Reality Check, American Style

So, you have a job. It’s an ordinary, near-thankless one, where you’re only noticed when you screw up. But damn it, you want to do it right. You go well above and beyond what your employer was expecting, and what happens?

That’s right, the good ol’ American Government comes down on your ass like a bale of income tax forms dropped on a kitten:

CARLISLE, Pa. — A plucky newspaper carrier and her father used a rubber raft to reach flooded subscribers — and both wound up in trouble with the law.

Betsey Patrick, a carrier for The Patriot-News of Harrisburg, delighted six stranded subscribers along the rain-swollen Conodoguinet Creek on Sunday when she and her father floated down in the raft.

“The people were so excited,” Patrick said Monday. “They couldn’t leave their houses. It made their day.”

But police and a state Fish and Boat Commission officer weren’t amused, and cited her father, Rick Patrick, for negligent operation of a water craft.

A Patriot-News carrier since 2001, Patrick said she took to the raft because she didn’t want the remnants of Hurricane Ivan to mar her perfect delivery record.

Remember that phrase, “negligent operation of a water craft”. We’ll get back to that later. Worse for Betsey, she had the fuck-all nerve to backtalk those uniformed cretins:

Betsey Patrick said she was arrested for disorderly conduct after arguing about the $220 citation and handcuffed in front of her 2-year-old daughter.

Smart-mouthing pinhead members of “the authorities” is never a good idea, and Betsey is frankly lucky that she didn’t end up tasting taxpayer-funded Mace or suffering “heart failure” (a disease strangely endemic to police detention facilites). Now about that “negligence”…

Police involved in the case could not be reached for comment, but Roger Kohr, spokesman for the Cumberland County Office of Emergency Preparedness, said officials barred access to many flooded areas.

“We need people to use common sense,” Kohr said. “They’re putting themselves in peril, and they’re putting the people who would have to go in and rescue them in peril.”

And here you probably thought Betsey was weaving her car-topper through folks’ flooded driveways, tossing empties through their front windows: “No tip last year? I’ll give you a tip, mother-fucker!”. No, it turns out that Betsey’s negligence stems from the fact that she was endangering herself. Here in the land of the free, it’s negligent to endanger yourself, and that’s because the US Government owns your ass. It owns you, your paper route, and it even owns your little watercraft.

“…Officials barred access to many flooded areas.” You got that? “Officials” have told you where you can and can’t go, and your little piddly-assed job, boat, and life had better damn’ well give way. “Using your common sense” now means doing exactly what you’re told, telling off some possum sheriff is now “disorderly conduct”, and there’s a mass of low-IQ jackboots just itching for a chance to deliver you a severe beat-down, if you think otherwise.

But who cares? Heck, just look at all the places the Pennsylvania State Fish and Boat Commission didn’t make off-limits – acres and acres where you can move about without being fined and/or arrested! Can everyone wave their IDs and say “Free Country”? Okay? Okay!

Now move along, Citizen, before you bump into a squad car and get your feelings hurt.

127 thoughts on “Reality Check, American Style”

  1. Wrong. Since emergency workers would have had to respond to their emergencies, based on the regulations they follow, the entrance of a non-professional into the emergency scene endangered everyone else who, for whatever foolishly Statist reason, was relying on them.

  2. That’s true on the surface. However, these people are not responsible for the policies, regulations, or actions of rescue workers. They are only responsible for their own actions, and there is nothing inherently wrong with delivering a newspaper in a raft, endangering only yourself. The problem is on the other end, if indeed rescue workers are required to rescue everyone in every situation (which I very much doubt, as the courts have ruled that the police are not required to save women from rapists.) But, hey, such a law enslaving rescue workers would not completely surprise me.

    If someone announces that they will force me to rescue you if you get in trouble mountain climbing, does that give me a claim to prevent you from climbing? And, if you go climbing anyway, are you responsible for endangering me, or is the person making the threats (which they call “policies”) responsible?

  3. You are supposing, in a truly stupendous way, that, in the fire, a Firefighter, already in the building, will be able to distinguish between the occupants (I suppose you want firefighters to ask for fees at that point, but that’s your own hysteria) and those who have recently rushed into the building.

  4. That’s a problem, Josh, and it’s not one that’s solved with fines. Someone who runs unprotected into a burning building is either highly motivated (their baby is inside) or insane. A fine won’t discourage either case, so it’s certainly not a good argument for fining people who do so. Enforcing property rights and holding people responsible for damage they cause covers most cases.

    This has got pretty far off track from the original situation, though. The people in the raft were endangering no one but themselves. I would be far less supportive of them if they were doing something analagous–say if they were trying to use the raft to rescue someone while at the same time the professionals were trying to do so from a helicopter. In that case they ought to defer, unless the person being rescued made it clear that they would prefer that the professionals leave.

  5. Yeah, these seem just as bad as the murderous Burmese junta, or Gabon’s dictator, who the US has increasingly close relations with, or Equatorial Guinea (newly oil rich) and its dictator.

    Arresting someone who, in a National Disaster area, took unnecessary risks, yeah, that sounds like Tyranny to me.

    Aristocratic Republicans For Anti-Libertarianism, which is really just a bunch of businessmen who want to snort blow off hooker’s tits, legally, while their taxes go down.

    Taxation is the Price of Liberty — Montesqueiu

  6. Officials didn’t ban access to the flooded areas during normal times, only during a massive emergency, when rescue/emergency workers, and their associated staffs, are working as hard as they can.

    The last thing they need is some numnuts (i.e. a newspaper delivery person) _unnecessarily_ endangering themselves, and potentially straining (further) the already stressed rescue/emergency infrastructure.

  7. Was it the American Government which came down on the aforementioned’s rear end, or was it a member of the STATE Fish & Game Commission.

    Do you elect your STATE Fish & Game Commissioners?

    Do the races for STATE Fish & Game Commissioners get much press in your local papers?

    Is your finger broken, trying to point at the Feds while actually pointing at some small town schmoe?

  8. Your mountain climbing example entirely misses the point, that there was an emergency, perhaps a declared Federal Emergency, at the time.

    And, by your own logic, no one is enslaved to the rules of their job, they can just go get another one in our beautiful neo-laissez-faire economy, n’est-ce pas?

  9. You are impressing the heck out of me.

    Again, you are assuming any rescue workers will be able to distinguish between a drowning local and a drowning person who is just being an idiot? I suspect the rescue workers wouldn’t even _want_ to leave behind someone, just because they proved, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that they were a complete idiot, in case of emergencies.

    In cases where complete idiocy is a risk to the lives of others, tickets or citations seem to be in order. See: speeding.

  10. Oh, a Federal emergency. Well, that sounds terrribly important, so I suppose if you want to eliminate individual freedoms for that it’s probably okay. I mean, if the Feds say so.

    Or, are rights meaningless if they disappear when inconvenient?

    And no, no one ought to be so enslaved. If my employer orders me to do something I don’t want to do, I’m quite free to leave. Presumably, the rescue workers will voluntarily rescue idiots if they end up needing it, but they’re certainly free to quit their jobs if needed to avoid doing so. Even if this would be inconvenient for them, and more than it has to be in this mixed economy, it is still not a moral claim to restrict the actions of the people in the rubber boat. We can criticize the mixed econpmy itself without involving them.

  11. I assumed they were. If not, then I suggest they be cited for being in such a dangerous area.

    Who is who is not the deep issue here, anyhow. The question is, does one person’s intention to do good deeds, such as rescue people, entitle them to restrain those who would endenger themselves? The libertarian answer is “no.” It is not “maybe, how much danger are we talking about here?”

    The rescue workers, of course, have a right to decide not to endanger themselves trying to rescue people who take silly risks, or anyone at all for that matter. They also have a right to offer those services at a price. I imagine that “free” (tax funded) rescue services only encourage irresponsible behavior (which the newspaper deliverer’s may or may not have been.)

  12. You are serious? Let’s begin at the beginning.

    Are you saying cops can’t cite people for running into burning buildings when the Fire Dept. is on the scene? Does the Fire Dept. issue citations usually? I know the Fire Inspector does, but he isn’t a firefighter (at least, he doesn’t wear the uniform/equipment).

    Was anyone rescuing people, or were they just delivering the paper? If you were a rescuer, and skilled in the arts required (I imagine you’d have to know all the life-saving techniques of an EMT combined with Life Guard/Water Rescue), wouldn’t you want to co-ordinate with the immensely larger and more organized (evil) Official rescuers? Perhaps you want to try empty house after empty house, looking for people?

    Actually, rescuers don’t usually have the right to let people drown, no matter how many times you bang your fists on the desk and say it, it JUST IS NOT SO. They _DO_ offer their services at a price, usually called a wage+bennies.

    Your last supposition made my eyes bug out open. Fires are more likely when there are firefighters? People drown more near Life Guards? Small boats get stranded at sea more often when there is a Coast Guard?

    When the IDF prevents journalists from going into the Palestinian refugee camps, I get mad. I know they are, more likely than not, covering their own asses.

    In this case, however, there were no helicopter gunships mowing down members of Hamas (I recently learned how they recruit, and what it means to be a member, having just returned from Israel myself, for a six week visit), no one was killed at all. No one was maimed. There was a situation where rescue-workers were being used at maximum capacity, and some numnuts (pardon me, but their job, as an adult, is delivering the paper, which is often considered an adolescent’s job) decides to endanger themselves (certainly they didn’t _know_ how dangerous currents like this are, since it is a one-time situation) to deliver the gosh-darn paper!

  13. That was not my premise, ergo, you are creating a strawman argument to knock down.

    Firefighters DIE when untrained people (who don’t have the right equipment) barge into a burning building and try, not being part of a trained unit, to help. I know you don’t give a shit about firefighters, but they work as a team. Rogue Elements do NOT help.

    The rest of your argument isn’t even worth referring to, generally.

  14. Your premise, Mr. Narins, is that government is a parent who knows best, and we are all children. Unless we work for it, of course. In the interest of brevity I’ll address your points without quoting you.

    Cops can and do cite people for running into burning buildings, but they ought not to. If someone wants to take that risk, why is it anyone else’s business? They are not endangering the firemen–if the firemen attempt to rescue that person it’s their choice, not his.

    It doesn’t matter if the people on the raft were attempting rescue, delivering the paper, or just stopping by for a chat. It is not the place of the police, the rescue workers, or the Fish&Wildlife service to parent them.

    If rescuers don’t have the right to let people drown, that makes them a slave to anyone drowning, no matter how many times you bang your fists on the desk and deny it. By the way, I don’t bang my fists in frustration over anything I read anywhere. Yes, the rescue workers are working for wages, but the wages are paid by taxpayers, not by those in need of rescue.

    If you think that people, on the margin, don’t take more risks when rescue services are available at no cost to them than when such services are unavailable or expensive, you have little understanding of human nature. Of course, they don’t set out to get in trouble on purpose, but it’s one more factor to weigh when they’re considering doing something potentially dangerous.

  15. No, Mr. Narins, yours is the strawman. If you want to argue that the person running into the building is endangering the firemen by interfering, you have a case we can talk about. If the person doesn’t own, lease, or rent part of the building, he is trespassing and can be dealt with as such. If he is an owner in some way, and the firemen are concerned for their safety, they can let him know they will stop doing all that putting-out-the-fire stuff until he gets out of their way, as is their right. See, I do give a shit about firefighters.

    If you want to argue, on the other hand, that the guy running into the building, owner or not, is endangering the firemen by forcing them to rescue him, you’re just plain wrong. He can no more force them to rescue him than he can force them to fix his car, unless your worldview makes slaves out of firefighters. After all, the firefighters have the ability, he now has the need. From each according to his…

  16. Only an idiot could suggest that someone might not be able to tell there was a flood currently in progress.

    You aren’t anarchists, you are libertarians.

    I’m an Aristocratic Republican, and reading Thomas Jefferson’s Commonplace Book(on law) shows he was no Libertarian, but, like Madison, Hamilton, Jay and Adams, a firm proponent of the works of Montesqueiu.

    Why did Jefferson name his party the Democratic-Republicans? After Montesquieu.

    Perhaps the greatest crime in miseducation is our lack of respect for his work. Locke was a ninny, by comparison. Did you ever read Locke’s Constitutions? He wrote them, you know. Incredibly royalist.

    Sabotta left rubbish on my blog. No rhyme or reason attached. I still don’t understand why he wants the Crusade for Oil to extend to Sudan.

  17. Well, someone, somewhere is able to distinguish between idiots and non-idiots, otherwise how do you know who gets the tickets? Actually, they might all be idiots. Did people not know in advance about the flooding? Does it take more of an idiot to deliver papers from a rubber raft, or to build a house in a flood plain and stay there as the creek rises? I haven’t investigated this incident enough to see whether it might have been a complete surprise.

    You’re right that the rescue workers would want to rescue even the idiotic and irresponsible. I have some friends in the business, and the work attracts people who want to help, and enjoy danger. The fact that they want to do it, again, is not a claim to restrict someone else’s actions. That requires one of two statist justifications: “we’re stopping you for your own good” or “we’re stopping you so we won’t have to help you, so it’s for our own good.” Those can be used to justify a whole grab-bag of things if you allow them (drug war, seatbelt laws, smoking bans…)

    Speeding opens a new can of worms. Were the roads privately owned, the owners could set whatever rules they wanted, of course. But they’re not, and speeding (exceeding the posted limit) is not in and of itself endangering anyone. Going too fast for traffic conditions is, but it has almost nothing to do with the posted limits.

  18. I misread you a little, some of it seems vague even now. “Did people not know in advance about the flooding?” It hardly matters in the case of the newspaper delivery person.

    Your point still seems wrong. A person who lived there is, admittedly, in a flood zone. Almost the entire city of Albuquerque is in what is called a “100 year flood zone,” as are, I imagine, most of the population of the Midwest.

    Ironically, I bet you would be against regulations that say “If you live in a 100 year flood zone” (which doesn’t account for floods so great they only might occur every 1,000 years by chance) you must build your house to a certain level of code, in order that we don’t have to rescue your butt.

