Nov 29, 2013

Thanks for the Thanksgiving Workers

Robert P. Murphy shared some interesting thoughts about folks who work on Thanksgiving on his blog recently:

Working on the Holidays

While enjoying the wonderful meal brought together for our enjoyment last night, someone predictably chimed in that it was awful that Walmart remains open on Thanksgiving.  The implicit (and unanswered) question is: why would Walmart do such a thing?  I guess they just are a bunch of money-grubbing scrooges, who wish to punish their employees due to a lack of reverence for the value of family time!

I think Murphy's take on this is worth considering:

I think this outrage that we hear every year is oddly selective. For example, should all gas stations, highway toll booths, bus stations, and airports be closed on Thanksgiving? If so, that would prevent a lot of people from “spending the holidays with their families.” Even if your sole criterion were to boost the amount of time people spend with their loved ones, you would need at least some critical workers at their posts on Thanksgiving Day (at least the morning and afternoon).

In other words, from a purely utilitarian perspective, holiday workers permit many people to travel to see family who could not otherwise do so.  (Can you imagine strapping a few extra fuel tanks to your vehicle in order to have enough gas to get where you are going, due to all the fuel stations being closed?)  In the case of Walmart, people are shopping on the day of Thanksgiving for one of two reasons:

1.  Thanksgiving is a meaningless holiday to them, and they are doing their regular shopping.  This means closing up shop would punish them for not celebrating the sacrosanct "National Holiday", in a bizarre form of collective retribution.1

2.  They are purchasing items they forgot to buy, or didn't realize they needed until the "heat of the moment".  I guess you will just have to live without the stuffing, or cranberry sauce, or whatever else it is that now is unavailable because everyone is closed!2

It becomes clear how strange this perspective of anti-Walmartism is when considering the reality of the issue.  However, those against Walmart, do not stop there!  No, no...they move even further along this twisted logical path to say it is their duty to boycott the establishment!  Of course, that's fine in the sense of boycott being a voluntary measure to take.  However, it reveals the insanity of the thought process these folks engage in: to resort to self-denial if it comes down to it to prove they are serious about their concern for these "exploited" workers!

Taking pity on those "poor souls" who are "forced"3 to work on holidays is a way to marginalize them, and is incredibly degrading to these people who stand at the ready to provide products to market at a crucial time when we are all trying to look our best for those who's opinion we value the most.  After all, when you forget an ingredient for a dish you are preparing on the holidays, they save you the embarrassment of that dish being voided due to your lack of foresight.  Instead of pitying them, perhaps they should be honored.  At the very least, these workers deserve our thanks!


1.  The liberal frowning upon Walmart is eerily reminiscent of the conservative Christian logic of forcing one's religious values upon others.  Strange bedfellows or birds of a feather?

2.  We were fortunate that the grocery stores were open where we live, because we needed several forgotten items to complete our holiday feast.

3.  Of course, the employees at these establishments who are open do not "have a gun to their head".  That tactic (the threat of violence) is never employed by capitalists, but is always employed by the state.

Nov 11, 2013

Support the Dupes

Today is known in the US as Veteran's Day, but before 1954 was known as Armistice Day, the latter honoring WWI veterans and the former a celebration of veterans of all US wars.1  This change came as a result of WWII veteran Raymond Weeks, who hatched the first "National Veteran's Day" celebration in 1947 and led a successful delegation to US President Eisenhower to make the rhetorical change.  (source wikipedia)

What I am reflecting upon this year is the notion that veterans of US foreign conflicts are to be "celebrated" at all.  What makes this occupation so noble that it is to be honored with three national holidays over the course of the year, and indeed on a daily basis for those who are vehemently supportive of the US military?  Anyone who watches sports regularly is indoctrinated constantly with the "support the troops" mentality, as most of these events include military honor guards and sometimes even giant displays of "patriotism."  Many times one will encounter a sign in a business to this effect, and more than enough vehicles are pasted with bumper stickers which either say "support the troops" or an emblems which proudly display the branch of the military which the driver or someone they know is working for.  Suffice to say, over the course of one's daily life here in the US, it is almost impossible to avoid contact with such propaganda.

