Billy Beck, Death, And Taxes

I recently witnessed a chat between Lynette and Billy Beck. Billy said he’d told his Uncle that he “now & then contemplates burning himself on the capitol steps”. From the transcript:

Wm J Beck III: This evening, I described to my mother’s brother how her baby boy now & then contemplates burning himself on the capitol steps.
Lynette Warr3n: Not trying to be cryptic. I just want to be clear
Wm J Beck III: It’s literally funny: I never even allude to that without suspecting that anyone who’s ever seen it before will suspect that I’m having an acute episode.
Lynette Warr3n: I know better
Wm J Beck III: It’s not, of course. This is chronic: low-level, but always present.
Wm J Beck III: Well, my uncle had never heard it before. He drew a sharp breath, and said, slowly and quietly: “That’s pretty heavy.”
Wm J Beck III: I was right instantly up in his face: “Well, what the motherfuck do you think it’s ever going to *take*?”


Self-immolation

This was by no means the first time we’d heard Beck speak of thinking along these lines. He’s spoken of such matters in chat before, he’s even blogged about it recently. Upon witnessing the chat cited above I blogged an entry contrasting Thoreau’s determination to live in the world “be it good or bad” with Beck’s perspective. Beck soon contacted me and we had another chat. Then he wrote a post saying that Lynette and I seemed to be exhibiting “a good deal of the emotive force of hysterics” and that “Their estimation of my personal devotion to an ideal of freedom rises almost to the level of resentment because I am so serious about it.”

I had already decided to discuss all of this publicly but those comments will help make clear why. I’m doing so because I think that in public it will be more difficult for Beck to sustain the idea that we are resentful of his devotion to freedom or that we are in hysterics. Sometimes an audience can provide a reality check. Since he cares what people think about him I think he’ll find it more difficult to dismiss what we have to say in public than in private.


Beck says he cannot pay taxes. I say the fact that he does proves that he can:

jtk3isme: you pay taxes billy, so it seems to me you can
Wm J Beck III: What did you say?
jtk3isme: i said you pay taxes
Wm J Beck III: I mean: is that really what you intended to say?
jtk3isme: yes
Wm J Beck III: What are you talking about?
jtk3isme: you pay sales tax and other taxes
Wm J Beck III: John… have you *never* paid attention?
jtk3isme: sure I have
Wm J Beck III: I wouldn’t pay *those*, either, if I could find a way to stop it, and this fact has a serious implication.
jtk3isme: you do pay them, which means you *can*
Wm J Beck III: I’ll tell you what I’ll do: I will set up a fucking robot to let you know every Saturday that I haven’t burned myself on the Capitol steps. Will you shut your fucking impertinent mouth then?
jtk3isme: not a bit of it
Wm J Beck III: No, sir: I can’t. They’re different things.
jtk3isme: one theft is in princple different from another?
Wm J Beck III: No, they are different in practice. However, let me put it to you this way: by your way of thinking, I just die tomorrow. Will *that* shut you up?
jtk3isme: No, it will shut you up.
Wm J Beck III: You’re implying a problem of integrity, and I know the solution. Is that what you’re looking for?
Wm J Beck III: That should be at *least* as attractive to everyone involved.
Wm J Beck III: Certainly, the punk Swann might be satisfied.
jtk3isme: I’m not implying any lack of integrity for paying your taxes
Wm J Beck III: Look, John: don’t try to bullshit me.
jtk3isme: I say it’s fine
Wm J Beck III: It’s *not*.
jtk3isme: no really it is okay to live in the world, be it good or evil
jtk3isme: they commit a crime but you do not by paying

We’ve had the same discussion a number of times. Every time we do Beck chooses to construe it as an implicit attack on his integrity, as if I were saying he ought not be paying sales tax and other taxes. On the contrary, I’m saying that it’s fine for him to pay sales tax and it would be fine for him to pay income tax. I’m saying his behavior demonstrates that he judges that paying sales tax is better for him than not paying it – else he wouldn’t pay. His behavior demonstrates that he judges he should pay sales tax (which of course is not to say he should have to pay it, he shouldn’t) to get on with pursuing other values.

And he could pay income tax to get on with pursuing his other values.

Paying taxes is no moral crime and it need not be a vice.

108 thoughts on “Billy Beck, Death, And Taxes”

  1. >>Paying taxes is no moral crime and it need not be a vice.

    I’m less sure of this. Certainly, expecting people to not pay taxes even when they will be jailed/killed by not doing so is unreasonable. That said, allowing one’s resources to be taken by The Machine does make The Machine stronger, and improves its abilty to extort yet more resources from others.

    This would seem to make reducing the amount of taxes one personally pays to an absolute minimum a high priority. Done intelligently, it should not only increase one’s own liberty (more $$$$ hahaha) but also slightly decrease the threat the State poses to the liberty of others.

    The trick, of course, is doing this without getting squashed. But some means do seem to be available, and they certainly can be improved upon. The State’s many weaknesses — inefficiency, sluggish central planning, capacity for self-delusion, etc. should definitely be used against it.

    We have important work to do — we should get on with it.

  2. T.J.:

    “That said, allowing one’s resources to be taken by The Machine does make The Machine stronger, and improves its abilty to extort yet more resources from others.” (emphasis added)

    So… if I pay taxes am I allowing it or are they being extorted from me? It can’t be both.

