Good Works?

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A reader asks:good works lead

“Why is it per se wrong to work for the government? Let’s say you’re working as a firefighter. Or a teacher (presuming you aren’t indoctrinating your students with statism, of course). Or a librarian in a public library. Or a doctor who works at a government hospital. Or someone who builds roads for the government. I could probably think up more examples, but . .  I don’t see any NAP violation, at least as such, in taking any of the above jobs.”

It is very wrong, dear reader.

It’s just that most people don’t realize it – because they only see one half of the equation. The “good” – but not the bad.

This dangerous illusion must be dispelled.good gun

The fact that a “good person” (not meant ironically) does “good work” (again, not meant ironically) with resources taken by force from an unwilling victim doesn’t negate the fact that a victim has been created. This is the essential point. Someone else has been harmed – perhaps even killed – in order to provide the alleged (or even actual) good.

At minimum, some other person – some victim – has been cowed into submission using the implied threat of physical violence.

It doesn’t get more wrong than that.

Actually, it does.good works 2

Because violence by proxy – via the flim-flam of the ballot box and by having other people do the actual dirty work on our behalf – allows us to blank out the true knowledge of what’s going on. It is very hard – for most people – to contemplate threatening to assault their next-door neighbor for almost any reason. Even if your own wife or mother desperately needed food, obtaining it by kicking in your neighbor’s door and forcibly taking it at gunpoint is something very few psychologically normal people could do without experiencing extreme pangs of moral guilt. Particularly if the their victim attempted to defend himself and it became “necessary” to actually harm – or kill – him in order to obtain their “help.”

But when people use the ballot box or other mechanisms of “democracy” to do the same thing, they feel ok about it because they are not forced to confront the reality they have victimized other human beings.

Very bad, indeed. It normalizes moral obscenity.good works 3

Moreover, a principle has been established – and a precedent set – when one accepts blood money for whatever purpose.

I’ll give you an example:

Like most people who own their homes/land, I am forced to hand over a large sum of money every year – a sum that can and will be increased at the whim of politicians, irrespective of the hardship it imposes and without (in principle) limit – to “help” fund the local government schools, which we do not use nor wish to support. I have no doubt the teachers mean well – and I have nothing against “the children.” It is probably true that some “good” is being done.

But what about the harm being done?

I, like every other American, will never truly own my home – because I can never pay off the “mortgage” – government’s claims (other people’s claims, really) on me. Even though I long ago paid off the bank. I am chained to perpetual, open-ended obligation.

My “good” – my financial security – and my peace of mind – is undermined. For the sake of some other person’s “good.”

Over the past ten years, the total taken from me to “help” the local schools amounts to almost $20,000. Over the next twenty, it’ll be another $40,000 – assuming the annual rate does not increase (which is about as likely as my rooster reciting Shakespeare). It will be said I can “afford” this. That it is necessary for the good of the children. Other people’s children. As opposed to the good of my own family.

How nice it must be to glibly dispose of other people’s money.good works 4

My physical security is threatened, too.

Because if I ever decline to “help,” eventually, men with guns will come and physically remove me from “my” home. These men will try to kill me if I attempt to defend myself.

You may say I am selfish and mean-spirited for not wanting to “help” finance “the children’s” education.

But here’s the broader point: If it is ethically ok to insist I hand over my money – and threaten to cage/kill me if I say no – for the sake of one thing, then logically, it is ok to do so for another thing.

In fact, for almost any thing. vultures feeding

“Good” is a subjective. You may believe it’s taxpayer-financed public (government) schools or libraries. I may believe it is a new shopping mall – created via eminent domain seizures of people’s homes and land to make way for it. Another person might believe it would be good to send a manned mission to Mars. No doubt some of these things are good – at least, in the eyes of some, and in terms of those who benefit. But they also entail and necessarily create victims. Winners – and losers. A potentially limitless pool of them. Indeed, we all become one another’s victims – for the sake of one another’s conceptions of “good.”

And – presto – we get to where we are: A system of plunder on a vast scale, in which you’re grateful to be “allowed” to keep anything, but in which nothing you have isn’t, in principle, off limits.good works 5

So, yes, I hold that it is wrong to work for government in any capacity that involves remuneration taken from the hide of an unwilling victim. Because it acts as an acid on human decency – turning us all against one another by legitimating violence to get what we want.

Theft is theft – and violence is violence. It’s important, I think, to be both honest about that as well as ethically and intellectually consistent.

Otherwise, we have no basis for objecting to it when it’s done to us.

Throw it in the Woods?

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477 COMMENTS

    • Dear Tor,

      Glad you feel that way.

      I would hate for that speculation about Collins to be true.

      As Meth noted, based on the tone of her writing, which is unmistakably hostile toward the PTB, it is extremely unlikely she has anything to do with “predictive programming.”

      The way the PTB are portrayed in the film, which she worked closely on with the director, makes the PTB look like pompous asses. Like the decadent Roman patricians during the last days of the Roman Empire.

  1. Matt Damon – “We are going to need to go outside the law, to stop obeying the laws.”

    America has codified a new model of feudalism and the owners of the nation-plantations couldn’t be happier.

    If you don’t think, if you just listen to TV and read scholarly things, you actually begin to think that things are not so bad, or that just little things are wrong. But you have to get a little detached, and then come back and look at the world, and you are horrified.

    Our problem is civil obedience. Our problem is the numbers of people all over the world who have obeyed the dictates of the leaders of their government and have gone to war, and millions have been killed because of this obedience.

    […] We recognize this for Nazi Germany. We know that the problem there was obedience, that the people obeyed Hitler. People obeyed; that was wrong. They should have challenged, and they should have resisted; and if we were only there, we would have showed them.

    But what about voting and elections? […] Totalitarian states love voting. You get people to the polls and they register their approval. I know there is a difference-they have 1 party and we have 2 parties. We have 1 more party than they have, you see.

    What we are trying to do, I assume, is really to get back to the principles and aims and spirit of the Declaration of Independence.

    This spirit is resistance to illegitimate authority and to forces that deprive people of their life and liberty and right to pursue happiness, and therefore under these conditions, it urges the right to alter or abolish their current form of government-and the stress had been on abolish.

    But to establish the principles of the Declaration of Independence, we are going to need to go outside the law, to stop obeying the laws that demand killing or that allocate wealth the way it has been done, or that put people in jail for petty technical offenses and keep other people out of jail for enormous crimes.

    My hope is that this kind of spirit will take place not just in this country but in other countries because they all need it. People in all countries need the spirit of disobedience to the state. The state is not an abstract metaphysical thing, but a concrete thing of brute force and wealth.

    • Do you think Matt has come around, or was that redistribution bit more about Marxism?

      I thought it was a fine speech, from my perspective.
      From another perspective, the speech might take on a whole different meaning?

      • Dear RAH,

        I agree.

        Some concepts are currently too ambiguous. For example, the “1%” concept being bandied about.

        By that many mean anyone who has more money than them, and whose wealth must therefore be “redistributed” by “The Government.” This is the socialist coercive egalitarian position.

        By that others mean the cronyist political class whose wealth was ill-gotten because it depended upon Big Business/Big Government collusion against the common man. This is the libertarian free market position.

        Damon’s latest film, “Elysium” embodies this ambiguity in spades.

        The distinctions must be made clear before real debate can continue.

        • Those two concepts you brought up, esoteric and exoteric sure are interesting:

          I especially like the table on this webpage.

          http://www.kheper.net/topics/esotericism/esoteric_and_exoteric.htm

          After reading a lot of news or stories of oppression and police state violence, I notice that my discussions become shallower and lean toward the exoteric.

          When every one discussing a topic becomes thinly exoteric in unison, like say on the topic of hospice, I find myself cringing in metaphysical pain.

          I find it valuable to discuss every subject, in both exo- and eso- terms. It’s a luxury I prefer to believe we can all enjoy.

          Mindsets that are too exoteric, seem impoverished to me.

          • Dear Tor,

            They are fascinating aren’t they?

            I first learned about them from Alan Watts, the Anglican priest/Zen philosopher. Not to be confused with Alan Watt, with no “s” on the end.

            The unfortunate arguments that arose over abortion relate only to the exoteric aspects of Christianity. What’s regrettable is that they aren’t even the true heart of Christianity. As Hot Rod implied, or at least I inferred, they are the “Christianity for Dummies” version, taken way too literally.

            When I lived in SoCal, I was a workshop junkie. I attended every psychology workshop from Actualizations to Zen. I did that for over ten years.

            I even attended a Marianne Williamson “Course in Miracles” workshop and discovered “Hey, if this is Christianity, I have no problem with it!”

            Sad to say, those attached to the exoteric version, with all its top down authoritarian “clover” commandments, have greeted New Age Christianity with outright hostility. Not surprising, but sad nonetheless.

          • Tor, I wholeheartedly agree with you. There’s something very necessary to me I find I’m missing when I become extremely exoteric. I realize most people need to have some of each and there are those who seemingly are almost one or the other(although you can never tell by a person’s words solely what is in their thoughts). I don’t think I could survive without a good dose of each. I have thought about this a great deal and wonder if I’m reading wrong those I assign an almost non-existent esoteric mind. I suspect I’m reading them wrong for the most part. You made a very good point.

    • Dear Tor,

      Yet another reason for “primitive” car technology, as if low cost and ease of maintenance weren’t enough.

      Just a simple 60s era engine with a mechanical distributor. Not a hackable computer in sight. No remote controlled ignition. Just a metal ignition key that you stick in a mechanical ignition switch and turn.

      And definitely no “smart” collision avoidance system!

  2. @Hot Rod re: killing the father but expecting the inheritance…

    That thread was too long to find a “Reply” button!

    Excellent, profound thoughts–that is some truly seminal stuff, Hot Rod.

    I’m embarrassed to admit I haven’t read Stefan Molyneaux’s defense of morality without resorting to theism–I think it’s called “Universally Preferable Behavior”. I’m sure it’s a variant of the pragmatic moral atheism that rejects absolute selfishness a la Ayn Rand, in favor of a kind of wise pseudo-altruism in recognition of our strength as a social species. It refutes social Darwinism and replaces it with–not utilitarianism but at least a nod toward absolute ethics grounded in practical reality.

    I don’t know what the school of thought is called.

    But I’ve had this argument with my sister; my take is that one’s ethical/moral system has to be founded on absolutes, and the source of the absolutes can be a very rigorous logical system…

    There’s the concept of “submission” in Islam. But in psychiatry and psychology, that’s represented too in the concept of suborning one’s self to something greater. The evil perversion of those fields places the State or “society” (same thing) in the role of That Which Is Greater Than The Self. The more noble practitioners recognize a Higher Power–hence its presence in AA where it was placed by William James.

    My take on that–if we’re created by a supreme being, in his “image” cognitively, then we should arrive at peaceful cooperation and a strong ethical system by either route–disciplined logic, OR faithful belief and “submission”.

    In either case, the ethical, upright person will “submit” themselves to this ethical framework.

    Your take on the ultimate dissolution of relative moral frameworks into animalistic behavior–exactly right! I believe it’s fully intentional by the PTB to create moral relativism; it destroys cultures and turns people into herd animals–easily led, easily controlled. It also fulfills the PTB’s view of humans as a disgusting plague to be wiped out–they create the problem, then look down on the “useless eaters” and feel justified in democide.

    I can’t do that. As disgusted as I feel with clovers, as much as I hate them sometimes, I KNOW they can be better and I’ll be damned if I’ll pretend to float above them and relish in their further destruction. Bring them UP, not down!

    • ” It also fulfills the PTB’s view of humans as a disgusting plague to be wiped out–they create the problem, then look down on the “useless eaters” and feel justified in democide.”

      Dave McGowan has written extensively on the Luciferian (or satanic) beliefs held by many of those who consider themselves part of the ruling elite. He qualifies his observations on their behavior by stating that he is an atheist and doesn’t believe in those dark deities, but that the “elites” certainly do believe in Lucifer and believe that they are serving him and being rewarded for their service.

      BTW, a few of us are starting to use the forum for discussion. It’s very easy to search for responses or for posts and to respond on that part of the site, and you can also send PMs to other members. Hope you sign up, if you haven’t already, or start checking in sometimes if you are already registered.

      • Thanks for the forum tip…I’ll go check it out.

        And absolutely on the Luciferian thing; you don’t even have to dig too deep to find it anymore, it’s completely open now.

        The recent Jimmy Saville/Royals/pedophilia scandal…quickly swept off any media…provide just a hint at the unbelievable depravity at the power centers.

        I suspect the few little sexual “scandals” in Congress are a complete smokescreen for what has to be Caligula-level decadence.

        What galls me is to be run by such a bunch of fucking freaks.

    • Hi Methyl,

      Thanks for liking my inheritance and killing the father comments. Its a rather interesting forum this eric peters autos has taken upon. So many interesting and intelligent perspectives (including your own) that I take great honor that you’d recognize my thoughts on that one simple thought I shared. Though I sure like that Drake that I quoted as he was very concise for the both of us on the morality and killing the father, i.e. the prodigal son. To be honest I am most likely also a prodigal son. I have an immense love for goodness and God in my heart now, but I have deviated much through my life and was not far from being an nihilist athiest at points. I think that college I found almost stripped me of my love for intelligence, compassion and love beyond. I don’t know how many athiest I had to endure in college pompously pushing their viewpoints on students. Hey when you need a grade you sometimes begin to sympathize with your captors. But again that was short lived as God is logic and logic leads right back to it. I’ve been all over the map but it seems unnaturall consequence forced me to acknowledge what I believe to be the largest truth of the world/universe. Since then I’ve tried my best to become more refined in knowing about this intelligence (God).

      I too have heard that the elite are big believers that Lucifer was a deliverer of light to humanity. Many of this thought likens Lucifer the fallen biblical angel with Prometheus a greek god giving man fire against the will of other gods. This supposedly helping raise and elevate mankind in the heavens. So if you take it from a Luciferian they actually believe that Lucifer like greek god’s Prometheus did man a favor by making us god-like through the initial rebuke of God’s will for us.

      In the eden parable that Lucifer made us aware of good and bad elevated mankind to gods. And this means that those types who follow this far enough think science will lead men to become equal to an universal God. Luciferians think mankind will ultimately through science rival omnipotence and the universal law of judgment. Is that far from naturalist or amoral relativist that believe they can write the laws of the universe themselves? Tell me that Al Gore doesn’t believe that climate change by CO2 is real just because he says so.

      To me science was all about understanding the laws not rewriting them. Sure you can study a variable and push a ballon here but it will pop out over there instead, not invalidating the initial law but controlling certain variables is the best man can do to change natural circumstance. To me the same kind of thinking actually but on different layers of transparency as it seems some are pompous to actually think mankind is smart enough to rival the intelligence already spanning all those millions of stars. Its humorous really.

      Like Ed I’ve seen much where the elite seem possessed to show a rather demented respect to this line of thinking. I’ve seen where these sorts actually do have symbols on the UN buildings, CFR and etc as acknowledging metaphysical symbols to their faith in such dementia. Statues of Prometheus, the melding of swords into plowshares, and the like. Also why the God of Horus appears on the dollar bill is another one of those really bizarre things that makes one go hmmmm… The whole dollar bill and Washington seem to be fashioned on some kind of Masonic ritual of black magic. Again I find it all humorous that our elite are scared of their own shadows of evil they cast that they have to have a symbolic Horus eye to protect them? Its one thing atheist and I might get a good laugh on together, but mostly the laugh would be for totally different reasons.

      Look forward to your commentary as well
      HR

      • Hi Methyl,

        Just wanted to say that I sometimes feel a little queer talking about the occult and how it is connected to the ruling elites. That of course is for two reasons. One being that modern man and western philosophy shuns outside the box thinking and any non sane view of the world. This one as you know I’m not the least bit swayed, as I find psychologist to be quite frankly pathetic dolts with made up theories that don’t work and as you know I have spent many cycles of my free time studying how physics and meta-physics are interconnected for very personal reasons and have shared those theories on here to others.

        The thing that makes me feel off about talking about demons and demonic worship is the clientelle that abuse it. For example my brother-in-law will tell you stories how he stared down Satan and saw his red eyes of fire. Or was that God (smile)? Ironically he does this to win points with his evangelical mother who buys ever word of it. Meanwhile when he isn’t being a bipolar maniac and on the bipolar drinking side binging like a fish, he will be giving a sermon on top Mt. Sinai. This type hardly gives credence when you hear him say “Lucifer this”, “Lucifer that” and ending with how he hates is ex-wife because she is a tramp in front of his kids with her. Bearing false witness and then returning to his conversation about Satan. And if that type isn’t bad enough you get the evangelicals that can’t think critical about anything and they too see Lucifer in every rain cloud. Most evangelicals are 6 year olds in the ability to see God, and there is some real meaning that they will come to the lord as children.

        So that leaves many otherwise credible people discounting their experience in life with occult things (supernatural). And I must say I have had my own experience with something demonic in nature that I personally cannot discount it. The difference is with me that I don’t pretend that I’m going to give some revelation that will change the whole of mankind giving us all answers to the worlds most diffiicult spiritual problems, rather it was something very personal and involved my own wrong doings. That said I do believe in demons and angels.

        From a logistical point of view the world prefers twos and is bipolar on every fundamental law of dynamism. Take charge as positive and negative. Or magnetisms north and south pole. Or Netwons law of opposite vector forces, or positive and negative numbers. Take your face as it also prefers a symmetry that is two sided. So therefore from a physical viewpoint one that believes in good and morality must also believe in bad and immorality. If there is an entity of pure goodness as a source then of course there must be something opposite. And this is where of course I do not know what a Lucifer would be. Is Lucifer the codename for chaos and degeneration, the opposite pole of what we know of God. Or is it a entity as a spirtual intellectual (angel) form that fell as the bible eludes from the highest place of order to chaos to fill the missing badge? That said those who believe fully with the definition there are many who practice the occult in elite circles. To deny this would be foolish. Even Hitler was a big practicer of the occult and was motivated by it in his third reich.

        I suppose there is some power in the mind over matter metaphysically even when the results of such are evil or destructive desires and outcomes and they used to call these people witches(femaile). Though I do not put much worry to such things as darkness is but a shadow to light, put some light on anything bad and the darkness will disappear. Nor do I think being obsessed with fear of evil occult is a good thing. As obsessing with anything makes it have dominion over you.

        Again for those that dismiss such crazy notions as angels and demons I understand. Its called programming and we had lots of it both ways. But then again it comes down to whether you believe the universe is truly alive. Is it over run with life and intelligence? I believe that intelligence even exist on stars outside of our own. Or is man the pinnacle of what looks like a rather intelligent occurence outside of us? To me the rocks are alive in some fashion of their physical existence. And mathematics what is a symbol? What is a variable? What is a number or function or a line? Do these exist outside the physical domain? And if so where? That lies the crux of the question and when one answers it it becomes possible to see things that were once invisible to the eye are in fact existent and the mind has some influence on what is here.

        Finally, as you know I’m not a real believer of the revlations as be truly prophetic. If you study how they appeared in the bible you will see much controversy over they were even of the correct author. I do not subscribe that the bible is unfallible. And I do believe the world has infinite outcomes not a linear line as shown in most of Judaism. Thus I do believe in a multiverse world and infinite God and a true mathematical infinity being the same. That aside many people more adept than me and you have purchased into the idea of revelations. And all I will say to you is that if true, then I’d put a wager that United States is the Mystery Babylon of the bible. You know the one that gets wiped out by fire? The Luciferians already believe that the US is mystery babylon and its part of the reason they proceed to try to make occult prophecies happen in what they think will be their favor. But they are also deceived because they as luminaries also think evil and man worshipping itself is the way to Godliness. It isn’t and I believe that such thinking leads men to degenerate like what they so look up to.

        Regards,
        HR

        • Dear HR,

          Actually, despite my rants against the major religions, I am a strong believer in radically expanding the definition of “science” to include all manner of paranormal phenomena.

          I don’t even object to many religious concepts, but only if they are understood as metaphors for forces in the universe rather than omnipotent beings.

          For example, the Devil or Satan represents the dark side of the human psyche. It is a personification of the evil that is within us.

          Studying them can teach us a great deal, if we know how to put them into context.

          • Bevin, I have studied the devil up close, less than an arm’s length away. The devil is big and black and speaks in an evil voice and uses crude language. I have seen a dozen devils at once. They have no eyes but a mean foul voice you can’t understand for a good while till the devil’s adrenaline subsides and then with spittle flying, you can understand what they say. Get down!! Get down muthrfucker..Get on the floor. Get on the floor right now mutherfucker or I’ll blow your fuckin head off. YOu’d better do what I say, get down. Get on the floor or I’ll blow your head off. I didn’t know what to tell the devil(s) so I just said what was in my heart. I can’t get on the floor. i pulled my back real bad yesterday and I can’t even walk. This makes the devil really mad so he/they say If you do’nt get on the floor we’re gonna blow your fuckin head off. I actually could not get down on the floor, way too much pain so I said to the devil(s). Shoot me then you mutherfuckers cause I can’t get on the floor. and then the devil(s) said I’ll help you. and then they did and then I just screamed inside and tasted blood and wished I could pass out, but it ain’t never that easy. Devils then gathered round, double chained my hands and jerked my old ass back up and I said nothing for the pain in my wrenched shoulders and pulled back took my voice. I will say one thing for devils though, my cold a/c made their gun barrels against my head real cool…Cool….daddy-o

          • Hi Bevin,

            I personally believe the bible may very well be a “Handbook for Dummies on how to Know God”. I mean no harm by saying that as I learned C++ programming using a handbook for dummies. And even Christ explained it in much better words why he had to use parables so that he simple man would understand what their God really wanted.

            As far as your comment on metaphors and symbols of good and evil, I’m with you there for the most part. It is my persuasion that the bible is at least 85% figurative speach, with the remaining 15% being strongly literal. The literal stuff had to be written very bold like the the ten commandments, otherwise the dummies would miss its importance. The figurative speech is as you guessed it written in parables or short stories. The idea that a simple idea could be conveyed over a campfire much easier if told in a story.

            Which leads me more on Yeshua and his parables. For me there is a much deeper meaning in most his parables than the rest of the bible. Even when giving metaphorical descriptions of saying how the afterlife was executed. I take it from a modern man viewpoint of him proceeding to describe our consciousness as being states of change not based on time. Time it turns out is measure our states of change to another state changing and periodic machine external to us. Be it the earths rotation on its axis or around the sun, or using a state changing machine such as clock of springs and gears. His ability to say that all you see in consciousness in continuity of your state change, but these in fact are all relative to your existence in an infinite God. Birth is like waking up, an death is like going to sleep. You reckognize to clock cycles between laying your head down and going to sleep and waking up, but you only reckognize that indeed you were the same person that laid your head on the pillow last night. There is no time but our own recognition of change of state. Which ironically is exactly how microcontrollers/processors work. Without a continuous clock causing a change of state the event in a microcontroller (state machine), the awareness of the controllers state change can be a microsecond or a Mega Years. Basically, Jesus was trying to make people aware of not just state machines, but conscioussness relativity in that big whole sea of God of infinity. But these concepts would have passed by the primitive of people including pastors. It was meant that they be fully understood when men’s knowledge would expand exponentially (now) for modern man.

            I take the bible again was written so that he slowest and most fragile child could have enough faith in something bigger (God) so they could continue and fear death and trust in something more. In this way Jesus was attempting to lead the most feeble minded with training wheels. He was saying follow me and keep your eyes on me as I’m your big brother. If I can do it, so can you.

            This message was failed by many leaders of the church because it was their desire to make a power structure not unlike what the Pharisees exhibited.

            Another thing that should interest the free in mind is how little is really discussed in Christian church. For example, how Apostle Paul Christians always accredit Jesus rightly as being the son of God. But somehow miss the fact that when he was talking to Pontius Pilate that he said in fact we are all sons of God. Nowhere did Jesus ever deny that we were his brothers and sisters, nor did he suggest that we couldn’t have the same relationship with the father. Though this seems exceedingly hard as most of us are quite hobbled in our minds, it is easier that we follow the big brother and ask for the training wheels as well in my humblest of opinion.

            Anyway, Yeshua in particular stated many powerful concepts about the supernatural and about consciousness and machines that could only be understood today. Between him speaking in simple parables that most people assume as the end of his conversation and higher level concepts that only a remnant will truly ever understand while on this earth, Yeshua makes a powerful messiah (messenger) as well as a reliable guide. Other than him, I’d speculate most of Christianity is bunk as even his subsequent follower and no appointed one especially seem to have deviated and even directly contradict his messages. I have several that come to mind but I won’t go there. Faith in Jesus message I do have, faith in the church not so much.

            Regards,
            HR

            Would the primitive

          • Dear HR,

            I hear you. I share many of the same views.

            The Early Christians were actually high sophisticated intellectuals. They were nothing like modern televangelists. They distinguished between “esoteric Christianity” and “exoteric Christianity.”

            Here is something I found online that encapsulates that:

            Any meaningful discussion about religion must take at least two different dimensions of the religious experience into account. First, there is religion in its exoteric or “outer” form, largely consisting of the rituals, beliefs, and dogma of a particular tradition. This is what the majority of people think of when they hear the word “religion”, often associating it with old myths, pre-rational thinking, and obsolete ideologies. Whenever you hear Richard Dawkins, Christopher Hitchens, or any of the other “new atheists” railing against God and religion, it is always this mythic exoteric form that they are attacking.

            There is another side to religion which, by definition, is very often overlooked: the esoteric or “inner” core that invites us to actually experience divinity for ourselves. This esoteric core is almost entirely composed of vivid (and occasionally enigmatic) descriptions of spiritual devotion, transcendent truths, and timeless realities. But there is so much more than just poetry at the heart of religion—esoteric spirituality represents a very real technology of transformation, offering profoundly enriching practices of meditation and prayer to help us all experience these things for ourselves, rather than just taking it as a matter of faith.

            Every religion was founded by a mystic who had a direct experience of spiritual reality, whether we are talking about Christianity, Buddhism, Islam, Hinduism, Sufism, or any other major spiritual tradition. And every religion has been populated by various saints and sages throughout the years, all of whom have helped to deepen and refine these teachings and practices, as well as re-translate them for new generations.

            http://integrallife.com/ken-wilber-dialogues/esoteric-christianity-two-kinds-religion

            This is the “Non-Dummies” edition of the same book, so to speak.

            I suspect that adherents to the esoteric versions of all mystical traditions are akin to the proverbial blind men touching an elephant. They’re all in touch with the same transcendent phenomenon, and merely focused on different aspects of it.

            I’ve discovered to my delight that some esoteric Christian mysticism is remarkably congruent with my own Zen oriented philosophical view of existence.

            I think if adherents to all religions could jettison the exoteric component, and embrace only the esoteric component, religious wars would become a thing of the past.

            The article I mentioned goes on to say:

            But for a number of historic reasons, the majority of today’s religions have remained anchored in magic and myth, and have been largely unable to blossom into their rational and post-rational forms. Because of this failure to grow and adapt, a great disservice has been done to the modern and post-modern God, and a great many people have dug their trenches in a perceived war between science and religion—trenches that few will ever be able to climb out of. We are now caught in the crossfire between two very different kinds of fundamentalism—religious evangelicals vs. scientific materialists—in which the former believes all facts to be an affront to faith, while the latter believes that all conceptions of the spiritual life are just childish vestiges of a long-dead God. But it is an imaginary war, a frantic struggle of straw man vs. straw man, neither side willing (or capable) of any sort of integrative compromise.

          • Dear 8sm,

            Sorry for not responding to this comment earlier.

            That was I take it, “New Journalism” style reporting on a real world incident of police thuggery.

            I was unsure of how to respond, so I delayed.

            I’m grateful that I’ve never been there myself. Came close one evening when protesting election fraud. But nothing seemed to be happening, so I left.

            Later saw on the TV news that my fellow protestors where thugscrummed by the costumed goons.

          • Bevin, it is what it is. One time in jail I had a lay preacher tell me we could only go to heaven, that hell was the right here and now. Since I was being tortured at the time, it seemed very likely. When I was 3 or 4, and I won’t lay blame here, somebody gave me a stuffed monkey doll made up just like a clown. I never knew why but I thought it was evil and it scared me silly my whole life. How ever it happened or where it was, it somehow made the move to the farm and I found it in something one day. I stuck old “Sam” on a wall purlin sorta as a joke to me. I’ll be damned if Sam didn’t scare hell out of me when I’d turn on the light and find him staring at me and here I am in my sixties. I haven’t noticed him lately, don’t know if something made off with him but I’ll check tomorrow since I’m curious. But I did find out what evil was and it was nothing more or less than man. That’s sorta sad in itself. I’d bet the old lay preacher would agree with me. Funny thing about that guy, he asked if I’d take hold of him so I said ‘sure’. When he grabbed my arm and I grabbed him there was this jolt of something I can’t quite describe. If ever there was a man who had the power, it was that guy. He got my attention and I had other things on my mind. I”m really glad you didn’t get beaten but I’ll admit it is a lesson. I once had the proverbial mudhole stomped in my ass and at the time it didn’t seem I’d find a good thing about it but as time passed by, I almost became grateful for it. It was a time of realization. I had to retake stock of everything. I think that was when I realized fully of how people could take the worst event and find the good in it, the silver lining so to speak. When you’re beaten enough to be temporarily blind it allows you a different perspective. It’s one I wouldn’t wish on anyone but something I think a thinking man could learn from. I know a man who nearly died in a wreck who says it was the best thing to ever to happen to him. I can understand that.

        • HR, you seem to have come to some of the same conclusions that I have. I’m not comfortable saying much more about the Luciferians than I already have, but to me, it doesn’t matter whether there is a validity to their belief, but it matters that they believe it and are influenced to do harm to people because of that belief.

          Anyway, I think I’m with you on a lot of that.

        • Dear HR,

          Also,

          I attended many Nathaniel Branden psychology workshops after he split from Rand.

          He rejected Rand’s “reason vs. mysticism” dualism. He clarified, saying that the correct dualism is “reason vs. unreason.”

          He was exploring all sorts of mystical experiences and decided that to ignore them was to ignore empirical evidence. It was to ignore reality because it didn’t fit one’s oversimplified. overly narrow definition of “science.”

          I agree.

          • As a reform Objectivist who borrows from, or ignores, Objectivism’s doctrines as I please, I also find great value in Branden’s work.

            I include him as part of Open Objectivism and the Atlas Society founded by David Kelley.

            TAS welcomes Branden and certain “consistent” Libertarians as well. TAS advocates “a policy of tolerant, open debate and free discussion.”

            I’ve also read and enjoyed Rudolf Steiner before, but now in the link you posted earlier, I discovered he founded a philsophy called anthroposophy.

            Anthroposophy claims there is a second realm of objectivism. Just like there is one distinct physical reality of matter and objects we can all perceive with our senses.

            So too, there is one distinct spiritual reality we can perceive with our higher mind. Anthroposophy says that all human metaphysical experience is observing one unified higher reality.

            Thus the acid tripper, the beatific saint, and the astral projector are all occupying the same metaphysical space so to speak.

            Just as there are many languages describing the same physical world. So too there are many spiritual disciplines, describing the same spiritual world.

            Certainly seems interesting, and something worthy of further exploration.

            What is Anthroposophy
            http://www.waldorfanswers.com/Anthroposophy.htm

            Anthroposophy on wikipedia
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anthroposophy

            Philosophy of Freedom
            http://www.philosophyoffreedom.com/

          • Dear Tor,

            Reform Objectivist. Not bad. I used the term Neo-Objectivist myself. Same difference.

            I definitely think the Branden side of the Great Schism was on the right side of history.

            For evidence just look at the way the Orthodox Objectivists at the Ayn Rand Institute have morphed into rabid Neo-Con warfare statists who support the Israeli theocracy almost unconditionally. Not a pretty sight.

            Branden got me on a path toward a far more holistic and inclusive redefinition of Objectivism/libertarianism.

            These days my philosophy is a mix of Rothbard’s market anarchism and the human potential movement’s New Age psychology. It works for me.

  3. Whew, it took a bit of effort to read this whole thread, it’s grown so much since I saw it last.

    I have a thought or two. I’m tired as all get out, so bear with me if it’s imperfectly written and not clear enough:

    It seems to me many people take a single pronged approach to abortion and such, when a two pronged approach applies, from a “libertarian” perspective, anyway.

    Some say voluntary slavery cannot exist under libertarian principles, then I wonder, isn’t that what marriage is for a woman, that whole, “To Love and Obey” part and all?
    Historically, women and children were considered property of the husband, no? Or, the children property of the parents? Was that an offshoot of natural law?

    Prong one: the child at any stage is a property, and property rights apply – For The Parents – not the rest of the world. That it does not apply to the rest of the world is prong two. The parents own the production of their own bodies. If someone other than the parents agress against the child without the consent of the parent(s), it’s a property rights issue treated as if it were a NAP violation upon the parents.

    If the parent spanks the child, in a sort of self-defense mode for the child’s own ‘enlightenment’, or even for unjust and unsound reasons, or not at all, that is for the parent(s) to decide, Not for the world to decide. No violation of the NAP is committed by the parent(s).
    Insert here (x) a parent allowing a young child to ride a motorcycle, or a allowing a young girl to go on dates with boys, in place of spanking. All those things may result in the child’s demise, yet, It’s none of the world’s business. The same goes for abortion, or even the choice Abraham faced in the Bible with his son, not so different from the woman drowning her child? The children are the property of the parents.

    Why else say, “That’s my child”?
    If it were not so, the phrase has no meaning.

    If a child can live long enough, when able to, the child escapes from the parents as their property (emancipation) and at that point, is no longer the property of the parents a.k.a. a spanking or other violence from the parents then becomes a violation of the NAP, at the discretion of the child.
    No need to determine at what point in time a person is a human or not.
    Nothing changes with respect to the relationship of the child to the rest of the world. Only that of the child and the parent.

    After reading this thread, that’s what I see as the “libertarian” and NAP approach to the subject .

    • Morning RB!

      This is a thoughtful approach.

      Your point about parents and “my” child” being particularly apt.

      The state – that is, other people – increasingly asserts ownership over children… other people’s children. What else is it when the state forces you to put “your” child in a child safety seat up to an arbitrarily decreed age? To have them given vaccinations according to their notions of appropriateness? When it decrees a parent may not smoke in the presence of “their” child – and so on?

      The question isn’t whether a given thing is “good” (or “bad”) for the child. It is: Does the state – do other people – have the right to assume parental authority over children not their own?

      Clearly, someone owns the child – this seems to not be in dispute. The squabble is over who gets to control it – the people who produced it, who are biologic kin to it? Or total strangers calling themselves “the government”?

      The child has no legal say – up to a certain arbitrary age, at any rate.

      On the other hand, most of us would probably agree a child has rights; for example, to not be the object of abuse by another person.

      Hence the conundrum.

      I got into an argument over this with my sister over her kid – my niece. She refuses to discipline the kid at all. Claims it interferes with her creative expression – and is “controlling.” I pointed out that a kid must learn to control itself, or else it will remain a sort of animal. That she (my sister) would not (as an example) run wild through a restaurant, bumping into tables and annoying other people trying to enjoy their meals. Why then is it wrong to explain to a young child that it’s not ok to do such things – and to discipline them when they do?

      Kids seem to be a Libertarian gray area. They certainly have rights, but not the same rights as adults. The problem is defining the point at which they become entitled to “full” rights. Perhaps it is when they can exercise them. For example, a five year old is not capable of providing for itself – therefore, its right to physical independence is moot or inoperative. It exists in theory only. But at 15? It’s entirely possible that a 15-year-old could be capable of taking care of himself. Of having acquired a useful skill or otherwise having the ability to earn his living, to pay for his food, housing, etc. He ay even be more “mature” than some 30 year olds, in terms of such things as self-control, judgment, etc. From a Libertarian point-of-view, I cannot see that we – that is, any adult, even the parents – have the right to forcibly keep him in their home against his wishes until the arbitrary legal age of 18.

      The abortion thing is much tougher going, of course.

      Where one stands seems to come down to one’s definition of human being. David and those who share his position define it as the just-fertilized egg. They believe that at the moment of conception, a new human being has been created – fully equivalent in an ethical (and spiritual sense) to any of us. Others (me included) agree that biological life begins at conception – indeed, that it precedes conception (after all, the sperm cell and egg are very much alive, in a biologic sense, even when they are each still in their respective “host’s” body). But we do not agree that a just-fertilized egg – or a collection of dividing cells, not yet formed into a functioning brain or a beating heart – is a human being in the same way that any of us is.

      Where to draw the line?

      It seems to me it’s a practical impossibility, from a biologic point of view – in the same way that there’s no way to set a clearcut chronological moment when a kid becomes an adult and entitled to the exercise of all the rights of adulthood.

      One can take a religious view, but that’s not an objective (rational, subject to rules of empirical evidence) position. It’s a belief, an opinion – a feeling. One can take a legalistic view – but that’s arbitrary.

      It’s not debatable that any adult is a human being. Nor any child.

      But things grow diffuse if we regress beyond a certain point. Because it is debatable (outside of theology) whether a just-fertilized egg is a child, a human being. Because on the face of it, it’s not. It is a cell with complete DNA. Is that alone enough to define a human? Perhaps, but not inarguably – not in the way that is inarguable that any “born” person is a human.

      Like quantum physics, this is a toughie because reality shifts, there is no hard and fast standard that doesn’t cross over into the realm of speculation and probability.

      • “this is a toughie”

        You got that right.

        That’s why, for those who follow the NAP, viewing the child – at any early stage of development – as the property of the parent(s) seems to me to be the best way to approach the subject. While at the same time, an aggression against the child by anyone else is viewed as a violation of the NAP towards the parent(s). It’s not a perfect viewpoint, but it’s an imperfect and imprecise world, and that seems to be the best route.

        Being the parent(s), answers the question, “By what authority?”.
        That is, until the child asserts its independence.

        Think of 12 and 14yr olds starting families in the 1800’s and prior to that time. It was a natural thing to do at that age. Emancipation.

        I don’t think abortion is a good thing, the same with suicide, however; it is done at the owners discretion.
        For the same reason suicide is not viewed as a violation of the NAP, abortion, discipline, or even infanticide, shouldn’t be either. That is – if – a child is seen as an extension of the parent(s).
        Not to say it’s ok, it’s just the decision of the parent(s), the same as say, feeding them junk food and TV all day and sugary carbs for breakfast vs. a Primal/Paleo diet with exercise and minimal TV. Some people say feeding children crap food, and all day TV, is a way of killing them or at least harmful and abusive, and it may be so, but it is the right of the parent(s).

        Also, I knew a guy, his parents never disciplined him. He grew up to be a very obnoxious s.o.b. never showing any kind of respect for anybody. He became a cop. I know correlation is not causation, but…
        My niece is like yours. I hope she doesn’t turn out that way too.

        Anyway, I’ve got stuff I need to do.
        I hope my crappy writing helps in some way.

        • Agreed, RB!

          The arbitrariness of it (legal adulthood, etc.) ought to be obvious to any thinking person. Unfortunately, all too many people don’t think.

        • Strikes me that purist libertarians start with an axiom that all humans are and can only be seen as atomised individuals and then you go from there feeling that you have a system 7 billion people can live by. Thing is that axiom is simply untrue. Most people realise that individual selfish must be curbed and harnessed so that Family and Community (the real social building blocks of humanity) can prosper. Children need care and training NOT a pointless ‘freedom’ to starve. That said the NAP is a useful tool once aggression has been adequately defined. HINT: the ‘clover’ following the speed limit is NOT the aggressor.

          • “Most people realise that individual selfish must be curbed and harnessed so that Family and Community (the real social building blocks of humanity) can prosper”

            Quite true. But how is the “harnessing” implemented?

            It must be voluntary. And therefore, a free society must be a moral society; moral in the sense of “love one another” and “do no harm”. Whether that morality comes from an external ethical driver–religion or spirituality–or from a rigorous system of logical altruism driven by long-term self-interest expressed as “charity”–truly free societies must be moral societies.

            The Founders knew that and practiced it.

            Americans are STILL the most charitable people in the world, to the tune of some $300 billion per year.

            We used to have the best–and cheapest–medical care, because doctors felt morally obligated to give away 30% of their time for charity. Some because of their oath and a sense of duty, some for religious reasons…and some because they knew if they didn’t, the State would eventually step in and FORCE them to.

            The Clover following the arbitrary “speed limit” can be the aggressor; it depends in what mode he does it. Don’t use specious arguments here, you’ll get called on it and flattened in this crowd.

          • HINT: the ‘clover’ following the speed limit is NOT the aggressor.

            That depends.

            MFW,

            Would you consider an individual driving the PSL in the left lane of a multilane highway to be an example of passive-aggressive behavior towards other drivers?

            While the driver is not actively acting against others, the driver is passively acting against others. The driver is impeding the travel of others. (I am assuming that this is not during rush hour or other times of congestion when the highway filled close to capacity.) I would consider this to be an aggressive act against others.

            If any driver chooses to drive at the PSL, then the driver should drive at the PSL in the right most lane. (ie Keep to the Right Except when Actively Passing.)

            I have driven on single lane roads while doing the PSL. It is not difficult or time consuming to pull over (when safe) to allow other vehicles –that wish to travel faster than me — to pass me. It is better for everyone. They go at the speed they prefer, I am not impeding someone else.

          • Who does the “curbing”? How is the curber’s selfishness kept in check?

            That’s the problem with a collective is that someone has to run it.

            Those that run the collective then have no barriers, no bounds to their greed, to their selfish acts. Because running a collective lifts the natural barriers that exist in an “atomized” society these positions attract sociopaths, criminals, psychopaths, and others who have lusts, greed, etc that knows no bounds. That’s why collectives end up with huge concentrations of wealth and mass death. The society does not advance when wealth is fed into the hands of those with political power.

            Furthermore, because the only way to satisfy wants in a collective is to rise in political power the common man who has no political power has no incentive to produce anything. This further stunts advancement.

            The “atomized” society rewards voluntary cooperative behavior. Because there is no institutional collective to use force to make others serve, to give up their wealth under threat of violence, the only way to satisfy one’s own desires is to satisfy the desires of others. Thus selfishness is turned towards helping, advancing society.

            As to the PSL, imagine you’re on your way home walking. A big football linebacker sized guy blocks your path. He won’t move or is moving slower than you’d like. He is big enough to block entire sidewalk. He won’t step aside and allow you by. He blocks your progress. Who is the aggressor? A clover going the speed limit is not a problem, a clover intentionally blocking the progress of others, is. Furthermore, an underposted SL is nothing but codifying this blocking of progress, using the state as additional muscle.

