Libertarian Platform Act III

libertarian-party-sealNow we get to dig into specific issues in the Libertarian Platform. The Statement of Principles was a good start but was just a precursor. We begin with the first half of the “Personal Liberty” section, which covers expression and communication, personal privacy, and personal relationships. I must say that I am enjoying the conversations each day brings and I am sure some of my commentary here is going to fire some folks up…

As always if I have it highlighted in orange, it is copied directly from the Libertarian Party’s platform page, which can be found on the link over there on the right hand side (just in case you don’t trust me!)

1.0    Personal Liberty
Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make. No individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group, or government. Our support of an individual’s right to make choices in life does not mean that we necessarily approve or disapprove of those choices.

I like how this starts out. This is the general overview of the personal liberty “section” of the platform. The initiating force against others I started to touch on in yesterday’s post. But how that applies to national defense we will discuss when we get to that section (Should be about Act VI). The important statement for me here is that the platform expresses the right of someone to make whatever choice they want (so long as it doesn’t interfere with another person’s rights… remember that from the statement of principles). The party basically says here that it isn’t their business to judge other people… novel concept.

1.1    Expression and Communication
We support full freedom of expression and oppose government censorship, regulation or control of communications media and technology. We favor the freedom to engage in or abstain from any religious activities that do not violate the rights of others. We oppose government actions which either aid or attack any religion.

Could this be any more in line with the Constitution? Free Speech, nothing more, nothing less. The government should hold no right to censor speech of any kind. What I think about with this is the censorship on TV. The government censoring rather than simply holding parents accountable for what their children watch. Don’t want your child to hear the word “Fuck” on TV? Then regulate what your child watches. A whole separate blog on this coming soon. Likewise the government should stay out of religion. It should not be censored (read as: a religious child can say a dang prayer in school if they want) nor forced on anyone. Any further restrictions on any religion should be stopped. At least that is how I read this one.

1.2    Personal Privacy
We support the protections provided by the Fourth Amendment to be secure in our persons, homes, and property. Only actions that infringe on the rights of others can properly be termed crimes. We favor the repeal of all laws creating “crimes” without victims, such as the use of drugs for medicinal or recreational purposes.

This is a tough one that I have personally struggled with, but I feel like I understand. Correct me if I am wrong, but we aren’t just talking about smoking a fattie here. ANY drug should be legal so long as its use does not interfere with another’s rights. “Crimes without victims” seems vague, but I don’t think it is. Someone has to be harmed in some way for a crime to have been committed. I will leave section 1.2 alone for now so we can discuss it. I look forward to your thoughts on this one.

1.3    Personal Relationships
Sexual orientation, preference, gender, or gender identity should have no impact on the rights of individuals by government, such as in current marriage, child custody, adoption, immigration or military service laws. Consenting adults should be free to choose their own sexual practices and personal relationships. Government does not have the authority to define, license or restrict personal relationships.

I see this as the gay rights portion. This includes transgender, transexual, or any other trans you can think of. I think I made my point clear in the recent posts. These people deserve to have every single right that the rest of us have. If you don’t believe that then you don’t believe in the foundations of what this country was founded on. If you don’t think gays deserve equal rights, I submit that you aren’t a true American. You should renounce citizenship and move to, I don’t know, somewhere where bigotry and “pretend equal rights” is part of their constitution.

The marriage thing has been covered (although you can go to that post and comment further if you disagree with me). Adoption? Why not? So many parents failing to raise their own kids and you seem OK with that but you have a problem with two loving men or two loving women that actually want to give a child a loving home? Immigration, what does any of that stuff in their personal life have to do with coming into America? What, do you think they are going to “taint” the gene pool? Have you looked at what is grown here? If anything we might want to keep more regular Americans from visiting other countries, as some of our homegrown freaks don’t set a good representation of us. 

Military Service. Now there is one that is near and dear to my heart. I know I am going to get in trouble with a lot of old friends here, but yes they should be able to serve. Again I point out so many lazy people that want all the freedoms of liberty but aren’t willing to do a damn thing to earn it. You have people that want to serve this country and you would turn them away because of their sexual preference? If any of you are still feeling that you can’t be around a gay person in the military because they might be “checking you out”, get over yourself. You aint all that. Don’t be a homophobe. Let patriots serve their country.

So Fire Away!

Comments

  1. I agree with everything you said here except possibly: If you don’t think gays deserve equal rights, I submit that you aren’t a true American. You should renounce citizenship and move to, I don’t know, somewhere where bigotry and “pretend equal rights” is part of their constitution.

    I believe that anyone has a right to hold any opinions, no matter how disgusting. What they don’t have a right to do, is to act on those opinions in a way that violates the rights of others. I don’t take it too well when someone says “agree with me or leave the country”. I have had that directed at me too many times.

  2. Kent,

    I see your point and concede to you on the way that I wrote it. What I mean by that is that if you don’t think that EVERYONE deserves equal rights in this country (so long as they are here legally, but that is a whole other post later), then you aren’t a believer in the spirit and intention of our founders. We are a country based on equal rights. We believe that it is OK to feel or think differently. And we believe that sexual orientation has nothing to do with being an American. I don’t want to kick someone out for feeling that way, but I question whether they really believe in the American ideals, that one thing that binds us together as a people. You and I aren’t always going to agree on how things in the government should work, but I don’t think you are the kind of person who thinks someone should have less than equal rights simply because of who they choose to love. I just feel like if someone does feel that way, if they do believe that homosexuals are less of a person than us or that they deserve less than we have simply because of that choice, then that person isn’t living in the spirit of what America stands for. We are a better country than that and it is time that we started acting like it.

  3. Yeah, I can agree with that. But I think it goes deeper than “being an American”; it shows whether you are a good person or not.

  4. That, my friend is an excellent point. I try very hard to not judge people. I do admit that I am sometimes very bad at achieving that goal. I think that there is a key learning for people who want to get involved in politics or discuss them, and that is that regardless of party or belief, there are tons of good people who are willing to think logically if you show them the way. Perhaps I should have written it the way that you did, as I think it is more accurate, so here is the revision:

    If you don’t think that everyone deserves equal rights (and especially gay people given that this was the topic under revue) then you really just aren’t a good person. Forget what the bible says about it or what your church believes. If you think that they are less of a person and don’t think that they deserve every right I have, you just aren’t a good-hearted person.

    Thanks Kent.

  5. Kent should run for office (if he hasn’t already)

    As a staunch Constitutional-Libertarian I believe… “groups” do not have rights. Individual Liberty, the inalienable rights, bestowed on each one of us by our Creator (whomever one believes their Creator to be) are the foundation of this Constitutional Republic. Groups deserve no preference. As individuals, we have the power to control our government by avoiding “Special Interest’s lobbies”.

    “Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness” are the Proclamation contained in the Declaration of Independence. We also have the right and “duty to throw-off” a corrupt-tyrannical-government as we see fit and establish one that mirrors the rights of the people accordingly. (paraphrased).

    It doesn’t matter if you’re gay, trans-sexual, a Christian, a Muslim, a Jewish person, etc.. You are an individual and you have inherited these inalienable rights, period!

    The Constitution guarantees your inalienable rights that can “Never” be confiscated. The Government is not the “Almighty”. The Government currently steals your “life’s energy” and redistributes it to comply with the powers that attempt to maintain control.

    -Mo

  6. I ran for president this past election cycle. Never again. LOL

  7. Mo,

    You are right, groups don’t have rights. But groups are certainly used to deny rights. “gays” can’t be married. That group is discriminated against in that way (among others). By punishing the group, you are punishing the individuals within that group. So while you are semantically correct, it has no bearing on the argument. The fact is that while no “group” or individual should have special treatment, they also shouldn’t have less than equal treatment. I think we are in agreement on this, no?

  8. Gay rights – they have no more (or less) rights than I.

    The moment the “Gay” movement demand government to recognize their rights, they lost them.

    If you ask permission of someone, you grant them to dispose of your rights. And that means you also grant them the right to say ‘no’.

    I find it humorous that after giving up their rights to government, then the government saying ‘no’ to their (now) request for rights, the gay rights movement are surprised they have no rights!

  9. USWeapon,

    This is interesting – based on the inference of your comment ..”EVERYONE deserves equal rights in this country (so long as they are here legally,..”

    …really means you do not believe that human rights are inalienable and inherent to every human, but a grant of government (since it is government that draws the lines on a map determining whether you are this-or-that nationality)

    DO believe government determines your legal rights thus overwhelming your human rights?

  10. Blackflag,

    No and it is interesting that you are providing a perfect example of what I have railed against in the past. The way to debate the issue is not to distort my position in order to make it sound worse than it is. I have never said nor inplied that any person is less of a person or that any person is not entitled to “human rights” To say that I have is simply attempting to twist my words to fit your argument. I expect that of Alan Colmes but I expect more rational and logical arguments from my readers. To say so also ignores the theme and tone of everything that I have written throughout every post in this blog. I am quite empathetic to everyone’s position.

    Illegal aliens are not entitled to everything that American citizens receive. I pay taxes for the services I receive from the government. I don’t believe that someone who sneaks into my country should reap the benefits of what I pay for and do so at the expense of poor Americans that have earned the benefit of those services.

    That does not mean that I would look to take away their inalienable rights or their human rights. It does mean that I would prefer that they cannot draw unemployment that they did not contribute to. It does mean that they should not be able to draw social security that they did not contribute to.

  11. The humorous thing to me is that many independant migrants do end up paying into the Social Security scam by using someone else’s number (in order to be “allowed” to have a job), but with no hope of ever collecting. They also end up paying sales tax. Yet they are pointed out as being freeloaders who “pay no taxes” and get the “benefits” of the state anyway. We should ALL be working “off the books” in order to starve the beast.

    The only moral way around this is to completely end all welfare immediately.

  12. revolution2010 says:

    What galls me the most is, just like the Bible, people want to treat the Constitution as a buffet. It is a complete document, you may not base your rights on the Constitution only to use the Constitutional rights of Religion (or any other right) to deny others rights. It is an all or nothing deal. You can’t take the carved roast without having some of the 3 bean salad, sorry.
    I am not really opposed to legalizing drugs. It is a personal choice. I think there would be a lot less gang activity, our prisons would empty out and the prisoners would actually have to find a real job and we would probably end up needing fewer police. I have always thought it odd that some drug offenders spend a longer prison sentence than some murderers. How is that right? If you want to waste your life, fine, but don’t expect me to support your lame ass after you ruin yourself.
    The main message I see here is that you have to be responsible for yourself. If we get rid of all of the government dependency programs and there wasn’t a back-up plan, would people be a little more careful about the choices they make?

  13. Rev2010, I have always said that drug abuse may be stupid, but it is a person’s right. If you don’t have the right to do as you wish with your own body, then there is no such thing as “rights”. However, if an addict ends up in the gutter, then he must accept the consequences of his action and choices. That doesn’t mean that charitable folks won’t come along and try to help, just that no one will kidnap him “for his own good” and force me to pay for it. I would hope and expect that without the “safety net” people will rediscover personal responsibility. I’d certainly like to find out.

  14. USWeapon:
    It wasn’t my intention to anger you. I believe my inquiry was perfectly valid. I was not the one who offered the exception to rights in a statement – it was you. It was perfectly fair for me to infer as I did – that is what you left all of us in your own words.

    As I inferred, you do see a difference between legal rights and human rights. And as per a post, you determine the difference based (at a minimum) on taxation. I would (cautiously) infer that if the illegal aliens paid taxes, you would have no quarrel with them, and they would – essentially – become citizens in your eyes.

    This does lead into our discussion – as long as everyone is subject to (government) theft as you, you’re fine by them staying in your country.

    It is interesting to me that people who cross one line on a map to work (say, a State line) isn’t illegal, but some who crosses another line on a map is suddenly ‘illegal’. Why should working and earning a living be illegal based on artificial lines on a map?

    Kent makes a good point about welfare. This is the real issue of gay marriage rights.

    The entire issue has nothing to do with marriage. Anyone has the right to marry anyone else they chose – and party all night about it, if they like. But that’s not what the gay marriage right people want – they don’t care about the marriage, they want the government loot, using the argument “Well the hetro-marriage people get all this loot, why can’t we?”. The best way to solve the problem would be to eliminate the government loot (and looting) – not make more hogs demanding access to the trough. Eliminate the marriage benefits for hetro’s as well! Then everyone is the same!

  15. Revolution,

    I agree wholeheartedly with your statement. The constitution is not a pick and choose document. You wither agree with it or you don’t agree with it. You can’t say I agree with the “rights” sections and use them as your argument and at the same time choose to ignore the “taxes” portion because you don’t want to pay taxes. I hit on this in comments under Act 2 or 1 earlier today as well.

    I would like to believe that I am not guilty of this but I am sure that I am. Which is why I am always willing to hear the other side. I always look for opportunities to correct myself of this hypocritical position I could put myself in.

  16. BlackFlag,

    On the contrary, you didn’t anger me. It takes much more than that to anger me. I see your point on what I wrote and how you interpreted it. I think I did a fair job of explaining what I wrote. Yes, I do think that the second an “illegal” immigrant starts paying into the system, they are entitled to the benefits of said system. I don’t have an issue with people coming to America to work. If I lived in Mexico I certainly would. In a perfect world, every single person that wants to come into this country can do so as long as they are not doing so with bad intentions. But as I said in another post, membership has its privileges.

    I have to disagree with your belief that the gay marriage issue is about getting access to the loot. I don’t believe that is the issue at all. It is about being given the same rights that are bestowed on heterosexual couples. Things such as the right to visit a loved one in the hospital, the right to be recognized as a couple in legal dealings, the right to adopt a child and raise them in a loving home, the right to provide medical coverage for your partner. That is what this is about. What benefits are married heterosexuals gaining that the gay rights movement would be this adamant about achieving? Your statement about the purpose of the movement shows a lack of knowledge of what the gay rights advocates are striving to achieve.

    As for ending welfare, I have been on that side of the argument for a long time. Taxes for the common good don’t mean taxes to support those who don’t support themselves.

  17. Myself, I do not agree with Revolution. Any document can be used, whole or in part, as necessary as it agrees with me.

    Imagine, even with if even a philosophy, such a liberty, I am required to agree with everything someone writes, or else I would be forced to agree with nothing.

    This binary thinking (the ol’ “with me or against me” thinking) is a intellectual betrayal of one’s self and devoid of critical thinking.

    USWeapon,

    So if I may explore a bit more – if the illegals were not ‘paying into the system’, but not extracting from the system either (via welfare, etc.), you would have no issues with them working in your country – and they would be citizens in your eyes as well?

    USWeapon: “I have to disagree with your belief that the gay marriage issue is about getting access to the loot. I don’t believe that is the issue at all. It is about being given the same rights that are bestowed on heterosexual couples. ”

    Such as…oh,

    living with each other?
    They got that.

    “the right to be recognized as a couple in legal dealings -the right to provide medical coverage for your partner.”

    Yep, the got that. They simply organizing their affairs for survivor rights (insurance, inheritance, etc) which is all merely contracts. Any competent lawyer can organize their affairs in this matter. I can take out insurance for you if I wish to pay for it – why can’t two cohabiting couples do that?

    “Things such as the right to visit a loved one in the hospital – the right to provide medical coverage for your partner”

    Yep, they got that. All they have to do is make a reciprocal living will (also know as a “Directive” is some jurisdictions and in others a “limited Power of Attorney”. Any competent lawyer can do this.

    –Living Will (who speaks for them when they are no longer capable).

    They got that (via legal Power of Attorney)

    -having a marriage party?
    They got that.

    “the right to adopt a child and raise them in a loving home”

    Yep, they got that. They merely have to qualify as any other competent couple. Remember, those offering adoption have all the right to chose the home they wish the child to go into. No one, including you or the government, have a right to overrule them. If they so chose that they don’t want this couple or that couple, it is perfectly in their rights to chose. That’s what freedom is, USWeapon – the right to chose for themselves.

    Survivor Social Security Benefits, Welfare benefits?

    Nope, that’s government pork and they don’t got that.

    Tax breaks?

    Nope, that’s government pork and they don’t got that.

    So all that’s left is government pork. It’s all about government money, USWeapon – and really nothing else.

    And just to correct your opinion of me, I work and nice friends with two, brilliant, homosexual colleagues – in fact, they were more than comfortable for one of them and his “significant other” to stay with me and my family for an extended visit at my vacation property. I do know, probably, a lot more of their issues then you may surmise.

  18. BlackFlag,

    While I admire that you have befriended some gay folks, I submit that the rest of your post makes the point that knowing someone does not mean that you even begin to understand what they stand for. Usually when someone leads with a statement like that, they are BS’ing me. If they are really your friends then you want to see them have all the same rights that you do. So you know a little about me, I couldn’t tell you how many gay friends I have. There are too many to count. And while I know some brilliant ones, I know some idiotic ones too. And I am not afraid to say that they are idiots because I judge them the same way as I do anyone else and I don’t have to prove to anyone that I “support” them in gaining their rights. I will do my best here to point out your mistakes and I have also invited some of my more intelligent gay compadres to join in and set you straight. So I will take these one at a time:

    Living with each other?
They got that.