  3. Madison,

    That said, allowing one’s resources to be taken by The Machine does make The Machine stronger, and improves its abilty to extort yet more resources from others.

    This would seem to make reducing the amount of taxes one personally pays to an absolute minimum a high priority.

    Would my keeping every last cent of the taxes that are extracted from me really reduce the amount of government coercion I experience? By how much?

  4. I think Madison means it in the same sense that you shouldn’t litter at 60mph; it doesn’t benefit you directly, it only benefits you if everyone else follows the same rule.

  5. John… at this point no matter how much you flail and grope and twitch and groan and ask endless stupid questions…

    You ain’t bringing him back.

    Trust me on this one.

    It’s over.

  6. Kennedy, are you going to do what Beck asked?

    See… I’ll be happy to give a runny shit about your and various other Not Reasonites call on my decision to dispose of my blog as I saw fit, just as soon as you honor the request of Billy.

    Until then.

    Fuggedaboutit.

  7. http://www.ianism.com/?postid=636

    Yeah, both Ian Scott and I saw that post by Lynette.

    I would say, that you are right. You and Lynnette really *are* too stupid for tears.

    Seriously… it’s actually kinda fun going back to Usenet, and seeing how McPhillips had your number.

    Smart man, that McPhillips *and* he had his ethics straight…Do you still see Billy’s writing up at Union Square Journal John?

  8. Tell me John… when you went thousands upon thousands of posts on Vince Foster, Waco, Clinton on usenet, was that a sign of *your* mental illness? Funny how the standards shift don’t they?

  9. I am actually enjoying this.
    For every post that you make attacking me… it’s one less minute of your time spent, trying to smear and attack Billy… somebody who I value.

    That amuses me at this point actually.
    It adds a certain *motivation* to it.

  10. Your implications are clear that according to you and Lynette Billy is somehow “flawed” to have the values and make the choices that he has done.

    He’s not asked for your help, nor has he compelled you to do anything when it comes to his situation or deal with the consequences of his choices.

    His life belongs to *him*.

    What he chooses to do with him, is properly *only* up to him.

    This is a principle that somebody who has applied and integrated libertarian ethics into their own lives understands.

  11. Go back to the “Eating Nanook” thredlets over on Usenet Kennedy.

    Re-read the entire 1000 or so usenet posts about it.

    Repeat, until you understand the part about “Man qua Man”

    You may think you are demeaning myself, or Billy or Mike Schnieder with this whole thing…

    But all you are doing is demonstrating with circles and arrows and broad strokes that you never really understood why “eating nanook” was “wrong”.

    You still don’t.

    That’s why you still have this strange idea, that what Billy does with his life to live or die according to his values, is somehow your business.

  12. Your implications are clear that according to you and Lynette Billy is somehow “flawed” to have the values and make the choices that he has done.

    I think he’s mistaken in his conclusion that the only thing left for him to do is wait to die.

    He’s not asked for your help

    Has Billy asked for your help in representing him on this blog?

  13. >”I think he’s mistaken in his conclusion that the only thing >left for him to do is wait to die.”

    He hasn’t said that. He’s talked about what could happen or what his choices might be, if things go from bad to worse.

    >>He’s not asked for your help

    >Has Billy asked for you to be his representative on the >blog?

    Nope.

    But like I told Kennedy.
    Every post/minute that you spend attacking me.. is one less
    minute from your campaign to burn down my friend.

    I value Billy. So it serves my purposes to stay here and take pot-shots on the both of you… I’ll be happy to do so.

    It *pleases* me to do this.
    In fact…I am “honoured” to do so.

    Have you ever watched or played Hockey Lynette?

  14. “Since he cares what people think about him I think he’ll find it more difficult to dismiss what we have to say in public than in private.”

    Kennedy…

    You don’t exist for him anymore.

    It’s really and truly over.

    There’s *nothing* that you could do at this point to suck him back in to your *game* here.

    It’s a little like how Martin McPhillips feels about me.
    For exactly the same reasons.

    I was *wrong* when I went after McP, the way you are now going after Billy.

    The difference is, I understand this now.
    I can’t change it… and I can never make it right with him (McP) for the exact same reasons.

    But I’m honest enough to admit my errors in both judgement and morality. Live and learn, and continue striving to be the best *human being* qua *human being* as you possibly can. Or Not.

    Your choice John.

  15. “not until you sing”

    Keep it coming Kennedy.

    As I have said to you… it is an honor, and a privelage for me to take this heat, instead of watching you carry on doing this to Billy.

  16. This is a principle that somebody who has applied and integrated libertarian ethics into their own lives understands.

    Meaghan, how about integrating some contraception? It’ll keep you out of the hospital.

  17. Oh Lynette,

    I thought your darling husband had a problem with people using contraception, and abortions to deal with the risks and problems associated with sex and reproduction.

    Don’t you remember sweetheart?

    Spinning the Way Back Machine to the American Liberty archives.

  18. On the off chance that Billy is still devoting any time to monitoring the romper-room instead of playing guitars, I have a modest suggestion: If, before the End of Things, you decide not to have any kids, please donate generously to sperm banks all across the fruity planes.

    Tell ’em you’re a Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times correspondent — that should shoo you right in.

  19. I’m enjoying the extra traffic from this thread.. but I’m wondering.. can anyone tell me what the hell Lynette was talking about with her comment on my post regarding removing a post from the front page of my site?