          • Mike,

            “Selfish” is a loaded term. It implies the action or motive is always at the expense of some other person. That’s easily disproved. I prefer my wife to other women. It is a selfish desire. But is it negative – in the usually implied sense of causing harm to someone else? No, of course not.

            When you write “curbed and harnessed,” I read that as controlled by others. Usually, with the apologia, “for the good of society,” etc.

            What gives these others the right to do so?

            Empathy – and a personal choice to adhere to the Golden Rule – entails no outside control by others. This internal control is good.

            Using external force to control others (absent harm caused) is not.

            In re Clover: As others have already pointed out, it’s not his slow driving that makes him a Clover. It’s his determination to force others to operate at whatever speed he decides is “right” – and his lust to punish (or see punished) those who disagree with him.

    • Dear RothbardianamericanHelot,

      That comment gave me goosebumps. It’s exactly what I believe. It’s exactly what I want this forum to hear. They don’t have to agree. They may find it loathsome even. But that is the human norm over the millennia, I believe.

      Is that not what the Old Testament says, word for word?

      What I wrote added included some Kool-Aid of my own to the OT, and no one drank it, but let’s forget that part and just focus on the OT.

      New Koolaid:
      Americans have the most outlandish interpretation and distortion of the scriptures imaginable. Scriptures which are an aggregation of the best of the human experience at the time.

      As Tom Paine said, it matters not whether you attribute divineness to the scriptures or not. They philosophically mean the same thing either way.

      Americans are extremely collectivist. They’ve concocted an elaborate belief system mostly from thin air. And that’s okay, because they’ve been a successful productive collective until they went rogue and murderous around 1917.

      Roe v. Wade is a terrible thing.
      Pre Roe v. Wade was also a terrible thing.

      The not terrible place is back further in the past, or in a new future where no one rests on their laurels because they won the Abortion Political Football game. But where they monitor the ongoing situation and make changes until we have decent and humane results for all.

    • “Some say voluntary slavery cannot exist under libertarian principles, then I wonder, isn’t that what marriage is for a woman, that whole, “To Love and Obey” part and all?”

      And what is it for a man, but endless servitude to her wants and whims? He works, she spends…

      And to “cherish” her? When she’s 40 and no longer fertile? Is he then in harness to her used up & dried out womb? Eternally? (Or at least for life.)

      There were obligations both ways, it’s not news. In fact, it embodies things fairly well for “vountaryism,” in it’s natural/original form.
      Marriage 2.0, she gets to “sacrifice” her “career” and stay home to do the onerous work of raising CHILDREN… (As if it’s fully an awful thing) – and then, when he’s working harder to provide for them all, she can divorce him for cash and prizes, deny him visitation, and she STILL gets his income – TAX FREE.

      Flawed example, sir, unless you intended to point out how risky and onerous it is for MEN these days.
      No man I know plans to subjugate a woman into wifedom. He’s subjecting himself to financial obligations and moral and financial burdens, which she can keep taking – even after she throws him out.

      And she can do it by “feeling scared” and a state enforcer shows up to inflict violence on him – even if she has attacked and injured him, and medical exam proves that – if he so much as tried to restrain her, he’s done. And under most “primary aggressor” laws, he’s going to prison regardless, because he has “greater potential” to inflict harm.

      • In principle, marriage is a voluntarily entered into contract between two parties mutually agreeable to one another.

        I see no element of slavery.

        Problems arise when one or both parties abrogate the contract – and then instead of being decent about it and agreeing to go their separate ways wit what they each brought into the deal, with any assets accrued thereafter split up equitably – they get vengeful and use the courts and shysters to abuse one another.

        But the fact that some marriages end badly in no way (that I can see) delegitimizes marriage, as such.

      • Jean, there was a good article by Rothbard published this week on LRC in relations to men bashing. A good friend lived with a woman he split the rent in a nice house they couldn’t afford separately. She began to have designs on him and he rejected her so she eventually in her drunken, drugged state had to attack him with threats against his friends. He’s just in from all week on the road and she begins these threats so he tells her(they’re very serious against his friends)she could be hard to find if she continues in this vein so she calls the cops. They get there and see she’s out of control so tell them to chill or if they have to come back somebody will go to jail. She begins again to insult my wife and me who she barely know so he just throws a beer he has in a mug into her face. She’s standing there dripping, he has no beer and she’s cranked up sputtering again and in her drunken state calls the cops again. They arrive, she’s dripping and she says he attacked her with the contents of a beer mug. It’s laughable but they aren’t going to come back every half hour all night so they haul him to jail and actually kid with him on the way. He gets put into the drunk tank in jail, sober as hell since he hadn’t even gotten to drink. After he’s been in the tank and a couple people have asked him what he’s there for, they realize he’s the guy they knew was coming(good news travels fast)and soon everybody there is clapping his shoulder and laughing about him being the guy they were waiting on who got thrown in jail for assault with liquid, i.e. a beer. He was kicked out the next day without charges.

        • Trouble is–now he’s the one with an arrest record.
          Which she, and her scumbag man-hating lawyer, will use.

          In Texas a friend of mine was sued by his fiance for breach of contract, because her scumbag lawyer figured they were common-law husband and wife…despite only dating for a year.

          Still, it cost him five grand and much aggravation.

          Steps to Hell:
          1) create contentious situation
          2) insert State
          3) let’er rip!

  4. Being a coffee-saturated knower is taxing and maddening. Probably not worth the ulcers and the carpal tunnels. I got no complaints with those who cozy up to Papa Pope Francis. Or the fanboys of Daddy Yankee.

    it’s the ones that have been defeathered by Stalin. The huddled yearning to be nearer his Mega Statuesque Legs of World Socialistic Warming Wisdom that I mean to keep at arms length. And maybe even give a quick shove under the Bus if the SHTF..

    Gasolina Daddy Yankee

    Watch Out For This Daddy Yankee

    En Coquimbo Chile Daddy Yankee

    – Luuuke, I am your Founding Father. Darth Washington. Darth Hamilton. Darth Yankee Doodle Dandee. Culos. Mujeres.

  5. Hi Eric

    No worries, no intent to malign taken.

    Regarding your questions, I assume you’ve heard of the Trinity before, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, and that these are three different persons but only one God. I assume this is what you have a problem with?

    I don’t really know how to explain this but the best analogy I’ve heard is that of an egg. An egg has three parts, a yolk, a white, and a shell. Yet nobody would claim that this requires three separate eggs. Obviously God is a whole lot more complicated than that, but that’s a simple analogy.

    As for Christ’s substitutionary death, I offer yet another dumbed down analogy. Say someone, let’s call him Mr. X, steals an expensive sports car worth $1,000,000. He then winds up crashing and destroying the car. He is caught and has to pay $2,000,000 ($1,000,000 for the property he stole and destroyed, and the other $1,000,000 as proportional punishment) to the victim. But he is extremely poor and cannot do so, so he will wind up spending the rest of his life as a slave to pay his debt. However, someone named Mr. Z steps forward and decides to pay the $2,000,000. Since the fine is paid, Mr. X can rightly go free. I don’t think there is anything unjust about this scenario. In fact, to make Mr. X still pay the debt would be unjust, it has already been paid.

    As for Christ’s death being a “Fake” it really wasn’t. He really did die. The thing is, “death” does not mean “annihilated” and that’s not true just for Christ, but for us too. Its impossible for a human being to cease to exist. They will either go to heaven (By trusting in Christ’s work on the cross) or to Hell (If they think they can be saved in any other way, or do not think they need saving) but they never cease to exist. In the case of Christ, Christ told the believing thief on the cross that they would be together that day in Paradise. So, we can presume that Christ spent the three days in Paradise before rising again.

    I wouldn’t normally bring this up now (Since understanding of it is not essential for salvation), but you’re smart enough that you’ll think of it on your own, so… you’re probably wondering why everyone isn’t saved then. After all, if Mr. Z paid Mr. X’s fine, Mr. X’s debt has already been paid, no matter how he reacts to Mr. Z’s generous action. Arminians are illogical on this point, because they claim that Christ died for every person and yet most go to Hell. The Biblical answer, by contrast, is that Christ died for his sheep (John 10:15) and that we know who his sheep are based on whether or not they believe in Him (John 10:26-27.)

    Not to beat you over the head with this, but you did ask, so… there’s that.

    • Hi David,

      The egg analogy doesn’t work for me. The Bible clearly has Jesus addressing another person (e.g., “why hast thou forsaken me?”). There are numerous such examples in the Bible of Jesus speaking of God, to God.

      It seems to me either one must take the position that the Bible’s language (or translation) is egregiously in error. Or, take it at face value, as written. That Jesus was addressing his father – another person (entity) not himself (which would be absurd).

      The whole dynamic is – to me – obviously anthropomorphic. It smacks, therefore, of the man-invented – and not the divine.

      Your analogy about the sports car is not persuasive. There is quite a bit of difference between the deliberate murder by torture of an innocent person in lieu of a guilty party and paying off someone to compensate them for smashing a car.

      And then there is the issue of false sacrifice. Death is not fungible, if the word itself has any meaning. You’re either dead – or you’re not. Put another way, if you’re alive, you have never died. Moreover – God/Jesus is by definition omniscient. Therefore (if the word has any meaning) Jesus knew beforehand he would not – indeed, could not – die. That it was all a dog and pony show for the apostles, et al. Nothing to sweat. Even the idea of a suffering God is silly. How can an immortal, indestructible being suffer? And more profoundly, this being would understand suffering from every conceivable angle – being omniscient, after all. So why the need to go through the motions of it? To put on a show for the Little Humans?

      This is why I reject the Christian conception: It is not straightforward. It is full of shibboleths and evasions and double talk. It can be parsed a million ways to Sunday (which is why there are so many Christian sects; clearly, not even Christians can agree on what the Bible “really” means).

      Again, I do not say this to offend, though I realize it may come across that way.

      I’m just presenting my reasons for saying: I’m not buying it.

      I also don’t buy Islam, or any other religious doctrine.

        • I was gonna watch the vid – but the onslaught of that fucking ad had me clicking “close” before it got close to starting. Why do people insist on putting these got-damned ads into their videos? They’re not making any money. Just helping Google, et al, ruin the Internet.

          • Yeah, 31 seconds, that’s the worst.

            It’s only a 101 second video, so you’re dealing with 31% ad content. Punchlinemagazine is the scumbag making $ that way.

            Ironically, because I watch YouTube using Google Chrome with the Adblock extension, there’s no ads for me.

            But I am using a Google product. Google is the greatest saturator of tailored advertisements on the internet. Adblock solves a problem Google creates. Problem-reaction-solution.

            Futurology is pseudoscience, but I’m thinking a lot of internet content will soon be 5 sec/per min and maybe eventually 10 sec per min of this type of consciousness intrusive advertisement.

          • I use FireFox with NoScript and AdBlock.
            I can’t stand using YouTube on anyone else’s computer–the ads are incredibly annoying!

            The downside with NoScript is having to selectively enable your “allow” list over time. 90% of sites use Javascript, so you have to enable it permanently for sites you trust. Many of that 90% are unreadable without it.

            But once you’ve got your list, it saves a ton of aggravation and makes it much more difficult to track your net activity–like Facebook does.

          • meth, earlier today with my old college buds, one asked if scripts was what McAFee warned about and everybody told him to trash it. At least a couple of us told him our source of finding running scripts was NoScript and I had told him I never see big, gaudy ads because of AdBlock+. I’m amazed at some of these guys who still don’t “get it” even though they’ve been using computers since the 70’s that Firefox and other browsers that support all sorts of add-ons are greatly superior to IE, Chrome etc. No MS or Google here. I just had to start anew on this computer, re-installing everything and now don’t let some scripts I used to run on a permanent whitelist. I have yet to find a site I couldn’t do everything needed without allowing google.com although some sites you must enable google usercontent, google syndication or a couple other google scripts that I keep on an allow as needed basis. Like you, all those big ads are blocked and I haven’t even thought about them in a decade.

      • @Eric – what you said, and so much more.

        When I was twenty, baiting religious recruiters was a sport for me.

        I was raised Catholic; at age 12 I went through Confirmation, and was told that now I was an adult in the eyes of the church, and attendance at mass each Sunday was now my choice. Sweet. So next Sunday I said I was staying home, …and,…, and, ya should have seen it. What a scene.

        When I was twenty, I was in classes at UC Berkeley. Hard science, mostly, but also a class called, “The Bible in Translation.” I’d already read 4 different versions of the bible, the Book of Mormon, (lol) (but, damn, she was cute), and a bunch of eastern texts on Buddhism, Zen, Taoism. Just to help me figure out why this crazy Catholicism was a thing. (I read fast, and I remember what I read.)

        Sitting on the steps of Sproul eating lunch was an open invitation to be proffered salvation. Moonies, Presbyterians, local cults trying to get a leg up, so many people trying to save my soul.
        None seemed to have actually read their texts, though; they just had a prepared pitch, the better ones had some hypnotic induction techniques thrown in, usually the local cults.

        It was a sport, and I’ve outgrown it, but recently I felt provoked/had a flashback. Arguing theology is a quagmire. I default to “let them be if they’re harmless, or not too annoying.”

      • So, let’s just go to a philosophical work, called Flatland, for an example in the difficulties of this “God” explanation. Analogies only go so far: Shamrock, Egg, Etc.

        In Flatland, people are represented by polygons and lines. Males are polygons, females are lines. The males start as Triangles, and through refinement of generations, their angles get blunter and blunter, until they become rectangles, then pentagons, etc. All regular shapes, IIRC.

        Anyway: They were 2-dimensional beings.
        Relevant section of the book: A 3-dimensional being, a sphere, manifests himself before the high council of priests, and attempts to prove to them that there is a third dimension – by manifesting. He passes through their plane of reality, so starts as a point, then an increasingly wide circle, until a decreasingly wide circle, back to a point.

        At the same time, he has yanked one of the 2-dimensional beings out of the plane, so they can look down together. The 2-D being can now see everything in his plane from a new perspective. (We ignore that a 2-D visualization wouldn’t be able to see outside a plane, for the thought exercise.)

        I think this is about the same.
        Saint Patrick explained the Trinity to the Celts of Ireland using the Shamrock: Three leaves, but one plant. Father, Son, Holy Ghost. (I’m dating my entire bloodline here.)
        The Egg isn’t bad, but also inaccurate, as the egg becomes a chicken -which actually makes more sense, Father –> Son. (Though I think it’d be a hard sell to explain Father/Son/Holy Ghost as Egg/Chicken/Dinner!)

        Woman is also a good comparison, Virgin (Maiden) -> Mother -> Crone. Three aspects of the same being, each time.

        But I think we as humans are trying to articulate a 3D creature when we only perceive in 2D. Jerking us out of the plane will only glimpse the divine, not make us part of it.

        Now, as to the translation – I don’t have any real faith in the church. It’s a human institution, was the only bastion of literate people, and there are a dozen revisions of the languages between oral and written tradition… Let alone, the difficulties of translating idioms, or varied-meaning words… Let alone that human “impulse” to twist thigns to the “message” you wish to spread.

        Simple example I know of: John 21:15-19.

        15 When they had finished eating, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon son of John, do you love me more than these?”

        “Yes, Lord,” he said, “you know that I love you.”
        Jesus said, “Feed my lambs.”
        16 Again Jesus said, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

        He answered, “Yes, Lord, you know that I love you.”

        Jesus said, “Take care of my sheep.”
        17 The third time he said to him, “Simon son of John, do you love me?”

        Peter was hurt because Jesus asked him the third time, “Do you love me?” He said, “Lord, you know all things; you know that I love you.”

        Jesus said, “Feed my sheep. 18 Very truly I tell you, when you were younger you dressed yourself and went where you wanted; but when you are old you will stretch out your hands, and someone else will dress you and lead you where you do not want to go.” 19 Jesus said this to indicate the kind of death by which Peter would glorify God. Then he said to him, “Follow me!”

        Ok, that’s simple, right? English is nice and concise… BUT, those questions aren’t the same. The language had three words for Love – Hebrew, IIRC. Ancient Hebrew. No one speaks it any more, even the Hacedic Jews. so nuance is lost.
        The first two times Jesus asks Peter, it’s “Philia”, or “love as a brother.”
        The third time, it’s “Agape,” full love, no restrictions, no stops, more than life itself.

        It’s a setup – and likely a LOT of those esoteric “one hand clapping” things have been lost by accident, obfuscated by intent (gnosis, Zen koan, “only the worthy”, etc) – or intentionally altered and twisted, to highlight something deemed worthy, or to demonize something “evil” (IE, pagan holy days –> HOLIdays, like Yule or Samhain.)

        Never forget that most people aren’t Evil – they just KNOW what’s GOOD, and then try SO VERY HARD to FORCE everyone to DO WHAT’S GOOD….

        I tend to exaggerate, but honestly – I’m just at the point where I’ll no longer accept that someone is doing “what’s right” against my best interest, acting on the theory I just “don’t know better.”
        They’re aggressing. KNOWINGLY aggressing, after I tell them I’m not interested. I don’t care if they’re trying to support Obamacare, of part of NAMBLA. If they won’t leave me alone, if they’ll try to FORCE me to do what THEY decide is “right” – it’s on. Most people get the hint right away…. They hear the rattle.
        Some need to get bit. And some try to kill you regardless, they’re assuming you’re evil – or you’re just in the way.

        Either way – They refuse to see the whole picture. Like Native Americans before us, we’re just “in the way of progress.”
        Time to set up D.C. for Big Littlehorn.

        Never thought i’d see the day white man would be scalping… But when we remove the skins from those heads, it’ll be a good day indeed.
        [BTW, I know Custer’s stand was Little Bighorn. Think of inverting the two – apply it to the Head you’d scalp… You get the idea of what we’ll be going for. As Limp Bizkit put it, all in all – you’re just another dick with no balls… )

        It’s Just one of those DAYS….

  6. Dearest Mama Liberty,

    The cognitive dissonance is disconcerting, but I’ll sally forth choiring to the preacher as best I am able.

    Who is “they?”

    The YouTube account belongs to The Fatima Center. They wants to make known the full Message of Our Lady of Fatima and to promote devotion to the Immaculate Heart of Mary.

    Founded in 1978, the Fatima Center is a grassroots association of Catholic priests and lay people. The founder and Director of the Fatima Center is Father Nicholas Gruner. http://www.fatima.org http://www.fatimatv.com

    So who benefits from 2013 World Youth Day? Cui Bono? The Fatima Center and the Vatican. Who funds the devotional institutions? Who pays to fly the Pope around the world? Who pays to maintain and gas up the Popemobile?

    The freemasons are the union that builds the churches. They benefit. Some freemasons are in banking. Maybe even in the Illuminati itself. Catholics are in the thick of it. They are a heavy weight corporate entity. 2nd or 3rd largest in the world by membership, alongside India and China.

    The 14th World Youth Day was held in Rio De Janiero, Brazil. Held by the International Catholic Church.

    Who supports the one million celibate men and women in the Catholic church? Would you consider them laborers? I consider them mostly a type of parasite. Scriptures are warped because unlike Jesus and the Prophets, modern Preachers live an elite life of luxury. Never working a day in their lives.

    For various reasons, the administrators of the Catholic Church are not much different from Reverend Jackson or Jesse Helms. They’re pigs at the trough of the predatory state. Donations are only a portion of how they operation. They receive direct state money. They are given great power and franchise, and are in many ways, an arm of the state itself.

    I have no problem with singing and worshipping. Assembling to pray together and celebrate together. But that is what is seen. What about what is unseen?
    Clergy are members of an exclusive phyle with great wealth and power. They are no mere mundanes.

    What about Bastiat’s broken stained glass window? The Catholic church does a lot of damage to a lot of real people. They force their medicines down a lot of unwilling throats. They disarm an awful lot of victims who later get slaughtered by the state.

    Vatican: Owner of World’s Biggest Banks and Top Global Companies Exposed
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=urQtBCJBitA

    DistrictofCriminals – SquareMileofLondon – VaticanCity

    The three cities that own, dominate, and rule much of our world.

      • I read them all. I treat everything I see on the internet as “individia” Which is to say having an individual life of its own, apart from its author. Fair game living strings on a galactic harp, for me to pluck and make hopeful or dire melodies of as the mood strikes me, in a representational way, or in a completely fantastic way.

        I’ve now taken the time to reread everything you wrote. And to refresh my perception of who you are by reading your comments at Claire Wolfe’s Backwoodshome. Maybe while growing up amid farmland, not ranchland. I was marinated in Monsanto and pickled with Pioneer. Perhaps its best I be kept in the back-backwoods, because sometimes, I’m out there.

        “The one thing freedom lovers need is real community. Not just the community of Web yakking. Not just the community of common ideas and ideals. But a web of institutions that serve freedom’s goals.” – Would You Move to the State of the Free?” – Claire Wolfe

        “I can not tell a human fetus from the fetuses of several other creatures by looking at them. I would bet that even the experts would have a very hard time telling a chimpanzee from a human until late in the pregnancy. A fertilized egg is life, but not a separate life. There are religious ideas of when the embryo becomes a separate life-form from the mother, but not really any convincing scientific proofs.

        I don’t really like abortion, but would not forbid it to people who feel differently than I do about it. I do not think abortion is a good first choice for birth control. There are so many other options that are easier and cheaper. I have obviously never had an abortion, nor have I ever encouraged anyone to have one, even in cases where it would have been very bad for me if a pregnancy had occurred. In this way I have done my part to not add to the number of abortions. Keep your own house in order and mind your own business. It’s the way of Liberty.”

        – Kent McManigal

        http://blog.kentforliberty.com/2008/07/abortion-this-libertariananarchists.html

        Innocents Betrayed – History of Gun Control – Written by Claire Wolfe
        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUmKT43j4Tc

        My Wyoming Mavericks Forum Disagreement:
        I do not agree, through my use of any forum, that I will not post any material which is false, defamatory, inaccurate, abusive, vulgar, hateful, harassing, obscene, profane, sexually oriented, threatening, invasive of a person’s privacy, adult material, or otherwise in violation of any International or United States Federal law.

        I also do not agree not to post any copyrighted material unless I own the copyright or you have written consent from the owner of the copyrighted material. I see that flooding is forbidden on this forum, what exactly is considered flooding?

        I do not like hearing the owners of the forum reserve the right to reveal my identity (or any other related information collected on this service) in the event of a formal complaint or legal action arising from any situation caused by my use of this forum.

        I won’t be registered because “with each post, my IP address is recorded, in the event that I need to be banned from this forum or my ISP contacted. This will only happen in the event of a major violation of this agreement.

        – contact my IP for violating a forum agreement? No thanks, Wyoming Mavericks. Doesn’t sound like my kind of mavericking.

        https://thementalmilitia.com/mavericks/index.php

  7. Tor, your point about sentience (Which applies to many animals, not just the ones you mention) illustrates the absurdity of trying to use sentience to determine the value of human life. By the “sentience” logic, it should be OK to kill a sleeping adult by lethal injection too, which is absurd.

    Human exceptionalism is just something that has to be presupposed, and ultimately, I get that I do so for religious reasons, but it doesn’t matter. In a vaccuum, an ethical system that gives rights to animals, or even trees, might not be able to be objectively disproven. But, so what?

    You can’t come into a debate without any presuppositions.

    Eric, I’ll address your questions in a sec.

    • I”m afraid if I ever acquiesced to any religion I’d be wearing a mask and getting nutrition from the sun. When I kill something I have no doubt it’s sentient as I sort through its guts and remove it’s skin from its muscles. I say a bit of thanks to the animal for having taken its life to sustain my own. I have no need to tell anyone else how to live nor what to think. All through my life I have noticed a big disconnect from life with those who only pay someone else to do their killing.

      During hunting season about 20 years ago this “good Christian” woman wrote to a major Tx. newspaper admonishing hunters for their gory deeds, citing her and her husband as people they should emulate since they only stocked their freezer with fish, mainly crappie and white bass. And that was the start of that shitstorm but definitely not the end. Yes, I have noticed when I hook a fish, and especially when the hook is in its guts, it seems to singing hosannas.

      • Most are completely disconnected from reality, the elites doubly so.

        When I worked in the city, I returned home to hunt during the season. The cube dwellers were horrified that I would ‘murder’ innocent animals. Only one of them was a Vegetarian and he had no issues with hunting.

        So I asked what the difference was between the meat I ‘murdered’ and why it was less acceptable than the meat they bought at the supermarket. In no particular order;

        Shooting an animal is cruel. (they couldn’t tell me how their meat died nor how a deer dies ‘naturally’ )
        There is no need to hunt, you can go to the store. (again, no idea where the ‘store’ meat comes from)
        Hunters are killing part of nature.
        And so on…..

        When challenged to explain why decimating the rainforest for McBurgers was better than hunting or why industrial/farm feedlots were, only one of the people had any clue what I was talking about. Yup, the Vegetarian.
        It’s a Dunnig-Kruger world. The ignorant don’t know they are ignorant. Worse, they demand you accept their ignorant world view.

        Fuck me, I need to get off this planet.

        • Eric’s right–we need Faster-Than-Light travel worse than anything!

          The recent hints that there might be a BILLION Earth-like planets just in our galaxy give me immense hope.

          Perhaps we will be able to have a perpetual frontier, where people can be free for a time and then move on as the collectivist plague manifests.

          Or perhaps we’re at a turning point in human history, when collectivism is discredited for a few hundred years.

          • Hey Meth,

            I literally daydream about that scene in Battlestar Galactica – the one in which Adama tells Starbuck to enter the coordinates in the FTL comnputer and “jump” – just go, get us the hell out of here.

            One day, perhaps….

          • eric, that’s a lot like the old scene(s) of Jim saying to Spock Get us the hell outta here to which Spock asks, And what is our destination to which Jim just says Anywhere, just not here. Generational difference.

          • Yes, the frontier of space is a rich lode for fiction writers. I did like the film “Serenity” which was based on a TV series, “Firefly”, which I’d never heard of before I bought the DVD in a remaindered bin.

            That was a pretty good story.

          • @Ed–

            Firefly–now THAT was brilliant TV. Wonderfully freeing; strongly libertarian theme and a great depiction of free people from all walks coexisting peacefully and going about their business…while thumbing their noses at the nasty authoritarian empire.

            great stuff. naturally cancelled after one season.

          • Yes. I agree Firefly and Serenity were great stories.

            Speaking of faster-than-light travel and colonization, ever read: The Great Explosion, by Eric Frank Russell? Pretty short, but none-the-less a little entertaining.

          • I would not be surprised to find out that the US military had or was close to having interplanetary travel capability or at the very least aircraft that worked on the same basic principles required even if they can’t handle space or achieve speeds any where close to light yet.

            The idea that the space shuttle, the U2, SR71 are the best ever made is absurd to me. The idea that alternatives to combustion were never developed seems odd as well.

            I hinge my belief on the fact that UFO kooks could take people out to the desert at specific times to watch the UFO’s make right angle turns and the like. There is no question these were military craft working on a test schedule.

  8. Where did the name “clover” come from? And why is someone willingly posting under that name? Or did the term “clover” come from this poster to begin with?

  9. Ending Abortion and ALQ:

    Proponents of abortion usually have high Anti-Life Quotients, or ALQs.

    ALQs are part of a phyle of life-hating self-loathing biological-butchers that include the following:

    Owners of castrated pets.
    Proponents of castration ordinances.
    Wildlife Interventionists.
    Men with vasectomies.
    Women with tubes tied.
    Advocates of forced sterilizations of the poor.
    Women who could afford a baby but get abortions anyway.
    Men who coerce their daughters and lovers to get abortions.
    Doctors, Parents, Bureaucrats who forcibly medicate children.

    This list is very long, I’ll stop for now to get to abortion, but these are the babbit architects of our Unisex anti-male societal prison we’ve all come to hate.

    If you’re a man and on the list, you’re most likely a worm-brained demagogue butcher with no self-awareness. If you can’t at least acknowledge your disgusting perversion of scientific advances to make this a shittier more authoritarian un-natural world, then I hope you get a strong case of insomnia while lying in the shitty bed you’ve made for yourself.

    A world that glorifies metrosexuality. And homosexuality. And asexuality. It’s you sex-hater Ellen James that cause our misery. Fire and Brimstonephiles who live to see natural procreation sacrificed on societal altars for no purpose whatsoever save your hatred of our life-giving natures.

    Forrest Garp, Prequel to Forrest Gump

    I must be an anarcho-individualist. Maybe the only one. I consider cats and dogs the equivalent of 2 or 3 year old children.

    When I hear your gonzo creepy voice speaking about neutering your dog or your cat in that flat indifferent tone, I have to bite my tongue and not let on what a monster I think you really are.

    Why the fuck have a living animal and then defile it and turn it into some kind of four legged hollowed-out zombie? You’re worse than a butt-pirate pedophile. More loathsome than any free shit army footsoldier in my book.

    The anarcho-individualist’s Book of Life. Tales of spontaneous order and sometimes unfortunate disorder. But always imbued with the breath of outside air. Living individualist air, not climate-controlled stale air, strictly regulated by control-freak corporatists.

    • Tor, I only want to address one point that’s pertinent to me at this time. A female cat we can’t catch just had her second litter a month ago so we now have 13 cats in the house and 3 outside, not a good thing when you have to buy food. Another 3 females are ready to breed if them hitting on me says anything. At that rate, we’ll have 40 more kittens in another 7 months. What would you propose for birth control other than a shotgun? I tried to counsel them but they just love me up. It’s tough to find homes for all of them so being a responsible pet owner is fairly tough. Cholley Jack just left and went to the bedroom after I couldn’t do anything to settle them down. I was tempted to get one of eric’s bottles of Black Jack myself. CJ has no lover thankfully but one pit bull we had, Ace, had a coyote bitch for years who’d come up and howl when she was in heat. I worried plenty about pit bull coyote crosses but coyotes don’t live that long normally and that’s the only one we’ve had to breed with a dog. Ace had no complaints though coming back from the pasture with his tongue about 3 feet long and stinking like a coyote so bad you couldn’t stand him but you couldn’t knock that grin off his face, a big wide one.

      • 8s you make a good point, and you make me smile. As an exercise, I read your post imagining Morgan Freeman as narrator; try it, lol.

        Cats are an introduced species, and we’re responsible. As 8 points out, they’ve evolved (or were Created) for reproductive success. And they’re uncanny hunters, responsible for several extinctions in ecosystems that hadn’t evolved a predator of that class, then, all of a sudden, cats.

        I don’t think we have a word for this yet, but domestic cats are like a plague that we control. Neutered cats can lead happy and productive lives, it’s a case of induced neotony, keeping them in the kitten stage of development. Cuddly, playful, bonding. Sexually mature cats are hormone monsters with their own set of rules – they can make good company, on their terms usually, but…

        But uncontrolled breeding is a problem, a problem we’ve created. Not directly a problem for us, so much – yeah stray cats can be annoying, right? But they can be devastating to the local wildlife, if they establish a wild breeding population. Cat’s gotta eat, right?

        So domestic cats seem to me a species that we are, in fits and starts, guiding evolution into becoming an appendage. One that can become virulent if uncontrolled.

        That said, my best friend for 17 years was a little black cat, the runt of the litter, gone now a year and a half ago.
        8s, give Smudge a hug for me 😉

        • We have 11 cats inside… several related. The males are all more friendly/outgoing than the females – which is exactly the opposite of what you hear. The females are more wary – very affectionate with people they know and trust, but it takes them more time to trust.

          Speaking of cats…

          Virginia authorities claim puma concolor is extinct in this state; no wild individuals out there. I can personally call “BS” on that one. The wife and I have seen one trot across the road. And I have found tracks as big as my hand in the woods.

          I always cast a glance upward, looking at the tree branches before I walk under ’em!

          • Had my third sighting just 2 weeks ago – pulled into the court after dark, there’s a shape across the street (always looking out for deer up here – deer are such assholes) saw a form with a tail as long as its body, black tip. Young, probably a yearling.

            Before this, we caught glimpse of one in Yosemite NP near Cathedral Peak, and improbably, on the way back from Yosemite (a college field trip this time) driving down HWY 99, somewhere south of Fresno there was an adult just stretched out like a sphinx by the side of the rode. Just watching traffic, man. I have three co-witnesses, lol.
            They’re not usually seen in the wild at all, that’s their superpower – ambush. So I can see Eric scanning the branches above, makes sense.

        • Horse, I was playing the dreaded BOUNCY BALL with CJ when reading your post. You may be right, I imagined Morgan Freeman rereading my post and it sounded just about right. Who knew? Besides you that is. I looked to see where Smudge was and she was crossing the floor headed towards Sweetie so I said “Smudger”, my special name for her and she turned and hauled butt and ran up into my face and started purring. I gave her a big hug that made her purr louder and then a kiss on her neck that always makes her get mushy and told her that was from Horse Badorties so she got even mushier and is now in my lap purring very loudly. Just threw bouncy ball and accidentally hit Wyne so he hauled butt and now CJ is complaining about where bouncy ball landed. We’re all bonkers since the weather is so bad. Me and CJ are the only ones to go out much. I had to go out earlier and try to remove an old bucking bronc that’s sick from being cut(neutered)from the breezeway he’d gotten into….again. I finally had to call some cowboys for help to get him out. He’s lying down right at the south door now, trying to stay warm in this freezing rain and hard wind. Had to break ice on the porch and steps before going to feed the hogs who were glad to see me. Somebody left the pasture gate open and I have a bunch of horses up here. We’re going to get that straight next week come hell or high water.

          eric, a few months ago just as I let CJ out the door I saw a cougar on the fence line and so did CJ. The race was on and I was sure hoping CJ would lose since I wasn’t getting around then and couldn’t do much. Luckily, the cougar beat him and there was no fight. A few years back about 200 miles east of here near Palo Pinto a guy was deer hunting and killed one. He was a big boy, about 6 4″ and 240 lbs. almost the exact same size as the cougar. He held its feet up and posed holding the whole cat up(strong sob)with its feet over his head. It looked more like a lion, the reason we call them mountain lions in these parts. I don’t want one to come too close to one. We see tracks that are 5-6″ in diameter here now and again, sorta makes you think twice about it. I have seen some very large ones in the past. Take care and take that autoloader rifle when you go walking. Horse, I lost my tom I had for years on the road this past summer. CJ had grown up with him and he was his best friend along with Wyne the other tom. We all grieved. But they’re great while you have them.

      • Well you could have Planned Pet Parenthood clinics. And free abortions on demand for cats.

        Or why can’t people just eat the excess cats?

        I’m not addressing you or any of the fine folk here personally. I just want you all to get how slave-minded and life-hating you still are once outside the postage-stamp sized bundle of issues under discussion because that’s what our owners tell us to discuss.

        Excess animals are food. Period. That’s been the case since 8,000 years ago when gold was first discovered and western society began.

        Your blindness or resistance to that fact means you are broken-brained christianically-crippled and you’ll meekly pass on your submissive attitude to you offspring and everyone you know.

        “You can’t eat cats!” says the petulant Clover, blocking the fast lane of life for people who eat whatever they damn well please.

        How is nasty ass neutering any better than evil ass abortion?

        I bring it up because Birth Control & Abortion are all the same icky phenomena in my mind. It’s like saying I abhor guillotines but I support lethal injection.

        How do neuterphiliacs get to be so high and mighty about what some sad sack human ghetto broad does when her trick/dealer/pimp/neighbor knocks her up?

        And why stop at cats and dogs? Rabbits, squirrels, crows, pidgeons, mice, deer, they all overpopulate quickly. Fact is DNRs aren’t stopping. And you’re a part of that. You accept their premises.

        Americans makes my skin crawl. Mexicans are doing just fine. Neighborhood animals are the norm there. No need to cage and kill Mother Nature and resurrect her as Bride of Frankenstein Nature.

        What about one region with only female cats. Another region with only male cats. Felinologists are a phone call, email, smartphone app button away, happy to move your cat to the sex segregational area for free. They’ll return you a right for your area sex cat in exchange. Problem solved.

        It’s the allegedly freedom loving man’s acquiescence to vile brute force against nature that offends me.

        – – – – –
        Watching for Sophistry in Everyday Life

        Here are thirty-eight dishonest tricks of argument – taken from “Straight and Crooked Thinking” by Robert H. Thouless(1930)

        http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Clear_Thinking/Informal_Fallacies/Tricks/tricks.html

        Much discourse in public and personal life is filled with these mental tricks…

        Emotional Language
        (1) The use of emotionally toned words
        Approach: Translate the statement into words emotionally neutral

        Clear Thinking – Hebrew 4 Christians
        http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Clear_Thinking/clear_thinking.html

        • I don’t care if you want to eat cats. Cats aren’t people, so the NAP doesn’t apply to them. Most forms of birth control do not violate the NAP (Destroying life that already exists is an NAP violation, but choosing not to create life or trying to prevent it from being created is not a violation of the NAP.) Abortion does kill a human being, and so is a violation of the NAP, no matter how much you might try to deny the fact. If a fetus isn’t human, what is it?

          • Come on David. You’re still defiantly standing on the beach holding Daddy Yankee’s hand. I have cast my bread upon the waters. Come wade on out into the water and partake of the bounty I offer in the real ocean of reality.

            You don’t get to wave your hand and say animals have no right to the SNAP. (sentience non-aggression principle)

            Humans, chimps, pigs, bottlenose dolphins, parrots, whales, dogs, octopi, elephants, squirrels, cats, owls, rats, falcons, rhesus monkeys, horses, raccoons, sheep, crows, pigeons, orangutans, sea lions, babboons, ants, spiders, and squids.

            Those are the most sentient beings and need to be considered. It is your Christian Duty to care for them.
            http://list25.com/25-most-intelligent-animals-on-earth/?view=all

            A freed world is essential to a free society. Live and let live applies to sentient animals as well as women with child. He counts the tears of women. Stop demanding all problems be solved in a legalistic mode of doctrinal linear parsing

            “The Creator said, “Let the earth bring forth living creatures after their kind: cattle and creeping things and beasts of the earth after their kind”; and it was so.

            The Creator made the beasts of the earth after their kind, and the cattle after their kind, and everything that creeps on the ground after its kind; and the Creator saw that it was good.

            Then the Creator said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; and let them rule over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the sky and over the cattle and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

            You are failing to justly rule over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth. You will be made to account for your failure in tending to that duty. The Pope and his Limousine Liberal Congregation won’t be there then. Your words will fail. The Creator doth not speak with the tongues of men.

            I think you know I meant someone will eat cats without the elaborate dehumanizing farce of animal control, animal shelters, humane societies, the ASPCA, and the whole enchilada Behemoth of useless regulators and problem-reaction-solution circus ringleaders destroying all living things through the bugaboo of imminent human and animal overpopulation.

            What about letting hogs or vultures eat criminals? Three strikes and you’re what’s for dinner.

            The death penalty is outrageously complicated and wasteful. In a secluded place where none bear witness. Where no one sees or speaks of. Where the mothers weep and reflect, as their wayward children become life giving hosts and are reabsorbed into the circle of life.

            Stoning is kosher. So is feeding of the lower animals. Most agree that it doesn’t violate the NAP to end the life of a murderer. Why not do so in the least artificial way imaginable?

            “Rab Hanina’s daughter died, but he did not weep for her. Said his wife to him, ‘Hast thou sent out a fowl from thy house?’

            ‘Shall I suffer two evils,’ he retorted, ‘bereavement and blindness?’ He held as Rab Johanan said in the name of Rab Jose the son of a laundress: There are six kinds of tears, three being beneficial and three harmful:

            Those caused by smoke, weeping, and internal sickness are harmful; those caused by chemicals, laughter, or plants are beneficial.”

            – When you recklessly enact a new Grand Prohibition. The Prohibition of Abortion. You can be assured there will be many tears from women. Tears the Creator is counting. Tears the Creator will demand you account to him for.

  10. What is the Libertarian Abortion Consensus?
    [–]wrothbardvoluntaryist
    There isn’t one.
    [–]hemingsoft100% progressive
    Leaving your hyperbolic language aside, I question the validity of your premises. By all means, if one is to assume your premises, they should logically conclude what you have. However, I preface that I do not really have a solution to these problems.

    The issue of “is an embryo a unique living entity” is a tough one and should not be viewed lightly. Dehumanization can be a very destructive force and historically has been an argument for very terrible acts. Furthermore, in light of human interaction with natural phenomenon, what are typical libertarian responses to such?

    In general, there is no single rule of thumb for dealing with these. People have a right to alter their interaction with nature, but have no right to mandate assistance. As such, I believe there should be no government provisions for abortions.

    Secondly, very rarely in libertarian views is a standard of living protected. To simply express teen pregnancy as “a death sentence” in order to justify a right to an abortion is both exaggeration and relying on protection of standard of living. To argue that “no one is hurt” seems as real as arguing that one is only guilty of a crime if someone notices and reports.

    Finally, your last statement suggests that “rational animal” is a necessary condition to the class of “persons,” or inversely that a “person” is a subset of “rational animals.” I have obvious issues with this. This logically implies that an irrational animal cannot be considered a person. Therefore, any post-birth object that acts irrationally loses rights as a person. This is a logical result that I cannot stand by.

    [–]EMR76disintegration
    Consensus on abortion here? LOL. Good luck. I personally think banning elective abortions after the 1st trimester unless the mother’s health is in danger would be the best idea.

    I get hate from both directions with this stance, so I must be doing something right. I’m a statist, a libertarian, a pro-life kook, and a baby-killer all at the same time. (No shit, I’ve been called all four)
    [–]houinatorconstitutionalist
    What philosophical rational do you use to make the 1st trimester the cutoff date?
    [–]EMR76disintegration nation
    Good question – from what I’ve read, there is no pain or consciousness involved at this point. (That of course, will probably be disputed by people that want an all-out ban on the procedure.) Also, that is PLENTY of time to make up one’s mind about something like this. People that want it legal up to 20 weeks, or whatever, are not right in the head IMO. (Wendy Davis)

    Another reality we have to deal with is that a glut of unwanted children will ultimately, I believe, lead to more social problems. That has to be considered also.

    I’d also just like to state that I absolutely abhor abortion and think anyone that gets one for any other reason than they were raped, or their own life or health being seriously endangered is just sick and fucked up.

    But hey, that’s their right. I’ve always had mixed emotions about this. As a father of two, I can’t comprehend the utter selfishness it takes to go through with this procedure just because you don’t want to be “inconvenienced” with a baby. (the horror!)

    But I do have to stick with my principles, to some degree at least, and stay with the idea that it isn’t the government’s place to involve themselves. I really hate this topic, moreso than any other I can think of.