    OK, that is silly and not relevant. Why even waste the time to type it.

    “the right to be recognized as a couple in legal dealings -the right to provide medical coverage for your partner.” Yep, the got that. They simply organizing their affairs for survivor rights (insurance, inheritance, etc) which is all merely contracts. Any competent lawyer can organize their affairs in this matter. I can take out insurance for you if I wish to pay for it – why can’t two cohabiting couples do that?

    First of all, do you have to do any of that as a heterosexual? Of course not, so why should they have to take extra steps that you don’t? And the fact that it differs from state to state is another source of unequal treatment. Why should they not have the ability to do these things just as easily as you have the ability to do them?

    “Things such as the right to visit a loved one in the hospital – the right to provide medical coverage for your partner” Yep, they got that. All they have to do is make a reciprocal living will (also know as a “Directive” is some jurisdictions and in others a “limited Power of Attorney”. Any competent lawyer can do this.

    Again, why should they have to take the extra steps? We are talking about people having the same freedoms and rights here, not similar equivalent rights if they take extra steps.

    –Living Will (who speaks for them when they are no longer capable). They got that (via legal Power of Attorney)

    The only one where I think you may have a point, and that is only because I THINK that hetero couples have to go through the same process.
    -having a marriage party?
They got that.

    They are not interested in the party (although I am sure it would be a fun and lively one that I hope I am invited to). How about the rights that a married hetero couple enjoys from day one? DON’T GOT THAT. Unions aren’t recognized across state borders, and that is just a start to what married couples have that same sex couples don’t.

    “the right to adopt a child and raise them in a loving home” Yep, they got that. They merely have to qualify as any other competent couple. Remember, those offering adoption have all the right to chose the home they wish the child to go into. No one, including you or the government, have a right to overrule them. If they so chose that they don’t want this couple or that couple, it is perfectly in their rights to chose. That’s what freedom is, USWeapon – the right to chose for themselves.

    I can’t address adoption because I simply don’t know the answer, but I would have to say that they wouldn’t be fighting for it so hard if they were receiving the same consideration as hetero couples. And I know what freedom is, I just wonder why you think that your version includes gay couples having to jump through different hoops to enjoy the same freedoms that you and I enjoy.

    I simply think that you are not able to objectively look at the issues and accept that gay couples in America are not treated the same as heterosexual couples. And while those last two lines you really seem to blow off about tax breaks and government money, there is no reason why they shouldn’t have that if heterosexual couples are entitled to that as well. I don’t mean to be demeaning of your position, I just think that you are wrong. I am glad that you posted your thoughts though because it will give us a chance to show everyone the realities of the gay rights movement.

  19. And for the record, you don’t have to correct your opinion of me. I try not to judge opinions different from mine. Because we don’t agree on the issue doesn’t mean that I think less of you. It simply means that I think that you are either ill-informed or wrong about the issue. You have the freedom to believe whatever you want, as I do.

    And while it was you that mentioned that you can, in fact, pick and choose from the constitution what you want, I disagree with that statement. But it is your right to believe that. But it is odd that you in all of your posts espouse the freedom that everyone deserves while at the same time feel that gays are somehow different than you and I. They deserve the same freedoms and rights. You either believe in complete freedom and complete equal treatment for every single person or you don’t.

    But the real reason I was coming on to do another comment was because I forgot to answer your question. I don’t have any issue with immigrants coming to this country. Are they immediately citizens? Absolutely not. We have a process for becoming a citizen of this country. It is one of our rules of membership in the club. Does that mean that they still have rights even though they aren’t a citizen? Absolutely they do. Human rights are universal. I prefer that they come here legally, but I also prefer that the American government make it easier to do so.

  20. BlackFlag says:

    USWeapon: “Whiile I admire that you have befriended some gay folks, I submit that the rest of your post makes the point that knowing someone does not mean that you even begin to understand what they stand for. ”

    Well, of course, I would say your statement is ridiculous – as if my conversations and discussions with them and their point of view was nonexistent.

    .” If they are really your friends then you want to see them have all the same rights that you do. ”

    My want? It doesn’t depend on my wants. The fact is, USweapon, THEY DO! No more, and no less.

    “OK, that is silly and not relevant. Why even waste the time to type it.”

    Because you debated this in its entirety. Your claim was they don’t’ have the same rights as I. My point is, they do. All of them. My further point was, they don’t have government loot of marriage – and they (mostly) don’t. Government loot is not a human right – IMO, it is exactly opposite – it is theft, and completely counter any human right.

    “First of all, do you have to do any of that as a heterosexual? Of course not, so why should they have to take extra steps that you don’t”

    Good sir, in fact, you do. If you chose not to ask the government’s permission to marry (ie: a marriage license), you have to take all these extra steps. It is no different, hetro or gay.

    “And the fact that it differs from state to state is another source of unequal treatment. Why should they not have the ability to do these things just as easily as you have the ability to do them? ”

    Every US state recognizes Powers of Attorney. If you know something else, please inform us all!

    “Again, why should they have to take the extra steps? We are talking about people having the same freedoms and rights here, not similar equivalent rights if they take extra steps.”

    It is NO DIFFERENT from any couple, hetro or gay, if they chose not ask government permission to marry. If you so chose to ask government for permission to exercise your right, then you must equally be prepared to be disappointed in their answer. You can’t seriously expect every time you ask permission, you’ll always get a “Yes” do you??

    Remember, if you ask permission to exercise a right, you cede your right to the entity you ask permission from – and allow the answer to your request to be equal a “NO” as it is “YES”.

    “They are not interested in the party (although I am sure it would be a fun and lively one that I hope I am invited to). How about the rights that a married hetero couple enjoys from day one? DON’T GOT THAT. Unions aren’t recognized across state borders, and that is just a start to what married couples have that same sex couples don’t.”

    Who cares? … unless you want government loot. Move to another city, live together, make contracts, etc. … This is not allowed, USWeapon??? Of course it is! Ah, but again, your argument starts and ends with GOVERNMENT entitlements – and I agree! These are not allowed! That’s my point. The entire Gay-marriage issue is not about marriage – but about government loot and the right to slop at the trough.

    Note carefully – if you refuse to ask for government’s permission to marry, you are excluded from government loot given to ‘married’.. Hetro or gay, the rule is the same.

    “I can’t address adoption because I simply don’t know the answer, but I would have to say that they wouldn’t be fighting for it so hard if they were receiving the same consideration as hetero couples. And I know what freedom is, I just wonder why you think that your version includes gay couples having to jump through different hoops to enjoy the same freedoms that you and I enjoy.”

    If you don’t believe in freedom for those you despise you don’t understand freedom at all.

    Freedom is always, always, and always the right to discriminate. “I want that, but not that”… is the core essence of freedom. Just because a decision someone may make might make you vomit… so what? It’s NOT YOUR RIGHT to interfere with another’s freedom of choice. And yes, sometimes, that may be disgusting. But the alternative – that someone else chooses for you … is a far, far worse situation. As Jefferson said, it is far far better to suffer the abuses of freedom, then to suffer the abuses of government restrictions on freedom.

    “I simply think that you are not able to objectively look at the issues and accept that gay couples in America are not treated the same as heterosexual couples. ”

    You’re right!! They aren’t treated the same ! Because…. (oh boy, ‘obvious reality alert’) THEY ARE NOT THE SAME as hetro-couples!

    BUT, they have EXACTLY, no less, nor more, the same RIGHTS THEN ANYONE ELSE.

    How I treat you will be infinitely different then how I treat my daughter, wife, brother, cousin, friend or enemy. But all of the former have the exactly the same rights!! Rights and treatment are not the same word, meaning or intent.

    “And while those last two lines you really seem to blow off about tax breaks and government money, there is no reason why they shouldn’t have that if heterosexual couples are entitled to that as well.”

    I’m in no position to argue that. I’m not arguing from the point of view of “government” rights. I simply don’t recognize the legitimacy of government, so I can’t honestly give any argument on government’s behalf, one way or the other. I’ll leave that for you.

    My point was, and still is, the whole argument is access to government loot. Heck, because it is the loot of thieves, essentially any and all have free reign to grab it – more the better – especially by those that have suffered the theiving! My problem, however, is with those that justify the theft – unfortunately, the more groups that demand access to the stolen loot, the more the thieves believe they are justified and feel the need to steal.

    USWeapon Says: “You either believe in complete freedom and complete equal treatment for every single person or you don’t.”

    I do believe in freedom. And freedom has absolutely nothing to do with ‘treatment’.

    The very meaning of freedom is discrimination. It allows me to like ‘him’, and not you. It means I can treat you very, very differently from anyone else I chose. Freedom is not ‘equal treatment’. In fact, it embraces, equally, the opposite. Freedom means I can treat you (within your rights) very differently from anyone else. Or treat you the same.

    It means “I get to chose, for myself, with whom I wish, or do not wish, to associate with”.

    Enforcement of “Equal treatment” is the basis of communism and socialism – the ‘brotherhood of all man’ and all. Communists called each other “comrade”, meaning ‘brother’ – they understood that equal treatment meant equal status – and that there was a difference between stranger and brother. By enforcing ‘brother’ upon strangers, they forced equal treatment of strangers and brothers – and well, their success is staggering (ie: total failure).

    As far as ‘illegal’ immigrants – I here your answer. It is consistent with your present position of semi-statist. I’ll leave that discuss right there – I’m sure, if we continue elsewhere, you’ll recognize your contradiction (or your diction!) in the matter. Thanks for your honesty.

  21. I am working on schoolwork at the moment, but your comments are interesting. I will come in and post a reply this evening once I am finished (about an hour). Thanks for your thoughts. You made your position a bit more clear to me and while I may not agree, I at least see where you are going.

  22. OK Black Flag. It seems to me that where we are really differing here is that you are choosing to not recognize the government from the beginning. The argument that you seem to be using here is that while you think that gay couples deserve equal treatment, that the government has no rights from the start, therefore there is no need to get approval in the first place. You aren’t arguing against equal rights for gay couples. You are instead arguing that the government has no authority in the first place and therefore gays have any right that they choose to have. The argument, if I am understanding it correctly, makes sense if you choose to not recognize where we are living. In your eyes, the only reason I have rights from the government is because I allow them to choose whether that right is mine in the first place. And therefore, the only reason that gay couples don’t have my rights is because they are choosing to make the same mistake as I do by asking for a right that was theirs in teh first place. Does that accurately describe what you are saying?

  23. Marriage was not traditionally government’s business, but only became so in the last couple of centuries. Normally it was just a religious/social thing; one which government approved, but did not necessarily sanction.

    Government got into the “marriage business” to keep the “wrong type” of marriages from occurring. Usually that meant interracial marriages at that time in history.

    Keep government out of ALL marriages, and out of the bedroom.

  24. Kent

    I think that we are in agreement on the fact that marriage got where it is that way and that the reason for marriage being sanctioned by the government is what it is.

    I think that in our current system, as flawed as it may be, marriage serves a legal purpose as well as a traditional one. Because of that the need is there for the government to at least have some form of registration. I would be all for a registration system that “alerts” government to a marriage and sets the union as law. My caveat would be that I don’t think the government should have the ability to deny anyone that right to unite.

  25. Hello USWeapon, I’m responding to BlackFlag’s comments, which seem to indicate that gay people want to avail themselves of marriage rights so they can “get the loot”.
    His statements do raise some questions.

    1.Is it only gays who have unworthy motivations for marriage, or is it everyone?
    If heterosexual people are marrying for the loot also, then we should abolish marriage. I don’t really think that most hetero’s are marrying for the loot, but because they love each other and want to be able to maintain their communal lives together in an orderly way. I suggest that the same may be true of gay people as well.

    2. The discussion of whether one surrenders ones rights to marriage when asking for the ability to marry seems rather muddled. If BlackFlag disbelieves that the government should not be in the business of granting licenses to marry, then I understand that. At that point, the question is, should anyone be allowed to marry or not. The whole point of the recent political events in California and other states is about precisely that issue. Evidently a bare majority of the people in those states have decided that they want the government to be in the business of granting licenses to marry, but for only part of the population.

    3. The statement that Enforcement of “Equal treatment” is the basis of communism and socialism, is problematic to me, for a few reasons. I can see that, within certain rather broad parameters, individuals have rights to associations of their choice, and of course are not required to treat everyone equally. But I thought the topic of discussion was marriage. Gay people aren’t asking everyone to grant them license to marry, only the government. In this democracy, we’ve slowly been making progress toward more inclusively granting full citizenship rights for all. Those who undertake the responsibilities of citizenship should be able to avail themselves of the rights of citizenship. Those rights (as well as responsibilities) have been a matter of ongoing debate almost from the beginning, undergoing constitutional revision on an ongoing basis.

    4.It’s frankly absurd to expect gay people to go to the lengths of hiring attorneys to draw up expensive legal documents to ascertain rights on a piecemeal basis that would be granted in toto by the simple filing of a marriage license with the local clerk of court. It makes the procurement of that right so difficult and cumbersome to attain that many simple will not have the capacity to do so. It makes the attainment of one’s rights dependent on ones wealth. Is BlackFlag an adherent of Plutocracy, the rule of the wealthy? Some think that democracy is dedicated to ensuring even handed treatment for all members of the polis, not just the wealthy.

    5. The business about the will. A will between two partners who are not legally married can be overturned by a family almost every time. This is why people need the legal protection of marriage.

    6. The whole concept of having a certain right is in itself dependent on the notion that one might not have the identical right, if other circumstances prevailed. There are places on the earth today where two gay people living together is tantamount to a death sentence. It is not an absolute, assured right that two gay persons in love can live together. This is why people perceive a need to seek legal protection from other people who otherwise would be “free” to kill them judicially, or extra-judicially, by simply dragging them out into the street and stoning them.

    There seems to be a confusion in the discussion between individual liberties and citizenship rights. I don’t think the issue is with individual liberties, but with citizenship rights. If marriage itself, as a form of state sanctioned and licensed behavior, is the issue, then I agree, I don’t believe the government has any business regulating that, and no one should be seeking license to marry from the state. I think it takes a certain independence of mind for individuals to set the terms of discourse for themselves and not rely on the state to dictate the terms of the unwritten contract we all make with the state.

    But since the evolution of the modern nation state, governments have been defining the discourses of life with the citizens of those states. The United States, in developing a system of representative government, is one of the most effective at defining the terms by which we live our lives. While the concept of the nation state is outmoded to the point of becoming destructive, we still have to deal with it. And that seems to include marriage.

    If BlackFlag believes that government intervention in marriage is in itself a bad thing, then no one should be married, whether hetero or homo. If BlackFlag believes that some should be married and others should be barred from that, then I suggest that his discussion of rights is somewhat muddled. He seems to confuse individual liberties with communal rights. What is at issue is not the liberty to marry or cohabit, but the right of individuals to an equal standing before the representative government of the polis. Since there is a De Facto government which haas taken to itself the power to order our lives both personally and socially, it becomes necessary for all citizens to act in such a way as to secure even handed and equal treatment before that government.

  26. USWeapon Says: “OK Black Flag. It seems to me that where we are really differing here is that you are choosing to not recognize the government from the beginning. ”

    Why would I cede my rights to a violent, unpredictable, insane, and disinterested third party? Why would I give it the power of decision over my marriage – one of the most important and intimate events in a human’s life?

    USweapon: “The argument that you seem to be using here is that while you think that gay couples deserve equal treatment, that the government has no rights from the start, therefore there is no need to get approval in the first place. You aren’t arguing against equal rights for gay couples. You are instead arguing that the government has no authority in the first place and therefore gays have any right that they choose to have”

    Hmm, close but not quite. I do not ‘chose’ my rights. They are mine, without choice. I don’t need to negotiate nor pick from any ‘menu’ of which ones I get, and which ones I don’t.

    I have all my rights – even if I don’t enforce them, use them, or acknowledge them.

    USWeapon: “The argument, if I am understanding it correctly, makes sense if you choose to not recognize where we are living. In your eyes, the only reason I have rights from the government is because I allow them to choose whether that right is mine in the first place. And therefore, the only reason that gay couples don’t have my rights is because they are choosing to make the same mistake as I do by asking for a right that was theirs in teh first place. Does that accurately describe what you are saying?”

    Not quite.
    1) If you ask permission to use a right, you just gave it away. If I ask your permission to speak in public, then I have given you the right to say “No”. Of course, I may retract my request – keep my right – and ignore you and still go speak in public – but if that is what I was going to do anyway, why ask permission?

