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Showing posts from January, 2012

A Mormon People in Need of Reform

Connor Boyack responds to a call by an ex-Mormon for church reform. He does so superbly and with emphasis on what's important.

Translucent Blue Spheres

Who Stole Your Tower?

Writes Parrish Miller,
Miss Henderson was busy helping one of her kindergarten students fold a paper airplane when suddenly little Tommy's voice rang out above the gentle murmur of students at play. "She stole my tower!"

Miss Henderson quickly headed for the trouble, as neither shouting nor stealing were tolerated in her class. "Who stole your tower?" she asked him. "Susie!" replied Tommy loudly, pointing his finger at the girl working quietly at the next table.

Susie was the most advanced student in the kindergarten class, and could have easily placed in the first grade, but her parents didn't want her to be younger than all her other classmates, so they opted to put her in kindergarten instead. Today she was quietly building a tower out of blocks – it was actually one of the highest towers that Miss Henderson had ever seen a student build.

"Your tower is still in front of you," she observed to Timmy, "as is a basket of unused blocks. …

What is ACTA?

More criminal scheming, that's what.

The War on Drugs is a War on People

"Most of the calls that we get on drug use, as police, are alcohol related. Alcohol is a serious drug that can be abused, but I just didn’t see the calls on other drugs like I had been led to believe. I didn’t see these drug-crazed people out there doing crazy things… Even growing up before entering law enforcement, I was always led to believe that the drug war was meant to stop all these people from doing crazy things. But on the street, that’s not what you see. That’s a lie."

"I was in training, on 'the other side of the tracks,' for lack of better words, and we pulled a vehicle over," he explained. "The guy, I think he had a defective taillight or something. He was sober, polite, respectful, no problems, and my training officer said, 'Oh yeah, he’s gonna have drugs.' So, I asked if we could search his vehicle and he gave me permission. Within no time, I found a small amount of (hard) drugs, so he was facing a serious charge. The whole time I …

Introducing NFL Nation

Brilliant idea!
The NFL is the richest sports league in the United States. It has a sophisticated internal government with legislative, executive and judicial powers. It has clearly defined symbols, culture, holidays (Super Bowl Sunday, the NFL Draft, et al.), thousands of employees, communications network, and yes, territory in the form of stadiums. So why not just make it official and allow the NFL to declare itself a sovereign nation?by Skip Oliva, read the rest.

Congressman Moran Blows Up

More of this please:

Political Moderation is Not a Virtue

Politics is "the use of violence in society", according to Murray Rothbard, and coercion is the "political means" of getting gain according to Oppenheimer. I don't believe for a minute that "moderation" in politics is a virtue. What prompted this? A discussion on intellectual property with a colleague. He said he thought that the current state of IP law over-reached and needed to be fixed, but was against it's complete abolition. He touted moderation.

It's a question of justice. If someone is committing an act of injustice, only promoting complete abolition can be seen as virtuous. Calling for moderation or a middle ground is not virtuous. That's not to say we shouldn't move things from injustice in the extreme to a middle ground, but we shouldn't stop there. If there was no injustice, would we call to create a moderate amount of injustice? Of course not.

Is IP enforcement injustice? Absolutely. It's a violation of property righ…

Copying is Not Piracy

Calling copying someone's idea an act of "piracy" is to destroy the meaning of piracy. Piracy comes from the Greek peirates, which comes from peiran, which means, "to attack, make a hostile attempt on". Copying something, with or without the originator's permission, unless you've stolen their original in order to do it, cannot be considered an act of piracy because nothing is being attacked or made a hostile attempt of.

Again, unless the original has been stolen, in which case something tangible has been literally stolen, copying an idea, using information first "created" by someone else, is not and cannot be an act of piracy. Piracy is attacking, using violence against, physically taking without permission a tangible thing, a person, an object, something physical, something finite, something scarce. Ideas and information are none of those things, and so cannot be a target of piracy. End the silly talk!