    And I’m sure i’ll be ripped to pieces here too. This is a subject with a lot of gray area in a subreddit that has many absolutists that like to make things black and white.
    [–]houinatorconstitutionalist
    This topic is probably discussed in this sub more than any other, and it generally comes down to whether or not you believe a fetus is a living human being deserving of rights. If it is, then killing a fetus is an obvious violation of the NAP.

    If not, then the state has no place to regulate the procedure at all until the child is born. The closest i have seen to a coherent libertarian consensus on the issue is “evictionism”, which argues that the mother has the right to remove the child, but not to directly kill it (even though the removal will by default kill the fetus before 21 weeks).
    [–]Bartab
    No, you said what names you were called because you suggested a ban should be in place. You didn’t say how any such ban would exist.
    [–]EMR76disintegration
    Through federal legislation.
    [–]Bartab
    /r/republican is over there.

    The question was about a libertarian consensus.
    [–]EMR76disintegration
    I previously stated the following: “I’m a statist, a libertarian, a pro-life kook, and a baby-killer all at the same time. (No shit, I’ve been called all four)”

    So thank you for validating my claim that absolutists that make this topic black/white when it’s gray are all over this subreddit.

    And I answered the question about whether there was libertarian consensus immediately.

    Here, let me quote myself again: “Consensus on abortion here? LOL.

    Good luck.”

    This is known as “sarcasm.”

    Since you missed it, let me translate: There isn’t a consensus. Please read before taking a dump on this thread.
    [–]Bartab
    So thank you for validating my claim that absolutists that make this topic black/white when it’s gray are all over this subreddit.

    It’s not gray. It’s very black and white. You have no right to engage in force against another. Period. End of story. Next question…
    [–]EMR76disintegration
    It’s not gray. It’s very black and white. You have no right to engage in force against another. Period. End of story.

    I guess that excludes an unborn child in your opinion. So be it. That’s your opinion and you are entitled to it. However, if you read about this topic on this subreddit, you’ll find a lot of libertarians who believe the NAP principle applies here.

    This is a debate that’s gone on here for a long time. Your absolutism seems very simplistic and closed-minded. Your opinion does not = consensus.
    [–]Bartab
    I guess that excludes an unborn child in your opinion.

    It excludes anything without a human or human-like mind, in my opinion. However, biological self sufficiency is a convenient cut off point.

    Additionally, “unborn child” is an oxymoron. A child is between “birth and puberty”

    you’ll find a lot of libertarians who believe the NAP principle applies here.

    And I’d view them as initiating violence if they took that belief into action, and I would act accordingly.
    [–]houinatorconstitutionalist
    “The living take precedence over the not-yet-living”

    A fetus is alive, by any reasonable definition of the term.

    “One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months.”

    This is completely false. Consider the controversy surrounding Texas trying to ban abortions after 20 weeks, well after the first three months.

    “If any among you are confused or taken in by the argument that the cells of an embryo are living human cells, remember that so are all the cells of your body, including the cells of your skin, your tonsils, or your ruptured appendix”

    The difference here is these cells are all part of my body. They share the same DNA. A fetus does not, as it is a unique being.

    “For such young people, pregnancy is a death sentence”

    Complete hyperbole, except in the case of medical threat to the life of the mother, and even a majority of those who identify as “pro-life” support allowing abortion in that scenario.

    “I cannot project the degree of hatred required to make those women run around in crusades against abortion.”

    Maybe you should try talking to some of them, rather than just making wild assumptions.

    I’d start by looking into the story of Norma McCorvey. You might have heard of her more famous pseudonym, “Jane Roe”, from the SCOTUS case “Roe v. Wade”.
    [–]Bartab
    A fetus is alive, by any reasonable definition of the term.

    So is a cat. I’ll still skin and eat one if you pay me enough. I’d prefer rabbit though.
    [–]HoneyFarmer
    The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).

    Do you also support unsustainable practices like over-consumption of natural resources by current generations at the expense of not-yet-born generations, who will experience shortages? If you accept the global warming hypothesis, do you support unchecked emissions of greenhouse gasses to benefit the currently living, even though it means bigger climate troubles down the lane for the not-yet-born?
    [–]metalibertarian

    1 Do you also support unsustainable practices like over-consumption of natural resources by current generations at the expense of not-yet-born generations, who will experience shortages?

    One thing to do, is remove the distortions to the market that artificially increase resource consumption.

    The fact that England gets it apples from boats from China, is proof that the cost of international shipping is subsidized to the detriment of everyone except a small elite. Such unnatural divisions of labor are enormously costly.

    Apple trees are best planted much closer to the markets they serve. This only benefits those who seek control, and want monopoly pricing on apples and everything else.

    2 All resources replenish at a certain rate. Time will heal all shortages eventually. Ways to increase replenishment can be sought. There are nearly unlimited resources beneath the ocean floor and in outer space. Ways to get them safely and cheaply should be found.

    3 Do you support unchecked emissions of greenhouse gasses to benefit the currently living, even though it means bigger climate troubles down the lane for the not-yet-born.

    4 No one has a duty to anyone else, living or unborn.

    5 The Earth is too vast and unknown to predict what will happen in the future. Future predictions of natural phenomena are pseudoscience.

    6 Again, the best course is to reduce the artifical alterations we have imposed on the Earth. One example, keeping lights on all night distorts natural processes and living creatures. Lights should only temporarily come on when someone is nearby and wants them.

    7 Manufacturers should be responsible for their output for as long as their products exist. Plastic is produced by someone, that someone should always retain responsibility for it, for as long as it remains.

    The plastic filling the oceans should be traceable to those who made it, and they should be made to mitigate the pollution problem.
    [–]wrothbardvoluntaryist
    The fact that England gets it apples from boats from China, is proof that the cost of international shipping is subsidized to the detriment of everyone except a small elite. Such unnatural divisions of labor are enormously costly.

    Or it’s proof that apples are so easy to grow in china and that the cost of international shipping is so low that it’s cheaper to import than to grow them at home.
    [–]Fruit-Jelly 3 points 10 hours ago*

    You cannot have an initiation of force resolve the issue. Making it illegal removes safe alternatives. Need I remind you of the Coat Hanger? A woman that wants to get an abortion whether you want to claim rights of the unborn or not, will get an abortion. Whether or not we offer the ability for her to do it safely is up to us. The Free Market can provide a safe alternative to ripping her intestines out. Whether you agree with it or not.

    You don’t have to even come to the debate of whether the embryo is living or not. It comes down to the safety of the individual.

    If you wanted a debate however, something that has not gone through official vaginal birth is by definition a Parasite. If the parasite is not wanted, it should be removed. If the parasite is wanted, it will go through proper vaginal birth, and hence by definition be born, and become by definition a baby at that point.
    [–]houinatorconstitutionalist
    “You don’t have to even come to the debate of whether the embryo is living or not.”

    If the baby is living, an abortion is an initiation of force.
    [–]Bartab
    There is no consensus, furthermore there is no libertarian principle on which to hang a consensus. The simple reality of not being able to legitimately enforce a ban means that an abortion ban will never work.

    However, arguing from morals isn’t convincing, because your morals are yours and yours alone.

    [–]nixfuminarchist [score hidden] 33 minutes ago
    For such young people, pregnancy is a death sentence

    boo fucking…oh no you have to pay for the consequences of your actions…you sound like a selfish, petulant, ignorant child….hoo.

    Grow up, and then we can have a mature discussion about it.

    • @Tor – I see the problem as one of definition of words. Libertarian is a squishy word that has never been defined since its inception because of the many voices moving it around over time. That is why Winston Smith had to keep looking at the latest Newspeak dictionary.

      • You’re right. My favorite term? Individualist.

        Individualist NAP serves to protect individuals from coercion and violence from group aggressors.

        NAP is violated by any act contrary to the owner’s free will and interfering with his right to self-determination and the principle of self-ownership.

        Individualism regards man—every man—as an independent, sovereign entity who possesses an inalienable right to his own life, a right derived from his nature as a rational being.

        Individualism holds that a civilized society, or any form of association, cooperation or peaceful coexistence among men, can be achieved only on the basis of the recognition of individual rights—and that a group, as such, has no rights other than the individual rights of its members.

        Do not make the mistake of the ignorant who think that an individualist is a man who says: “I’ll do as I please at everybody else’s expense.” An individualist is a man who recognizes the inalienable individual rights of man—his own and those of others.

        An individualist is a man who says: “I will not run anyone’s life—nor let anyone run mine. I will not rule nor be ruled. I will not be a master nor a slave. I will not sacrifice myself to anyone—nor sacrifice anyone to myself.”

        The mind is an attribute of the individual. There is no such thing as a collective brain. There is no such thing as a collective thought.

        An agreement reached by a group of men is only a compromise or an average drawn upon many individual thoughts. It is a secondary consequence.

        The primary act—the process of reason—must be performed by each man alone. We can divide a meal among many men. We cannot digest it in a collective stomach. No man can use his lungs to breathe for another man.

        No man can use his brain to think for another. All the functions of body and spirit are private. They cannot be shared or transferred.

        We inherit the products of the thought of other men. We inherit the wheel. We make a cart. The cart becomes an automobile. The automobile becomes an airplane.

        But all through the process, what we receive from others is only the end product of their thinking. The moving force is the creative faculty which takes this product as material, uses it and originates the next step.

        This creative faculty cannot be given or received, shared or borrowed. It belongs to single, individual men. That which it creates is the property of the creator.

        Men learn from one another. But all learning is only the exchange of material. No man can give another the capacity to think. Yet that capacity is our only means of survival.

        Mankind is not an entity, not an organism, or a coral bush. The entity involved in production and trade is man. It is with the study of man—not of the loose aggregate known as a “community”—that any science of the humanities has to begin . . . .

        A great deal may be learned about society by studying man; but this process cannot be reversed: nothing can be learned about man by studying society—by studying the inter-relationships of entities one has never identified or defined.

        – Thoughts from the mind of Ayn Rand.

          • There is no other.

            1 There is an individual.
            2 There are groups, which consist of two or more individuals.

            There are many Sophists, who prevaricate and confound saying some groups are indivisible and possess a “corporate veil” which precludes treating their members as distinct individuals.

            Piercing the corporate veil
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/

            First responders – FCC
            http://transition.fcc.gov/pshs/first-responders.html

            IIRC, you are against this sort of veil protecting insurance companies, for example.

            I contend you should wish to see this veil removed from police as well. Then, instead of police in uniform. Instead of aggregation.

            What will remain is individual men who protect lives and property.

            Not Mandarin Assemblages of anonymized “safety soldiers.”

            Just plain old men, no extra rights above anyone else.

            Almost Human – Cops in 2048 – JJ Abrams
            http://www.hulu.com/watch/560153

          • @Tor – Corporations were ment to shield the financial investors from any damages felt by the people actually doing the job. The Supreme Court jumped totally anti-constution and individual rights by illegally giving them personhood. The appointed black robed ones gave the knell of death to American individual rights on that day. Period.

            I hate the Orwellian term “first responders”. No, they are all “second responders” unless they are the ones affected. Calling 911 for a “first responder” when you are a victim is an oxymoron.

  11. Such a flurry of sound and fury. Signifying something. Alluding everything. The whirlwinds assuredly are in the epautos thorn tree woods.

    There are men going round taking names. They’ll decide who to free and who to blame. Everybody won’t be treated quite the same.
    – – – – –
    The Man Comes Around – Johnny Cash
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_GgKpRM0zBs
    – – – – –

    I hurt myself today. It seems that I still feel.
    I triumph over pain. And focus on what’s real.
    Your needles tearing holes. Your old familiar sting.
    You want to kill it all away. But I remember everything.

    I shed your crown of thorns. Avoid your liar’s chair.
    So full of broken thoughts. That I cannot repair.
    Beyond the stings of time. The feelings disappear.
    You are something false. I am still right here.

    What have I become. My sweetest friends.
    Everyone I know goes away. In the end.
    You can keep it all. Your empire of dirt.
    I will cut you loose. I will let you hurt.

    Today I start again. A million miles away.
    I will keep myself. I will find a way.

    – – – – –
    I Hurt Myself Today – Johnny Cash
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SmVAWKfJ4Go
    – – – – –

    • Tor, amazing. We were just listening to this.

      I hurt myself today to see if I could feel
      I focus on the pain the only thing that’s real
      The needle tears the hole, the old familiar sting
      Try to kill it all the way but I remember everything.

      What have I become my sweetest friend
      everyone I know goes away in the end
      And you could have it all
      My empire of dirt
      I will let you down
      I will make you hurt.

      I wear this crown of thorns upon my liar’s chair
      Full of broken thoughts I cannot repair
      Beneath the stains of time
      The feeling disappears
      You are someone else
      I am still right here

      What have I become, my sweetest friend?
      Everyone I know goes away in the end

      and you could have it al,l my empire of dirt
      I will let you down, I will make you hurt
      If I could start again a million miles away
      I will keep myself, I would find a way.

      This is the truth, the final truth one finally sees…..for everyone whether they know it’s coming or no.

  12. Phyles

    Society in The Diamond Age is dominated by a number of phyles, also sometimes called tribes. Phyles are groups of people often distinguished by shared values, similar ethnic heritage, a common religion, or other cultural similarities.

    In the extremely globalized future, these cultural divisions have largely supplanted the system of nation-states that divides the world today. Cities in The Diamond Age appear divided into sovereign enclaves affiliated or belonging to different phyles within a single metropolis.

    Most phyles depicted in the novel have a global scope of sovereignty, and maintain segregated enclaves in or near many cities throughout the world.

    The phyles coexist much like historical nation-states under a system of justice and mutual protection, known as the Common Economic Protocol (CEP).

    The rules of the CEP are intended to provide for the co-existence of, and peaceful economic activity between, phyles with potentially very different values. The CEP is concerned particularly with upholding rights to personal property, being shown to provide particularly harsh punishment for harming the economic capability of another person.

    The role of the CEP in the world of the novel could be seen in comparison with the roles of real-life international organizations such as the United Nations and the International Monetary Fund.

    “Thetes” are individuals who are not members of any phyle and are often socially disadvantaged and economically poor, being similar to second-class citizens under the CEP.

    In the novel, the material needs of nearly all thetes are satisfied by freely-available food and clothing, albeit of low quality; thetes without the political connections of a phyle are entitled to similarly low-quality “free justice.”

    The book distinguishes three Great Phyles: the Han (consisting of Han Chinese), the Neo-Victorian New Atlantis (consisting largely of Anglo-Saxons, but also accepting Indians, Africans and other members of the Anglosphere who identify with the culture) and Nippon (consisting of Japanese). The novel raises the question as to whether Hindustan (consisting of Hindu Indians) is a fourth Great Phyle, or a “riotously diverse collection of microtribes sintered together according to some formula we don’t get.”

    Internally, the New Atlantis phyle is a corporate oligarchy whose “equity lords” rule the organization and its bylaws under allegiance to the vestigial British monarchy.

    Other phyles are less defined – some intentionally, as with the CryptNet group or the mysterious hive-mind Drummers. Over the course of the story, the Common Economic Protocol sponsors the investigation of clandestine Seed technologies in order to preserve the established order from subversion. It is also hinted that property rights are so expansive that the Protocol recognizes children as the economic assets of their parents.

    Nea1 Stephenson works.

    The Diamond Age. Or A Young Lady’s Illustrated Primer
    67.241.82.35:8080/get/pdf/35120
    link brings up a pdf file you save to your desktop

    Snow Crash
    http://hell.pl/agnus/anglistyka/2211/Neal%20Stephenson%20-%20Snow%20Crash.pdf

    Y chromosome: Why men contribute so little
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-24991843

  13. The termination of pregnancy so that it does not result in birth, dates back to ancient times. Pregnancies were terminated through a number of methods, including the administration of abortifacient herbs, the use of sharpened implements, and the application of abdominal pressure.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_abortion#Prehistory_to_5th_century

    The death penalty was mandated for abortion in the ancient laws of Assyria, in the Code of Assura, from 1075 BC, only to be imposed on a woman who procures an abortion against her husband’s wishes.

    The Stoics believed the fetus to be plantlike in nature, and not an animal until the moment of birth, when it finally breathed air. They therefore found abortion morally acceptable.

    Aristotle wrote that, The line between lawful and unlawful abortion will be marked by the fact of having sensation and being alive.

    In Aristotle’s view, abortion, if performed early, was not the killing of something human, as long as it occurred at a stage before life and sense had begun in the embryo.

    Aristotle considered the embryo to gain a human soul at 40 days if male and 90 days if female; before that, it had vegetable and animal souls.

    Hippocrates writes of advising a prostitute who became pregnant to jump up and down, touching her buttocks with her heels at each leap, so as to induce miscarriage.

    Classical Rome
    No evidences exists for the illegality of abortion under the Roman republic. Attitudes changed with the spread of Christianity and around 211 AD emperors Septimius Severus and Caracalla banned abortion as infringing on parental rights; temporary exile was the punishment.

    This new attitude is reflected in the third century legal compilation of Julius Prudentissimus:

    Those who administer a beverage for the purpose of producing abortion, or of causing affection, although they may not do so with malicious intent, still, because the act offers a bad example, shall, if of humble rank, be sent to the mines; or, if higher in degree, shall be relegated to an island, with the loss of a portion of their property. If a man or a woman should lose his or her life through such an act, the guilty party shall undergo the extreme penalty.

    Despite this, abortion continued to be practiced “with little or no sense of shame.” The Romans did not punish abortion as homicide.

    5th century to 16th century
    The Early period Church treated abortion of the pre-quickened fetus as anticipated homicide, homicide by intent, or quasi-homicide.

    In 1115 Leges Henrici Primi treated pre-quickening abortion as a misdemeanour, and post quickening abortion as quasi-homicide, carrying a lesser penalty than homicide

    1487– Malleus Maleficarum (The Hammer of Witches), a witch-hunting manual, is published in Germany. It accuses midwives who perform abortions of committing witchcraft.

    A paper published in 1870 on the abortion services to be found in Syracuse, New York, concluded that the method most often practiced there was to flush the inside of the uterus with injected water. The article claimed this procedure was affordable even to a maid, as a man in town offered it for $10 on an installment plan.

    Abortion remained a dangerous procedure into the early 20th century; more dangerous than childbirth until about 1930. Of the estimated 150,000 abortions that occurred annually in the US during the early 20th century, one in six resulted in the woman’s death.

    Japan is known today worldwide for its acceptance of abortion. It is estimated that two-thirds of Japanese women have an abortion by age forty,

    – Benedict Arnold Libertarians. Betraying freedom, because well, this is an exception. Sometimes there’s too much individual freedom. Think of the chilllldrennn.

    Freedom lover A – I cut the ropes of tyranny with a knife. Freedom lover B – I burn through the ropes of tyranny with fire. Freedom lover C – I carefully untie the knots and patiently work myself and others loose from the ties that bind us.

    Freedom hater D – I like to discuss the things A, B, and C talk about as if I’m their peer. Then I sneak off and invent new types of ropes not yet existing. New knots not yet invented. New sales techniques to popularize my new ideas for even more ropes than are currently endured. Never fear though, I’ll write a very stern letter that demands no one use my new ropes and knots, until they’ve removed the old ropes. Go team freedom!

      • Right. Karma comes home to roost for me eh? I will never compromise with others getting to vote on what weapons I own.

        Or on strangers having any say about my sex life, reproductive behavior, and family. Even to the extreme that whatever I choose to do to my family is only my business and my phyle, and of no concern to anyone else not connected to me.

        If Muhammad living in an Islamic Region down the road cuts his young son’s pinky off, that Muhammad’s and his phyle’s concern, and no one else’s. I don’t vote on what other phyles do, they don’t vote on what I and my phyle do.
        – – – – –

        Submitted 9 months ago to Reddit Libertarian by Gwaaaaaaah

        I’ve long considered the starting point for libertarianism to be self-ownership. I own my body, I own my innards, I own my blood and my kidneys, my liver and my bone marrow, and I own the work that my body produces.

        It seems to necessarily follow that nobody can use my body without my permission, or use parts of my body without my permission. If there’s a kid dying in front of me, and I’m the only blood type match in a thousand miles, it doesn’t matter; until and unless I consent to the use of my blood, it cannot be drawn from me and given to the kid.

        Enter abortion. Regardless of whether or not a fetus has personhood, if it’s in my body without my permission, I have the right to remove it. If this kills it, so be it. It isn’t my problem.

        The fetus has no right to my nutrients or my blood any more than the kid dying in front of me does. Even if we grant that they’re both people, I have the right to control what happens to my body.

        http://www.reddit.com/r/Libertarian/comments/18qyy1/what_is_the_libertarian_position_on_abortion/

        Top Comment

        michaelmclees 119 points 9 months ago
        I think on this issue, intelligent people can disagree. You’ve properly come to a view that many Libertarians hold. If there is a pro-choice argument that I can find sympathy with, it would be this one.

        However, I disagree that a pregnant mother may evict her fetus off of her property/body for the same reason one may not choose to evict a newborn out of his speeding car, or a hospital choosing to remove a paralyzed patient from it’s helicopter over the open ocean. (invalid example, the fetus is an inseparable part of her property/body)

        If you’ve created this life, knowing that it is helpless without you as a baby, I think you owe it to that life to provide for it in such a way that it isn’t unduly hurt by your actions. (Kantian sense of duty)

        And why do you owe this to the fetus? Because it is a person that you are responsible for creating, and people have the right to live. If you create a life, knowing it will only life if it lives in you for 9 months, guess what… it gets to do so.

        (Yeah it gets to live by magic, just like hungry people get food stamps.)

        Reproductive Beggars and Altruism

        The basic principle of altruism is that a woman has no right to exist for her own sake, that service to others is the only justification of her existence, and that self-sacrifice is her highest moral duty, virtue and value.

        Do not confuse altruism with kindness, good will or respect for the rights of others. These are not primaries, but consequences, which, in fact, altruism makes impossible.

        The irreducible primary of altruism, the basic absolute, is self-sacrifice—which means; self-immolation, self-abnegation, self-denial, self-destruction—which means: the self as a standard of evil, the selfless as a standard of the good.

        Do not hide behind such superficialities as whether you should or should not give a dime to a beggar. That is not the issue. The issue is whether you do or do not have the right to exist without giving him that dime.

        The issue is whether you must keep buying your life, dime by dime, from any beggar who might choose to approach you. The issue is whether the need of others is the first mortgage on your life and the moral purpose of your existence.

        The issue is whether a pregnant woman is to be regarded as a sacrificial animal. Any woman of self-esteem will answer: “No.” Altruism says: “Yes.”

        • @Tor. Ha. I see you cleverly avoided my question. You do yourself no favors comrade. You have been warned before. So now I must report your actions to the Commissar of Thought in the morning.

          Interesting that you brought up tribal phyle.

          Neil Stephenson in his book Snow Crash predicts a future greater tech-centric Los Angeles where people voluntarily live in gated, secure phyles segregated by income, race and religion. They share common private competing highways, each with its own advantages and disadvantages in their commutes outside the community. The police, jails and courts are also privatized and there are several to choose from, depending on geographical area.

          There are benevolent dictator mob bosses that run companies and various places around the city, all with public approval. The official government is relegated to a small but very rigid, paranoid and bureaucratic organization.

          Could be.

          • Do you mean the question about LSD takers on the roads?

            How about this answer:

            The provider of LSD assumes 100% responsibility for the actions of LSD takers of his product.

            He pays the freight. He does time in a cage if anyone is convicted. He gets lethally injected if anyone dies because of his product. During the time of the “high” he and he alone is on the hook.

            I would assume, this would mean you couldn’t get LSD, unless you were in some kind of private space with no means of exit during the time of your high.

            Maybe LSD cruise. No legal LSD on the land.

            Oh Deer! Check out this video about deer hunting.
            http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=951_1384927962

          • Neal Stephenson’s The Diamond AgeBest. Scifi. Ever.

            It extends the ideas of ‘phyles further than Snow Crash; truly an excellent read.

            That said, I found his “Baroque Cycle” unreadable. How could the guy who wrote Snow Crash, Diamond Age, and Cryptonomicon produce that snooze-fest?

          • @meth – The Diamond Age and to a lesser Snow Crash, yes the best. I love the nano stuff shrinking what is now big. Cryptonomicon and Anathem make me feel like I am ADD with blurry vision.

        • Tor, good points all. Mid 80’s found me working for a big corporation. They actually banned smoking tobacco for all employees in one northern plant, not just on the job but off too. I was flabbergasted. Since tobacco stays in your system much like pot, you can be tested days after partaking and have it in your blood. It was easy to see what was coming after that. So they hired a firm to come to the plant where I worked to “give physicals”. Oh, it was a corporation physical done by technicians(no doctors)in one of those mobile labs for whatever good you think that might be. Certainly they had you pee in a cup. I told them I wouldn’t be using their services, I had a doc and he kept up with my health. Well, it’s free they replied, besides, we ain’t asking.
          Well, the damned thing shows up and I’m on evening shift so they leave word for me to take physical which I proceeded NOT to take. Nothing was ever said to me although I did go over and sign the forms and then left so I suppose they thought I took it even though I told my boss I didn’t.
          They’re not looking for drugs when they take blood or pee so what’s your worry? That came from employees with my boss just not even speaking of it. Sure, I said, of course after causing everyone in one plant to not be able to even take any form of tobacco even when off the job is a sure sign they’re not testing for drugs.

          So things rock along for another 3-4 months as normal…and this was their typical way to fire people since they often fired them for having an accident that wasn’t the workers fault but that was who always paid the price for breaking their beloved “accident free period”. Next thing I know I come to work one morning and there are many jobs without people to fill them, all the way to the top of the food chain. Gee, wonder why SO many people screwed up and what it was they did? This was all kept on the hush hush but knowing the people who got fired it was evident the little piss test was their determining factor with a couple old boys I know who probably got it for alcohol….or maybe several.
          I didn’t get fired and they didn’t do anything to me. I think my signing the form and letting them do an eye chart test and then leaving may have been the cause. A few years later everyone who worked in the lab EXCEPT minorities lost their job due to elimination of such position. Another yankee edict from on high since this came from the main Chicago office.

          What was even crazier still was that I was hired through an employment agency since nobody employed in the plant who wanted the job could qualify(200+ people)because of math skills involved. You have to wonder what a big corporation could sell their product for with out countless middle managers. This company had more chiefs than Indians.

          • Your writing is very engaging and relatable Eightsouthman.

            I thoroughly enjoy your stories of the “Before Times” prior to our current age. The Age of Clover.

        • “Enter abortion. Regardless of whether or not a fetus has personhood, if it’s in my body without my permission, I have the right to remove it. If this kills it, so be it. It isn’t my problem. ”

          Ah, here comes the Professor Block “evictionist” justification for abortion. This person claims that a fetus can appear in her womb without her permission, as if it was an uninvited intruder. Having sex without using any kind of contraception is not only granting permission for the fetus to form within one’s body, it’s issuing an explicit invitation.

          I can just hear the character in the Cormac McCarthy novel now as he roars, “Evictionism’s ASS!”

          If people want to abort their babies for whatever reason, they can do so without any interference from me, but these ridiculous justifications based on some eggheaded “consistent libertarian principle of self ownership” just bore my ass off.

          The ensuing discussion was probably as stupefyingly tedious as a Walter Block series of blog posts detailing the contents of hundreds of emails between him and his sister’s cat’s grandmother on the nuances of libertarian thought on the subject of picking up litter left by others on a public street.

          The Reddit exchange you quoted from was deliciously tedious, wasn’t it, Tor? I could have wallowed in it, I’m sure. ahaha

          • I like Block but I think he’s dead wrong on the abortion issue. By the same logic you would be “legally justified” to “evict” your five year old child from your house in the middle of a blizzard. Its just as absurd.

            And yeah, I agree that having sex without contraception is an invitation, heck even if contraception is used, it is still known that there is a possibility human life will be created.

            That said, I don’t get the utter bashing of Block, and not just for being wrong but for being “boring”. I mean, really? Of all the crimes by the State that are declared “legal” every single day, you pick “being boring” as the one to single out? We have enough enemies, dude. I don’t think Block is one of them.

          • David, the whole thing about Block being tedious is a form of low comedy. He is indeed insufferably tedious, but I don’t consider him an enemy. Take it easy. It ain’t as though I said he should be shot down like a dog or something.

          • Ed, David, Walter is a great libertarian and writer. I’ll never forget he led me down the path and made it easy for me. This shitty he’s been involved with to what I view as neglecting other duties does in no way diminish his contributions or my debt to him. I said he bored me shitless for the last couple years but we can’t all be on our A game all the time and maybe this is taking up more of his life than he’d like too. There are all sorts of games academia seems to think they have to play and for all intents and purposes I could see where he’d get that idea being attacked on a national level as he has. I won’t knock him any more than what I have and that’s just on recent quibbling as we noted earlier. He’s still the stalwart of libertarianism even if he does get a bit preachy for me at times. But then David, you get so preachy I want to shut your ass up at times. I’m old, cranky. Sue me.

    • Tor, thanks. I write as if I’m speaking. I could use $20 words but to what effect? I can tell someone to please leave me along but I think my normal way of saying it would get the point across much better, Fuck Off. I come from people who tell you straight up what they mean, no beating around the bush. I appreciate those who appreciate my candor. I use an instant dictionary constantly on this site since many people use terms(mostly 21st century or computer speak specifically)I’m not familiar with. I can always read and understand your posts also. I get a great deal of nuance from your post I don’t get from others also. Keep up the good work. Since I can’t see videos I have to guess much of what’s said but I do click on links with text. I greatly enjoyed the conversation about Harry Harrison, a man from my day so to speak.

      • Someday, I’m going to quit my ten hour a day job and find me another, so I can keep up with you all.

        I only get snippets these days.

        It’s just not the same.

        But it’s always so encouraging.

        • Dang Roth, those are long hours for an old guy ha ha. They’ll make you an old guy. When you need some relief just holler and I’ll take up the slack. I need something to do as long as it doesn’t involve a widowmaker, a 16 lb sledge a friend had we just eyed and hated to pick up, esp. when you had to slam a tractor axle a few hours to get duals unstuck. I finally came up with Kano Kroil in self-defense. It works like all the rest say they do.

          • Seems like just yesterday 12, or even 14 hour days, twice as hard, were as easy as pie. And, I would jog back to my apartment afterwards.

            Today, I get my ass kicked for a simple ten.

            I should be allowed to drag you along with me to work , it might even be fun, but, you know, it’s against ‘the rules’.

            Also, according to corporate policy, if you had a heart attack or sumthin’ I’d have to just sit there and watch while waiting for the second responders to arrive.
            Freaking fascist corporate clover conditioning is everywhere.

  14. @Horse Badorites-

    You are correct that I meant “moral” but frankly, I didn’t get tired until reading your ignorant post. Quite frankly, I expect that kind of crap from a liberal, and even then, I’d probably expect a little better than that.

    I’m seriously rolling my eyes right now.

    My dad is a pastor at our church. Contrary to your ridiculous misconception, he does not threaten anyone with “fire and brimestone” for refusing to pay his salary. My dad, like me, knows that the only way to be saved is through faith and trust in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice for our sins. That’s what he teaches, not anything to do with tithing.

    Contrary to what you say, I’m not really here to preach, but abortion came up and I felt the need to defend the pro-life position. Some here have tolerated that position, others haven’t. Oh well.

    To answer your question about the innocent, I really need to define my terms better, and that means getting into theology a bit. “innocent” is really not an accurate description for any human, but when describing the relation between humans, I use it as shorthand to mean some human who is not either attacking you or guilty of a capital crime (Murder or something similarly heinous.) Those are the only cases when humans, of their own accord, have the right to kill other humans.

    God’s direct commands for specific situations don’t really fit in that paradigm at all because he’s God. First of all, he created humans, and so he owns them. Second of all, we’ve all sinned against God, so in his eyes we all deserve to die anyway. So it isn’t unjust for God to command the Israelites to slay the Canaanites or whatever. He’s God, he had the right to give that command. That said, most of those commands were solely for Old Testament Israel, not for the Christian church in the New Testament.

    Regarding abortion, so its 10,000 years old or whatever? So what! Aggression is pretty darn old too, does that make it OK? Murder and theft, and statism are all old, does that make those things OK? Of course not. So that’s a pathetic non-argument based on tradition. Seriously, you should feel stupid just for bringing it up. This reminds me of “Clover” its so stupid.

    Regarding your little story, so what if the fetus wasn’t contributing to the conversation? Neither does a 1 year old, would that make it OK to stab them in the throat? Yet another idiotic argument.

    Yeah… now I am tired… tired of you…

    • Oh, and if you are a real libertarian, its idiots like you that make my job of trying to get Christians to stop being statists all that much harder. Then again, helping people like you to see that you need Christ is more important anyway. Then again, I wouldn’t want to throw pearls before swine.

      • Hi David,

        You may very sincerely believe everyone “needs Christ.” I feel no such need. No offense meant – and please don’t misread this statement to imply hostility toward your belief. I simply do not share it and get a little nervous whenever religious people (of any faith) assert the truth and infallibility of their belief – which is not subject to any empirical/testable/verifiable evidence. I will defend to the utmost everyone’s right to believe (or not believe) with regard to the existence and nature of god, what this being wants us to do – etc.

        But that doesn’t mean I don’t think it’s a little weird, too.

        • My point in even making that post was the horse badorites was slandering my dad and presuming that he makes his living off of fraud, by telling people that they could gain eternal life if they paid his salary, but would be damned if they did not. Not only has my dad never taught this, but he didn’t even really expect the job in the first place. I would say he got it by divine providence, any here who don’t believe would probably call it “luck”. Regardless, it wasn’t really something he actively sought out.

          Note that lest anyone misunderstand, my statement that everyone needs Christ for their salvation is in no way intended to imply that anyone should ever be forced to believe in him. In fact, any in history who have tried to force such belief are idiots who didn’t read their Bibles. Only God can cause people to believe. “Belief” forced at gunpoint isn’t going to save at all. And I believe that I’ve mentioned before, I have no interest in enforcing any kind of morality beyond the NAP either.

          Horse Badorites’ post did come off as hostile, hence why I responded the way I did, but then again, I was tired at the time so maybe I read too much into it.

          You’re welcome not to believe, but let me just say this, the anti-religion (Not believing oneself does not necessarily mean being anti-religion) and radically pro-abortion wings of the libertarian movement, both here and elsewhere, are doing a LOT of harm to the libertarian cause in general. In fact, I don’t even like to claim the term “libertarian” anymore without some qualification because of that stereotype. I usually go with “anarcho-capitalist” because most people who aren’t ancaps themselves don’t know what that term means, and thus can’t twist it.

          • Hi David,

            Let me begin by telling you I enjoy these discussions. You are articulate and thoughtful – two qualities I esteem in these dumbed-down, Clover-saturated times.

            My brand of Libertarianism has only two cardinal “points of order”:

            The NAP: Do not use force against anyone except in self-defense.

            Self ownership: You own you, I own me. Neither of us owns any part of the other.

            I filter any given question through these two things.

            Religious belief, as such, is not an NAP issue so long as beliefs do not cross the line into coercion. It doesn’t threaten me if my neighbor worships Zeus – or Jesus – provided he does not insist that I do as well, nor that I abide by Zeus’ (or Jesus’) rules, or provide material support – etc. In terms of self-ownership, each of us has the absolute right to believe whatever we like – and to live our own lives in accordance with those beliefs, to the extent that no harm comes to others as a result.

            And that’s pretty much where I leave things.

            For me, religious belief is something beyond the normal rules of engagement in that no one can objectively prove their religious belief is correct (in real terms, outside the context of their religion and its standards of proof) and the contrary beliefs (or non-beliefs) of others are wrong.

            I therefore abstain from expressing certainty about any such question. Perhaps there is a being (or an intelligence) outside of nature, who created it or set it in motion and who monitors our doings. But who can really say?

            Not me!

    • Sincere thanks for the confirmation.
      “Killing the innocent is NEVER OK regardless of the utilitarian benefit. Period, full stop.”
      BUT no one is innocent.

      I adjure any friends here to not feed this troll.

    • C’mon, David – let’s keep it civil (and intelligent).

      I’d also prefer arguments that rely on facts and logic – not theology.

      Implicit (even explicit) in the abortion-is-always wrong (and ethically indistinguishable from murder) argument is that even a just-fertilized egg (the zygote) is fully human – and more, that it has a soul.

      This is a difficult proposition – for me, and for many people.

      Fast forward. I would not argue (because it strikes me as a foolish argument) that a thug who shot a woman eight months pregnant is guilty of two murders. My reasoning being that the woman was carrying a child, almost fully developed and probably capable of living outside the womb. The child has a beating heart, a functioning brain and nervous system. It can feel pain – and probably emotions, too.

      Rewind. It is two days after a woman had sex (consensual or not). One of her eggs has been successfully fertilized and begun to divide. It has the full complement of DNA, but there is no cell differentiation, no appendages, no beating heart, no brain/nervous system. As yet, it is a collection of cells that has the potential to become more than that. But it cannot register pain, nor fear. It is biological life, certainly. But is it alive in the way an eight month fetus is alive? Is it really a human being?

      It seems to me that the answer (leaving aside religious notions that cannot be substantiated beyond appeals to authority; i.e., the Bible says we have immortal souls) is murkier.

      I’ve thought about this a great deal over the years – and thus far have not been able to arrive at a satisfying absolute and factually defensible answer either way.

      I am comfortable taking the position that it’s always wrong to commit aggression against another person.

      I am not comfortable taking the position that a just-fertilized egg/zygote is a person.

      When does a zygote become an embryo/fetus and acquire rights? I can’t say on that score, either.

      I would never countenance “late term” abortion myself because it strikes me as both ethically abhorrent and (excepting the rare medical justification) entirely unnecessary.

      But I also have qualms about characterizing the use of a pill or whatever to terminate a pregnancy in the very early stages of pregnancy as an act of murder.

      Those are my thoughts on the matter – which I’d be happy to discuss further, but without getting into a debate about theology.

      • Unfortunately, I don’t think there’s any way to determine this without appealing to theology.

        But then, why isn’t a pig a person? Why isn’t eating pork “illegal”? After all, the pig is “Sentient” right? So by the logic used by those who say sentience is the difference, obviously eating pork should be illegal. Yet, that’s absurd. Why? Because humans are exceptional. Why? Frankly, without appealing to theology, there’s no way to answer that. Its simply a presupposition, and in my opinion, quite a good one.

        You say that you’re “uncomfortable” with the notion that an early stage embryo has rights. Yet you cannot come up with a distinction of when it obtains rights. This is because there is no such distinction that actually makes sense.

        The analogy you give with the eight months is the perfect illustration of hypocrisy on the part of the left… if its two murders for the thug to kill the woman in that case, than for the woman to kill that child is one murder. Anything else is absolutely absurd, the logical equivalent of 2 + 2 = 5.

        I don’t think there’s any way to compare the issue of being “forced” to sustain your own child to welfare in any way. A much better analogy would be child neglect. Now, of course if someone else wants to adopt that child, that’s fine. But if you just starve your child, are there no repercussions for that? There are a lot of people here who seem like they wouldn’t care, which is the logical implication of the pro-choice position.

        Now, at what level exactly those laws should exist is another matter entirely. Murder is always wrong, yet it wasn’t the United States’ job to stop Saddam from murdering people in Iraq. Nor is it any other country’s job to stop the US from murdering its unborn (Even if you exclude first trimester abortions, which I don’t, we’re still over 3 million). Frankly, if California wanted to legalize infanticide, it would be up to the people there to stop it, or any individuals who voluntarily wanted to do something about it, whether peaceful or otherwise. I wouldn’t involve the Federal Government in it. And ultimately, all such legal issues should be handled in some way by private law and not by “governments” which should be abolished.

        I’m not sure what else I can say here, though. To me, murdering is even worse than theft, and I believe abortion is murder, so while you’re having a hard time comparing abortion to theft, I think its actually much, much worse.

        • Hi David,

          In all honesty, I sometimes wonder about the ethics of eating animals. In any case, I don’t believe it’s logically necessary to accept a theological basis for not eating (or killing) people that at the same time ethically sanctions the use of animals for food.

          It’s the same argument that one can make in defense of The Golden Rule – that it is in our self-interest to not eat/kill others lest we sanction the same being done to us. This is a valid (and entirely secular) argument. So also is empathy for others (and this one can apply to animals, too).

          You write:

          “You say that you’re “uncomfortable” with the notion that an early stage embryo has rights. Yet you cannot come up with a distinction of when it obtains rights. This is because there is no such distinction that actually makes sense. ”

          I don’t dispute this. I question the premise: Is a recently fertilized egg a human being? If it is, then of course it has the same rights as any other human being.

          We get back to parsing definitions. Biologically, the sperm and egg are alive. So is the fertilized egg. Inarguable. But is that sufficient to qualify as human? It has no awareness – or even capacity (except as a future potentiality). There is no mind – and (absent the theological position) therefore no consciousness. At least, none that can be demonstrated.

          For me, the really tough question is nailing down the point at which the developing zygote or embryo becomes human.

          Certainly, it is human at 1 day prior to birth (to make the point). And a week before. Probably also six months before. It has a beating heart; it has a nervous system and a brain.

          But what about a week after conception, when there is no beating heart? No brain or nervous system?

          Is potential the same as actual?

          I think you’re right that absent a religious/theological definition of human life, it is probably not possible to say with certainty, either way.

          Which leaves us each to decide the matter according to our own consciences and sense of what’s ethically ok.

          This is arbitrary, I readily concede. Which is why it’s such a tough question. In a way, it’s not unlike the legal age of consent. What makes it ok to have sex with an 18-year-old the day after her 18th birthday, but not the day before? When does a human child become an adult?

          I wish I had better answers!

          • Regarding eating animals, I have no such scruples, which once again I defend theologically, and I do not think one stance or the other on that can truly be defended using purely “Secular” logic. What I find funny about this though is that some of the craziest environmentalists are also the ones who obsess the most over “survival of the fittest.” This has always struck me as ironic.

            Regarding unborn humans, however, you’ve already admitted that you believe life begins at conception, and that using aggression against other humans are wrong. So what else is there? If a human fetus is alive, but not human, what else is it?

            Actual and potential are different, I agree with that, but I don’t agree that one particular organ or another makes the difference there. I simply see no evidence for this fact. Even if that was the case, all organs are present at like 2 months anyway, so that’s FAR earlier than our current liberal laws allow for.