However, the question remains: what is it about this occupation which earns it such constant and unquestioned devotion?  Why don't we see more bumper stickers which say "support the grocery clerks" and "thank the garbage men"?  In fact, try to thank someone who is working at a business you are patronizing for their service, and watch as they give you a blank stare with a confused "you're welcome".  Although the services one utilizes in daily life are crucial to a sense of normalcy (having a place to buy food and the removal of garbage) the employees who put forth the effort to make these services available are not revered or honored as heros, much less with giant displays at sporting events such as the photo above.  No one sheds tears for the "sacrifice" many have suffered in the service of providing goods and services demanded in the marketplace.

The elephant in the room here is the notion that without US troops engaged in constant warfare, there would be no sense of normalcy.  Indeed, the most fervent supporters of the US military often times say that without endless warmongering, "we would all be speaking German"!2  Another popular phrase is "freedom isn't free".  Even many who are emphatically anti-war will concede that they support the troops, especially in light of the bad treatment many Vietnam War veterans received upon return from that war.  However, in order to investigate the validity of the these claims (that without perpetual war and interventionism in other nation's affairs, the US would not be a "free" country- therefore, the troops are engaged in a noble cause and are to be revered), one must sort through this imperialistic philosophy logically and without emotional bias.

In peeling this onion, one must consider the presumption that US military actions are designed to repel enemies who seek to take control and "do us harm".  This notion is perhaps as old as time as a plea by rulers to a citizen's sense of security in daily life, thus "protecting the country" is the typical stated justification for those who decide to join the military.3  However, rulers necessarily have a vested interest in maintaining the illusion that its citizens live in the "greatest country in the world" and that any fundamental change in the nature of power would yield undesirable or at least uncertain results.  Thus, it is difficult to imagine how rulers could separate themselves from their own interest to maintain power in a benevolent act of purity such as the appeal for the "security of the nation".

Indeed, when discussing matters of foreign policy, intellectuals and leaders incessantly refer to the abstract concept of "our strategic interests and obligations around the globe".  This terminology is so pervasive in the rhetoric used by war-mongers to justify various actions, and so rare is the appeal to security of the citizenry, that one must ask, who's "interest and obligations" are they referring to?  As those who are mere citizens do not typically oblige themselves to matters in other nations, it is apparent that the power structure of the nation has simply postulated this concept on its citizenry.  Clearly, when referring to these conflicts, the use of the word "our" is more appropriately viewed as not the citizens of the nation, but rather the powerful interest groups who parasitically utilize the citizenry as a source of funding and cannon-fodder to further entrench their control of resources world wide.  The "enemies" who are created to justify such intervention are likely just unfortunate enough to have been born in a geographical area which contains something these interest groups seek to exploit.  It is hard to imagine how such dastardly ends could be achieved absent the means of the coercive power of the state to extract and subsidize them with financial and human capital.

So, rather than providing a secure life for the citizens of the nation, the role of the soldier is, in actuality, to provide a secure profit for companies who seek to exploit resources from an area which is currently out of their control.  The soldier is also working for what Bob Dylan termed the "Masters of War"- those companies which "build the death plains...(and) all the bombs."  Committing such atrocities does not "make us safer", rather it increases the likelihood of retaliation by those who are attacked and, thus, is counterproductive in that it makes life in the nation of the warmonger less secure.  Soldiers, however unwittingly, are therefore responsible for not only the destruction they participate in while warring, but are in their actions sowing the seeds for future conflicts to arise.

For this reason, those bestowing "honor" on soldiers are really making a mockery of the word. Far more honor can likely be found in the innocent civilians of warring countries, who have been murdered in the hundreds of millions in the twentieth century, and, indeed throughout history by soldiers and their masters.  Here's to hoping that in the future, there will be less veterans!

*Published in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in hopes for a peaceful future on this planet.

1.  It is of note that the concept of "Veteran's Day" is a redundancy, considering that Memorial Day had been practiced for identical purposes since the mid 1800s.  But one can never be too redundant in honoring "those who served."