Jon Stewart Destroys Gingrich

Mormons and Obedience to Unjust Laws

Writes JJ Gunther,
This past weekend was our stake conference, combined with 88 other stakes in Southern California (Sunday morning session broadcast from SLC). In both sessions, there were stories about the faithful saints in East Germany who broke various laws in order to promote the growth of the Church, including things such as illegal border crossings and smuggling of banned literature into the country. Anyone who advocates that the 12th Article of Faith requires our obedience to unjust laws would have to think again after hearing these talks.More on the 12th Article of Faith by Shiloh Logan here. Must read.

Are Minarchists Worse than Socialists?

To go along with my "Cleansing of The Libertarian Tent", George Donnely blogs:
Jay4Liberty recently posted a great question in the comments: "Which is worse: flat out socialists who want to increase the size, expense and tyranny of government, or minarchists who want to shrink down as far as possible." And my answer is the minarchists are worse. Counter-intuitive, perhaps, but here’s why.Read the rest.

We Are Born Impoverished

As Hazlitt states in his very first line, "The history of poverty is almost the history of mankind... Poverty was the normal lot." I would observe that we are all born impoverished. We come into this world with only our minds and bodies, and both too undeveloped to be of any use to us. Time helps cure the latter, but not the former. For that, one must have two things: the love of a guardian, and freedom.by me, read the rest at Everything-Voluntary.

Magical Government

If you still believe that government has any authority after this, something's broken in your head.

Gingrich Just Committed a Felony

By promising Sarah Palin a "major role" in his administration. Of course, politicians commit "felonies" all the time.

Literal "Take on Me" Music Video

I suppose this is the first of literal videos:

Beautiful Ron Paul Video

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I give my praise and admiration to Ron Paul, a man among boys, a hero among thieves. His cause is just, and mankind is the better for it.

The American War Machine

Great video by Joe Rogan on the American war machine. Warning: explicit language.

Re: Circumcision and Libertarian Ethics

I'd like to clarify some things regarding this post. While I was a bit vague, I never tried to justify the practice of circumcision on ethical grounds. In fact, I said, "My son was circumcised the day he was born, and my daughter had her ear's pierced at 3 months. Horrors! I'll ask their forgiveness when they're old enough to give 'informed mercy'." This quite clearly shows that I think circumcision is an act of injustice, albeit I considered it a very small, tiny, act of injustice.

But I think I may have been too cavalier about it. Perhaps because I was circumcised, as was my father, I allowed the "normalcy" of it to cloud my judgment. The fact is, circumcision is a form of genital mutilation. I have no problem with my genitals having been mutilated, and I don't think my son will either, but obviously I, nor he, will ever know what life would be like with intact genitals. We simply won't.

What will I do if I have another son? With …

You Wouldn't

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Punctuation and Quotations

Forget convention. I do it like this:

If the punctuation is a part of the quote, it goes inside as follows:

Johnny said, "My goodness that's a big ice cream!" OR (the comma)
"My goodness," Johnny said, "that's a big ice cream!"

If the punctuation is not part of the quote, it goes outside as follows:

He's just a baby, and not old enough to give "informed consent". OR (the comma)
In any event, by asking if it should be "illegal", libertarians are asking...

It makes more sense, in my humble opinion.

Circumcision and Libertarian Ethics

I've heard libertarians wail against the practice of circumcision and demand it be made illegal. They complain that it's akin to assault, etc. Sure, I suppose, that argument could be made. But what if the child consents? Well, so it goes, he can't. He's just a baby, and not old enough to give "informed consent". My reply to this: What about feeding a child? Eating the wrong thing is far riskier to his life than circumcision. Should we not feed children until they are old enough to give "informed consent"? What would happen to the child then?

I think on circumcision, since it's something that's been done for thousands of years to no effect on life or limb, it's okay in my book. As my above retort demonstrates, the "informed consent" argument is just plain silly. It' s like piercing a baby's ears as well. My son was circumcised the day he was born, and my daughter had her ear's pierced at 3 months. Horrors! I'll a…

SOPA and Questioning Intellectual Property

Anthony Gregory nails it:
Hollywood, the big recording companies, and the rest of the old entertainment industry have strongly supported the Stop Online Piracy Act and its companion, the Protect IP Act. These bills, sponsored by big-government Democrats like Chuck Schumer, pose unprecedented threats to online liberty. If there is one free frontier remaining in modern life, it is the Internet. In the name of cracking down on online piracy, SOPA was written to empower the government and its favored corporations to shut down web sites that enable content sharing—copying media files, in particular.