    I removed a post about my fucking previous landlord.. and then posted that I had removed it from the front page, and ended up with a comment from someone that said his/her name was Lynette, and said it was “too funny for tears.”

    Are the people that post here and comment here sane? Is this where this Lynette person hangs out? It/He/She linked to this blog in It’s/His/Hers comment, which made absolutely no sense.

    Is this supposed to be some sort of like.. ‘libertarian’ blog?

    And who exactly is this Lynette person anyhow, and what the fuck was she talking about in her comment on my post anyhow?

    Does she “tear” a lot? Excuse me, but I’m kind of confused here. I thought this was a blog about libertarianism. Which is sorta what my blog is about – although my blog also has some other general personal vignettes as well.

    Would anyone care to explain why I am getting hits to my blog from this blog, and have someone named Lynette posting shit that makes no sense on my blog?

    Are you people for real, or what? And who the fuck is this John Kennedy guy, who seems to wonder if Ian Scott is really Ian Scott? Would you like to come up and meet me?

    I am who I am. I find it hard to believe that some so called libertarian blog has contributors that fucking project their own insane thinking.

    Although yes.. I do appreciate the extra traffic :)

    But are you people seriously for real?? I dunno.. maybe it’s just because I live in Canada, and have my own unrealistic ideas of libertarianism.. but what the fuck is about some asshole named John, and some bitch named Lynette, asking weird and fucked up questions on my blog that make no sense?

    I invite questions from anyone.. but please.. would you at least put some thought into the questions? Or if you’re going to comment, and link to a libertarian blog, put some thought into your comments? I have no fucking clue what “too stupid for tears” is.. as per this chick named Lynette.. on some post that refers to a post about my previous landlord..

    But I think you are all nuts. Paranoid chestnuts to be exact. Horse chestnuts.. not the good eating kind.

    Would John and/or Lynette kindly explain their strange comments on my blog of late? Do you both make strange comments regularly?

    And what exactly is a blog post that is “too stupid for tears”?

    Does this Lynette person think? Critically think? Or does this Lynette person project his/her own emotive thinking?

    I’ve visited this blog a few times over the past year or so.. some stuff, I liked.. but sheesh.. who the fuck are these people, exactly?

    People who suggest that my blog is possibly not by me, Ian Scott, or who suggest a post about my previous landlord, and removing it from the front page is “too stupid for tears.”

    Are you all idiots, that don’t understand a whit about libertarianism? Except the basics? Because they sound nice to you?

    Either Lynette (is that a woman’s or man’s name, by the way? I don’t know, so I’m asking) or John care to actually write about reality instead of their silly projections here?

    Or come back to my blog, and ask realistic questions that aren’t idiotic and make no sense? (Especially aimed at Lynette – I have no fucking clue what the hell you were talking about in your comment to my post).

    I think I’m outta here.. from this no treason blog.. while shaking my head. Holy fuck.. what a weird place this is.

  20. Yeah, so? What the fuck has that to do with me, exactly?

    Are you so fucking nutty that that you wonder about insane ideas? Is that what this blog is all about?

    Hell.. I know MWW.. and I know her husband. They are clients of mine. Is that reason to suspect stupidity on your part?

    You people are nutty. What the fuck is it with this Lynette person, making some totally weird and bizarre comment?

    Do you both project this way often?

    But keep sending the traffic my way. I’d really appreciate traffic especially to my post about “intellectual honesty.”

    There is NO fucking excuse for moronism. None whatsoever. You do realize that, right? Thinkers should think.. not be morons. Or even ask moronic questions.

    You understand that concept, don’t you? Are you people for real?

  21. Ahem… Lynette,

    Pay attention please

    The Money quote from American Liberty:

    [ People: code your links or use tinyurl.com. It isn’t hard. JL ]

    Link

    From: “John T. Kennedy”
    Date: Sat Jul 20, 2002 1:52 am
    Subject: Re: [American_Liberty] Re: Pregnancy, IVF and the RIGHTS of Sperm.Blastocyts and Embryos and HUMAN BEINGS john_t_kennedy
    Offline
    Send Email

    — somena2001 wrote:
    > — In American_Liberty@y…, “John T. Kennedy”
    > wrote:
    > >
    > > >
    > > > Have you Stopped Killing your Children John?
    > >
    > > No, I never started.
    > >
    >
    > Never had sex with a woman on the Pill –
    > Deprovra, or IUD?

    That’s right. Never, to the best of my knowledge; and I have no reasonable doubts on this matter whatsoever. How far do you want to take this line of questioning Meaghan?

    Even if I had, it could only reflect upon me and not the merit of my argument. But thrash onward if if it makes you feel better.

    =====
    John T. Kennedy

    No Treason!
    http://www.no-treason.com/weblog/

    **********************

    This was after a long detailed discussion where Kennedy went on and on about the rights of pre-viable fetuses, blastocytes and frozen embryos…claiming that life begins at conception, and blanking out that the pill and various other forms of contraception don’t actually prevent conception, in many cases they just keep fertilized eggs from adhering themselves to the uterine walls.

    It’s an interesting threadlet.. especially when you consider the context of what’s currently happening now.

  22. Here’s a little blast from the past Kennedy…

    Remember Ray Heizer’s maxim about “phoney’s don’t phone”.