2.  Lately, some trade the word "German" for "Arabic" as an attempt to stay fashionable with the current "enemy".

3.  However, many of the enlistments after 9/11 were not embarked upon in an attempt to "protect the nation" from an enemy that was perceived to be a threat to actually overthrow the US government.  Indeed, the idea that Muslim terrorists could undertake such an action would have been, even at that time of great chaos and confusion, a silly notion.  Rather, many of these enlistments were undertaken to participate for the ignoble cause of revenge.

Nov 9, 2013

Thomas Woods Speaking to NullfyNow NC

Tom Woods gave a great speech to NullifyNow NC recently that is great for those who already have a grasp on the concept of state nullification:

Tom Woods NullifyNow NC

In this speech, Woods focuses on combating the popular notion that the US is simply "one giant blob" (his words) by giving historical examples which show that the opposite is true- that the US was simply a "collection of societies" which agreed to a compact.  This culminated in the founding of a limited federal government by the states, and provides credence to the philosophy that when the federal government steps outside of the powers granted to it, the states have the duty and the right to interpose on behalf of their constituents.

This concept, although conceived and popularized long ago, has obvious contemporary relevancy, and is currently being used in many states to combat federal laws that constituents find reproachable.  Examples can be found in state-level opposition to national health care, gun laws, and marijuana laws- all issues which are either expressly or implicitly outside the purview of the federal government.  Nullifying federal laws is a bold step to take, and states who do so should be applauded for having the courage to stand between the federal government and the constituents they represent. 

Oct 11, 2013

Detroit's (Wonderful) Lack of Governance

Lew Rockwell's interview of  Karen De Coster, who has been chronicling the downfall of the city government of Detroit (and subsequent anarchy in the city) via her blog Detroit: From Rust to Riches, was both entertaining and informative.  Traveling the city by bicycle, she has a unique perspective of the nuances of how people live in a situation when the government crumbles and becomes insolvent and, thus, irrelevant.  The blog is always a fascinating read, and Karen is a great photographer, to boot!  My ears perked up when Lew asked about the city's approach to solving its fiscal disaster.  Karen's answer:

Not a whole lot is known yet about the specifics of the bankruptcy...As you can imagine, the biggest battle has been with the entitlements in the city.  The unions and, of course, the pensioners that are promised lifetime pensions, lifetime insurance, lifetime on the doll everything...the biggest battles that you see publicly right now are the unions here battling for the largesse.   @ 7:25

In reality, the city is insolvent.  We have been riding an unsustainable insolvency for a number of years (like a lot of other cities, by the way), and it was about time that the bubble break.  @8:14

She also makes an interesting comparison between Detroit and Chicago's relative crises when Lew points out that Chicago is in even deeper trouble:

I'm not sure a financial comparison can accurately be conveyed...You know, Chicago has a much, much organized government.  They have a very deeply rooted bureaucracy.  Detroit is not quite so deeply rooted...our ineptness here in terms of the government and their ability to get everything done has really enabled this anarchistic environment.

(In) Chicago, things are going to be a lot more difficult.  You don't see people flocking to Chicago to do these sort of things because it's a very rigid bureaucracy.  A lot of politically powerful people have run the city for years.  @ 9:15 (emphasis mine)

A fundamental observation that can be drawn from Detroit's crisis in governance is that the market is an all encompassing phenomenon, which always lingers, waiting for its moment to spring up.  That is to say- human nature compels us to trade with each other to achieve a harmony of desires.  Even if a public institution has monopolized a service, the moment that the monopoly cannot be enforced is the window of opportunity for entrepreneurs to step in and satisfy market demand (if it exists).  In this sense, entrepreneurs are the personification not only of human desire but of human nature itself.

An interesting difference between public and private organizations is the fluidity of the environment in which each of them operates.  Private businesses must respond adequately to the needs of the customer, or risk failure.  If insolvency is inevitable, the business has a financial incentive to fold sooner rather than later.  This is the seed of mergers, acquisitions and partnerships, as people try to find the right formula to better satisfy market demand.  Thus, the marketplace is always changing to meet the desires of the most people possible.