            You say that this issue is “Left to each of us to consider according to his own conscience” but I’m not really sure why this is true. This seems to me to be just a way of coping out of the question. If somebody, let’s call him Mr. X, thinks that human life begins at 8 years old, would it be wrong for me to use force, even kill Mr. X if necessary, to prevent him from killing his 7 year old child? We all know the answer is that Mr. X does not have the right to simply deal with this according to his own conscience. The murder of his child is wrong no matter what.

            No matter how much some might deny it, I believe the same applies to the unborn. Because they are human lives, they deserve to be protected regardless of how many people might deny their humanity.

            Now, to be clear, this wouldn’t require a security camera in every home, or “chaining down a woman until she gives birth” or whatever other ridiculous strawmen that I’ve seen posted. Let’s go back to Mr. X again. If we say he can’t kill his 7 year old child, does this mean we have to chain all fathers down until their children leave their homes? Frankly, I think that particular concept is probably simple enough that even your average “clover” could get it. And honestly, I think the people here who are coming up with those strawmen know it too. They know its a ridiculous argument.

            Unfortunately, this isn’t an issue like drug use, prostitution, or many, many other issues where each person can “Do their own thing”. We’re talking about the foundations of human life here.

            Now, to be clear, I agree that its only possible to enforce to a certain degree. Some people get away with murder, even today. That doesn’t mean we put security cameras everywhere (Well, for those of us who love liberty, it doesn’t, I get its a different story for clover) and it doesn’t mean we give the State communal responsibility to raise children (Again, for those of us who love liberty) and it doesn’t mean that we need a huge anti-abortion bureaucracy. Quite simply, all it means is that homicide laws that already exist should be extended to cover those who have not yet been born in addition to those who have already been born. That’s really it.

            In fact, it wouldn’t even necessarily require government if those who believed that life begins at conception would have the guts to pardon people like Scott Roeder, but I just don’t see that happening anytime soon.

            And as for clovers, yeah, I’m surrounded by them. I’d probably still be one if it wasn’t for the internet.

            When you say “insisting that you follow someone’s religious beliefs” I presume you are talking about force and not peaceful persuasion, in which case, I agree with you.

            God’s existence in general seems pretty easy to prove to me. Whatever computer you happen to be using to reply to me, would you say that it just formed by chance? Or would you say that someone created it? The same goes for the world. And as I sit in my science classes and listen to the insane rationale that the atheists have to come up with to deny God’s hand in creation, I become more and more convinced.

            My particular God, on the other hand, I can’t truly prove to you. I’m more of a presuppositionalist than an evidentialist anyway (In short, the difference is that an evidentialist believes the Christian religion can actually be proven objectively, while presuppositionalists take the truth of the Christian religion as a given axiom)

            That said, I think this will at the very least give you some food for thought:

            https://www.christiancourier.com/articles/264-cyrus-the-great-in-biblical-prophecy

            • Hi Dave,

              Let’s be precise. I’ve readily conceded that a fertilized egg is biologically alive. I will also concede that life, in a biological sense, begins at conception. What I question is whether a fertilized egg or mass of undifferentiated cells is a human being.

              What defines a human being? Here we cross over into subjectives – and opinions.

              You take the position that immediately upon fertilization, an actual human being has been created. I take the position that a potential human being has been created. Something that may become a human being, but isn’t quite there yet. This strikes me as a reasonable position to take. I suspect you probably disagree, but I’d like an explanation as to why that’s not theological.

              All the cells of my body are also alive – and it is now quite feasible to create a new me – another living human being – using just my own DNA. In other words, all the cells of my body are also potential human beings. Is this not so? Yet, I cannot imagine characterizing my (as an example) dripping blood from a cut into the sink and washing it away as an act of murder.

              I am not trying to be cute. I am trying to be very serious.

              I believe the analogy is valid. If the criteria is “could develop into a human being” – and the injunction is that all such must be preserved and never willfully destroyed – then we arrive at a very strange pass, do we not?

              To be clear: I think that once the embryo develops a functioning nervous system, brain and a beating heart, it becomes vastly more difficult to deny a human being exists – and much more difficult to justify doing it violence. The developing child can feel pain; it may even be aware of its own existence at some level. I myself recoil from doing harm to the developing child at this point. (I also marvel that anyone – excluding exceptional circumstances – would wait that long to take action.)

              But my feelings are, obviously, different when the pregnancy is in its very early stages. A mass of cells without a brain stem/nervous system has no consciousness, no awareness. It cannot experience pain. It is only alive in the most basic sense – in the same way the individual cells of your body are alive.

              These are facts of biology.

              Now, once we get into theology, we get into notions such as the soul – that it transcends and precedes the physical body. That may well be so. But we have no way of knowing. Only believing – one way or the other.

              I only apply the NAP to that which we can know. But we cannot know whether a human soul exists at the moment of conception. All that we do know is that biologically speaking, the cells are alive and if left to progress, in time, they will eventually form into a human being.

          • Dear Eric,

            You wrote,

            You take the position that immediately upon fertilization, an actual human being has been created. I take the position that a potential human being has been created. Something that may become a human being, but isn’t quite there yet. This strikes me as a reasonable position to take.

            Well said indeed. You took the words right out of my mouth.

            There is after all, something called process. Process applies to many phenomenon in life. Many things take time to come into being. Until that time has elapsed, they have not yet come into being.

            Many things in life are one thing now, and something else later. They are not yet what they may become. That should not be a difficult concept to grasp.

            • Morning, Bevin!

              Indeed.

              And, to elaborate this point about process and becoming a little bit more:

              I am potentially a senior citizen. Assuming I continue to live. But as I am not yet a senior citizen, would it not be regarded as odd were I to insist upon the senior citizen discount at the theater?

              Most of us here object to the idea of pre-crime. For example, stopping motorists at random on the theory that someone might be drunk. I’d rather hold accountable the actually drunk whose drunkenness has actually caused provable harm.

              And so on.

              David’s position is premised on the religious notion of the existence of an eternal soul, which enters the “body” at the moment of conception. This is an article of faith – not the basis for application of the NAP. (Moreover, if the soul is eternal, then by definition it must predate the fertilized egg – and cannot be destroyed even if the fertilized egg does not develop into an embryo and then a child. Indeed, “death” is a non-real thing for all of us – if the religious conception is true.)

          • “What I question is whether a fertilized egg or mass of undifferentiated cells is a human being. ”

            Nice try, but it just won’t do. A “fertilized egg” (ridiculous term for describing the actively dividing ovum) isn’t a mass of undifferentiated cells, and it’s disingenuous to suggest the equivalence of the two things.

            Is it too hard to realize that, of all the tissues of a pregnant woman’s body, only the zygote (or the resulting fetus) is a seperate entity? All other tissues will develop to their end stages and remain a part of the body.

            Once the ovum begins division, it is an individual, or even sometimes two, three or more individuals. Each individual fetus that results from that intial process will continue as a whole system, unbound from the end result of developing just so far as to be a component part the organism which is host to its development.

            By itsvery nature, it is different from other cells or tissues in the body by virtue of being combined with the cell of another human being, and developing as a whole organism itself. From the very first division, that’s exactly what it’s doing; developing as a whole, individual organism.

            By my reasoning, that makes the dividing ovum human and also an individual (or more than one individual) as well. To suggest that aborting a fetus is the same as excising a boil or washing away the blood from a cut is a non sequitur.

            • Hi Ed,

              I’ll accept your definition of “actively dividing ovum.” Also that it is unique by its nature in being composed in part of the cellular material of another person. But this does not tell us – beyond the real of opinion and faith – that what we are dealing with is a human being in the same way that you and I are clearly, absolutely human beings.

              The one is debatable – the other, not.

              Consider: I have a box full of parts in the garage that could become a motorcycle. But they are not yet a motorcycle. It would be odd for me to insist that the parts are the same thing as a complete, running motorcycle – even if I am in the process of putting them all together. The parts, the partially complete bike, do not have the same value as the completed, running bike.

              And: All of the cells of our bodies (the ones that are alive) also “actively divide.” They have a complete set of DNA and can be used to create a new, distinct human individual. But they are potentials – not actuals. As is the “actively dividing ovum.” It is on its way to becoming.… but isn’t “there” yet. It is a qualitatively different thing.

              Everything hinges on the definition of human being. Is it merely enough to have a collection of living, dividing cells and a full complement of DNA – even though these cells have no capacity (as yet) for awareness, no consciousness, no capacity to feel or express anything? No brain waves, no heartbeat… just “actively dividing cells”? If yes, why? On what basis? The only basis I can see is the religious notion, which I’ve already elaborated.

              And since that isn’t a clear cut standard (i.e., it’s a matter of faith) I don’t see how it is possible to make the unilateral claim that there has been an NAP violation if a woman elects to end her pregnancy – in the early stages, at least.

              I would never presume to interfere, at any rate. Even if I myself would not act similarly in the same situation.

          • Dear Eric,

            David’s position is premised on the religious notion of the existence of an eternal soul, which enters the “body” at the moment of conception. This is an article of faith – not the basis for application of the NAP.

            Precisely!

            This of course is the problem with religious faith. As many preachers I have spoken to have boasted, “Faith is believing in something despite the lack of evidence.”

            I just finished watching the Ang Lee film “The Life of Pi,” which dealt with just this theme. I left a comment at one film critic’s website:

            The Life of Pi is a skillfully made film, but one which involves an interesting paradox.

            On the one hand, if Ang Lee’s intent was to promote the author’s preference for blind faith over hard reality, then the film was not worth making. The author’s intellectual premise does not justify all the artistic and technical skill that went into its making.

            If, on the other hand, Ang Lee’s intent was to offer an ironic commentary on how people prefer a fascinating lie over an ugly truth, then the film may have been worth the effort. The story was worth filming only in a sense that the author never intended, namely that it inadvertently proved that “men of faith” are guilty of flagrant intellectual evasion, and proud of it.

            http://cinema-crazed.com/blog/2013/02/24/life-of-pi-2012/

        • I’d have to go back and check, but IIRC, only a few animals are sentient.
          Dolphins and porpoises, orcas, not sure about larger whales – though I’d guess they are; great apes. Elephants, perhaps.
          Sentience is the recognition of self.

          This leaves some humans out of sentience; such is life.

          The test is, effectively, to let an animal see itself in a mirror, and judge the response. As a group, most animals fail. They’ll attack their reflection, bark at it, Etc – but they aren’t aware that the image is them.

          Dogs I don’t recall – but I had an American Bulldog that had issues with dogs on TV – he recognized it was a DOG, even if it didn’t bark. He would bark at it, not realizing it was an image. Apes would try to communicate, notice the image moved the same exact way at the same exact time, and then got bored (usually, one was a prima donna and started using it like a mirror, almost like a young female narcissist doing makeup.)

      • Dear Eric,

        “I am not comfortable taking the position that a just-fertilized egg/zygote is a person. ”

        Amen to that! No religious irony intended. Merely a figure of speech.

        This is close to my own position. I probably feel more strongly about it than you. To me the assertion that “a just-fertilized egg is a person” is absurd.

        A woman who has been involuntarily impregnated by a rapist, and only just become pregnant, is fully within her rights to terminate the pregnancy, before the just-fertilized egg becomes a person.

        Anyone who compels the rape victim to allow the just-fertilized egg become person, and then bear a child by the rapist, is not “defending life,” but merely victimizing the rape victim a second time.

        Even social and economic sanctions against the rape victim, for the purpose of pressuring her to bear a child by the rapist, are morally repugnant, albeit not a violation of the NAP.

        I seconded Tor’s position on abortion, but have been highly reluctant to comment further. I fear that in the heat of the moment I will say something I regret to fellow market anarchists with whom I otherwise am in close agreement.

        • Bevin, I was introduced to this subject 50 years ago as a young man and only after studying a great deal of sociology in college came to realize it’s a very subjective thing that’s impossible to objectify. Cultures worldwide for millenia have had their own subjective views and even with medical knowledge we have now it continues to be subjective and always will be as far as I can tell. Is a sperm alive? Sure, same for an egg, ergo killing either is instigating the abortive process if coitus is in the mix. I have known women to abort for various physical reasons, none that were caused by anything they did as a birth control measure. Some were relieved and some were not. Should the ones who were relieved have suffered guilt? Should the ones who were not relieved have suffered guilt? I don’t believe this is one of the things that can be objectively defined since so many more’s and so many unknowns are involved. It’s not that cut and dried for people who chose to abort, not to mention the women who have wished they hadn’t had a child. If you have a known AI problem that Will be passed on, and you’re aware of it, should you let that be your guide. In many cases it would seem “almost” criminal not to abort but then again, that’s something different in everyone’s mind. I’ve considered it for five decades and I see no definitive answer for not only all cases but even case by case. Just my two cents. This might be the ultimate “egg or chicken” situation.

          • Dear 8sm,

            I think your position and the way you have expressed it is quite reasonable. I have little argument with it.

            My own take is that in the early stages, the just-fertilized egg is still an integral part of the woman’s own body.

            Libertarians cannot justify violating the NAP to prevent another individual from engaging in elective surgery or self-mutilation, for example.

            How can we justify violating the NAP to physically coerce a rape victim from terminating a pregnancy in order avoid having to bear a child by the rapist?

            Re: Walter Block’s “eviction” argument

            Block sometimes goes overboard in his arguments. But leave that aside for the moment. I suspect underneath any smart-ass sophistry Block might have indulged in, he was actually practicing “reductio ad absurdum.”

            He was arguing that if the “right to lifers” are correct about the fetus being an full-fledged human being, then the mother has, according to the right to lifers’ own illogic, the right to cease supporting the fetus, the right to “evict” it, so that they may each go their own way.

            Needless to say I don’t believe that the fetus is a full-fledged human being. Neither, I suspect, does Block. I think Block was merely trying to prove a point by inverting the argument.

            I believe that the just-fertilized egg, and probably even the fetus, is at that point in time, still an integral part of the woman’s body. Therefore no one else has any say in what she does to her own body.

          • “My own take is that in the early stages, the just-fertilized egg is still an integral part of the woman’s own body. ”

            My take is that, once the cell from another human being combines with the ovum, it becomes a seperately developing individual. As soon as that happens, the womans body begins hosting that development by establishing the supporting tissues which are unique to that process.

            ” I suspect underneath any smart-ass sophistry Block might have indulged in, he was actually practicing “reductio ad absurdum.”

            He was arguing that if the “right to lifers” are correct about the fetus being an full-fledged human being, then the mother has, according to the right to lifers’ own illogic, the right to cease supporting the fetus, the right to “evict” it, so that they may each go their own way.

            Needless to say I don’t believe that the fetus is a full-fledged human being. Neither, I suspect, does Block. I think Block was merely trying to prove a point by inverting the argument. ”

            I suspect that you’re right about the nature of his argument, but to me his argument is based upon an absurdity: the idea that a developing fetus is somehow a trespasser.

            Block had already become irrelevant to me as a thinker due to his chasing after minutae to the point of abandoning the points he wanted to make. This absurd “evictionist” argument simply demonstrated to me that he’s deranged in his thinking processes and probably in the early stages of dementia. I’m not trying to be hateful to him, but I base that statement on the fact that his earlier ways of expressing his ideas (as in “Defending the Undefendable”) were much more coherent than this “evictionist” balderdash.

            If he was indeed “trying to prove a point by inverting the argument” as you say, then it appears he failed to invert the argument at all and, instead, simply substituted an absurdity for the main point. To me, that’s proof of deranged thinking. I don’t think it’s malicious on his part, but it is indeed deranged in my opinion.

        • @Bevin- The bottom line is that biologically life DOES begin at conception. Its not really a part of the mother’s body, otherwise it wouldn’t have its own DNA. So, yeah I agree with you that to prevent the mother from mutilating herself would be a violation of the NAP, but I don’t think that’s what’s happenining here. I’m pretty sure there isn’t a single pro-life libertarian that wants to deny someone the right to mutilate herself. We just don’t believe that’s what’s happening with abortion. Where you see a ‘potential” person, we see an actual person. That’s the difference.

          @Eric- The thing is, your blood will never grow into an independent person, at least not naturally. Nor will your skin cells. Those are actually a part of you.

          The fertilized egg is a biologically distinct organism. Its human because its the offspring of two humans, as opposed to two cats, or dogs, or whatever.

          Now, its impossible to objectively prove the inherent value of human life, any human life, compared to other forms of life without an appeal to theology. That’s just what it is. Can you truly “prove” that you have a right to life, objectively? Because I can’t, without resorting to theology, at any rate.

          But the bottom line is that the NAP is a philosophy for how human beings are to relate to other human beings. So a fertilized egg would have human rights, and be protected by the NAP, regardless of whether people want to acknowledge him/her as having value or not.

          Just a note, the average fetus gets a heartbeat at 18 days. Would you deny that a fetus has human rights at that point? Would you object to the killing of a fetus being made illegal after that point? Its interesting that the line you seem to be drawing is far closer to mine than the status quo. Not saying that makes your position inherently right or wrong, I just find it interesting.

          • Hi David,

            “The thing is, your blood will never grow into an independent person, at least not naturally. Nor will your skin cells. Those are actually a part of you.”

            I pointed out that any cell with intact DNA can, indeed, be cloned and thus a complete new person created. Whether this is “natural” or not doesn’t really bear on the question. The fact is, any cell that can be cloned is both alive and potentially a human being.

            Also, a fertilized egg/zygote is very much a part of the woman’s body. Literally. Once implanted, it partakes of her circulatory, respiratory and excretory systems. It is physically connected and part of her body.

            A fertilized egg is not an organism – not in the biology I took. It is a fertilized egg, a zygote. Its cells are human cells. It has human DNA. But is it a human being? The answer to this is not clear. We cross over into the realm of opinion – and religion. Which is why I hesitate to equate the termination of an early stage pregnancy with the murder of a human being. It’s a bridge too far.

            Your write:

            “Now, its impossible to objectively prove the inherent value of human life, any human life, compared to other forms of life without an appeal to theology.”

            Ah, check your premises, David!

            Value? To whom? Value is in the eye (and mind) of the valuer. I value my Trans-Am very much. It has inherent value – to me. No God is necessary. The same goes for my life. And the lives of those I care about. I also value the lives of people I don’t even know. Again, without requiring God.

        • The biggest baby preventer and feminization program of human and animal males is fluoridation in water. Only Germany, Japan, and Venezuela look to be free of this poisoning.

          2/3 of US water is fluoridated, and it’s not easily avoided since it finds its way into thousands of other things. Tap water is of course a common ingredient in countless foods and beverages.

          http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2013/10/29/fluoride-reproductive-health-dangers.aspx

          Exposing ram semen to 0.38 parts per million (20 umol/L) of fluoride for five hours caused a “statistically significant decrease in the motility of spermatozoa” along with other changes that would “undoubtedly affect the physiological function of the sperm.”

          Infusing testes with modest amounts of fluoride (4.75 parts per million) inhibited the synthesis of testosterone

          Sixty animal studies have found that fluoride adversely impacts the male reproductive system, including:

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Fluoridated-water-extent-world.svg

          Decreases in testosterone levels. Reduced sperm motility. Altered sperm morphology. Reduced sperm quantity. Increased oxidative stress. Reduced capacity to breed.

          • “Decreases in testosterone levels. Reduced sperm motility. Altered sperm morphology. Reduced sperm quantity. Increased oxidative stress. Reduced capacity to breed.”

            Increased resolve…. To Punish.

            Just saying…

    • I have to toss this in here, just to make the point:

      Can good come from blood money…

      Short Answer: No

      Not so sure; for 30 pieces of silver, we got Christianity. All the good AND bad of it, but – I think overall the good outweighs the bad, especially when using god (lower case intentional there, as I think that god is man’s creation) as a bludgeon to beat people with and enforce “good behavior.”

      To be honest, I’m past the point of thinking that we can teach everyone to be good and honest. I don’t much like the idea of giving others power over us, as it will inevitably be abused – same reasons we can’t teach people to always be honest and good, it’s the “human factor.”

      It’s that same human factor that caused Caine to kill Abel, and the ANC to kill South African whites… And Sunni to kill Shiite…. Competition for resources. (And humans being humans, we could have infinite wealth and infinite resources, easch of us, and we’d still find reasons to kill each other. There’s only one Helen of Troy, for example, even if there are boundless numbers of women. Still only so much land, so much wealth, so much power to be had. Most people aren’t humble, they want it all, now, and they’ll just use Religion as a tool to secure their capacities/abilities/wealth/etc.)

      BTW, WRT religions, I don’t even think they are all created equal.
      Christianity and judaeism are better than Islam, for example, and Taosim beats out Confuscianism any day of the week. (“Superior Man” is Confuscianism; sort of a , “The leader is always Superman” mindset. Easily corrupted through influence.)

      But discussing the finer points isn’t likely to get us anywhere.

  15. This conversation is actually a perfect illustration of why I try not to call myself libertarian anymore, despite being an anarcho-capitalist. Too many people presume that anyone using the “libertarian” label is “pro-choice” (on abortion in particular). Even worse, some presume “libertarian” really just means being a pro-choice, pro-gay marriage Republican, like Rudy Gulianni, or “Fiscally responsible, socially tolerant” like Gary Johnson (Not to attack Gary, he was worlds better than Romney or Obama, but he was somewhat liberal, not a libertarian in the same vein as Ron Paul.)

    “Tor’s” comment about the one year old describes the insanity of this position, and it destroys the foundations of libertarianism. NAP means no aggression period, not no-aggression unless its convenient, or no aggression except by non-governmental entities. It means no aggression, period. Come to think of it, if aggression is “allowed” (again, I hate this term but you know what I’m getting at) in an ancap society, what’s to stop someone from just setting up a State again?

    I don’t care what you guys want to call me, frankly. I oppose all theft, all kidnapping, and all murder. That means I oppose the absolute abolition of the State. It also means that I think that it is perfectly acceptable to treat those who would murder the unborn the same way you would treat any other killer in that society. If that stance makes me a “dirty rotten statist” in the eyes of som, despite my opposition to the existance of the State, I can live with that.

  16. Yesterday somewhere in China, a woman drowned her 1 year old boy.. Also 41,000 children mostly in Africa died of starvation.

    Her neighbor poisoned her violent Triad gangster husband in his sleep. He had earlier shot their son in the ankle during an argument, and threatened worse things.

    I say let the first woman drown her own creation. I hope she had a good reason, and had no better alternative, and can live with herself and go on to contribute to the world in the future. Maybe have another child in the future.

    I accept the jurisprudence of the second woman with the most skin in the game regarding her husband. Healthy sane women are generally excellent judges of character and what is right. I’ll assume she didn’t make that decision lightly.

    What sentience does a one year old have?

    What value does a Violent Triad gangster provide, as subjectively judged by their loved ones. Sometimes there is no perceived value. That is reality.

    Let go of the fantasy that all of us as a group are somehow wiser than each of us as individuals.

    I’d rather work hierarchically. Solve the problems that can be solved. One at a time.

    When starvation is conquered, then, let us proceed forward to other more complex problems.

    Like making the awful choice of killing your own child. And finding no alternative except the execution of a dangerous family member.

    • “I say let the first woman drown her own creation.”

      Seriously, Tor? And how is that not a violation of the NAP, unless you truly believe a boy is not human at one….and then, when?

      I think you’ve found yourself in a logical non-sequitur and reluctant to back out of it, because this idea is a bit absurd.

      • This is the logical conclusion of the pro-choice position.

        As I said, I don’t justify the government’s existance, but as long as it does exist, it has a responsibility to protect the unborn as much as it does anyone else. It wouldn’t be chaining anyone down anymore than we’d “Chain down” “mothers” who wanted to drown their 1 year olds as Tor described. But if we could prevent her from doing it, we would, and if we couldn’t, we would still punish her if it was proven she committed the act.

        Now, if any of the people here who are saying that that should be allowed are truly against ANY violence, even to punish murderers, that’s fine. That would be a consistent pacifist. But I don’t hold that position, and other than that, I don’t see how any of these logical arguments in favor of abortion being legal couldn’t also apply to any other kind of murder.

        It just so happens that government currently chooses to allow abortion, and we’re used to it, and some see any attempt to change this situation as “Expanding the government.” But, as Ron Paul says, for the government to deem some life as being not worthy of protection is exactly the means by which government enacts fascist tyranny (This isn’t an exact quote, but he’s said things along these lines.)

        BTW: Abortion isn’t the only kind of killing that is currently “legal” but shouldn’t be. The killings by the US military as well as by “Heroes” as Eric sarcastically calls them are other examples of killings that too often are, but shouldn’t be, tolerated.

        • “…Look, I realize that using the tissue from aborted fetuses for research is a touchy subject, but, all I know is that if there’s a chance…a chance… that stem cell research can save my best friend’s life…well…I guess I owe it to him to try to change your minds.”

          http://youtu.be/-up8ebz06yA

          • You might as well say that if carpet bombing Iraq could have saved someone’s life that that becomes immoral too. I get that those of you who do not respect life from conception aren’t going to agree with this. But that’s the bottom line.

            Killing the innocent is NEVER OK regardless of the utilitarian benefit. Period, full stop.

          • David, David,… your first line doesn’t parse, I think you meant “moral.”
            You’re just tired, is all, so much time spent here telling us about the one true way.

            “Killing the innocent is NEVER OK regardless of the utilitarian benefit. Period, full stop.”

            I challenge you to reconcile that statement with your old testament. How many cities were put to the sword in those stories, “every man woman, and child,” because “YWH” demanded it? I mean, come on.
            Sell that to the rubes who’ve never read the bible on their own, or better, those who can’t read.

            Before I get started, a thought about NAP.
            What’s your dad’s day job?
            Spreading the word of an all-powerful invisible friend doesn’t come with a salary does it? His congregation supports him voluntarily? When he’s spreading the word that some nebulous paradise awaits them IF they pay up and and obey, but it’s torture, damnation, brimstone and hellfire if they don’t, …For All Eternity? That might be taken as coercive, in some quarters. Oh wait, but it’s The Truth, right? So it’s not a strong arm tactic on the mentally weak, it’s just a public service announcement. And I have his word on that.

            Abortion: *sigh*
            History lesson – abortion is older than the bible. About 10,000 yrs ago, humans in the ancient middle east started practicing agriculture, and building cities. Some of them, anyway. The others were nomadic tribesmen herding livestock. To the leaders of a tribe, any increase in the size of the herd, both humans and goats, meant increased wealth (goats) and power (humans.) Useful when bartering with a neighbor (goats, or human slaves like Joseph) or for kicking their ass and setting them straight (humans), if YWH deigns to let any of the vanquished live, that is. I mean, he often doesn’t, apparently.

            So we get the tribes’ vengeful, insane, invisible friend commanding, go forth and multiply, do not spill thy seed, etc. For goats and humans both. Oh, and do as your leader says, else be smote upon by unearthly power. The nomadic tribes could do this for a while – they could totally use up the resources in an area and then move on to the next “paradise,” leaving the old place stripped but, uh, well-fertilized.

            The cities and their farmers were different. Their territory was relatively fixed and they had to pay more attention to carrying capacity. They couldn’t just trash a place and move on, they had a fixed investment in their land, in fields and buildings, and things like irrigation infrastructure. The cities were usually walled, because, ya know, tribes – this limited space, plus, sanitation issues, etc.. Abortion was not only practiced, but their invisible friends’ earthly spokespersons sanctified it and taught it. Until maybe a tribe came along, YWH says, “I give this unto you for your own,” and everyone in the city is slaughtered, or made slaves, which was pleasing in the eyes of the Lord.
            …………………
            A while back I had lunch with two humans. Jezebel and IT. Jezebel ordered for them both, BLT, potato salad, and iced tea. IT was in Jezebel’s womb, didn’t contribute much to the conversation. But IT had grown past the blastocyst phase, more than 256 cells, starting to make an inner and outer layer, and forming an anus. Yes, that comes before the mouth. I know, right? So IT kinda seemed like an asshole. Still amazes me how many post-larval stage humans retain this simplicity of form and thinking. No nervous system, let alone a brain, no blood vessels or genitalia, IT was as beautiful as a tumor, just very quiet that day, I suppose. Humans, go figure.

            and, Jacob, good to see you back, man. 😉
            peace

          • Personally, I’m a fan of working on genetic research and even transhumanist lines. Personal interest, privately funded, “for good of humanity.”
            That last is where it is a problem: Not many millionaires want to invest in pure research. They’ll want GMOs patented; First to Market strategies; designer DNA, drugs, genetic technology to interface with machines, and they’ll want it out of the lab YESTERDAY – damn the consequences, there’s MONEY to be made.

            They won’t wait for the POC to finish, let alone see what happens in three generations’ time. (Sterility? Genetic insanity? The GMOs mutate and infect other creatures with defective DNA, delivered by GMO viruses, causing a mass extinction event? Who cares, we got paid!!! {Sigh})

            As to source: Stem cells can be harvested from adult humans, and we are not required to abort fetuses to get raw materials.

  17. I’ve posted here long enough, that it should be obvious I’m replying to things that I want to discuss. I have no diagnosis of who is right or wrong as a person.

    Perhaps the Ojibwe Chippewa prefer to form a scrum and kick a newly pregnant woman without a male provider in the belly until she miscarries. She accepts that. That’s their way. That’s panarchy for you. Love it or leave it.

    So far it seems there is only muddy water in regards to the tragedy of nearly 60 millions lives being cut short at the hands of the medical profession.

    I agree that means we are failures. That it is not a good thing. But I don’t believe rules or private police mechanisms are going to address the underlying causes of this painful reality.

    Libertarians in the main are easily manipulated useful idiots used to split the republican vote. And potentially, to fail to get anything Ron Paul proposed made manifest, except his desire for Federal Abortion Prohibition.

    That’s the kind of upside down accomplish American’s are famous for.

    Liberal Utopias and Libertarian Private Law Enforcement Systems are not likely to happen.

    Libertarians successfully multiplying the current shackles binding sexual freedom. And mass producing shackles for all nations of the world. That has a hell of a good chance of happening.

    I’m not pro abortion or pro Ayn Rand. I’m holding posters here to a higher standard of refuting anything she said logically with sentences without capitalized words.

    Or of making an alternate case in detail.

    Nothing more. Nothing less.

  18. Libertarian Party Platform 1.4 Abortion

    Government should be kept out of the matter of abortion

    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that people can hold good-faith views on all sides, we believe that government should be kept out of the matter, leaving the question to each person for their conscientious consideration.

    Source: National platform adopted at Denver L.P. convention , May 30, 2008

    Abortion is a woman’s choice and does not concern the state

    Recognizing that abortion is a sensitive issue and that libertarians can hold good-faith views on both sides, we believe the government should be kept out of the question. We condemn state-funded abortions. It is particularly harsh to force someone who believes that abortion is murder to pay for another’s abortion.

    It is the right of the woman, not the state, to decide the desirability of prenatal testing, Caesarean births, fetal surgery, and/or home births.

    • And what does this have to do with anything? I didn’t sign on to this “platform” statement, any more than I did to the stinking “constitution.”

      This is just more collectivist crap.

    • I think you have a good point, David. This is one of the areas where I’m most uncomfortable with some libertarians’ views. On the one hand, I don’t like the government at any level telling a person, woman or man, what they can or can’t do with their bodies. On the other, I personally believe that abortion IS murder, and when we’re talking about rights, what rights does the baby/fetus have? We could say that because a baby in the womb can’t speak or defend itself, it has no rights. But then what rights does a newborn have? They can’t speak or defend themselves either. And why is killing a newborn any different than killing a baby that’s a month away from birth?

      This is obviously a subject that people have very strong feelings about, and I don’t think we’re ever going to get to a place where everyone can agree on a single position. I think it’s probably best if there are no laws to govern it per se, and the choices are left up to the mothers’ consciences — I’d trust mothers more than a government body. But where there are going to be laws, I think it’s best establish them at the lowest level possible. That’s why Roe v. Wade was such a disaster — it set a new law at the national level, whereas abortion had been a state issue before. At least there were different options at the state level, so a person could “vote with their feet.” Today we have a legislated “right” that’s imposed on the entire nation, at the whim of some judges in D.C.

      • @Robert re: “establish them at the lowest possible level”

        Private protection agencies, private arbitration agencies, voluntarily joined, their precepts and Common Law voluntarily adhered to.

        And I’ll join one that treats humans as humans from conception.

        The Roe v. Wade decision is another shining example of how collectivism brings out the viciousness in human nature, by setting us all against each other rather than valuing the individual…in more ways than one.

      • I don’t want any Federal laws, but as long as governments at any level are going to exist (Which they ultimately shouldn’t) I don’t object to state-level laws against abortion just like there are against murder.

        In general I’d trust mothers more than government, or anyone else, regarding what’s best for their kids. But she ceases being a “mother” when she tries to murder her child. In much the same way that parents that sexually molest their children are not trusted to decide what is right for those children’s futures, and rightfully so.

      • “I’d trust mothers more than a government body. “

        I wouldn’t.
        I can’t find a quick link (and I’m supposed to be working), but – there are stats out there. The two worst situations for abuse (including neglect) are single mom alone, and single mom with “new daddy.” Fathers don’t generally abuse their children. I believe that’s because they can’t just, “Have another.” Mothers view their children as part of themselves.
        There is also speculation that much of SIDS is related to post-partum issues. (another reason to marry young and have children young, if you’ll have children at all. Body and mind don’t recover as well when you’re middle-aged… Let alone older. For women, nature is cruel: That starts at about 30.)

        As to Roe V Wade: Just another example of finding excuses in the Constitution to circumvent the Constitution. For all its flaws, it was a better document than the justices are people/thinkers/fertilizer.
        Umbras and Penumbras my bloody gaping anus.

        Good, bad, or indifferent: That’s NOT something we should have as law.

        • With regards to the “Rattlesnake” issue you describe, that’s why I think human exceptionalism is relevant. Humans are the only creatures who have true “rights.” If you kill a rattlesnake, or anything else that isn’t human, you aren’t criminally culpable. At least IMO.

          On the other hand, kill an unborn child at any level of development, that’s murder. I don’t see how you can deny this and still have the NAP.

          As for the “Government involvement” issue, should governemnt not be involved in murder either? Ultimately the answer is that it shouldn’t, but that’s because something else should replace government, not because murder should be legalized.

        • “As to Roe V Wade: Just another example of finding excuses in the Constitution to circumvent the Constitution. ”

          About Supreme Court decisions, I’ve had people tell me that Roe v Wade is the law of the land. To me, that’s absurd. Just how far do lawyers want to take the doctrine of stare decisis?

          The idea that the decision of the court is binding on everyone in the US who could, at any time on the future, have a case brought to court on the same issue for all time is ridiculous. The parties to the case are the only people bound by the decision of the Supreme Court on that case. To claim otherwise is to claim that the Supremes have legislative power.

      • Robert, whatever you might think about RvW, it was done because of what individual states would do that’s clearly unfair to opposites sides no matter the law. It’s such a divisive subject everybody can’t be satisfied with one outcome. It’s possible, or so the Republicans in Tx. thought when they passed the new abortion bill that many see as draconian. Whether that bill stands in federal court is to be seen. While they had the votes to pass the legislation does that even mean they really have the support of their constituents? And of course you don’t have support of what is a small minority or may not even be a minority of actual people. The way districts are gerrymandered here I have doubt that it is a minority and that’s not here nor there except for that old snake in the grass, majority rule. Clearly, govt. intervention on this subject by definition of being govt. mandated is not a good thing. I suspect this has been or will be done in every state or at least put to a vote if it stands in court. Personally, it’s not for me to say what another does with their own body. Once it becomes two separate entities though the question is moot. I think those who say should a baby not have rights because it’s powerless physically are missing the point. Without a doubt that IS another human with the same rights of any other human.

        • Appealing to the majority makes no more sense here than it does on any other issue.

          Texas’ abortion law wasn’t “draconian.” It was actually pretty tame, honestly. Life begins at conception, not 20 weeks or whatever.

    • David, so who decides? Ever been pregnant? I’m assuming you’re male so the answer would be ‘no”. So when does anyone else have the right to decide what someone does with their own body. I”ve seen women destroyed by pregnancy. Some for purely health reasons, others for psychological reasons that always seem to end up being a lifelong problem for them and the BABY. It’s a fact that without any love in their lives, children simply die. European communist countries saw a lot of that, huge repositories for children who either had no parents or their parents were dissidents sent to the gulags. I’ve watched babies turn into troubled children who turned into really bad people sometimes. I have also seen women who had to bear a cross from being made to feel guilty for an abortion. I don’t think I can say right offhand I know a woman who suffered from guilt without other people forcing that view on them but there are no doubt women that do. There are no black and white answers to procreation nor anything else. For any opinion I might have on the subject though, the fact remains I am a man. I will never be pregnant and never know what it’s like nor make any choices in any way regarding it. It really doesn’t matter what I think though since it’s not my body that will be pregnant. I see horrible abuses in the CPS everywhere I look and Tx. is just as bad as any. As a libertarian I don’t see forcing anything on anyone. Republicans have spent untold tens of millions of dollars to keep the morning after pill away from women. To what end? I know countless women who have had unwanted pregnancies and for the vast majority, they had the child. This turned out well in a percentage less(and I nor anyone else could say to what degree)well for single mothers than married ones.
      But have no fear, there is a new mantra now, promulgated by the Hispanic community where young girls just decide they want a child. No, they don’t want to get a job, stay with it constantly and raise it and be a real parent, they want a child like they want a puppy. Parents end up being grandparents supporting their children and grandchildren. Since the young girl can’t/won’t support herself and her baby(often having to get more than one male tested for the baby daddy), she gets on welfare. This must be what Republicans want. It’s all so perverted it makes me ill but I see it happen every day and more of it every day. Is this what you had in mind?

      • “So when does anyone else have the right to decide what someone does with their own body. “

        When does someone have the right to decide what to do with someone else’s body?

        Depends on when that someone else…becomes “someone else”.

        And therein lies the battle–when does life begin?

        • Well said, Meth. We have a whole generation that’s grown up in the wake of Roe v. Wade. It must be strange wondering how many of your brothers and sisters were aborted because of your mother’s “choice.” And why you weren’t. No wonder there’s so much nihilism in our youth culture.

          Again, I don’t think any level of government should be authorizing OR prohibiting abortion — I don’t think that’s government’s business. But that doesn’t mean that abortion is good. I personally believe it’s evil. But I don’t wish to impose my view on others. It’s better to let others make their own informed decisions. It’s like drugs: I think it’s better to let others make their own choices, even if it’s a bad one, than have government arbitrarily restrict some substances (and promote others).

      • I think my original post ultimately answered the question from a moral perspective. Your response is ultimately utilitairan in nature, which is exactly what statists use to justify their monstrous evils.

        As for the “lowest level possible” being some type of private law, yes, I completely agree that that’s the ideal.

  19. Methylamine wrote:
    “@Guiseppe–

    Your litmus test for libertarianism is abortion?

    I have respect for you; I’ve read most of your posts over the time we’ve been on this board and you seem to be a reasonable man and knowledgeable student of libertarianism.

    So I’d urge you to come up with a more suitable “litmus test”. How about adherence to the NAP in all other respects?”

    I stand by my position. As I said, I have been stewing over these issues since the early 70s. I’ve read a lot of literature, both libertarian and non-libertarian, and have come to this conclusion. The position that there should be some legal action possible against a woman who chooses to have an abortion amounts to favoring slavery. As I mentioned earlier, self-ownership is IMO what defines a “libertarian” position. A libertarian favors individual freedom. A free man owns his own body and life. The opposite of a free man is a slave. A slave is owned, either partially or completely, by some other entity. A woman who cannot make a decision concerning her own body is, essentially, a slave. It’s a simple position to take. So, I really do find that this is a useful litmus test. It’s one that Ron Paul dodges because while he says there should be no federal involvement on the abortion issue, he leaves it out there that prohibition of abortion at state or local levels can be appropriate. The Libertarian Party, of course, sold out a long, long time ago. In fact, a libertarian political party as a concept amounts to a logical disconnect.

    • You skipped right over the most important part of this, sir. Nobody here suggested in the least that the “state” had any part in the issue. Nobody is suggesting that there be any “legal” action.

      Self ownership is impossible without individual responsibility for one’s actions and choices. Individual freedom without individual responsibility for the consequences of one’s actions and choices is an impossible dream.

    • Yet you continue to ignore the elephant in the room–when does life begin?

      Because if it begins at 20 weeks, and you kill it at 24–major NAP violation, n’est-ce pas?
      And at conception, killed at 20?

      Self-ownership applies to your body. But when a baby is growing inside a woman, she’s a guardian of another self, who owns himself…but cannot defend himself.

      And you’d throw all that out for what? Because she couldn’t stand the inconvenience of a condom?

      Moreover, you’ve taken an imaginary moral high ground–and excommunicated me, MamaLiberty, and millions of others from the Guiseppe Priesthood of Libertarianism?

      No thanks.

      This is precisely why I don’t have black-and-white litmus tests. We all express complex mixtures of philosophy on multiple dimensions.

    • Guiseppe, sometimes anarchists and libertarians are also raving psychopaths.

      Abortion seems to be a triggering event for them. I deny even the concept that other people can subdivide her female body as if she’s a condominium or something. It’s lunacy.

      If they mean to dismantle public support and machinery of state interference into reproduction, well and good. No more propaganda pro life or pro choice. What’s needed is a Libertarian Talmud. Where a new approach to reproduction starts at square one. A panarchy, where different people live under different laws they choose.

      If they mean to further multiply the laws, and make more things prohibited, then fuck them.

      “I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live for mine. Nor ask a woman to do so either”

      We hate the state, they say. But then they mewl for an even bigger state to enforce even more prohibitions.

      Like “the sanctity of life.” What a beautiful sentiment. What a beautiful lie. What they sanctify is everyone being forced to live for everyone else, as if humanity is a coral reef. They are screaming children. Who demand 317 million people live in one way under one law.

      You better adhere to their prescriptions for keeping life sanctified. Or else. I need to throw up now.

      • Hey, Tor–with all respect and as politely as possible, back the fuck off.

        I just elucidated a panarchical solution, with everyone subscribing (or not subscribing at all) to the PPA/private arbitrator of their choice, and living by the Common Law and rules they choose.

        Not ONCE have I advocated a Statist solution for abortion; in fact my entire argument has been to remove the State from the decision of when life begins.

        I’ve neither mewled, nor am I a psychopath–and I’d suggest you not tar me with either brush again.

        I believe life begins at conception, and defining it further down the line puts one on extremely shaky ground philosophically.

        But I don’t force it on anyone–unless they’ve subscribed to my PPA/PA in which case they’re contracted not to of their own volition.