    Go take a look around Ian Scott’s blog, and give him or his business partner, Wendy a call at their place of business in Ontario tommorow. Or hell, for that matter, go visit some of the other Canadian bloggers who have met Ian Scott in person.

  23. My phone number is easily obtainable.. just do a whois: 519-940-3504.

    But I’m rather interested in discussing this issue about where “life” begins as well. Hmmm… a subject I’m very interested in.

    Let’s start a discussion on that. Let’s also be sure to set aside our “beliefs” and decide that we’ll only consider fact.

    And then whatever “conclusions” we come to, we agree that they are based on belief. But our belief may be incorrect..

    Interesting concept.. and off topic for this post.. but what the hay..

  24. If you really want to talk to Eeyore and Tigger… I’ll see what I can do.

    Tigger will probably agree. Eeyore, I’m not sure.
    Especially since you and Lynette have already demonstrated your ethics about how little you care for people’s privacy or keeping confidences.

    Owl, was actually a composite creation by myself and Eeyore… a cariacture of Neo-Cons: Ditto Napoleon, who was ressurrected to mock this worship of “Imperialism” that we have been seeing in various right-wing blogs.

  25. So.. now you have my number.. can I have Lynette’s number, the one who thinks that one of my posts is “too stupid for tears,” and try to figure out what the hell she meant or was projecting?

    Is Lynette a horny bitch, by the way? Phone calls are awesome for getting off together, you know?

    But that’s an aside.. tomorrow, I’ll be getting off with a friend of mine who is learning about libertarian thought. She don’t give a shit about Lynette or John Kennedy, or who the fuck these people are, and what projections they have about my posts.

    And yeah, I gurantee.. the flesh will be real, that is touching against each other.. there will be sparks.. and kisses.. and physical reactions that are difficult to define with reason.

    But I’ll keep my phone by my side, in case Lynette wants to talk about stupidity and tears. I hope she won”t mind lots of breathing and giggling, and sounds of wet kissing, or sounds of orgasm. That is reality.

    If she wants to hear.

    I’m seriously trying to figure out what the hell she was talking about on my blog.

    But I’m off to bed. I think I shall go and fantasize about MWW… and sharing thoughts of reality.. that which is real.. instead of the usual projection I’m used to from women named Lynette.

    MWW.. come do me.. hard..

  26. Ian, what is this obsession with using the word “projection” every few minutes? You do it on your blog, too. What the heck?

  27. Anarchist, it’s not an obsession. I am pointing to reality of people that in fact, do project when they think they are being intellectual.

    Most people are actually projecting their own emotions and thoughts on precise words – and end up being fools.

    Anyone who projects their own fantasies in their mind upon someone’s words is an irrational person.

    It’s the basis of philosophy. The philosophy that seeks truth.

  28. Kennedy,

    If you *know* who Eeyore is already… why are you going through this process of asking to find out?

    Tell me John, when you poked your nose in over at Angry’s blog… were you *honestly* asking me that question too?

    Did you know that the Blank Out Times, Edward T Bear was me, when you asked?

  29. Unless he had absolute evidence, he did not *know*. It was only a strong suspicion.

    I’m off to bed.

    John, would you be so kind to have Lynette respond to my comment on my blog to her comment? I’m quite interested to know what the fuck he/she was trying to say.

    And please feel free to give me a call in about ten hours or so to confirm my own identity, and to discuss the validity of the posts to my blog, that they have all been written by me.

    But whatever.. please tell Lynette I’d love for her to respond to the comments that she has apparently participated in, so that I may presume that she is not always a thinker of insane thoughts.

    Good night all.

  30. And by the way… Where did “Dick Freely” end up in all this?

    Or Kipawa Condor?

    And indedd, I do find it strange… that lung has had nothing to say about all this.

    I thought that lung would like Winnie the Pooh.

    Or that “future lung” would…

    Or “Million of Lungs”…

    or “Millions of Millions of Lungs”

    *sigh*

  31. “Stop Meaghan, I’m begging you. Nobody wants to hear the story about your “clump of meat” again.” JTK

    Hmmmmm to paraphrase Lynette
    Link

    “At least *I* didn’t refer to a “pornslut’s little snotmonster as a *cunt dropping*. Now that would have been rude.”

    I just love the your *standards* John.

  32. >>Would my keeping every last cent of the taxes that are extracted from me really reduce the amount of government coercion I experience? By how much?

    Yes, by the amount of tax money you didn’t give the goverment minus the amount of hassle you had to put up with for not giving them the money. :-)

    The trick here is finding a way to decrease the ability of the State to hassle you when you don’t pay. This isn’t a collective action problem: it’s a technological and business problem.

  33. Ian Scott,

    Are the people that post here and comment here sane?

    Not all of them.

    Would anyone care to explain why I am getting hits to my blog from this blog, and have someone named Lynette posting shit that makes no sense on my blog?

    My guess is it’s this thing called the Internet.

    I think I’m outta here.. from this no treason blog.. while shaking my head. Holy fuck.. what a weird place this is.

    Wait, don’t you want some Kool-Aid? We made it ourselves…

  34. TJ,

    Yes, by the amount of tax money you didn’t give the goverment minus the amount of hassle you had to put up with for not giving them the money.

    That sums to a negative number at some point.

  35. >>That sums to a negative number at some point.

