:37 pm

      Or as the Chinese used to salute the emperor,

      萬歲 ! 萬歲 ! 萬萬歲 !

      Wan shui! Wan shui! Wan wan shui!

      Meaning,

      “10,000 years, 10,000 years, may you live 10,000 years!”

      This may be of interest. The Japanese pronounce “Wan shui!” “Banzai!”

    • eric
      March 10, 2014 at 5:26 am

      Bob,

      This site is all about intelligent debate. So far, you haven’t offered any.

      • Bob Benette
        March 10, 2014 at 2:22 pm

        Yeah that’s what you want all right… sure… that and a strawman fight. Unfortunately, your stawmen are a virtual army. How did this go last time? You deleted posts when I was anilating BS from your clan here.

        But that is what I was pointing out at the time. The fact that YOU control the conversation here and if you don’t like it, it doesn’t happen. Remember? A whole series of posts went “missing”. Remember?

        Let’s see if you have the balls to let this be posted.

        • eric
          March 10, 2014 at 2:48 pm

          More ad hominem (and poor spelling, too).

          • Bob Benette
            March 10, 2014 at 3:09 pm

            More fact Eric the KING.. The spelling is caused by low batteries on my wireless keyboard… letters missing. It’s a fairly well know situation when one poster criticizes another’s spelling, tell me ERIC THE KING what has happened to the criticizer’s argument?

            FACT ERIC – you control the conversation and you delete posts. It’s a fact, I have witnessed it as have others with which you don’t agree. ANOTHER FACT – you present straw man arguments to change the course of conversations before you delete posts, it’s the first step you take to minimize desention on your little animal farm.

            FACTS not attacks, I’ll leave the attacks to you…

            KING ERIC – mein fuhrer…

            • eric
              March 10, 2014 at 3:16 pm

              Third post in a row now that’s nothing more than an attack screed – from the guy who wants a “good debate.”

              I delete your invective laden rants because that’s all they are, Bob. Just garbage. Spew. You don’t come here to debate. You come here to disrupt and disparage.

              The regulars here will back me up as far as allowing intelligent disagreement.

              Your stuff isn’t that. It gets trashed accordingly. You have no right to pollute my web site with your garbage. If you ever have something worthwhile to say (that is, something other than personal attacks) have no fear it’ll be allowed through.

              PS: Fuhrer roughly translates as “chief” (as in chef der NSDAP) or “boss” or “leader.” It was Hitler’s personal honorific. And while the Fuhrer was many things, a monarch he never was.

              And in any case, I advocate non-aggression and voluntaryism; live (and let live) … about the farthest things from being a Fuhrer (or a monarch) one could posit.

              You’re the one radiating violence and aggression. Ever hear of projection?

              Might want to look into it.

  33. Bob Benette
    March 9, 2014 at 6:14 pm

    It’s a big conspiracy. You are so very important to the movement that “they” can’t just leave you alone. In a few years when it becomes so very obvious that you were the spearhead to the new ‘U’ sa “they will be powerless to stop you and the revolution. Pictures of Arn Rand will be everywhere with your logo at the bottom. Sermons to the “makers” will crowd out all that backward “christian” crap and it sharia law. Your raw I go mine and fuck will be on display for all to see and emulate and we’ll take this country back from the moochers that are sucking it dry
    All Hail ERIC!!!

    • methylamine
      March 9, 2014 at 11:25 pm

      Wow! Is this the IBM “Blue Gene” version Sunstein troll?
      Appears they’ve amped up the RAM and CPU cycles considerably. Greatly improved linguistic sophistication–very un-bot-like use of colloquialisms.

      Seems to have learned to borrow from popular culture–the appropriation of Rand via the game BioShock.

      Neat! It’s a far cry from the Markov chains and cut-and-paste ‘bots we’ve seen before.
      Must use a ton of electricity up there in Bluffdale?

      Let’s see if it can engage:

      Bob: what’s the beef?

  34. Clik
    March 6, 2014 at 11:58 am

    If anyone thinks that paying trolls to post is furthering their cause they are wrong. It just gives us libertarians another opportunity to educate people about freedom.