The Internet has allowed bootlegging writ large to overtake the world. Any movie can be found and downloaded in minutes. Any song or television show can be yours in seconds. The practical limitations on copying that were posed by the late 20th century era of casette tapes and Xerox machines are a thing of the past. Data has approached being free. In my opinion, this is as it should be.Read the re…

Why is SOPA/PIPA Even a Possibility?

The below is spot-on. Ideas cannot be property.
Why is SOPA/PIPA even a possibility? Because we have bought into the fiction of "intellectual property." Ownership is based on the idea that matter is finite; therefore if one individual owns a certain piece of matter, someone else may not come along and deprive him of that matter. The theory of "intellectual property" claims that someone can own an idea and prevent others from even repeating it. Defenders of the "intellectual property" theory claim that without it, everything from medical research to writing music would cease to occur, but reality does not bear out those concerns.

Recipes are not generally protected as "intellectual property," yet chefs are constantly inventing new ones. People pay significant amounts of money to hear artists perform their original material in concert, yet pay relatively little – if anything – to hear cover bands perform the same songs. Scientists routinely engage i…

A Technical Examination of SOPA and PIPA

Must read!
As you have probably heard, there are two pieces of legislation currently pending that we, and others like us, believe seriously threaten the internet. I wanted to take some time to delve into the text of both of these bills, and outline their potential consequences as I am able to understand them. As you can imagine, this is a complex issue, and as a result this is going to be a complex post. I highly encourage you to set some time aside to read this thoroughly. Grab some caffeine, we are going to be here for a while.by Jason Harvey, read the rest.

Hello

Edgar, the Exploiter?

That the minimum wage destroys jobs and harms society is irrefutable (unless one resorts to fallacious reasoning). Here's a well made video explanation:

A Palestinian Gandhi?

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That's some courage.

Perspective-Taking

Heaven forbid we take the Iranians' perspective.A source of much conflict in today’s relationships is our inability to see things from another person’s viewpoint.

However, by practicing a technique called “perspective-taking,” we can learn how to better resolve these social conflicts. And by doing this, we can start building stronger relationships in our lives.

One of the main assumptions behind perspective-taking is that looking at a problem from multiple viewpoints is almost always more informative than looking at a problem from only one viewpoint.

The problem with most people is that they get trapped in their worldview. They only look at things from a single perspective, and in return they ignore alternative ways of looking at a situation which may be just as valid.by The Emotion Machine, read the rest.

US Admits Iran Not Seeking Nuclear Weapons

Second-class Human Beings

When kids make mistakes, even a mistake as simple as being annoying around the wrong person, they are either yelled out, cursed, slapped, spanked, or caged (often a mix of several such reactions) by their parents. In other words, they are treated as second-class human beings, undeserving of unconditional love and respect by regular human beings.

And yet, through it all, kids come back, again and again, to those that disrespect them like it never happened.by me, read the rest on my Life blog.

Should Mormons Vote For Mitt Romney?

I believe that a sincere review of our doctrine and history in the LDS Church would lead an individual to support not Mitt Romney, a fellow Mormon, but the only candidate who has consistently shown a commitment to upholding the Constitution and defending individual liberty: Ron Paul.by Connor Boyack, read the rest.

Jon Stewart on MSNBC on Ron Paul

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What Ron Paul Won't Do

Jay Gunther writes,
I'm sick of people asking me what Ron Paul would do about ________. The better question is, "What won't Ron Paul do?"

Ron Paul:

WON'T tax you.
WON'T meddle in your personal life.
WON'T protect you from yourself.
WON'T send your sons and daughters off to illegal and immoral foreign wars.
WON'T force you to buy insurance.
WON'T try to run your business.
WON'T try to manage your retirement.
WON'T steal money from you and send it to foreign lands.
WON'T imprison you without due process.
WON'T kill you without due process.
WON'T harass you at airports.
WON'T try to educate your kids.
WON'T sell his soul to Wall Street bankers.
WON'T bail out business for making bad decisions.
WON'T violate your 4th amendment rights.
WON'T let the FED devalue your currency.
WON'T try to micromanage your life.