    In the current environment, yes. Getting the level of taxation (and thus the size of the state) below that point requires either dealing with the collective action problem or advancing tax avoidance technology/cleverness. The first strategy — “If we all stop paying together the Machine will collapse” — doesn’t work very well, since few are really eager to be made examples of, and the rest learn quickly from the few examples. The second strategy — “What the State can’t find it can’t seize”, “I’m sorry, all my assets and business belong to an offshore corporation”, etc. — seems much more promising.

    Again, the key is making paying less in taxes “easy, safe, and fun” for the general population. This isn’t a simple problem, but it should allow us to bypass the Prisoner’s Dilemma.

  36. What the fuck is going on?

    Beats the heck out of me. It looks like Kennedy, Lynette, Billy Beck, Meaghan, and Ian Scott are all having some kind of all-out slug-o-fest on the blog.

  37. Yeah, everyone just kinda went apeshit all at once.

    Hey, anyone wanna talk about practical strategies for advancing personal liberty? :-)

  38. Thanks for the offer of the Kool Aid, Mr. Lopez. But I’ll pass. I don’t like to associate with folks who seem to just want to “win” a debate, or publish chat conversations, or write idiotic things.

    I’m still waiting for Lynette to respond to my question regarding her comment on my blog. I’ll drink my own Kool Aid while I wait.

    And then there is this John person. He seems more interested in the “author” of a post, than he is in the content of it. Now that is intellectual honesty, huh? Nothing like trying to shoot the messenger because you don’t like him/her, and then ignoring the message.

    But probably to John’s disapointment, his suspicions are absolutely and totally incorrect about my blog. Although I have not ruled out having MWW as a co-blogger. Negotiations continue, as they continue with others that have nothing to do with MWW.

    The negotiations are going slow because I have to figure out if I can migrate my bblog to some other software, without losing all of my 18 months of posts, to a better blog software.

    So project and try to “think” all you want about me. In the meantime, I think this blog is pretty silly – and thus far with my reading of the contributors comments on my own blog, well.. it’s led me to my own judgements of the rationality of this Kennedy and Lynette person.

    I do of course, reserve judgement – and am awaiting their respective responses to my own comments in response to theirs.

    Especially this Lynette person. I have no fucking clue what she was going on about in her very first comment on my blog about something being to stupid for tears. I dunno.. maybe I just help to motivate the worst in people.. but that’s good, you know? It’s all information!

  39. Nice. Attack each other instead of the state. “Not Reason” does seem a fitting epithet for this place.

    Bingo, anarchist.

    The statists love these distractions while grabbing everyone by the shorthairs.

  40. Oh god, did I forget about The Cause?

    Look, I have a personal interest in this but there are issues here that should be of some general interest.

    One of the things we’re talking about here is suicide as political action: “Well, what the motherfuck do you think it’s ever going to *take*?”

    I think it’s going to take something other than Billy’s self-immolation on the steps of the capitol.

    Meaghan would like Billy’s contemplation of such action to be above criticism but it’s simply not.

  41. Kate:Busy night for some folks.

    Sean:I did something more important with my time this week. I took pictures of Cow Boobies.

    Kate: Yeah, but if they had been drunk cows rolled in honey and nuts, and dancing around in the pasture screaming “You’re projecting your emotions you cunt dropping!”, don’t tell me you wouldn’t have watched….

  42. From email:

    I don’t know what he thinks it would accomplish anyway, except maybe flipping a huge, flaming middle finger at the world.

    Your Wikipedia link led me to this story: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kathy_Change, which I remembered reading about when it happened. What I remember most is thinking how tragic it was that this woman died in screaming agony for such a stupid cause. I think I refrained from calling her a commie cow, so her action accomplished that much at least. Point is, many, MANY more people sympathize with the commie cow’s cause than with Beck’s; about all he’d achieve is a collective “tsk, what a nutjob. Kinda tragic. When’s dinner?” from the 100 percenters.

  43. Ian Scott,

    Thanks for the offer of the Kool Aid, Mr. Lopez. But I’ll pass. I don’t like to associate with folks who seem to just want to “win” a debate, or publish chat conversations, or write idiotic things.

    You-all can protect your delicate sensibilities by turning the fuck away.” — Cy Tolliver, Deadwood

  44. Look, I have a personal interest in this but there are issues here that should be of some general interest.

    One of the things we’re talking about here is suicide as political action: “Well, what the motherfuck do you think it’s ever going to *take*?”

    Another issue is the idea that free-market types ought not criticize one anothers’ actions or plans. “Attack the state, not each other”.

    I’ll tell you-all straight up: no one’s doing me a favor if they let me get away with being wrong. Movement types may well have different priorities, but my primary concern is me.

  45. “Meaghan would like Billy’s contemplation of such action to be above criticism but it’s simply not.”

    If Billy posted that he was thinking about heading off to Alaska, and killing a bunch of Eskimos and making “Eskimo Chops” out of them… I *would* find that objectionable and criticize.

    The amazing thing is you don’t understand how what he is talking about, is taking an action that would *prevent* him from doing the above.

    Think about it.

    Man *qua* Man.

    There are worse things than dying.

  46. “Don’t light yourself on fire”.

    Don’t Kill and Eat Eskimos.
    Killing and Eating Other Eskimos To Keep Yourself alive, is *not* good.

    Don’t be a cannibal.

  47. “There’s gotta be an easier way to keep from killing eskimos.”