While private enterprises may come and go, public organizations are much more stationary social institutions with no competition.  As in Detroit, governments are unlikely to take corrective action when pursuing an unsustainable course, as input from various factions and interest groups dictate decisions rather than the more accurate guidance of profit and loss.  Because of the inevitable broken promises that result from insolvency, reorganization of public institutions cause much greater social chaos than private businesses.

While public institutions and their traditions may seem unalterably entrenched, history has instead been a constant weathering away of authoritarianism in its various forms.  Contrarily, private entrepreneurship and trade have been only truly inevitable consequence of human nature.  The foundational need to satisfy one's desires ultimately trumps any attempt to intervene by outside forces.

Sep 22, 2013

WWIII is a Virtual War

Although many have contemplated the possible triggers to WWIII, it seems that it has been happening both before our very eyes, and out of sight for a long time now.  The various conflicts, actions, and world shaping affairs- the stories from the front lines- have not been in the headlines for the most part as in previous (open) wars.  Rather, they are buried, under reported, or go unmentioned by the typical media outlets who shape the opinions of the masses and, thus, escape the tangible thoughts for the average person.  However, these events continue to play themselves out all over the world- with real consequences.  As technology has improved, so has the ability for the U.S. government to assert its control over the affairs of other nation- increasingly with less reliance on troops being present.  The current crisis, Syria, is but one battlefront in this war...

It should go without saying that I am in opposition to the U.S. government meddling in Syria in any way, much less an outright slaughter via missile strike as is being contemplated right now.  Although the government is insisting that the correct course of action is "punishment" of the Assad regime, it is impossible to gain the moral high ground required to justify such a nanny mentality.  For, even those who believe the claims 1 that the Syrian government is responsible for using chemical weapons to gas more than 1000 people to death cannot deny that the U.S. drone program has murdered at least three times as many people.  Murder is murder- conventional, chemical, nuclear, from your immediate vicinity or from afar and out of sight- and the U.S. government has far too much blood on his hands to be taken seriously as humanitarians here (or for that matter, anywhere).

John Kerry has said, "This is not the time for armchair isolationism. This is not the time to be spectators to slaughter."  Kerry's statement is absurd considering the U.S. government has engaged in covert training and supplying arms to the rebel opposition in Syria for months now- support that has likely resulted in far more deaths than would have otherwise occurred absent outside intervention.  The use of the word "spectators" implies that you aren't already playing, and surely you are not already on a team!

Further, the rebel groups who are on the receiving end of such assistance are not "angels of men" with the only purest of intentions.  The U.S. government can choose a side to be on, but it cannot fundamentally change the people engaging in the conflict.  The rebel groups have committed some incredibly heinous acts themselves, and may well have used chemical weapons.  Indeed, it seems U.S. policy is not to be "spectators to slaughter" but, rather, to encourage it.

The way the Syrian conflict has played out so far is perfectly in line with what John Perkins describes in his book, Confessions of an Economic Hit Man.  We cannot be sure, as of yet, what was the true cause for intervention and how the initial stages of action played out (coercion and bribery), but the U.S. government has been engaged for months in actively supporting the overthrow of the Syrian government.  We are now witnessing the final stage of the process- military action.  Notably, this only occurs (according to Perkins) when all other options have been exhausted.  It makes one wonder what Assad really did to upset the powers that be!

Therefore, what seems like a sudden escalation in Syria is, in actuality, a process that has been in play for a long time.  Indeed, what Perkins describes in his book has been confirmed by the CIA recently when the agency released documents that- for the first time- publicly admitted the agencies role in the 1953 overthrow of Iranian prime minister Mohammad Mosaddegh.  Most of the world is in one stage or another of the process, and it would behoove the average American to remember the rash of assassinations that occurred in the U.S. during the 1960s.  Perhaps even the United States is not out of the range of the United States government! 2

The actions of the U.S. government have been so destructive, and so obviously designed to enrich or protect the well-connected 3 that it is amazing that this example could play itself out, time after time, without any meaningful change of course.  However, in most cases, the contemporary "average American" has not been burdened with the effects of war costs to a great degree since WWII because the money is printed and costs are spread out over time.  If the financial burden of war cannot be felt, the only connection possible for the average person is via a submissive media- a truly virtual experience.