    In any event, the flood-plains-dwellers did nothing extra, on the emergency day, to endanger themselves. The newspaper delivery person entered into the emergency situation.

    And it might have even been a Murdoch owned newspaper, i.e. no news value at all.

  19. Josh Narins: “Only an idiot could suggest that someone might not be able to tell there was a flood currently in progress.”

    If you’re calling me the idiot, I suggest that you have misread me. Go back. I think you should judge everyone by the same standard: the person who takes a [hopefully] calculated risk to deliver the paper, and the person who takes [perhaps] the same calculated risk and stays home when the flood’s coming. They both may need rescuing, and both made decisions which potentially put them in that position.

  20. Hello Mr. Lopez.

    See, I consider one of the great threats to the peace of mind of the great body of Americans, yourself included, not the gun-toting (haven’t shot anyone in decades?) Fish & Wildlife Commissioners, known to run amok and rape the wives of hapless citizens, but, in fact, Terrorism.

    I believe, and have written about this, that there are three kinds of terrorists: Wackos, the Aggreived and Confused, and the Aggreived.

    Wackos, like the Unabomber or the Manson Family, tend not to gain a lot of adherents.

    The Confused and Aggreived lash out at the wrong perps.

    The Aggreived are the real worrisome types, because no amount of talk is going to convince them that they haven’t been wronged. They are in the category of “wronged” in the first place.

    I’m a Fundamentalist, Born-Again Atheist. That means that there is no god, and, in fact, it was really just a guy, nicknamed “El,” with his seventy children, known as the “Elohim” which the Jews are worshipping, and by extension, the Christians and Muslims. The guy died 4,000 years ago, I don’t think he hears jack shit, including prayers. Therefore, OBL is “confused and aggreived” about the presence of US troops in the Muslim Holy Land.

    However, his confusion is a mass confusion, like Christianity, and therefore, his potential support base among the “similarly confused” is quite large, as has been shown by his legions of die-hard cohorts (al-Qaeda is estimated to contain two or three hundred die-hard members, although it has trained closer to 10,000 people).

    US Foreign Policy, entirely bankrupt since Eisenhower stopped the Suez Crisis, is entirely to blame.

    Ergo, you can be happy in your home, rest easy, because other people are considering, and attempting to tackle, the problem of terrorism.

    Thank you.

  21. Yeah, these seem just as bad as the murderous Burmese junta…

    Narins, those town clowns in the story would happily shoot your ass just as dead as the Burmese would. Do you dispute that? No? Good.

    Now, get this: I don’t give a runny shit about Burma, Iraq, Iran, Cambodia, Whatthefuckistan, or whatever other third-world shithole that myopic conservatives are pointing to this week to convince themselves that they aren’t kept like sheep behind triple-strand barbed wire.

    I don’t live there. I live here, where the untold hundreds of thousands of armed and uniformed goons pose a threat to me that is literally orders of magnitude greater than some two-bit jihadi picking lice out of his beard halfway around the word. The fact that I can’t sit down on my front lawn, fire up a blunt, and field-strip my AK-47 without being attacked by armed government thugs matters infinitely fucking more to me than how many people are going to be herded into the voting booths in Afghanistan this year.

    As for your love of “taxation”, ostensibly to pay for “liberty”, a commodity supposedly delivered by the American Government (I’ll just let that laugh-riot sit there), let me present a little something from an obscure old anarchist:

    Inasmuch as the Constitution was never signed, nor agreed to, by anybody, as a contract, and therefore never bound anybody, and is now binding upon nobody; and is, moreover, such an one as no people can ever hereafter be expected to consent to, except as they may be forced to do so at the point of the bayonet, it is perhaps of no importance what its true legal meaning, as a contract, is. Nevertheless, the writer thinks it proper to say that, in his opinion, the Constitution is no such instrument as it has generally been assumed to be; but that by false interpretations, and naked usurpations, the government has been made in practice a very widely, and almost wholly, different thing from what the Constitution itself purports to authorize. He has heretofore written much, and could write much more, to prove that such is the truth. But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain—that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.

    Lysander Spooner

  22. Josh Narins: Ironically, I bet you would be against regulations that say “If you live in a 100 year flood zone” (which doesn’t account for floods so great they only might occur every 1,000 years by chance) you must build your house to a certain level of code, in order that we don’t have to rescue your butt.

    You’re right, but it’s in no way ironic.

    Nature provides consequences for people who builds on flood plains. These are generally well known in advance. Those who do should be willing to bear the costs.

    I have no problem, of course, if an insurance company, voluntarily retained by a homowner, insisted on such policies in order to continue coverage.

  23. See, I consider one of the great threats to the peace of mind of the great body of Americans, yourself included,…

    Stop right there. You don’t get a say in the matter of my “peace of mind”, pal. You got that?

  24. I’m not going to apologize, Mr. Lopez. I am a New Yorker, I am aware that we have launched two wars, and countless other actions, in the name of defeating “terrorism.”

    I was across the street on 9/11, I watched the second plane fly in. Other things happened. My cable TV went out while I was watching the Flight 587 coverage. My view of New Jersey meant that I saw that New Jersey was dark the day of the Ohio Blackout.

    Many, many polls say terrorism affects people. Poll after poll, even in Bumbletwit, Idaho, say people are concerned terrorists might strike them.

    You are obviously immune to such considerations. Your head is either in the sand, or you live far from any urban area or possible target. You are immune.

    Congratulations.

    Hip Hip Hooray for you.

    I would note you are probably still paying taxes to a Government which is Dead-Set on catching people like OBL “Dead or Alive.” (or at least, they were). They have enacted the largest re-organization of Government since WWII in order to combat terrorism.

    Ergo, your taxes belie your statements.

    Having fun?

  25. You are free to leave, and, to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever died as a direct result of not paying taxes. Not playing along with the thuggish techniques of IRS agents is _not_ the same crime as not paying taxes. You might go to jail, but no one has been killed for not paying taxes. That’s the second time someone here has suggested that low level officials kill.

    “We” includes you, because, whatever you say to the contrary, are a part of this country. “I” am in Iraq. I was a Marine, now I am not, I am still on Inactive Ready Reserve (although have no chance for getting called up). This is “my” country, despite the stupid, stupid things it does, and despite the morons like Bush, and you (killed for taxes?) that inhabit it.

    Your % that goes to the war on terror is, for all practical purposes, the same as anyone elses. Last year, 10% of receipts went to the War in Iraq. Therefore, last year, more than 10% of your tax money went to the ‘war on terror.’ (Yes, I know, Saddam had nothing to do with 9/11).

    Thanks for putting forward the canard that people die from withholding taxes (it has happened, but almost exclusively when the non-payers get in a fight with the IRS Agents who come to arrest them) , the stupid idea that an insignificant portion of your taxes is spent on idiocy, and picking on my choice of pronouns when I said “we.”

    You are adding to the debate.

  26. I am a New Yorker, I am aware that we have launched two wars,…

    Who exactly is “we”?

    Many, many polls say terrorism affects people. Poll after poll, even in Bumbletwit, Idaho, say people are concerned terrorists might strike them. You are obviously immune to such considerations.

    You’re exactly right.

    Ergo, your taxes belie your statements.

    Let’s think: taxes are extracted under the threat of death. That’s hardly a voluntary contribution. After such extraction, they are promptly pissed down a myriad of ratholes, such that my (former) dollar is spread into a microscopic-thin smear across the budget. If you were to actually try to quantify where that money goes, rather than spout nonsense, you’d see that precious little of it goes to The War Against Terror. Not that I have a say in the end use of that stolen loot, anyhow.

    Ergo, you’re wrong from beginning to end.

  27. They didn’t die because they didn’t pay taxes, they died because IRS Agents showed up and there was a struggle.

    But, you are right, you have no hope.

    Read The Spirit of Laws by Montesquieu, it is _the_ book which turned Jefferson into a revolutionary, and was the backbone of the political theory of the framers of the Constitution, “left” and “right.”

    Then read some Adam Smith, like this… http://satp.blogspot.com/2004_06_08_satp_archive.html

    Also read some stuff from the Constitutional Debates, the guy who actually wrote the Constitution, Gouvernor Morris, had this to say…
    http://satp.blogspot.com/2004_02_26_satp_archive.html

  28. Josh Narins:…and, to the best of my knowledge, no one has ever died as a direct result of not paying taxes.

    Josh Narins, three paragraphs later:Thanks for putting forward the canard that people die from withholding taxes (it has happened, but almost exclusively when the non-payers get in a fight with the IRS Agents who come to arrest them)

    I guess he picked up some better “knowledge” in between those snippets. Or something.

    This is just fucking hopeless.

  29. You are free to leave

    The Mafia shows up on your doorstep and demands protection money. The protection, of course, is from them first, because they’ll be happy to snap your legs and burn your house down.

    The State shows up on your doorstep and demands protection money. The protection, of course, is from them first, because they’ll be happy to beat you with a nightstick and lock you in a concrete and steel box.

    You can leave the grip of the state, of course, but you can also leave the Mafia’s neighbourhood. What does that choice have to do with the morality of the extortion?

  30. Clue, disphit: Jefferson *lied* when he wrote “We The People”.

    He gets to go to Hell.

    You. like a typical communazi weasel, slitheedr right out from under answering my blunt question to you: “Where do you think you get the right to steal from me?”

    C’mon, punk. Show me your LOGIC, or get the fuckin’ fuckitty-fuck oughta here.

    Stoopid “‘tard.”

  31. The Framers were intelligent men of good will. But they were mistaken about government, especially about the ability to construct a government which could be constrained from growing by itself. They were mistaken that government is a necessary evil. Evil yes, necessary no.

    I recognise the intelligence, honour, good will, and bravery of the Founding Fathers. But they made a fundamental mistake, one that has exploded in our faces.

    (And why the devil do you think anarchists would revere Hamilton more than, say, Jefferson or Mason?)

  32. John Narins: Taxation is the Price of Liberty — Montesqueiu

    So…. John Narins and Montesqueiu are both fucking *morons*. OK…. Hey: Where do you think you get the right to steal from me, you asshole?

    – – –

    (Only two profanities for an abject twit tonight…I must be slipping.)

  33. I am more than familiar with logical fallacies, but I usually use this set of them, with more normal names. Pigeonholing, for instance, is a term from mathematics, but it is used improperly on your webpage… http://www.xenu.net/archive/baloney_detection.html

    Fallacy logic is a branch of Informal Logic. You are assuming, ass, that I respect that we are all playing by that limited set of rules.

    People who praised Montesquieu, and incorporated his ideas in the formation of America: Thomas Jefferson (certainly smarter than your dumb ass), James Madison (again, a smart guy), John Adams (a royalist at heart, but a committed revolutionary, and none too dumb), John Jay, (1st Supreme Court Justice, but also a royalist), Alexander Hamilton (don’t you guys drool over him).

    If all those guys thought Montesquieu was the brightest political philosopher ever, and Montesquieu wrote his book during the reign of King Louis XV and under a Church which banned books at will. Both forces would have killed Montesquieu if he hadn’t done a decent job sticking up for the Loony Church and the Brutal King.

    And yet he did it.

    Read more about Logic. Fallacy logic is simply one way of looking at it, ‘tard.

  34. If it wasn’t for the excellent Spooner quote cited by Lopez, this thread would be pointless.

    Damn, it’s so good, I gotta see it again.

    “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain—that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”

    Many, many polls say terrorism affects people. Poll after poll, even in Bumbletwit, Idaho, say people are concerned terrorists might strike them.

    People are idiots. Poll after poll say that people believe there is evidence indicating that Saddam was in cahoots with Bin Laden and that we already found weapons of mass destruction.

    The greatest effect terrorism has on my life is the government’s response to it. I’m no more concerned that terrorists will strike me than I am that I will drown in my bathtub, which has a far higher probability of occurance.

    This is “my” country just as much as it is yours; that is to say, it is neither of ours. No one owns this country other than the individual private property owners.

    I am free to leave, luckily, but will not do so – neither you nor anyone else has any legitimate authority to tax me or defend the act of taxation with the false alternative of “love it or leave it.”

    And being murdered in an act of self-defense against the IRS is not in any way conceptually different than being murdered in a pacifist act of refusal to the IRS. If the IRS has no legitimate authority to seize my property — and it does not — then it also has no legitimate authority to kill me if I choose to defend myself against its aggression.

    Your argument concerning the person who willingly chooses to put himself into harms way, in turn justifying state intervention to prevent him from doing so, is quite similar to a whole host of other paternalist, illiberal arguments I’ve been encountering lately. People try to justify immigration restrictions on the grounds that, because of the welfare state, immigrants impose externalities on us by increasing the cost of government services. People try to justify junk food bans and fast food regulation on the grounds that, because of socialized medicine, other people’s obesity imposes externalities on us by increasing the cost of health care. And you try to justify restrictions on freedom of movement on the grounds that putting oneself in harm’s way imposes externalities on us by increasing the cost of rescue services and decreasing their effectiveness.

    In all three of these examples, the error is the same. The problem in all three cases does not lie in too much freedom, but in too much socialism. Remove the socialism and you effectively internalize these externalities, forcing people to face the true costs of their own actions. As Andy correctly observed, providing tax funded welfare, healthcare, and rescue services only encourages irresponsible behavior on the part of immigrants, the obese, and committed newspaper carriers. The fault lies with the government, not the victims of government.

  35. Joshua Holmes,
    You, and your fellow travellers here, are imagining a form of government which has never existed. You are no better than the Bolshevik/Soviets or Anarcho-syndicalists

    I. however, am basing my arguments on an _ideal_ form of the government we now have, based on the theoretical principles, Aristocratic-Republicanism, and Democratic-Republicanism, that the originators of said Government had in mind when it began.
    Any other course is revolutionary, and hence going to be considered by me to be nothing more than the rants of disgruntled subversives, that is, until I hear something more than J.S. Mill type “You can throw your fist anywhere you want, up to, but not including, the point where it hits me” argument. It is ideal, but someone needs to point out a place where such a libertine government is, or has been, in place _at_the_same_time_ that the place isn’t barbarian (see the laws of the Germans, from Tacitus, if Fish & Game Commissioners and IRS Agents aren’t already breaking down your door).