    2) The reason you have ‘government’ rights is because you agree that government gives you those ‘nice things’, and you’re willing to do the ‘tricks’ necessary for you to get them. If you can’t do the ‘tricks’, then you don’t get them.

    3) Gays have all their ‘real’ rights. However, that isn’t their issue. They are asking for ‘government’ thingy-rights. However, they are not able to do the necessary ‘tricks’ to get them. Too bad.

    Kent hit the nail square. Government got into the ‘trick’ business with marriage so to keep the ‘wrong types’ from marrying. By giving those that ‘married properly’ lots of government goodies – paid for equally by those that engaged in ‘wrong marriages’ as much as ‘good marriages’ – it made ‘wrong marriages’ a very costly affair. The ‘wrong types’ still had to pay the dough, but got zippo.

    USweapon: “Kinda put a damper on the ‘happy home’.as flawed as it may be, marriage serves a legal purpose as well as a traditional one. Because of that the need is there for the government to at least have some form of registration. ”

    Why?

    Why is there a need to ‘register’ a marriage? Who’s business is it?

    Only need to register for anything is to gain some sort of benefit – so why should two people living together who call themselves ‘married’ have more benefit they any other two people living together who call themselves ‘sibling’ or ‘roommates’ or ‘buddies’ or ‘friends’??

    Hi Dan!

    Dan: “1.Is it only gays who have unworthy motivations for marriage, or is it everyone?”

    Unworthy? I am not measuring anyone’s worth at all. You can be the most worthless dirt-bag of a human – but you have EXACTLY the same rights as Bill Gates, or Mother Theresa.

    Dan: “If heterosexual people are marrying for the loot also, then we should abolish marriage.”

    No, just abolish the looting. Your argument is analogous to “Gee, if people are stealing cars, let’s just eliminate cars!”

    Dan: “I don’t really think that most hetero’s are marrying for the loot, but because they love each other and want to be able to maintain their communal lives together in an orderly way. I suggest that the same may be true of gay people as well.”

    I agree. Marrying is your right. And the gays can marry today. Who’s stopping them? Are they being arrested or shot on sight in the street? Nope.

    Dan: “2. The discussion of whether one surrenders ones rights to marriage when asking for the ability to marry seems rather muddled. If BlackFlag disbelieves that the government should not be in the business of granting licenses to marry, then I understand that. At that point, the question is, should anyone be allowed to marry or not. ”

    Anyone IS ALLOWED to marry, whether you like it or not. There is no question about it.

    Dan: “The whole point of the recent political events in California and other states is about precisely that issue. Evidently a bare majority of the people in those states have decided that they want the government to be in the business of granting licenses to marry, but for only part of the population. ”

    Bingo! The majority of people have decided that GOVERNMENT license to marry should go to a part of the population that can do better monkey tricks than another part of the population. So what?

    Who needs a government license to marry? Why do you want to do ‘tricks’ for the government for them to give you your goodie bag?

    Go ahead – try it! Find your girl, call her your wife; she calls you husband; have a great party where you profess endless love and commitment to each other in front of most important people of your life; have and raise a bunch of kids; grow old together, and call yourselves married. See who stops you and see if you need a marriage license.

    Dan: 3. “Gay people aren’t asking everyone to grant them license to marry, only the government.”

    If you have to ask, you can expect “No” as well as “Yes”.

    Why is anyone surprised if they say “No”??? Are they always, always supposed to say “Yes” to every permission request? If they are, then why ask? If the answer will always be “Yes”, just go do it then – no need to ask, right?

    Dan: “4.It’s frankly absurd to expect gay people to go to the lengths of hiring attorneys to draw up expensive legal documents to ascertain rights on a piecemeal basis that would be granted in toto by the simple filing of a marriage license with the local clerk of court.”

    Why ? I had to, and I’m not in a gay marriage.

    As I said above, why would I invite a horrible, murderous, insane, disinterested monster into my intimate relationship?

    Besides, if you really thought about it, you have to do all those things anyway.

    You had to write a will, and determine the disposition of your assets, right? If you didn’t change your will after you marry, your loot goes to as per your old will, right? Yep!! And if you don’t have a will, even if you’re married, it still goes to probate, and…good luck at the lottery will be your wife’s hope!

    You had to go get life insurance and pay for it, sign all the documents and designate the beneficiary right? You could be married, but assign your beneficiary to be your best friend, right? Yep!! It’s not automatic, is it? Ya gotta say “It goes to …(fill in blank)” and if it isn’t your wife, she can sue, cry, stomp her feet or whatever, and…guess what? No dough!!!

    You had to go to your bank and assign rights to your spouse to access the family money, right? If you don’t do that, the bank won’t let your spouse access to the money, no matter how much she stomps her feet, right? Yep!!

    And given the Florida case, between husband and parents over who has the right to pull (or prevent pulling) of the plug – you should get the living will document organized to save your family such heartache, because even if you’re married, there is no clarity of who speaks for your interests when you can no longer can speak for yourself.

    Gee, where did the gov’rn-mint clerk help you in any of this?

    So what part do you gain by the government license? Ah…GOVERNMENT LOOT!

    Dan: “5. The business about the will. A will between two partners who are not legally married can be overturned by a family almost every time. This is why people need the legal protection of marriage.”

    Sorry, Dan, you’re in a legal confusion. A proper will is pretty darn near impossible to overturn. Heck, people will their estates to cats, and its upheld.

    You’re just observing the newspaper exceptions between bimbos and the 90 year old lecherous (but lucky ) guy who ditched his 50 year marriage for a two year bimbo fling and died. He made a new will while he was, well, mentally unstable. Yep, there will be a court case…. but not because of the will, but because of the mental instability.

    Dan: “There are places on the earth today where two gay people living together is tantamount to a death sentence.”

    Yep, and there are places on earth where two unmarried hetro’s living together is tantamount to a death sentence too. So your point is that there are places in the world where human rights are ignored and people are murdered? Yep, you’re right!

    Dan: “on the state to dictate the terms of the unwritten contract we all make with the state.”

    What ‘unwritten’ contract with the State? Where can I read it? And when did I sign?

    Dan: “If BlackFlag believes that government intervention in marriage is in itself a bad thing, then no one should be married, whether hetero or homo.”

    Why? Again, because there are car accidents, we shouldn’t have any cars at all? What argument is that??

    Dan: “but the right of individuals to an equal standing before the representative government of the polis.”

    Ah! That is the error of your argument!!

    You believe you have RIGHTS with the government! You do not – ever!

    They make the government rules, not you.

    If they say ‘No’, then you can’t have it. If you try to take it anyway, they will jail you or kill you. You have NO RIGHTS with government – you have entitlements, privileges, grants, permission – but, never, never do you have a “Right” – because, if the government so decides, they can take away your entitlements, privileges, grants or their permission – and you can’t do boo about it (except walk around with a protest sign in a designated ‘free speech zone’ at least 200 feet from any entrance to any government office…good for you!!)(wink)

    And California is the example. The Gays had it ‘yesterday’ but ‘today’ the government took it away. What ‘right’ can the Gays claim of government —- oops, nada not one –

    Look at the tax code – there is no ‘equal standing’ at all – one group pays nothing, another pays a bit, and another pays a huge amount of percentage of their income to tax. What is ‘equal’ about that?

    Equality with government simply does not and cannot exist. The primary goal of government is redistribute property – take wealth from someone, and give to someone else who did not earn it. How is that ‘equal’?

    Demanding ‘equal treatment’ in front of an insane, careless, egotistical, murderous crook is likely to get you killed. I would counsel you to avoid such demonstrations.

  27. BlackFlag,

    You make interesting points. While I don’t agree, and I think that you attempt to oversimplify things in order to further your point, it is interesting to read. The question that I have for you becomes the same as the one I asked in one of the other threads: What exactly do you think that your stance is going to gain you. Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, government has the power currently. You can choose to not play the game by simply ignoring the government’s power, but that is going to get us nowhere. You can attempt to hold the moral high ground and state that the government doesn’t give me my rights, I already have them. But that won’t get us anywhere. And you can attempt to take each one of the statements and find a way to argue them as you have done above. But, again, that won’t get us anywhere.

    What needs to happen is that we need to acknowledge the situation that we find ourselves in and determine the best way to better that situation. Simply deciding that you will operate under different rules than the actual rules that are currently in place won’t gain a single thing and won’t contribute to the betterment of the country. I understand the”anarchist” point of reference and I can understand why you choose to use that as what you believe. I don’t understand why you think that it is a good idea to use that as your strategy for dealing with the reality of America today. It simply is a wasted effort at that point. What it lends itself is to my believing that you are not interested in making the country a better place, you are simply interested in complaining about how it differs from what you wish it to be.

  28. I can’t speak for BlackFlag; only myself. So I will explain how I view the situation.

    I think we need to know where we want to go in order to eventually get there. “Keep your eye on the target”, as the saying goes. Recognizing the reality of the situation, such as the fact that government holds a monopoly on force, at least “legally”, doesn’t seriously change how I live my life. It just means I know I am surrounded by the bad guys; it does not require me to adopt their evil philosophy.

    It may mean that in certain situations, I must be more careful than if I lived in a free society.

    It may mean that I obey some counterfeit “laws” that I abhor, but that I have a high likelihood of being killed for ignoring.

    What it doesn’t mean is that I will stop fighting to make the world freer out of fear or respect for the status quo.

    As I have tried to explain in the past, if you are standing in a bed of fire ants, you might look at a pit of boiling lava and be glad you are not in it. No one would claim that you are not better off than someone in the lava. To argue, however, that the bed of fire ants is the best possible situation is madness. America, with its emerging police-state, fiat money, and “reasonable regulations” is an ant bed. Step out of the ant bed and into the grassy meadow of freedom.

    I don’t view what I do as “complaining”, but rather as “explaining”. Others may see it differently.

  29. BlackFlag says:

    USweapon: “What exactly do you think that your stance is going to gain you.”

    The only way to retain freedom and capture lost freedom is to confront the legitimacy of those that claim the right to take it from you.

    Those that take your freedom are forces of violence. Government is nothing but violence – that is what a ‘law’ is – the right of government to use violence to enforce its edict upon you. Thus, revolution by violence and overthrow by violence only substitutes one violent entity for another. This why no revolution of the people in history overthrowing a tyranny really gets ‘free’. All the they do is put another tyranny in its place. The rule of the Kings was replaced with the rule of Guillotine. The new tyranny may be subdued for a while – but it will, always and eventually, expose itself naked – as a pure, violent being.

    The only success can come from refusing legitimacy. When the people of the nation refuse to give sanction to the violence of government, the government losses all its power. Without violence it cannot exist. Without legitimacy, the people will refuse to support it. And government, the greatest enemy of humanity, will falter.

    USweapon: “Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, government has the power currently. You can choose to not play the game by simply ignoring the government’s power, but that is going to get us nowhere.”

    Ignoring government is exactly the best way to win. Here’s a thought: Why does every political party produce ads encouraging everyone to go vote? If you want to win, you only want your voters to vote, and you want your opponent’s voters to stay home. But the ads does not say “My voters, my party loyal, come and vote and don’t you dare give rides to my opponents!” – Nope, they say they want everyone to vote.

    So let’s step back – if you want to win, you only want your voters to vote. You then say you want everyone to vote. What does that mean? It means voting – the act of voting – is the most important thing government wants you to do. (Wait for it -! ) The Government does not care who you vote for, but simply that you vote!

    It doesn’t matter what politician wins – because as long as you vote, the government wins! Voting gives the government legitimacy – which is when voter turnout is small, the politicians and their apologists get in a tizzy of fear – because it means the government is losing.

    So ignoring government is one of the very best tactics to defeating them. As long as you ‘care’ about government, you’re doomed. As long as you think government makes a positive difference, you’re doomed. Here’s a thought: In your own personal dealings, which tactic do you use when confronting a problem? Do you use violence and attack your adversary in a battle to the death, and beat him senseless? Or do you work with reason and peaceful means to solve your problem? Yet, the only answer government has to any problem is violence – force and coercion – called a ‘law’. Try reasoning with a cop at 3AM when you did a rolling stop through a stop sign in a dark, empty road. The cop claims that the sign is smarter than you – that you can’t see – and you are stupid. Argue with him and see where it gets you. I recant – No, don’t argue – you cannot win and will lose, and badly.

    The moment you decide that the ‘law’ is exactly the wrong tactic to solve problems, government is doomed. So, yes, ignoring them is wonderful. Government is crushed as soon as you longer care about it…..which is why government entangles itself everywhere; government is afraid you’ll figure out you don’t need it.

    USweapon: “What needs to happen is that we need to acknowledge the situation that we find ourselves in and determine the best way to better that situation. Simply deciding that you will operate under different rules than the actual rules that are currently in place won’t gain a single thing and won’t contribute to the betterment of the country. ”

    You cannot change the system by using the rules created by the system. It has a built-in safety mechanism that prevents destruction by design of politics. The failure of the Libertarian party is that they believe you can fix government by being the government.

    The Lord of the Rings story was a statement of government power. All fight against the ring, but all want to hold the ring. As the character Gandalf said when offered the ring of power – “NO! For I would want to use it to do good, and end up to be a great and terrible evil”. That is me, in a nutshell. I am a member of Mensa as well as the 1/1000 club – and if it existed, probably the one 1/50,000 club. An IQ of over 200 – in any football stadium, I would be confident to claim that I would be the most intellectual guy there (ok, so I’m just really good at math and puzzles… the truth is out). Of anyone, I would be the very best leader of the world. And if that happened, God help the world for there would be little left of it after I got done.

    No one is immune from the power. And it can only be wielded for evil – for it is born of evil – legitimacy of violence. You cannot change it. You can only destroy it – by refusing to use it. So many people go into politics – thinking they can do good – and end up merely perpetuating the evil – they can do nothing else. To gain a small victory, they have to give up their morals and values and trade their voice and vote for the benefit of another in government – and many times, in a way that is counter their beliefs. Once that Rubicon is crossed, there is no end – and eventually, they forgot their lofty goals of why they started and now just simply exercise power.

    I do not claim that government will end soon – but as more people understand that government has no legitimacy – has no right and thus no power, and refuse it’s bribes, they will be free. “What if there was a war and nobody should up?” is exactly how war will end. “What if there was a tax law, and no one paid?” is how government will end.

    And really, I don’t have to do much. Government kills itself. The Scorpion and the Toad parable – it’s what Scorpions do. We are witnessing its end today. It has bankrupted the world, caused more deaths in the 20th century than the all the natural disasters combined, and it can’t even get a road paved. It is dying – unfortunately it is thrashing in its death – and hurting a lot of people – but it is dying.

    I do understand your Statist point of view. You probably tend to believe that if there isn’t some ‘master plan’ or design or program or center-created will, nothing happens.

    If there are no stop signs, people will crash their cars, claims the Statist. Well, nope. In a major city in Holland, they removed all the traffic lights and stop signs, and let the cars go at it in a free-for-all. And what happened? It started with quite a few accidents, but no fatal – and then, shock, fatal accidents dropped to only one, down from dozens of the previous year. Accidents dropped equally to 2% of the previous year. But no stop signs!?!?! Why? Because in the past people trusted that the stupid light and the stupid sign was smarter then they on how to make their decisions about proceeding through a crossing. Now, they trusted their own brains – and voila! Humans are smarter than a blinking light! Another bonus, rush hour traffic congestion almost disappeared! People acted in a way of their own self interest – that is, it costs to have an accident – so they avoided it, and without the false security of traffic lights, they controlled themselves on their own terms.

    It’s part of a theory called “Rinkonomics” – here’s a Stossel broadcast that introduces the concept.

    http://abcnews.go.com/video/playerIndex?id=6062018

    The chaos of freedom always creates the optimum of society. Chaos always wins over order, because it is far better organized. (I love that quote!) The spontaneous chaos/order of humanity is capable of nearly infinite superior decision process than any central planner, no matter how brilliant that planner may be.

    So how do I make the world better? By not agreeing with any one who asks to take your rights away. By ignoring those that profess violence as the best tool to solve problems. To take care of my small part of the universe, in peace and good harmony with those around me, to the best of my ability. And to educate those who, after centuries of trying, are starting to give up on government as their savior and I hope to give them direction on how to get back their god-given freedom.

  30. Wow, It is 4:17 am so I am going to have to respond to this tomorrow. It is an interesting thought, but I am still not convinced that it solves any issues, which is what I am trying to do. You can have that state of mind, but it won’t solve today’s problems. It will only allow you to ignore them. Someone with such a high IQ should realize that there is no gain to the path you have chosen, only an internal feeling of better understanding than others. I choose to choose a course with a result that is possible, which I don’t think your ideal is. I will respond tomorrow however, as well as post several new posts as it is a much needed day off.

  31. I have to say that I agree with BlackFlag here. He points to real world examples and results that I am already familiar with.