Even war itself has become disconnected with contemporary use of drone aircraft, and in the skirmish at hand there are -so far- no calls for U.S. troops to set foot on Syrian soil.  The "strike" is to be carried out by firing rockets from far away with the push of a button.  This approach to the inevitable final stage of the process of force is what Dr. Robert Pape has called "off shore balancing."  His strategy is designed to combat suicide terror by removing the foreign troops from the scene of the crime, preferring to obliterate from afar instead. 4 The anticipated approach to be taken by the U.S. government seems to follow Dr. Pape's advice, and removes the aggressor to a faraway location.

I submit that the threat or application of force to achieve a desired political outcome- regardless of proximity- is the very definition of terrorism, and to engage in such activity can only cause justifiable resentment and blow-back from those on the receiving end of such measures.  Pape has proven this to be true in his research by revealing that suicide terrorists do not attack because of fanatical religious or social philosophy (as propagated often after 9/11).  The fundamental cause, in fact, is resentment for outside attempts to control their society. 5 A great deal of peace would result if the most aggressive control freaks the world has ever known- the U.S. government- were to cease the policy of intervention immediately!

However, because these operations are occurring mostly without the knowledge of the general public (and even when revealed, are carefully massaged to represent an acts of justice and heroism), it is unlikely that a political sea change will occur to stop the interventionists from pursuing the domination they so desire.  Indeed, the 20th century was characterized by the U.S. meddling in foreign affairs practically unabated for 55 years!  If this empire will not be stopped politically, it will eventually come economically, as has been proven by all empires throughout history.  It is only a matter of time...

1.  Remember Iraq?  Dennis Kucinich has raised some very interesting questions regarding Syria in this article.

2.  The proper blame would reside in the various forces in control of the U.S. assured this does not mean you and I!  See Murry Rothbard:  Wall Street, Banks, and American Foreign Policy  (Free PDF from

3.  See #2

4.  I discuss Dr. Pape's approach here.

5.  See Dr. Robert Pape and his presentation, Dying to Win (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

Dr. Pape contends that this control is manifested in physical presence.  However, I maintain that even a virtual presence via threats and actions from the U.S to influence policy (terrorism) will not remove the fundamental antagonism to those who live where said control is attempted.  Thus, his strategy cannot lead ultimately to peace.

Sep 16, 2013

A Plea for Sanity From Liberty Study

Vladimir Putin recently wrote an op-ed piece in the New York Times regarding the threats the U.S. government recently levied against the Syrian government:

A Plea for Caution From Russia

Lew Rockwell blogged a great response to this article.  Here, Rockwell exposes the true nature of "American exceptionalism" in practice- aggression against governments who don't conform to standards that the U.S. government puts into place until they do conform or until they have been removed, and can be replaced with a more compliant set of rulers:

"...his NYT op-ed is better than anything to come out of the White House in some time. And he is right, though he is a nationalist himself, about how the world views American exceptionalism. This is the doctrine that the rules that apply to others, and are brutally enforced by the US on others, do not apply to the US. According to this notion, the US has the right to rule the world, and to attack anyone anywhere in pursuit of that goal, using any weapon, including depleted uranium, white phosphorous, agent orange, napalm, mass starvation, etc. Not to speak of atomic bombs."

As this strategy plays itself out continually, the U.S. government becomes increasingly exposed, both morally and economically, perpetuating the inevitable decline that must follow extravagances such as being at war for an entire century!  As Chris Rossini points out:

The Fed has made it to 100 years, and the Military Empire can be traced back to the Spanish/American War in 1898. Or if we're really nitpicking, when Lincoln's North invaded the South. In any case, both ideas of Empire & Central Banking began roughly at the same time. This is no coincidence, since The Fed finances The Empire. The former is the beating heart of the latter.

