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Showing posts from March, 2012

He Who Thus Domineers Over

"He who thus domineers over... has indeed nothing more than the power that you confer upon him to destroy you. Where has he acquired enough eyes to spy upon you, if you do not provide them yourselves? How can he have so many arms to beat you with, if he does not borrow them from you? The feet that trample down your cities, where does he get them if they are not your own? How does he have any power over you except through you? How would he dare assail you if he had no cooperation from you? What could he do to you if you yourselves did not connive with the thief who plunders you, if you were not accomplices of the murderer who kills you, if you were not traitors to yourselves? You sow your crops in order that he may ravage them, you install and furnish your homes to give him goods to pillage; you rear your daughters that he may gratify his lust; you bring up your children in order that he may confer upon them the greatest privilege he knows — to be led into his battles, to be deliv…

The Mother Duck Phenomenon

I love this look at what this writer calls the "mother duck phenomenon". I witness this everyday, and even a Father Duck phenomenon, too. My wife tells me the only times my kids are in the office coloring or drawing is when I'm on the computer. As soon as I sit down, they slowly make there way there and get their stuff out. It's truly a beautiful thing to behold.

Tyranny and the Religious

Robert Higgs laments the growing secularism of the world and what this might mean for the rise of totalitarianism. I share his hope that his analysis is flawed.

Ron Paul, Influential?

It would be a damned shame, and a clear sign of political bias, if Ron Paul didn't make this list.

Anthony Gregory on the Police State

Great Q&A with Anthony Gregory on police and the police state that is the U, S, of A.

John Carter of Mars and Brigham Young

What do they have in common? See for yourself.

US Debt Problem Explained

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Re: The Supreme Court Should Uphold Obamacare?

Here's James Ostrowski saying almost the same thing as Connor Boyack.

Update: Butler Shaffer gives his .02, and goes in the opposite direction of Ostrowski. Aren't power-struggles fun?

A Gruesome Hate Murder and No One Cares

I feel for Trayvon Martin, a real tragedy. And I also feel for Shaima Al Awada. It's unfortunate that she hasn't received more attention. Yes, there is a race problem in the US, but I think it's less black and more "them".

Meet Grown Unschoolers

I love reading about grown unschoolers. Meet Jason Hunt, Chloe Spinnanger, and Idzie Desmarais.

Android-Powered Glasses

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Hmmm... interesting. I'd love a pair of these when flying, I guess.

All Veterans are Heroes!

Including Sgt. Robert Bales? We begin to see the absurdity in the belief that being a military veteran makes you an automatic hero. What are you when you're both a veteran and a murderer? When you're both a veteran and a perpetrator of illegal and immoral wars of aggression? Interesting questions to think about.

Rhetological Fallacies

A beautiful "cheat sheet" of rhetological fallacies.

Are You Libertarian Enough?

Anthony Gregory asks some great questions, consider:

1. Is there any war – in all of history – that I have a romantic attachment to, and is it possible that this war was nothing but a murderous and fraudulent escapade, like all the rest? Perhaps I have been right about which state was the greater aggressor in this war – am I being too soft on the other state?
2. Is there any state action I defend that is morally indefensible? Anyone’s rights I’m ignoring?
3. Is there any gradualist position I take, on maintaining the police, or the military, or the welfare state, that lacks moral legitimacy or is otherwise an equivocation with evil?
4. Do I put way too much hope in electoral politics yielding a good result, when hundreds of years of U.S. history provide virtually no examples of it doing so?
5. Are there areas of political theory – national borders, militarism, police powers, parental and children’s rights, public schooling and compulsory attendance, regulation, Social Security, moneta…

Wenzel on Muggers

Good advice, I'll try to remember it.

The Supreme Court Should Uphold Obamacare?

I'm not sure I agree with Connor Boyack on this one. He talks about state nullification, but I've yet to see successful nullification efforts after the Supreme Court has ruled something as "constitutional". Medical marijuana, REAL ID, intrastate gun sales, etc., have never gone before the Supreme Court. From what I've seen, Supreme Court rulings quiet down the opposition, even among State legislatures. They're quick to bow-down to the all-mighty Supremes. As if I really give any legality to the Supreme Court, however, the US Government does, and I'd rather the individual mandate be declared unsconstitutional, because it is (as is the rest of the bill), than not.