    There are most likely lurkers out there who had the same beliefs as the clovers but then read the libertarian responses and had an epiphany. “Gee, I never thought about it like that”.

    • methylamine
      March 6, 2014 at 12:11 pm

      Or in the case of some of our more flaming rebuttals, “Geez I don’t want people to think I’m that stupid!”

      There’s definitely a mass-mind effect.

      When I read comment forums at “mainstream” sites like Yahoo, CBS, USAToday I’m totally shocked how fast our ideas our coming into popular opinion.

      The War on (some) Drugs is almost totally discredited. Most people have some inkling that the Federal Reserve is neither. Cops are hated, feared, and despised.

      And the gun control debate? It’s our war to lose; except for the far-left Northeast, we just have to keep the pressure up.

      It’s going to be a helluva fight because we’re on the cusp of winning the hearts-and-minds part. But the cleanup operation, and the frantic struggles of a drowning man as the statists are deposed will be EPIC.

    • Bevin
      March 6, 2014 at 1:40 pm

      Dear Clik,

      I’ve long thought that trolls merely wind up being our straight men.

      Without meaning to, they wind up feeding us our cues.

      Meanwhile undecided third parties start to get the drift.

  35. methylamine
    March 4, 2014 at 9:57 am

    tagged for emails…

  36. March 4, 2014 at 5:17 am

    sooo, what you’re saying is that there may be a chance!

    Was your “Clover” (the impediment to natural traffic flow) named for this Troll?

    I for one would love to read an entire column of brain dead Clover-comments. Just for the giggles and shit.

  37. Gil
    March 2, 2014 at 11:18 pm

    So you delete our posts anyway feeling free to make all the straw man arguments you want?

    • skunkbear
      March 9, 2014 at 3:02 am

      GIL, do you understand the non aggressive principle? If so, what is it exactly that you disagree about it? If you do not answer these two simple direct questions then you will prove Eric to be right about you.

  38. Jason Flinders
    March 2, 2014 at 8:17 pm

    I doubt this site is regarded by our gangster government as a real threat, but the mindset of such types is such that they cannot and will not tolerate any dissent. History shows us that tyrannical governments will work to silence, destroy, or kill anyone who might oppose them, regardless of whether the target is a material threat or not.

    Of course in this case we may well be dealing with just a couple of nincompoops, and the spamming may be the automated stuff that most online forums need to deal with these days.

    • eric
      March 3, 2014 at 6:30 am

      These guys – Clover and Gil – are tenacious beyond all reason. Clover has been trolling here for years. I figure he is either: a 14-year-old with no girlfriend; a 40-year-old who lives with his mom; an old lady who posts in between episodes of Price is Right.

  39. David
    March 2, 2014 at 7:40 pm

    To be clear, I have no doubt these guys are deliberate trolls, but you’d be surprised how much like Clover and Gil certain people can be. Pretty much any time I get into an argument with one of my parents about virtually any topic, I get the deliberately alluding to my political views “You just have a problem with all authority” response. Of course, they should know better than that since I’ve explained it a thousand times, but in their minds its still arbitrary disagreement.

    I’ve seen it occasionally on other websites as well, by people that seemed more real than Clover or Gil. Responses like “You can’t just have people running around and deciding what laws to obey and not obey” or “otherwise there’d be anarchy” or any number of other things along these lines.

    With regards to the site, it seems like this site is a little slower than other websites from my computer, but my computer sometimes has issues anyway, and I don’t usually have the same issue from my college campus, so I’m not sure if I’m actually having a problem for some nefarious reason or if its just me.

    Don’t take this the wrong way, but why do you think the government is gunning for you guys this hard? Are you guys actually having a level of success that the government is RIGHTLY scared? I hope so.

  40. JoePA
    March 2, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Black Ops is in full swing and this spamming is part of it. Can you get these trolls automatically deleted? I would say no as they will only find another way to repost. I would recommend a simple disclaimer on the front page of your or any website simply stating that the government or special interest groups might automatically post “anti” messages. The same goes for any website/video/rally etc. Education or thinking for oneself is key to throwing these trolls out of ones mind. This is why I no longer read or listen to the mass-media.