    Repeatedly the people here have pointed to the lethality of the IRS and small time State officials, as if there is any comparison at all to places we(the United States, which you are _all_ a part of, unless you leave) do business with, e.g. E. Guinea, Gabon, Chad, Niger, China, Saudi Arabia, etc.

    As a side note, I believe Hamilton would be more praised because the Republicans praise him, and the Libertarian Party tends to vote with Force’n’Fraudster Republicans, if their allegiance to the Cato or Von Mises Institutes is a guide. The Republicans push Austrian Economics, while the Democrats are still basically Keynesians. Similarly, the Republicans say they are lowering taxes (a flat out lie, re: 2005, unless you are top quintile, everyone else is paying higher than 2001), while John Kerry, for example, expects to repeal the tax cuts for the top wage earners.

    To the douche who cried “dipshit,” let his mushbrain slowly absorb the fact that I was not quoting the Declaration of Independence, nor relying on it, but on Jefferson’s own, private notes. Notes he decided to hide from his peers by drafting them in, alternatively, French and Italian. However, I am interested in anything Jefferson wrote that shows he acknowledged he was lying about the Declatation. Jefferson’s writings fill volumes, and I certainly have had time to read them all. What say you, Douche? Have anything in your shorts you wish to share? Something about Jefferson laughing about his “big lie,” the Declaration of Independence? Thank you in advance for whatever insight you can bring, Douche.

    Cheers,
    Josh

  36. What say you, Douche?

    Kennedy, kindly instruct this diarrhea flood-filling *asshole* to answer my twice-asked question forthrightly, under penalty of you’re punting his ass to kingdom-come for being a disingenuous, evasive commie weasel, or this will be the last time I ever visit here on account of me being just bone-tired of all the horseshit indulged at this place.

    No conscious thief is going to get good graces out of me for the same reason that credible historians do not debate Holocaust deniers, or serious scientists engage creationists or astrologers. Rational discourse is simply not possible with the insane or unethical.

    (Beck was *absolutely right* about this bleeding ages ago. Outright WAR is the only possible outcome of this. *Dance*, you bein’ bullet-riddled thief-carcasses, fuckin’ DANCE for me.)

  37. Dearest John T.,

    To prove that, you simply need to indicate a government that doesn’t threaten force, or imprisonment, on non-payment of taxes, and similarly provides no emergency services or roads, relying in each case on the private sector to provide.

    Similarly, this government can’t be a tyranny, monarchic, or barbaric.

    I will guess that no such government has existed, nor is there any revolution currently in progress which will bring such a nation into being, ergo, you are, shall I say, cloud-watchers, day-dreamers, and generally unrealistic, even as, or perhaps precisely because, you are moved by unimpeachable ideals.

    I feel so damned old.

    Happy Days,
    Josh

    P.S. God? The ones the Jews worship? It was a guy, a guy they called “El.” That’s the rumor from a student of a top Dead Sea Scrolls scholar (Prof Saul of U of Jerusalem or Hebrew U). Did you know the word Elohim was plural? It refers to El’s seventy sons. All this time the rational people have been frustrated, unable to prove god doesn’t exist. Turns out he did exist, and he had a nickname, and lots of kids. More archaeology would help.

  38. Dear Mike,

    I object to the use of the word steal. It would be stealing if we weren’t all part of a civil society. If you consider taxes “stealing,” then what do you consider roads and civil defense? 365 day a year Christmas?

    It’s only because you are a latecomer to the conversation, and posing what I consider a false question, that I had avoided answering.

    Why are there taxes, is that what you are asking? I have never “stolen” anything from you Mike.

    Are you asking “Why do I support taxation, including taxation of you?” Why do I support the IRS being able to seize property, and incarcerate people, if taxes are not paid? The second half of that question can be answered because people tend to be free riders (the concept from game theory), and would not volunteer to pay taxes unless there was a penalty for avoidance. In the world of taxation, which (ideally) is fairly distributed (each person making $X dollars and getting $Y deductions pays the same amount of taxes, even the President (although not certain corporations), we all participate because we all get something out of it. The exact amount we ought to put in, and get out, is supposed to be decided by the most Representative body, the lower House of Congress. Since the 1972 Budget Impoundment and Control Act, the White House has produced the Budget. I don’t like that, but the House of Reps were getting really slow at it. I would try to show that WH OMB production of the draft Budget is a violation of the Constitution, if I were in Congress. From out here, it is a waste of breath. I do have different ways in mind to speed the production of a budget in a large, deliberative body, but that can wait for another time.

    I believe there are “public goods” and “private goods” and the definition of “public goods” are those which no private sector entity would engage in, because the marginal returns to any single entity are insufficient. No electricity, for example, would be wired into poor communities. It is hard to see why poorer communities would get hooked up with any public services. And yet, as you well know, being barred from electronic communication techniques (phone, internet) pretty much keeps a person completely unable to voice their opinion. You know full well how useless most of the modern newsprint papers are, and how few appropriate addresses are available to the general public.

    I hope that begins to answer your question, and I am sorry I have only given you an “off the cuff” answer. I am sure clearer arguments exist.

    Have fun choking your monkey,
    Josh

  39. Mike,

    “Kennedy, kindly instruct this diarrhea flood-filling *asshole* to answer my twice-asked question forthrightly, under penalty of you’re punting his ass to kingdom-come for being a disingenuous, evasive commie weasel, or this will be the last time I ever visit here on account of me being just bone-tired of all the horseshit indulged at this place.”

    I’ll moderate as I see fit, thanks. I currently have no plans to instruct or punt this guy.

    “Beck was *absolutely right* about this bleeding ages ago. Outright WAR is the only possible outcome of this.”

    I really don’t need this. If you want to precipitate a war do it somewhere else.

  40. I think the signal-to-noise ratio in comments on NT is pretty decent, and I hardly ever boot anyone. I will when I think it’s useful.

    Not that I should have to explain this to anyone, but one of my notorious henchmen went to this guy’s site and lambasted him. I’m inclined to let him take his best shot here for now.

  41. Heaven forbid any there be any ethical standards here

      I value ethics too, but the standard shouldn’t forbid the participation of fools who don’t share our ethics. Not here anyway. If JTK permitted the participation of only those who share our ethics, it’d have the feeling of a fuckin’ circle jerk here ala the 700 Club in short order.

      I agree with you about one thing tho, there’s no market for rational arguments anymore. People have seen them, they know they’re out here and where to get them, but they just ain’t buying them.

  42. I object to the use of the word steal. It would be stealing if we weren’t all part of a civil society. If you consider taxes “stealing,” then what do you consider roads and civil defense? …

    I object to the word rape. It would be raping if we weren’t all part of a civil society. But we are all part of a civil society. A society so civil that we should not be concerned if its members never consented to its formation. A society so civil that the Aristocrats get to rape all of the common women whenever they choose. After all, if the common folk don’t like it they are free to leave. If the term civil society means anything, it means the freedom to tax – I mean, rape.

    Are you asking “Why do I support taxation, including taxation of you?” Why do I support the IRS being able to seize property, and incarcerate people, if taxes are not paid? The second half of that question can be answered because people tend to be free riders (the concept from game theory), and would not volunteer to pay taxes unless there was a penalty for avoidance.

    Let’s say your assumptions are correct and certain public goods exist that could not be provided without taxation. Perhaps you even think that these public goods are so desirable that they justify taxation. Fine. But you must still admit that this is theft, even if it is worthwhile theft given your goals. You are taking what does not belong to you, against the legitimate owner’s will, for your own purposes (or what you believe to be in the victim’s interest as well, and if he wasn’t such a greedy bastard for wanting to keep his own stuff, he would realize that you are just looking out for him). That is theft.

  43. Rod Long told me at Mises U that Tom Palmer is an anarchist. I’m not 100% sure about Gene Healy, but I think he’s pretty damn close. I bet there are a handful sprinkled about, here and there.

  44. Agreed, they’re mostly statist libertarian-ish policy-wonk hacks. Dems are usually further from them on economic policy issues so they’ll naturally tend to side more with republicans in such matters.

  45. Kennedy: I’ll moderate as I see fit, thanks. I currently have no plans to instruct or punt this guy.

    Well, I guess that’s it then.

    If you want to precipitate a war…

    That’s *not* what I asked of you. Are you blind now? How could you screw that up? What the hell is the matter with you?

    ….do it somewhere else.

    *snort* Tax-slavery, with the scum curling right up around your ankles on your own blog is so much the better way to slide through life than “the animating contest of freedom”. Right. Heaven forbid any there be any ethical standards here; it’s just one, big, happy Thief Education Project, where gently chiding “No! That’s a bad boy!” is the most you’ll ever do when they get right in your face and reach right around you to both back pockets, breathing right into you as they do: “I can’t live any other way; watchya gonna do about it, douchbag?”

    Yeah. Like I need daily installments of that.

    Open favorites….locate No Treason…delete…”Are you sure?”….pending…..

  46. I think the gridlock vote is mostly disingenuous. It’s really just anti-war voters who don’t have an anti-war candidate attempting to justify a vote for Kerry. I doubt you’ll find a single proponent of a gridlock vote who isn’t anti-war. Even if the Dems held congress these people would find another reason to vote Kerry.

    Regardless, the belief that the Cato people are Republican hacks is pretty clearly false.

  47. “While there may be some members of Cato who vote Republican, there are just as many who have come out in favor of gridlock and thus voting for Kerry,…

    I think the gridlock vote is mostly disingenuous. It’s really just anti-war voters who don’t have an anti-war candidate attempting to justify a vote for Kerry. I doubt you’ll find a single proponent of a gridlock vote who isn’t anti-war. Even if the Dems held congress these people would find another reason to vote Kerry.

  48. Yeah. Like I need daily installments of that.

    Open favorites….locate No Treason…delete…”Are you sure?”….pending…..

    Hey, Schneider.

    After the way you ran American Liberty you have no standing to lecture anybody about how they run their blog.

    And John and Lynette are much nicer people than I am. If I ran No Treason, I’d have never let you on here at all, after what you did to them there. But I don’t. It’s not my site and not your site – it’s their site. I’d think you’d have the common decency to be a little ashamed and act in a less pompous and arrogant fashion, but apparantly not.

    I’ve actually been pretty restrained, for old times sake, but the spectacle of you coming around here and acting like you have some stake in something that isn’t yours is absolutely the last straw. This is Kennedy and Lynette’s site, not yours – if you don’t like it, well that’s too fucking bad, isn’t it? Delete away, for all I care. Pursue your hallucinatory revolution elsewhere.

  49. No electricity, for example, would be wired into poor communities. It is hard to see why poorer communities would get hooked up with any public services. And yet, as you well know, being barred from electronic communication techniques (phone, internet) pretty much keeps a person completely unable to voice their opinion.

    Somalia, which everyone agrees is currently in a state of anarchy, has one of the most advanced cellular markets in the region, comparable to even 1st world country cellular infrastructure.

    So much for your example of a public good.

  50. I. however, am basing my arguments on an _ideal_ form of the government we now have, based on the theoretical principles, Aristocratic-Republicanism, and Democratic-Republicanism, that the originators of said Government had in mind when it began.

    (!) The U.S. Government, as it presently exists, is ideal? This is the government the founders had in mind when they wrote the Constitution?

    I don’t even know how to begin to respond to that.

    Any other course is revolutionary, and hence going to be considered by me to be nothing more than the rants of disgruntled subversives, that is,

    Wait, this, after just fawning all over Madison and Jefferson? You’ve got to be shitting me. Yep, those founders, all so conservative and anti-revolutionary. Definitely not subversive.

    It is ideal, but someone needs to point out a place where such a libertine government is, or has been, in place _at_the_same_time_ that the place isn’t barbarian

    Before I give you some examples, ask yourself what you would say to someone who charged Jefferson with utopianism for trying to implement a Republican form of government in a world consisting solely of monarchies.

    On to the history:

    David Friedman – “Private Creation and Enforcement of Law — A Historical Case” Journal of Legal Studies , (March 1979), pp. 399-415.

    Terry L. Anderson and Peter J. Hill – The Not So Wild, Wild West – Property Rights on the Frontier, Stanford University Press, 2004

    Bruce Benson – The Enterprise of Law: Justice without the State, Pacific Research Institute, 1990

    Robert C. Ellickson – Order Without Law : How Neighbors Settle Disputes, Harvard University Press, 1994

    See generally Randy Barnett and Tom Bell on Polycentric Law.

    Also, here is collection of books and articles on polycentric (i.e. anarchist, non-monopolistic) law.

    Repeatedly the people here have pointed to the lethality of the IRS and small time State officials, as if there is any comparison at all to places we(the United States, which you are _all_ a part of, unless you leave) do business with, e.g. E. Guinea, Gabon, Chad, Niger, China, Saudi Arabia, etc.

    Since when did anyone here compare the U.S. to any of these other countries? The relatively worse tyranny in these countries in no way diminishes the lethality or the illegitimacy of the U.S. govenrment.

    As a side note, I believe Hamilton would be more praised because the Republicans praise him, and the Libertarian Party tends to vote with Force’n’Fraudster Republicans, if their allegiance to the Cato or Von Mises Institutes is a guide.

    Evidence, please? While there may be some members of Cato who vote Republican, there are just as many who have come out in favor of gridlock and thus voting for Kerry, some who support the LP, and some who don’t bother voting at all. As for Mises, you’d be hard pressed to find even one person affiliated with their organization who plans to vote for Bush.

    The Republicans push Austrian Economics, while the Democrats are still basically Keynesians.

    Evidence that Republicans push Austrian econ? Last I checked, they were still supply siders.