But what have been the results of this seemingly endless source of control in the world?  Has the light cast off the "shining city on the hill" brought the nations world out from the darkness of despotism, and yielded a century of peace?  Putin correctly points out that this behavior has, in fact, had the counter-effect of creating instability in the world:

"It is alarming that military intervention in internal conflicts in foreign countries has become commonplace for the United States. Is it in America’s long-term interest? I doubt it. Millions around the world increasingly see America not as a model of democracy but as relying solely on brute force, cobbling coalitions together under the slogan 'you’re either with us or against us.'
But force has proved ineffective and pointless. Afghanistan is reeling, and no one can say what will happen after international forces withdraw. Libya is divided into tribes and clans. In Iraq the civil war continues, with dozens killed each day. In the United States, many draw an analogy between Iraq and Syria, and ask why their government would want to repeat recent mistakes."

Furthermore, the logical result of this type of bullying stimulates an arms race, as countries seek to protect themselves against potential aggression.  Putin again:

"The world reacts by asking: if you cannot count on international law, then you must find other ways to ensure your security. Thus a growing number of countries seek to acquire weapons of mass destruction. This is logical: if you have the bomb, no one will touch you. We are left with talk of the need to strengthen nonproliferation, when in reality this is being eroded." 

Putin's analysis of the aggressive nature of the U.S. government, and of the effects of U.S. foreign policy is clearly correct.  Unfortunately, his solution is to apply diplomacy in these situations and adhere to the United Nations framework, a process that is seemingly intended to be a sounding board for the world's people.  Can this type of organization ensure compliance from countries that may seek to violate its proclamations?  It has been proven time and time again to fail in this most basic function.  The only way to gain compliance from someone who is transgressing these laws is to force them to comply!  Now we are back to square one...

The fundamental issue at hand is- as that familiar old phrase reminds us- power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely.  If the "power" were to move to an international sphere, we can be assured that all of the ills that the U.S. empire spawned would only be carried out on a grander scale, and- even worse- policies pursued in this context would have the ultimate rubber stamp of "legitimacy" as a UN approved policy.  Indeed, the coherent super-state (i.e. the UN, at the moment) is the worst possible outcome for mankind.

Power, like grains of sand in a dust storm, should settle in to its natural state- with individuals making voluntary choices.  Removing these giant organizations called "states" from the picture leaves us with many people, all with different motivations, just as we have now.  However, the state is a major tool for dominance; when removed from the scenario, those who are intent upon controlling others are rendered largely impotent to achieve such goals by force.  Most people do not support violence outright, and (absent coercion) do not participate in such ventures.  Naturally, the only way one can attain influence on people without force is to provide utility to them.  A much more peaceful coexistence-as well as a much clearer path to happiness and human progress- would neccissarily occur in such a framework for coexistance.  It is to this end we should strive.

Aug 27, 2013

What is Anarchy?

Let's start with what it is not!  Before seriously considering what anarchy is, my idea of the definition of anarchy was a violent, destructive protest demanding revolution:

Far from the truth, the above image is the caricature that surfaces in one's mind when contemplating anarchy: the unkempt, disorderly, and violent rioter causing annoyance and disruption to peaceful people on a perpetual basis and gangs of thieves marauding innocent bystanders. 1

The typical anarchist, as I have found, is not someone interested in violence as an actionable tool in any situation.  In fact, the fundamental premise of anarchism- that no one should have rule over or molest any other person's property- would logically prohibit the aggressive use of violence! 2  Simply put, anarchism is life "without rule."  Although this concept is inherently peaceful and is clearly desirable, a world without authority can seem daunting and overwhelming to imagine.  However, a compelling and beautiful case that can be made for an anarchical society- a life based on voluntary interaction of your choosing in all facets of one's life.