    I think government has become a crutch, and has caused our “responsibility muscles” to atrophy.

    I used to keep dreaming that if “we just elected the right people”. I kept watching the latest “right person” become just like the last “wrong person” after getting elected. Then I woke up and withdrew consent.

    I don’t believe that government will evaporate today, but I do believe it can evaporate. In fact, I believe it must if civilization is to survive.

    Please check out The On Line Freedom Academy (TOLFA). I volunteer to “mentor” anyone who “enrolls” after looking it over. It really isn’t hard, and will help you think logically about each step of the process of understanding freedom. I can’t stress enough how important I think it is that you at least try to go through TOLFA. If, afterwards, you think it is all nonsense, or logically flawed, you will at least understand those of us who have a passion for liberty.

  32. I agree with Kent on the marriage thing. The government needs to be out of that business all together. A civil union could serve the purpose of the life-term contract that marriage is. Such a contract needs to be in place to handle issues of child custody, property division and ownership, and other legal decisions that arise on the termination of said contract either by violation of its terms, mutually agreed termination and release from contract, or death of one or more of the contract participants. This sort of contract can be used between any gender or any number of consenting adults, with any relationship. If two friends want to enter a lifelong contract concerning the custody of a child, that is no different than a married couple or a guy with a 10 woman harem. The long term cultural effects of such a thing are a huge unknown, and I would be personally opposed to some of the things I just described taking place, but the government has no business listening to my personal beliefs on such a matter. Contract enforcement and dispute resolution are all the government should involve itself in.

    As for enforcement of rights, this is the key role of government, and the reason I think we need one. There are people who don’t think others should have certain rights, and there are people who don’t care about rights, and there are people who don’t understand rights or how their actions may be violating the rights of others. This is why we need documents and a legal system and enforcement for said legal system. Even if a vast majority agreed with anarchist principles, there is always the marginal case, and the marginal case must be addressed, it cannot simply be ignored.

  33. “There are people who don’t think others should have certain rights”

    Right you are, and without a government that they can get to legitimize their evil wishes, they would be banging their heads against a brick wall. It is only in “legalizing” their opinions, or in initiating force on a freelance basis, that their opinions cause any real problem. Government causes one of these situations, and does less than individuals do to stop the other.

  34. BlackFlag says:

    USWeapon:

    Kent’s link is great – and one of the FAQ’s on the link really addresses your comment:
    “one thing a great many freedom-seekers miss is the intellectual necessity of a free society”

    You seem a ‘go-to-guy’; ready to solve problems, and I can understand you want to ‘do something’ and not just sit around and swap philosophy.

    However, I would suggest, first, it absolutely necessary to completely and fully understand ‘how’ these problems should be solved. This is important, for a number of reasons:
    1) not all problems have solutions – in fact, the vast majority of problems have no solution
    2) of those problems that may have a solution, the vast majority of those have very difficult and painful solutions.
    3) there are very, very, very few easy solutions to problems. otherwise, they would have been solved long ago.

    So, allow me to use a short story/analogy to why it is so important to reach the intellectual basis of freedom first – and solidly.

    I come to you and say “USWep, ol’buddy, I have a dream! I want to help the poor, I want to help the sick, I want to make the lives of the people better and happy”

    You’d say “Wow, Blackflag! That’s wonderful!” And then you watch me take out my AK47, and load it up. Horrified, you say “What are doing?”.

    I say “Well, USwep, you don’t I have the millions of dollars to do this! I’m going to rob banks, and then give away the loot!”

    You’d say “You can’t do that!! It’s wrong! People might get hurt!”

    I say, “But, USwep, it’s worth it. Look at all the people I can help. Besides, how do expect me to help the poor. If I can’t steal the money, I cannot help the poor.”

    You’d say, “You cannot steal the money, — EVEN IF IT MEANS YOU CAN’T HELP THE POOR. EVEN IF IT MEANS YOU CANNOT HELP ANYONE. You just can’t steal. Period.”

    In the story, you have a immutable moral principle. No matter how good, and helpful, and wonderful my dream, your principle against murder and theft cannot be overruled – even if it means the suffering of the poor will continue.

    And that is what is absolutely necessary as a first step before solving problems. Because as it is today, these principles are wide open. It is ok to steal and kill, as long as it appears you are helping someone else. Because, today, it is not the principle that is immutable – but the demand that all problems require solutions – even if means innocent people have to die or suffer or be enslaved.

    In many discussions, I will here the Statist proclaim “Oh well, if we do in your way, we can’t do it! That means the (pain/suffering/loss) has to continue! Your way is crap! We’ll do it my way – make a law and FORCE PEOPLE to give up their (time/money/effort)! It’s worth it!…. and if they don’t want to give up their money, we’ll take it from them anyway!”

    Little wonder things fall to pieces in a society that believes by force and violence, problems get solved.

    Before we can be free, we have to understand what it really means to be free. Unless we are willing to do that, all we will be doing is playing musical chairs under the hang man’s noose.

    There is an old Serbian parable:
    A woman is weeping over the grave of her son. A stranger happens by and asks what happened.

    “I am now alone”, she says. “The wild beasts of the forests have killed my husband and now my son.”

    The stranger says, “So why did you not live in the village with all the other people and away from the wild beasts?”

    She answers “Because we need to live free.”

  35. As I am not Libertarian, I don’t give a twit about arguments as to “why should I let the monster in my bedroom”. The monster already is in the bedroom, and has to be dealt with in the bedroom, and every other room.

    Some of the sillier commenters on this post speak about god given rights, indicating that they are speaking out of a belief system just as blinkered as any other. I’m not against God, but I won’t be bound by any notions of what rights may and may not be derived from their operative concept of divine government.

    This, in fact, was precisely how people’s lives were constrained before the current nation-state structure came into being. For at least several thousand years, the church, in the form of the local priesthood, had the power of life and death over individuals lives. People seem to always be looking for someone to tell them what “truth” is.

    Interesting to say that one can be married with or without the government’s involvement. I suppose we can make any statement true by changing our definitions to make them fit our intent.
    Humans who live in society with other human beings have to deal with the realities as they are manifested in daily life. The government has powers that individuals do not grant, but may derive from society at large or simply by arrogation. As that seems to be the reality of the situation, one must deal with the monster in the bedroom, which, more or less, by the consent of the governed has taken to itself the power of life and death over all who live in it’s sphere of influence.

    Merely declaring that one lives outside the system does not make it so.

  36. BlackFlag says:

    “Vinegar in freedom is sweeter than honey in slavery”

  37. So, Daniel, before government took over the marriage business, no one was “really” married?

    You are right, a simple declaration doesn’t make something true. It also takes action.

    Also, for the record, I never reference “God” as the source of rights.

  38. Jon Smith,

    So I can agree when you say that government needs to keep out of the business of marriage. However, unfortunately they are already in that business and there are so many things tied to the business as it is today. So while civil unions, if approached correctly, could do the trick, wouldn’t it just be a lot easier to go ahead and let gay couples get married and operate within the system as it stands today? It is an interesting thing that the gay community has not asked to have the system dramatically changed, the way that Kent and BlackFlag would do. They want to abolish the way things are and get government out of the process. Gays instead have only asked that we do the one action available that would not require the rest of us to do a thing.

    So that would be my question. Why change the process, change the entire system to civil unions, require everything about marriage as we know it to change? When instead we could just say yes to allowing gay couples to marry, and that would affect everyone else in absolutely no way, shape, or form. The only people in any way affected by gays having the right to marry are the gay couples and a few Christians who get their feelings hurt.

    I absolutely agree that government serves a purpose in the way that you mentioned. They have currently gone way beyond that purpose and gotten out of hand, but that doesn’t mean that all government is a bad thing, only the way it is now.

  39. BlackFlag,

    In response to your long post because I haven’t gotten to the ones below it yet. I like to read and respond to one at a time.

    Your first mistake in engaging me in this conversation is one that I don’t fault you for. If your IQ is as high as you claim, you don’t often run into those who think on your level. And you engage a lot of people, I am sure, because you passionately believe what you are saying. That means the vast majority of those you speak to are not that bright. So you operate under the assumption that you will have to explain yourself to everyone, because they don’t think on your level. So I get where your head is at. And I forgive you for assuming that my intelligence level is somewhere south of yours. I won’t claim to have a 200 IQ, because that would be inflating my number by a very large portion. But it isn’t low either. And every time that you speak to me as though I cannot think on your level, I get about ten emails from people who know me asking me when I am going to put you in your place and make you understand that you can’t talk above my head. I can sit down with just about any Mensa member you like and have an intelligent conversation and I will understand everything that they say. I am not as smart as those top 100 people in the country, but I am smart enough to understand everything that they are saying. So that is the extent of my reigning you in on that subject. There is nothing you can say or discuss here that I don’t understand, without the 5th grade reading level explanation that is necessary in order for others to understand.

    That being said, I understand exactly what you mean when you say the word “freedom”. I know exactly what you are talking about when you discuss your vision of what the world should be. It isn’t that I don’t understand, it is simply that I disagree with you. And you have on several occasions implied that my view is one that is simply not as enlightened as your view is. That is not the case. I am simply not an idealist, I am instead a realist. The society that you envision cannot and will not happen. The freedom that you reference is a pipe dream. It is on par with the Cubs winning the World Series, in theory it works but there will always be a Jason Bartman to take the ball out of the glove. The ability to simply retract your belief in the government does absolutely nothing other than fuel your internal feeling that you are somehow simply above all those who don’t share your views. I have thought about the things that you speak of, and upon analysis understood implicitly that those thoughts are irrelevant in the current situation that we find ourselves in.

    As for the story about stealing from a bank. I get where you are going with that and I somewhat agree. The government has long found the justification for forcibly taking what they like from us in the name of making the world a better place. I haven’t said that I agree with what the government does or that I don’t get what they do. I simply know what constraints we are operating under and I am not under an illusion that my refusing to acknowledge them will somehow save me when they come knocking on my door. I want real change and improvement in my country. I don’t feel that the best way to go about it is to irrationally look at the situation. I understand your reach for the stars idealism, and perhaps one day the world will be in a place where you can do that. But we have barely gotten a man on the moon. The stars are well out of reach at this point.

  40. “I am simply not an idealist, I am instead a realist.”

    It’s funny, but I often think the same about my own views. I find belief in the state to be extremely utopian, while “the other side” accuses me of the same thing. I think it depends upon your point of view, and that depends which side of the fence you are standing on. Maybe there is something about the fence that distorts our vision when we look across it.

    As for “getting a man on the moon”, if it had been done privately, we might have taken a few years longer, but I think we wouldn’t have dropped the ball after going a few times.

  41. BlackFlag says:

    USWeapon Says: “I get about ten emails from people who know me asking me when I am going to put you in your place and make you understand that you can’t talk above my head.”

    I find that amusing – why aren’t they responding for themselves?

    I’m not talking above or under anyone.

    I speaking what they know is a natural truth. They, personally, would never go out and steal and kill and harm others without being under a threat first.

    Yet, when they wrap themselves in government – away they go! They might elect someone who appoints someone to do it for them, but cheer they do! Go steal, and kill and rob! Because the greater good demands it and heck, they may get lucky and get some too!

    You’re over-compensating the issue – but it’s as simple as any child can understand. You think it is more complicated than that – but it isn’t.

    Every playground with kids – they all, naturally, know what you’ve forgotten. The kid that gets the spanking is the one that starts the fight. Starting fights is not allowed. Taking someone’s toys is not allowed. Play nice.

    I guess, somewhere, when some people grow up, they forget what every kid learns in the playground.

    In all your posts, you haven’t yet offered any argument, rational, or reason at all why a group of people, called the government, should be able to attack peaceful people and coerce them – to pay for someone’s ‘goodies’. You avoid the discussion – move way ‘over here’ and chant about ‘doing something’ or ‘working in the program’ or… something else. Somewhere, you’ve come to believe that using evil violence can, by a miracle, create a great good. You’re stuck in a deadly paradigm.

    As far as a ‘vision’ of the world ‘should be’ –

    I have no vision whatsoever – that would be ‘planning’ and ‘forcing’ and warping the system – then I’d be just like a Statist. The world is what it is, and it will be what it will be. I have no idea what that will be. All I know is trying to ‘create it’ by violence will most definitely create a disaster.

    I’m very comfortable in letting people be free to create and do the things they what.

    I don’t need to know exactly how each and every step will or will not unfold. I just know the principles, and based on those principles, I can predict a range of outcomes.

    An excellent read to understand these concepts – it is a tall read, though. “On Human Action” by Mises. He goes into a great deal of depth about human choices and outcomes, and the inevitable failure of government.

    I don’t need to try to micromanage a tree for it to grow leaves. In fact, if I do just that, I’ll likely kill the tree. It’s no different for people. Let them be free – it’s amazing!

    You certainly can disagree with my arguments- but, why? I’ve heard no reason, no principle, no …. nothing. You say you’re not an idealist – but by demeaning idealism -are you really admitting you have no ideas that hold up to reason? Without a principled idea of freedom, how could the Declaration of Independence be written? Without that document, there would be no United States. You said you memorized it, but do you understand it? Without principles, you have nothing. And for most people their principles are for sale – for government bribes.

    Is it a pipe dream? But you act on it everyday. You, as an individual, probably held a door open for someone; let someone into your car lane; walked down a street, avoiding bumping into anybody – and if you did, you probably apologized. And I’m sure, if you saw a stranger in need of help, you’d be there first. But you, wrapped in government, you’re more than willing believe is ok to punish people for doing no harm to anyone, support by threats the seizure of other peoples property – idealize the violence and the means as long as the goal seems ‘good’.

    I had a nice laugh – watching a video on the unconstitutionality of the draft. The 13th Amendment: “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude, except as a punishment for crime whereof the party shall have been duly convicted, shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction” – pretty darn clear. Of course the draft is completely in contradiction to this amendment.

    The speaker on the video was recalling his encounter with Hubert Humphrey over this issue. He confronted HH and demanded how HH could reconcile the 13th amendment and the legislation for the draft. HH, looked at him and said, “Son, we already did that.” The speaker asked “How could you possible do that?” HH raised a bunch of papers in one hand and said, “Here is the 13th amendment written right here..” raised another bunch of paper in the other hand “.. and here is the legislation for the draft written right here.” He pushed them together in a pile and said “See, that’s how we reconciled them!” and walked away.

    I laughed because I thought of you and your (non)-arguments. I believe that is your ‘realist’ ideal!

    USWeapon Says: “As for the story about stealing from a bank. I get where you are going with that and I somewhat agree. ”

    Somewhat?

    What part do you disagree with? Now, that would be interesting to hear!

    USWeapon Says: “The government has long found the justification for forcibly taking what they like from us in the name of making the world a better place.”

    Indeed, except not such a better place for those that lost their property, wealth and lives. As long as it isn’t you – cross your fingers.

    But that’s the rub, isn’t it. If the government can do that to ‘them’, it can (and eventually, will) do that to you. A government capable of giving you what you want is powerful enough to take everything you have.

    You can justify their theft (or pretend it doesn’t happen), but the second you do, you’ve agreed that they can come and taking something, including your life, from you, too.

  42. To answer your last sentence, I point out the way that your argument in fact ignores the point that I make. You said that I can justify their theft and the second I do I have agreed that they can come and take something from me too. And see that is the point that you don’t seem to want to realize. You can claim the government has no right to do what they do, and ideally that will hypothetically make you better than me, because in your eyes I have given them permission to do so. But that fails to take reality into account. See the government will come and take whatever they are going to take whether it is going to to be from me and my beliefs or you and yours. You seem to feel that by denying the governments power you have taken it away. You have not taken anything away from the government. Because whether you recognize their right to do something or not, they are going to do it. And if you had the courage to act on the convictions that you espouse, I promise you that the next words you will hear from the government will be “you have the right to remain silent”. That is the point.

    And on the rest: Hundreds of people visit this site every day to read and do not post. Many friends do because they are intimidated by political conversation but want to read the viewpoints and learn. They will speak when they are ready, And they ask when I will speak up because no one takes the liberty to speak for me. I am a big boy and can defend myself. I think I did an OK job of defending my intelligence up there without their help.

    Don’t bother nitpicking or cherry picking what I said about “somewhat” agreeing with you. I disagree with some of your philosophies but the following sentence made it quite clear that I was in agreement that the government does exactly that. Your bank example was simplistic and and assumed my half of the argument, that was the somewhat part. It doesn’t matter, we have both made our points on that subject.

    And let us be clear before you do any more of the assuming that I am “OK” with certain things or that I agree with what the government does. That is not the case. I do not believe that the government has the right to do many of the things that they do, hence why I write about this stuff in the first place. What I will not do is what you are choosing to do, which is ignoring that your complicity in what they do has absolutely zero impact on the reality of what is going to happen.