  41. Boothe
    March 1, 2014 at 9:54 pm

    Eric – I had a to and fro going with Clover not too long ago. As soon as I pointed out that his/her/its posts were beneficial from the standpoint of educating others, no response. You do what you want, but from time to time ol’ Clover and Gil give us serious fodder for discussion. And it’s kind of like a game you’ve really mastered; sometimes it’s very satisfying to easily hand a cocky opponent his ass. Let’s face it, in a battle of the wits with either of our resident trolls, they are indeed unarmed.

  42. Tor Libertarian
    March 1, 2014 at 7:28 pm

    Dom,

    I think something may be up with your domain. This was done well enough that I had to look at it for a few moments to determine it was bogus.

    step 1, I signed up for your email. step 2 got note from feedburner to activate my email subscription, which I did. (was this legit?) step 3 got your email as expected step 4 they sent the bogus spam emails.

    I’ve never asked for an email from a website before, maybe this is something that’s just generally more exploitable?

    I got two copies of this first one, and one copy of the comcast email one at exactly the sametime as I received an update email from your site. I just signed up and this is the first one.

    I’ve never gotten anything like this at this account. Just the usual low level garbage spam. At least compared to what I usually get, this seems a few steps above the usual spam emails.

    (1)

    Your Yahoo account has exceeded its limit and must be verified
    immediately. To verify, click on the link below:

    http://www . e-con . hu/www . mail .yahoo. com/secured/index. php

    (2) same message as above, but with different link
    majka13 @ comcast. net
    https :// de-mg42 . mail. yahoo. com/neo/launch?.rand=agbo2b8i65unj#

    • dom
      March 1, 2014 at 9:34 pm

      Wow, that is weird.

      Can you forward them to me: dsruggiero@gmail.com

      Might be time to drop feedburner!

      • Tor Libertarian
        March 2, 2014 at 5:31 am

        The account isn’t allowed to email anyone until I do xyz (xyz = I have no idea what it wants from me).
        Can I can send you the password for the account from another account, or something else?

        • dom
          March 2, 2014 at 11:32 am

          Yeah, send it all to me.

  43. dom
    March 1, 2014 at 10:19 am

    ATTENTION: We just discovered at least one yahoo email account has notifications from EPAUTOS blocked!

    • lberns
      March 1, 2014 at 10:29 am

      New email is set. Give it a shot.

      BTW – Are you getting bounces back from Yahoo?

      • dom
        March 1, 2014 at 10:32 am

        I never noticed any, but then again I batch delete email notifications from this server my the hundreds. I just approved this first post using your new email address so you should be good to go from here on. Thanks for helping me work this out!

        • lberns
          March 1, 2014 at 10:35 am

          You’re welcome. Thanks for helping me get back in touch with the Eric Peters Autos. I’ve missed quite a bit.

  44. Tor Libertarian
    February 28, 2014 at 9:49 pm

    Dark Triad – personality-testing.info/tests/DT.php‎
    Trait Score Percentile – My scores:

    Narcissism, 0.6, %1
    Narcissism is an egotistical preoccupation with self.

    Machiavellianism, 2, %20
    Machiavellianism is a tendency to be manipulative and deceitful.

    Psychopathy 1.3, %7
    Psychopathy reflects shallow emotional responses.

    Other tests – assess your personality using technology
    http://personality-testing.info

  45. lberns
    February 28, 2014 at 9:21 pm

    Apparently they also psychopaths:

    Internet Trolls Really Are Horrible People – http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/climate_desk/2014/02/internet_troll_personality_study_machiavellianism_narcissism_psychopathy.html

    BTW – I thought my subscription settings were the cause of my not receiving notifications. Not the case. No matter what I do, I don’t receive them on posts I’ve made

  46. Garysco
    February 28, 2014 at 5:02 pm

    Wait a minute. You mean I can get paid like Gil and Clover for just cutting and pasting over and over, while sitting in my pajamas eating candy bars and drinking Jolt Cola? How much can I make? Gil please get in touch.