As one travels philosophically outward from the concept that each person and everything they justly own is their own property, a consideration of anarchism logically follows.  In most areas of your life you have the power to choose what good or service to buy based on price and quality.  However, when dealing in areas the government controls, you always sacrifice both.  So, even a minarchist- someone who would prefer to "deal" with the government the least- must ultimately reconcile this fact and consider eliminating even the most traditional government functions.  The protections that flow from what the minarchist would call the "necessary functions of government" will, in fact, be found to benefit from privatization.  This reveals head-spinning implications to contemplate! 3

While practicality is certainly important (even crucial when it comes to the fundamentals in a civilized society)-  morality also demands adherence to these principles.  For if it is wrong for a thief to coerce someone into handing over their money by pointing a gun at them, it is also wrong when someone from the government makes the same threat.  And if it is right for you to be free to choose what restaurant, what coffee shop, what repair station to patronize, it is also right that you should be able to choose from different service providers when it comes to security and justice, disaster protection, and monetary unit.  Clearly, coercive acts are impractical and immoral- not just in certain situations, but in all situations!  A world without coercion can only be construed as a world without rule.

The question is not, then, upon the practicality or morality of an anarchical society- but of how to achieve such an environment so we can all prosper and flourish.  Unwinding the coercive monopoly of government in all of the areas it has asserted its authority is not an impossible task, and the services provided by the government would be provided by someone else.  As an example, Dr. Walter Block has worked out a solution when it comes to roads and highways.

This video from The Anarchast goes into the subject of what anarchy is, and what a world in anarchy would look like:

Part 1

Part 2


1.  Murry Rothbard famously called the government a gang of thieves writ large!

2.  However, not everyone is typical, and those who forget this lesson will surely be sensationalized by the State to further the crucial fallacy at hand- that without the government society will descend into chaos, and that anarchism=violence.

3.  Thus, the joke-  What does it take to get a libertarian to become an anarchist?   About six months

Aug 25, 2013

Happy Birthday, Angie!

Today is my wife, Angie's birthday!!! 

Thank you for your patience and understanding, and all of your contributions to my study of Liberty.  I hope you have learned from me as much as I have from you!

Jul 14, 2013

With or Without You

For those who believe that without the State, there would be people dying in the streets- I offer the following story...

A co-worker at the local business was riding his bicycle to work the other day, when a car pulled out in front of him.  He had very little time to hit the brakes and slammed right into the side of the car, landing on top of his bike.  Of course, someone called an ambulance, but my co-worker refused the ride (although I cannot be sure of this, I wonder if he was trying to avoid the outrageous price).  Interestingly, anyone can call an ambulance for you, even without your permission- and they don't get the bill!  Suddenly, you find yourself being persuaded that it is a good idea to get in and take a ride "for your safety."  Thankfully, he had the presence of mind to think for himself.  He ended up walking his bike to work...

When he arrived at work, he was in obvious pain.  As word spread about what had happened, the owners eventually found out- and insisted on taking him to go to the hospital.  He found out that he had a deep bruise on his shoulder, but that he was going to be okay.

Now, can you imagine if my co-worker had instead ridden in the ambulance?  Perhaps it seemed like a reasonable thing to do after such a crash, but it would have been very costly for something that is truly not life threatening.  About a week later, he is doing fine, and I am sure he is glad to have avoided the bill he would have received for such nonsense treatment.

Jul 4, 2013

The Global Panopticon

The recent public revelation that the U.S. government is officially tracking everyone via cell phone calls, email, internet activity (certainly blog posts), etc. was not a surprise to me, because I heard about it probably at least a year ago or longer from several different sources.  If I am not mistaken, Alex Jones had on a guest a long time ago who discussed how he was setting up the infrastructure at AT&T for these NSA spying programs.  Gerald Celente mentioned this likelihood over a year ago in his newsletter, Trends Journal

However, at that time if one were to discuss this idea that the government is tracking everything you do, people would look at you like you were literally wearing a tin-foil hat!  No more!  Now it is right out there in the open...but why? 

The mainstream news outlets (in true Pravda fashion) regularly bury or fail to report stories that are embarrassing to the government- but, for reasons we will get into, this story has become ubiquitous.  In other words, you hear about it over, and over, and over.  Of course, the story is framed in such a way to distract from the crucial issue of government surveillance.  The spying is but a subliminal part of the story, while we are to focus on the other, more benign aspects which make for "compelling" entertainment reporting.  The manipulators of public opinion are clearly up to something devious- a subtle propaganda campaign designed to make it a part of public consciousness that everyone, everywhere in the world is being watched.