Oh, okay, so what will Ron Paul do?

He'll take control of government and give your freedoms back to you.

The Judge with Jon Stewart

CIA Chief Endorses Ron Paul

Very telling endorsement. Good on him.

Liberty Rage

Inspired by my rage comic on Obama, I've created LibertyRage.com! Check it out.

The Change That He Believed In

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I made this rage comic. Enjoy!

Unschooled Kids Will Be Different

A concern I've heard regarding unschooled kids is that "they'll be different". What is meant by this is that they won't have the same education, the same experiences, the same memories, the same cultural influences, yadda, yadda, yadda, as their "peers". In my opinion, that's just dandy.by me, read the rest on my Life blog.

Cello Wars Lightsaber Duel

This is Why I Don't Give You a Job

I could hire 12 people with €760 net salary, but I don't. I'll tell you why. You could work for my service provider company in a nice office. It's not telemarketing, it's not a scam. You would do serious work that requires high skills, 8 hours a day, weekdays only. I would employ you legally, I would pay your taxes and social security. I could give such a job to a dozen people, but I will not, and here I'll explain why.by Andor Jakab, read the rest of this enlightening article.

Marriage and The State

Families, churches and other societal institutions are fully competent to decide for themselves whom to recognize as “married” for purposes of social and religious interactions. They don’t need the state to tell them how it’s done. They’ve been doing it for millennia.

Like everything else it touches, political government makes a mess out of marriage. Those who decry “the breakup of the American family” need look no further than the courthouse, the statehouse and the Capitol for the culprits.by Thomas L. Knapp, read the rest.

War Propaganda

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It just never ends with Ron Paul:

SOPA Ain’t What You Think It Is

The classic role of the record companies going back to the first years of rock was to sign up a good bar band, lock ‘em into a ghastly contract, get ‘em radio time, promote the hell out of their album(s), get ‘em concerts and pay them a relative pittance for the first few years. That was the norm.

That norm is breaking down because via Youtube and the like, brand new artists can connect directly with their audiences. The artist makes more money off of google adsense than they would as an obscure act on a large label, they can sell direct on iTunes or the like and they also sell CDs directly. Via the tracking on Youtube for number of views they build proof of their audience – which leads to either concert gigs and/or a contract with a record label that doesn’t rape them.by Jim March, read the rest.

Ron Paul Brilliant in Interview

He shines when given the time to answer questions, as evident by this interview:


Ron Paul Fox News Sunday Interview 01/08/12by SaveOurSovereignty

Asiatic Origins of American Indians

I think by now it should be apparent that the Book of Mormon account is not as simple as it seems. Ether alone introduces a formidable list of possibilities, few of which have ever been seriously considered. Foremost among these is the probability, amounting almost to certainty, that numerous Jaredites survived in out-of-the-way places of the north to perpetuate a strong Asiatic element in the culture and blood of the American Indian.by Hugh Nibley as quoted by Jeff Lindsay, read the rest.

U.S. Intervention in Iran From 1953

I don't know how accurate this video is, but I'm sure it's as accurate, actually, probably more so, than the US's Official Version of History. In any event, it should generate some questions for the honest seeker of truth. In the end, I sympathize with the people of Iran and pray that their future may include some semblance of peace.

Voluntaryists and Ron Paul

I've been a part of and observed many good debates on whether or not voluntaryists and anarcho-capitalists should get behind Ron Paul's campaign for President. I shared my thoughts on that here. The video below makes some very good points on the question. I like her reasoning.

Police and Security

A common misconception among society is that the role of police officers is to provide security. It's not. Quite the contrary. If society does what it believes it must for security, the police will arrest them, cage them, and confiscate their wealth.me, read the rest at my Truth blog.