  47. Giuseppe Crowe
    February 28, 2014 at 1:55 pm

    Hi Eric, et al,

    Just an aside, the Gil character need not actually reside in Australia to appear to post from there. If he uses a VPN service with servers down under, he could be anywhere in the world. Actually, this is something I recommend heartily for anybody wishing to preserve some semblance of anonymity. With NSA spying rampant, identity theft common and other dangers to the, especially wireless, internet experience, use of a VPN would be the minimum I’d consider for online experience. As regards to whether Gil and Clover should be shunned, it’s your website. I don’t see any value in their postings but others may. Responding to them seems a waste of time. As Heinlein once said, “Never try to teach a pig to sing- it wastes your time and annoys the pig.”.

    • Jason Flinders
      February 28, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      I second the use of a VPN, I’ve done that for years. There are a number of them out there as a little online research will show. The best VPN services from the perspective of maintaining some modicum of privacy would be those based outside the U.S. that do not maintain connection logs. (It’s just one factor of course. Computer security is a very complex subject and there is no “silver bullet” other than to pull the plug!)

    • Warp
      February 28, 2014 at 3:47 pm

      I think that’s what EP was alluding to. I’d suspect both Gil and Clover are using Tor.

    • to5
      February 28, 2014 at 9:24 pm

      Gil and clover can be considered as pigs. As they seem so keen to suck on such creatures’ titties and asses.

      NSA:
      National Suction Agency;
      interNational Spy Agency;
      National Schizophrenia Agency;
      National Stomponyourrights Agency.

      I’ve suspected gil is from Australia also. He sounds like Krudd and fat’ass gillards raping of the taxpayers to the tune of $667 billions in just 7 years. gil is most likely the police chief of a large southern Queensland city who has nothing better to do with his time.

  48. Phillip the Bruce
    February 28, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Eric – I have not tried to donate, because I can’t, at least not now. But I’ve never seen the thermometer you talk about.
    I agree that Clover and Gil have a little entertainment value. How about this as a compromise – post their original comments on a give thread, but if they reply nonsensically to a rebuttal, can it.

  49. Tor Libertarian
    February 28, 2014 at 11:15 am

    The Anonymity I Know – Chris Poole
    http://chrishateswriting.com/post/76431353368/the-anonymity-i-know

    Secret
    http://blog.samaltman.com/anonymity

    Prismatic Identity
    http://chrishateswriting.com/post/63564095133/prismatic-identity

    When there isn’t anonymity, you often have the tedious self-promotion and self-aggrandizement that derails reasoned debate.

    I’m not just some guy on a forum. I’m LordZodITDirector of the University of Krypton. You must give me extra weight and consideration. Look, I’m even verifiable and published.

    There is to be no safe haven. Everywhere there must be hierarchy, order, and authority. I demand it. I am Zod, Surrender or watch this world suffer the consequences.

  50. BrentP
    February 28, 2014 at 10:43 am

    The problem is that there are people out there that act like this. Long before there were web forums of any sort there was usenet. This is when most people participating were doing so through academic institutions and such. One particular participant was a chemistry professor. Shared a number of traits with Clover and Gil with regards to views. Just as thick too. Back in those days people posted under their real names, pretty much everyone was verifiable. As people became more anonymous a new cast appeared. They were even more like Clover and Gil.

    I don’t think it was good to post their emails and IP’s openly. It’s difficult to say what someone reading them might do.

    While paid government trolls are probably out there, I don’t think they are particularly common either.

    • dom
      February 28, 2014 at 11:02 am

      I agree.

    • Jason Flinders
      February 28, 2014 at 11:11 am

      You are correct, sir, there is no shortage of loons and trolls that do not require government support. They do what they do simply for kicks and they did so back in BBS days, and on Usenet (and continue on Usenet to this day). Then there are people who have never bothered to crack open or comprehend a history book and thus are supportive of the State, and consider it their job to shout down people who simply want to be left alone to live their lives in peace. Web-based forums are just the latest venue.