    On the contrary, if by ideas for what to do, you mean writing extensively on the science fiction of what the country “should be”, then you have been full of ideas. But you haven’t said a thing about a realistic course of action. I do not claim to have the answers, but that won’t keep me from discussing the issues. And whatever ideas I do come up with will deal with the reality of what we face today. So there is my first idea. Use that intelligence that you have to realize that today’s government does not care if you recognize them or not. They do not care if you think they have a right to do what they do. And they certainly don’t care what your definition of freedom is or whether you grant them the permission to extend rights to you. They do not care about any of that. Which is why your statements ring hollow, because you fail to admit to the reality of the situation and instead live in an idealistic state of mind where you don’t answer to them.

    Here is the reality. You do answer to them. And whether you think they have the right to do so or not, you don’t get to exercise a single right that they don’t allow you to exercise. Does it suck? Yes. Is it right? Absolutely not. But it is reality whether you accept it or not. I choose to accept that reality, no matter how disgusting that is, because to deny reality does not allow me to change it. You seem to love quotes so allow me to leave you with a few of my favorites:

    Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. ~Philip K. Dick

    No man will be found in whose mind airy notions do not sometimes tyrannize, and force him to hope or fear beyond the limits of sober probability. ~Samuel Johnson

    All the mind’s activity is easy if it is not subjected to reality. ~Marcel Proust

  43. Kent

    I like the fence analogy. It isn’t that I say utopian or that you aren’t realistic. I think you are an intelligent guy with a beautiful vision for what the world could be. Some parts of your vision scare me a bit, but that is OK. I don’t necessarily like the state that we find ourselves in, but we are there and we are going to have to find a way to deal with it. Can we get to a better world? Maybe, but that will start with improving the one that we are in. We can’t make the government go away so we are going to have to find a way to make it operate “better”.

    And you are probably right about the Space program.

  44. “Because whether you recognize their right to do something or not, they are going to do it.”

    Just like any powerful criminal gang.

    Just because they claim the “right” to do something, doesn’t mean they have a real right to do it. Individuals have rights; groups never do. Government has no “rights”, only authority. Even if it is a false “authority” based upon documents they refused to abide by and I never agreed to, they have still overstepped any legitimacy they may have once had.

    I accept the reality of the government’s criminal behavior, and I adapt my own behavior to that reality, just like I would if the mafia moved into town and declared authority over my life. “Power” doesn’t make them right, even if their employees in the courts will obviously uphold their “authority” to commit wrongs. Might does not make right.

    I can’t speak for BlackFlag, but this is my method of living free in an unfree society.

    I also believe that the state is in the act of collapsing even as we speak. It isn’t required that we do anything to destroy it; it is destroying itself pretty well without my help. It may take generations to fall, and it may wreak havoc on society in its death throes. I simply don’t intend to do anything to prop it up. “Do Not Resuscitate.”

  45. Kent,

    I can respect that opinion. I agree that the government has way overstepped the power that we intended for it to have with the creation of the constitution. And your position is a more reality based one. The government is what it is whether we want it to be or not, whether it has the right to be or not. That is my issue and the reason that my search for answers starts with dealing in that reality. I don’t have an issue with the belief that BlackFlag holds. We can all choose to disregard that the government has any power, but that would be a mistake.

    Your mafia example is a good one. If they move into town and do what they do, you can choose to feel they don’t have the right to do what they do. But you had better learn to play on the playing field in the way that they create it or you are in for some rough times. I don’t like what our government has become, but it is the reality that I am forced to deal with and operate within.

    And you may be right, the state as we know it may be dying. If so I imagine that the proverbial storm will get worse before it passes. The trends towards socialism and bigger government control will worsen to unbearable points until finally the general population says no more and steps forward to confront the beast.

  46. And my goal is to at least educate people to the fact that there are other options, when they do finally confront that beast.

    In the meantime, I will continue to undercut the state in hundreds of little ways every day. It may not make any difference other than making me feel better, but since it is my life, that is good enough to keep me going.

  47. BlackFlag says:

    # USWeapon Says:
    ..”and ideally that will hypothetically make you better than me, because in your eyes I have given them permission to do so. ”

    Me better than you? I have not said so whatsoever. That is an emotional retort from you, USWep. This isn’t about who is a ‘better’ person – that’s a subjective analysis based on a wide range of emotional triggers. Don’t get emotional on me now, USWep!

    # USWeapon Says:
    “But that fails to take reality into account. See the government will come and take whatever they are going to take whether it is going to to be from me and my beliefs or you and yours.”

    I have reality firmly in grip, USWep. And that is my point – government WILL come and take whatever they want – just like a street gang.

    If a street gang comes to my house, breaks down the door, and takes whatever property I may have, I’m pretty much at their whim. That’s reality, too.

    But this debate is not whether a gang of monsters can overwhelm an individual.

    The debate is about your VIEW of what is happening as you are watching from across the preverbal street. This is what we are talking about, USWep – we are not debating whether a gang of crooks steal and kill – they do! – it is your mental perception of the event. Because of the difference in your mentality, you will act completely differently depending on the which two groups of crooks are attacking me. What you think determines what you do. That is why my focus on establishing principles and beliefs. If the thinking is faulty, the action will probably be faulty. Get the thinking right, and the action which follows probably will be right.

    You give no legitimacy to the street gang. You see them as they are, crooks and murders and evil. You see them attacking me, and if you had any reasonable ability to give me aid, I know you would cross the street and engage the crooks and help me.

    But if the gang is the ‘government’ – ah! You act differently. They don’t – they act exactly the same as the street gang – burst into my peaceful house, and take my property and threaten my life and my family. You see this, and even if you had a reasonable ability to give me aid, I know YOU WOULD NOT cross the street and engage the crooks and help me. And most probably, should you see these crooks LOSING in their battle with me, you may even enter the battle ON THEIR SIDE against me!

    So what is the difference? They act the same. They kill and steal. The difference is that you give government legitimacy to do evil. It is wholly your belief system – your thinking – that makes the difference. The reality is the same – crooks are attacking me – it is your belief that makes the entire difference between the scenarios.

    So the debate is not whether what government does this or does that. The debate is why you think government has a right when it does what it does. It is your belief that gives government the power to act. Because if you didn’t think government thugs ‘had a right’, I know you wouldn’t be sitting back watching the gang of crooks kill and steal with impunity if you could do anything about it – you’d be picking up your weapons, and fully engaging the real enemy with all your might, and not trying ‘to work with them’.

    # USWeapon Says:
    “I disagree with some of your philosophies but the following sentence made it quite clear that I was in agreement that the government does exactly that. Your bank example was simplistic and and assumed my half of the argument, that was the somewhat part. It doesn’t matter, we have both made our points on that subject.”

    Ah, the point you’ve made is … no point at all, and fully refuse to refute the argument – except with “I disagree”. You cannot point to anything I’ve said with reasoning or logic to prove your disagreement.

    But the conclusion, yes, that is unpalatable.

    So, it’s just better to believe that there is, something somewhere, in my argument that must be wrong. You can’t find it, so it must be a ‘lack of reality’ – because it just can’t be real or you would have found it.

    It reminds me of a very interesting, eye opening, event in my life – something so simple and innocuous, but demonstrated powerfully what many people suffer.

    My consulting company had just reached a milestone – our two week payroll had surpassed $1 million. My partner and I had just finished doing all the money management to make sure the checks didn’t bounce – and it was late and though we were exhausted, we were pumped by this amazing event. So we went for a few beers.

    We ended up at this pub, and happened that they had magician doing tricks for the patrons. He handed out a small sheet of paper with 10 questions on it, and announced that this was a “Mensa” test, and anyone who got all ten right would get a jug of beer for free.

    (grin) – free beer!!

    One of the questions was a simple logic question about a muddle of family inter-relationships. The conclusion ended up with this: who is the son of your grandmother?

    Well, obviously, it’s your father ….. and your uncle.

    He came over, laughed, and said I got one wrong… that is answer was just ‘father’ because that was what Mensa said. I said, no, I was right – and we worked through the logic together. Of course, he agreed it reached that final conclusion – to which I asked, “…and what do you call your father’s brother? They probably have the same mother, don’t they?”

    His face contorted – went red, and then blue, his eyes glazed and crossed ….. he was in a mental war with himself, for he held two, simultaneous, immutable principles that now are in conflict – 1) Mensa, ‘the geniuses of the world’, are never wrong — and 2) Logic was immutably right.

    … Mensa was wrong – but that is impossible!! They are never wrong – so there must be something wrong in the logic — but that is impossible! The logic is right — therefore Mensa was wrong….

    Other patrons started chatting – ‘hey, that guy is right – it is your father or your uncle’. He heard that, and snapped out his trance – and blurted out “You’re tricking me!!” – to which, in a rare moment of instant wit, I responded with “But I thought you were the magician!”

    He stormed away and left the pub. I didn’t get my jug of beer.

    Faced with a refutation of their immutable beliefs, many people will throw away logic and reasoning to save them from the impossible conclusion that their beliefs were wrong.

    Religion has known this about people for thousands of years – and so has government.

    And that is where I see ‘you are coming from’…. in your mental ‘reality’ – my arguments appear irrefutable, but the inevitable conclusion, for you, is simply unpalatable.

    So toss the whole thing, claim the logic exists as only a ‘pipe dream’ – and get back to the comfortable mindset that government is not really all evil, it is there to really help us, to protect us from real evil, and give us what we are unable to get for ourselves. Yes – much more comfortable, indeed.

    # USWeapon Says:
    “But you haven’t said a thing about a realistic course of action.”

    Ah, action! Demand action! Gotta do something, like make a law!

    USwep, ol’ buddy, the vast majority of problems in the world don’t need you or I to do anything about them. They almost always figure themselves out.

    Government is action! Gotta do something, like make a law!
    Because if the government isn’t doing something, anything, then what good is it? That is the fear of government – becoming pointless.

    When a soup pot is being badly stirred, the last thing you do is put another spoon into the soup and start stirring yourself. Even worse, putting your spoon and trying to counter-stir – all that happens is massive splashing of soup everywhere. The best thing is to take out the spoons and stop stirring. The soup settles by itself. The best course of action is … stop, do nothing.

    The best thing possible for the economy would be that the government do nothing. The economy is where is it because of government doing – the answer is not more government doing, but stop.

    The law of the land is in disorder and under threat of tyranny. The last thing we need is more laws. The government needs to stop. More laws only increase tyranny – so stop making more laws.

    I’ve been flying since I was 16. One of the first lessons of flying a small plane is, if you’re falling out of control, let go. The plane flies all by itself – it is designed to do that – stop fighting the plane, and let the plane fly. Let go. It flies.

    Stop. Do nothing.

    But if government stops – then it is worthless – and redundant. Government will never allow that, no matter the cost. So they demand everyone to stir faster – no matter the sloppiness – until there will be no soup in the pot.

    # USWeapon Says:
    “Here is the reality. You do answer to them. ”

    No, I don’t answer to them at all.

    They can imprison my body. They can kill me. They will never have my obedience. (M. Gandhi).

    # USWeapon Says:
    “And whether you think they have the right to do so or not, you don’t get to exercise a single right that they don’t allow you to exercise.”

    Nope, I do it anyway. Yes, I avoid confrontation – because that is what gives them energy – but I don’t stop being free. Like Kent, I, too, adapt – and avoid “them” as much as possible – no different than crossing the street to the other side when I come across a street gang.

    When I am forced to engage them, I work to befuddle them. Yes, for some things the government certainly does stand in the way – you can’t avoid them all the time – but you can play with them! If I am forced to provide documents, I flood them with it. They need some general documentation – I deliver reams and reams with every minute detail about the entire project – and then use their own rules against them by demanding an immediate response – which they can rarely supply. I call insistently, demanding answers, and getting none, call their supervisors, and up the chain. Government lackeys hate people who rock boats, and they learn to deal with me in the shortest possible way – which is usually “yes” – because they know a ‘no’ will only make it worse! 🙂

    In court, I bog them down with demands and discovery – haul the government into their own courts to explain to their own gang why they can’t follow their own rules. It’s so funny to watch the prosecutor apologize a judge – it is a surreal situation!

    Because I’m not a violent guy, it’s unlikely they see me as a real threat. This is one of the powers of not using violence – the violent guys don’t think you threaten them, so the tend to leave you alone most of the time – all the while you’re undermining them relentlessly.

    Though I rarely get tickets, I take every traffic ticket to court – every single one – parking too. 90% of the time the ticketing officer doesn’t show up. The other 10% they are clueless – they have so many cases, they can’t remember anything about mine. This summer, I fought a speeding ticket – after 3 court dates, the prosecution finally supplied (but only one) of my discovery demands at 10 minutes before the 4th court time. The cop was brash and frustrated – this was his 3rd appearance and I was going to force another adjournment due to the untimely and incomplete delivery of the discovery. In a meeting with prosecution, at their request to negotiate, the cop demanded to see my notes and information (he can’t have them), claimed that LIDAR does not have any cosine error (it does), claimed he didn’t need to stand parallel to the flow of traffic to get a proper reading (he does), and that he did not have to keep his rough notes (he does). The prosecutor listened and reluctantly withdrew the case. The cop stormed out of the office, slamming the door. I enjoyed the show.

    Yes, it cost me three days of work – economically far worse than the few hundred bucks of the ticket.

    But ‘they’ did not get any money for all their work trying to wring it out me.

    As far as I can tell, your strategy is to join the gang – work diligently in the gang as a gang member until you achieve a position of authority inside the gang – then radically alter the gang’s mentality, structure, and effort. And you believe they will let you do that.

    I don’t know if you know much about gangs – any gang. To be a member, you have to go through hazing and initiation. To get ‘patched’, you need to do some horrific deed – like murder or agree to murder – before you’re accepted into a gang. Once there, you have to do what the gang wants you to do – and support the whole gang no matter what. After a few years, and surviving not being sacrificed for the benefit of the gang, you finally achieve top dog. After years of participating in killing and violence (actually or by agreement), you are now top dog, you’re going to announce to the gang that the killing has to stop – they have been nice – and give back all the stolen loot that has paid for their gang’s houses, cars, women and luxuries….. and change their ways.

    And you live in reality?

    There is no way you will achieve any power in government unless you do what they do – look at Ron Paul – I expect you’d be like him, if you even got that far. He is typically the only ‘No’ vote – and other than a interesting anomaly, he has zero impact. Huge grassroots following – but he can’t even get on a ballot. It is not in the interest of government to allow those that want to change government to be in the government.

    # USWeapon Says:
    Reality is that which, when you stop believing in it, doesn’t go away. ~Philip K. Dick

    If we don’t change our beliefs, we cannot change ourselves. If we cannot change ourselves, we are doomed to live as we are.

  48. USWeapon:

    I think the reason that I don’t support simply making gay marriage legal is two-fold. One, it legitimizes further government control of personal relationships. A marriage, at least to many people, is more than a contract, more than a way to get tax breaks, and more than an agreement to team up for family creation. A marriage is a relationship with another person. To some, it is a sacred thing between persons who ARE creating a family. Whether those people SHOULD believe that or not is irrelevant. The fact is that government regulation of marriage, be it restriction or authorization, is out of line. It lends itself to further interference in families, further regulation who can interact with whom and to what extent.

    Secondly, since marriage is considered by many to be a religious institution (not Christian necessarily, marriage is a key component in far more religions than Christianity, but definitely religious), and as such a government decision to authorize or restrict marriage is a violation of the first amendment and all that it stands for. To allow it is to say that a religious belief cannot be held that is in opposition to government standards. If a religious leader were to refuse to marry a gay couple, they could be in violation of their license agreement with the government that authorizes them to declare a marriage. That may not be what is being pressed for right now, but I could see it happening, such slippery slope issues are very common, hence the state we are in with some of our laws and government program versus the intent and discussion when the programs were introduced. On the other hand, restriction by law of what marriage can entail is religion making law decisions. That is theocracy, and is just as bad as government control of religion. Based on some historical results of such things, it may even be more dangerous.

    There are a lot more factors to this whole thing than both sides tend to consider. The arguments about social mores being destroyed are not without some credence. I read a post recently that was very eye opening concerning some of these issues. The piece is focused on the marginal case and its effects, something I have neglected to factor in on a number of issues in all of my theorizing. It is something I find I need to be more aware of. I suppose some battles must be won one step at a time, and maybe the smaller and more realistic step would be the authorization of gay marriage, I just think it may be off the path too much. The better path would be to remove government from the actual institution of marriage, and I don’t think it would really be that tough of a sell.

  49. Thanks for the link, Jon. Very interesting.

  50. revolution2010 says:

    Holy mother of God! That was pretty hard to get through!