        • So, what if someone wants to join a group that allows the killing of newborns? You know there are some “academics” (I think psychopaths is a better name for them) who believe life begins at like age 7. What about their “right to decide.”

          As I’ve told some liberals who support huge government and yet tried to challenge my credentials for supporting freedom because of this: I advocate your right to do pretty much whatever they want. Want to sleep with people of the same gender, or with a bunch of different people? Go for it. Want to shoot heroin and smoke crack? Go for it. Want to own a machine gun? Go for it. And the list goes on. But when it comes to murdering children, that shouldn’t be a “choice” in the womb anymore than outside it.

          • Again, I find abortion reprehensible…and I’ve articulated life begins at conception.

            Killing should never be a “choice”–which is why I advocate for Common Law, which derives from Natural Law.

            It’s the obvious law; the “thou shalt not kill/steal/defraud…”

            What makes it less than obvious are the abstractions and moral relativisms injected into the debate by utilitarians.

            You point out, rightly, that there’s a “debate” among academics about killing children to age three…or seven, or whenever they’ve arbitrarily defined true sentience.

            That debate would not be possible without first having circumvented, short-circuited, perverted, and obfuscated Natural Law.

            Agreed–they’re psychopaths.

      • I hesitate to get involved in this one, chiefly because I honestly don’t know – and so, don’t feel comfortable with universal statements that would be of a piece with, say, don’t steal. Ever.

        As matter of biology, I don’t see how one can say that life doesn’t begin at conception. I therefore feel obliged to concede that point.

        But – to reduce this to the extreme for the sake of making a point – is a just-fertilized egg a human being equivalent in every way to you or me? That’s a tough one – for me, at any rate. I understand – and concede – that it has the full complement of DNA. It may even have a soul – but again, that is something beyond my capacity to say.

        I am not personally comfortable with the idea of terminating any pregnancy – but do I regard the “morning after” pill as the equivalent of murder? I’m not comfortable with that notion, either.

        I do believe that everyone ought to “man up” and accept the consequences of the choices they make. But there is a difference between a woman who chooses to have unprotected sex and conceives – and a woman who is forced against her will to submit to a sexual assault and becomes pregnant. I say this without denying that any child so conceived is not guilty of anything. Nonetheless, if immediate action is taken – the “morning after pill” – is it a child? Or just a potential child?

        I’d like to keep this conversation civil as well as thoughtful. Better minds than mine have not been able to articulate a dispositive answer that cannot reasonably be counter-argued.

        At least, none that I have encountered thus far.

        • If I understand, the morning after pill does not always lead to a termination of a pregnancy. It can, but I think that’s a secondary function of the pill, which is primarily designed to prevent conception.

          I would also tend to agree that any action taken BEFORE conception could not be prosecuted. Your question of whether this is a child or a potential child would to me depend on whether or not conception had actually yet occurred. If that makes sense.

          So, if the morning after pill is taken before conception actually occurs, and the intent is to prevent life from being created rather than to destroy it, than I would agree that the morning after pill should be permitted (I hate that word, but we’re discussing exactly where murder begins here, not something like smoking or driving without a seat belt. I think you can tell the difference, regardless of where you stand), even if there is a possibility that the morning after pill MIGHT cause an abortion. As I have said before, you can’t criminalize something because of what “might” happen.

          On the other hand, if the intent were to kill the child, than I would say that should be treated just as much as being murder as stabbing a newborn with a knife. It might be less gruesome, but its ultimately the same thing. Much like killing someone by lethal injection or killing them with a bullet to the head is still killing them, even though one is less “gruesome” than the other.

          Regarding the value of human life, frankly, I think this is something that just has to be presupposed. Some environmentalist wackos believe that animals and sometimes even trees are just as valuable as humans. Richard Dawkins has said “Any human fetus is less human than an adult pig.” So, is it either OK to abort at 9 months, or unacceptable to eat pork? Honestly, without resorting to scripture, I can’t PROVE that these ethical systems are wrong, but I know that they are.

          But, if we’re going to presume the accuracy of the NAP, this debate honestly ends, because you admitted that you believe that the fetus is human. So, thus, killing them would be murder according to the libertarian law, even in the case of rape (in the case of rape, it would be sensible to punish the rapist in some way or force him to compensate the woman because of the discomfort he has caused her. But that doesn’t give her the right to murder the innocent child) because the child himself is not a criminal.

          Now to be clear, I’m not advocating a Federal law of any kind here. I don’t even want the murder of 12 year olds to be handled by the Federal government. That doesn’t mean there’s any situation in which killing a 12 year old is justified, or in which punishing a person who killed a 12 year old would not be justified. Quite frankly, I don’t see the difference between an unborn child in any stage of development and a fully grown human being. And I don’t see how you can take this any other way and still honor the NAP either.

          • David–

            The “morning after pill” means two different things.

            There’s “Plan B”, which is the equivalent of taking 2-4 birth control pills simultaneously; actually, doing so induces the same effect. It prevents ovulation if that hasn’t happened already–in which case it’s not killing off a zygote. But if there’s a zygote, it hardens the uterine lining so it won’t implant and it’s lost.

            RU 486–mifepristone–actually induces abortion by blocking progesterone receptors.

          • The “Morning After” pill doesn’t prevent conception.
            It prevents implantation of a (potentially) fertilized egg (now a zygote, IIRC) into the uterus.

            Look up “Zygote” on wikipedia for another quick “lesson” in why the only time you can set for human life’s start is conception: From the moment of fertilization, an individual is formed. Only one sperm can fertilize an egg; from that first contact, the egg turns away all other sperm.
            Gamets (male and female) join to form a Zygote (fertilized cell – new individual). The Zygote undergoes cleavage to form more cells, called a morula, though it’s still often referred to as a zygote at that stage.
            The morula continues cleavage (mitosis), and then a blastocyst in mammals. Also referred to as an embryo, and then a fetus with implantation.

            The “moral ambiguity” that allows people to justify abortion is, fertilized eggs (Let’s use the term embryos) can pass through without implanting into the uterus, with or without birth control. This is also the basis for (Catholic church approved) Dilation and Curetage, which forces the uterus to shed its fertile tissue – I.E., induces menses, and nature proceeds from there.

            Personally, I find the Catholic position a bit “ambiguous” – putting faith in God above all. No different from Christian Scientists, who claim that prayer and faith can cure all. (and if you die, you just didn’t hav enough faith…) Family friend was a Christian Scientist, a PhD – and when he broke his arm, he went to the doctor. He wasn’t a “good” Christian Scientist.
            WRT Catholics and D&C or even IUDs or RU-486 (Morning After pill), it’s justifying the same thing – and putting all the responsibility on god.
            It’s their little “loophole” to deal with rape and incest.

            Same animal, different color.

            As far as “murder” question, I’d suggest that it’s the INTENT we need to look at now. These things are ingested / used with the INTENT of ending a pregnancy or terminating the potential of it. It’s not accidental. It’s the last in a series of decisions that results in termination of a potential life.

            So… Yeah, it’s (by intent) murder. Whereas, birth control using barrier methods are not murder. IUDs, for example, are meant to knock an implanted fetus off the uterine lining, which could be termed miscarriage (in later months, in first month, unlikely to notice; after that, I don’t know how obvious it would be.)
            Intent is there: She gets to enjoy it without risks, because she made certain THE FETUS WOULD DIE.
            Intent indicates willful disregard for life; intent means murder.

            As to your follow-up, about stabbing a newborn?
            There’s a lot of bullshit right now – there’s a push to legalize infanticide. Forget partial-birth abortions – these leftist shits want to allow a woman to terminate her BORN child – in private, in secrecy, “no one else has to know.” That secrecy by itself indicates there’s something wrong.
            And where does that end? 5? 7? 22? 89?
            Until you get sick and need a hospital, and then Mommy Government decides you’re a drag on the system and will interfere with their partying ways….?

            AT the same time – keep in mind, many states have made it a law that injuring a prgenant woman, and injuring her fetus – is two separate crimes. So, if you stab her and she miscarries, even if she’s going for an abortion at the time, you get two crimes: The assault, and a murder charge. For doing EXACTLY what the abortion doctor was going to do. (Let’s see, we’ll shove a speculum up your cooch, spread that cervix wide, shove a knife and vacuum hose up there… But declare it’s not an assault because the patient wanted it? RIGHT… By comparison, kicking her in the stomach seems absolutely civilized – but I digress.)

            I tend to be elitist here – I don’t think a dullard is worth as much as a brilliant inventor – but they both have value as human beings. Devalue one, devalue both. But you also don’t put the dullard in charge of playthings that generate teravolts of energy, or could EMP an entire country. The dullard gets something more menial… And the inventor gets the high-tech gizmos, in theory that he can use them effectively. Not always true, but that’s the theory.
            Doing the opposite is like expecting a man to be a mother. It’s not IMPOSSIBLE… But it’s a medical malfeasance at best. (Would be an abdominal pregnancy via medical implantation, and it would likely kill the carrier, male OR female. Fetus hits the small intestine, and settles down for a 9-month pic-nic. Usually removed in a woman – generally not viewed as abortion, due to the “mother’s life” issue.)

            I think we’re also uncovering something else: “aggression” may be the wrong word. An abdmoinal pregnancy is an accident, but it will be terminated to preserve the mother. “Aggression” seems inapplicable here – yet it’s necessary to operate just the same. And we don’t think in terms of “aggression” when it comes to a rattlesnake or cottonmouth or copperhead… We GTFO and try to kill it or evade.
            NAP doesn’t apply, if we limit it to intent here.
            Is there a better term? Better explanation in these cases? It’s still self-defense, and from a snake’s view, it is defending itself… WE invaded its “personal space”, basically.

            Any clarifications from those who would know better?

        • Dear Eric and all,

          re: abortion

          The truth of the matter is that science has indeed progressed to the point where many aborted fetuses could instead be removed from the uterus and grown to full term in a laboratory incubator.

          Furthermore, the reason this is not already in practice is mainly due to governments and religions. Governments which restrict science and medical advancements as well as the buying and selling of bodies/organs/parts/etc…and religions…meh…self-explanatory…

          Just remember this…if all women are armed…and a woman wants an abortion…who is going to stop her? Are we really going to send out the goon squads to murder the pregnant women who want abortions so badly that they are willing to fight to the death to have one? And what if we capture the pregnant woman? Then what? Chain her down til birth?

          Can we say SLAVERY?

          And does it really matter if we don’t chain her down but still prohibit her from having an abortion under threat of? what? under threat of the enforcers filling her full of lead?

          Do as we say or else we will shoot you full of bullets…sounds like SLAVERY to us!

          Anywho…

          Check out the Drugs, Guns, and Abortion section at this page:
          http://voluntaryist.com/articles/054.html

          • Replace “Abortion” with “Murder” and you have your answer.

            No, you don’t “prevent” someone from having an abortion. But when it does happen, you punish it the same way you would murder. As for how murder should be punished, that might well entail death.

    • You are wise Giuseppe Crowe. It is a kind of litmus. Perhaps upon close examination the litmus paper has 25 shades of pink and 25 shades of blue. A spectrum of results to be patiently and passionately discussed.

      Are you a strong base, a strong acid, or somewhere in between? That is what the chemical litmus reveals. Its analog of human rights and freedom are revealed by your abortion question.

      The abortion litmus elicits a lot of preconceived demagogic responses. Responses often crowned with a large dose of argument from intimidation. Not a problem, as long as we each return back to the arguments and consider and mull, and progress towards agreeing to what questions have generally accepted answers and which questions end in we can’t say, each case is different.

      What is NAP in brevi IMHO?

      Outsiders have no right to interfere with your personal life. Period. If they intrude, even to shoot to wound or kill is your right.

      If my neighbor believes his woman has the right to abort her baby, and that whatever is insider her is a part of her and not open for discussion. And if he can execute this without taking from me or affecting me or my property. What magic is there to prove him wrong? To demand he obey?

      Under the NAP, I can exclude him and have no dealings with him. I would do so not because of my personal beliefs, but because of those of my family.

      But I cannot ethically force him to accept my beliefs and assertions about what is occurring inside his woman’s womb. Nor would I wish to.

      I always prefer to show. Not to tell. What this neighbor would see, is he would no longer be welcome around my family. Not on my account. But due to the beliefs of the others in my family. I would not help my family make their beliefs the “law of the land” though they might wish to do so.

      My litmus response to abortion has changed due to maturation from a single man to a family man.

      I also despise this topic, because everyone demands to address it in the inquistor inquisitee format. All concretes and no abstracts. This circumstance reveals flaws of mine where I lash out in inquisitorial fashion myself, which sickens me.

      Maybe someone of greater ability will get you to engage in the abstract about it.

  20. An embryo has no rights. Rights do not pertain to a potential, only to an actual being. A child cannot acquire any rights until it is born. The living take precedence over the not-yet-living (or the unborn).

    Abortion is a moral right—which should be left to the sole discretion of the woman involved; morally, nothing other than her wish in the matter is to be considered. Who can conceivably have the right to dictate to her what disposition she is to make of the functions of her own body?

    Never mind the vicious nonsense of claiming that an embryo has a “right to life.” A piece of protoplasm has no rights—and no life in the human sense of the term. One may argue about the later stages of a pregnancy, but the essential issue concerns only the first three months.

    To equate a potential with an actual, is vicious; to advocate the sacrifice of the latter to the former, is unspeakable. . . . Observe that by ascribing rights to the unborn, i.e., the nonliving, the anti-abortionists obliterate the rights of the living: the right of young people to set the course of their own lives. The task of raising a child is a tremendous, lifelong responsibility, which no one should undertake unwittingly or unwillingly.

    Procreation is not a duty: human beings are not stock-farm animals. For conscientious persons, an unwanted pregnancy is a disaster; to oppose its termination is to advocate sacrifice, not for the sake of anyone’s benefit, but for the sake of misery qua misery, for the sake of forbidding happiness and fulfillment to living human beings.

    If any among you are confused or taken in by the argument that the cells of an embryo are living human cells, remember that so are all the cells of your body, including the cells of your skin, your tonsils, or your ruptured appendix—and that cutting them is murder, according to the notions of that proposed law. Remember also that a potentiality is not the equivalent of an actuality—and that a human being’s life begins at birth.

    The question of abortion involves much more than the termination of a pregnancy: it is a question of the entire life of the parents. As I have said before, parenthood is an enormous responsibility; it is an impossible responsibility for young people who are ambitious and struggling, but poor; particularly if they are intelligent and conscientious enough not to abandon their child on a doorstep nor to surrender it to adoption.

    For such young people, pregnancy is a death sentence: parenthood would force them to give up their future, and condemn them to a life of hopeless drudgery, of slavery to a child’s physical and financial needs. The situation of an unwed mother, abandoned by her lover, is even worse.

    I cannot quite imagine the state of mind of a person who would wish to condemn a fellow human being to such a horror. I cannot project the degree of hatred required to make those women run around in crusades against abortion. Hatred is what they certainly project, not love for the embryos, which is a piece of nonsense no one could experience, but hatred, a virulent hatred for an unnamed object.

    Judging by the degree of those women’s intensity, I would say that it is an issue of self-esteem and that their fear is metaphysical. Their hatred is directed against human beings as such, against the mind, against reason, against ambition, against success, against love, against any value that brings happiness to human life. In compliance with the dishonesty that dominates today’s intellectual field, they call themselves “pro-life.”

    By what right does anyone claim the power to dispose of the lives of others and to dictate their personal choices?

    A proper, philosophically valid definition of man as “a rational animal,” would not permit anyone to ascribe the status of “person” to a few human cells.

    – Ayn Rand. Philosophically kicking the shit out your wimpy wishy washy whim worshippings.

    • “Ayn Rand. Philosophically kicking the shit out your wimpy wishy washy whim worshippings.”

      Bullshit. Here’s a more accurate description of ol’ Ayn:

      Ayn Rand, delusional egomaniac, stealing and misstating the ideas of her betters in her self-created role as ruler of the weirdest cult of personality in history.

      • So no need to dispute the 12 paragraphs AR1-AR12. Just call her names.

        Okay, only you set the bar for your reasoning. Set it as low as you like.

        She’s a poopy doodoo head.

        Got it.

        Gee, Ed I don’t know why they keep posting scholarly talmudic considerations of property rights and social interactive theory from Walter Block.

        The Libertarian Gatekeepers must be unaware of you, send some of your stuff to Lew Rockwell, I’m sure he’ll recognize the superiority of off-the-cuff wit and throw-away-dismissiveness over Socratic logic and traditional academic discourse.

    • Such garbage, Tor. I expected better of you.

      Women have the opportunity and obligation NOT to get pregnant if they do not wish to give birth to a child, or are unwilling to carry one to term so the infant can be adopted. There are many excellent ways to go about that. First and foremost is not to get drunk and naked with strangers. Women can easily avoid “unwanted” pregnancy simply by keeping their pants on. Promiscuity and flagrant irresponsibility is no excuse for murder. Neither is inconvenience.

      And don’t give me the old saw about “rape and incest.” One does not summarily execute the most helpless victim of a crime. There are many alternatives – starting with the idea of women being better responsible for themselves AND their children. Neither rape nor incest occur in a vacuum. Get rid of the vast culture of automatic victimhood and helplessness. Women are completely responsible for their own safety in this way as in any other. And no, that does not relieve the rapist or child molester of responsibility for his crime either. The most rational response to either is his death at the hands of his intended victim, or whoever IS responsible for that intended victim.

      I started my nursing career in OB/GYN, labor and delivery. There are a very few, very rare cases where the life of the mother is at risk in pregnancy. A responsible woman takes care of that early, and medical science has almost removed abortion from the list of options necessary to keep her safe.

      By what magic does the moment of birth convey human status to a baby? The same magic by which our grown children become instantly “adults” and suddenly responsible at an arbitrary age set by our benevolent overlords? The same magic whereby people are instantly, permanently rendered prohibited from owning self defense tools because they somehow annoyed those same overlords… and if you think those have no connection, why not?

      People who do not wish to become parents simply need to take full responsibility for their choices and actions – and NOT become parents. It is not rocket science. Murder of an innocent being is not a rational answer to ignorance or sloth.

      • 1000%, MamaLiberty.

        I’ll never forget my six week OB/GYN rotation in 3rd year med school.
        You simply cannot believe, until you see with your own eyes, what a baby looks like at ten weeks old. It is a perfectly formed, complete human being.

        That is not even the end of the first trimester–2.5 months

        Guys this isn’t an abstraction. It is incredibly important to the NAP to marinate in the issue of when a human becomes a human.
        If you get it wrong, the State becomes the arbiter of life.

        Let the State decide life begins at 20 weeks? Some will be satisfied, others (like in Texas this year) will wail and gnash teeth until it’s pushed to 24. Another State will go all the way to term. Another will outlaw it entirely.

        But the argument is lost–because you’ve given the State the power to decide when life begins.

        Take that power away from the State. Decide for yourself when a human is a human, and killing ANY human is murder…except for self-defense.

        Once you’ve decided that, once you’ve taken back the power of life from the State, you will realize that all of the NAP, every value we hold dear–comes from the sanctity of human life.

        If we’re just animals, if we’re automata, if we can be killed for convenience, then what does any of it matter? Who CARES about freedom, for what does freedom mean to a biological android? Isn’t it then an illusion?

        • Absolutely, meth… reverence for life, and gratitude.

          I wake each morning grateful that I have life, that I can move and breathe…
          Each day at sunrise, I am grateful for the day, for the sun, for whatever weather we are blessed with.
          I eat my simple fare with gratitude, first that I have it at all, and then that I had the ability to earn it, prepare it, digest it… all those things.
          I start my work, grateful that I have the opportunity to do something productive, interesting and even earn something in the process. I am grateful to clients, vendors, tech support, everyone else involved as much as possible. I look for the positive, and deal with the negative without allowing it to consume me.
          I am grateful for time and health to play with my wee dog in the afternoon, to watch him interact through the fence with the deer herd that lives here… I am grateful for the opportunity to engage in fun and recreation whenever I choose.
          And so it goes through the day.

          Yes, it is very easy to get caught up in the anger, righteous indeed, and see more and more of the negative all around us. But I fear that only feeds the beast. It becomes easier to miss seeing all the things for which we should be grateful, to miss opportunities to encourage and care about each other. To shrink within ourselves and lose the joy of life and learning.

          Look for the joy, practice gratitude. Without that reverence for life, freedom indeed has no meaning.

        • Dear methylamine,

          I just read this post now.

          Are you saying don’t let the state have any part in when life begins. And by logical extension, how much life begins. Any part in assisting or prohibiting contraception or abortion.

          That we as libertarians should find abortion abhorrent. And not enable it in anyway.

          Possibly even forbid it in our controlled areas down the road. Maybe prohibit it through zoning rules and land use covenants.Violation would mean eviction?

          That we as libertarians can choose agoric rules or market policies that indirectly influence the number of human births quite effectively. And the number of animal births as well?

          • Yes. I think Eric has arrived at the core of the abortion argument; that there ARE extremely clear lines. Murdering a 20-year-old is murder. Murdering a 5-year-old is murder. Murdering an eight-month-in-the-womb-baby is murder. Is murdering a zygote murder? For my ethical framework, and to prevent logical fallacies, YES.

            Would I go to another ‘phyle–another agorist community–and physically try to prevent them practicing human sacrifice? Yes, yes I would. Would I do the same if they were selling RU 486 and using it as a “morning-after” pill? No. But I’d advocate against it and peacefully try to persuade them of how wrong it is.

            Is that hypocritical? Ach, I don’t know. Perhaps it’s a matter of “choose your battles”. Perhaps if everything else were perfectly anarcho-capitalist, and human freedom and private property were completely protected in every other way, I’d muster enough outrage at the murder of zygotes to go do something about it.

            Including merciful treatment of animals, though I’m fully in favor of eating them while recognizing in a kind of noble native American way their sacrifice on our behalf.

            That said–I’ve never been hunting. I’m eager to do it, because I feel hypocritical eating them without “closing the cycle”–taking an animal’s life personally. I have, however, euthanized my own pets–and I think that’s wholly fitting. If you’ve loved and taken care of an animal that’s dependent on you, it is up to you to see them taken care of in the final step as well. Mercifully, quickly and painlessly.

            Why? Goes to the discussion on ethics/morality elsewhere in the thread.

          • Oh I didn’t mean to misquote Eric. He’s saying there are some extremely clear lines–but when it comes to a single-celled zygote, it’s a little more “squishy”.

            I still adhere to the “it’s human when it’s 46 chromosomes”–but like Eric, I’m a little more flexible there. It’s still wrong ethically; but would I use force to prevent it?

      • My take on abortion, specifically when a woman has been raped and impregnated by a rapist.

        I’m not referring to consensual sex among reckless teenagers that qualifies as statutory rape, but a brutal rape by a violent criminal.

        I oppose any attempt by the rapist or others to prevent the woman from terminating her pregnancy, and thereby forcing her to give birth to a child.

        I consider the rape victim’s decision to terminate the pregnancy 100% justifiable.

        Consider the alternative.

        Arrest the rape victim and lock her in prison? Maybe a Soviet style “hospital?” Forcibly restrain her so that she has no opportunity to terminate her pregnancy? Physically compel her to endure a nine month pregnancy and bear a child by her brutal assailant?

        Which libertarians who subscribe to the NAP are going to do this with their own hands? Or are they going to have agents of the state do it by proxy, so they can keep their hands clean and pretend they had nothing to do with it?

        • First off–it’s a red herring argument, and a vanishingly small portion of the 54 million abortions in the last 40 years….statistically, around 200 per year.

          The philosophical underpinnings remain the same.

          Would there be an exception clause in her PPA and private arbitration company’s charter for this? Possibly. I wouldn’t belong to such a one.

          As a member of her same PPA and arbitration system, I wouldn’t personally or by proxy FORCE her not to abort. But I’d try my damnedest to persuade her to give the baby up for adoption, including getting her kicked out of the PPA/arbitrator for violating the NAP.

          Here’s an analogy: Let’s say a mugger beats up a woman so badly that she requires nine months of physical therapy, exactly equivalent in time and physical burden to what a pregnancy entails. She did, however, kill the mugger during the mugging; but he left behind his one-year-old daughter who’s now an orphan.

          Shall we kill the orphan?

          Not a perfect analogy; but what we’re talking about is killing an innocent third party.

        • That’s an interesting leap for you, Bevin. Who here (outside of Tor) even suggested that the state be involved at all?

          In a free society, for one thing, rape of any kind would be as vanishingly rare as a convenience store robbery, simply because the fool who tried it would likely die in the attempt.

          And yes, there quite possibly could be voluntary communities that would agree to abortion as an answer to that… and some that would not – their problem. But the rational answer is to make the cause so rare it would become unnecessary in any case.

          How many alert, self responsible, well trained armed women are raped in any given month? Probably zero… How many of those women allow their children to be molested? Probably zero again.

        • “I oppose any attempt by the rapist or others to prevent the woman from terminating her pregnancy, and thereby forcing her to give birth to a child. ”

          Me too! I had this conversation about a week ago with some other poster on here. He said this argument (rape) is letting the camel’s nose in the tent. But ask any bible thumper if they think rape should be admissable reason to allow an abortion and they always will say no.

          Bevin you and I might disagree on the origin and philosophy of reason of morality, but I will agree that some things are too damn complex for humanity to make judgements. Especially huge blanket generic statements over complex moral issues. If it were as simple as they allude that only the babies life mattered, and not that of the mother I’d sleep so easy on the subject. I find this kind of reasoning on complex moral issues on the edge of being moral busy bodies.

          I also think you and I don’t like the government funded abortion factories. Nothing like tax paid mass death production line. If I were a physicician I’d personally perform an abortion only if the the girl’s life was at risk or in cases of rape, but again I’d not perform as a specialist in aborting life forms randomly. I’ve met those kind of people and they seem rather well should I say vacuous of a soul. The words better desribed are let the dead bury the dead. Again I’d abort a child if the woman’s life was at danger or rape without a second thought of self condemnation. I believe physicians have to answer this question on their own and so do mothers.

          This whole abortion argument is on the surface religious zealoutry and bible pumping though, when a person can’t even admit that rape (which is real and happens to 1:6 woman in this country) is an admissable reason for a RU-486 called the morning after pill to prevent and end an early pregnancy. As a believer in a God I step back and believe that abortion is wrong overall as a form of birth control, yet I have no right to stop others because I have insufficient ability to judge them. Who the hell would want to judge a 16 year old woman that has just been raped and compel her to give birth? A sadist is who.

          Especially since I feel a great deal of anxiety that young girls are often blamed for pregancy by these same religious zealots. Its all the girls fault is usually the common theme amongst these types, and the end is that the girl just has to be the surrogate no matter what because she is accused, indicted, and convicted already in their mind. End of story! Anyone believing in a God should realize that they too are not God before they make dragnet proclamation about what a woman or woman should not do (usually implying laws that force and compel their view on another).

          And like you I don’t see a way that the bible thumpers can stop a young lady from self aborting. Remove the doctors? Then she would pound her womb with a fist. Would that satisfy these people, or should she be put in a straight jacket to prevent such a disruption?

          Make all the arguments they want about saving a mugger’s baby and how righteous it is, but when they want to legislate morality well they are on their own and aren’t going to hide behind NAP. And again I absolutely hate abortion for those that think otherwise.

      • ML, we part ways at “opportunity and obligation NOT to get pregnant if they do not wish to give birth.”

        Let’s say there’s 60 million Americans that want no group enforced rules regarding pregnancy whatsoever.

        How do you propose to stop them?

        Driving through AZ, I listened to Navajo chanting on the AM dial. What concern of mine is it what the Navajo do or don’t do.

        For arguments sake, let’s say they’re self-sufficient, they mine the earth and sell jewelry and gems and have no need for outside support.

        Maybe they want to dance naked outside, get drunk all day, and indiscriminately have sex with more than one partner. Not knowing or caring, whose sperm finds whose egg? Must the BIA be called and DNA tests be performed to assign paternity? Why?

        What right do you or I have to demand they do our bidding?

        My contention is, anyone who claims these Navajo have to live for them, are collectivist psychopaths.

        Why is their right to “Open Sex” and “Tribal Level Child Responsibility instead of Individual Responsibility” any less sacred than your right to “Open Carry”?

        • I do NOT “propose to stop them.” What they do is not mine to dictate or control. I could choose not to do business with them, or with those who enabled them to make such decisions. I could choose not to live in a community where this was an acceptable answer to an otherwise preventable situation. But the only thing I could rationally do is offer advice, and quite possibly work with others voluntarily to provide alternatives to the young women. It is already possible to transplant the living zygote to a willing mother.

          Why do you assume that any solution must be universally imposed?

          We each must make our own choices, and take action based on our principles – or lack of them. Everyone else has the same obligation.

      • I agree with all you’re saying as good advice. Wise counsel every word. I concur that it is a good off-the-rack mindset that can well serve billions of people. But it doesn’t fit all people.

        You drop the context of the implied menace behind your innocent sounding: “woman have an obligation.” When a citizen’s practice doth breach the values we preach, then what?

        By what magic are your sensibilities going to be enforced? Society has a lot of guns and cages. Do you believe the fear of violence or incarceration is a valid technique to help the weak and frivolous ones curb their promiscuity and irresponsibility.

        If a pregnant woman kills someone, isn’t it still immoral to put her in a cage, because there’s another life inside her that’s done nothing wrong?

        I’ll support an Australian style funding of all pregnancies. All pregnant woman will be financially assisted to bring their fetus to term. I’m on board with that. Not welfare, but a loan. A pregnant woman pays back the loan by fees paid by the new parents. Or she owes a debt if she decides to keep her baby.

        1 Don’t be drunk and naked with strangers. Sounds Islamic. Each Muslim woman bears 8.1 children a piece. Do you approve of America’s creeping adoption of kindler, gentler, Westernized Sharia?

        2 Promiscuity and flagrant irresponsibility is no excuse for murder. Neither is inconvenience. So you accept abortion as long as there’s relational fidelity and its an aberration despite the conscientious responsible behavior of the man and woman. Okay.

        What happens to those who don’t meet this requirement? More Brimstone flavored Christian Punishment and Westernized Sharia?

        3 Rape and incest. I think those very concepts need an overhaul and a reconsideration. There’ll be far fewer instances of rape and incest under this new Western Sharia that’s being cooked up for the USSA.

        The PRS mafia never lets a crisis go to waste. Problem-reaction-solution is their name. Total control and world-wide enslavement is their game. Are you only Mama Gunslinger? And Mom Medicine Women? Or do you fully exemplify your chosen moniker of Mama Liberty?

        Today on Earth, 360,000 babies will be born. 153,000 people will die. 123,000 babies to be are aborted within the womb and never join the human race. The world’s live birth/all birth ratio is 75%. 25% of the beings leaving the womb are intentionally non-vital. Even in hyper-religious Israel, it’s only 89%.

        Let’s stay off our demagogic horses on this one. Consider the staggering reality. Read the stories of women who have abortion. The hopes, the dreams, the futures of those alive on Earth are being crushed. Notwithstanding the secondary tragedy of the soon-to-be-alive.

        You have to concede that it is insanity to bandy about the old talking points. The 613 commandment approach has a place. But it is not cutting the mustard. Thou shalt not kill. Abortion means kill. Thou shalt not abort. You’re stretching the Torah way beyond its physical limits and capabilities.

        How specifically will our preachings be put into practice? There really is a call for a Freedom Talmud that spells everything out with specifics from various angles. Walter Block is not the least bit off base on what he attempts to accomplish.

        613 Commandments of the Torah
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/613_commandments

        Fetus in Jewish Law
        http://www.myjewishlearning.com/beliefs/Issues/Bioethics/Abortion/Fetus_in_Jewish_Law.shtml

        Abortion in Biblical, Talmudic, Contemporary, and Israeli Contexts
        http://www.jewishvirtuallibrary.org/jsource/judaica/ejud_0002_0001_0_00175.html

    • C’mon, Tor, you know than to pull out Ayn Rand in this company. She was excellent in many ways–but Objectivism (and Rand) are internally inconsistent.

      “For such young people, pregnancy is a death sentence..”
      If it’s THAT important to avoid pregnancy, don’t fucking fuck!

      Comparing a growing baby–genetically distinct, perfectly formed with every major organ, limb, and brain present by 10 weeks in miniature–to an appendix is, in the words of a famous philosopher, the stupidest analogy in the world.

      I’m constantly amazed at the fallacies pro-abortionists throw around…when all the supposedly life-changing consequences of an unwanted pregnancy can be avoided.

      But in our completely self-centered, vicious culture the might “Me” cannot be inconvenienced by a new human life. So just kill it. For convenience.

      • Mam, our city-wide scanners have determined you are 14 days pregnant.

        I’m with the Fuck Police. I’m going to need you see your ID.

        Okay, it looks like this pregnancy is unregistered. This will only take a few minutes, citizen. Okay, you’re registered now. If you don’t give birth or have a legal abortion within the expected date range, there will be a murder investigation, do you understand? Here’s your pamphlet, I am injecting a pregnant nano-bot transponder into your body through this gel I’m placing on the back of your hand.

        You have 55 more days to obtain a legal abortion. After that time, the cells are decreed “well-formed” and the fetus has full rights of any citizen, including protection from murder. Are you planning to exercise your right to an abortion at this time?

        Answer these questions into this truth detector please. Do you know who the father is? Yes you say, okay 99.5% confirmation you are telling the truth. Please state the father’s full name please.

        Okay, I have him on the public safety channel now. Mr X, congratulations, you are going to be a father. This is your first child, do you acknowledge your paternity, or will you be wanting to exercise your rights to contest paternity?

        No contest? Excellent. Okay, you are now responsible for 80% of the prenatal care, birthing, and first 18 years of expenses for your new citizen. You have 24 hours to obtain your expectant father nano-bot skin absorption.

        • Whoa, whoa, whoa–Don’t put a statist solution in my mouth, Tor.
          Like any other crime in the future anarcho-capitalist world, murder would be investigated by your private protection agency and prosecuted through the private court system…all under private contract.

          And all small, and local.

          Would there be locales where term abortion was accepted? Yup.

          I wouldn’t be part of it, and I’d damn sure give my money only to protection agencies and arbitration courts that upheld the sanctity of ALL life.

          You know better than to use a Straw Man(tm) on me Tor!

          • I skimmed through that for now. It didn’t look like a walk in the park, and I don’t know that I’m at a high enough energy level to respond in a way that brings at least a modicum of value.

            I was surprised by the dismissive treatment of Ayn Rand. It was initially compiled by Harry Binswanger, and he is an Orthodox Ayn Rand Institute Objectivist, which I am not.

            I am a Reform Objectivist if forced to pigeonhole myself, and I consider Ayn Rand’s work a well I draw from to quench my intellectual thirst.

            I sometimes distill her water. And add my own packets of flavored Kool Aid enhancers to her words as the mood strikes me.

            I’m genuinely taken aback by some of the responses to what I fired off about the topic of abortion.

            I guess I’ve been spoiled by the tolerance and consideration given to the flights of fancy I take while on my High Horse of imagination. Perhaps Binswanger’s paragraphs conceal an evil and menace I’m failing to discern.

            Those who are running things—and their willing dupes—want reality to look a certain way and be experienced and felt in a certain way. I’ve rarely seen regulars demand their limited spectra of shared lowest common denominator be respected in here.

            Perhaps those here’s spiritual experience is as codified and rigid as it is anywhere else.

            In organized religion. In giving money to the ceiling.” You give your money and they tell you high how the ceiling of your experience can be and what you’ll find when you get there.

            Abortion looks to be part and parcel of this organized common reality. A sacred cow and a real sore spot in the minds of many otherwise open-minded men.

            I’m attempting to be an artist subject to none of these accepted limitations. I’m trying to create and be a person who goes beyond the shrunken catalogs of emotions, thoughts, and perceptions as they are listed and defined by authorities.

            My written art, my imagination, throws caution to the winds. In my mind at least I’m inventing realities that should engender new reactions, maybe some never before experienced. Ideas that blow apart old rigid perceptions.

            When reading something good here, I see Van Goghic swirls of possibility. Not just ASCII characters but white space between the characters that team with life and ideas.

            I don’t mean to further perpetuate the hammer blows and the soft propaganda of the common culture that installed so many layers of mind control within us:

            The Agent Smiths who say “See things, experience things in the system prescribed way.” Perhaps my work on abortion comes across as yet another Agent Smith.

            “You must support abortion Neo. It is the command of the Matrix.” Maybe i am missing your equal or superior artistic manifestations that will also seek to free minds, if I would only listen and open my mind as I ask other to do.

            Agent Smith saying “Mr. Anderson”, each instance
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XooISvoZ_rs

            Since coming here, my sense of vitality, courage, and adventurous spirit has risen to the foreground.

            Years of mind control, externally applied and self-induced, had been putting a lid on my creative power. My mind was its real target. And they had hit the bullseye many times.

            Perhaps I overstep and overestimate my ability to give back. Some topics may be out of my league so to speak. At least in the case of this advanced audience.

            Authorities in any society, no matter what they call themselves, are invested in systems that will maintain a status quo of perception. They are constantly producing new systems for that purpose. That includes all kinds of exceptional and brilliant people I believe.

            Technocrats want you to believe that hooking your brain up to some super-brain computer will fulfill your needs and desires. They seek to prove that all invention, all creation, all art, all imagination is merely a set of calculations within a closed system. I’m all for letting them try. But I will resist their making it my only reality.

            This technological efforts betray their own despair. They see no way they can truly create. They let all the low hanging fruit die on the vine, while feverishly reinventing the apple in an ivory Monsanto tower.

            The reality most likely is that the vacuum in which all elites live. The place where they build up a frozen dead consciousness of models and algorithms and “solutions,” The place where they seek to impose it, as reality, on the minds of populations.

            That reality may also be the reality most elites of epautos seek. Not a return to the Epicurean philosophical reality of old that I aspire to. But merely a tweaking and a turd polishing of our currently imposed artificial reality.

            I would love to see the Diamond Age come to fruition. But not at the expense of wiping out the valid and essential ways of the Aborigines and other First Nations. Men who live off the land and act without predetermined edicts are essential to a healthy and enjoyable Earth for us all.

            Australian Aborigines
            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YqkgKkW8o6E

          • Good stuff, Tor! Really interesting…man you really have a way to express an idea…”Van Goghic swirls…not ASCII characters”.

            Totally agreed re: the Elite’s sterile, binary, confined, mechanistic, computational worldview…versus the organic, open, constrained-chaos bottom-up models we advocate.

            Can it be any other way than ours? Ours, which imitates the workings of the universe itself? Because the universe is constrained chaos. It’s bottom-up; fractal organization that occurs as the almost infinite interactions of the infinitesimally small coalescing on larger and larger levels to create majestic order–without central planning, in defiance of central planning!

            And YES one of the reasons I love “The Diamond Age” so much is its paean to high technology–while preserving (the Drummers) the animal side of man.

            I want that, too; a kind of Jeffersonian dignity in honest agrarian living, overlaid with faster-than-light travel, exploits of quantum physics that let us communicate instantly across galaxies.

            It’s the fantastic duality of our nature–one of Christianity’s precepts that resonates with me is the idea that we’re “created in the image of God”. I don’t subscribe to mainstream Christianity, and like Eric I’m really uncomfortable with the dogma and minutiae.

            But that idea captures something; we have in us the spark of the divine, yet we have an animal nature as well. Nurture both, and let both revel in the best of the other.

  21. I was sent to Catholic school because it was the only available private school growing up. I definitely got a superior education for the money.

    But I also endured a lot of psychological trauma and damaging altruistic idiocies that diminished my ability to enjoy life.

    The NSA was tapping the phones and communications of the entire Vatican establishment, including Pope Benedict and Pope Francis before, during and after the Conclave.
    http://www.cfnews.org/page88/files/74ae1bc72e345a30fa09c0332e796f54-153.html

    Sister Lucia said that if we want to know the contents of the Third Secret, read chapters 8 through 13 of the Apocalypse.” This reference to Chapters 8 through 13 of the Apocalypse is particularly chilling, since the end of Chapter 13 speaks of the coming of Antichrist.

    http://www.cfnews.org/page88/files/14e8cf27a431ca52105cf70b45567b82-149.html

    World Youth Day 2013: Showcase of Liturgical Abuse. Pope Francis is “the slum pope who knows how to throw a fantastic beach party.”

    News from Catholic Family News website

    • Tor, that “world youth day” video you posted in the comment I am currently responding to is just jaw dropping. I want to say “I can’t believe how stupid those masses of people are” but no matter how much I think those masses shouldn’t be stupid, there they are. That said, I am going to get drunk and teach myself the choreography moves of the shitty song with the words “pope” dubbed into it that all those dancers on stage were pumping up the crowd to. (To anyone who wants to dance along with me, I’m going to start learning the moves at that appear at 57 seconds into the video…)

      • “I am going to get drunk and teach myself the choreography moves of the shitty song with the words “pope” dubbed into it that all those dancers on stage were pumping up the crowd to.”

        Jacob, you realize of course that this might be taken as proof that you are at least 9 different kinds of weird……… 😉

        • I have my arms completely outstretched right now, dancing along with the choreography as I type over the loud “pope! pope! pope!” music…. I am more than 9 different types of weird…. I might even be 11 different types of weird…. 9…11… it’s a conspiracy!

      • Why should it matter to you what any number of people do with their own time and money? I’m assuming that the “youth day” was not paid for with tax money. There is a good possibility that the things you do are considered “stupid” by others…

        Organized religion of any kind has no place in my life, but I have zero interest in stopping anyone else from engaging in it. As long as they don’t propose to aggress against me or others, of course. But then you have to deal with that aggression AS aggression, not the fact that they belong to a church.

        • They do aggress unfortunately, ML. They closed the Greek schools of philosophy. They burned and destroyed 99% of every scrap of Aztec, Incan, Mayan, & Native American culture they could find because they found them heretical and in competition with their monotheistic hegemony.

          Catholics were made the Overseers of the American film industry in 1934. All films after that show good winning over evil. Government as mostly good. It’s the law.

          Their offspring and offshoots are still in charge of our media. Look, a Renaissance painting. Let’s blur out the naughty bits for the chilllldren.

          They are deadly and powerful NGOs. Embracing you as a brother and then sticking an icepick in your mind when your guard is down. They wear down your ability to think and indoctrinate you and your children with techniques to self-lobotomize yourselves.

          I don’t wish anything be done to them. Nor the Crips, Jehovah Witnesses, Mormons or the Bloods for that matter. I only ask that you objectively consider what kind of Corporate entities they truly are.