Democracy Corrupts Absolutely

Know Your Place, Citizen

And your place isn't anywhere near the police, or go to jail:

Lincoln Mortally Wounded the Constitution

Yes, he did, but it was bound to happen, the way I see it. Also, consider a prophecy by Joseph Smith to Stephan A. Douglas (found here):
unless the United States redress the wrongs committed upon the saints in the state of Missouri and punish crimes committed by her officers, that in a few years the government will be utterly overthrown and wasted, and there will not be so much as a potsherd left, for their wickedness in permitting the murder of men, women and children and the wholesale plunder and extermination of thousands of her citizens to go unpunished, thereby perpetrating a foul and corroding blot upon the fair fame of this great republic, the very thought of which would have caused the high-minded and patriotic framers of the Constitution of the United States to hide their faces with shame.Rather than this concerning merely the falling of the Whig party, as speculated in the above document, I think it has more to do with Federalism in the United States, that it would be "u…

DCP Calls For Mormon-Muslim Jihad!

There, I got it started for him. But seriously, I agree with Brother Peterson.

Why Bad Beliefs Don’t Die?

This is an interesting look on people's beliefs, good or bad. I'm not sure how accurate it is, but it's admonition to skeptics at the end is filled with wisdom.

On Indoctrination

Indoctrination to me has always meant forcing someone to learn something. If I force my children to go to church and sit in primary, I am indoctrinating them. However, the real meaning is a bit different at first glance, but not really.

According to Google's many lookups, indoctrination is "teaching someone to accept doctrines uncritically" and "indoctrination is the process of ideas, attitudes, cognitive strategies or a professional methodology (see doctrine). It is often distinguished from education by the fact that the indoctrinated person is expected not to question or critically examine the doctrine they have learned."

One could say that as long as the learning is forced, but so is thinking critically about it, that it's not indoctrination, but that seems unrealistic. How do you force someone to think critically about something you're forcing them to learn? When or where has that ever happened? If someone, usually children, are forced to learn some…

An Apostle on the Welfare State

Both personal and corporate:

"The practice of coveting and receiving unearned benefits has now become so fixed in our society that even men of wealth, possessing the means to produce more wealth, are expecting the government to guarantee them a profit. Elections often turn on what the candidates promise to do for voters from government funds. This practice, if universally accepted and implemented in any society, will make slaves of its citizens.

We cannot afford to become wards of the government, even if we have a legal right to do so. It requires too great a sacrifice of self-respect and in political, temporal, and spiritual independence." - Marion G. Romney (cir. 1982)

The Perfect Human Diet?

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I may be purchasing this DVD. I'm very intrigued. I understand it's paleo/primal based, as I've recently been converted to. Here's the trailer:

Bad-A Handgun

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Yup:

Prophets Against War

What have latter-day prophets said about war? See for yourself.

Latest Jay Leno / Ron Paul Discussion

Great answer on abortion, btw:



No Victim, No Crime

"Here’s a necessary axiom of any civilized legal system: if there’s no victim and/or nobody complaining, nobody can be charged with a crime. To put it positively, if an action doesn’t hurt anybody else, it can’t be illegal."

It's that simple.

The Etch-a-Sketch

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Autodidactism and Unschooling

This guy gets it. And I just learned a new word.

Once Again, Social Contract Laid Bare

Why am I so obsessed with this? Because it's the *invisible* lynchpin in the statist argument.

Sheltering a Terrorist

The US is sheltering a terrorist to the Afghan people, the one who *acting alone?* murdered several civilians. Since they refuse to turn him over to the Afghan people, does that mean the US is now sheltering a terrorist? What was it Bush said about countries who shelter terrorists?

Threatened, and Then Murdered?

This totally changes things, that is, if it's true.

But Unschooling isn't "Child-Centered"

This HuffPo writer misunderstands the nature of unschooling. No unschoolers that I know claim that it's "child-centered," but rather it is "child-led". That's a pretty big difference. Unschooled children are treated like regular human beings, ie. with respect toward their desires and interests. "Life-centered" would be more accurate.

What is a Violent Act?

...not this.

Man Flies Like a Bird

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Wow:

Attention Deficit?

Doesn't exist. Never has. It's a hoax played on innocent children for the benefit of greedy drug companies.

Fasting and Cancer?

Very interesting. I've chosen the weekly fast, every Saturday night to Sunday evening.

Troops Murdering Civilians?

It's certainly not the first time.

Homeschooling Infographic

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Joseph Smith vs. Mitt Romney

On the topic of "habeas corpus".

Radiation Treatment Creates Cancer?