    Black Flag,
    Dude, start your own Blog. I get what you are saying. I think it has noble principles, but seriously, do you think it has real application? Can you imagine the steps that would have to occur for that Xanadu to exist? Short of Yellowstone blowing and reducing the population to near nothing, I am just not seeing a good petri dish for you to grow that in. Don’t misunderstand, I got ya, I understand exactly what you are saying (Maybe because I am no smarter than a 6th grader) and I get that you are currently living in a way in which you can be true to yourself while existing inside of the beasts’ domain.
    I love your idea, but if you think that convincing the public that the Libertarian Party is a good idea, good luck with that bag of tricks your sporting!
    People live in fear. They already think that if there is no government they will parish. This Blog is about finding a better means to an end, and while I appreciate your end, it is infinitely distant. I believe that the Libertarian Party is a good choice (not perfect, in that your scenario would be utopic), but the LP believes that most of the laws on the books should be repealed and people should start taking responsibility for themselves and their actions. I think that is a great first step and a realistic short-term goal. I could be wrong, but I believe that the people who founded the country, like you, believe that government was evil but concede that government is necessary in social structure. I would tend to agree with that thought.
    I have 2 beautiful children and the fact is that they will inherit this great land and all of its troubles. To navigate to your reality is unlikely in the near future, but to peel the layers off of the skin that suffocates our nation is a much more realistic short-term goal in attaining a right existence. To get people to a mental point to even take their hands away from their eyes long enough to realize the monster they heard you describe is a beautiful unicorn is impractical, at least for now. My focus will stay the same, although I appreciated some of your logic. All right, now… let’s go Libertarian Party!!!

  51. Goodness, what have I been missing!

    Blackflag, you asked why USWeapon has forgotten the rules of the playground, how bullies that start fights get punished, and how you must remember to play nice.

    It seems like you only remember the rules of the playground you like. Did you forget that you “have to share”?

    “You can’t have that unless you brought enough for everyone?”

    “I know it’s your toy, but let the other kids play with it for awhile.”

    Bad analogy for an anarchist. Don’t freak out, I know I just dropped the A-bomb.

    If you refuse to pay for national security (“artificial lines on a map”), and demand that everyone supply their own security, how do expect to defend your individual household from those evil people that are willing to organize?

    Do you have enough .22 ammo to wear out a mob of raging terrorists, or, more likely, street thugs? Will you take aim from the Freedom tower you built with the sweat of your brow?

    We will never know, because you cannot defend yourself alone from the evil in this world. Millions in this country dedicate their lives to your protection and you call it theft. For the constant mugging you complain about, you seem to be enjoying the walk in the public park.

  52. “It seems like you only remember the rules of the playground you like. Did you forget that you “have to share”?

    “You can’t have that unless you brought enough for everyone?”

    “I know it’s your toy, but let the other kids play with it for awhile.””

    Those are only the rules of the socialist playground. Sharing is voluntary; what you are advocating is not.

  53. OK BlackFlag. I am going to answer you this one more time and then I am going to primarily leave this alone. While you tell some funny stories, it takes an hour to read what you have written and most of it talks in circles, which may wow your friends and convert the ignorant, have zero bearing on what we are discussing. The point of these discussions is to have intelligent discourse about the issues, and this round robin that we find ourselves in eats too much of my time that I could dedicate to educating those interested in understanding what I am discussing. So one last time I will address your silliness.

    I don’t get emotional, especially about about politics. I remain rational and simply point out what I believe to be reality. If you choose to ignore that reality that is a choice you can make.

    You continue to attempt to muddle the conversation with slander against the government. They are not a street gang, they are the government. While their morals may be equal and their actions may border on criminal (and at times not even border, but actually be), they are the governing force in this country that must be dealt with whether you agree to recognize their authority or not. Your arguments make sense so long as no one applies critical thinking skills. Unfortunately, I do have those critical thinking skills so I simply recognize the use of deceptive argument techniques, and you use most of the classics.

    Likening the government to a group busting into your house and stealing your stuff is a clever analogy, but that is not what is happening. And saying that because I believe in the need for government means that I agree to murder and steal to be a part of government is both simple and deceptive. So let’s drop what you perceive as a clever analogy and discuss things intelligently, calling it what it is, a corrupt government, instead of calling it a street gang of marauding thugs, which only makes most people who read your comments disregard you as a radical crackpot.

    This isn’t a debate of my view about anything. This is you attempting to say that if I acknowledge the government or if I choose to believe that they are in power, then I have a view that says I think it is OK to steal, murder, or commit others acts of illegal behavior. I won’t “watch” anyone be hurt or stolen from and I certainly won’t decide to help. Gangs are illegal and their acts are illegal. If I stop them I am within the law. If I get in the way of the government holding you accountable for whatever law you decided you didn’t have to follow because the government has no right, then I am simply going to jail. I am not dumb.

    And my view is not the question anyway. If you take the time to read all of what I write instead of nitpicking what fits your argument, you will find that I have been quite clear on several issues: First I do not believe that the government has the right to do all of the things that they do. In fact I despise as much as anyone that they think that they do and that they act on that belief. Second, it is my intention to debate the issues of what they have the right to do and what they do not have the right to do, which means that there are, in fact, some things that I do think they have the right to do. And third, regardless of what I think they have the right to do and what I don’t think they have the right to do, unlike you, I choose to deal with the reality of the fact that change is going to have to come in the form of correcting the current government because ignoring them will gain me nothing and they aren’t going to go away no matter how much you wish they would.

    You continue to say that I have no point, which I just see as you not being able to process the point. I disagree with you because the society that you envision cannot and will not happen. And even if you could make the government just go away and we have a free-for-all like you picture, I do not want that. There are many reasons for that which I will explain in a bit.

    If you would like me to poke holes in your argument I can do that quite easily. But there is no point to taking you point by point and saying you are wrong, because you are not interested in hearing any other side of your thoughts. It isn’t that your logic is infallible, it is simply that I don’t waste my time trying to convert someone’s point of view when I can plainly see they are interested only in considering themselves right. I think you are wrong in many of your points. You think I am wrong in mine. When it comes to these philosophical questions that we are discussing is there any thing in the course of the human language that I could say to change your mind? No, so I don’t bother. You are the quintessential person who would make a statement like “fire doesn’t really cause pain to your skin, that is merely a reaction that your brain has to the sight of it” and no matter how much it hurts everyone who gets burned you will simply tell them they are wrong. I realize this and choose to spend my time making points to those who are willing to consider them. Kent would be a good example as I feel that he has seen me concede to his logic on several points.

    I am sorry that you simply see the world through glasses that make you feel powerless to do anything to change the way that government works. I do not see the world through those eyes. Perhaps Ron Paul is wasting his time. Or perhaps he is inspiring a generation of college kids to stand up for what they believe in vote their conscience no matter what everyone thinks. And that generation of college kids will one day be our Congress. You see a man wasting his time and I see a man being one of the first to take a bold step, rather than admit defeat the way that you have.

    So one final thought on why I don’t want what you want. Evolution does not happen without organization. It is a simple fact. Without the social web that the organization of government provides, we simply do not see technology increase at the level that it has. Had we all stuck to our small clans and individual existence as you would have us do, we would be lucky to have the technology available at the turn of B.C. to A.D.. And the communal existence that seem to believe will self govern never works. Communes fall apart because of this, because they lack any governing structure. We all dream of a world where everyone pulls their own weight and acts in accordance with morals and self discipline. But that is nothing more than a dream. I don’t wish for what you wish for because I DO NOT feel it would be a better world. I am not unintelligent enough that i don’t understand what you are saying or what you mean. I simply do not agree with your version of what the world should be.

  54. Jon Smith,

    I certainly see your point in regard to gay marriage. At this point, after discussions with several people on this site, I tend to believe that allowing gay marriage is the easiest route to getting the gay community the rights that they deserve. I understand your position, and I certainly do not disagree with what you are saying. I will read that site that you linked to as soon as I find a free moment.

  55. Dreweth,

    Very good point. The point you drive home is that the world BF is imagining simply cannot happen. Because even if every American became as “liberated” as he would like, the entire world would not. And I don’t want to live in a world where whatever I choose to build or acquire will be constantly at risk, and my taking it is always reliant on the ability that I have to fight everyone else who might want it. I cannot stop a mob from taking it, and I won’t always be able to count on my neighbors to support me.

    The key point that you make is this. BF wants to enjoy all the freedoms and liberties accorded him in this country, but the way that those liberties are provided isn’t to his liking so he calls them theft. Is the government out of control? Yes. But the government does serve a purpose, and a valid one. And while there are those that think everything the government takes is theft, I don not. Some of it is, for sure, but not all of it. The Republic (see, right use revolution!) we choose to be in sometimes gets out of whack, but it is still the best gig going right now, even as bad as things get. I invite those who don’t want to remain a part of this club to leave, not out of spite or anger, simply because I do believe in free will and their right to do so. I am not ordering anyone out, but I do simply suggest that so long as they choose to stay, they are agreeing to the ground rules that are in place. BF makes a good point when he says there is nowhere else to go. What he means is there is nowhere better to go. Our country, with all of its flaws, is still the best thing going in my opinion. It can be better, and we will work to make it so, but there isn’t much work to do to make it better than the available alternatives.

  56. Kent,

    I hear where you are coming from. I was simply pointing out that Blackflag has a consistent tendency to pick and choose the things he likes, and ignore the parts that don’t fit his view.

    He (or she?) has picked the parts of the constitution he liked, and discarded the rest. And, he defended this practice!

    The same convenient chopping block was applied to the playground analogy he used, keeping the sweet parts that fit his argument, discarding the rest.

  57. I guess my gripe is that (with few “gray area” exceptions) I know what behaviors are good, which are neutral, and which are bad. I simply think everyone is subject to the same ethics; no exceptions depending on who you work for or what you rename the activity. If it is wrong for me to go out and do right now, it is still wrong for anyone else to do, without regard to whether they are doing it in accordance with a “law” or not. “Legalizing” rape, or murder, or theft, or kidnapping, or …..??? will never make those things right, just as criminalizing gun ownership, drug use, driving without a license, or whatever else, will never make those things wrong.

    I know and recognize that the state will still kill you for refusing to submit, but that doesn’t make them right (again).

    The Constitution is not the Holy Grail of freedom. It has flaws. Those flaws should not be defended just because they are “the law of the land”. After all, the government, which operates under the Constitution, ignores the Constitution more than I ever could. Especially since the Constitution does not apply to you or me, and was never intended to. It only applies to the Fe(de)ral government. It it a rulebook for their behavior and authority, not mine. My picking and choosing is completely irrelevent. The government’s is not.

  58. revolution2010 says:

    Kent, I agree that the Constitution is an imperfect document. I would have to say it is pretty darn close though. The reason I say that is because of the 9th Amendment.
    “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”
    As I see it, they are basically saying, look, we couldn’t think of everything because we don’t know what the future holds, but just because the Constitution is vauge or quiet about a specific right doesn’t mean it can be denied. The REALLY BIG PART of that is that people still have to fight for them, and that is what the Supreme Court is for.
    Just because we have a Constitution doesn’t mean congress can’t pass any law they want to, it means that when you get mad about it, you can go to the Supreme Court and say, hey, that is my right and this piece of legislation infringes on it. The Constitution is the mother trump card, we just need to get the American people to throw the damn thing more often!
    We are starting to live as though this is a democracy. It is not, it is a republic; Even if the majority passes a law, the minority gets to keep their rights, we just have to go fight for them to get them back.

  59. revolution2010 says:

    Kent,

    I just did an article on the Democracy vs Republic on my Blog. I think the Citizens have either forgotten that we indeed are a republic or they are unaware of the difference between the two. I would love for you to come and join in that conversation with a comment!

    http://revolution2010.wordpress.com/2008/12/01/the-united-state-of-america-a-great-democracy/

  60. If the Supreme Court were honest, honorable, or otherwise trustworthy, that would work. They are not. They “interpret” the Constitution however it benefits government most. Look at the “Heller” decision if you think I am delusional.

  61. BlackFlag says:

    revolution2010 Says: “Dude, start your own Blog. I get what you are saying. I think it has noble principles, but seriously, do you think it has real application?”

    Maybe, one day,I may have my own blog.

    But I think it would merely be a poor copy of Kent’s excellent site and blog. There isn’t much I could add in general information, discussion or knowledge better than he. I would urge all to visit his site and sign up to his blog. He is very articulate about freedom and very generous in his accepting of alternative opinions and debate – he doesn’t beat anyone over the head with his views (as I sometimes do).

    Noble principles…Of course! That is how civilization came into being in the first place.

    Modern Civilization is based on THOUGHTS. Civilized vs Savages is merely a difference in thinking.
    A civilized man believes that a man should not kill an innocent (even a savage) simply to save his own life. We see this thinking all throughout society – we see a killing of someone to take their heart so to transplant it into someone else to save that life as WRONG.

    In some uncivilized tribes, this isn’t viewed as wrong. They kill innocent people (even civilized people) so that they can eat the heart instead, thinking it gives them super-power.

    Same killing of innocent – completely different thinking – completely different society.

    It is the THINKING that makes the difference in mankind’s separation from wild beasts. If we refuse to THINK we are merely animals.

    Consider this thought: 1770, a group of people said that the King has no right to rule over them. That they are free to rule themselves. And explained in many documents that people can organize their own affairs without a king. I surmise, you’d say the same thing as you said above ‘do you think that is real?’

    revolution2010 Says: “I love your idea, but if you think that convincing the public that the Libertarian Party is a good idea, good luck with that bag of tricks your sporting!”

    Sadly, I have zero hope with the Libertarian Party. It is impossible to change government by joining the government. There are so many built-in defense mechanisms to prevent that. That is why the only way governments have ever radically changed in the past has been by violent revolt – no people have ever voted themselves free.

    But the only birth outcome of violent revolution is a creature of violence – government – which is why every violent overthrow of government only gives birth to another form of government that is equally (or worse) than what was overthrown.

    With any blog is difficult to go into the depth necessary to understand why, at particular points in history, freedom exploded … and then collapsed. It would take a 2,000 page book to explain it fully, so I’ll just superficially describe what goes on, and if it interests you to learn more, I can give you further resources for you to investigate it on your own.

    The nature of man instinctively understands what is can be called the ‘mutuality of action’.

    “What I do to you gives everyone the right to do to me.”

    Thus, I better be careful of what I do to you. Freedom is a ‘mutuality of action’ based on non-action. When I do nothing (without your consent) to you, and you, in return, do nothing (without my consent) to me – we are both free.

    Mutuality has an unstated component – equality. It really only works if we are equal in brain and body.

    If you are bigger, stronger, smarter, etc. you’re not too afraid of my ‘mutual’ response… thus, concepts of self-defense, etc. start playing into the philosophy, and why might is right, etc. – but all of this is intuitive to most people – it’s in our nature!

    Then we add this obvious fact:
    Violence is the most profitable way of obtaining goods.

    There is two ways a man gets the things he needs to live.
    1) Earn it or trade for it. This is called the economic way.
    2) Steal it. This is called the political way.

    The grasshopper and the ant parable (with a twist). The ant prepares, grows, tends and harvests – and the grasshopper picks up his AK47 and then takes it all. The effort of the grasshopper is minimal in relation to his gain. The threat to the ant is huge.

    Mutuality is overwhelmed by violence.

    However, if the ant starves or is killed defending his grain, the grasshopper dies next year anyway. So a political solution is established. The grasshopper still steals, but not so much that it kills the ant. The ant lives (he isn’t shot nor starved) but has to give up part of his own effort to the thief. This is all political systems in a nutshell.

    The ant gains his freedom at any point he can successfully resist the grasshopper. This is difficult, because while the ant spends most of his time earning and growing, the grasshopper spends his free time learning how to better deploy violence (such as, it is far better to THREATEN violence than ACT violent. The latter entails huge risk – the grasshopper could be killed – the former is a mind game that usually causes the ant to submit without actually risking the grasshopper’s own death).

    So until a point where the use of defense from violence is cheap and easy for the ant to use and obtain, he is a slave to the grasshopper.

    It took 10 years of training, and about $1 million (1980 dollars) for a knight to be effective. Once he was effective, a single knight was capable of wiping out a village of hundreds of people with no real threat to himself. Then one day, a peasant with about a weeks of work and a couple of days trainingg, built and shot a long bow,– and killed the knight 300 feet away with one shot right through his armor. Pop! Enter: Magna Carta and one of the first expressions of human rights.

    Political systems adapted – and slowly human rights slowly dissolved again (more on this later)

    A few hundred years later, a device called a rifle, capable of inflicting violence at even a longer range (this is why firearms gained over long-bows, even though the latter had better penetration, and rate of fire – the firearm shot farther.) In the hands of farmers, they defeated the most powerful army on earth at the time. Pop! Enter: Declaration of Independence.

    Political systems adapted – and slowly human rights slowly dissolved again (more on this later)

    Sam Colt’s invention made women rights possible. Up until then, a woman had to depend on a man for protection – carrying a sword, pulling a long bow, or holding a rifle was too difficult for the weak sex to manage effectively – so they had to submit.