          So many grievances. It’s like I’m an individualist who can find fault and attempt to deconstruct any Corporate entity at all.

          That being said, suicide is painless. It brings on many changes. And I can take or leave the Pope if I please.

          Boy Upstages Pope’s Speech
          http://www.npr.org/blogs/thetwo-way/2013/10/30/241894879/watch-boy-upstages-pope-s-speech

          • Who is “they?” As with anything else, the aggression is the problem, not the peripheral factors. People decide to commit aggression – PEOPLE – and it doesn’t matter in the least where they come from, their race, religion or club memberships, diet, bathing habits or anything else. Any of those things might be a factor, have influence, but only the individual makes the choice.

            Aggression is a choice. All choices and actions have consequences. It is up to the intended victim and their community, guardians, to defend themselves against aggression – to provide a deterrent or punitive consequence. Prior restraint of people based on their race, religion, club membership, gun ownership, other peripheral correlation, is the problem, of course, not the solution.

          • No intent to malign here – but I could never get past the notion of a religious doctrine that asserts monotheism, yet clearly has at least two gods in its pantheon. There is God – the father. And his son, Jesus. Now, I know the argument that they are just manifestations of the same being. That strikes me as meretricious for the simple reason that the texts clearly reveal two distinct and separate characters. To claim otherwise would mean claiming that Jesus (to cite one obvious example) was really talking to himself when he pleaded with himself… er, his father, God. It just makes no sense. One must suspend disbelief – and critical thinking – to believe it.

            Then there is this business of the sacrificial death. I find the idea ethically offensive. An innocent is made to suffer and die for the sake of the guilty? How is this in any way good? But it’s also meaningless. If Jesus is God then he cannot die. Not really. That body he temporarily occupied, perhaps. But not Jesus. If he’s really god. And if he’s really god, he knew he could not die – that it was all just an anthropomorphic game. The standards and rules that apply to an immortal deity do not apply to mortal men. Fool on them!

            To be clear: I am not an atheist or a theist. I simply state that I do not know. I do not understand how anyone can say they do know. This has baffled me since I was a kid. We are, even the brightest among us, creatures of limited awareness and knowledge. We see through the proverbial glass – and very darkly. I believe the true nature of reality is something that beggars our capacity to imagine. Forget about knowing. Even the comforting physical laws of Newton break down and get really weird at the level of the not-visible-to-our-eyes.

            I marvel, I wonder and question.

            But I dare not say I know.

          • “I marvel, I wonder and question.
            But I dare not say I know.”

            Eric that post sums up almost exactly where I am.

            I’ll spare ya’ll a retread of a bunch of past posts–but in short, seeing the nature of evil and at the same time seeing the sheer wonder of the universe presents such a vast gulf between bad and good that I’m compelled to think there is a Mind behind it all.

            The true nature of that Mind? I don’t know.

            My suspicion…no, my strongly held feeling (oh how I normally hate that word but it must suffice here) is that we are much more than our bodies; that we are a consciousness visiting here, and our body is essentially a spacesuit we use in this plane of existence.

            I can no longer look at the universe, at a human body in its amazing complexity, at the amazing feats of dignity, beauty, logic, and love of which we’re capable and believe they’re simply mechanistic expressions of biochemical automata.

            There’s more there.

  22. I work as an elec/tech in a municipal water plant. It’s a union job with better than average wages and benefits. In the adjacent county the water is privatized. They don’t pay the help quite as much. Our rates are competitive with theirs. In a freer market both places would probably have to tighten up.

    Today we unistalled two 700 dollar drinking fountains and replaced them with two 1000 dollar drinking fountains with fancy bottle fillers on top. Hired outside union contractors to do the job when we have three in house capable mech/techs. Also today, I troubleshot an evil fluoride metering pump problem and kept the brain juices impeded in the county by repairing it. Guess I’m just a blood sucking amoral bureaucrat living off the backs of the rate payers. Can’t decide whether or not to stick a gun to my head or start a well digging company.

    • ” Can’t decide whether or not to stick a gun to my head or start a well digging company.”

      Yeah, that’s a tough one. If it’s a choice, I’d suggest drilling wells. Digging wells is a hard job and nobody wants a dug well anyway. No need shooting yourself in the head about it, though. Just drink the bottled water at work and lay off the open stock.

    • Other ways to support the evil regime?

      1 Pretend Roots was a comedy. Deny that being a specie of slave is a tragedy.
      2 Use Federal Reserve Bank money. Invest in dollar-denominated stocks and bonds.
      3 Concede and adhere to the principle that the one name given and recorded at your birth really is your “name.” Tell everyone your exact slave name, slave quarter address, and slave history and details with no self-preservation instinct whatsoever.
      4 Send and receive US mail, use stamps.
      5 Scoff at and undermine your betters. Example, day laborers at Home Depot who seek gainful employment directly. Versus pathetic servile raggedy Andys who shuffle off resumes complete with rectal scans to conglomerates with non-existent jobs.
      6 Play along with reality impeding idiocy like time zones, daylight savings time, weekends, random age requirements, rush hours, job reporting times, force entire world to accommodate your charades.
      7 Live in unsecured housing, then use alarm services, make it a crime to break your pathetic “locks” and easily penetrated windows.
      8 Use unsafe transportation paths, where lanes are separated by a swath of paint. Where roads intersect each other at 90 degree angles and cross each others lanes. Obey colored lights. Use roads impassible by local animals and pedestrians and call them the problem.
      9 Passively view advertising the same as you view the content you voluntarily chose without distinction.
      10 Accept police state middlemen like cashiers, who serve no purpose but to monitor and record your transactions for the state and wouldn’t exist in a free market.
      11 Call the most oppressive system a beacon of freedom. Denigrate Israel that gives a real advantage to Jews. Or Britain that seeks out colonies and markets to serve the British and ease their burden. Demand every human follow a one-size fits all system dictated by psychopaths.
      12 Fail to realize brands, logos, and ads are not free market, but rather control techniques used on sub-humans.

  23. Best Quotes From God About Good Works:

    “We are nearer to God than his jugular vein.”

    “When god created the horse, he said to the magnificent creature: I have made thee as no other. All the treasures of the earth lie between thy eyes. Thy shalt carry my friends upon thy back. Thy saddle shall be the seat of prayers to me. And thou shalt fly without wings, and conquer without sword; oh horse.”

    “I created you from one soul, and from the soul I created its mate so that you may live in harmony and love.”

    “And whoever is patient and forgiving, these most surely are actions due to courage.”

    “God is all in all. God sees you, and is with you, wherever you are, whatever you do.”

    “By the sun and its brightness. And by the moon when it follows it . And by the day when it displays it. And by the night when it covers it. And by the sky and He who constructed it. And by the earth and He who spread it. And by the soul and He who proportioned it. And inspired it with discernment of its wickedness and its righteousness, He has succeeded who purifies it, And he has failed who instills it with corruption.”

    “Read in the name of your Lord Who created. He created man from a clot of blood. Read and your Lord is Most Honorable, Who taught to write with the pen. Taught man what he knew not.”

    “If one of your parents or both of them attain old age in your life, display not irritation nor disapproval of them, nor shout at them but address them in terms of honor”

    “It is He Who sent down to thee, in truth, the Book , confirming what went before it; and He sent down the Law of Moses and the Gospel of Jesus before this, as a guide to mankind, and He sent down the criterion of judgment between right and wrong.”

    “The ink of the scholar is more holy than the blood of the martyr.”

    “And swell with pride among men, nor walk in insolence through the earth; for God loveth not any arrogant boaster.”

    “When the sun shall be folded up; and when the stars shall fall; and when the mountains shall be made to pass away; and when the animals months gone with young shall be neglected; and when the seas shall boil; and when the souls shall be joined again to their bodies; and when the girl who hath been buried alive shall be asked for what crime she was put to death; and when the books shall be laid open; and when the heavens shall be removed; and when hell shall burn fiercely; and when paradise shall be brought near: every soul shall know what it hath wrought.”

    “And whosoever fears God and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out from every difficulty. And He will provide him from sources he never could imagine.”

    “Acquire knowledge, it enables its professor to distinguish right from wrong; it lights the way to heaven. It is our friend in the desert, our company in solitude and companion when friendless. It guides us to happiness, it sustains us in misery, it is an ornament amongst friends and an armor against enemies.”

    “God will not give mercy to anyone, except those who give mercy to other creatures.”

    “Do not turn your face from others with pride, nor walk arrogantly on earth. Verily the Almighty does not like those who are arrogant and boastful.”

    “And if all the trees on earth were pens and the ocean were ink, with seven oceans behind it to add to its supply, yet would not the words of God be exhausted in the writing: for God is Exalted in Power, full of Wisdom.”

    “He is not a member of us who does not show the mercy to smaller than him and respect to the older.”

    “When God created his creatures He wrote above His throne: Verily, my Compassion overcomes my wrath.”

    “He who at night is feeling tired because of working in the daytime, then at night he is forgiven by God”

    “What actions are most excellent? To gladden the heart of human beings, to feed the hungry, to help the afflicted, to lighten the sorrow of the sorrowful, and to remove the sufferings of the injured.”

    “There is no secret in heaven or earth but is recorded in a glorious book.”

    “Whatever good you put forward for yourselves – you will find it with God. It is better and greater in reward. And seek forgiveness of God . Indeed, God is Forgiving and Merciful.”

    “If you pass my house,even if you are my enemy,I must invite you in.”

    “God does not shy from drawing comparisons even with something as lowly as a gnat, or higher.”

    Quotes from the Quran, God’s most essential writ for 1.7 billion people.

    If you like your planet, you can keep your planet.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/3092922/posts

    • Dear Tor,

      Re: Jews and capitalism

      Interesting how both poles are represented.

      Karl Marx at one, Murray Rothbard at the other.

      My own take? Jews are over represented among the intelligentsia. Therefore they will be over represented at both extremes and also the middle.

  24. I have read some of WB. It was good reading but the last year he’s been caught up in an academic feud with somebody. It’s boring and trivial, so much so, that like you, I can’t even read his articles any longer. It’s almost as if he’s creating his own strawmen to argue with.

    Yes, absolutely.

    Not meaning to hijack the OP by starting a “Block-bashing” thread, but I must say that I was deeply disturbed and disappointed a couple of years back by an exchange, via LRC, that Block was having with a young man whom Block admired for his libertarian insights on market forces. He essentially told this young man, who was working in the gainful, productive private sector as a commercial photographer, to quite that gig because it was beneath him and to devote his time to academic studies of libertarian theory. IOW, Block wanted this young man to stop earning a living in the real world producing a good/service that customers were willingly paying him for so that he could become a purveyor of intellectual hot air that only a very narrow circle of other libertarians would ever read, much less be influenced by it.

    Some libertarian (but absolutely typical of a career academic).

    • Can you send me a link of what exactly Block said? BTW: While I happen to mostly agree with Block on this particular issue, I by no means agree with Block on everything. I specifically know I do NOT agree with Block that voluntary slave contracts should be honored or, more importantly, his eviction views on abortion (My own position is uncompromisingly pro-life, abortion is one of the worst acts of aggression I can think of, far more so than theft, and even more so than rape, since it is the murder of a human being.)

      Regarding libertarian theory vs profits, I certainly agree with you that serving people in the private sector is more important than being an academic, although I think there is a use for people who spend their time establishing libertarian theory, so we at least have something to work with in the unlikely event the State is defeated.

      As for my own bias: This is a political conversation so obviously its revolving around politics, but in general, my faith is much, much more important to me than either politics or production. The website linked on my username is my personal blog. And while I do absolutely spend time exposing statism for the evil that it is, my page “The most important question ever asked” does not mention politics at all. Because politics is not the most important question. Nor, for the record, is worldly profit.

      • David, mother be damned eh? A zygote’s continued growth trumps the mother’s health? Now the US is 50th in the world in infant mortality and 31st for mortality of the mother. Great stats eh? I know some mothers who have virtually been forced to deliver babies and were never healthy again and died too young, but never let medical knowledge get in the way, God (or your version thereof)knows best. Onward Christian soldiers.

    • “Some libertarian (but absolutely typical of a career academic).”

      Yes, there’s the crux of the matter. When Murray Rothbard was living, his output was astounding. His writing style was much more appealing than that of any other academic, and it seems that much of what he wrote was read more by non-academics and was disseminated pretty widely for its time. Imagine the influence he would have today with the internet being more accessible than it was when he died.

      Block enjoys recognition far beyond what his confused writing deserves because of the reverence accorded to his thought on LRC.com. Without that venue, he would probably get little attention because he has nothing much in the way of coherent thought to present. Maybe he did have more to say long ago, but today whatever he writes seems to be subject to the obvious confusion of his own processes.

      I can’t work up much interest in the conversations he has with himself and I’m left wondering how he’s given so much access when he seems to contribute so little outside documenting his petty quarrels with other academics and arguments with himself.

      • Ed, You know the guy who is always jacking with a pipe. Loading, stirring, tamping, lighting but almost never actually having it lit with a hit in his lungs or otherwise. I don’t know why but I picture Block with that pipe and every time you ask a question he starts the mmmmmmmmmm sucking thing trying to get it to light. Of course this takes up the next few minutes mmmmmmmmm and he can’t break for an answer until it’s lit….and it never seems to be lit for any period of time.

        • 8, some academics seem to have mastered the secret of being truly boring:

          The secret to being truly boring is to tell everything. Case in point, telling every detail of an argument that they think they won. In a live setting they would, at some point, be drowned out by snores from the audience.

          • 8, some academics seem to have mastered the secret of being truly boring:

            An academic who is boring, usually by writing in long-winded esoteric jargon, does nothing but reveal that he or she has nothing meaningful or substantive to say.

  25. I am, and I’m pretty sure Jeremy also is based on what I’ve seen him say, an anarcho-capitalist. So no, I’m not trying to make the libertarian position look hypocritical.

    Eric has pointed out the leftist argument against libertarians with government roads. And that argument is indeed stupid. Their argument is “If you hate government so much, why don’t you stop using government roads.” Their intent is to prove that government is good. Which is absurd. Just because government has an enforced monopoly on roads does not justify it.

    But that’s not the argument I’m making at all. I agree with Eric on the vast majority of what he says. I agree with Eric that governments are evil, and that government jobs shouldn’t exist. We’re debating the morality of certain actions within the paradigm of statism that we live in. We both agree that the State should be abolished, and I’m pretty sure Jeremy does too. So, I think your strawmanning us somewhat.

    Eric, let’s say a libertarian lived in a full-out communist country, where the only jobs availabe were government jobs, because the government controlled the economy? What would you suggest he do? How does your moral advice there differ from that in a mixed economy?

    • Hi David,

      But we’re not yet a full-out communist country – and I’d like to avoid that happening.

      I know (based on your posts) that you’re more than smart enough to see the straw man in the room.

      We’re not discussing a Libertarian in a communist state. We’re talking Libertarians in this mixed economy.

      You still have the entirely viable option of choosing to not work for the government – and thereby not partake of the worst aspects of this system.

      I submit that if people do not begin to “opt out” of government work and government benefits – abjuring the taking as much the forced “giving” – we will very shortly find ourselves unable to opt out of anything. Our every act will be to further the Great Collective, to enshrine it – to render it permanent and inescapable.

      • Eric, I get what you’re saying. But your argument is that morality is based on ability. In other words, if you “Don’t have a choice” but to use government, then its OK, but if you “have a choice” than it becomes immoral.

        I’ve already proven that this is impossible. First of all, you always have a choice. Your alternative might be death or suffering, but there is always a choice. The only exception to this would be mind control, which doesn’t exist as of yet.

        Second of all, it is simply not true that “having no choice” is an excuse.

        If you were held up at gunpoint and told you would be killed if you didn’t fly a bomber into Iran and bomb them, would you do it? Would you say you “Have no choice”? Or would you recognize that, even though you “don’t have a choice” (or at least, a practical one) it would be wrong to kill those innocent people?

        On the other hand, if you lived in a communist country, and all jobs were controlled by government, and you had the opportunity to work at a hospital or starve, would you take the government job?

        Now, I get that in a real life situation you might cave simply out of fear. But I think we all recognize that in case A the moral option is to allow yourself to be killed, but that that isn’t necessarily the case in case B.

        But by your logic, and for a logical system to work it has to work in every situation, by taking the hospital job you’d be “Aiding and abetting theft.” Based on your moral system, you’d have to allow yourself to starve to death. Or else you are inconsistent.

        I think phelps comment is a little interesting, considering that Eric is the one who told me I was “aiding and abetting theft.” Now, as I said, it doesn’t bother me that he says that. Heaven knows how many lives would be saved if every libertarian, or every Christian at that, had the guts to call those who killed in foreign countries murderers. Of course there’s a right and a wrong way to say that, but the bottom line is that its true and beating around the bush isn’t helping anything. If Eric thinks I’m “aiding and abetting theft” he should, and did, say so. But I find it interesting that phelps thinks I’m somehow trying to discredit Eric when its actually more the other way around.

    • Hi David,

      Thank you for the comments, I really appreciate them. Yes, as you suspect, I consider myself to be an anarcho-capitalist. My progression towards anarchy began with a simple question: “by what right does one man rule over another?”. As far as I can tell, no theory of government has ever been able to answer this most basic question.

      To phelps, I have been self-employed for most of my working life. I have never accepted a government job, nor do I intend to. However, I do not condemn those who do, so long as the job does not require the direct violation of rights. My disagreement with Eric (and many others) is not “simply a way to justify the fact that most people don’t want to go into the competitive private job market and would rather get the easy gov job with all the corresponding benefits due to laziness”. My disagreement is that I believe that the “difference in kind” distinction made by Eric and others is logically and morally invalid.

      I, as a private business man, knowingly and willingly accept money from people that I know to be government employees. I suspect that most (probably all) business owners who adhere to Eric’s view do as well. Are we really to believe that being two steps removed from plunder (accepting money from government employees), as opposed to being one step removed from plunder (being a government employee) constitutes a moral difference in kind?

      Again, the State has created a situation where it is impossible to be economically “pure”. Insisting that being two steps removed from plunder, versus one step removed from plunder is so morally superior as to be a “difference in kind” strikes me as a rationalization. Because of the State, all people who engage in economic action, necessarily benefit from plunder. Singling out government employees for special moral sanction is hypocritical and counter productive. Moreover, it diverts attention away from the real enemy of society, the State.

      If, as libertarians, we want to discuss what jobs are compatible with our philosophy, I agree with David. The issue is whether the job itself necessarily violates the NAP, not the funding for the job. If, as I’ve described above, you really want to maintain that accepting stolen money once removed is “different in kind” from accepting stolen money twice removed, you open yourself to legitimate charges of hypocrisy, and you will alienate potential allies in the fight against the State.

      Kind Regards,
      Jeremy

      • Thanks Jeremy. I agree with everything you said. I almost put “pretty much” but there isn’t a single thing there that I don’t agree with.

        I’ve implied this already, but I’m 18 at the moment. My progression really got started about three years ago. At the time I was still a fairly typical neocon when it came to foreign policy, but was quite conservative on fiscal policy, gun rights, and being opposed to warrant-less surveillance (And yes, I am completely aware now that in addition to the moral problems with war in and of itself, that it also leads to socialism , everyone being spied on, and gun control. I did not realize this then.) I remember reading a post somewhere , no idea where, against Obama that I thought was excellent. I don’t even remember what was said anymore, except for the fact that at the bottom of the post “Ron Paul 2012 appeared.” I didn’t know who this guy was so I looked him up on wikipedia. Now, as I mentioned, at that time I still believed that the US military was a force for good and that it was spreading democracy around the world (How I didn’t even consider the taxation implications of warmongering, I don’t know, but I didn’t.) So I disagreed with what Ron said about foreign policy. However, I did not think, like most neocons do/did, that he would actually be a threat to our national security. I simply believed that he was wrong not to intervene on behalf of other countries. However, what I read that he said about the right to own a machine gun caused me to like him anyway, and I respected the fact that he had his own opinions rather than simply believing what the rest of the Republicans did. Ron quickly became my favorite choice for President at the time in spite of the foreign policy disagreement because I saw that the other Republicans were fiscally liberal (didn’t seem to care much about eliminating entitlements) and didn’t care about civil liberties. At some point I met an anarcho-capitalist on another forum (Although I would not have known what that word meant at the time.) who I guess realized that I was sincere despite being wrong on foreign policy, and he pointed me to LewRockwell.com.

        I didn’t “convert” overnight but at a certain point I realized how inconsistent “Standard” conservatism is. I became a constitutionalist, than a minarchist, and finally fully embraced anarcho-capitalism a couple months ago. Now that I “get it” I could never go back.

        • Hi David,

          Wow, you’re one hell of an 18 year old. Thanks for relating the conversion story. As a (nearly) 50 year old, you give me hope for the future.

          Cheers,
          Jeremy

          • I can only hope the internet will wake up others my age like it did me. But I doubt it. Most people just love the government too much. I get plenty of flack from my peers for being as consistently opposed to governmental intervention as I am. All kinds of emotion-based crap as well, but few legitimate arguments.

            If you think I’m a decent writer, maybe send any of your Christian friends who are statists over to my blog. Maybe seeing a Biblical argument against their sacred cow will finally wake them up.

  26. I get the feeling some of this petty little arguments against Eric’s argument/point is simply a way to justify the fact that most people don’t want to go into the competitive private job market and would rather get the easy gov job with all the corresponding benefits due to laziness. Eric has just pointed out their laziness, which they know they are, so they use inanimate objects as a way to make him and other L’s appear to by hypocrites.

    No, there will never be a perfect solution to any problem and you can count hairs on a dogs butt all day long in order to feel good about yourself because you actually feel lousy when you are alone with your thoughts.

    The road v. gov. employee. The former will never be guilty of the seven deadly sins, mainly envy of others in the private sector who took risks and has more than the lazy gov. employee. LGE’s envy will lead them to covet other people’s stuff and elect some pol who will legally plunder the ambitious L. The LGE’s can then vote themselves our stuff and feel good about themselves, at least in public, since it was done “legally”. But, LGE will always have opportunity’s to be alone with their thoughts and know they are nothing but a parasite feeding off the L. They will need more of our stuff and will ruin many hard working people with the continual process of legal plunder. LGE will then have “losers” in life to compare themselves against, but LGE will always know they are the real loser and this ruinous process will go on and on until the whole system is crushed under the weight of a destructive process.

    Good night.

  27. Great blogpost and discussion all, this is something that has been on my mind for quite some time now. I just want to bring up a couple of points that I didn’t see. What if you live in an area where there are almost exclusively government jobs? I live in one of the areas in the country where government spending is at it’s heaviest. The vast majority of good paying jobs (middle class basically) are either positions as a government employee or as a government contractor. Any other companies in this area, which are scarce, are propped up by government spending so you are getting taxpayer funded paychecks – there is no escape. This brings me to my next thought. Is it any more moral to work in the “quasi” private sector, AKA government contracting, then it is directly as a federal employee? Or what about working for the state or local government? Are those entities equally as immoral? What do you guys think?

  28. As the saying goes “Tell me who pays you and I’ll tell you who you serve.” As genuine as I can be, as long as I continue collaborating with the systems in place – all of them – I continue feeding them. By working for them or doing business with them, I collaborate in the maintenance and the spreading of poverty and slavery for all on the planet – since it’s the ultimate plan of the big bosses on top of the pyramid. At the top of every system presently en place or pushed by the media (health, education, banks, money, politics, law, media, etc), it’s always the same group of people that controls them. It’s time that I make a choice: do I continue collaborating because of fear of lacking money and means of survival? Or, do I decide to acknowledge who I am, an unlimited creative being, and act as such. In other words, do I want to continue believing that I am a poor powerless victim who needs a savior, someone bigger than me to create a job for me and take care of me, or do I decide to act as the unlimited being that I really am and start manifesting it on my own. Of course, this decision requires courage, but thousands of people have done it around the world, so can you. The question is: Do you WANT to do it or not? If you say “I can’t”, you reduce yourself to the level of an animal, which, unlike humans, has no free will. They are only led by their fears with the fight or flight response. And it’s because most humans are still in the animal consciousness – a fear-based survival one – that the controllers of the planet have such power over humanity and can do whatever they want.

    Here are 2 links to understand:

    1- The 4 levels of collaboration (personocracy.wordpress.com/2013/04/14/the-war-is-over-by-ghis-full-video/c)

    2- Where does our money go (government – banks – insurances – investments – corporations)and how to stop concretely the leakage to create abundance for all (http://personocracy.wordpress.com/2013/04/16/where-does-my-money-go/)

  29. The question of ethics is not one-sided. It is a given that all gov’t money is stolen, but it is also a given that gov’t has crowded out the private sector and wildly distorted the market, causing great harm to society as a whole. But having usurped the place of, for example, private disability insurance or private pensions, they then incur obligations to perform on the promises made. State institutions, while criminal in the philosophical sense, also have very real ethical obligations as long as society continues in this state. A gov’t worker might make a strong argument, a la Billy Joel, that “We didn’t start the fire. It was always burning since the world’s been turning.”

    This goes for the police and military as well. The cops, for all the bad things they do, still catch actual criminals once in a blue moon. The armed forces have a duty to repel invasion at the very least – even though they are also founded on theft and deception. Having usurped the security/law complex, the forces of the state incur the obligation to perform their purported duties since they are, in fact, “essential.” I would argue that ultimately the state has the obligation to make things right. So-called “leaders” have an obligation to lead the way out of this mess. This is why you will find libertarians coming up with all sorts of plans to transition out of statism. I think such arguments recognize the fact that obligations have been created and must be addressed before the state vanishes as an institution.

    I remember Hoppe (and probably Rothbard too) saying that the proper way to return what has been stolen (if it could be done) would be to use the tax histories to give money back to the people it was stolen from as state assets are sold off. This makes sense because they recognize the state has incurred an obligation to make things right. Now, short of this auctioning off of state property and the proceeds going to people who can prove they were extorted by X amount for Y years, we cannot determine where each dollar came from or where it went. This is why people who “paid in” to SS for years and years and years expect the state to oblige its promise to provide retirement, survivors, and disability “insurance.” It’s not a strange thing at all to expect some return on the forced “investment.” We still want the roads maintained until ownership can be given back to the people, right? While we are in this “state,” we all want some semblance of order and predictability, and some measure of fairness.

    Why berate people for getting back some of the value stolen from them? I don’t see how that advances the cause. While it’s hard to stomach a professed libertarian getting a gov’t job, I don’t see how not getting a gov’t job or not taking SS benefits is an effective means of resistance. A real resistance would be NOT PAYING TAXES. So until people are ready to take that step, why even bother with this not taking benefits stuff? No one notices and no one cares.

    • I give credit where credit is due. If a police officer catches a murderer, I give him kudos. That doesn’t mean I accept the rest of what he does, but if he did something good in a given situation, good for him.

      That said, police and military, by the very nature of their jobs, are required to violate the NAP and go after people who haven’t done anything to harm them. So I don’t think that’s acceptable.

      There’s a diffference between that and happening to have a government job as a clerk at the social security office, or a librarian in a government library, or a doctor in a government hospital, or a public firefighter, or etc. Ignoring the moral arguments, its actually possible to live a life where you don’t violate the NAP yourself, which entails not taking a job as a cop or a soldier. It is not possible to avoid getting any stolen money. And I guess I don’t see the moral difference between “Seeking it out” or otherwise, the bottom line is that a libertarian now has the money, instead of the State, and I see that as a positive.

      BTW: I think this one by Laurence Vance is absolutely correct as well:

      http://www.lewrockwell.com/2012/06/laurence-m-vance/should-libertarians-accept-social-security/

      • I agree in spirit with Eric’s argument but there is clearly something in the calculus moving from individual to system that perhaps demands that the rules change. In our day the government is so enmeshed in our economy that its difficult to extract what is and what isnt blood money. Eric you have talked about direct recipients of goverment spending, e.g. salary. But we all “take” goverment spending in some form or another.

        You like cars and want to drive on government roads – they are seized property, should you stay off? You enjoy nature – should you stay out of seized lands, national parks? You enjoy the internet – should we stay off because a portion is subsidized by the government?

        Or even further, if you have a business should you turn away cops and teachers since they are spending money obtained from taxes?

        In short I dont see way to navigate without fully withdrawing from society. The government is sadly intimately involved with our economy today.

  30. Write an article titled: Google is Against Conservatives and Libertarians. Get it posted on Drudge Report. This will go viral. Google will back down and reactivate your site. If not, you’ll get millions of prospective donors.

  31. Is it wrong to work for government? There is a very simple litmus test that I apply when it comes to income of any kind. I ask myself the following question:

    Is the source of this income / benefit / payment based on a voluntary or involuntary transaction?

    If the answer is that it is based on an involuntary transaction then I decline taking the benefit. In the case of a government worker their, income is generated by tax revenue that is involuntarily taken from others either by way of direct taxation or some indirect taxation (property tax as an example). It doesn’t matter how nice those government people are or what their motivations are, if they are being paid money that is in taken by coercive means than they are thieves. This includes the military by the way.

  32. The state does not make the distinction between providing essential services to needy clients and being nobly plundered. It knows only that demand is up and more goodies need to be provided. (This is also how it interprets election results.)

    A teacher in a state classroom teaches statism merely by existing. Maybe not overtly, “Leader loves us and we love Leader.” But implicitly “it is good and there is nothing wrong with my being in this room and that lady teaching me French. It is normal things to be this way.”

  33. Clover
    I would wager that EVERY purist libertarian here uses government roads on a regular basis and that most of you and/or your kids use/used government schools. Likely at least some here have cashed an unemployment or social security check……and so it goes- immoral by one’s own standard. Judged and Condemned.

    • Once again the only way to be a true libertarian is to live out in the roadless woods in poverty because the state has taken monopoly on so much. Oh but one can’t even do that because the government has taken monopoly on management of forests too.

      Do any of you statists think the things the state has taken over would have ever come into being if we waited around for the state to create them?

  34. Super article, thanks!

    The web site TinyURL.com/QuitGov hits the very same theme, and by assuming that everyone has a conscience (however deeply buried) it encourages government employees to quit.

    When they have all done that, there will be no more government.

  35. Excellent column! I did notice one typo:

    …but in which nothing you have isn’t, in principle, off limits.

    I think you mean nothing in principle IS off limits.

  36. The local, state, and central government run all of the hospitals around where my family lives (in a country with socialized medicine), so it seems like my wife can’t use her training as a nurse without violating the non aggression principle.

    I really wish the government just disappeared, didn’t run the hospitals or steal money from people, including from me and you. So I look at the job at the hospital in a different light. It’s a way of getting some of my stolen money back. Just like using the government built roads or collecting social security that was stolen from me.

    • @AndyS – Fortunately I think we are seeing socialism self destruct, like the Soviet Union and East Germany did in the 20’th century. Sadly it will take the completion of the fourth turning battles before it will be replaced, because the freeloaders and beneficiaries won’t go willingly.

      The real challenge is to be one of the knowledgeable ones to work for the rebuilding of a complete system of limited government the right way. Without that knowledge and work history tells us it will be wars and a monarchy of the most powerful gang in control.

      • “complete system of limited government the right way.”

        Um, no. That was tried already, and look where it is at now. Plus no one, great men or otherwise, can simply put words on pieces of paper claiming authority over my life or that of my children and grand children. You can keep your “limited statism, er, government.”

  37. “Over the next twenty, it’ll be another $40,000 – assuming the annual rate does not increase (which is about as likely as my rooster reciting Shakespeare).”

    I grew up in a very nice house here in the city – it sold at the recent market peak for double what my mom had sold it for 20 years earlier.

    In that same time taxes on that property (no improvements, just maintenance/repairs) _quadrupled_ – imagine paying nearly $50/day just to live in your home.

    And that’s here in the ‘low-tax’ South – in parts of NY (not NYC) the tax would be roughly triple.

    • Hi Bill,

      Yup. We live in the “low tax” South, too.

      Our real estate assessment has increased by 35 percent over the past ten years. Is our house worth 35 percent more? I asked the assessor whether he’d like to buy my house for the amount he decreed it to be worth. Of course, he did not pull out his checkbook.

      Real estate taxes are arguably much worse than income taxes (though they are loathsome, too). Because real estate taxes deprive a man of the one thing that perhaps defines a free man – the possibility that he may one day be beholden to none, free to live on his own patch of land.

      I also shake my fist in fury at the idea that random strangers’ decision to fuck and produce children – as many as they wish to – imposes a financial obligation on me to “help” educate (indoctrinate) them.

      Maybe I should “ask” them to “help” pay their “fair share” of feeding/caring for the 11 cats we have….

      • Indeed, we are forced at threat-of-gunpoint to support Angel Adams and her SIXTEEN future democrats.

        Yes, the video was taken back when she only had 15 but she has squirted another one since then.

        Throw. It. In. The. Woods.

      • Eric – ” I asked the assessor whether he’d like to buy my house for the amount he decreed it to be worth.”

        This is something that should be changed. If the ‘Man’ claims your home is worth X and you disagree, the assessment should immediately be taken as an offer of purchase at that price. Owner would be free to decline but the ‘Man’ would be legally obligated to buy at that price.

        Aside from the fact that ‘property tax’ is unacceptable theft, this would be a much more reasonable system than we have now.

      • This is why I rent now and won’t buy property now, Eric, no matter how “good” the realtors say the market is. With our system of real estate taxes in this country, you don’t own property — you won’t an obligation to pay taxes to the county. If you stop paying the tax, then the county owns the property. How is that better than paying rent — especially if you have a mortgage? At least with rent, I have the option to end my lease and get the hell out if the neighborhood goes to pot, etc. I don’t have that option as a real estate owner, even if I own the property outright.

        This is why I don’t believe real estate can be a sound investment now, and probably for years to come. I can understand owning real estate for other reasons — for a bugout location, because of family history, etc. But I suspect the concept of investing in real estate, which has been making a comeback since the real estate crash and subsequent partial recovery, will seem ridiculous in 10 years.

        • I hear you, Robert… the fact that is that even leaving aside the “rent” to the government, you also in a very real way have a landlord, too. Someone (someones, actually) who will tell you what you can – and cannot – do with (and to) “your” home.

          If I wanted to put a bathroom in the basement, I am legally required to get permission from the county. And of course, the county told the person who built our house how it would be built, down to the tiniest detail.

          At least we don’t have an HOA – and the fiction of ownership is more believable in a very rural area such as ours, where one can still shoot guns in the backyard or pee off the porch. I know that won’t be “allowed” much longer, of course.

          • Yes, that’s the other thing, Eric — what I owned before was a townhouse in NJ. So I had to pay homage to the town, the county, the mortgage company (until I paid it off), and the condo board. In effect, I had two or three landlords I had to please! At least as a renter I only have one.

            It’s amazing, too, how far the regulatory environment has spread in this country. My dad was telling me that if he was to put in a new septic tank now in his place out in the country in SC — a house he built himself in the early ’60s — he’d have to apply for permits from the county, get inspections during construction, etc. When I was growing up — in the same house they’re in today — none of that would have been necessary. We’d just go out one Saturday and build it. Case closed. No more.

          • And now even in rural farming areas the govt. has gotten greedy so much so that the land I live on I now have a ‘silent’ share cropper that takes 28% of what I make on lease money.
            I intended to move to Mexico ten years ago, went there and checked it out. I know US citizens who own property there and spoke with them. Of course they have so much money they can live with losing their Mexico holdings. You can’t own property there unless you’re a resident, the very reason the whole damned country isn’t bought and sold already I finally came to understand. Carlos Slim wouldn’t have another place to simply skim off the cream if that were the case. MF’s……..grrr…….

  38. When you live on a plantation of 317 million people, you may wonder to yourself, are Overseers bad, or can some brutal Overlords and benevolent Overlords of our plantation Masters be considered good by us Slaves?

    Here is an example of a Slave doing something only an Overseer is allowed to do. The violent reaction of the Overseers to this Slave holding a plastic handgun in a non-threatening way tell you all you need to know IMHO.

    Slave Woman at Long Beach Municipal Plantation, A Sub Unit of Orange County Plantation, Sub Unit of California Plantation, Sub Unit of Master Plantation United States Plantation.
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ad1_1384786686

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/12_Years_a_Slave_(film)

    Here’s an off-duty Overseer taking it from Slaves instead of dishing it out in Queens plantation, NYC plantation, NY plantation, USA plantation.
    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=ff4_1384794826

    One of the comments of the NYC video:
    “Fucking savages! No regard for human life!”

    I would say that comment also applies 12 times as much to the Overseer savages who show no regard for the female Slave’s human life in the Long Beach video.

  39. Or let’s look at me. I, like you, am an anarcho-libertarian. I’m also a college student. I attend a community college and I take financial aid. Now, I do not in any way believe that public colleges or or financial aid should exist. For either to exist requires theft. That does not mean, however, that I am a thief for attending this school or for taking financial aid. In fact, despite not yet having an income, I am a victim any time I choose to buy something and am forced to pay a sales tax. It seems to me that the actual thieves are the ones who are actually stealing the money to begin with, not the people that might take things from a criminal organization, such as roads, educational services, or a job that does not entail an NAP violation (If you violate the NAP, on the other hand, you become part of the criminal organization, rather than simply taking resources from them.)

    What am I missing here?

    • Ron Paul took a lot of flak from people who thought he shouldn’t take pork for his district. His response was simply that it was going to go somewhere, so why not to his constituents and that he should try to get as much money back as he can.

      Don’t worry about the money, but be wary of debt.

      • Speaking of Ron Paul, he also said that if elected president, he would continue programs like Social Security while ramping down the military. His argument was that people were dependent on these programs, and it would take time to wean them off. Here’s his response to a question on Social Security:

        Q: Are you still in favor of abolishing Social Security?

        A: Yes, but not overnight. As a matter of fact, my program’s the only one that is going to be able to take care of the elderly. I’d like to get the young people out of it, just the younger generation, because there’s no money there, and they’re going to have to pay 50 years and they’re not going to get anything. I’d take care of all the elderly, all those who are dependent, but I would save the money from this wild spending overseas.

        Question: Isn’t this stealing too — even if for a noble purpose, and even if only temporary?

        Technically, it probably is. However, I think Dr. Paul’s position is well thought out. In a society as addicted to government handouts as ours is, you unfortunately can’t end the handouts overnight.

        • “I think Dr. Paul’s position is well thought out. ”

          I don’t. He always said that the young people needed to be allowed out of it, which is what I think as well. The problem is that he wanted to keep the payouts to the old people going. The way the system is set up is that the young people still working pay into it so the old people can get paid. It’s a Ponzi scheme.

          How do you stop the Ponzi scheme without stopping both inputs and outlays? Did he explain how he would keep the scheme going for the people already collecting from it while excusing the people currently paying in the funds that are going to the people collecting?

          • Ed, Robert, not wanting to sound mealy mouthed about this but I agree with what both of you have said. Yep, I’d have liked to had RP in the WH to cut spending as drastically as possible. Is that my ideal outcome? Not by a long shot but I’d take it. I don’t agree with everything GJ said either but I’d damned sure take it. What a relief it would be to go back to Eisenhower days. That was plenty bad but almost a drug and sex orgy by today’s standards. Would I like a good Lowaki Porterhouse? Damn right. Would I take an apple and peanut butter? Beats starving, and that’s what I today mid day. I could have had beef but didn’t want any right then(I first typed “beer” instead of beef, Freudian slip?, nope just old fingers) There are degrees to everything. I’d like to get that boiling pot of water back to at least a warm shower.

          • I don’t like the idea myself, Ed. Personally, my hope is that our whole system of debt and fiat currency collapses upon itself, Soviet Union-style, and the government stops operating this afternoon. Let the chips fall where they will. But then, somebody with my viewpoint would never have a chance of being elected dogcatcher, let alone president.

            What I meant was, I understand why Dr. Paul would take the position, as someone with even a glimmer of hope of being elected president. I suspect he believed that there would be rioting in the streets if all these handout programs were suddenly ended. And he may be right. It definitely wouldn’t be pretty.

          • “Personally, my hope is that our whole system of debt and fiat currency collapses upon itself, Soviet Union-style, and the government stops operating this afternoon. ”

            Yes, me too, Robert. There’s a chance that we might get our wish on that one.

          • Dear Ed,

            One solution many have suggested is phasing out of SS by paying off those who paid in while not forcing new people to pay in.

            A one time sell off of government held lands or other assets could cover the costs.

            Not perfect. But the dilemma was not created by libertarians. They, we, can only clean up the mess as best we can.

          • I’d settle–short-term–for a repeal of every law, and abolition of every department, formed since 1912.

            That would get us 95% of the way there–no income tax, no property taxes, no EPA/DHS/DOT/DOJ/XYZ/PDQ…

            And then work from there.

            @Bevin–I’ve seen those proposals too, to divest the FedGov of all holdings, sell them off, and “make good” its promises. Fantastic idea. How the hell does it “own” that land in the first place?

            My God the whole enterprise is so fantastically criminal it makes the mind gyrate! The sheer magnitude of its larceny!

            I hope you guys are enjoying the implosion of the would-be Dictator Bath-House Barry as much as I am.

            I realize he’s just a puppet and the powers behind him remain for us to bring down as well; but at some level this has to affect him personally, if only to dent his seemingly boundless narcissism.

            Yeah, that’s right Barry, we hate you. And we’re bringing you down, you psychopath!

          • Dear meth,

            “@Bevin–I’ve seen those proposals too, to divest the FedGov of all holdings, sell them off, and “make good” its promises. Fantastic idea. How the hell does it “own” that land in the first place?”

            Agree.

            Like I said, the problem was not created by libertarians. We’re merely stuck with cleaning up the mess. There are no entirely satisfactory solutions at this point in time.

          • “Not perfect. But the dilemma was not created by libertarians. They, we, can only clean up the mess as best we can.”

            My own view is that it ain’t my mess, and I don’t care if it gets cleaned up or not. You can just call me Bennett, because I ain’t in it.

            P.S. my dear old Bevin, old pal, old shoe; I scrolled up to find a button to respond to you, only because it was you addressing me. Had it been some ordinary nosepicker I woulda gave up and just nodded to myself. 😉

          • Dear Ed,

            I hear you, loud and clear.

            Believe me when I say I’m every bit as disgusted with the whole damned mess.

            I’ve never been a Clintonite “policy wonk” type of person. Not interested. No attraction for me.

            I’ve always been a psychological roots, philosophical principles type of person.

            That’s why I think the real issue is shattering the Myth of Authority. Do that, and the rest is a forgone conclusion.

            Don’t lose sight of the forest for the trees.