Maybe radiation treatment isn't the best way to deal with cancer? (Maybe this is.)

It's Getting Stupid

This whole "controversy" over my faith's practice of ordinances for the dead is getting just plain stupid.

Anarchism in "A Bug's Life"

Just what did Pixar's A Bug's Life have to say about anarchism? See for yourself.

TMNT FTW!

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Oh boy, I canNOT wait for this!

Renounce Class War, Proclaim Peace

Before hopping on the class warfare armswagon (or remaining), consider this defense of luxury by Ludwig von Mises:
Many foolish things have been said and written about luxury. Against luxury consumption it has been objected that it is unjust that some should enjoy great abundance while others are in want. This argument seems to have some merit. But it only seems so. For if it can be shown that luxury consumption performs a useful function in the system of social cooperation, then the argument will be proved invalid. This, however, is what we shall seek to demonstrate.

Our defense of luxury consumption is not, of course, the argument that one occasionally hears, that is, that it spreads money among the people. If the rich did not indulge themselves in luxuries, it is said, the poor would have no income. This is simply nonsense. For if there were no luxury consumption, the capital and labor that would otherwise have been applied to the production of luxury goods would produce other goods…

Senators over Grandkids

Orrin Hatch has decided that spending time with fellow senators is more important than with his grandkids. Methinks he'll be doing the latter anyway.

Going Primal

Yes, I'm going primal. What does that mean? Read my short write-up on it here.

Nonviolent Resistance

There will be a short essay in my book (chapter 5) on nonviolence. Here's more on nonviolence from Gary North.

The Student Loan Crisis

Informative video from the Foundation for Economic Education:

Table of Austrian vs. Neoclassical Schools

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Taliban Promises Blowback

For the US military's serial murder. Oh, and the lone soldier's rampage.

FED to Propagandize 8th-12th Graders

Yet another reason to take your kids out of school.

Blacks and the Priesthood

On this lovely bit of Mormon folklore, see here, then here, then here, then here.

A Critique of the Social "Contract"

Well written, short, concise critique of social contract theory, and ensuing discussion.

Jews in Tehran

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Iranians persecuting Jews, not so much:

The Titanic Story Was a Forgery

Lincoln and Pol Pot

Not very different.

Protecting us From Ourselves

Nothing to see here. Just government protecting us from ourselves. Perfectly legitimate. Move along.

All Kids are Born Geniuses

Beautiful, short exposition on kids and their curiosity by Michio Kaku:

Defending the Blackmailer

One book I always recommend for both the student of economics and the student of liberty, is Walter Block's Defending the Undefendable. It's a classic and a masterpiece on "victimless crimes and controversial economic practices." He'll be teaching an upcoming Mises Academy course on the book, for those interested. As a taste, here's his chapter defending "the blackmailer". Enjoy!

We, the Web Kids

Last September I shared my views on education in the 21st century. I wrote, "Anything and everything can be found on the Internet. It has been the one indispensable tool in my self-education. It helped me find answers to my endless list of questions about Mormonism. It was through the Internet that I discovered economics and the Austrian School. It's through the Internet that I have engaged in a countless number of debates and discussions with a countless number of people, many of which I have never met in person, yet I consider them my friends. There has been a major paradigm shift in the world thanks to the Internet."

Writing for The Atlantic, Alexis Madrigal explores my generation and how important the Internet has been and will be in the future. Must read if you're older and want to better understand our fascination with and commitment to keeping free, the Internet.

Leaders vs. Masters

Two years ago I wrote a piece which argued that anarchy is merely the "absence of unrighteous dominion". Part of my argument was to contrast the difference between leaders and rulers. JGVibes has written an excellent piece giving us greater detail of this difference. Do check it out.

Lakota Tribe Declares Independence

Good for them. I wish them the best of luck with their new republic. May they succeed in bringing freedom to their people where the United States obviously failed.

The Creationism/Evolution Debate

I really like this post by adelie42 on reddit. Very important points are shared regarding the evolution/creationism debate. In case it gets removed for some reason, here it is:
Title: How "Human Action" changed my perspective on the "Creationism versus Evolution" debate.

Post: After reading Mises' Human Action, it occurred to be that the debate is nonsensical. Primarily, the philosophical framework each theory is operating under are not compatible with each other for the purpose of meaningful debate. It makes less sense than debating "Fried Chicken" versus "Gun Control".