    Enter technology: the 6-gun: God created man – Sam Colt made them equal – and women too. A 90-lb woman with a 4lb 6-shooter could kill a 250lb man. Pop! Enter: women’s rights …then came gun control… (the greatest threat to government is the handgun – its use started the greatest war on the face of the earth– the Great European War 1914-1945. Concealable, effective, and personal – no politician is safe as long as the people have the handgun, so it must go).

    Political systems adaptation is smart – instead of trying reverse the new empowerment of the masses, they tended to refocus that power by centralizing the violence and then projecting it beyond the government’s borders.

    So the government appeared to share power with the masses, invited in the archers into the control of a central power (king) and marched to France. The militias appeared to share power with the state, centralized the country under a President, invited in the militia into the centralization of violence and invaded the Confederacy/Mexico/Cuba/Europe/Japan/Vietnam/Iraq, etc.

    Each centralization was followed by an increase in localized tyranny as well, Lincoln arresting the supreme court; FDR and the internment camps, etc. – but it followed after the explicit projection of power outside of the government boundaries to create a foreign enemy. In doing this, the localized tyranny was justified as supporting the externalized projection. We see that again and again, as most recently, the Patriot Act (a localized tyranny) due to projections of violence abroad (war on terror).

    However, this current, modern, collapse of centralized power is more poignant – technology has empowered the individual today to such a degree that it may be impossible for the government to fully adapt. Today, unlike any time before, it is conceivable that a single man can control the financial resources greater than nations (Bill Gates), perhaps acquire nuclear weapons and stand able to resist even the most powerful nation on earth – either by direct confrontation or by simply moving out of the way (Gates could move to a ‘friendlier’ country with all his wealth in a day).

    We’ve witnessed the beginning of the end of centralized violence already – where one man and a small group of followers declare war against the greatest power on earth and battle it to a stand-still.

    The speed of adaptation of technology by the people far outpaces the leviathan pace. The leviathan does have the advantage of wealth seizure, but it is wasted in gratuitous displays of power like air craft carriers and advanced fighter jets – all which is useless in a battle with a single man. Yes, the leviathan can kill that one man many times over, but that one man can collapse the entire government with one nuclear weapon or financial assualt. The balance of threat has completely inverted – called ‘asymmetrical response’

    And as we’ve seen in the modern times, the ability of the center of power to project violence is collapsing – the leviathan’s extent of violence is being pushed back by the 4th Generation warriors. Within this decade, the ability of any great power to project its will beyond its own, shrinking, borders will be severely curtailed – they simply can’t afford it any more. The government entered into a Faustian deal – bribe the people with their own money to get their consent to wage global war – but can’t pay both the bribes and the war, and eventually bribes out-pace the ability to pay them, and the people will not be happy.

    The power vacuum will be huge – the largest experienced since the fall of the Roman Empire. What comes out of that will be what we chose to create; if we are wise, it will be wonderful.

    revolution2010 Says: “People live in fear. They already think that if there is no government they will perish.”

    And these same people, 500 years ago, also thought that if the Pope didn’t tell them what God wanted, they’d all go to eternal hell, too. Hundred Year War and death of millions later, many people figured out they could find God all by themselves without a Pope. Let’s hope people don’t need to go through that too much to figure out they don’t need government either.

    Most people do live in fear – but they are not the ones that make the world – they only follow. Less than 10% of the population of the Colonies actively established the United States of America. The vast majority simply didn’t care or were appalled to even be involved. They were pulled on long as events happened to them and when it was over, simply returned to their old lives.

    revolution2010 Says: “ This Blog is about finding a better means to an end, and while I appreciate your end, it is infinitely distant. I believe that the Libertarian Party is a good choice (not perfect, in that your scenario would be utopic), but the LP believes that most of the laws on the books should be repealed and people should start taking responsibility for themselves and their actions. I think that is a great first step and a realistic short-term goal. “

    Sadly, the government will never allow an entity into government that changes government. The last time someone sneaked in and tried that got his head shot off in public. And all he tried to do was stop the CIA and break up the Federal Reserve. They will never let anyone ever sneak in again.

    revolution2010 Says: “ I could be wrong, but I believe that the people who founded the country, like you, believe that government was evil but concede that government is necessary in social structure. I would tend to agree with that thought.”

    And Jefferson regretted his compromises that established the United States.

    revolution2010 Says: “I have 2 beautiful children and the fact is that they will inherit this great land and all of its troubles. To navigate to your reality is unlikely in the near future, but to peel the layers off of the skin that suffocates our nation is a much more realistic short-term goal in attaining a right existence.”

    Never in history has a people voted themselves free. Further, Modern Democracy makes any change to government even more impossible – by bribing the citizens with their own money, no one would be willing to give up their loot. The government ensures the bribes are broad – old, poor, single mom’s, educators, small business, big business, farmers, manufacturers, services…. so any change to government threatens, in one way or the other, everyone.

    Even with the realization that everyone is a loser in this game; that is they are paying far more than the bribe being returned, the root of the game is a gamble that maybe, just maybe, they may get more than they put it. It is a brilliant strategy the government plays – enfeebles everyone.

    The end of the game is when the government can no longer play – and that time is coming very very soon.

    The government will fall – but the ‘government’ will not fully disappear. Too many people, as you’ve pointed out, cannot live without stealing. But it will change in a way that it might be benign in its ability to affect a small group of people – sovereign individuals. A group that have the brains, the wealth, the wits, and the ideology to make and keep themselves free. A second group will form, but they will be stuck in stealing crumbs from each other – and occasionally, selling what few services they can muster to the sovereigns.

    I suggest that the future of your children will face a two-class society; the wealthy free and the impoverished ‘citizens’.

  62. BlackFlag- Beautiful, and thank you for the nice recommendation.

  63. As promised, I will not devote much time to these philosophical debates because you cannot change the mind of an idealist.

    “Never in history have a people voted themselves free”

    Never in history has a society existed and sustained, let alone prospered or evolved, without societal organization or government.

    “God created man – Sam Colt made them equal – and women too. A 90-lb woman with a 4lb 6-shooter could kill a 250lb man. Pop! Enter: women’s rights”

    What a load of crap. Women’s right came because of Sam Colt’s six shooter. Delusional. Every story you tell is twisetd to fit your version of the world.

  64. revolution2010 says:

    BF,
    So then I simply cannot help but ask… the course of action here is none at all? You will just sit idly by as the entire plot that you have just written unfolds before you, and then what? You will be one of the wealthy? You will be a citizen? Is it not human nature also to try and affect change in some way for the benefit of self-preservation?
    You mention the ant and the grasshopper, which proves that tyranny, is also a part of nature. I am not sure where you live, but I live in Baltimore. While this is considered a civilized area of town, there also exists a savage area of town. How is it that you expect all men to realize the wisdom you have toiled for over for a lifetime? Is your effort not wasted in the same way as mine?

    Jefferson and his “gang” were able to create a fairly good existence for their posterior. Why should I assume that you are indeed correct and we will go the way of Rome? Perhaps we stand on the precipice of the chasm and have not yet fallen, unless you or one of your Mensa fellows have figured out an improvement on the theory of relativity so as to be able to determine the exact point of no return. Securing your future a couple of hundred years at a time until perhaps the population can be so enlightened as you might be the plan.

    Since my children are my concern, that would be a fine compromise working toward the goal of a peaceful world. How would you say that my scenario is any more or less of a pipe dream than yours? Certainly the situation that you have described has never occurred in recorded history. While history does indeed tell us what we are headed for, is there no hope that it may be changed? When we finally all accept the reality that you propose, are we joined with the heavens and all become one for 1000 years of prosperity?

    I suppose what I am asking is what your purpose is in this conversation; It seems to me that you fancy debate and this is more fun than purposeful. If that is the case, that is fine, but I won’t be able to continue, it is far too timely of a venture and I am directed differently. If there is purpose and there is some insight that would be applicable to my goal, I would prefer to skip to that part of the dissertation. Maybe I am just an American idiot…

  65. Rev2010- I certainly don’t think you are an idiot, but I do think you are looking at the situation like you have been trained to do.
    “Certainly the situation that you have described has never occurred in recorded history.”

    Here’s my answer to that: link
    It goes into some things previously discussed here, but has a few new thoughts as well.

  66. revolution2010 says:

    Kent,
    I am very confused! The Heller decision, unless I am thinking of the wrong one, upheld the Second Amendment rights in the District of Columbia. How would that be an example of a corrupt Supreme Court?
    I don’t think your delusional Kent, I actually kind of like you! Not that you care, but I think you have some good material and unlike BF, yours seems to be much more applicable.

  67. revolution2010 says:

    Kent,
    That is interesting, though it still has issues. Everyone is not a good human being like you. One of the current issues about the internet is, because it is unregulated, I can put up any information I want and really, nothing can be done. Regulations are made because there are dishonest people out there.
    Personally, I operate on a “Karma basis” and I try very hard to keep my good Karma in tact. My personal mantra is that I am responsible for everything that happens in my life, good or bad. I do good because I believe it to be the right thing. It works for me. I am as honest as I can be, but I am human… I fall down too. I considder myself fairly self aware and I have issues. There are quite a few people that I have met who I believe to be completely devoid of any kind of morality whatsoever! I would not like to live with them in anarchy.
    Would we develop 2 sections, one for do good doers and one for criminals?

  68. revolution2010 says:

    what the hell was Act III about?

  69. In the Heller decision, the “Supremes” said that, yes the Second Amendment protects the individual right to “keep and bear arms”, but it is subject to regulation. In fact, as it turns out (according to the court), it is subject to just about any regulation anyone would like to place on the “right”, short of absolute prohibition. It was actually a disaster for the “legal” right to keep (own) and bear (carry) a weapon.

  70. I can’t speak for everyone, but…. I have never run into any situation where living “my way” didn’t work. And I have been around some people who do not live by the ZAP by any stretch of the imagination. It works, in reality, if given a chance. All I can do is point to my experiences. Life is not perfect, but I don’t expect it to be.

  71. revolution2010 says:

    Kent,
    I am sorry, I am still lost… what regulation is it subject to? They also found that citizens should be able to keep the gun locked and loaded if they so chose. The carry part is the only one that may be at risk there and I would hav to do some homework on that.

    On living your way, I would imagine you probaly try to stay off the grid as much as possible. I commend you, but what do you think that would look like in the city? I am just asking because I have NO experience in that lifestyle. I commend you, I am to shallow to give up my grocery store within 5 minutes.

  72. The only thing the Supreme Court really struck down was the total prohibition on handgun ownership in DC. They said registration, permit requirements, and trigger-lock requirements were fine. That is not a “right”, but a “privilege”; subject to governmental whim. It falls under the dangerous “reasonable restrictions” fallacy. A right can be respected or violated, but never limited. If you misuse that right and cause harm you should be held accountable, but possession can’t be a legitimate “crime”, as it harms no one, ever.

    I am not “off-grid” at all. I live a relatively “normal” life, not in big cities unless absolutely necessary, but I’m certainly not a recluse or a hermit. Really, my only quirk is that I avoid metal detectors like the plague (which they are). I have lived in town(s), and have traveled and spent time in what I consider to be big cities (Little Rock, Scranton PA, Denver, Santa Fe, etc.) and have still never run into a situation that required me to violate my principles in order to avoid harm. Things have not always gone right, either. I have witnessed a mugging, while being too far to do anything about it. (The woman clinging to my arm to prevent me from trying to intervene didn’t help the situation.) I have had conflicts just like anyone else. Still, I find that the more I live up to my libertarian/anarchist principles, the better, easier, and smoother my life goes. You’d be surprised.

    That being said, I would MUCH prefer living off-grid, and far from town, but that may not be in my future. It is just because I love the wilderness and like to do things that would annoy in-town neighbors. Shooting is only one of those. But, for now, I am living in town. It makes no difference in living “my way”. Such is life.

  73. USwep:

    Watch an average woman maneuver most rifles. It would be comical if not the meaning of their inability was so sad.

    They can’t lift it, or control it enough to use it.

    So, I gave my wife a Glock 10mm – 15+1 shots.

    quote “One 10mm handgun that has achieved somewhat of a cult following is the Glock Model 20, which is the subject of this review. The Glock 20 is perhaps the most controllable 10mm pistol yet developed..”

    I do not expect to survive a divorce.

    The rights you have is what you can keep. The inability to repeal the violence is what keeps those who are weak unable to achieve equality needed for mutuality of action, and they are our slaves.

    I can tell you with great confidence, my wife is no slave. And neither will be my daughters.

  74. USwep, I just love the ‘out’…

    Never in history has a society existed and sustained, let alone prospered or evolved, without societal organization or government.

    Oh, social organization suddenly appears in your discourse…(shock!)…excluding government.

    Yep, social order is important – I’ve never said anything less.

    I remember you raised the ‘strawman’ argument before?? Aye, my friend – you’ve entangled yourself in your own raising!@!

    “Is the breeze calm or windy so high on the flag pole, USWep?” (wink)

  75. revolution2010 says:

    Kent,
    I am going to have to disagree, in that the SC did strike down the “unloaded and disassembled or restrained by a trigger lock” portion as well.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/District_of_Columbia_v._Heller
    Again, I am not so hot on the no registration thing. It can be key in solving a murder if you can provide a thread of the origin of the gun…. because everyone is just not as honest as you. That is just my thing.
    I am not saying that the SC is infallible, but I do tend to believe they try and make right decisions. It really is not here or there. I admire you for the fact that you walk the walk and talk the talk. There aren’t many of you left! You seem to be using the practical application of your beliefs and that is admirable.

  76. USwep, and as I promised, I’ll respond to real responses, not brain-freeze responses of ‘idealism’.

    If my arguments are faulty, attack them. I’ve been here before – and I know you know that – so I’m very quite steeled against the best you can bring.

    But – you never know.

    Someone, at sometime, can surprise me with their wisdom. It’s happened once before – so I married her.

  77. BF….No responses to Revolution, seems as though she must have actually called your bluff. Perhaps you are destined for old school Mormonism and a second wife.

    As I said, I am not going to bother doing a philosophical dance with someone who refuses to acknowledge any other dance but the Elaine special from Seinfeld.

    No it isn’t an out. Societal organization was the term used because that is what it was called before it was called government. Societal organization is government, I am sorry if switching terms confused you. So not strawman, I will leave the logical fallacies to you.

    Was there a point to the story about your wife or the comment about a woman handling a rifle? Still none of that points to the six shooter being the catalyst for women’s rights. See how quickly you can answer the points when you actually do so instead of concocting a story in an attempt to confuse people.

  78. Kent,

    I think revolution is right on this one. The supreme court stated in heller:

    On June 26, 2008, the Supreme Court affirmed the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit in Parker v. District of Columbia, 478 F.3d 370 (D.C. Cir. 2007).[1] The Court of Appeals had struck down provisions of the Firearms Control Regulations Act of 1975 as unconstitutional, and determined that handguns are “Arms” that may not be banned by the District of Columbia (Washington, D.C.), also striking down the portion of the law that requires all firearms including rifles and shotguns be kept “unloaded and disassembled or bound by a trigger lock.”

    I also admire your ability to live what you believe while maintaining a realistic vision of what the realities of our society currently are. It isn’t about philosophy about where we would like to be. We have to deal with where we are.

  79. And yes I do realize that the case is Parker vs DC there, but I am sure you already know the history of the case and why that is different even those this is the Heller decision.

  80. # revolution2010 Says: “So then I simply cannot help but ask… the course of action here is none at all?”

    What action do you want?

    Do you want to save government or not? If you want to save government, I’m the wrong guy to be asking how to do that.

    If you want to lose government, the first task is not to give it energy. Since it is an entity of violence, using any violence in its presence – for or against it – will energize it. So joining political parties, campaigning, voting, etc. all energize the beast. So quit the politics, stop campaigning, stop voting, stop interacting at all possible in every possible way with the beast. The only way to speed its death is to ignore it.

    Second, prepare yourself, the fall will leave a wake of enormous destruction. Millions of sheple (sheep-people) will suddenly be tossed out of their centuries of sleeping, and have no idea how to live. Since they will be unable to earn a real living – they will resort to method #2 – stealing it.

    The power vacuum will be filled – instead of the centralized, massive but predictable violence of government, there will localized, small, but random violence of gangs and the like. Bad people do not simply evaporate when government evaporates. Thus, joining small groups of like mind individuals in your community will be very important. Remember the riots of LA – the cops stood by and the rampaging raged until the community took the matter into their own hands. This will be required more often.

    People protect value – so make yourself valuable. Be able to work, think, or have a skill. I’m not talking about ‘survival’ stuff (though that never hurts). Make sure you work in a REAL job, not some job dependent on some sort of government service or service to government – but something that gives real value to the people directly.