Sumner "I am an Anarchist"

As quoted by Irving Fisher in 1956, William Graham Sumner said,
Gentlemen, the time is coming when there will be two great classes, Socialists, and Anarchists. The Anarchists want the government to be nothing, and the Socialists want government to be everything. There can be no greater contrast. Well, the time will come when there will be only these two great parties, the Anarchists representing the laissez faire doctrine and the Socialists representing the extreme view on the other side, and when that time comes I am an Anarchist. As am I.

Henry Hazlitt on the Fight for Liberty

From 1964, the occasion of his Hazlitt's 70th birthday:
Those of us who place a high value on human liberty...find ourselves in a minority (and it sometimes seems a hopeless minority) in ideology... We are the true adherents of liberty... We are the ones who believe in limited government, in the maximization of liberty for the individual and the minimization of coercion to the lowest point compatible with law and order. It is because we are true liberals that we believe in free trade, free markets, free enterprise, private property in the means of production; in brief, that we are for capitalism and against socialism...

I will confess...that I have sometimes repeated myself. In fact, there may be some people unkind enough to say I haven’t been saying anything new for 50 years!

And in a sense they would be right... I’ve been preaching liberty as against coercion; I’ve been preaching capitalism as against socialism; and I’ve been preaching this doctrine in every form and with any e…

Ron Paul Vindicated on Iran

Look away, nothing to see here.
A week ago Ron Paul tried to convey how the ever-tightening sanctions on Iran--which may soon include an embargo on its oil--look from an Iranian point of view: It's as if China were to blockade the Gulf of Mexico, he said--"an act of war".

This is sheer conjecture; Ron Paul is no expert on Iran. But now someone who does have relevant credentials has weighed in, and the picture he paints is disturbingly reminiscent of the one Paul painted. It suggests we may be closer to war than most people realize.by Robert Wright, read the rest.

Phil Donahue on War

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And Ron Paul. Great interview.

Teen Mom Shoots Intruder Dead

Eighteen-year-old Sarah McKinley and her 3-month-old son were unharmed when two intruders tried to break into their home outside of Oklahoma City on New Year’s Eve. Her husband had died from lung cancer on Christmas Day, and when she realized intruders were attempting to break into her home she had nothing to do but grab her 12-gauge shotgun and pistol, and call 911.

She spoke with the operator for 21 minutes, making sure she had the right to shoot if the men forced their way in.

"I can’t tell you that you can do that, but you do what you have to do to protect your baby," the dispatcher told her as she held the infant with a bottle. She ultimately pulled the trigger.Bravo!, read the rest.

Is There a “Royal Road” to Science and Religion?

In his studies of the dialogue between science and religion, the present author is often struck by the fact that persons sympathetic to one side often attack the other side with only the scantest credentials, expertise and knowledge of the issue.by David H. Bailey, read the rest.

Ron Paul and The Future of Liberty

As a defender and promoter of liberty, Ron Paul is matched by few men. He's introduced millions to individualism, free markets, sound money, and non-interventionism. I applaud him and praise him for his selfless efforts in this beautiful cause. He's taking his principles to ever wider audiences, and as President of the United States, he would have a greater platform than any libertarian has ever had in the fight for freedom. But I have my reservations.by me, read the rest on my Truth blog.

Will Google, Amazon, And Facebook Black Out The Net?

In the growing battle for the future of the Web, some of the biggest sites online -- Google, Facebook, and other tech stalwarts -- are considering a coordinated blackout of their sites, some of the web’s most popular destinations. No Google searches. No Facebook updates. No Tweets. No Amazon.com shopping. Nothing.by Alec Liu, read the rest.

The Socialization of Children

"Kids need to learn to work with other kids," they say. "Why?", I must ask. "When will they be working with other kids as adults?" Haha! No, really, think about it. As adults, they won't be using working-with-kids skills, they'll be using working-with-adults skills. Right? In preparation for adulthood, shouldn't kids be among adults? Shouldn't they be learning to communicate with adults? Shouldn't their primary socialization be with adults? It's not a no-brainer until you put your brain on it. It makes complete sense. Now, give yourself a facepalm and say "Duh!".by me, read the rest at Everything-Voluntary or my Life blog.