          • Dear meth,

            Actually, it’s gotten to where I’m almost worried the whole stinking mess will be brought down too soon! Before people have disabused them of the Myth of Authority.

            Why?

            Because they will simply replace Bushobamaism with yet another variant of democratic dictatorship.

            It could be the abortive French Revolution all over again. The Ancien Regime and Louis XVI toppled, only to be replaced by Robespierre and then by Napoleon.

          • @Bevin

            re: possibility of Jacobin-style revolution here.

            Yep. In fact I bet that’s one of their many carefully war-gamed plans.

            Also re: acorn/oak universe–that echoes somewhat Stephen Wolfram’s “A New Kind of Science”…that the whole universe is a computational matrix, comprised of infinitesimal finite state machines. A giant, fractal computer.

            Actually there’s some evidence it IS computational; the propagation of cosmic rays shows traces of “errors” depending on which direction they’re coming from. Imagine a 3-D computer game; when a projectile approaches at an angle on any of the axes, the computer uses trigonometry to calculate its position.

            Computers, surprisingly, are bad at math–they cannot represent fractions accurately. Close, but not perfect; a pure fraction is incompatible with binary logic. So they fudge it a little…and the projectile’s position is ever so slightly wrong.

            The study of cosmic rays I’m referring to showed aberrations similar to that–as though the universe has an underlying granularity, a “direction” or grain.

            Very weird stuff!

        • Well, Ron is a minarchist, not an anarchist, and he’s been fairly clear about that fact. Although Ron has started the journey toward anarchism for a lot of people, me included, he himself isn’t one. So the reality is he still does support a certain amount of theft, whether knowingly or not.

          Ron Paul was the absolute best in politics… probably ever… but nobody’s perfect.

          I honestly think his position more comes down to minarchism than it does being well thought out or not. Not saying that its impossible for a non-anarchist to support immediate abolition of SS (Heck, I was until I became an ancap a few months ago) I’m just saying that obviously those who are opposed to ALL theft are more likely to have an absolutist stance on it than those who are opposed to only 99% of it or so.

          That said, its obviously a very difficult decision to leave someone on the street, even if they are being sustained by theft. If the result was people dying it would be a curse on Christian churches, who should really do better, but it wouldn’t be the government’s fault for finally refusing to steal.

          All in all, I don’t agree with Ron, but at least he was willing to say he wanted to EVENTUALLY get rid of the system. Rand won’t even go that far, and even though I’ll probably vote for him, that’s a problem.

          • David wrote:

            “Well, Ron is a minarchist, not an anarchist, and he’s been fairly clear about that fact. Although Ron has started the journey toward anarchism for a lot of people, me included, he himself isn’t one. So the reality is he still does support a certain amount of theft, whether knowingly or not.”

            As Murray Rothbard once pointed out, most anarchists turn out to be socialists underneath.
            See for instance: http://mises.org/daily/2801
            Italian anarchists, syndicalists, were openly socialist. Socialism actually requires a coercive mechanism for implementation, so there is a bit of a non-sequitur there. In any case, WRT Ron Paul and what labels people are using to describe what sort of government people view as legitimate, I think Ron is a pragmatic sort. In principle he does see a use for government and the underlying coercive force required for any such authority. I do respect the man but he’s tainted by politics IMO. As far as Rand goes, not so much respect deserved there. He’s just another typical politician who every once in a while supports more liberty, but not complete liberty on principle.

            For me, the litmus test on libertarianism is the abortion issue. Any individual who asserts that it is a legitimate function of some government at any level from federal to local to legislate a woman’s right to make that choice is not a libertarian IMNSHO. My own view of abortion should in no way effect a woman’s ability to make that choice. To support such a prohibition is to violate the NAP, plain and simple. Of course, my definition of what a libertarian is differs from some. I believe that a libertarian is somebody who believes and respects the concept that each individual owns his or her own life. Every concept, including the NAP, follows from that simple concept. A free man owns his own life. If outside entities own, even partially, his life that man is a slave. Very simple, very logical, very difficult to refute if one accepts the very basic premise.

          • Guiseppe, I have heard some men say they wouldn’t support reproduction laws if they could get pregnant themselves. I see no difference in being one sex or the other on that subject. When you make laws, once again, you are holding a gun to anyone’s head it affects. It is not anyone’s right to do that to anyone else. It’s very plain, the only way to uphold the NAP is no law. Some say if no law, women would simply have one abortion after the other. I have lived long enough I don’t believe that For almost any woman after 3 abortions it’s fairly much a moot point beyond that since very few women could conceive again. I have never known a woman who had an abortion that didn’t have a great deal of angst associated with it.

          • @Guiseppe–

            Your litmus test for libertarianism is abortion?

            I have respect for you; I’ve read most of your posts over the time we’ve been on this board and you seem to be a reasonable man and knowledgeable student of libertarianism.

            So I’d urge you to come up with a more suitable “litmus test”. How about adherence to the NAP in all other respects?

            Because it is deeply questionable when in life the NAP begins to apply.

            For those of us who draw the line at “human/not human” at conception–for good, well-thought-out reasons–it’s the worst violation of the NAP to kill that life while it’s wholly defenseless.

            What do you say to a libertarian–who in every way embodies the ideals of libertarianism–who disagrees on this point?

            “You’re no libertarian!”

            I’m going to hazard a guess–you don’t have children.
            I’m going to hazard another–you haven’t been in the medical field.

            Because the latter gives one the opportunity to see the developing baby–and how early it is completely human.

            The former will remove all doubt.

            Even absent those experiences, you surely have seen the steady progression of abortion from unmentionable, to hidden, to quietly accepted before “the quickening”…

            …to now, when people fight for the “right” to kill babies right up to the moment of birth…when magically they’re transformed into humans. So the human/not-human line is five minutes of labor?

            And then, the real horrors begin–the journal of bioethics publishes an article suggesting “post-birth abortion”, wherein the parents may decide up to (arbitrarily) three years to abort.

            Because “it” is not really “human” yet.

            So there’s the real progression; the real lesson–you’re an asset. You’re an animal. You’re human when the State decides you are

            Abortion is the natural result of, and the harbinger for, the State becoming the arbiter of life.

          • 8 said:
            “It’s very plain, the only way to uphold the NAP is no law.”

            Those words are my own belief too. Why anyone thinks they can legislate this complex issue either way is beyond me. Having an opinion on it is one thing, but forcing victims either end is beyond reprehensible in my eyes.

          • Dear 8sm, HR,

            8 said:
            “It’s very plain, the only way to uphold the NAP is no law.”

            Those words are my own belief too. Why anyone thinks they can legislate this complex issue either way is beyond me. Having an opinion on it is one thing, but forcing victims either end is beyond reprehensible in my eyes.

            Add my name to the list that endorses this perspective.

    • While library staff may appear, on the surface to be a job that doesn’t violate NAP (there are, as of yet, no library swat teams) you have to remember that in order for the library staff to be paid you need tax money, tax money comes from armed men demanding it under penalty of loss of life or property. The aggression isn’t as overt as a police checkpoint but exists none the less.

      • I just watched a “Leave it to Beaver” episode where Beaver lost a library book and had racked up a $1.00 fine. Eddy Haskel told Beaver that the library cops would put him in jail, so the idea has been thought of.

      • I’ve addressed this. We all agree on this. Yes, public libraries require aggression to exist. Their existence is evil. We agree on that.

        Mind you, in real life I don’t usually use that terminology against people who agree with me 90+% of the time, but its nonetheless true.

        What we disagree on is who’s evil, not the fact that it is evil. The person working for the library is not the one stealing in that scenario.

        • Hi David,

          I think the key issue here is awareness. The librarian in your example is not evil – just unwittingly partaking of it. I view such people as basically decent – just asleep/misguided.

          But once a person is presented with the facts – made aware of the fact that their daily bread is provided by pointing guns at other people – and they continue to partake, then I condemn them.

          That’s why I jumped on you over the school loan business. You’re clearly aware of the nature of the thing – and therefore, ought to avoid partaking.

          How else will this system unwind? People must first be made aware – and once aware, made to feel bad about having anything to do with blood money.

          That’s the path forward, as I see it.

          • I just don’t see how letting the government KEEP the money actually helps unwind the system. As far as I see it, that just makes it worse.

            Mind you, if I were making excuses, trying to say it should be “phased out” or something like that, I’d agree with you. But I don’t. I recognize the gang as being evil and advocate its destruction. But, as Rothbard said, its not necessary for libertarians to be martyrs. We have to work with what we’ve got. And I see plundering the State of its ill-gotten gains as a GOOD thing, all things considered. Doubly so if you can do it legally and thus without getting thrown in one of their rape cages.

            • Remember the line about battling monsters?

              I think it is very, very important to not rationalize plundering anyone.

              The wheel will not turn until a working majority recoils from taking what’s not theirs. And that’s the bottom line here. It’s not your money. If you’re not effectively forced to partake of it, then don’t partake of it. When you have a real choice available, choose not to be part of the problem.

              It is not being a martyr to elect not to work for the government. Nor to decline SS if one is financially well-off.

              And it is not being martyr to work odd jobs or part-time or whatever it takes to earn the money one needs to, for example, pay for one’s tuition – rather than taking state aid.

              I feel pretty good about the fact that my living doesn’t come to me via bayonet-point.

              We still have options, David. That includes you, too.

          • While I respect both viewpoints on the issue, I think the key issue is not awareness but support. If one imagines the librarian being openly and publicly opposed to the continued existence of government libraries, and willing to instantly give up his job if they are abolished, I don’t see him as being morally compromised. On this view, the only people who can morally accept public jobs and “entitlements” are those who are opposed to their legal existence.

        • A public library that is endowed by private individuals and made available to the public, as was once the custom, is a good thing. Public libraries owned by a government and funded with tax money could be seen as evil, I agree.

          “The person working for the library is not the one stealing in that scenario.”

          But they ARE receiving stolen goods in the form of pay and benefits, right?

    • Hi David,

      This will come across as harsh, but:

      You may not be a thief, but you are an accomplice to theft. You knowingly partake of stolen goods. You’ve stated:

      “Now, I do not in any way believe that public colleges or or financial aid should exist.”

      I assume, therefore, that you also concede that taking money from unwilling victims to provide the above also ought not to exist? After all, if the schools and aid did not exist, then the taxes to keep them in existence would not need to exist.

      If, on the other hand, you believe the taxes ought to exist, then you have legitimated thievery.

      I agree you – and everyone else – is victimized by sales taxes. But that’s just the point. Your money is being taken from you. When you apply for/accept “aid,” you are taking someone else’s money.

      See the difference?

      For this merry-go-round of reciprocal theft to stop, people must stop taking things that do not belong to them – and trying to rationalize the theft.

      PS: Your roads example is something of a straw man. First, you imply a criticism of those who use them while decrying wealth transfer as being hypocritical. But we’re in an impossible position. The roads’ existence predates most of our existence. It is simply not possible to not use these roads. There is no choice in the matter. Hence, no moral culpability. Besides which, the roads are paid for – mostly – with motor fuels taxes, which ironically (given we’re talking about government roads) is a pretty free market way to pay for them. In any event, people who use the roads do pay for them – so your argument is vitiated on that score.

      • I’m pretty much as anti-political correctness as you’re going to find. So it doesn’t bother me at all that you call me an “accompolice to theft.” I think you’re wrong, in this instance, but if more people were actually willing to call people out for what they perceived as being evil, maybe we wouldn’t be in as much of a mess as we’re in now.

        I’ll have to address the other stuff later since I’m short on time, but I simply wanted to point out that I wasn’t offended at all. This is a conversation worth having.

        I will leave you with one parting question, however, and I should be back on later. Are you an “accompolice to theft” if you drive on the public roads? If someone were to murder one of your children, and you called the government police (Because legally you don’t really have any other choice, killing the perpetrator yourself might be justifiable, private courts are certainly more justified, but you don’t have that choice under the current laws) are you an “accompolice to theft”?

        As I said, I’ll be back later, really need to get to a class ATM, but I’m curious how you’d answer the above.

        • Sorry, I just noticed you already answered the roads question. As I said, I’m in a hurry ATM. So stick with the other question. Will hash all this stuff out later when I have more time.

        • Good stuff, David – I’m glad you’re talking my comments/replies in the spirit intended. My object here is intelligent discussion – hashing stuff out – not to insult you.

          Full disclosure: I am as guilty as anyone else of having, in my own life, made errors of omission and commission. My object now is to act on my awareness to try to make amends for that by not making the same mistakes in the future.

          Thus I do all I can to avoid partaking of “shabby lucre” – stolen goods. I never advocate for laws or “programs” that entail theft and violence against other people. I also try to help others directly – with my own time and resources – to the extent I’m able.

          And of course, I try to spread the proverbial word!

          • No worries, Eric. We need to have these sorts of conversations: we’ll never get anywhere if we’re too busy being unwilling to call people out for fear of being too “Harsh”. At the same time, let’s not forget that we’re on the same team with regards to this. We the same enemy, and that’s the State. I’m far from the best liberty apologist there is, but I try. And, although I don’t think voting is ALWAYS useless (Ron Paul was an extreme case where it was useful, Rand Paul might be a less extreme case) I generally agree that voting is NOT the method by which to change things. I can’t stand the “If you don’t vote you have no right to complain” crap. As if Romney and Obama were any different anyway…. In my world politics class, one student complained about people who didn’t take their hats off during “God bless America” (I was nice about it, but my inward reaction was something along the lines of “Are you kidding me”?) My teacher said that people who won’t even vote (implying that they didn’t care) bugged him more. I pointed out that Adam Kokesh was willing to go to PRISON to stand up for liberty, through civil disobedience, and that I have no idea who, if anyone, Kokesh voted for, and how it clearly didn’t matter. Kokesh did far more for liberty when he loaded that shotgun in DC than anyone ever has by voting.

            Regarding laws, the sad thing is that even laws that are righteous are still enforced by theft. A law against murder is a good thing, because murder is not a victimless crime and unlike victimless actions like using/dealing drugs, prostitution, gun ownership, or similar. Thus, it deserves punishment. But, its paid for by theft. Does that mean you legalize murder? Of course not, you can’t do that. Ultimately you have to abolish government so the market can figure those things out, but until then, the laws against murder are still appropriate. This is where libertarian principle starts getting fuzzy.

            Just wondering, and you might want to make a whole new post for this, but have you seen this: http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-11-18/dark-web-exposes-75000-bitcoin-based-bounty-bernankes-assassination and what was your reaction?
            I

      • “I agree you – and everyone else – is victimized by sales taxes. ”

        Damn right. Whuffo I gotta pay sales tax fo’ when I ain’t sold nothin? That’s some bullshit right there.

  40. Eric, I asked (With more detail) what is wrong with working for the government as such, as you replied by telling me all the reasons why government is inherently immoral.

    What you don’t understand is that I already agree with you on this. Governments are evil. All of them. I agree with that.

    I also agree that to take any job that requires the employee to violate the NAP as a feature of his job. As I said, that means most, if not all, police and soldiers. Or at the very least, it would be wrong to work in such a job if you cannot do so without violating the NAP, which I see as very likely to be the case.

    But let’s say someone works for government without violating the NAP . Let’s stick with a librarian, just as an example. Now, surely, public libraries shouldn’t exist, but since they do, as far as I see it, taking money from a thief (The government) does not make you yourself a thief. So the librarian is not necessarily an NAP violator by taking that job.

    Or consider roads (Since you like cars.) Surely roads should be privatized. Surely, government funded roads are theft. Yet you still drive on them. Is this “wrong”? If you didn’t do so, the roads would require less upkeep, and be less expensive. But no, I would say you aren’t doing anything wrong by taking money from the thieves.

    Or let’s forget government for a minute. Take, for instance, a mafia gang that has stolen money from all kinds of people (You and I both know the government might as well be a mafia gang, but let’s stick with the issue as it stands.) Is “stealing” money from the thieves wrong? I don’t believe so.

    Just out of curiosity, have you read this article by Walter Block?:

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/2011/03/walter-e-block/may-a-libertarian-take-money-from-the-government/

    Because he basically explains my position, and better than I can at that.

    • Hi Dave,

      You seem bright, so (and I mean no insult) I’m startled you’d write something like:

      “But let’s say someone works for government without violating the NAP

      (Italics added.)

      I just exhausted 1,000 words explaining that even if the work is benevolent, if the compensation is provided as a result of violating the NAP (that is, with money taken from people by force) then by definition you have violated the NAP. The only government work that would not violate the NAP would be work done without any compensation except that provided by freely consenting contributors. Moreover, anyone who did not wish to accept the “work” (services or products, etc.) would be free to do so without fear of violent reprisal.

      Can you name any government work that meets these criteria?

      Government cannot give away anything it hasn’t first taken from someone else. This cannot be evaded or euphemized.

      If you countenance theft, you have countenanced theft. It’s pretty clear cut. If it’s not yours – then it’s not yours.

      I respect Walter Block, but submit that he’s wrong in this case.

      Worse, his position amounts to quibbling. For us to be successful in mounting an ethical challenge to the wealth transfer state, we must both object to all forms of wealth transfer and abjure partaking of that which is not ours.

      I realize this may come off as strident and turgid. But, consider. Most of us are stridently and turgidly against making excuses for rape or murder. We denounce such as loathsome, ethically repellent actions.

      Why not also for theft?

      Especially in view of the fact that theft almost necessarily entails violence – including lethal violence?

      • The government has been stealing from me since I was 14y/o. What I will get back from them may not even equal what they took from me; but I will get some of it back, God willing and I don’t get hit by a truck.

        • Me too, Bobbye –

          However, I would happily forfeit any claim to future benefits – even though the amount taken from me is substantial – in return for not being forced to “contribute” a dime henceforth.

          Of course, they’d never “allow” that…

          • You’re right, they won’t “allow” that (I hate that word just as much as you do, for the record). So, if bobbye retires, and takes some of the Social Security money that was stolen from him, is he a thief? Is Ron Paul a thief for accepting it? Or Lew Rockwell? Walter Block? Basically everyone else on LRC?

            I don’t think so. Because again, they’re stealing from the gang. There’s nothing wrong with that.

            I understand they’ve turned money into a printing press, so nothing we do or don’t do can truly stop them from committing fraud on a mass scale. So I get that taking money from them doesn’t really slow them down in any way. But the basic principle remains. They are a gang of thieves. A gang of thieves has no right to anything it has. Thus, “stealing” from such a gang cannot be wrong. It might be wrong not to give it back to the owners, if you know who they are (With government you really don’t) but the action of taking money from thieves is not wrong as such.

            What am I missing here?

            • Where does the gang get its money, David?

              I think you know the answer.

              I hope Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell – who I believe are financially in a position to do so – elect not to accept Social Security. As I intend to – though I am doubtful this will even be on the table 30 years from now when I become eligible for benefits.

              I am more forgiving of people who are not financially in a position to forgo the money.

              Still, they are recipients of stolen goods – a fact, harsh as it may sound.

              Remember what your mom and dad told you when you were little? If it’s not yours, don’t take it.

              The fact that it’s just laying there – and doesn’t seem to belong to anyone – doesn’t mean you have a right to take it.

          • Oh “they” will “allow” it. You just have to know how to tell ’em.
            As this post clearly reveals, your thinking suffers under the assumption that we exist under a government that actually has the power to enforce a faculty tax system without apportionment. That is what they taught you and me in government schools, and what is thereby practiced by Boobus americanus far and wide. But it is just another big fat government lie that is propagated by the billion dollar industry that it created and the leviathan that created it during and after WWII.
            The income tax is an excise and was well understood as such by the American people up until the late 1920’s. It was also about this time that the German trained socialist political and public finance economists had infiltrated and influenced to a high degree the power positions in academia and governmental bureaucracies. The depression was an integral step in the psyop conversion from the privilege or benefit system of taxation, which recognizes the income tax as an excise or privilege tax, to the faculty or direct tax system myth. The vulnerablity of the lie or psyop is revealed in the law itself which clearly calls it out as a voluntary privilege tax and has done so for nearly 300 years (if you go back to its British Liberal origins).
            See Blackstone, Commentaries, Of the King’s Revenue. He describes such a benefit or privilege system of taxation as was cooked up during the Enlightenment period. It is based first and foremost upon consent. Privilege taxes do not violate the NAP. Don’t engage in the privilege, do not give consent to the tax.
            The haunting contradiction against which you eloquently rail, is in legal, constitutional reality just a psyop created myth that is just an institutionally installed bad habit that can be easily overcome by learning what has been intentionally withheld from your liberty seeking eyes/mind. This new found long-ago-established knowledge will then allow you to stand morally tall under the protective halo of the truth and the rule of law.
            Start here: http://losthorizons.com/Documents/TheTruthAboutThe16thAmendment.pdf

            • Hi Greg,

              I agree – however, you will probably agree with me that the state (and IRS) simply ignores the law and does whatever it wishes to do.

              They can “get” you anytime they like – and legal innocence is irrelevant.

              They can, for instance, simply seize your bank accounts. Or your home. And then it is up to you to negotiate their labyrinth to prove to their satisfaction that you are legally innocent of any wrongdoing (assuming they deign to hear you and are inclined to “give you a break).

              That’s the reality.

              Same thing as regards “driving” vs. “traveling.”

              In the real world, cops and courts will hassle you relentlessly if they catch you without the requisite permission slips; they will arrest you – and cage you. Who can afford to spend days in jail – and then days in court – over and over and over again?

          • “Me too, Bobbye – However, I would happily forfeit any claim to future benefits…”

            It seems to me that in order to remain consistent with your view on this subject, you *must* “forfeit any claim to future benefits…”

            You are not recovering stolen goods, you are stealing from a different group than the group that stole from you.

            In this, I make no statement about my view on the matter. I only look for clarification.

      • Eric, I don’t think the average person is uncompromising about rape and murder. Maybe you meant on this site, which is more likely, but in the real world, most people are quick to justify rape and murder if the government does them, or at least downplay it., I was talking to my dad about the whole “bitcoin assassination” thing, and saying that while I don’t agree with it and would not engage in it or encourage anyone else to do so, I was glad someone was finally doing SOMETHING about our tyrannical overlords. (I didn’t use those exact words, but that’s basically what I said.) I brought up the fact that my dad would agree that the death penalty for murder is justified (I agree with this, I believe death is the proportional punishment, although of course that would have to be up to the victim). So, if someone has killed thousands of innocents with drones, is his death truly “Horrifying” (his word) or is it just? Now, I agreed with him that Christ wouldn’t use that strategy and so as Christians, we (“we” meaning I, my father, and those who believe like us, in this case) shouldn’t either. I wasn’t condoning it. But to get him to think, I asked him which would horrify him more, a group of people contributing bitcoins for the assassination of someone who had killed thousands (You and I both know who we’re talking about here) or a drone being used to murder 31 people including an 8 year old girl by the government. His response was “They’re both horrible.” I don’t think I need to fill in the dots for you regarding how this response downplays the severity of government’s crimes. And my dad is not the typical red-state fascist or left-wing socialist either. He’s at least as libertarian as Rand Paul is, maybe even a little more so. (I understand you probably don’t support Rand Paul, but based on what I just said, you should be able to figure out about where my dad stands politically.)

        So, I’m guessing at LEAST 95% of America is MORE tolerant of government-murder than he is. Most people are NOT uncompromising against murder or rape.

        Now as for theft, I totally agree with you that theft is always wrong. I don’t think you’re “Strident” at all. I’m curious where exactly you get the idea that theft is absolutely wrong, since you’re an agnostic (Unless I misremember what I’ve read in the past.) I’m curious how exactly you could truly make a statement like that. But in spite of the fact that I’m not exactly sure if you have a consistent way of making the statement, I completely agree with it nonetheless. Theft is never tolerable.

        Public schools are evil. Public universities are evil. Public libraries are evil. Public roads are evil. Public police forces are evil. Public armies (Military: Army, Navy, Air Force, etc.) are evil. Public airport security is evil. Public firefighter departments are evil. Public hospitals are evil. Public drug rehab clinics are evil. I could probably think of more examples if I wanted to, but I think you get the point. I completely agree with you on the issue of theft, that it is never OK.

        Now, in three of these jobs (Police, Military, airport security) you have people who are given legal license to violate the NAP in order to do their job. Police can arrest drug users, gun owners, and other victimless criminals. The military is ordered to go all around the world and attack other countries. Airport security has invasive pat downs and porno-scanners imposed on the populace. Now, is it possible that an individual in those jobs MIGHT not be ordered to do these things? Maybe. But some will. So to take those jobs knowing what you might have to do would be wrong as I see it. Not simply because of the fact that they are public, but because the job ITSELF violates the NAP.

        Now, you say the librarian is violating the NAP by making her money off of theft. But I don’t really think that is the case in the way you say. What actually happens is that the government takes money from the population, and then the librarian (or hospital worker, or whoever) takes money from the government. Now, in this case, the transfer is arbitrarily declared “Legal”. In other cases it might not be, like if you snuck into a government vault somewhere (This is somewhat absurd, but it makes my point) and took some money. But what is the difference otherwise? In both cases, you have money being taken from an illegitimate entity, and I don’t see anything wrong with that.

        I also think your defending yourself when you drive because “You don’t have a choice” is kind of arbitrary. I don’t see how “Not having a choice” makes your actions moral. And its not really true either. Of course you have a choice. Maybe that choice is to sit in your home and starve to death, but its still a choice. If you were starving to death, would you justify stealing from your neighbor? You might do it, it would be understandable if you did, but would you justify it? If you’re a decent person, you wouldn’t. Even if you might be driven to that because you were hungry, you would still know this action isn’t OK. So if taking money from the government is actually “Stealing” in the conventional sense, you act immorally when you drive your car. I see no real way around this, if your ethical system is really true.

        This reminds me of a post on RPF where some posters were saying that if you submit to taxation, you are aiding and abetting the murder that the government commits. But that’s ridiculous, its blaming the victim. Inadvertently, I think they, as well as yourself, have fallen into the leftist “Everyone is guilty” game on this issue. Now, I don’t say this to attack you (Anymore than you attacked me when you said I aid and abet theft.) We are responsible for our own crimes. If the US Army invades Iraq and kills a bunch of people over there, they are responsible for that fact. The people who paid for the occupation because they were forced to are not. If the US Government steals property and builds a road, they are responsible for that. You aren’t responsible for their crime because you use the road (Regardless of whether your usage is “Legal” or not, it doesn’t matter.) If the government steals a bunch of money and rackets up the price of education through financial aid and public universities, they are responsible for that crime. I am not responsible by taking money from the thieves. If the government steals money to build a library, they are responsible for that. If I choose to take out a book, I am not guilty. If I return it late, and choose to pay the fine, I am not guilty. If I take a job at the library, I am not guilty, because who am I taking money from? Thieves. Whether the thieves consent or not doesn’t matter.

        Not that it proves the point, but I’m curious how many anarcho-capitalists would agree with you here, as compared to me. Again, not saying that that proves the point one way or another, but I’m honestly curious. I also seriously doubt that you don’t take ANYTHING from the government, even if you try not to.

      • The compensation is indeed a violation of the NAP. But who violated the NAP? The government. The librarian is not violating the NAP when she takes away from the thieves.

        • David, the librarian is violating the NAP because while he/she may be getting a paycheck written on the thieves account the money comes from people forced to pay taxes, not the individual thieves. By your example the man who hires a hit man is doing nothing wrong since he’s not actually pulling the trigger. The librarian in this example is knowingly taking blood money rather than, say, opening a book store and relying on people to pay her salary voluntarily.

        • This is evasive, as I see it.

          What would you say if I were to knowingly go to work for Tony Soprano doing honest car repairs? My work is not harming anyone; indeed it is helping people. But Tony is paying me with money he took by violence from his victims. If I am aware of that fact, am I not complicit in his crimes because I profit by them?

          How is this any different from accepting a paycheck from Uncle?

          My broader point is, enabling the system is the same as endorsing it. And thus, helping to perpetuate it.

          • I know exactly where the gang gets its money, Eric. They get it by stealing it. I’ve acknowledged that fact in every single argument I’ve made so far.

            If you knew you were working for a mafia member who was committing crimes against innocent people, the right thing to do would be to turn him in. But how do you do that when the mafia is operating LEGALLY? In that situation, you do what you have to do to “Stick it” to them as much as you can.

            BTW: Ron Paul and Lew Rockwell are on SS. For exactly the reasons I’m pointing out that it isn’t necessarily wrong to do so.

            Personally, history and political science are easily my best subjects, and that’s what I’m going for in college. If I could get a job as a public school teacher, I would absolutely take it. And I would use that as an opportunity to show students how much of what they’ve been taught is absolute BS.

            Do you really pay for the roads you drive on? How do you know the money from those taxes goes to the roads? And even if they do, some people pay more than they get or vice versa. Its the exact same problem you have with basically any other government program. The free market is more moral, and could do far better. But what do you do in the meantime, especially if you CAN’T get out of paying taxes? You take what you can, and educate everyone you can as to the immorality of the system.

            • Again, David – the “mafia” (government) does not force anyone to work for it (excepting prisoners, of course). Even the military is now all-volunteer.

              People have a choice. A real choice – as opposed to the false choice anti-Libertarians often trot out about government roads.

              I’m very disappointed to hear you’d choose to become a tax-feeder (and by the way, you’d have to “teach” what they tell you to teach. Good luck trying to disabuse your pupils of state propaganda). Why not choose to become a teacher at a private school? If you are competent, such opportunities exist – and they do not entail becoming a tax leech whose job depends directly on mulcting people in the community, forcing them to pay ever higher “assessments” on their homes to pay your salary and benefits.

              Please, don’t take this road.

              PS: Yes, I really do pay for the roads I use. Abundantly, I pay for them. I own eight vehicles – and pay a lot of money in motor fuels taxes, as well as personal property taxes and registration/title taxes. Motor fuels taxes are pay-as-you-drive user fees, which go directly to pay for road building and upkeep.

          • David, I have SEVERAL friends who are ex- or about to be ex-teachers. Everybody is going to cut their retirement or already has by getting out a year or two earlier than they would have liked to. Why? They don’t teach, can’t teach, are not allowed to teach. They can’t teach critical thinking, independence or even classes with real subjects. They teach to take a test, no matter the grade. The ones still left, all female, constantly complain about ALL their administrators(the worthless ones who do nothing but cause trouble and enforce govt. compliance)are female, not a good thing since every single one of them say the women have no guts, won’t stand up for them or anything good and let the spoiled little shits run over them as they desire to run over them.
            You think you’ll teach the kids to be anything but what it says in your curriculum, then you’ll be looking for another job quickly and have a black mark for not being a “team player” or be listed as a trouble maker, either one of which will severely limit your desire or ability to teach. Don’t take it from me. I can put you in touch with these people.
            Last year there was an incident in one school a friend was “teaching” in with some sort of crazy person inside and threatening. She locked the classroom door(not all have locks), got her kids behind her and stood by the window right beside the door someone could knock out, reach in and unlock the door. Later, she was admonished for having a knife, a lie, since she had a pair of scissors and was ready to stab anyone who broke the window and reached in. So much for trying to keep kids safe. Since then they have changed policy and unbeknownst to the students she carries a gun. I hate to think what would ever happen to her if she had to use it.

      • Eric,

        First, thanks for all of the great work that you do. However, I’m going to take issue with you here and try to put David’s thoughts in perspective.

        You write: “But let’s say someone works for government without violating the NAP” (quoting David)

        Then you write:

        “I just exhausted 1,000 words explaining that even if the work is benevolent, if the compensation is provided as a result of violating the NAP (that is, with money taken from people by force) then by definition you have violated the NAP”.

        (BTW, the great libertarian writer Wendy McElroy agrees with you).
        http://dailyanarchist.com/2012/08/08/the-third-rail-of-libertarianism/

        Now my two cents. Tax funded jobs are certainly not the only way one can receive “money taken from people by force”. Because the State has forcibly inserted itself into all aspects of human life, I contend that it is impossible for any person to avoid receiving at least some “money taken from people by force” in exchange for their labor.

        I own a small business and, if I were to eschew any “money taken by force”, I would have to pose a series of questions to my customers before I could agree to do business with them. It would look something like this:
        1) Do you receive your salary from government? If the answer is yes, I cannot accept your business.
        2) If no, do you work for a business that solicits government contracts of any kind? If the answer is yes, I cannot accept your business.
        3) If no, do you work for a business that solicits or accepts tax subsidies of any kind? If the answer is yes, I cannot accept your business.
        4) Do you work in an industry that lobbies for exclusionary licensing privileges? If the answer is yes, I cannot accept your business.
        5) Are you self-employed? If yes, do you ask all of your potential customers the above series of questions? If the answer is no, I cannot accept your business.

        The above list is by no means exhaustive, it is meant to illustrate the fact that it is impossible for any person who engages in economic activity to avoid receiving at least some money stolen by government in exchange for their labor. Wendy McElroy counters that “There is a distinction between receiving tax money in some form, which has become almost inevitable in our society, and actively *seeking* it out.” However, I don’t think this distinction is logically valid. I choose to be self-employed and run a small business. But, I know that a significant portion of the money I receive will have been “taken from people by force”. So, because I do not vet my customers as to the source of their money, I know that I am accepting at least some compensation “that is provided as a result of violating the NAP”.

        In light of the fact that all monetary compensation is tainted by State intervention, David, correctly, points out that there is a difference between a tax funded job that does not directly violate the NAP (librarian, teacher, etc…) and a tax funded job that does (prosecutor, soldier, police man, tax collector, etc…)

        The State is the aggressor. It has inserted itself into every aspect of human action. So much so, that it is impossible to avoid being contaminated in some way by it. The sad fact is that, even in the private sector, the compensation we receive comes, at least in part, from a violation of the NAP.

        As libertarians, we should not accept jobs that require the violation of rights. This is true for “private” jobs (Lloyd Blankfein is a much more egregious rights violator than your local librarian), as well as “public” jobs.

        Finally, to consciously limit ones job choices* and sphere of influence is not a repudiation of the State, but rather a capitulation to it.

        * with the above caveat

        Kind Regards,
        Jeremy Parfitt

        • Hi Jeremy,

          I agree that “… it is impossible for any person to avoid receiving at least some “money taken from people by force” in exchange for their labor.”

          But, there is a distinction between the unavoidable and incidental – the examples you list – and (per Wendy, per me) actively seeking other people’s money directly , as by seeking government aid or by taking a government job.

          You state your belief that this is not a logically valid distinction because all monetary compensation is tainted by state intervention.

          But this does not address the issue of actively seeking to live off others – knowing that’s what you’re doing.

          For me, the latter is key.

          Most people do not know. Most people have been propagandized very effectively. For example, the belief that they “paid in” to an annuity (SS) and that it’s their money. Of course, it’s not their money – and they have been reduced to the position of a man who got mugged mugging the next guy who comes along to make up for their loss.

          My position is that the system we have is never going away so long as people rationalize and euphemize their own taking advantage of it.

          When a person can’t say, ” I work for the government” (or the county or the state) without embarrassment – then we’ll have made some progress. When it becomes shameful to be on the dole again – then we’ll have made some progress.

          • Hi Eric,

            Thank you for responding. I understand the principle you are espousing (do not live off plunder), and I agree with it. Like you, I am self-employed. Like you, I will not accept a government job. However, I do not see a bright line “distinction between the unavoidable and incidental” (as you put it). I see a difference in degree, not of kind. You say the key difference is “actively seeking to live off others – knowing that’s what you’re doing”. However, I know many of my customers personally, and I know, with certainty, which of these work for government. Still, I “actively” seek out their business. Does not the principle apply in this case? If I know that a customer works for the government, should I refuse their business? If not, why not. In similar fashion, should you refuse to accept donations from people that you “know” work for the government, or receive money from the government (financial aid, grants, special privileges, etc…). If not, why not?

            As you have admitted, “it is impossible for any person to avoid receiving at least some “money taken from people by force” in exchange for their labor.” I will repeat, the State is the aggressor. It has made it impossible to engage in any economic activity that is “pure”. I do not mean to be offensive, but the distinction that you, and many others, make between accepting a government job and the “incidental” acceptance of plunder (through normal economic activity) is morally self serving and logically invalid. You argue that people who claim that “since state intervention in the economy is pervasive, it is unavoidable and therefore, it’s not a violation of the NAP to accept a government check or to work for the government, provided the work being done is not intrinsically wrong”, are merely setting up a straw man to “try to undermine the Libertarian ideal”. I am certainly not trying to undermine the Libertarian ideal. I see the above quote as a lamentable observation of reality, not as a straw man. Again, creating a bright line distinction between living off plunder directly (by accepting a government job), or indirectly (by knowingly accepting “plundered” money), seems to me to be an attempt to rationalize the inevitable conflict between “principle” and the reality of living under the State.

            It’s odd, because I agree almost completely with what you say. However, I still feel compelled to challenge the notion that accepting a job paid by taxes (as long as it does not intrinsically violate the NAP) is somehow more ethically wrong than, say, seeking a high level job at Goldman Sachs. Focusing criticism on the “immorality” of accepting a government job seems, to me, to divert attention away from the real enemy, which is the State.

            As for reading too much Walter Block, I believe that my position is distinct from his. He argues that when a libertarian seeks and acquires resources from government it is a positive good, because it removes resources from the State. I am not persuaded by this argument. I believe that, since all of us receive at least some “plundered” money, focusing ones’ moral appropriation on the people who accept a (non-aggressive) job paid by taxes (theft) is a morally self-serving distraction. Again, the real enemy is the State.

            Kind Regards,
            Jeremy

        • Jeremy, I think you’ve been reading too much Walter Block. The guy who accepts a government handout or job is receiving “money taken from people by force”. Anyone who sells him a good or service and gets that money in exchange is only accepting currency and has no connection to the receiving of stolen goods that the welfare witch or public jobholder is engaging in.

          • “Block’s position amounts to quibbling. I think he knows it, too.”

            Yep, that’s what makes him so unbearably tedious to me. I can’t read one of his little LRC Blog posts without falling asleep, let alone one of his 3,000 word articles.

          • Ed, I have read some of WB. It was good reading but the last year he’s been caught up in an academic feud with somebody. It’s boring and trivial, so much so, that like you, I can’t even read his articles any longer. It’s almost as if he’s creating his own strawmen to argue with.

          • Here is a side issue that demonstrates the issue: Blood Diamonds. How does the world view them? How do you view them.

            If you are opposed, then you should not take gov. money down the line.

            If you don’t care, well then, have at them.

            The argument of Blood Diamonds is the same you are describing here. I bring this up as it might shed some light on the issue from a different angle.

          • One point that I think is being overlooked is that money itself is tainted by the government. If you receive any Federal Reserve Notes, as opposed to gold or silver, you can be sure that a portion of them are counterfeit. Is that moral?

          • A blood diamond is any diamond that didn’t pass through the DeBeers’ cartel. That’s not to say there isn’t nastiness going on in some places in the world but the term is just something to convince customers from purchasing diamonds from sources outside the cartel.

          • “but the last year he’s been caught up in an academic feud with somebody. It’s boring and trivial, so much so, that like you, I can’t even read his articles any longer. ”

            Yeah, 8. You’re seeing what made me give up on him a good while back.

            About 6 years ago, he was posting these long exchanges of emails he had been having with some other egghead academic tedium king as if anyone gave a shit.

            That idiotic bullshit he tried to lay on the crowd who had come to support Ron Paul in Florida during the convention pissed people off and they booed his ass mercilessly.

            It was that “evictionist” argument in favor of abortion, which is based on some fantasy that an expectant mother has a right to evict a freeloading fetus. It bores me to tears to try to read his writng anymore.

            I can imagine him giving a talk and you can’t hear him for the noise of heads bonking on the floor as people pass out from ennui and fall out of their chairs. ahaha

    • People once they have established their career act to protect their way of life. This means once people are in government employment they act to keep getting what they get and often get more. Once upon a time the basic services that were incorporated into government, water, sewer, schools, etc weren’t too bad but over time these departments became institutions within government. To protect and grow, for more benefits for those employed with in them. But where do the resources come from? Taxes. So more and more plunder and less and less service.

      Sure we can all jump on the bus and take government jobs, welfare, etc until the whole thing fails, but to pretend there isn’t a violation of the NAP by the government to pay all this seems kind of silly to me. One can try to justify it by that government would steal it anyway and to get back something already lost…

      I don’t have much beef with these intellectual exercises but let us not pretend that the NAP isn’t being violated. When some government employee union demands more what they want is more plunder. Same with the government intellectual that does what he has to do to get ahead in his career. Both build the beast.

      Now if I were offered a government job with a big raise doing research that wouldn’t be used to kill people but help them, sure I’ll probably take it if there wasn’t something else I objected to. A lot of good can be done in this system, it’s not ideal, but things are the way they are. I wouldn’t delude myself about where my pay came from though, just aim return more value to even those who object to it than it cost them. But that’s a personal thing, an individual thing. So yes, there are good people in the system, but the system however isn’t good.

      Also silly is the idea that one can’t be ‘pure’ libertarian and use the roads. The only thing a pure libertarian can do in this interventionist system is kill himself and then even that probably has state intervention. The system is the way it is and people need to live so it becomes a matter of degree. But what is more silly about ‘well you use the roads’ is that roads are probably the best funded thing in government. They are almost entirely done by some form or user fee or another. The real problem is how monies are diverted from roads.

      • I mentioned the roads thing not because a libertarian can’t use the roads. I mentioned the roads thing because I thought Eric’s saying a libertarian CAN’T rightly take anything from the government, while still using the roads, is hypocritical. But that’s not my stance at all.

        • That’s just it, the tired old thing that a libertarian is a hypocrite for using the roads or simply living the way things are. I’m tired of hearing these absurd point that the only way a libertarian can be true is to live off the land in a cave or a cabin out in the woods somewhere miles away from so much as a road. It’s a distraction, not an argument. Just because the government has taken monopoly on so much and a person doesn’t like it should not mean that person does without. When the government fully takes over health care I suppose that means libertarians can’t see a doctor without being hypocrites.

          • And on the day the State finishes monopolizing health care, will doctors and nurses who continue to practice who were innocent of violating the NAP the previous day, suddenly be guilty of it? I have probably held the position that taxation is theft longer than most of the posters here have been breathing. I can agree with the position that holding a government job is a violation of NAP. However, I am not at all comfortable with the apparent assertion that there is a thin, bright, line in the flow of extorted funds where individuals on one side of the line are guilty of NAP violation and pure cooercion, and those one step over that line are perfectly innocent earners. That denies the fact that many huge corporatations with tens of thousands of employees rely 100% on the State for revenue, could not exist without it, and do everything possible to increase its power and scope. It also seems to ignore the huge reduction in employment opportunities engendered by a State that has monopolized a very large number of business activities. The ease of defining a set has a variable relation to its utility.