  51. A friend of mine who summered at CATO a few years ago said that, each summer, there’s a cook-out and a softball game. The teams? Objectivists v. Anarchists, usually. The Anarchists are well-stocked.

  52. In order? OK.

    I meant to imply that I was basing my theoretical arguments on the ideal form (Aristocratic-Republicanism combined with a little D-R), not that our government even knows what that is anymore (although Ted Kennedy does evince some knowledge, if awkwardly placed).

    Jefferson and Madison were revolutionaries, and I criticized you for alleging to be one. However, Republics had existed before, and Jefferson took copious notes on the United States (what he called Holland), Switzerland, and the elected Monarchies of Sweden, Denmark and Poland.

    It is with that in mind, and not Roman-era German barbarians (the only example I can think of with a State as small as you desire) that the American Colonists revolted and “created.” That is why the revolutionaries were not Utopians. There would be no checks and balances in a Utopian system, if I might be glib a moment.

    As you say, On To the History…

    David Friedman is an ignoramus, or evil. Of Iceland’s laws, Friedman says “Killing was a civil offense resulting in a fine paid to the survivors of the victim.”. He expects shock on the part of the reader (see: repeated use of the word “peculiar”), and follows with “The wergeld–the fine for killing a man–was an essential part of the legal system of Anglo-Saxon England, and still exists in New Guinea.”

    Why is Mr. Friedman either evil or an ignoramus? He is ignorant, or feigns ignorance of, the barbarian codes of the Germanic tribes which conquered the western Roman Empire. The Frankish Empire (the Salic law) and the Ripurian, Burgundian and Visigothic Laws _ALL_ had payments for murder. Instead of being revolutionary, as is implied when the author only quotes sources post-dating 10th C. Iceland, Iceland’s laws were, in fact, BARBARIC. Mr. Friedman is evil if he intentionally neglects to mention this, and is, as seems apparent, PROPOSING BARABARISM FOR AMERICA.

    From Montesqueiu: “When the German nations subdued the Roman Empire, they learned the use of writing; and, in imitation of the Romans, they wrote down their own usages, and digested them into codes.”

    I had to skip the rest of the things you link to, because they are all books which I would be forced to buy. Since you are easily fooled by Mr. Friedman, I imagine you would be easily fooled by many, many people. Again, Mr. Friedman points to BARBARIAN CODES OF JUSTICE and says how great they are. Whoopee!

    You asked when anyone here referred to other countries, because their lethality in no way diminishes the LETHALITY of the FISH & GAME COMMISSION. I would like to suggest that lightning kills more people, per annum, than either the IRS or F&G Comm. Ergo, your likelihood of getting killed by either, EVEN IF YOU BREAK THEIR RULES, is less than the chance of being hit & killed by lightning. There are no RULES of the IRS which say they can kill you unless you resist with force. The same is true of the F&G Comm. To call them lethal agencies is exaggeration in the extreme. It is useless blather.

    Cato & Von Mises…

    I have been reading Cato and Von Mises pubs for a long time now. At every turn, you must admit, both argue for (generally) lower taxes. Cato, especially, argues for reduced regulation and lower taxes ahead of reducing social legislation each and every day. If one were to watch Cato organized events on C-SPAN, something which I have had more than a dozen opportunities to do (opportunities of which I availed myself) you would see that in each case Cato used its soapbox to push for goals which are more in direct alignment with the Republican Party than with the Democrats. Similarly, when it comes to Cato, they receive funding from the same group of whore-mongering whining idiots that fund groups like the Heritage Foundation, AEI, and the Hudson, Manhattan and Hoover Institutes. If anyone but Chuck Pena at Cato is voting for Kerry, they have fooled me.

    Von Mises Vs. The Supply Siders. Who do proponents of Von Mises hate more, Supply Siders or Keynesians? I apologize for suggesting Austrian Monarchist Economics, and/or the Monetarism of Hayek/Friedman is somehow Supply Side (that’s a Laff ;). However, all non-Keynesian economists are essentially arguing against the mainstream meme of Keynesianism, and have been for more than half a century.

    Somalia and celphones.

    You are full of crap. http://www.cellular-news.com/coverage/somalia.shtml

    The word rape. I didn’t bring it up. Non Sequitur. Judges? Do “Aristocrats” (which would mean elected officials and judges) get to rape in America? No. Not legally. Certainly rules different rules for plebes and elites in an A-R system is a sign of corruption. I am unaware of any laws that allow IRS agents or Fish & Game Wardens to rape people. Taxes are another issue, but you didn’t seem to stay on topic.

    Let’s say your assumptions are correct and certain public goods exist that could not be provided without taxation. Perhaps you even think that these public goods are so desirable that they justify taxation. Fine. But you must still admit that this is theft, even if it is worthwhile theft given your goals. You are taking what does not belong to you, against the legitimate owner’s will, for your own purposes.

    I do not agree this is theft. The legal order of our day dictates that the money is not spent for _my_ purposes, but the collective will of a group of people, and tradition, which is defined, in plain text, in the laws. In this case, mostly by Congress and the President and the United States Code. Their purposes, dictated also by tradition and previous law, are what are honored. _I_ am not taking the tax money, “We the people,” rather, our representative (aristocratic) government, is taking the money. You seem quite alienated from your government, while I simply hate the buffoons who are currently President, and in Congress, blaming the greedy corporate fuckers who run the media for making douches out of most everyone (including my erstwhile “Democratic” allies), and generally trying to ignore our grievous sins of the past (overthrowing most of the countries of Earth in the last 50 years, and pretending we didn’t do squat).

    Perhaps you really believe in Barbarian Laws like the Salic or Burgundian codes, I don’t know. Perhaps you are simply a harbringer of the end of America, and represent the barbarism to come. I hope not.

    The phrase: tax-slavery.

    Cuba has no taxes. Dictatorships, generally, lack taxes. Taxes are used everywhere by civilized peoples. The only exceptions are oil-rich nations. Taxation, you already heard, is the price of liberty. Unless you can name a nation which has no taxes and liberty? You can not.

    Anarchists at Von Mises…

    These are people who are against Our State, not all states. Von Mises was a big fan of the Hapsburgs, the Austrian MONARCHY. That is why it is called Austria’s Revenge (having lost the War to End All Wars, they took over our money).

    Cato and Objectivits…

    Maybe they get disillusioned quickly (Cato is, after all, always pushing the Republican line when it comes to their C-SPAN presentation, i.e. when they are getting the _most_ attention), but O-ists are _of_course_ going to be drawn to a big, well-funded, ostensibly libertarian think-tank. Libertarians are simply “right-anarchists,” vs people like me, who are “left-anarchists.” Just because I argue for the State, does not mean I am a Statist. I just know what it _should_ be up to, based on the THEORY…

    You know, the theoretical backbone of the country in which we all(?) happen to live?

    Montesquieu?

    Thanks,
    Josh

  53. By the way, in one of the Germanic barbarian codes, all penalties were established by the family’s of the perpatrator and the perpatratee. In other words, they did without those expensive and obnoxious jack-booted thugs, or activist Judges, which simply _plague_ America today.

    And if your family wasn’t big enough, or your Godi (see David Friedman’s Iceland tale) was a moron, well, tough shite.

  54. …voted people into office who chose my pen to take,for the common good, I would relinquish it gladly.

    I wonder how Josh would feel if “the people of the United States” got togerher and voted people into office who chose to have their way with his wife, or sister, or daughter (for the public good, of course). Would he relinquish them gladly?

    Why Micha, you’re starting to sound all deontological.

    I’ve always believed theft is wrong. I just don’t believe in any objective basis for morality.

    Truthfully, if there were private post offices, for instance, there would be no mail service in Bumblefuck, Nebraska. It just doesn’t pay.

    Tell that to FedEx and UPS. And Mike is right: if it doesn’t pay, it doesn’t pay. That’s a reason not to live in Bumblefuck, Nebraska.

  55. Josh Narins: Micha, you are terrible at debate.

    I disagree. On the other hand, your stream of consciousness diatribes have me seriously considering the possibility that your only goal is to waste the time of people reading these comments.

  56. Josh Narins: If the people of the United Staes voted people into office who chose my pen to take,for the common good, I would relinquish it gladly.

    If the people of the United States voted people into office who chose to take 100% of your wordly possessions, for the common good, and pitch you down a well, would you relinquish your property and your body gladly?

  57. Micha, the numbers come from your post. the paragraph after the bold:

    In all of Somalia, there are nine companies providing service today through over 105,000 fixed lines and almost 39,000 mobile lines. In 1993, 33 years after independence, there were only 17,000 telephone lines, 14,000 of which were in the capital Mogadishu. Almost 87 percent of the country now has telephone service.

    Population: 8,304,601 (CIA Factbook)
    Looks like no one is to sure.

    International calls: I misread that. You are right. $1 a minute for international.

    Ideal Vs Real: I said that we should judge the existing America by the Ideal standards set forth in Montesquieu, at least first. If you have some theory better than A-R, put it forth. Instead you cite “private justice” of Iceland in the 10th century. The German barbarians destroyed the western Roman Empire, and they are the ones who first codified, through their writings, the Salic, Ripurian, Visigothic and Burgundian laws, all of which entail fee-for-killing, and one of which, at least, had a very minimalist State. They were, in fact, barbarians. Barbarians pay to kill. Modern corporate sleaze, and their paid academic hacks, like this system, because they are rich. Lower taxes, kill as many people as I like (just paying a fine).

  58. Ivan, my body? No. Unless I’d committed what a capital offense, and the punishments for this capital offense were meted out fairly.

    All my wealth? Well, by way of example, Arnie GropenFuhrer, on ~56 million in income in the two years prior his being elected, made 56 million. He paid less than one third of that in taxes. I can not imagine, with people like you on their guard, that 100% taxes will get enacted. In fact, if the Congress tried, they _would_ quickly find people stop working. There are exactly two points where the Laffer Curve is correct, at 100% and 0% taxation.

    The Fish & Game Commission does not rape or kill.

    The IRS has no penalties for which you can die.

    Your side generally seems more wacky, than anything else, to me, and severely miseducated.

  59. Private justice, as described by the ahistorial ignoramus Mr. Friedman, is barbarian justice. They paid fines, they didn’t rely on any State. They had destroyed the Roman Empire, then they learned to read and write, and they wrote down their codes.

    Iceland destroyed the Roman Empire? Iceland had a written legal code?

    You have no clue what you are talking about.

    Considering that Micha thinks .6% market penetration is a 1st world standard, can we all agree to write him off as a nimcompoop? Great.

    I said their infrastructure, not the coverage, is better than most first world countries. And I have no idea where you got the .6% statistic from

    Sorry about Cuba. You will note it says “Cuba’s new personal income tax.” You did not answer the more fundamental question about taxation and liberty (twice now, you diarrhea laden shitwit), to wit, name a single country with liberty, and without taxes. Show me a country with miniscule taxes and liberty.

    I did answer this. Read the De Jasay quote again.

    Throughout its history, humanity has permanently displayed a physical condition classified in ordinary language as illness or disease. There has always been what Hume would call a constant conjunction between human life and illness.

    The Hobbesian hypothesis that illness is a necessary condition of the human species has strong empirical support. It has never been falsified.

    Arguments in favour of the prevention or eradication of disease are evidently misguided, and may be dangerous. They are often put forward by naive persons with little understanding of reality.


    Micha, you are terrible at debate. You say my ideal system can’t be judged, yet I judge it myself. This is the grossest of contradictions. I will not repeat myself further.

    No, you said that, not me. You are the one who contradicted himself, by simulataneously claiming that your system is ideal and never existed to be judged, and is not utopian or revolutionary because it currently exists.

    Somalia: Citing Micha’s statistics:
    Years Somalia has had cel-phones: 5

    A claim not made in either article.

    Population: 6.5 million

    Wrong. Population: 9,088,000

    Cost per minute of Somalia’s celphone service: 1 dollar

    Wrong: International calls on mobile phones cost US$1 per minute or less, five or six times lower than in most African countries.

    Cost per minute in America: .02 (or fifty dollars a month, or so, for unlimited)

    Wrong. International calls cost way more than $0.02 for cell phones in the U.S.

    You are a fucking waste of time.

  60. The author of the Iceland peice calls Iceland’s laws “peculiar” and “interesting.” He cites _later_ civilizations (early Anglo-Saxon England and modern New Guinea) for comparison. What he does not do, however, is point to the roots of this behavior. He describes Iceland’s system as though it were novel, and not barbarism, 500 years later.

    The author is undoubtedly praising private justice, while ignoring the large, well known civilizations in which it flourished. In fact, he claims Iceland had about 60,000 people at the time (since 2000 thralls make 3% of the pop.). Anarchy, I hope we all agree, works best with low populations.

    Interestingly from my perspective is that Iceland wrote all this down in the 12th century, in a poetic form, and we are supposed to take their word for how things were back in the 10th? I’m extremely dubious. There is, as with many religious tales, no corroboration.

    You may want to base a society on such flimsy evidence, I, for one, do not.

    My right to self-defense, as I understand it, comes into play when people try to kill me. The IRS might try to seize me, or my property, based on the rules they have written down, and regulations under which they operate, but they never set out to kill people (barring corrupt officials trying to silence someone).

    There ought to be more filming of law enforcement activity, so there is less doubt about what actually occured. :-D

  61. The German barbarians destroyed the western Roman Empire, and they are the ones who first codified, through their writings, the Salic, Ripurian, Visigothic and Burgundian laws, all of which entail fee-for-killing, and one of which, at least, had a very minimalist State. They were, in fact, barbarians

    What does any of this have to do with Iceland?

    The IRS has no penalties for which you can die.

    Try exercising your right to self-defense against the IRS and see what happens.

  62. You, and your fellow travellers here, are imagining a form of government which has never existed.

    True, although it has existed in parts. But so what? Montesquieu also proposed a form of government which had never existed before. Some people read his works, thought he had a good idea, and ran with it. It did well for a while.