In short, there is no "trade off value" between each theory, and technically the theories are completely compatible with each other (in contrast to creating cognitive dissonance if attempted) when it is considered that:
Evolution - as a model for the causal relationship between the observed variation in species alive, and in fossil record. Of note, investigation into …

Khan Academy and Sex-Ed

I've entered a suggestion for the Kahn Academy to produce a few Sexual Education videos. Go here to up-vote it!

Oversalt the Wrong Burger...

...and get thrown in a cage. I can't find a recognized news source for this, so I hope it's fake.

On Joseph Kony

Once again, Connor Boyack's commentary nails it.

The Economics of The Lorax

I don't really plan on seeing The Lorax. I knew from the preview that it had an environmentalist message. Unfortunately, it's message has a giant hole in it. The question that doesn't seem to be answered, is whether or not the Once-ler owns the forest. Incentives depend on property rights, and how people handle the resources before them depend a great deal on their ownership. Steve Horwitz explains.

Grassroots Religion

An interesting look at Alma the Elder's grassroots efforts among King Noah's people, and as it relates to modern efforts regarding the Church's welfare program. Very good insight.

Harmon's City Creek Bust

We checked out the new Harmon's City Creek (downtown). It really bothered me. They only validate parking for 2 hours (they told me they covered it, not for how long, when I asked), and having to pay for parking after spending $500 is super annoying. But the worst part is that everything must be paper-bagged. I hate paper bags! We prefer plastic, and we use them as trash liners for our many small trash cans around the house. Needless to say, it was our first and last trip.

Banning Things

Banning things is about power and control. That's really all there is to it, says Nic Hooton. I concur.

The Population Horror Show

What the world needs is not less people, but more, and more freedom for them to solve problems, says the Skeptical Libertarian. History shows it.

Social Contract Found!

Uh-oh. Watch out everyone, the state is legit!

We Are a Warlike People

Much to the dismay of President Kimball circa 1976. It's obviously truer, much truer, today. If you agree, check out this project.

Ads on NBA Jerseys?

I think I'm on the fence on this, probably leaning toward the "don't really care" side (a 3-sided fence?). But thought I'd share anyway.

Everything Is a Remix

Kirby Ferguson finally finished his video series on creation, ideas, and intellectual property. 4 beautiful videos demonstrating the wonders of culture and the absurdity that is IP. Absolutely a must watch!

What is "Praxeology"?

Only the beginning of sound economic theory! jporch of reddit explains. I would add, economics is a discipline within praxeology. Only the Austrian school understands this, and it all branches out from there.

Sit Down or Die

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It's quite simple really. You sit down at the DMV when asked, regardless of whether or not you are legally required to, or risk going to jail. Resist arrest, and you risk being murdered. In other words, do as the DMV lady tells you, or die. No matter how petty, the state shows it's true colors sooner or later:

Priesthood Ban Myths

I saw Scott Gordon's post originally, very well put. Here's some commentary on it. And I responded, "I agree, the Church should come out and say it. They should start with the fact that the very earliest leaders, ie. Joseph Smith, and others, did ordain blacks to the priesthood, as Myth 3 explains, and then move into the most likely reason it stopped, ie. racism. Racism was a big problem all around the U.S. I think you’re right, it would be very refreshing and I think would make it easier for blacks to get over the 'controversy'."

Becoming a Tree, After Death

I've yet to make up my mind on what my posterity should do with my remains. Burial or burning? This little device has me leaning towards the latter, however.

Libertarians Should Defend Religion

So says devout atheist libertarian Walter Block, and I agree.

Ron Paul's in Apostolic Company

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On the topic of a "Golden Rule" for foreign policy:

I Don't Have to Conform

Once in a while, someone comes along and dares to do it differently, to question conventional wisdom, a Martin Luther, a Joseph Smith, a Charles Darwin, a Frederic Bastiat, a Ludwig von Mises, or a John Holt. I have found many such exemplars, those who have the courage to poke holes in tradition in order to discover the truth about the world we live in, over the last several years. They are an inspiration to me. They tell me that it can be done, that I don't have to conform, that I don't have to be the same as everybody else. That I am an individual, that I am unique. I'm not part of a collective, some hive, unless I choose to be. My life is in my control. Freedom is my birthright, and is mine to enjoy every waking hour.

On the Fallible Baptist

Matt W. at the New Cool Thang blog asks some important questions regarding John the Baptist and latter-day prophets.

What Meaneth "Render Unto Caesar"?

Does it have anything to do with financial obedience to political systems, or does it mean something more? Shiloh Logan thinks so.