The effect is similar to what we see from the TSA at airports.  This agency herds people into lines, and gives them a choice to either let a stranger view their naked body or submit to a full pat-down.  What could be more dehumanizing, and humiliating than this degrading act?  The common person says, "Well, I have nothing to hide, so who cares?"  However, the psychological damage has already been done.

Presidio Modelo, Isla De la Juventud, Cuba

The open admission that the U.S. government is gathering all data it can possibly acquire domestically and internationally on ordinary people has created a global panopticon.  It is like a constant body scan or pat-down every time someone communicates- we are all now naked before our masters, and we know it.  This moment, the death of privacy, is an important milestone in the march toward tyranny- now everyone in society is aware of the intentions of the regime- total control.

One positive aspect of this shift in consciousness, is that there can be no more denial of the totalitarian intentions of the U.S. government.  No longer should we have to endure the eye-rolling and dismissive attitudes of those who are interested in talking politics only if one stays safely within the John Boehner/Harry Reid paradigm.*  This is the opportunity to open the lid on that box, and guide many people to a new perspective.

*Thanks Tom Woods

Jun 23, 2013

Life is Nasty, Brutish, and Short (When You Serve the State)

Just a thought I had today...

Anyone who has been to the DMV, a courthouse, a TSA checkpoint, or had any contact with any of the various appendages of the government apparatus in it's various forms has probably noticed something about those who are employed there:  Their attitude stinks!  Consider your experience when you patronize a grocery store, a restaurant, etc., and compare the service you receive.  While there are varying degrees of disposition exhibited by workers regardless of their employment in the public or private sector, generally private sector workers are happier.

It is all a matter of who is in control.  The waitstaff at your favorite restaurant greets you with a smile, brings your order promptly, and keeps your glass full because they know your experience will yield benefits both in the short-term (your tip) and in the long-run (your repeat business).  They have a vested interest in your happiness. 

The government employee sees you as a captive* audience, who has no choice in the matter!  There is no incentive-from their standpoint- to serving you.  In fact, you are serving them!  Indeed, should you choose to ignore your "duty" to patronize their institution, you may find yourself at the point of a gun, and in the back of a patrol car.  Is it any wonder why those dull, dreary, and sometimes outright rude employees seem so unhappy?

I say, let's free them from their doldrums by eliminating public sector employment, and allowing individuals to provide law, education, policing, and all of the various important services society desires on a voluntary basis.  The fireman could still be a fireman, a teacher still a teacher, etc., but they would work in a private setting where they would have an incentive to provide excellent service to those who desire their contribution.  Without a doubt, this would benefit both the worker and the customer, and result in a happier and more productive society.

*I mean captive in the literal sense.

Apr 29, 2013

Neo-Con Slamma Jamma

This article by Tom DiLorenzo is a hearty rebuff of the idea that if you critizize the state for the blowback that predictably comes with meddling in the buisiness of other nations, you are blaming "America" for the results.

--Source LRC

Apr 24, 2013

Human Action/Top Daily Articles

I am starting a book by Ludwig von Mises entitled, Human Action.  So far, I am feeling very fond of my search engine (i.e. dictionary), as this book is full of many words I have not ever heard!  I will post updates as I go along.

I am also trying to figure out how I am organizing the blog.  I think I will make a top 5 list every day, or perhaps once a week...we'll see how much time I have!  For now, here's a top 3 for today:

FBI and Tsarneav: What Did They Know and When Did They Know it?

What’s Bad About a House-to-House Search?

Why Libertarianism is so Dangerous


Apr 15, 2013


Hello all!

I am finally pulling the trigger on something I have wanted to do for months!  Relaunching Liberty Study!  Woo hoo!  Sorry for the delay, it is not for lack of subject matter- but for lack of time, mostly!  However, I am dedicating myself to getting back in the business of logging my progress through this philosophical journey...

I have tried to cover a wide variety of subjects- such as, war, internet censorship, sound currency, unsound currency, food, scandal, and others- but this is merely a reflection of what others bring to me everyday!  I want to thank,, and for all they have done to illuminate various issues in ways that others fall short.

So, look forward for more to come!