    You are no better than the Bolshevik/Soviets or Anarcho-syndicalists

    That depends if you mean morally or efficaciously. I’d agree with the latter and disagree with the former.

    I. however, am basing my arguments on an _ideal_ form of the government we now have, based on the theoretical principles, Aristocratic-Republicanism, and Democratic-Republicanism, that the originators of said Government had in mind when it began.

    That’s great, but several of their ideas turned out to be wrong:

    * That the populace would zealously guard their liberty.

    * That the infighting among the three branches of the federal government would restrain the power of the state.

    * That the states would zealously guard against encroachments on their sphere of authority by the federal government.

    * That a written Constitution and a written Bill of Rights would constrain the power of the federal government (remember, Britain’s constitution is unwritten).

    * That political parties would not form.

    All of these turned out to be wrong. Now, you could say that if we could just get the right people in office, it would work. Problem is, if the right rulers could be found, they would be tempted as the wise and good of other generations by the state’s power.

    Any other course is revolutionary, and hence going to be considered by me to be nothing more than the rants of disgruntled subversives

    The course we’re on is revolutionary. The Framers had no intention of setting up a world empire run by the executive-emperor, with impotent states coming with hat in hand to the federal government asking for the crumbs that fall from the master’s table, all rubber stamped by a docile and subserviant Congress and Judiciary. Re-read the Federalist Papers and tell me if the government they envisioned has come to pass.

    Of course, “We’ve always done it this way!” is a horribly bad argument, for two reasons:

    1. That tells us nothing of the morality or efficacy of this way.

    2. We haven’t always done it this way.

    As a side note, I believe Hamilton would be more praised because the Republicans praise him, and the Libertarian Party tends to vote with Force’n’Fraudster Republicans, if their allegiance to the Cato or Von Mises Institutes is a guide.

    If you can find a good word written about President Bush in 3 years at the Mises Institute, I’ll eat the page. Hell, the Mises Institute dogged Reagan through his 8 years in office, and the Republicans have practically canonised him.

    However, I know you don’t believe this tripe, since you obviously realise we’re not Republicans.

  63. My link said that, after being in operation a year, all the mobile companies stopped service. My link said that none of the mobile phones could connect with any of the other services.

    Your post says that, in a nation with a population of SIX AND A HALF MILLION THIRTY NINE THOUSAND have mobile phones.

    You called this “comparable to even 1st world country cellular infrastructure.”

    POINT SIX PERCENT of the population has cel-phones. Less than two percent have landlines.

    Somalia is one of the poorest nations on Earth, and they pay about a dollar per minute, according to your post.

    In America, with the taxes that destroy existence itself, people usually pay TWO CENTS PER MINUTE, One Fiftieth The Price. Other plans are probably even cheaper.

    Try reading my blog, maybe it will help you. It is called “Remain Calm”

    I call it that because the truth is really, really harsh. Not insurmountable, but quite ugly.

  64. The rapist does not have the State’s impratur for the act.

    I will not sing the praises of a State which seizes my property, nor would I attempt to stop them. As someone else noted, they’ve got a lot more guns.

    Ciao.

  65. Anarchy, I hope we all agree, works best with low populations.

    We do not agree.

    You may want to base a society on such flimsy evidence, I, for one, do not.

    I posted numerous other sources if Iceland is not to your liking.

    My right to self-defense, as I understand it, comes into play when people try to kill me.

    You understand it wrong. Self-defense is the right to resist aggression, against your person or property.

    The IRS might try to seize me, or my property, based on the rules they have written down, and regulations under which they operate, but they never set out to kill people (barring corrupt officials trying to silence someone).

    A rapist may try to have sex with your wife, but he only wants sex; he never sets out to kill people, unless they try to defend themselves with force,

  66. The rapist does not have the State’s impratur for the act.

    And if he did? Would it be okay to rape if a majority, or tradition, or the Constitution said so?

    I will not sing the praises of a State which seizes my property, nor would I attempt to stop them. As someone else noted, they’ve got a lot more guns.

    Yep, and that’s why I plan to pay their them extortion for the forseable future. But that doesn’t make it any less wrong to steal from me.

  67. Somalia and celphones.

    You are full of crap.

    http://www.cellular-news.com/coverage/somalia.shtml

    What the fuck? Did you even read your own link? It in no way indicated that I am “full of crap.”

    Try actually reading this time, starting with this article:

    http://www.undp.org/dpa/choices/2003/december/somalia.html

    Over the past five years, Somalis have outpaced their neighbours in East African countries in developing their information and communications technology. With a steadily increasing number of mobile phone, fixed-line and Internet service providers, Somalis have turned to technology to fill an infrastructure vacuum in this nation struggling to rebuild itself after a decade of civil war. While there is no official banking system or postal service, and while many Somalis don’t have regular running water or electricity, most do have access to fixed phone lines. Many others own mobile phones while colourful Internet cafés are springing up along Hargeisa’s bustling downtown streets.

    “In traditional African societies, it’s sometimes difficult for government officials to embrace technology, but here, it is the people who decide,” says Abdi Karim Mohamed Eid, manager of Telesom, a private telecommunications company.

    A decade ago, Somaliland had a single phone company providing fixed lines only. There are now four private telecommunications companies—with a fifth scheduled to have entered the market by the end of 2003—and a growing number of Internet users.

    “We started with a few hundred subscribers and now we have about 3,000,” says Mr. Eid. “If you add up the other companies, there may be around 20,000 Internet subscribers in Somaliland. That’s much more than we anticipated initially and it’s a remarkable achievement given that there is no backing from the international community. This is solely done by the Somali business community. We are really proud of that.”

    In all of Somalia, there are nine companies providing service today through over 105,000 fixed lines and almost 39,000 mobile lines. In 1993, 33 years after independence, there were only 17,000 telephone lines, 14,000 of which were in the capital Mogadishu. Almost 87 percent of the country now has telephone service.

    In Somaliland, fierce competition between the private companies has driven consumer costs down, despite the fact that companies must rely on expensive satellite technology rather than fibre-optic cables. International calls on mobile phones cost US$1 per minute or less, five or six times lower than in most African countries. The lack of a government has also helped keep costs down—there is no tax on telephones.

  68. You deny the existence of public goods.

    “Public goods” is just a euphemism, a sneaky lie to forward the false-premise that an amorphous collective (the “public”) owns something. But it doesn’t. “Public goods” means, exactly, “government property”. Or: Regional Alpha Mafia’s swag.

    Truthfully, if there were private post offices, for instance, there would be no mail service in Bumblefuck, Nebraska. It just doesn’t pay.

    Why does Bumblefuck, Nebraska deserve mail service funded by loot?

    You and your ilk seem to just want to smash all the progress

    I reject your premise that coercion represents “progress”.

    and resort to survival of the fittest.

    “The Law of the Jungle” is what governments subscribe to: Naked power from the barrel of a gun, which is exactly what it will employ should you attempt to prevent it from seizing your assets.

    Teddy Roosevelt had some words for people like you, but I don’t remember them. Something about absolute freedom being the freedom for the strong to take advantage of the weak.

    But that’s exactly what *you* are arguing for: The (spurious) right of the “strong” (the democratic mob) to “take advantage” (steal) via government force.

    You’re a hypocrite.

  69. Micha: “Yep, and that’s why I plan to pay their them extortion for the forseable future. But that doesn’t make it any less wrong to steal from me.”

    Why Micha, you’re starting to sound all deontological.

  70. Josh Narins: Ivan, my body? No.

    Under what principle is your property available for the public good, by majority vote, but not your body? If it is “for the public good”, then what, precisely, is your objection?

    Unless I’d committed what a capital offense ….

    That’s not the analogy. Taxpayers haven’t committed any offenses. Their property is just taken, regardless of their innocence and lack of consent.

    All my wealth? Well, by way of example, … I can not imagine, with people like you on their guard, that 100% taxes will get enacted.

    I didn’t ask if you thought such a situation would be unlikely. I asked if you would submit to such a demand, by elected representatives. If not, then explicate the principles which lead you to such a decision.

  71. Your pen trick is stupid. Are you some sort of socially agreed upon representative, choosing how the pen should be used for the common good of all? In that case, it is certainly theft.

    Excellent. We’re getting somewhere. (Then again, there’s a hundred-million of you prudent-predators, so it’s not really an efficient use of my time to attempt changing the mind of one of them ….but I haven’t anything better to do this morning before the Civil War.)

    [I]If the people of the United Staes

    See the Ambiguous-Collective fallacy.

    …voted people into office who chose my pen to take,for the common good, I would relinquish it gladly.

    What right do they have to take your pen? If I do not have a right to steal your pen, where do you imagine that I and umpitty other fellas get a “collective right” to steal your pen?

    I will not sing the praises of a State which seizes my property

    You’ve just contradicted yourself.

    Rubbish; that’s *exactly* what you’re doing under the guise of “public goods”.

  72. “Make that the :unexpected Ghertnerite-Sabottean-Schneider popular front. Where the alliance collapses is over what to do about it.”

    On this site? I don’t recall hiring any consultants.

    Lynette, is there something you forgot to tell me?

  73. Private justice, as described by the ahistorial ignoramus Mr. Friedman, is barbarian justice. They paid fines, they didn’t rely on any State. They had destroyed the Roman Empire, then they learned to read and write, and they wrote down their codes.

    Considering that Micha thinks .6% market penetration is a 1st world standard, can we all agree to write him off as a nimcompoop? Great.

    Mr Holmes,
    Montesquieu only wrote about government forms which had existed. The main Republics he wrote about were Rome before Caesar and the Greek city-states. Roman laws were passed, during the Republican era, first by the Senate. One year later, during which time it was in effect, all citizens voted on the law. Not that we are here to discuss the flaws of ancient Republics, but I consider heredity a terrible way to pass on authority, and this was certainly a problem with the Roman Senate. The triumvirate, by the way, could defeat Rome with troops, troops who were motivated by the lack of their veteran’s benefits (had been promised land in the conquered territories).
    Of your five “unexpecteds,” I can only see myself concerned about one, the fact that all three branches of the Federal government seem to have an interest in increasing their power, and that the States have not retained their perogatives. However, I also believe there are particular, historial reasons for this, which can rationally, if not easily, be returned. They have done it in England already, it was called devolution.
    The Federalist Papers were basically propaganda. If you don’t read the Anti-Federalist Papers at the same time, I am not sure what you could possibly get out of it. Of _course_ our countryfolk, of late, have acted like big, fat greedy assholes. They would take slavery, with TV, over freedom without (the vast majority, anyway). Why? I would argue because no tough decisions are made. No one calls the President or the media-whores liars. Chris Matthews is an _ignorant_blowhard_. That is why he is paid many millions of dollars per year. The US House of Representatives was set up to keep watch over the machinations of the rich to take power. The rich, FYI, have succeeded. People here seem to want to institute barbarism/anarchy in order to fix the problem. I just want to fix what’s wrong with an otherwise respectable system. Americans, generally, are lazy and happy.
    The von Mises Institute hasn’t even praised any of Bush’s tax cuts (which are all actually long term tax hikes on the lowest four quintiles)? Well, color me surprised.

    Micha,

    Sorry about Cuba. You will note it says “Cuba’s new personal income tax.” You did not answer the more fundamental question about taxation and liberty (twice now, you diarrhea laden shitwit), to wit, name a single country with liberty, and without taxes. Show me a country with miniscule taxes and liberty.

    Micha, you are terrible at debate. You say my ideal system can’t be judged, yet I judge it myself. This is the grossest of contradictions. I will not repeat myself further.

    The important thing is that the words in the Constitution have a basis, and not every word in the basis made it into the Constitution. Ergo, if you are ignorant of Montesquieu, you are ignorant of the context of the Constitution. End of story. Guess what? You are ignorant! You have, by my reckoning, made so many completely false, unfounded and delusional statements that I fear you are hopeless.

    Almost every “interesting” or “peculiar” feature of private justice, as described by numnuts Friedman in his Iceland article, was present in the Codes of the German Barbarians. Congrata-fuck-u-lations, Mr. Selleck.

    I’ve watched Cato host Straussians on C-SPAN, I’ve watched their Iraq war debates. In each case, Cato took the administration line. Only one Cato guest or speaker EVER took an anti-war position on C-SPAN, in the relevant timeframe, and that was Chuck Pena. I am glad they have more nuanced views on their website, but far more people are exposed to them via television, as every dipshit like you should learn.

    Stephen Moore is another ignorant blowhard. The Club for Growth are loony liars. The number of cases where Moore’s ads have flat out lied, not to mention dissembled, is to great for me to consider them seriously. Moore’s presence at Cato, and the Club for Growth’s 100% support of the GOP over the Democrats, proves my point, thanks for pointing out how important that douche is at Cato.

    As for funding, I think you are really missing the boat. But it isn’t a big deal. Those funders do _not_ fund ideologically diverse groups. They fund people like Stephen Moore, fascist fuck (that would be Moore, not yourself).

    I showed why I didn’t think taxes were theft, so of course I don’t think they are rape, either, shit-for-brains.

    Micha tries to say that “in the last decade” (Somalia has had celphones for under five years now) Somalia has made great strides in the celphone business. If you look at Micha’s own posts on this matter, you will see that point six percent of Somalis have celphones, and they are paying fifty times more than Americans for the privilege. If this is progress, go to fucking Somalia, ya stinking barbarian.

    Mr. Schneider,

    Thank you for your comments on Iceland, Somalia and Castles in the Sky.

    You deny the existence of public goods. That’s brave. Certainly, if they did not exist, your side would have a lot going for it. Truthfully, if there were private post offices, for instance, there would be no mail service in Bumblefuck, Nebraska. It just doesn’t pay. Many, if not most, of the things government gets involved with do not pay. Take, for example, taking care of the old, disabled and poor. There is no money in said business. Taking care of those few old or disabled people who are wealthy is lucrative, but we both agree that is a small percentage of the aged. Things are better now, and, despite Micha’s loony ramblings about Anarchist Paradise (point to one, mother fucker, point to one single example on Earth, you stupid mother fucker), things will tend to get better. There are problems. I see ways through them. You and your ilk seem to just want to smash all the progress, and resort to survival of the fittest. Teddy Roosevelt had some words for people like you, but I don’t remember them. Something about absolute freedom being the freedom for the strong to take advantage of the weak.