    YES!

    So really,what you’re arguing about at this point is what?

    The level of pain involved… the degree of enslavement that Billy should put up with of himself, or the enslavement of others that he refuses to engage in…

    And *you* would claim to know better than *him* what he has a tolerance for?

  48. [Beck should obviously not be held responsible for Meaghan’s crack brained explanations.]

    You never spent any time on the “Eating Nanook” Thread, did you Kennedy?

    Go read it. If I am not mistaken.. Billy objected to it, in so far as it appeared to be another “prisoner’s dilemna”, but he did partipate I believe on the terms that it was a good example for shaking some people up into laying out “their” principles, ethics and thoughts about life man qua man.

  49. “Are you cannibalizing Eskimos by not killing yourself Meaghan?” Let those Eskimos be!”

    I don’t have to pay any kind of taxes John, except the sales taxes.. (but back on the reserve.. not even then)I’m exempt.
    It’s the Indian Act.

    Billy is *not* in my situation.

  50. Oh I have one quick question:

    Why are you, Lopez, Sabotta, and Lynette, all fired up on this “crusade” against Billy Beck?

    Aren’t you people being “boring”, “whiney”, snotty little busy-bodies by doing this?

    What is with you *crusaders* anyways?

  51. For any *non crusaders*, something that’s been swirling in email this past few days.. I’ve proposed a “Great Feast of Ostentatious Consumption fete” for 11/27 this year:

    … hammering out details on whether it will be that date or if not, perhaps shortly around Billy’s 50th. Location TBA — It will either be in Florida, Seattle, or New York:

    Possible guests, including all refugees from the ACECW, American Liberty, HPO, and APO days. Possible guest appearance by Mr.Moriarty. As soon as Billy’s back from Tokyo, he’ll have a better idea about how we can work this out.

    Anybody who immediately stops posting this hyterical *shit* about their *crusade* against Billy, is welcome to email me to express their interest in attending.

  52. Anybody who immediately stops posting this hyterical *shit* about their *crusade* against Billy, is welcome to email me to express their interest in attending.

    First tell me this: Will there be cake?

  53. Kennedy writes after the announcement of the OFGC Party 11/27
    “How is paying taxes cannibalism?”

    Ok.. John, I’ll take that to be your “RSVP non”.

    Thank you kindly.

  54. >>”Don’t light yourself on fire”.

    An excellent move (usually). I can understand the whole terminal illness self-immolation thing, but prior to that the smart tactical move is usually to allocate more resources to life extension.

    But hey, it’s Billy’s ass. He can do what he wants with it.

  55. “But hey, it’s Billy’s ass. He can do what he wants with it.”

    Bingo.
    Give the man a Kewpie doll!

    Anyways, back to “self-immolation”

    We’ve been setting up a long-list of those interested in attending the celebration of the life of an exemplary human being, on Nov 27th of this year… some of the Canadians are lobbying hard for a Canadian city, since then we could also enjoy attendance from “The Prince of Pot”, Marc Emery.

    And I honestly don’t know anybody who knows how to party as well as Marc Emery, but I am betting Billy can give the man a run for his money.

    Also this is where Moriarty is based out of and we could probably get one of the Jazz Bars he plays at in the city to let us book the place, so Michael could tinkle the ivories a bit with his Jazz Trio,

    Logistically I’m familiar with the city enough to set up some things there that couldn’t happen elsewhere.

    I’ll take your little crack about 50 Candles as your “RSVP non” too Lynette.

    Thanks.

  56. Why are you, Lopez, Sabotta, and Lynette, all fired up on this “crusade” against Billy Beck?

    What do you mean by “crusade”?

    Aren’t you people being “boring”, “whiney”, snotty little busy-bodies by doing this?

    Are we?

    What is with you *crusaders* anyways?

    Why don’t you tell me, eh?

  57. Lopez,

    Well… It’s all a matter of perception isn’t it? I see how you clowns work your ethics out on this.

    Fighting Government… stupid.
    Attacking Billy for resisting government… smart.

    Isn’t that how you “Prudent Predator/ game-theory/ prisoner’s dilemna” types assess your own ethics on these things?

  58. Well… It’s all a matter of perception isn’t it?

    You could simplify matters by providing definitions for your smear-terms, but I can see that that wouldn’t exactly help you out.

    Fighting Government… stupid.
    Attacking Billy for resisting government… smart.

    As far as you know.

    Isn’t that how you “Prudent Predator/ game-theory/ prisoner’s dilemna” types assess your own ethics on these things?

    I don’t understand the premises, there, Meaghan.

    Why do you continue to imply such transparent nonsense? Are you trusting that inlookers can’t read, or what?

  59. “I don’t understand the premises, there, Meaghan.”

    I can’t help you with that Lopez.

    If you aren’t one of the “prisoner’s dilemna” types… and you do actually understand why it is that respecting the rights of other human beings is how a human being should live… feel free to speak up… anytime.

    My impression has been that you went right off the rails with the No Treasonites, the minute that you latched onto Kennedy’s nonsense, instead of dealing with the Is/Ought extrapolation.

    Feel free to correct me.

  60. Ayn Rand:

    “I did not feel discouragement very often, and when I did, it did not last longer than overnight. But there was one evening, during the writing of The Fountainhead, when I felt so profound an indignation at the state of “things as they are” that it seemed as if I would never regain the energy to move one step farther toward “things as they ought to be.” Frank talked to me for hours, that night. He convinced me of why one cannot give up the world to those one despises.”