            • Vinny,

              This is a straw man argument.

              A person who has already spent years training to be a doctor or a nurse, who has worked for years in the private sector, whose profession is suddenly taken over by the government, is not even remotely in the same category as a person who freely chooses to become a government worker when other options are available.

              I’m startled you can draw any equivalence.

              Obviously if the government were to nationalize every form of employment, then meaningful free choice has been obliterated. In which case, one does what one must because one has no real choice. It’s not unlike the situation regarding the use of existing – and all-but-unavoidable – government-built roads.

              But this is not the same as choosing to become, say, a government school teacher. Or a bureaucrat.

        • Hi David,

          I think we’re on the same page!

          The straw man argument some people (not you) trot out to try to undermine the Libertarian ideal – this idea that “since state intervention in the economy is pervasive, it is unavoidable and therefore, it’s not a violation of the NAP to accept a government check or to work for the government, provided the work being done is not intrinsically wrong” must be challenged.

          Because it is avoidable. At least to some extent – and in some very significant ways.

          There is still a great deal of choice open to us. I choose, for example, to earn my living outside of government employment. And I would not accept a government job, were it offered to me.

          This choice is open to almost every person. Therefore, it strikes me as fair to criticize people who choose to work for the government – in any capacity. And to criticize those who do so knowing full well the nature of the transaction (as in your case).

          What I am talking about is an evolution in ethical awareness.

          It will take time – and I am full cognizant of the fact that it will take time to wean people away from a system that has been generations in the making.

          But we’re not going to make progress so long as even people like us – who are fully aware of the nature of the con – don’t try to actively disassociate ourselves from it and encourage others to do likewise via ethical persuasion.

          • I think you and Jeremy both make valid points. I’m still thinking this through to a certain extent.

            I think the most important aspect here is that we should all recognize, whatever we do take from the government in any way, whether it be using the roads (And yes, I know you pay for them via motor fuel taxes, but its still FORCED, its not a voluntary exchange) or receiving a paycheck in a non-NAP violating job (Based on the definition Jeremy gave) or taking SS or whatever, you are not “Entitled” to this. If a libertarian decides to take SS, he should recognize that he is not “Entitled” to this money just because he paid in, and he should clearly state that he believes that it should be abolished, ASAP (Which means “immediately” if possible.) As I mentioned, I think Ron Paul misses the mark a little bit here, because he talks about “phasing out” social security, and while that might be a political necessity, the moral thing to do is to eliminate the theft as soon as it possibly can be eliminated, even if that does involve some suffering. That’s tough, but that’s the moral thing.

            I’m not sure I see a difference between “actively” or “passively” seeking out stolen money, per the case you present. The way I see this, the State already stole the money. Taking it from them is less bad than letting them keep it. So I don’t have a problem with a libertarian who takes government money as long as they recognize that the fact that those handouts exist in the first place is illegitimate, and seeks to have them abolished.

            Also, in some cases I think there are people who have no choice but to take welfare (Well, I guess there’s also the false choice of dying) precisely BECAUSE of government intervention in the economy. So there’s another double whammy there as well.

            How exactly is Block’s position “quibbling”? You and Ed both said that, but neither of you really explained why. And no, I don’t agree with him on every issue either.

      • “The only thing a pure libertarian can do in this interventionist system is kill himself and then even that probably has state intervention.”

        Good one, Brent. These long, drawn out discussions of “pure libertarianism” are tedious as shit to me.

        ‘ Oh, what’s a pure libertarian to do?’

        • Dear Brent, Ed,

          Re: “pure” libertarian debates

          Beyond a certain point, it is counterproductive.

          Speaking only for myself, as long as an individual is sincere about the NAP and does his utmost to adhere to it, that’s good enough for me.

          The mixed economy traps many libertarians in dilemmas. My take is that the fault lies with the non-libertarians who set up the trap, not the libertarian.

          Discerning who is actually sincere about the NAP may involve difficult judgment calls. But the principle should be clear enough.

          I hope my statement was clear and doesn’t provoke a rash of misinterpretations.

  41. Direct democracy — i.e., mob rule — is the worst tyranny of all. In a conventional tyranny, at least there is a single despot, or a small group of them, so when the people finally get fed up, at least they know whose heads to go looking for. But in our system, we’re basically ruled by the cities, with their unending demands for more bread and more circuses. And who is the oppressor? It’s the millions and millions of tax suckers who live in the cities. Whether they’re “civil servants” or welfare queens, the result is the same. They believe they’re entitled to what the other half of the country earns honestly, and they’ll raise hell if they don’t get it.

    The Founding Fathers were right to fear mob rule. Unfortunately, they needed to do more to defend against it than simply establishing the Electoral College, etc. But then, would it have mattered what they did? They provided states the option of secession, after all, and we all know what happened when that right was exercised. The mob will not be ignored, and if that means “reinterpreting” the law, then so be it.

    • Direct democracy would allow each individual citizen to vote as to whether the government would bail out banks, go to war in Iraq, give billions to Israel, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, build windmill farms ect. The idea that the results would be worse than the current system shows that you are not thinking.

      • “The idea that the results would be worse than the current system shows that you are not thinking.”

        No, it shows that he’s thinking it all the way through. Democracy is really a terrible form of government. The reason is that it’s very easily subverted by fraud. The result of any initiative on which everyone voted would be decided not by the number of votes, but by the crooked cocksuckers who announced the final count.

        Another problem with the direct democracy deal is that anything could be proposed and voted on. You have your vote on whether the banks get bailed out. Next up a referendum on whether or not to kill all the readheads, or black people or NASCAR fans, or…….

        Everything is suddenly up for a vote, including whether or not to cornhole you or me. Nah, bad idea. Think of something else.

          • True, Robert. What would really worry me is that my neighbors would get together and vote to have my ass throwed in the electric chair or some shit.

            I have pissed off a lot of people, y’know.

          • Republic–two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for dinner.
            The lamb owns an AR.

            Which is precisely why we’re a Republic–there are absolute constraints on what the “law” can do, and it cannot deprive anyone of life or property unless they’re the aggressor.

            Goes back to Magna Carta and Common Law.

            But we’ve forgotten. And the founders made a crucial mistake–they still thought minarchy could work long-term.

            It’s the cruelest trap because it works so well…for a while. And while it’s working, it creates the richest, most prosperous nation on earth–ripe for the picking. The jackals outside the campfire circle see the feast inside, and bide their time.

            When the campers have feasted and drunk their fill of mead and lie in repose–the jackals attack.

          • @Ed:
            I know where to get insulated undies, if it gets to that. 😉

            Nothing more likely to piss them off than trying to fry you repeatedly – and you sit there and laugh. 😀

      • Actually Bobbye, the results of representational government mimic direct democracy well enough to support the premise that we most certainly would be no better off. To paraphrase Madison, a democracy’s death is as violent as its life is short. To postulate that the current crop of “publik skule” addled masses would make wiser decisions in public affairs than they do in their private lives is ludicrous. And that’s putting aside the all too numerous lessons history has to teach on the subject of government. The best situation (aside from anarcho-capitalism) is to have as small a government as possible, doing no more than it absolutely must, with as little of the people’s money as possible. The trouble is ambitious people invariably come along with all these wonderful ideas of what “government shoud be doing” and set about gathering support to rob their neighbors to implement their grandiose plans. And it grows and grows like a cancer on the land until it dies along with its host. It matters not what name you call it by, be it socialism, a republic, a theocracy, a monarchy or even “direct democracy.” The end result is always the same; widespread corruption, expeditionary warfare, mercatilism (crony capitalism) and tyranny. If you genuinely believe this present generation is better than that, you need to have ’em check your meds.

        • I wasn’t advocating for ‘direct democracy’ as a ‘state’ system, because I do not advocate for any government. But in a community without government, direct democracy is how the community decides things. Since there is no monopoly of force and no theft it does well. People vote and freely give to do whatever projects are decided.
          Even in our present federal system the results would be better though. Out of 100 million votes, it is unlikely that the vote would be to kill Ed and steal his stuff, don’t think that would even come up for a vote. More likely that welfare as we know it would be eliminated. Even in Amerika, I think most people would decide better than our elite masters who are just buying votes. I think most of your neighbors are better than you give them credit for.

          • “I think most of your neighbors are better than you give them credit for.”

            I know they are. I was making a joke about them voting to have me ride Ol’ Sparky.

            It’s not how my fellow Merkins would vote that’s worrisome. It’s the way that voting is falsified in elections already, and how much worse the count rigging would probably be if there were referenda on policy.

            Picture it: in ’08 House members were being bombarded by constituents telling them that there should be no bank bailouts at all. The bailout was killed at the House level where all such bills have to originate. What happened? The Senators illegally originated a similar bill in the Senate and passed it over to the House. We got stuck with the bailout anyway.

            With “direct democracy” They wouldn’t even fear any constituent resistance, they would just trot out a referendum, falsify the vote count and blame the bailout on the voters. The elite masters would still get their way.

            Also, if your direct democracy idea was adopted for federal policy, states and local governments would subscribe to it, too. Then there sure ’nuff could be a county vote to send me to the electric chair. My ass would be doomed.

          • Bobbye – Let me get this straight: “in a community without government, direct democracy is how the community decides things. Since there is no monopoly of force and no theft it does well.” Alrighty then. Democracy, direct or otherwise (?) is by definition a form of government. It may be a smaller form of government at the local level as you propose, but when people get together in the community and vote on “whatever projects are decided” a goodly portion of the populace are not going to “freely give” and the project will be dead in the water. Then someone will come up with a coercive method of extracting wealth from the neighbors. Cite one historical example where this wonderful Utopian idea of yours has succeeded. Give us just one example, I’d love to read about it, educate me.
            Oh, and I have considerably less faith in my neighbors than apparently you or even Ed does. I’ve seen how many of them (mis)manage their personal affairs. They won’t perform public functions any better and invariably the natural leaders in the community (many of them psychopaths) will organize the common sheeple into groups, and to make a long story short, you’ll end up with the same system that you have now or worse. The key problem is that humans are involved Bobbye. Humans tend to be hungry, thirsty, lazy, horny, opportunistic, deceitful, vengeful, jealous and greedy as a breed. And even the if majority were compassionate, caring, generous and benevolent, you’d still have enough of the “unredeemed” to spoil the whole show. Or Eric as so aptly points out, one spoon full of feces in a gallon of ice cream ruins the whole thing.
            So far, the concept of a Constitutional Republic came about as close as anything to working to protect the individual’s rights. That is, of course, if you overlook the abuse of the rights of American Indians, Negroes, Chinamen, Czechs, Slovaks, the Irish, Catholics, women and Mormons to name but a few. But even protecting the individual rights of landed and wealthy WASPs was over and done with by 1860. And the needless war that settled the might make right issue in the USSA, was in no small part driven by WASPs against other WASPs. Go figure. Once again do you honestly believe our contemporaries are somehow morally superior to their ancestors? That they’re better than the countless generations of bloodthirsty, self-righteous, nosy busybodies that history chronicles over and over again? What planet are you from again?

          • “Oh, and I have considerably less faith in my neighbors than apparently you or even Ed does. ”

            I remember your description of your “neighbor from hell”. That was worse, even than my “neighbor from hell”. Mine finally got drunk and managed to kill himself by driving into a tree. Since then, my neighbors are cool, those that I have left at this point.

        • This is why I state the problem isn’t governments, corporations, or entities per se, it’s the people. As long as we have a godless society, everything people are involved in is going to be awful.

          As for government jobs … stealing is stealing, doesn’t matter which part of the government trough you’re feeding from. That’s why the government continues to perpetuate. A lot of people disagree with what some part of the government does. But most of them in one way or another benefit from it and are unwilling to give up that part. You get enough people like that and everyone wants to keep something.

          And since politicians are, for the most part, not there for the betterment of this country, but for the betterment of their wallet and ego, they’ll do what pleases their “constituents”.

          The people get what they ask for and deserve, usually not realizing the deserve part until too late.

          Again we get back to the godless society.

          • “This is why I state the problem isn’t governments, corporations, or entities per se, it’s the people. As long as we have a godless society, everything people are involved in is going to be awful.”

            The problem is that people cling to the superstitious belief that some people have the legitimate right and authority to rule others.

          • WRT “godless society” as a concept of what’s wrong…it’s worth noting that more murder, mayhem and general bad behaviour has been done in the names of various gods than can be counted easily. In fact, theocracy has about the worst record against individual liberty out there. The problems are there exactly because people banded together in groups like governments, corporations, churches etc. invariably end up using coercion to force their ideas, values, desires etc. on the unwilling. Every time I hear some self-proclaimed “libertarian” bringing religion into the discussion I just have to either chuckle or shake my head at the irony…..

          • Dear Charles,

            You wrote,

            “As long as we have a godless society, everything people are involved in is going to be awful. ”

            The antithesis of a “godless society” is a “god-ruled society.” It is also known as a theocracy.

            Mankind has been there, done that. The Spanish Inquisition. The Salem Witch Trials. The sundry “Islamic Republics” under Sharia Law.

            Thanks, but no thanks.

          • Guiseppe, Hell, I had no idea until a couple days ago I couldn’t understand shit about the universe unless I was praising geezus and doing analytical, no wait, that was just plain calculus in my spare time.

            Of course an old trucker like me never took any advanced math courses going for my ME.

          • Dear lberns,

            “The problem is that people cling to the superstitious belief that some people have the legitimate right and authority to rule others.”

            Correct.

            And one of the most often cited pretexts for ruling others is the theocratic premise that “sinners” must answer to whatever “god” the superstitious authoritarian prays to.

            That “god” may be religious or secular. As Hans Hoppe correctly noted, “democracy” is also a “god,” one that failed.

          • Bevin,

            I agree a theocracy is not an answer.

            8,

            Sorry to hear you never applied yourself other than behind a steering wheel. For a while there I thought maybe you might be a higher level thinker, considering you were interested in people like Tesla, But sadly I’m disappointed. I’m not sure why as I said athiest are adolescent know it all that like to flail around and get upset and throw insults whent they don’t have a resonable answer for how the world works.

            And my statement has nothing to do with religion it has to do with concepts. I sure would have liked an athiest that could argue infinite verus finite, one time big bang versus steady state and how that relates to an intelligent universe. Or someone as an athiest who has seen the miracles of the intelligence engineering wise behind all the simple things simpletons think they see. I bet you’d probably call me a liar if I told you that adding heat insulation tape on a pipe can increase the heat transfer out of pipe not necessarily decrease it? Call me a liar but sometimes commonsense doesn’t cut it.

            But it seems all I hear about is your truck driivng experience, which sadly is no answer at all when you can make broad insults about people who know something more than you. I know many intellectual truck drivers that take great delight in conversing the metaphysical connected to physical. So your profession is no excuse for your intellectual temper tantrums and simpleton proclamations.

            I suppose it shouldn’t disappoint me much really that an athiest gets all shit out of luck denying higher level mathematics. IMost athiest are just like you dogmatic scientific wizards and supremist, until someone challenges their limited views as such.

            It must really bend your out of shape that Newton wrote treatises about revelations and evil people and oh yes God. BTW he predicted that evil people would be about right now in this time frame and shit I thought he only figured out why an apple fell to earth and satellites. He was doing all that metaphysical religious conjecture that when he wasn’t writing the modern calculus, studying light as corpuscles, and oh yes the theories that make your truck run down the road. Heck it must really bother you that just about all fantastic scientific revolutionist believed in God? So much for being logical and advanced athiest. Then it just becomes obvious that they are just like you a closed minded zealot. Just as closed minded as the bible thumpers who go to church and don’t know a thing about any morality or what they just had just read. Its called lacking comprehension and its a pity.

          • Hot Rod, you took me to task over not being an advocate of Jesus and Christian doctrine. I never said a higher power couldn’t exist, only that the Christian thing didn’t work for me. Unlike you, it’s still a mystery to me. Way too complicated for me to ascribe it to a “single god in the sky”.

            Have your cake….and eat it too!

          • Bevin,

            So anyway I thought about your consideration of God and “theocracy”, and I have to say that theocracy is a religious political system and more a political sytem not necessarily a belief system. So by the same token I could say that Stalinism is atheism, and we know how awful that was and we have tried that already so lets ditch atheism. But what if the answer is about exploration as individuals and nothing to do with political systems as in theocracy or atheist government. What if we are do as we are doing now and throw out all the logic of why or why not to believe in a God. Make our case and then move on. I’m actually happy to convert nobody to my belief, I’m very content and happy as such but freely share what works for me and what I’ve observed in my life. You seem to be doing ths same.

            Its not about making someone convert to Christinaity or Atheism by force, even if we as individuals have every right to reason and even promote our beliefs freely. I think Charles isn’t saying that just because people are getting evil that they need a theocracy to fix them. He’s saying that morality is hard to explain much less apply with atheism as a belief system. And that is the truth. I mean isn’t that why atheist such as yourself promote anarchy is because you don’t believe in any belief system being pushed on others?

          • Dear HR,

            My own mother is a Christian. A late convert, after my younger brother’s death from a mountaineering accident on Mt Hood, Oregon.

            When I condemn the major organized religions, including Christianity, the adherents as such are not my target. The belief system is.

            I have no doubt that my condemnation of the belief system itself makes them “collateral damage.” But I offer no apologies. After all, I am not violating the NAP through verbal condemnation of a belief system.

            I actually have no problem with religious faith qua religious faith. My only concern is the dangerous correlation between religious faith and sundry Crusades and Jihads.

            It is possible to be a religious libertarian who genuinely respects the NAP. Ron Paul is one example.

            But my experience has been that statistically speaking, devout religionists are predisposed to allowing their religious faith trump others’ individual liberty, on the premise that a “higher authority” is involved that overrides others’ natural rights.

          • Dear HR,

            Our posts crossed paths.

            Charles used the term “god.”

            Had he substituted “the NAP” or “morality” or “ethics” or “The Golden Rule” I would have said “Amen to that!”

            An objective code for human conduct cannot be equated with subjective religious faith. The former has a rational basis and hence legitimacy that the latter simply does not have and can never have.

            I doubt even theologists would claim otherwise.

          • 8,

            I did not take you task for not being Christian. I said that Christ is my big brother and I choose to follow his lead because I find him briliant in his explanations. I claimed him as a brilliant leader.

            As a matter of fact I think you believe everyone that suggest that Christ was brilliant must be a missionary trying to convert you to the church of Christ? I mean that is silly. I don’t even go to church. I simply like the guy and his brilliant leadership and if I quote him like I do Tesla its because I see them both as extraordinary men, brothers, and also Godly. And I too 8 believe there is something eery but unexplainable behind the world. Isn’t that why guys like us love Tesla? That’s how I feel about the intelligence in this world, the beauty of Christ and his metaphysical explanations as well. But I understand where you’d think anyone who mentions Christ is an Apostle Paul pusher.

            Let it be known that I’m not trying to convert atheist or agnostic on here to mine, I’m simply trying to converse with like minded people. If a Christian happens to like what I say and vice versa then we can talk and agree, but if others start stomping around mad at what I believe then let it be known that I’m going to ask them to defend their undefendable position too. If atheist get offended because I point the obvious out like why they should believe in morality if there is no universal force of judgment (call it natural or divine law) then I don’t know what to say to them that won’t offend their sensibilities. Why they think 10 commandments would mean shit or even morality alone without something behind the scenes, I just give up on them if they are taht myopic that they can’t give me a resonable answer. I think the best answer I heard from atheist about morality is because love exists and they wouldn’t do anything to hurt someone especially if they loved them. Great then love should be something that is tangible to the scientist in them, but it is not just like all the other intangibles they deny. Heck for a second there I thought only atheist had the right to make fun of other’s who believe differently then them. My pardon for challenging their limited world view too. But anyway don’t fret the differences 8, I don’t care if you like what I always say and vice versa. We can still be civil even if we don’t see eye to eye.

            Regards,
            HR

          • Bevin said
            “I actually have no problem with religious faith qua religious faith. My only concern is the dangerous correlation between religious faith and sundry Crusades and Jihads”

            Yeah I agree I don’t know what is more scarier. A hypocritical moral busy body or an amoral relativist, it seems that our current political system has both. Do these things wraps around the mobius strip so that the extremes meet each other at the same place? Again I don’t deny those cases you stated are definitely disgusting, but extremism is always dangerous. Take athiesm for example, what about the bolshevism. When one distills it down atheism is not a new concept, its as old as its alternative. I believe extremist materialism in Indian philosophical religion (I’ve always liked studying Indian proofs of God) is basically the same belief and its been around much longer than the current incarnation in western philosophy. But take a look at what fanatical madmen athiest have done with it in recent in that 60 million people died in USSR from a sect that punished belief in anything but their athiest (no God) religion? And atheism sadly is a religion, belief, philosophy, and faith no different than its counterparts that it so wants to purge with ridicule. Those are 60 million dead by atheist are huge numbers compared to historiical religous wars and I agree that Stalinism isn’t a purital atheistic viewpoint but mixed with all kinds of other strange birds, every find it funny how Stalinism/Bolshevism was so disliking of a God but also hated materialis? Too weird.

            That kind of made it nihilism as in the belief that traditional morals, ideas, beliefs, etc., have no worth or value. Including to material weath as in materialism. I believe that if a man is going to be an atheist he better sure as hell be a constant unwavering materialist though, otherwise he’s just floating in a void of nothing with no firm anchor. Again, though the atheist I have met seem to be nihilist in that they basically hate any discussion relating to morals, extraordinary ideas, and beliefs. This is why by the way they don’t make good inventors and scientist because in fact its belief in the extraordinary that compels a man to greater lengths of risk taking and buring desire to understand.

            Another personal example I have of an athiest is a father that excommunicated his son for marrying a JW Christian. Tell me that isn’t just a dogmatic as a man that brainwashes his kid to read the bible ever Sunday under the guidance of a pedophile? I guess I was the lucky one when it came to religion, my parents just allowed us as kids to study and believe anything that suited us. I therefore carry no overburden of disgust towards Christianity that some others have experienced. One particular athiest I knew (very smart man) told me he came from a baptist family where everything was a sin including dancing. It made him rather hardened to the whole atmosphere such he came to conclude that nothing was a sin.

            Now this is my opinion but I believe that aside from all the labels people come down to either wanting to know more how the world works or they don’t. So for me that see’s this world materially as an extension of a God, I personally savor understanding why it works and feel closer to it by searching and seeking. To me it makes no difference then if you have an athiest putting his head dogmatically in the ground or a bible thumper. I’ve even conjectured in my own mind that given enough study (its like meditation) of this universe that it gets very hard to deny the accident theory, and so with a bit of searching I think we are all going to find something we agree on and not disagree. A concept that doesn’t sell itself on its own merits, frankly is a crappy concept. And I believe that many atheist are doing the same thing I”m doing in that they are learning how this world works, everyone keeps an open mind and it might very well be that the acute, sincere, and curious athiest is the prodigal son, while the ones in clergy suits will be told that they are not known because they simply didn’t look to search.

            Bevin also said,
            “But my experience has been that statistically speaking, devout religionists are predisposed to allowing their religious faith trump others’ individual liberty, on the premise that a “higher authority” is involved that overrides others’ natural rights.”

            Again this is a trait of extermist doctrine and callous disregarding of information that doesn’t fit their belief system. Its is a constant of all bullies in all philosophies, belief and religions. I agree Ron Paul fits the NAP but so do you so I have no qualms with you.

            I’m done with this philosophical discussion, though its been fun anyway.

          • Wow. Long thread.

            And interesting; I’ve come nearly full-circle, from no faith, to dogmatic faith, to little faith, to no faith, to curiosity…and back to a basic belief in monotheism.

            It comes from two realizations–first, we’re largely clueless about the universe. For all our patina and pretensions at knowledge of cosmology, in the words of a fine philosopher–we know jack-shit.

            The more I’ve studied science the more miraculous the whole thing seems; and of course there’s the anthropogenic principle, the “Goldilocks Universe”, the multiverse, yadda yadda in an infinite multiverse a subset infinity of universes will be suited to life…

            Tedious arguments. At the end of the day, I’ve ceased to believe we’re an accident. The engineering’s too perfect, too unlikely; the universe is unnaturally orderly.

            And the brain! Ray Kurzweil and his dizzy groupies might have bought into his (desperately projected) fantasy of reductionist computer-mind equivalence; but anyone who’s studied the brain in some depth can see the fallacy of the comparison. It’s looking more and more like it’s a quantum computer.

            Think about the implications! Quantum entanglement allows particles separated by light-years to undergo simultaneous phase shifts–instantaneously. Could it be that our consciousness really is a small local manifestation of a sea of consciousness spanning the universe?

            The second way I came back to a belief, ironically, has been the past five years’ study of the sheer magnitude, cunning, and premeditation of the evil that is taking over the world. No human family carries on a plan for one hundred, two hundred, or three hundred years; yet that is exactly what one sees when studying the families that rule this world. How is it that plans launched 230+ years ago in Bavaria by (among others) Adam Weishaupt now come to fruition?

            And how is it that the same evil–complete in its manifestation with a crescendo into hellishness, with pedophilia and child sacrifice–happens in every rotting empire at the peak of its decadence and power?

            I agree that organized religion has been turned into a weapon, psy-op, and pacifier by the PTB. But it doesn’t merit rejecting the underlying principle or missing out on what may be the most important realization in one’s life.

          • Dear meth,

            My own position on the source of obvious order in the universe?

            It is not the result of “design” by an anthropomorphic deity called Yaweh, God, or Allah. That is a non-solution that merely forces one to ask “So where the hell did the anthropomorphic deity come from?”

            The anthropomorphism is a reflection of an emotional need for a reassuring paternalistic ruler. “The Lord is my shepherd… ”

            Instead, I subscribe to the notion that the universe itself was a living organism from the very outset. It is akin to an acorn that becomes an oak. The Big Bang and the Big Crunch are the start/finish line in the life cycle of the cosmic acorn/oak.

          • @Bevin–

            Sure; and in that system, I could still say we’re a quantum consciousness…a spark of individuality in a sea of consciousness that spans the universe.

            I don’t know, not for sure.

            All cosmologies suffer the “but what was before that?” problem. And they all offer the same basically unsatisfying variations of “it was always” or “it’s cyclical”

            Yeah, but what was before?

            Dunno.

            What I’ve become convinced of is:

            I’m not an animal.
            I’m not deterministic.
            I have free will.
            I’m not a biological android.
            I’m not my body.</blockquote

          • Dear meth,

            The acorn/oak analogy is far from perfect. It’s merely one aspect of the universe, as I see it.

            It’s not incompatible with individualism and autonomy, because the universe is not billiard balls on a billiards table. Instead, it is hierarchically organized.

            The acorn/oak is simultaneously a vast sea in which individual fish swim. They each have their own brains/minds. They may choose to swim in schools, or they may go their own way.

            The fallacy of statism/collectivism is its refusal to respect the underlying nature of the individual human being, which has evolved to the level where it absolutely requires autonomy to survive and thrive. The human being is not an ant or a bee. Or for that matter, the “Borg.”

            Complex subject cosmology. Not easy to unpack in a comments section!

          • “The antithesis of a “godless society” is a “god-ruled society.” It is also known as a theocracy. ”

            Bevin, I think that a theocracy is a state ruled by people using religion as their pretext for ruling over others. Theocracy has little to do with God, but much to do with control.

          • Methyl:

            “religion has been turned into a weapon, psy-op, and pacifier by the PTB. But it doesn’t merit rejecting the underlying principle or missing out on what may be the most important realization in one’s life.”

            I agree and so has science. Anything that reaps good fruit, there the false prophets will come to steal the message. The problem is that bible thumpers tell us that he bible is infallible. Maybe it is and maybe it isn’t. I’m the kind of person who likes to think subjectively and objectively on the bible. For example in Christian faith there is parable of how when the farmer slept that the enemy sowed tare into the field. I’ve always felt that evil will always try to inseminate its falsity into everything, and even Christ himself stated that the Anti-Christ (his opposite) was already there to distort his message. So why do the Christians seem shocked that the church itself is corruptible by the enemy?

            To me the Anti-Christ (somebody of opposite polarity and message than Christ) isn’t necessarily a demon as in Satanic. it’s rather an individual that is so corrupt, so raised into falsity and lies that up is down and down is up. Basically an antiparticle of good and truth. Corruption wants to reproduce itself just like good and truth does.

            So again I believe that judgement by fruit bearing is the only thing we can do, including messages conveyed in the bible. Does an author in the bible bear truth, or does he negate, alter, mitigate a more wiser author author or does he shed new light? Does the follower of a particular message bearer in the bible bear good fruit and truth? In the end I’ve concluded that not all in the bible is perfect, but that is my opinion. PTB injected their tare? Probably, too irresistable to them. But like you there is a something uncorruptable below all the surface, some message that is undeniable. And when one embraces materialism as truth of God, that the laws of the physical universe are his laws then we see not just he beauty of its self correction but also its system of accoutability. Some of this applies meta-physically and verifies the authors of the bible. And therefore we see an alignment of who or what is truth and who is liars. Easy to separate the tare from the wheat, with simple explorative truthfull searching using logic of God.

            As another note I got to thinking more about what I said about the parable of the prodigal son being the “materialist athiest”. I do mean “materialist athiest” as if a man is a materialist he is concerned only of worldy physics and material wealth building/growth. Versus a “nihilist athiest” who basically is an amoral -moral relativist. The “nihilist athiest” bascially does not believe in morality, mores, or tradiiton and his attitude is that nothing matters neither here nor a there. In my opinion the “nihilist athiest” is pretty much damned to illogical degeneration. Whereas the “materialist athiest” is the prodigal son of the parable. You see because if God is infinite and everything, then this material world and its studying is the same. Therefore a man that is a materialist athiest is searching. Searching for the truths of the world, and in the end he will find the truth he is searching and return to the father (God). Heisenberg and Darwin were from what I have discovered both prodigal sons. Heisenberg stated that they started out trying to prove the existence of the universe on fundamental truths without a God, but that they came full circle. Darwin as well disclaimed his own conjectures of atheism. But there is another reason that the “materialist athiest” is the prodigal son and I quote another source here of Bryan Drake:


            The Prodigal Atheist: Borrowing from God to Disbelieve in Him

            Funny enough I was listening to a pastor preach on the parable of the Prodigal Son tonight. I noticed something in the story that I have never really thought of before. The younger son when leaving his father basically tells him that he’s better dead than alive. He tells his father he can’t wait for him to die, but rather wants his inheritance now.

            Funny enough the father is a clear picture of God, and something I haven’t pieced together before is that the younger son is much like the atheist or naturalist who claims outrage at evil in the world, who clings to logical truths, yet doesn’t believe that God exists. They want the things that God has to offer. Justice, love, reason, morality, good, etc. but don’t want to grant that the source exists.

            You say so what? The point is that the son wants all the riches of the father, yet wants nothing to do with him. In fact the son would live as if the father is dead. This is how the atheist cuts his own feet out from under himself. By showing outrage at injustice they are automatically asserting that there is some form of objective justice or morality. This however cannot come from a naturalistic worldview. After all science alone can only tell what is, not what ought to be. Therefore when the atheist makes a claim such as, “Slavery in the Bible is immoral” he has no ground to stand on. He has taken from the father the riches and things that benefit him, yet chooses to live as if the father is dead. On naturalism there is no basis for morality, for justice, for reason. Things just are.

            So to say that something ought to be a certain way after all is just one higher primates molecules firing one way or another without any true dignity of humanity. However if the Father does exist…if He is alive, then all of these things have a purpose and a meaning.

            Borrowing from theism to try and refute it is just like telling the father you want his riches, but want him dead.

        • TPTB say that we are not smart enough to decide for ourselves how to spend our time and money, but plenty smart enough to vote for those who know better than we do. How does that logic work?

          • Philip the Bruce – Apparently that logic works pretty well for the PTB. After all, we spend a good deal of our time laboring for inflated fiat currency that they steal from us from the time we earn it, each step of the way as we spend it and then once more is we invest it and make any gains. The sad part is that the masses continue to vote for either the Red side or the Blue side of the thieves guild, apparently never realizing (or perhaps living in a willful delusion) that its all the same house. When I confront my fellow Amerikans with the truth of the false dichotomy / fascist regime we toil under, they often try to shout me down (since they can’t come up with a valid counter argument). Some folks go “Yeah, you’re right man”, but two days later they’re back to bitching about Team Red or Team Blue. The truth isn’t real popular from what I’ve seen.

          • Because TPTB controls the messages. Daily overloads to your ears and eyes with enough BS classified as “news”, and then present you with the “two experts” telling what to think about any topic. The sheep will eventually move in their red/blue direction out of habit and training and never think a third way. It has been that way since William Randolph Hearst created the model :

            ” American newspaper publisher who built the nation’s largest newspaper chain and whose methods profoundly influenced American journalism.[2] Hearst entered the publishing business in 1887 after taking control of The San Francisco Examiner from his father. Moving to New York City, he acquired The New York Journal and engaged in a bitter circulation war with Joseph Pulitzer’s New York World that led to the creation of yellow journalism—sensationalized stories of dubious veracity. Acquiring more newspapers, Hearst created a chain that numbered nearly 30 papers in major American cities at its peak. He later expanded to magazines, creating the largest newspaper and magazine business in the world.”
            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/William_Randolph_Hearst

      • Democracy by definition is two wolves and sheep voting on dinner. A very bad system for the minority who does not want to be eaten.

        That word has been sold as the desired form the founding fathers gave us by the propagandists who favor socialism. We were given a representative republic, where objective law protects the smallest minority from abuse by the larger group. We have allowed that to be turned into a democracy, with the now seen predictable results.

        Without the rule of objective law, that applies to every person, you always end up with anarchy or a monarchy and the biggest gang will rule. Look at Somalia,

        • “Democracy by definition is two wolves and sheep voting on dinner. A very bad system for the minority who does not want to be eaten. ”

          Yes indeed. Majority rule ensures minority oppression. Individualists dislike the idea of democracy because we realize that we belong to no majority all. An individual is the smallest minority there is. Collectivists love the idea of democracy because they don’t value their own individuality.

          IMO, democracy sucks out loud for a fat man’s ass.

          • *Putting this here because relpies to some comments above seem to be disabled*
            “It’s not how my fellow Merkins would vote that’s worrisome.”
            Seriously, Ed? Have you been paying any attention at all to how easily swayed their votes are now? I am fond of some of my neighbors, but staking my existence (or even my welfare) on their comprehension and practical application of the principles of liberty would be a terrible mistake. I would encourage you to consider that unless you live in some very selective, Galt’s Gultch type community, a persuasive demogogue could likely get your neighbors to authorize sizzling your ass in short order.

          • “I would encourage you to consider that unless you live in some very selective, Galt’s Gultch type community, a persuasive demogogue could likely get your neighbors to authorize sizzling your ass in short order.”

            That’s what I said. My neighbors could vote to have be fried if everything was on the table in a ‘direct democracy”. Also, the idea of a “Galt’s Gulch” is so silly that it never even enters my mind. Argue with what I said, not with what you need for me to have said in order to make your point.

        • “Democracy by definition is two wolves and sheep voting on dinner.” And liberty is a well-armed sheep contesting the results of the vote.

          • Yeah, two dead wolves don’t care what’s for dinner any more.
            Hence the reason for 50-round mags, or better yet – belt-fed weapons. 😀

            Yes, I’m “out there,” but it’s a rarified atmosphere, and you meet a better class of human being.
            Being out there got me here. 😉

      • They systems as it is will never allow it to happen. You’d first have to destroy what is and replace it entirely. Any foolish notions of “working from within” are the equivalent of a foot soldier in some Mafia family thinking they’ll change the mobs standard operating procedure. No… you’ll either become one of them or get eaten alive.

  42. I was a volunteer firefighter for 18 years. When I started we held fundraisers for everything except the government mandated insurance and some basic equipment. Trucks, radios, chiefs cars you name it, we raised the money voluntarily. If the station needed work (from a paint job to an addition) we did it ourselves. Since 9/11, when all firemen became “heroes” and “brothers” all that is taken from the tax levy, plus we added pensions – but they still hold all the damn fundraisers, now it pays for beer, t-shirts and trips. I finally had to walk away, the last straw was the $3,000 graphics package they put on the Chiefs take home car, all for a department that gets 75 automatic alarms and 1 or 2 real calls a year.

    • You forgot to mention one of my pet peeves, the damned coin drop (which in my opinion relies heavily on subconscious intimidation). I’d like to see an impartial study of the “contribution” of coin drops to traffic safety…

  43. Lately I’ve been thinking about the 2nd amendment. I think there’s a lesson to be learned that is in line with your thinking.

    A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.

    Many people read whatever they want into that sentence. But let’s take it at face value. The phrase “A well regulated Militia” implies that there’s going to be groups of people who organize to defend the territory, their land, and/or their neighbors’ land, and it will be comprised of well-trained (regulated) people who know which end of the gun is the business end. In my mind, I would think that also implies that people are responsible gun owners, who are going to keep track of their (and their neighbors’) guns, and be willing to step up and prevent someone who shouldn’t have access to firearms from getting hold of them. Note that I said other militia members, NOT the state. I’m sure for every 10 boys that were taught how to hunt and shoot guns, there were one or two sub-average kids who weren’t allowed anywhere near them. And their parents, knowing they weren’t going to be able to handle the responsibility, made sure they secured their arms so that no one got hurt.

    Somewhere along the way it seems we “decided” that keeping guns away from immature people was too hard and “decided” to take a lot of those responsibilities and dump them off on the state. Then when events like school shootings and other things happen, we don’t point the stick at ourselves, “we” complain to the state, which is happy to try to take on more of the responsibility.

    This attitude of “public good” has permeated throughout society at every level, and every endeavor. There’s no area of life that’s not touched in one form or another by the Federal government. It’s a progressive’s wet dream, yet somehow utopia remains elusive. Look at the latest SNAFU from our government, the Obamacare web site. Despite about 20 years of web site design knowledge, millions of dollars spent and a general understanding of expectation, the government’s sites don’t work. Yet “we” seem to think that it’s A-OK for the government to take on even more responsibility, because big, bad corporations are evil.

    There was a time when good men would gather together and form societies and guilds to take care of their own needs when individuals alone could not. Government will screw it up, and business will do everything in their power to restrict and limit access in the name of profit. We desperately need to help out each other, and stop depending on “someone else,” either government or business interests, to step in and gouge us. This is not socialism. This is not communism. This is what empowers the little guys and keeps the big guys in check.

    • “There was a time when good men would gather together and form societies and guilds to take care of their own needs when individuals alone could not.”

      That’s exactly how “governments” got started. When these groups decided that their benevolent protection MUST apply to everyone in the territory, and that – since they are being such good people – those in the territory MUST support them, one way or another… so they can devote themselves to doing this “good.”

      Do you see the difference between that and the voluntary association community? All the difference in the world.

      • MamaLiberty – You’re exactly right. When voluntary societies, committees of protection, guilds and clubs went from voluntary associations for dues paying members to coercing the neighborhood into ponying up the bucks for their support under threat of violence, they became criminal enterprises. It doesn’t matter if it’s done under the auspices of being “for the children”, “as a general deterrent” or “for the good of society as a whole.” When one robs Peter to pay Paul, one is a thief; period. Titles of nobility, official writs, statutes, robes and medallions of office cannot change that fact.

        • Of course the emphasis is on the word “stolen” because when someone voluntarily offeres up the fruit of their labors it’s out of the spirit of charity and most likely love of their fellow man. When Leviathan injects itself into the equation and takes the place of the allmighty it then becomes hated and all of its aims and goals are viewed with suspicion and “participation” thus plummets the more it squeezes people for not being “fair”. The spirit of chairty is thus crucified by busybody control freaks.

          • MoT – You are absolutely right. We need separation of charity and state as well as separation of education and state. No more vote buying, no more thought control.

          • ” The spirit of chairty is thus crucified by busybody control freaks.”

            Now that is a keeper, well said MoT.

            It’s that new-found meanness Eric alludes to. The corrosion of good mutual respect and tolerance. The cancer of mutual suspicion, distrust, and theft.

            Obamacare is a fine example: each of us becomes the keeper of each other’s health. You can’t smoke because it takes money out of The Pool and diminishes my health care. I can’t eat primal anymore because the State says it’s bad–and you’re the State. You’ll rat me out.

            It’s exactly modeled after the psychopath’s own pathological social structure–an endless mutual predation, rats in a sewer crawling over each other biting and scratching to find the tastiest turd.

            Dominating, and being dominated.

          • We would do well to learn a few things from the Amish. Although I disagree with some of their beliefs, they are nonetheless self-governing communities. When a member of the Amish community suffers loss of property, such as a fire which burns down their barn, they don’t turn to the government or insurance companies. Instead, they all get together and pitch in and help re-build their neighbor’s barn. This is what the rest of us need to start doing. We don’t have to dress up in 18th century clothes and drive horse and buggies, but we could learn a lot from them, they’ve got a lot of great ideas.

          • Patriot, we’re simple folk here, simpler than I imagined until recently. But we do that sort of thing, build somebody a barn or house. It used to be much more common until insurance companies got such a lockhold on everything. And of course, politics has had it’s effects in keeping one another from talking out their differences. With the MSM dominating discussion, it’s inevitable division has been the new norm. Never mind everybody in these parts have always despised govt, esp fed govt. Texans knew which side the bread was buttered on but who could tell since the yankee invasion when RR got into office in ’80 and spread his anti-gun and federal “verve” around? Just fuck him and the horse MFW and Gil could never ride in on. And that brings to mind, now we have two studs who have broken the herd into two parts, ne’er to come together again….and what for? So they can fuck their own “constituents”. I guess horses are a lot like people. I used some lead to run all their fighting asses off yesterday and this morning both. Last I saw, they were headed to the back forty, good enough. Now if that would just work with the LEO’s. Oh, it’s easy enough to shoot their asses but they just keep multiplying.

          • Amish ideas… here are a number of them, especially old time made food without the corporate chemicals. It seems that the Amish are taking full advantage of that economically as people are more and more rejecting the corporate food.

        • MamaLiberty – You’re exactly right. When voluntary societies, committees of protection, guilds and clubs went from voluntary associations for dues paying members to coercing the neighborhood into ponying up the bucks for their support under threat of violence, they became criminal enterprises.

          And they even had the nerve to redefine “voluntary” as the coersion with which they extorted money, labor, and resources.