    You don’t believe in public goods? Fine. I don’t believe in any anarchist paradiso.

    Your pen trick is stupid. Are you some sort of socially agreed upon representative, choosing how the pen should be used for the common good of all? In that case, it is certainly theft. If the people of the United Staes voted people into office who chose my pen to take,for the common good, I would relinquish it gladly. Truthfully, republican whores, and democrat whores (see: DLC), give lots of it to the corporate fuckers who pay to get them elected. Stupid, stupid, stupid, anti-American trash.

    If Mike wants to get in an e-mail discussion with me over Public Goods, fine. Otherwise, I’m done.

    Somalia: Citing Micha’s statistics:
    Years Somalia has had cel-phones: 5
    Population: 6.5 million
    Number of celphones in use: 39,000
    Number of landlines: 105,000
    Number of people who have both landlines and celphones: Unknown
    Cost per minute of Somalia’s celphone service: 1 dollar
    Cost per minute in America: .02 (or fifty dollars a month, or so, for unlimited)
    Out of 231 “countries”, rank of US in terms of GDP/Capita: #2
    Out of 231 “countries”, rank of Somalia, GDP/Capita: #230
    http://www.worldfactsandfigures.com/gdp_country_desc.php

    Somalia is an example of anarchist paradise, Micha, buy your ticket today!

    fin

  74. “…name a single country with liberty, and without taxes. Show me a country with miniscule taxes and liberty.”

    Name a single country with liberty, and without diarrhea. Show me a country with minescule diarrhea and liberty.

    I’ve got it! Diarrhea causes liberty!

  75. I just wrote a long post responding to your outright lies about Somalia clearly evident to anyone who reads the two articles you and I posted. Unfortunately, my post got eaten by my browser, and I am not going to waste my time with you any longer trying to rewrite it. Anyone who is interested is free to read the two articles and see how you deliberately inserted claims not present in either article and replaced stastistics that are plain for all to see.

    The point remains. In less than a decade, Somalia has increased its telephone infrastrucure, coverage, and reduced its prices without the presence of government, and now has one of the best and cheapest systems in the continent. This sufficiently refutes your claims that public goods cannot be provided without coercive government, that no one would be wired in poor communities and that poorer communities would not have any public services.

  76. Sabotta:Hey, Schneider.

    Fabulous. You’re finally spelling it right.

    After the way you ran American_Liberty…

    You liked it well enough when I kicked all the net-nazis (repeatedly). AL was never supposed to be a big, unattended playground like this place is (de facto, if not by design) with hundreds of pieces a day strangling pre-broadband connections. (And the audience will duly note that neither you nor JTK nor Lynette has seen fit to pester me privately or publicly about whatever I allegedly did to them.) …but enough indulgence of your burn-all-bridges personality-disorder.

    My subject was all about coddling thieves, liars and weasels, and it’s plenty clear to me that most of the denizens of Outer Blogolia will accept ANY amount of socialism or islamism or naked naziism just so long as it leaves them a single lit phospher of a pixel to bleat into while it’s doing whatever it likes to their hindquarters.

    Once upon a time, there was a John T. Kennedy who would demant, “What right do you have to rule me?”, and expect an answer.

  77. Sabotta: The unexpected Ghertnerite-Sabottean popular front agrees – Narins is a lying lunatic whore.

    Make that the :unexpected Ghertnerite-Sabottean-Schneider popular front. Where the alliance collapses is over what to do about it.

    Is reconciliation possible with you?

    That’s a serious question.

  78. Micha: This sufficiently refutes your claims that public goods cannot be provided without coercive government

    Oh, good Lord,….

    Look:

    1. “Public goods” is a false-concept.

    2. You needn’t accept his premise (even for the purposes of playing ‘Devil’s Advocate’) until he establishes foundation. I.e., where does he get the right to steal from you? (If theft is morally proper between individuals, then I say he should just shut up and fork over me his computer right *now*.) Whenever I see a libertarian/minarchist/ “conservitive”/whatever arguing with a weasel on and on and on and on about Iceland or Somolia or Fabulous Floating Cities in the Hurricane Belt, I know I’m around people who have no earthly idea what they’re doing or what they’re up against.

    “Power comes from the barrel of a gun!” Mao said it, and the weasels know it. Narins couldn’t give a damn whether or not shiny, happy Somolians have fresh water sans government coercion; all he’s concerned with is the most expedient way he’s used to getting it — and it’s right impertinent of you not to shut up and drape the c-notes over the barrel of his hired representative’s gun.

  79. Focusing solely on rights isn’t going to get you very far. Most people just don’t care about rights talk.

    Those “most people” aren’t going to listen to anything else, Micha; they’ll blather until they’re blue in the face about their “needs” until *reality* is *slapped* into them. The irrational mind is not swayed by reason.

    Did you ever do the “steal a pen” trick?

    — Ask to “borrow” a pen from your mark. When you’re done, make a show of liking the pen (“Hmm; nice pen…”) and put it in your pocket instead of giving it back. Naturally, he’ll object (the reality-slap is your brazen theft) on the grounds of it being his property and not yours. — And with that, you now have an objective basis to demonstrate his hypocrisy over what socialist rubbish he may be running at the yap about.

    They want to see the results

    Ask him which government agency he licensed his pen from.

  80. Similarly, when it comes to Cato, they receive funding from the same group of whore-mongering whining idiots that fund groups like the Heritage Foundation, AEI, and the Hudson, Manhattan and Hoover Institutes.

    Guilt by association, now? Who the fuck cares what other ideological organizations some of Cato’s donors support if our only question is what Cato and its policy analysts believe?

    Von Mises Vs. The Supply Siders. Who do proponents of Von Mises hate more, Supply Siders or Keynesians? I apologize for suggesting Austrian Monarchist Economics, and/or the Monetarism of Hayek/Friedman is somehow Supply Side (that’s a Laff ;). However, all non-Keynesian economists are essentially arguing against the mainstream meme of Keynesianism, and have been for more than half a century.

    So, you have no evidence that “Republicans push Austrian Economics.” In fact, Bush has been widely described by economists as pursuing Keynesian policies. Second, Keynesianism is no longer mainstream. It has been replaced by newer schools like Rational Expections, and even the neo-Keynesians are now but one among many competing schools of thought.

    The word rape. I didn’t bring it up. Non Sequitur. Judges? Do “Aristocrats” (which would mean elected officials and judges) get to rape in America? No. Not legally. Certainly rules different rules for plebes and elites in an A-R system is a sign of corruption. I am unaware of any laws that allow IRS agents or Fish & Game Wardens to rape people. Taxes are another issue, but you didn’t seem to stay on topic.

    Are you really that incapable of understanding an analogy? Rape is wrong. Stealing is wrong. We would view it as fundamentally unjust if government bureaucrats were allowed to rape innocent people at will. Yet people like you see nothing wrong with different rules for government and everyone else. Neither you, Bill Gates, or I are allowed to steal with impunity. Politicians are.

    I do not agree this is theft. The legal order of our day dictates that the money is not spent for _my_ purposes, but the collective will of a group of people, and tradition, which is defined, in plain text, in the laws. In this case, mostly by Congress and the President and the United States Code. Their purposes, dictated also by tradition and previous law, are what are honored. _I_ am not taking the tax money, “We the people,” rather, our representative (aristocratic) government, is taking the money.

    This is why the rape analogy is relevant. Imagine if I said,

    “I do not agree this is rape. The legal order of our day dictates that the woman does not own her own body, but is owned by the collective will of a group of people, and tradition, which is defined, in plain text, in the laws. In this case, mostly by Congress and the President and the United States Code, which states that so long as the majority of people enact laws and traditions which allow for the rape of innocent women, then it is okay. Their purposes, dictated also by tradition and previous law, are what are honored. _I_ am not raping this women, “We the people,” rather, our representative (aristocratic) government, is raping her.”

    Got any problems with that?

    You seem quite alienated from your government, while I simply hate the buffoons who are currently President, and in Congress,

    I am alienated from the concept of government, which is nothing but tyranny and pain. I have nothing against this particular government; it’s better than most, yet still unacceptable by any standard. Yet you are foolish enough to believe that if only the right people were in power, things would be okay. You fail to recognize the structural condictions which cause the failure.

    Cuba has no taxes.

    Wrong. http://www.worldbank.org/html/prddr/trans/mayjun97/art11.htm

    Dictatorships, generally, lack taxes. Taxes are used everywhere by civilized peoples. The only exceptions are oil-rich nations. Taxation, you already heard, is the price of liberty. Unless you can name a nation which has no taxes and liberty? You can not.

    From Anthony de Jasay’s Justice and Its Surroundings:

    Throughout its history, humanity has permanently displayed a physical condition classified in ordinary language as illness or disease. There has always been what Hume would call a constant conjunction between human life and illness.

    The Hobbesian hypothesis that illness is a necessary condition of the human species has strong empirical support. It has never been falsified.

    Throughout its history, humanity has permanently displayed a social condition classified in ordinary language as the state or government. There has always been what Hume would have called a �constant conjunction� between human society and government.

    The Hobbesian hypothesis that government is a necessary condition of social life has strong empirical support. It has never been falsified.

    Arguments in favour of the prevention or eradication of disease are evidently misguided, and may be dangerous. They are often put forward by naive persons with little understanding of reality.

    Arguments in favour of fostering society’s capacity to evolve anarchic orders and live with less or no government are evidently misguided, and may be dangerous. They are often put forward by naive persons with little or no understanding of reality.

    Anarchists at Von Mises…

    These are people who are against Our State, not all states. Von Mises was a big fan of the Hapsburgs, the Austrian MONARCHY. That is why it is called Austria’s Revenge (having lost the War to End All Wars, they took over our money).

    Mises was not an anarchist. And cite some evidence for your claim that any members of the Mises Institute support others states but not the U.S.

    Libertarians are simply “right-anarchists,” vs people like me, who are “left-anarchists.” Just because I argue for the State, does not mean I am a Statist.

    Um, yeah.

  81. A thousand points of light, Mike. (Damn, I’ve been quoting Bush the First way too much lately.)

    Focusing solely on rights isn’t going to get you very far. Most people just don’t care about rights talk. Or if they do care about rights, they don’t care solely about rights. They want to see results too.

    Then again, it’s not like I fool myself into believing my arguments will be any more convincing than rights talk in this case. Perhaps I may plant a seed of doubt, but I mainly just do it for the practice and because I can’t let a bad argument go uncriticized.

  82. Stand by your words, Josh, or I’m finished wasting time with you.

    First you criticized anarchists for “imagining a form of government which has never existed.” I’ll get to your responses to my examples in a moment. For now, though, lets consider the fact that you distanced yourself from this imaginary business by “basing [your] arguments on an _ideal_ form of the government we now have, based on the theoretical principles, Aristocratic-Republicanism, and Democratic-Republicanism, that the originators of said Government had in mind when it began.”

    This is essentially the argument made by unreconstructed Marxists, except worse, because at least Marxists can try to claim that “real” communism has never been tried. You, on the other hand, are attempting to put forward two contradictory statements at the same time: that your system is both “ideal” and cannot be judged by the empirical failures we observe today and also non-imagined since we now have it. Well which is it? Has your system existed or hasn’t it? If it never existed the way you think it should, then you have no right criticizing anarchists for lack of empirical evidence. If it did exist, and devolved into our current government, then as Spooner said earlier in this thread:

    “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain—that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.”

    Next, you said that you consider any revolutionary course to be “nothing more than the rants of disgruntled subversives.” This after you just finished ejaculating praise all over Jefferson.

    Now that I caught you in a stew of your own contradictions, you write:

    “Jefferson and Madison were revolutionaries, and I criticized you for alleging to be one. However, Republics had existed before…”

    Which doesn’t address the argument at all. Your complaint wasn’t just lack of historical precedent — which by itself is a completely absurd criticism, since everything can be traced back to its original historical precedent, itself having no historical precedent. It’s about as bad an argument as Aquinas’ prime mover argument: everything must have an initial cause/mover/creater that is not itself, therefore, we must go all the way back to the beginning of history, and lo and behold, what do we find? God must be the prime mover for everything. Sillyness.

    So your complaint was not about historical precedent; no, your complaint was about the revolutionary rants of disgruntled subversives. Yet now you realize that you caught yourself in a contraction, because Jefferson was a revolutionary and a disgruntled subversive. Put that in your pipe and smoke it.

    All of this ignores the fact that I nor anyone else in this thread called for revolution. So this whole criticism of yours is a straw man. I don’t advocate revolution. I have an ideal in mind, but I advocate gradual, progressive change to reach that goal.

    Your objection to Friedman’s Icelandic evidence doesn’t even deserve a response.

    p1. Murder was a civil offense under Icelandic law.
    p2. Murder was a civil offense under the barbarian codes of the Germanic tribes.
    p3. Germanic tribes were EVIL BARBARIANS (ALL CAPS TOO!!! LIKE, OMFG!!!! YOU KNOW HOW TO USE THE SHIFT KEY!!!!)

    Therefore, Icelandic law, by virtue of the fact that it shares a civil offense for murder with Germanic tribes, is also evil and barbaric.

    Compare to:

    p1. Hitler has a mustache.
    p2. Tom Selleck has a mustache.
    p3. Hitler is an evil dictator.

    Therefore, Tom Selleck, since he shares a facial hair style in common with Hitler, is also an evil dictator.


    You asked when anyone here referred to other countries, because their lethality in no way diminishes the LETHALITY of the FISH & GAME COMMISSION. I would like to suggest that lightning kills more people, per annum, than either the IRS or F&G Comm. Ergo, your likelihood of getting killed by either, EVEN IF YOU BREAK THEIR RULES, is less than the chance of being hit & killed by lightning. There are no RULES of the IRS which say they can kill you unless you resist with force. The same is true of the F&G Comm. To call them lethal agencies is exaggeration in the extreme. It is useless blather.