    From the Introduction to the Twenty-fifth Anniversary Edition of The Fountainhead.

  61. Beck recently quoted himself from eight years ago, referring to thoughts of suicide:

    It’s extremely difficult to ward off the most momentary and fleeting temptations for just one year’s relief, and if one ever stops to reflect on the horrendous cost of the way of life, when conducted under the parasite state, one can come to sudden focus about two steps away from one’s own bullet.

    He also writes:

    “Sanction of the victim.”

    It’s a very personal thing, which has a lot to do with why a lot of what I post is so personal. As I’ve said before, an egoist ethics is a very personal thing. It does not consider values beyond itself as primaries, but only as consequences of its own singular existence as an element of reality. Where the metaphysics apprehends and acknowledges the primacy of existence, the resulting politics is extremely self-centered, and it does not acknowledge any external claim on the fact of its own existence.

    In times of such claims having very real political sway (like, in Hillary’s “village”, for instance), it’s a tough way to live — to look that claim in the eye and say, “No”. The reason is that, if the parasite culture is effective (which it can only be for a given period before the implications come home in the form of pervasive and, ultimately suicidal, destruction), it means calculated steps in the direction of death. What’s hard about that, of course, is that everyone wants to live, and the implications of saying “no” to the parasite consensus are often slow, grinding, and ignominious, versus, say, the intensely-pitched refusal of the Warsaw Ghetto. In this sort of refusal, the egoist is never deceived by the appearance of something like a normal human life stretched across years of creeping incursion by the parasite claim.

    Beck pays taxes like sales tax. He doesn’t say no every time, sometimes he pays the ransom.

    When he’s going to a gig overseas and they ask him for his government papers he doesn’t always stare them down and refuse – sometimes he produces his passport.

    And he lives under the umbrella of those who pay ransom for the property he lives on.

    None of these things are an offense against anyone, but they demonstrate that Beck himself judges it’s better to get on with his life than to refuse to pay ransom or refuse to jump through some hoops for the state.

    The food he pays ransom for is no illusion. The ransomed home he lives in is no illusion. The gigs he uses a passport for are no illusion. And if he paid ransom to get on with his career that wouldn’t be an illusion either. It would be the production of values.

  62. It follows that refusing to pay it at all represents a loss of value. But on what basis can these different values be weighed? If doing X accrues benefit to a man, but also benefit to those despised by that man, then can we condemn him for refusing to do X no matter how the two values compare?

    Or as one philosopher much respected around here said:

    It is not a man’s duty, as a matter of course, to devote himself to the eradication of any, even the most enormous wrong; he may still properly have other concerns to engage him; but it is his duty, at least, to wash his hands of it, and, if gives it no thought, not to give practically his support.

  63. But on what basis can these different values be weighed?

    It’s up to the individual. But I suggest that one should generally derive pleasure and happiness from decisions one makes in one’s best interest. If refuseniks like Beck were happy with the results of their decisions I’d have no argument with them.

    f doing X accrues benefit to a man, but also benefit to those despised by that man, then can we condemn him for refusing to do X no matter how the two values compare?

    Where have I condemned any such person? I explicitly said his actions are no offense against others.

    But one can err in arranging one’s hierarchy of values and harm oneself. I’m arguing that Beck does just that and encourages others in the same error.

    …not to give practically his support.

    Clearly I disagree with Thoreau on this if paying ransom counts as practical support. But then the various tax payments Beck does pay would be offenses.

    What if you paid every tax levied upon you but took advantage of state benefits so that you were a net liability to the state – benefits you extract were worth more to you (and the state) than the amount of money extracted from you?

    Or what if you paid all your taxes and then invested what you had left in ways that made you a net liability to the state? In one job I worked to provide people with ways to reduce their tax payments. I made good money doing that, and the result was that far more money was diverted away from the state than I ever paid in taxes.

    Is one practically supporting the state in such cases?

  64. JTK:

    What if you paid every tax levied upon you but took advantage of state benefits so that you were a net liability to the state – benefits you extract were worth more to you (and the state) than the amount of money extracted from you?

    That’s an argument for going to work for the Post Office. Not that that’s a crime.

    In any case, taking advantage of state benefits can be dangerous for the individual in that they can become hooked on them. People who count on Social Security being there for them, for instance, may end up a little disappointed.

    Stefan:

    …not to give practically his support.

    I would argue instead that an individual has no duty to resist coercion that’s brought against him. You could make the argument that every time an individual complies with a demand for identification documents he’s giving practical support to the state, too. But Beck doesn’t have the obligation to go down swinging when some grade-school dropout demands his passport.

    Given that there aren’t any frontiers to run away into any more (How would Thoreau’s squatting on Walden pond go these days?), what’s the best course of action for an individual to take? Al Swearengen’s rhetorical question answers that:

    What made you think every wrong had a remedy, Wu? Did you come to camp for justice or to make your fucking way?

  65. Lopez.

    In any case, taking advantage of state benefits can be dangerous for the individual in that they can become hooked on them.

    Beer and donuts are dangerous that way too.

    It’s dangerous to get hooked on your job or your girlfriend.

    Danger management is a big part of life.