      On the spam issue, I’ve seen some sites that in addition to Captcha will ask a random question like “how much is 1 + 1?” or “what color is an orange?” etc. to attempt to verify that the prosective registrant is a human. Others will show a number of images and ask you to select the one that is not like the others.

      I don’t know how effective any of it is, these days the software available to spammers has become extremely sophisticated. AI is going to bury us all one of these days.

    • clover
      March 2, 2014 at 7:16 pm

      OK Brent. Maybe you need to post your name and address. Then the police can punish the really bad driver on our roads.

      • BrentP
        March 3, 2014 at 11:42 am

        Clover,
        I argue that you may be authentic. I state that it was bad form to publish your email and IP. Then you reply to me like that?

        You are despicable beyond all comprehension.

        • Bevin
          March 10, 2014 at 11:04 pm

          Dear Brent,

          No good deed goes unpunished.

          Just imagine how unjustly you might be treated if this clown had real power?

  51. Tor Libertarian
    February 28, 2014 at 10:23 am

    What does googul say about these scheisse-sters you ask?

    One of these bloggers is posting from Clinton, Illinois. South of Bloomington, West of Champaign, North of Decatur.

    One of these bloggers email is included in spamlists and blocks of email scrapes. He must have actively responded to and fell for spam at some time. He’s on Russian Spam Entrepreneurial sites as a documented and paid purchaser of Russian Beautiful Woman contact lists and such. He may well be an unwitting part of some sort of botnet. Approach with caution

    I’ve seen the other blogger on Reason and Cafehayek before. His many dynamic IPs all agree he is posting from Brisbane. South of Sunshine Coast. North of Gold Coast. Looks to be a full timer.

    The other blogger, whose browser deets are, Mozilla/4.0 compatible; MSIE 6.0; Windows NT 5.1; SV1, has been caught at least once in Project Honey Pot. Though rhetorically harmless, he may possess greater technical prowess than you might expect.

    This other bloggers been holding out on us. He appears quite lucid at Pick-Up-Artist-Vault . net to name one instance.

    http://www.puavault.net/pua/

    http://heartiste.wordpress.com/2012/06/28/feminism-is-making-americans-fat/

    “Reason is poor propaganda when opposed by the yammering, unceasing lies of shrewd and evil and self-serving men.”

    “What are the facts? Again and again and again — what are the facts? Shun wishful thinking, ignore divine revelation, forget what “the stars foretell,” avoid opinion, care not what the neighbors think, never mind the unguessable “verdict of history” — what are the facts, and to how many decimal places? You pilot always into an unknown future; facts are your single clue. Get the facts!”
    – R. Heinlein

    • eric
      February 28, 2014 at 11:41 am

      Thanks, as always, Tor – you’re the proverbial man!

      • Tor Libertarian
        February 28, 2014 at 4:30 pm

        Thanks for everything, Eric.

        Alison Brie Imitates Popular Internet Memes

        Funny Internet Memes

  52. Jason Flinders
    February 28, 2014 at 9:31 am

    It’s a tough call. I’m a lifelong libertarian and have been lurking here for a while. From what I’ve seen those guys do have some entertainment value but as you say they may well be paid disruptors. If so, I don’t think they’ve done a very good job, their approach of duckspeak and general opaqueness is not likely to sway many here. In fact their posts here clearly highlight the ignorance and folly of statist “logic.”

    • eric
      February 28, 2014 at 9:36 am

      Hi Jason,

      I just (inadvertently) deleted your account as a new subscriber; I assumed it was spam. Apologies! Can you re-register? I will approve you as soon as I see the new acct.

      Thanks!

      • Jason Flinders
        February 28, 2014 at 10:35 am

        No problem, I know that spammers are relentless!

        • eric
          February 28, 2014 at 11:39 am

          Thanks, Jason – you’re in now!

          This means your posts/replies should appear automatically.

          Welcome to our group!

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