    Again, you are ignoring the issue. No one ever claimed that the IRS is more dangerous than lightning, or that the IRS is more dangerous than tyrannical agencies in other countries.

    Lightning is not a moral crime. Theft is. No one can or should hold lightning accountable for its sometimes devastating effects, because lightning is not a moral actor. IRS agents, and those who support them, are.

    How exactly should we describe an agency which threatens to put you in its prison if you don’t pay extortion, and if you try to defend itself, will kill you? Is it lethal? Is it theft? Is it criminal?

    I have been reading Cato and Von Mises pubs for a long time now. At every turn, you must admit, both argue for (generally) lower taxes. Cato, especially, argues for reduced regulation and lower taxes ahead of reducing social legislation each and every day. If one were to watch Cato organized events on C-SPAN, something which I have had more than a dozen opportunities to do (opportunities of which I availed myself) you would see that in each case Cato used its soapbox to push for goals which are more in direct alignment with the Republican Party than with the Democrats.

    Let’s see, on Cato’s front page we find:

    An Ominous U.S. Model
    by Jonathan Clarke
    http://www.cato.org/research/articles/clarke-040922.html

    American response to 9/11 has been almost exclusively military. Other instruments of American policy — political, economic, social, allies — have fallen by the wayside. All other priorities of government have been subordinated to the “war on terrorism.” This approach of total “with us or against us” war derives much of its ideological underpinning from the intensely pessimistic neoconservative worldview based on an absolute division between good and evil.

    Schooled by the failure of liberal democratic institutions to head off either Nazism or Soviet communism, neoconservatives argue that there is no point in analyzing the root causes of a phenomenon like terrorism; the only thing to do is to get your shot in first and worry about the consequences later.

    The result is an embrace of a no-holds-barred approach to terrorism that neoconservative organizations like the newly revived Committee on Present Danger dub “World War IV.” Under this model, military force trumps all else, and input from the international community counts for little.

    Cato Daily Dispatch for September 23, 2004
    United States Agrees to Hamdi Release
    http://www.cato.org/dispatch/09-23-04d.html#1

    In “Hamdi and Habeas Corpus,” Timothy Lynch, director of Cato’s Project on Criminal Justice, writes: “[T]he Bush administration has been using the Hamdi case to advance a sweeping theory of executive branch power. According to this theory, the president can deprive anyone in the world of his liberty and hold that person incommunicado indefinitely.

    “… The Al Qaeda terrorist network is an evil organization that must be vanquished. But as we go about that task, we must not lose sight of what we are defending. Free societies do not ‘just happen.’ Freedom in America rests upon a framework of checks and balances that was designed by men who were steeped in history and political philosophy. If that framework is neglected, constitutional guarantees will become nothing more than hollow promises on pieces of paper.”

    The Cato Institute filed an amicus brief with the Supreme Court on Hamdi’s behalf.


    We’re at War not with a State but an Armed Ideology
    by Gene Healy
    http://www.cato.org/dailys/09-23-04.html

    Sept. 11, 2001, should have concentrated the mind wonderfully as to the type of enemy we’re fighting. Too often, however, the administration has insisted on “fighting the last war.” Having rightfully removed the one state that was directly related to the terror threat, the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, the administration continued on to Iraq, as if the war against terror was a war against states. But it’s hard to understand how regime change in Iraq aided the war against anti-American terrorism. Iraq appears to have had few, if any, genuine Al Qaeda links and no WMD stockpiles to speak of, much less a plan to pass off weapons of mass destruction to anti-American terrorists.

    Issue Ads: Let ‘Em Rip
    by Stephen Moore
    http://www.cato.org/research/articles/moore-040920.html

    (Article on issue ads and the First Amendment)

    And so on and so forth. None of this is more in line with Republicans than with Democrats. When you say things like, “If anyone but Chuck Pena at Cato is voting for Kerry, they have fooled me” all it indicates is that fools are easily fooled. That is the only way to explain your conclusion after reading articles like this

    http://www.cato.org/research/articles/boaz-040803.html

    and this

    http://www.cato.org/research/articles/boaz-031130.html

  83. My body.

    I did put it up for use for the public good.

    I was a US Marine. Now, the job I had, and even the job I wanted, were not front line positions. I never even left the United States. But, had Clinton ordered it, I would have gone, and perhaps my body would have been lost.

    I do believe, and am not hypocritical about it, that the common good is greater than my own personal good.

    Nor is any sane government going to do all the crazy shit you attribute to it. Aristocrats raping people is the province of Monarchies and Barbarous governments, both are far more along the lines of what you propose (fee-for-raping?) than what I propose. In my system, in the system of the United States, no one is allowed to kill, except under the most threatening of situations, and no one is ever allowed to rape.

    No collective group of people, rather, no elected elite body, is going to propose the STUPID SHIT you keep hypothesizing, for example, allowing rape, or 100% taxation, or random murder.

    It is just stupid, and, to top it off, the kind of thing that would far more likely happen in an anarchic situation.

    FedEx and UPS are the reason the Post Office loses money. They took the most lucrative section of the business, the cream, as it were, and left the run-of-the-mill stuff to the USPS.

    Junk mail is strictly the unintended consequence of the of the Sears Catalog Company’s lobbying efforts. All corporate sponsored law (almost all we have, nowadays) is shite.

    You call the “mob” democratic, you are right, a mob is. But the elites of this country, who control the force structures (cops/national defense) are not the mob, they are the Aristocrats.

    Your endless suppositions about stupid laws that hypothetical elites would dream up really do nothing to further your argument, as, in an anarchic State, it wouldn’t even take a vote. If someone wanted to rape your Mom, he’d just do it. Maybe he’d pay a fine, maybe your Mom couldn’t afford a cop.

    You say I am a hypocrite because “I will not sing the praises of a State which seizes my property.” I certainly didn’t mean to say that I wouldn’t mind sharing some of my income. I was using, for that sentence, (perhaps mistakenly, by your reckoning) the word property for “stuff I already had.” not a cut of whatever I might ever earn. I could have earned NONE of it without the State. All of my jobs, from the menial to the Wall St., have relied on the existence of the infrastructure and security suppplied by the State.

    Your Anarchies (Western Sahara, Somalia, most of Afghanistan) look like Shit, and they will stay like Shit, and your defending them smells like Shit.

  84. I do believe, and am not hypocritical about it, that the common good is greater than my own personal good.

    I don’t think you’ll actually answer, since you’ve been shown to be a lying weasel who can’t even keep from contradicting himself, but I’ll give you the question that Bill O’Reilly flunked: If the all the Iraqi resistance groups promised that they would give up (and US intelligence believed the promise was genuine) in exchange for the privledge of killing you, would you sacrifice yourself for the common good?

    This is a Yes or No question.

  85. Bill O’Reilly, in an interview with Micheal Moore:

    MOORE: Right, I would not sacrifice my child to secure Fallujah and you would?

    O’REILLY: I would sacrifice myself.

    MOORE: You wouldn’t send another child, another parents child to Fallujah, would you? You would sacrifice your life to secure Fallujah?

    O’REILLY: I would.

    MOORE: Can we sign him up? Can we sign him up right now?

    O’REILLY: That’s right.

    Source.

  86. Yeah I saw that live. My sense was that he probably misspoke and meant he would volunteer to put his life on the line and fight for Fallujah, rather than simply sacrifice his life straight up which is a bit different. But he’s a total unpricipled chowderhead (I guess you can tell I’m jealos of his ratings) and he couldn’t even best Moore in a debate.

    Moore’s position doesn’t make any sense either, Bush isn’t sacrificing children or conscripts, he’s employing adults who have volunteered to work for him. Every single volunteer in the armed forces knew that renewed war with Iraq was a definite possibility when they signed on. These are adults who’ve volunteered to do an adult job so I don’t want to hear anything about Bush sacrificing our children.

    And O’Reilly couldn’t even handle that.

  87. Narins: No collective group of people, rather, no elected elite body, is going to propose the STUPID SHIT you keep hypothesizing, for example, allowing rape, or 100% taxation, or random murder.

    Fallacy of the Excluded Middle.

    Your Anarchies (Western Sahara, Somalia, most of Afghanistan) look like Shit, and they will stay like Shit, and your defending them smells like Shit.

    Fallacies of Analogy.

    Yo: For the third time, what gives *you* the moral right to authorize theft from me at the behest of your appointed representative.

    That’s all I really want to hear out of you.

  88. Mike.

    Your excluded middle fallacy charge is wrongly applied, simply because those are precisely the examples I have been given. Is there something like a “partial rape” that could be legalized? No. Ergo, there is no middle ground on the rape issue. Therefore, your charge was poorly levelled. Similarly, there is nothing like a “partial murder.” There is no “middle ground” in either case. The elites aren’t going to legalize mayhem, either, and although it is legal for the State to do in Saudi Arabia, that’s going the way of the dodo.

    Fallacies of Analogy charge. Well, I kept asking and asking and asking for a single example. None were proferred. I did my best to come up with all the anarchies on Earth. Your side is dodging the question (Where is the Anarchic Example State?).

    I do not claim any *moral* right to support taxation. I believe taxation is the price of liberty. Having chatted with you folks for this long, it is clear I wouldn’t want you in charge of anything. Aristocratic-Republicanism, with its concomittant taxation and rules, is a terrible system, and better than all the others.

    There is no moral right, there is just rationality/reason.

    You are unfamiliar with the rational basis, which is found in Montesquieu. I also like some of the witty things Adam Smith said.

    Good luck,
    Josh

  89. Having chatted with you folks for this long, it is clear I wouldn’t want you in charge of anything.

    What makes you think that anyone here besides yourself wants to be in charge of anything other than his/her private property?

    And why can’t you answer my question, weasel?

  90. Nor is any sane government going to do all the crazy shit you attribute to it. Aristocrats raping people is the province of Monarchies and Barbarous governments, both are far more along the lines of what you propose (fee-for-raping?) than what I propose. In my system, in the system of the United States, no one is allowed to kill, except under the most threatening of situations, and no one is ever allowed to rape.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waco_Siege
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ruby_Ridge

    As far as I am aware, Lon Horiuchi hasn’t faced any justice for his actions.

    Well, I kept asking and asking and asking for a single example. None were proferred. I did my best to come up with all the anarchies on Earth. Your side is dodging the question (Where is the Anarchic Example State?).

    Why are anarchists obligated to provide an example state?

  91. I believe taxation is the price of liberty

    Then you’re simply an idiot, because tax-subjugation isn’t “liberty”.

  92. Montesquieu only wrote about government forms which had existed. The main Republics he wrote about were Rome before Caesar and the Greek city-states.

    True but irrelevant. He made political analyses, the Framers used them to create a heretofore unused system of government. In 1789, would you have asked for historical proof of federated liberal democratic republics in history?

    Of your five “unexpecteds,” I can only see myself concerned about one, the fact that all three branches of the Federal government seem to have an interest in increasing their power, and that the States have not retained their perogatives.

    That’s actually two separate unexpecteds.</nitpick>

    I’m also curious why you’re not worried about people not bothering to enforce their liberty vigorously through elections and public sentiment. Boetie correctly observed that governments of all sorts operate on implied consent. That is, even if all the other “unexpecteds” come to pass, a populace which cares deeply for liberty is going to be difficult to oppress.

    However, I also believe there are particular, historial reasons for this, which can rationally, if not easily, be returned. They have done it in England already, it was called devolution.

    Devolution isn’t doing anything for British liberty. That shouldn’t be a surprise, of course, since federalism failed in this country, as well.

    The Federalist Papers were basically propaganda.

    True but not terribly interesting. One may write convincingly and authentically (That is, revealing authentic sentiments). There’s no evidence to believe that Madison, Hamilton, and Jay didn’t believe what they wrote.

    People here seem to want to institute barbarism/anarchy in order to fix the problem. I just want to fix what’s wrong with an otherwise respectable system.

    The problem is that the system is fundamentally broken. Not only is it morally indefensible, but its features designed to ensure liberty have failed.

    The von Mises Institute hasn’t even praised any of Bush’s tax cuts (which are all actually long term tax hikes on the lowest four quintiles)? Well, color me surprised.

    To my knowledge, no. Most of them subscribe to Rothbard’s argument that the true cost of government is not its taxation but its spending, since the spending will have to be supplied from something.

  93. Dear Creative Dreamers,
    Besides taxes, what have you? The private justice practiced by barbarians, the fee-for-crime system (which is enforced, throughout historical examples, by monarchs), and volunteer system of tax payments.

    If you believe in any of these things, you are off your rocker. May Bill “The Barbarian” Gates, who will be authorizes to slaughter thousands of people in a fee-for-crime world (while your broke ass won’t be able to kill anyone), gets you.

    Mr Holmes,
    Why am I not concerned about people not vigorously protecting their liberty (as evidenced by their repeated election of no-account chumps)? Simply put, it seems to come and go. Things get good, people relax, the bad-shits figure out that no one is on their guard, peoople start ringing alarm bells, eventually people wake up.

    Why is the system so shot through with anti-original holes? Mostly because of racist scum, actually. If that problem fades, perhaps we will be able to reform.

    Devolution is doing something. It allows Scottish people to elect their own, local, representatives to make all their choices on Energy, for example, outside nuclear energy. That Republicanism, if not liberty.

    Re: Federalist Papers. It’s not that they did, or did not, believe what they wrote. It is that the general public has _no_idea_whatsoever_ what the contemporary alternatives were. One of the biggest cries, for example, was that all of the elected representatives in this government, President, Senate, and Represenatitive, should be elected annually. “Where Annual Elections End, Tyranny Begins.”