    Learn to teach – your children will need to be educated by their parents – join homeschooling groups and help your kids break free as well.

    These are just suggestions – I am not a Statist so I’m not a guy to tell you what to do. I see my job as to challenge you to think for yourself – to break out of paradigms and find answers for problems by yourself.

    # revolution2010 Says: “You will just sit idly by as the entire plot that you have just written unfolds before you, and then what? You will be one of the wealthy?”

    One of the sovereigns, yes – that will probably allow me to make and keep my wealth.

    # revolution2010 Says: “You will be a citizen?”

    No. Citizenship is slavery.

    # revolution2010 Says: “Is it not human nature also to try and affect change in some way for the benefit of self-preservation?”

    Yes, but there are many ways to do that – some better than others.

    # revolution2010 Says: “You mention the ant and the grasshopper, which proves that tyranny, is also a part of nature. I am not sure where you live, but I live in Baltimore. While this is considered a civilized area of town, there also exists a savage area of town. How is it that you expect all men to realize the wisdom you have toiled for over for a lifetime? Is your effort not wasted in the same way as mine?”

    Rev, listen very, very carefully to myself. Or if my voice is irritating, listen to Ken.

    I Hold No Expectation That All Men Realize the Wisdom of Freedom.

    I can only hold that expectation upon myself. If I’m lucky to find others of like mind, more the better.

    # revolution2010 Says: “Jefferson and his “gang” were able to create a fairly good existence for their posterior.”

    A reverse beauty contest – it wasn’t quite as ugly as others. It was still ugly, and grew uglier as time went by.

    # revolution2010 Says: “Why should I assume that you are indeed correct and we will go the way of Rome?”

    If you were a citizen of Rome at the time of the fall, you probably didn’t notice too much. Life went along pretty much as it did the day before, maybe just a bit more difficult – but not impossible. It just slowly got worse.

    If you lived in Germany, it was remarkable. Yesterday, the Roman Tax officer came by regularly and seized your produce. Today, he didn’t show up. And if he did, you might just kill him, because unlike yesterday, there wasn’t a squad of soldiers backing him up.

    As the projection of violence collapsed – in its wake came freedom. In the century before, farmers had simply abandoned their land because they couldn’t pay the tax. All this prime farm land went fallow. Now, people started re-claiming these lands, and setting up their farms – fighting off thieves and all, too, of course, but usually successfully.

    For almost a century, most of Europe was in anarchy – generally peaceful, prosperous and free.

    Then came global cooling…. and then the Dark Ages.

    # revolution2010 Says: ” the exact point of no return.”

    …occurred in 1865 and the surrender of the Confederacy.

    # revolution2010 Says: “Certainly the situation that you have described has never occurred in recorded history.”

    Oh, it has – and does. You live it everyday. Most of your interactions with people is based on the ‘mutuality of action’ and anarchy.

    All it takes, one person at a time, to exercise this behavior in all your interactions and never justify or legitimize the initiation of violence – no matter who claims it.

    # revolution2010 Says: “While history does indeed tell us what we are headed for, is there no hope that it may be changed?”

    Oh, I hold great Hope that it will change!!

    # revolution2010 Says: “I suppose what I am asking is what your purpose is in this conversation”

    Education and preparation, for your children’s survival and prosperity.

    There is coming a huge change to the order of society.

    This change will encompass most of the world.

    It will happen suddenly with, maybe, at best, a week’s notice, probably less.

    Preparing for the consequences will take more than a week. If you’re waiting for confirmation before you act, the consequence upon you and your family may be very severe.

    Understanding why this event will occur is key, I believe, in preparing oneself.

    # revolution2010 Says: “If there is purpose and there is some insight that would be applicable to my goal, I would prefer to skip to that part of the dissertation. Maybe I am just an American idiot…”

    I am not a Statist with a plan.

    You can think for yourself and make your own plan. Your plan, for yourself, will be far more powerful then my plan for you.

    It is not that I can’t help you – I can. But I do not know you, your skills, your current situation, your goals, your capability and ability, what you’ve already done, and what you’re prepared to do.

    Makes it very difficult for me to tell you what to do. Believe me, this is not the case with a Statist.

  81. It is an interesting position to take… “I am simply too smart to join your cause” Perhaps you simply feel too powerless to do anything. I understand, I often feel powerless in the face of the government too. I just make a different choice and say that I am going to try to affect change.

    “I am too enlightened to tell you what to do” Or perhaps you simply don’t have any answers, and that scares you a bit so you just take your ball and go home.

    If you are as smart as you claim to be, perhaps the right answer is to step forward and take the lead in fixing this country rather than deciding that you don’t want to play a game that is difficult to win. If your IQ really is 200+, as you claim, then you are in the top .0001%. Einstein was a 186. Steven Hawking is a 206. Highest ever recorded is a Korean with a 210. He learned calculus at 3 years of age and had a PhD in Physics at 15. Your IQ would qualify you for the Mega Society, far more restrictive than Mensa. Odd that I should even know these things, isn’t it?

    So I say that as a “one in a million” intellect, you should be quickly able to formulate solutions to help fix the government and get our country where it needs to be. So a failure to do so means one of several things. You either are simply too scared to stand up and lead or you lack the values system that would encourage the average man to make a positive impact.

    Simply claiming that you are too enlightened to be bothered with operating in our world is a copout and one that I am no longer buying. As I stated before, your mistake was assuming that I am intellectually inferior to you. I don’t doubt you are intelligent, I can see that you are. But you are not more “enlightened”, you are simply more willing to give up and not play the game. Perhaps a white flag would have been more appropriate?

  82. BlackFlag says:

    USWep:No it isn’t an out. Societal organization was the term used because that is what it was called before it was called government. Societal organization is government, I am sorry if switching terms confused you. So not strawman, I will leave the logical fallacies to you.”

    I disagree. Societal organization is NOT government.

    No one confuses the Boy Scouts with the US Marines.

    No one confuses the Lions Club with the IRS.

    No one confuses the Rotary Club with the NY City Police.

    The shell game of changing the definition of government is pointless in discussions.

    Government is defined by the entity that enforces it’s monopoly to initiate violence within a defined geographical area.

    Here, USWep, do some reading:

    Weapons Systems and Political Stability
    by Carroll Quigley

    AN INQUIRY INTO THE PERMANENT CAUSES OF THE DECLINE AND FALL OF POWERFUL AND WEALTHY NATIONS By WILLIAM PLAYFAIR

    Economic Consequences of Organized Violence by Fredric C. Lane

    The Collected Papers of Frederic C. Lane

  83. It is not a shell game and I didn’t change the definition. You are again avoiding discussing the issues. If it makes you feel better then take societal organization out of the original quote and put in the word government. Now that we have things worded in a way that makes you feel comfortable, perhaps you could take the time to respond to the point of the quote in the first place.

    And since you like definitions so much, a societal organization is a group of people who gather in the purpose of establishing rules of conduct, strategy, purpose, and consequences of non-compliance for said group. And that sure sounds a lot like the first steps in creating a government, hence why I chose that word instead of government. And while no one confuses the Boy Scouts with the Marines, they both have rules, uniforms, plans, consequences and laws.

    Enough with the fluff of tearing apart definitions and taking all of your time to nitpick sentences you don’t like. Address some issues so the discussion can move forward instead of in circles.

  84. BlackFlag says:

    USWeapon Says:“I am simply too smart to join your cause”

    You are terrible at rephrasing people, ol’Buddy.

    USWeapon Says:“ Or perhaps you simply don’t have any answers, and that scares you a bit so you just take your ball and go home.”

    Of course, ignoring your little tantrum here. I have lots of answers, you just don’t like them.

    My answer is to starve the beast – ignore it, don’t energize it – it will kill itself.

    USWeapon Says:“If you are as smart as you claim to be, perhaps the right answer is to step forward and take the lead in fixing this country”

    Fix what?

    Fix the economy? Stop feeding government.
    Improve freedom? Stop feeding government.
    Stop the war? Stop feeding government.

    USWeapon Says:“Your IQ would qualify you for the Mega Society, far more restrictive than Mensa. Odd that I should even know these things, isn’t it?
    So I say that as a “one in a million” intellect”..”

    N1 in 50,000 is about the best I would dare to claim.

    Vos Savant has had the highest recorded IQ – 230 …
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marilyn_vos_Savant

    But as I’m sure you know, IQ is very difficult to measure once past the 140 (Genius) level – her’s measured anywhere from 167 to 230, depending on the measure.

    However, I would suggest that Jefferson is the most intelligent man in history. I recall JFK, after inviting the American Noble Prize winners that year to dinner at the White House, said:

    “I think this is the most extraordinary collection of talent, of human knowledge, that has ever been gathered at the White House – with the possible exception of when Thomas Jefferson dined alone. ”

    Jefferson changed the world with his thinking.

    And he could not change the nature of government. In the mere face of that, I believe I could not do better than he. Thus, the only answer is to eliminate it all together.

    USWeapon Says:“ to help fix the government”

    Fix it to what? Stop being violent? It cannot be anything else – so the only ‘fixin’ is to kill it.

    USWeapon Says:“ and get our country where it needs to be.”

    I do not need to do anything for the country to be where it needs to be.

    The free people of the country, doing their own things in their own self-interest, will manage the country to its best optimum.

    Stirring is not required.

  85. Savant was measured on a different scale than the ones mentioned. When compared on equal footing it was more in line with someone just below Hawking. Did you really think I would have intentionally not mentioned Savant if I hadn’t known that?

    And doing nothing to “starve the beast” is not going to get us anywhere, because the fact is that whether you want to or not, you will pay attention to the beast. You don’t have a choice. To do nothing is to allow it to continue to grow. The American government cannot be starved, but there is at least a chance of taming it. A chance that I will take. You don’t like government so you will do nothing, merely so you can say that you didn’t contribute to any failed endeavor. I would rather contribute to a failed endeavor of saving the country than do nothing and have nothing more than a moral high ground. It is your choice and I recognize your right to choose to take the safe path and do nothing. That just isn’t the path for me.

  86. BlackFlag says:

    USWeapon Says: “Savant was measured on a different scale than the ones mentioned. When compared on equal footing it was more in line with someone just below Hawking. Did you really think I would have intentionally not mentioned Savant if I hadn’t known that?”

    (shrug) You say poTATo, I say PotATO.

    USWeapon Says:”And doing nothing to “starve the beast” is not going to get us anywhere, because the fact is that whether you want to or not, you will pay attention to the beast.”

    Nope. It goes this way, so I go that way. It demands, I ignore.

    I support stealing from government at any time (but carefully, they have this mindset that the stolen loot is theirs and they are very jealous) – the thieves deserve nothing. I’m more of the mind of Ragnar Danneskjöld in this matter.

    And when the day of reckoning comes, and the politicians are seen as thieves – I will have mercy. I will not attack them, nor ridicule them, nor imprison them. I will, simply, ignore them.

    USWeapon Says:”You don’t have a choice.”

    As Gandhi said: “We all have choice. So be the change you wish for the world”

    USWeapon Says:”To do nothing is to allow it to continue to grow.”

    It cannot grow without energy. It grows because you recognize it. It grows because you care – misguided, yes – but because you care.

    Too many care, but not realize what they do.

    I had a discussion recently where a incredibly intelligent woman was berating a story about a German woman. The German had lived through the War, and wanted to give remembrance to the fallen German soldiers too (Nov. 11). She was refused. My good friend thought this German was out of line – she was supporting the Nazis, etc.

    My question was: Was there no heroism by any German soldier? Did none of them throw themselves on explosives to save their friends? Did none of them sacrifice their lives so others may life another day?

    Is it their fault that they believed in their government, and died?

    No.

    There were hero’s. And they died for governments that didn’t care two hoots in Hades from them, their families nor their country. They died because they cared for something whose essence was evil. No doubt, incredible suffering and pain was their reward.

    Be very, very, very careful about what you care for. Understand it’s nature, it’s soul – for if you’re willing to give up everything for it, it better be worth it.

    Government is evil at it’s birth. Do not care for it.

    I would urge all to watch a movie called “Shenandoah”

    “Charlie Anderson: Now let me tell you something, Johnson, before you get on my wrong side. My corn I take seriously, because it’s mine. And my potatoes and tomatoes and my fence I take note of because they’re mine. But this war is not mine and I don’t take note of it.”

    Replace ‘war’ with ‘government’, and you got my sentiment exactly.

    USWeapon Says:”The American government cannot be starved, but there is at least a chance of taming it.”

    The best mind ever could not do it.

    Therefore, I doubt anyone can do it.

    Therefore, it must be thrown away.

    USWeapon Says:”A chance that I will take.”

    I’ll forward you my pic at the World Series of Poker – so that at least you can see who you’re betting against. Yes, that is my $10,000 in front of me…I’ll play poker with you any day, any where, any time. The photo is from Cardplayer, who was doing prep’ng a story about me. I donate by profits to charity (I’m wearing the elastic bracelet representing my charity) so they thought, if I did extremely well, it would be a great human interest story.

    I did well enough – got to a table with a young fella (who ‘we’ called a ‘Bible pusher’, ’cause he was as easy a read as a Bible and pushed) who always went all in with low pocket pairs – I caught 99, he went all in, and I called. He had 88 – then hit 88x on the flop…that’s poker!

    USWeapon Says:”You don’t like government so you will do nothing, merely so you can say that you didn’t contribute to any failed endeavor.”

    Contribution to a criminal gang is not badge of honor, no matter how brave your contribution may be.

    USWeapon Says:”…saving the country …”

    More Shenandoah,

    “Virginia needs all her sons, Mr. Anderson”

    “That might be. But they are my sons. They do not belong to the State.”

    …but these names have been changed to protect the innocent.. 🙂

    Black Flag: USWeapon, you look like you got somthin’ on your mind. Go ahead, say what you think.

    USWeapon: We’ve been through it all before.

    Black Flag: Now now, don’t pat around with me. You were raised to say what you think. You were all raised to say what you think. If there’s anything I can’t stand, it’s a lot of noisy silence. Now, come on, let’s have some talkin’ here.

    [USWeapon: stands up]
    Black Flag: Well, if you’re going to make a speech, I’m sorry I said it.

  87. BlackFlag says:

    PS: I know this may be very obvious to many, but guess where the “Matrix” got the name of its main character.. Mr. Anderson….

  88. I’m away from the computer for one day and lose track of things.

    OK, so the Supremes got rid of the “locked or disassembled” requirement. For some reason I thought they let that one stand. The stuff they OK’ed renders people defenseless in most circumstances. I still believe the “Heller decision” was disastrous for “legal” gun ownership (or will prove to be so in the long run). Only time will tell, but there are already indications.

  89. What made you choose poker…just an very interesting choice of games to discuss with me. And I am still waiting for that picture.

  90. lingeringmethane says:

    I am starting a pick up game of croquet on the north lawn, anyone for a set?

  91. I’m Down. I get the blue balls….wait

  92. BlackFlag says:

    The ruling was a disaster – it placed ‘controls’ on top of a right.

    A right is something you have that you do not need to justify or explain to anyone. The Supreme contradicted that and turned a right into a privilege.

    Poker….

    It really started in college. A group of us would run a ‘home game’ every two weeks on the payday Friday – and the oil workers with their big checks would drop by.

    The games were straight – no need to die over a game – but I got really good at the game (odds and all, and a few reading a few tells and all – and I’m incredibly aggressive at the table). We never took all their money – but I made enough to pay for a new car and lots of toys.

    After college, didn’t have so much time for it.

    I retired from life for a bit, and got the ‘bug’ again. I only play tournaments – and I do pretty well – lot’s of cashes and a final table on the World Poker Tour.

    Heck, ya never know… one day maybe a big win.

  93. I had just wondered why you had brought up poker of all games. I thought maybe you were challenging me to a game of cards. I rarely back from a challenge!

  94. You said you like taking chances where your odds are none to impossible. I like those bets.

  95. I didn’t say I liked it, I just said I was willing to because the alternative is to do nothing, and therefore abandon my principles and let government have free reign to do as it pleases.

  96. BlackFlag says:

    Government has free reign as long as people give it energy.

    Keeping the beast energized will not kill it, nor stop it.

  97. G. A. Rowe says:

    “Recreational Narcotics(Drugs)” use is NOT – let me be absolutely clear on this – NOT a “Victimless Crime”!!!!!!! You can check with any geneticist, pouring chemicals into your body alters your reproductive DNA and therefore any offspring you may have. I humbly bring your attention to the vast numbers of ADHD, Autistic, and other birth anomalies that have reared their ugly heads upon us in recent years. Where has all that come from? A government conspiracy? No. From the widespread of narcotics use among our young, all the while thinking they weren’t hurting anyone.
    I am an alcoholic. I inherited my alcoholism from my Mother. None of my Cousins are alcoholics, as were none of their mothers. Alcohol IS a drug.

    Recreational drug use IS NOT a victimless crime!

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