  66. Of some relevance:

    Protester Immolation Virtually Unnoticed
    Nov 26 5:24 PM US/Eastern

    By ASHLEY M. HEHER
    Associated Press Writer

    CHICAGO

    Malachi Ritscher envisioned his death as one full of purpose.

    He carefully planned the details, mailed a copy of his apartment key to a friend, created to-do lists for his family. On his Web site, the 52-year-old experimental musician who’d fought with depression even penned his obituary.

    At 6:30 a.m. on Nov. 3 _ four days before an election caused a seismic shift in Washington politics _ Ritscher, a frequent anti-war protester, stood by an off-ramp in downtown Chicago near a statue of a giant flame, set up a video camera, doused himself with gasoline and lit himself on fire.

    Aglow for the crush of morning commuters, his flaming body was supposed to be a call to the nation, a symbol of his rage and discontent with the U.S. war in Iraq.

    “Here is the statement I want to make: if I am required to pay for your barbaric war, I choose not to live in your world. I refuse to finance the mass murder of innocent civilians, who did nothing to threaten our country,” he wrote in his suicide note. “… If one death can atone for anything, in any small way, to say to the world: I apologize for what we have done to you, I am ashamed for the mayhem and turmoil caused by my country.”

    There was only one problem: No one was listening.

    It took five days for the Cook County medical examiner to identify the charred-beyond-recognition corpse. Meanwhile, Ritscher’s suicide went largely unnoticed. It wasn’t until a reporter for an alternative weekly, the Chicago Reader, pieced the facts together that word began to spread.

    Soon, tributes _ and questions _ poured in to the paper’s blogs.

    Was this a man consumed by mental illness? Or was Ritscher a martyr driven by rage over what he saw as an unjust war? Was he a convenient symbol for an anti-war movement or was there more to his message?

    “This man killed himself in such a painful way, specifically to get our attention on these things,” said Jennifer Diaz, a 28-year-old graduate student who never met him but has been researching his life. Now, she is organizing protests and vigils in his name. “I’m not going to sit by and I can’t sit by and let this go unheard.”

    Mental health experts say virtually no suicides occur without some kind of a diagnosable mental illness. But Ritscher’s family disagrees about whether he had severe mental problems.

    In a statement, Ritscher’s parents and siblings called him an intellectually gifted man who suffered from bouts of depression. They stopped short of saying he’d ever received a clinical diagnosis of mental illness.

    “He believed in his actions, however extreme they were,” his younger brother, Paul Ritscher, wrote online. “He believed they could help to open eyes, ears and hearts and to show everyone that a single man’s actions, by taking such extreme personal responsibility, can perhaps affect change in the world.”

    His son, who shares the same name as his father, said his father was trying to cope with mental illness. Suicide seemed to be the next step, and the war was a way to give his death meaning.

    “He was different people at different instances and so, so erratic. I loved him no doubt, but he was a very lonely and tragic man,” said Ritscher, 35, who is estranged from the rest of the family. “The idea of being a martyr I’m sure was attractive. He could literally go out in a blaze of glory.”

    Born in Dickinson, N.D., with the name Mark David, Ritscher dropped out of high school, married at 17 and divorced 10 years later. Eventually, he would change his name to match his son’s and, coincidentally, a world-famous prophet. At the end, he worked in building maintenance and was a fixture in Chicago’s experimental music scene.

    He described himself as a renaissance man who’d amassed a collection of more than 2,000 musical recordings from clubs in Chicago. He was a writer, philosopher and photographer. He was an alcoholic who collected fossils, glass eyes, light bulbs and snare drums. He paid $25 to become an ordained minister with the Missionaries of the New Truth and operated a handful of Web sites protesting the Iraq war.

    A member of Mensa who claimed to be able to recite the infinite number Pi to more than 1,000 decimal places, he titled his obituary “Out of Time.” Friends, who seemed surprised about his death, found themselves searching for answers. Ritscher’s death became even more enigmatic than his life.

    Perhaps the most famous self-immolation occurred in 1963, when Buddhist monk Thich Quang Duc burned himself at a Saigon intersection in protest against the south Vietnamese regime. Another activist, Kathy Change, lit fire to herself in 1996 at the University of Pennsylvania to protest the government and the country’s economic system.

    Ritscher’s death brought back memories for Anita King, a 48-year-old artist from West Philadelphia who was Change’s best friend.

    “I think both of them, they just felt like their death could be the last drop of blood shed,” King said. “It was too hard for them. They had too much of a conscious connection to the struggle to go on in their lives.”

    In the end, only Ritscher knew the motivations for his suicide. There is little doubt, though, that he was satisfied with his choice.

    “Without fear I go now to God,” Ritscher wrote in the last sentence of his suicide note. “Your future is what you will choose today.”

    ___

    On the Net:

    Malachi Ritscher: http://www.savagesound.com

  67. Kathy Change could have had her cake and ate it if she submitted herself to the Steve-O (of Jackass) “immolation-lite” treatment. Perhaps there is some perverted sexual motive in self immolation, along the lines of not QUITE getting the fact that when Jim Morisson is singing “Come on baby light my fire” he meant a METAPHOR for something else. In this sense Steve and his crazed fire stunt with a girl allow a scary but non-lethal outlet for deranged pyrophillic sensation/attention seekers.
    By the way, was there a photograph of Kathy and her fire “protest” in the newspapers? I am sure I remember something like that but can’t find it on the web.

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