    You say this system is fundamentally broken. I say I can fix it. I don’t see anything other than the predictable problems of any representative democracy. Most, if not all, of these problems, are in fact discussed in Montesquieu. Not in the media, not on this message board, but in a book which was written by a guy who explained to the American Pre-Revolutionaries what life could be.

    To the Dreamers, Again,
    A toll for every road! That’s efficiency! Fee-for-raping! Cuts down on court time!

    Your Daft. Again, may the Billionaire Reverend Sun Yung-Moon use your fee-for-killing system to wipe you all out, pay a small fine, and proceed with buying his theocratic system. That’s is what we are looking down the barrel of, right now. Theocracy, Why abortion? Because of God. Why Sudan, and not Congo? Because of God. Why Bush? Because of God. Why 9/11? Because of God. I should get back to dealing with the real threat.

  94. FYI, I loathe Randianism. Ayn was a psycho. I find Libertarians and Objectivists to be equally dotty.

    And I never talked about bribes, I talked about fee-for-crimes. Rich people can kill whom-so-ever they like, because they can afford the fine. Rich people can rape as they like, because they can afford the fine.

    I think the Estate Tax is the single greatest tax, and it is one upon which Rome, sometimes, entirely relied.

    Why is it so great?

    It is applied once per citizen (applied infrequently).
    It is applied on the earned assets of a person, only after they are dead (when the earner won’t be bothered).
    It is applied when the person who earned the assets is no longer in a position to see that their “will” is done. (the state can settle inheritor disputes, according to the dead person’s will, without bias)
    It is on unearned income.

    As for Long’s spurious supposition that a poor person can “sell” their claim, what if the person they sell it to steals it? Does the poor person “sell” their rights to the stolen claim? And if that person steals the claim?

    Is there any evidence, outside of some self-serving sagas, that the poor got justice in Iceland? Nope.

    Like the Bible, Roderick Long and Micha Ghertner don’t rely on outside sources. There is no corroboration.

  95. Libertarian Anarchism: Responses to Ten Objections
    by Roderick T. Long

    (8) The Rich Will Rule

    Another worry is that the rich would rule. After all, won’t justice just go to the highest bidder in that case, if you turn legal services into an economic good? That’s a common objection. Interestingly, it’s a particularly common objection among Randians, who suddenly become very concerned about the poor impoverished masses. But under which system are the rich more powerful? Under the current system or under anarchy? Certainly, you’ve always got some sort of advantage if you’re rich. It’s good to be rich. You’re always in a better position to bribe people if you’re rich than if you’re not; that’s true. But, under the current system, the power of the rich is magnified. Suppose that I’m an evil rich person, and I want to get the government to do something-or-other that costs a million dollars. Do I have to bribe some bureaucrat a million dollars to get it done? No, because I’m not asking him to do it with his own money. Obviously, if I were asking him to do it with his own money, I couldn’t get him to spend a million dollars by bribing him any less than a million. It would have to be at least a million dollars and one cent. But people who control tax money that they don’t themselves personally own, and therefore can’t do whatever they want with, the bureaucrat can’t just pocket the million and go home (although it can get surprisingly close to that). All I have to do is bribe him a few thousand, and he can direct this million dollars in tax money to my favorite project or whatever, and thus the power of my bribe money is multiplied.

    Whereas, if you were the head of some private protection agency and I’m trying to get you to do something that costs a million dollars, I’d have to bribe you more than a million. So, the power of the rich is actually less under this system. And, of course, any court that got the reputation of discriminating in favor of millionaires against poor people would also presumably have the reputation of discriminating for billionaires against millionaires. So, the millionaires would not want to deal with it all of the time. They’d only want to deal with it when they’re dealing with people poorer, not people richer. The reputation effects – I don’t think this would be too popular an outfit.

    Worries about poor victims who can’t afford legal services, or victims who die without heirs (again, the Randians are very worried about victims dying without heirs) – in the case of poor victims, you can do what they did in Medieval Iceland. You’re too poor to purchase legal services, but still, if someone has harmed you, you have a claim to compensation from that person. You can sell that claim, part of the claim or all of the claim, to someone else. Actually, it’s kind of like hiring a lawyer on a contingency fee basis. You can sell to someone who is in a position to enforce your claim. Or, if you die without heirs, in a sense, one of the goods you left behind was your claim to compensation, and that can be homesteaded.

  96. Rich people can kill whom-so-ever they like, because they can afford the fine. Rich people can rape as they like, because they can afford the fine.

    Rich people can already get away with murder and rape; ever heard of O.J. Simpson or Kobe Bryant? Long’s point in the above post is that statism makes this kind of bribery easier than it would be under anarchy.

    Evidently the one part of Roderick’s analysis that Mr. Narins failed to scrutinize was the part about relative improvement–a consequentialist argument that rich people will rule and cause bad things under anarchism is no good if they are already ruling and causing worse things to happen now.

    Narins: FYI, I loathe Randianism. Ayn was a psycho. I find Libertarians and Objectivists to be equally dotty.

    If we are a community of nut-job psychos, why bother debating with us? Seems like sending the righteous followers of Montesquieu against us would be more efficient.

  97. And I never talked about bribes, I talked about fee-for-crimes.

    If you can’t see the identity between these two concepts, I won’t waste my time explaining it to you.

    Rich people can kill whom-so-ever they like, because they can afford the fine. Rich people can rape as they like, because they can afford the fine.

    Rich people can already get away with murder and rape; ever heard of O.J. Simpson or Kobe Bryant? Long’s point in the above post is that statism makes this kind of bribery easier than it would be under anarchy.

    I think the Estate Tax is the single greatest tax…It is on unearned income.

    Huh?

  98. Stefan,
    Micha, and someone named Friedman, were praising a system where, if you kill someone, you pay a fine to their family. OJ paid 30,000,000(?) to the families in Civil Court. Was the jury bribed in the OJ case? Were they told riots might ensue? Was it simply the fact that OJ’s high-priced legal team did a better job than the defense?

    Long’s post talks about bribery. It simply doesn’t seem very apparent in today’s court sytem. Would larger juries help? I think it would. I think the system is as good as any designed, although it could use a few tweaks. In the thousands of years of recorded history, apparently, your system (I’d say, lack of it) hasn’t been done succesfully. At least, no one has pointed to any examples other than a Barbaric time in Iceland’s history, whose sole scholarship comes from nationalistic poetry.

    That a few very rich people (Richard Mellon Scaife, for example, is alleged to have killed two people, or at least had them killed) get away, or almost get away (see Susan Collins, the white, female OJ) with murder, does not, seem to me, something that would get better under anarchic situations. I wish you had some evidence. I would study it. It seems that the more anarchy there is, the higher the murder rates. In America, a lot of murderers are caught, and many(most?) are incarcerated. If a murderer is fined, they are free to murder again. I don’t have any statistics to back that up, but that is the impression I get.

    Micha,

    The bribe was to the official, or citizens, who were adjudicating, after the fact. The fee-for-crime system is agreed upon before the fact. For example, under the Salic Law (the people who would eventually become the French) there was an agreed fine of 200 sols for killing a Frank, and 100 sols for killing any Romans who still happened to live there(i.e. didn’t leave after the collapse of the Western Empire).

    The Estate Tax is paid by the inheritors, who obviously didn’t earn any of the money, and not by the earner, who was born, lived and died without paying a dime of Estate Tax. It ought to be called the Inheritance Tax, perhaps, or be considered a special form of the Gift Tax, but the slimeball GOP wants to rename it the Death Tax, as if there was a tax on Death Itself.

  99. Long’s post talks about bribery. It simply doesn’t seem very apparent in today’s court sytem.

    And therein lies an important function served by today’s court system: the creation of appearances.

    In the thousands of years of recorded history, apparently, your system (I’d say, lack of it) hasn’t been done succesfully. At least, no one has pointed to any examples other than a Barbaric time in Iceland’s history, whose sole scholarship comes from nationalistic poetry.

    The anarchist society in medieval Iceland worked sufficiently well to survive for over three hundred years. That’s just a bit longer than our current government has existed.

    It’s interesting, if only as a reflection on your linguistic skills, that you would describe what even you admit was a stateless society, as “nationalistic.”

    In America, a lot of murderers are caught, and many(most?) are incarcerated. If a murderer is fined, they are free to murder again. I don’t have any statistics to back that up, but that is the impression I get.

    Get back to me when you have some numbers to support your strange belief that the U.S. criminal justice system is at all successful at catching and convicting violent criminals.

    The Estate Tax is paid by the inheritors, who obviously didn’t earn any of the money, and not by the earner, who was born, lived and died without paying a dime of Estate Tax.

    Note that unless this income was acquired through theft or other illegitimate means, it was at one point earned. What you call an “estate tax” is, as you later admit, nothing more than a gift tax, which is clearly a tax on earned income. It is as much a form of theft as every other kind of tax.

    Earlier in this thread you confessed, “I will not sing the praises of a State which seizes my property.” Apparently, you are now contradicting your earlier words; not entirely surprising, given the fact that self-contradiction seems to be your forte.

  100. Micha, Iceland’s government survived, and so did many other barbarous governments. It’s success, or lack thereof, however, can only be derived from reading Icelandic Poetry. In other words, you have shitty sources. Not only that, but I do not, in any way, consider Iceland’s government anarchic. It had godi, and godard, who ruled above the others, et cetera. It was, however, an uncorroborated example of a system of “pay justice.”

    I said I was under the impression that most murderers are caught, and most of them go to jail. Maybe I am wrong.

    Gifts are earned? What fucking planet are you from? The tax is paid after the earner dies. Only then, when the money is transferred to someone who did not earn a dime of it, is the tax applied.

    You must have missed the response to your earlier “sing the praises” critique. I said that I had considered “property” to be the “stuff I have.” Not a percentage, off the top, of an income stream. If the government took my land for a stadium, I’d fight the responsible politicians at the next election. For a transcontinental railroad, I’d make sure to get a good price. I do not consider future income “my property,” and it is something which I can only receive if the State continues its functions. As far as eminent domain goes, it sucks, but sometimes the national good is at stake.

  101. You have misunderstood me, repeatedly.

    I didn’t say “Income + Estate Taxes” were fair. I said the Estate Tax was the greatest single tax.

    Gifts are from an earner, to a non-earner. The only one who pays the Estate Tax is the non-earner. NO ESTATE TAXES ARE PAID BY THE EARNER.

    Iceland had a fucking government, according to the to which you linked. What part of “Under the system of laws established in A.D. 930 and modified somewhat thereafter, these local leaders were combined into a national system.” (from Section III) don’t your understand?

  102. Micha, Iceland’s government survived, and so did many other barbarous governments.

    What part of “Iceland didn’t have a government” don’t you understand?

    Gifts are earned?

    Unless they were stolen, gifts were earned by the gift giver. What gives you the right to steal from me by stealing from those I wish to bequeath my money to?

    The tax is paid after the earner dies. Only then, when the money is transferred to someone who did not earn a dime of it, is the tax applied.

    And this only works because gifts are taxed too. If gifts were not taxed, everyone would just stipulate in their will that instead of leaving anything for inheritence, all of their wealth will be given as a gift at the moment of their death to the intended recipients.

    I said that I had considered “property” to be the “stuff I have.” Not a percentage, off the top, of an income stream.

    Inheritence has already been taxed once as income. It is now the “stuff you have”. Yet you now seem to support the seizure of the “stuff you have,” even though earlier in this thread you said you opposed this kind of seizure. You have contradicted yourself repeatedly.

  103. Josh Narins:

    “I believe there are “public goods” and “private goods” and the definition of “public goods” are those which no private sector entity would engage in, because the marginal returns to any single entity are insufficient. No electricity, for example, would be wired into poor communities”

    That is not the economist’s definition of a “public good”. Electricity is a paradigmatic private good. It is both rivalrous (the more X takes, the less Y can have) and excludable at virtually zero cost.

    If electricity is not wired into a poor community, it is because they can’t afford it. If you are in favour of the principle that the Governments gets to tax some people so that it can give cheap stuff to other people, fine – but you might want to think through the implications first – and they aren’t pretty.

  104. At least, no one has pointed to any examples other than a Barbaric time in Iceland’s history, whose sole scholarship comes from nationalistic poetry.

    Once again, why are anarchist’s obligated to provide a historical example of anarchism? Are you in principle willing to exact tax-money from me at gun-point because, say, no historical examples suggest it would not be moral? In that case, pay up right now Mr. Narins–no historical precedent says I oughtn’t come over to your place and take your stuff.

    I said I was under the impression that most murderers are caught, and most of them go to jail. Maybe I am wrong.

    Do government murders count?

    http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Olympus/7695/CHAPTR07.HTM#112

    Josh Narins:

    “I believe there are “public goods” and “private goods” and the definition of “public goods” are those which no private sector entity would engage in, because the marginal returns to any single entity are insufficient. No electricity, for example, would be wired into poor communities”

    In other words, you would in principle be willing to come over to my house and exact tax-money to help wire electricity to a poor community? I’ll be sure to ask the neighborhood watch to beware of a Mr. Narins roaming the neighborhood. After all, it’s such a poor one, we couldn’t afford much theft…

  105. Gifts are from an earner, to a non-earner. The only one who pays the Estate Tax is the non-earner. NO ESTATE TAXES ARE PAID BY THE EARNER.

    Being the evil libertarian grinch that I am, suppose I break into your house on Christmas Eve and steal your children’s presents. Would you say that this act is justified — that it is not an act of theft — because, since it is a gift, your child didn’t earn it? Or would you say that since you acquired that present through legitimate means, either through labor, trade, or a gift from someone else, that you should be free to dispose of it as you see fit, without some evil grinch stealing it before it gets to the intended recipient?

    Iceland had a fucking government, according to the to which you linked. What part of “Under the system of laws established in A.D. 930 and modified somewhat thereafter, these local leaders were combined into a national system.” (from Section III) don’t your understand?

    The part where laws=government. And Friedman is not using the term “national” in the sense of one centralized authority, but in the sense of a system which encompasses an entire nation, defined by culture, geographical boundaries, etc.

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