Anti-Authoritarianism Starts Within

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Mainstream “conservatism” gets no traction because it’s often so obviously hypocritical. It provides the shells necessary for the authoritarian opposition (they like to call themselves “liberals,” which is sort of accurate in that they are very liberal with other people’s money) to shellack them at will and make them look ridiculous – and mean spirited – which they often are.

For instance: Attend a Tea Party event and you’ll almost certainly hear hearty critiques of “wasteful government spending” – including spending on “welfare” for the indolent underclass. This is easily (because accurately) parsed as not-too-subtle complaining about government handouts to blacks and other minorities, who are the disproportionate beneficiaries of this form of “wasteful government spending.” But the tables are very quickly turned when liberals point out – correctly – that these (mostly) middle-aged and older white people are fiercely protective of their dole – that is, of Social Security payouts. Or the dole given to (hack) “defense” contractors – a form of “wasteful government spending” that constitutes a raging torrent of taxpayer dollars down the proverbial shitpipe relative to the handful of dollars doled out to the EBT set.

These same “conservatives” will tell you how much they are for individual liberty – while rah-rahing the “war” on (some) drugs – you know, the drugs they don’t use – even as they chug down another beer… . They also like “family values” – that is, their family values. If your family is not like their family, why then all of a sudden they are much less in favor of individual liberty.  And so on.

Thus, the fundamental (and narrow-minded, petty) hypocrisy is exposed – and thus, the moral argument against the authoritarian thing-in-itself is utterly discredited. Which explains why “conservative” politics gets nowhere fast. It is a con – a pretense, a pose. It is as opportunistic, as fundamentally false – and at its core, every bit as authoritarian – as the “liberal” variety.

Robert Heinlein, the great science fiction writer  – and political philosopher – divided humanity into two basic categories: Authoritarians and anti-authoritarians. Which are you? You are not a Republican or  a Democrat. Or a “liberal” or a “conservative.” You are either someone who wants to control other people, to compel them to behave and live as you believe they ought to –  or you are someone who believes everyone else has the same right to live their life as you’d like to be free to live yours. That is, to be left in peace to make your own choices, according to your own judgment or simple personal preference – no matter how non-conforming or oddball others may consider those preferences – so long as you’re not causing someone else a demonstrable injury. Live – and let live.

And leave others alone.

It is pretty straightforward. You can very quickly and accurately cleave the authoritarian types from the anti-authoritarian types using this standard. And you might begin by using it to categorize yourself.

If you would prefer not to be subject to arrest for enjoying a cold brew while you watch the game in the privacy of your own home – causing no harm to anyone, even if you end up passing out on said sofa before halftime – then you must object to the idea that your next door neighbor’s door is subject to being kicked in (and your neighbor carted off to jail) simply because said neighbor happens to enjoy partaking of a different drug  – even though his partaking, as such, causes no harm to anyone else any more than your partaking of the legal drug does.

If you do no object, then you have lost any moral authority to object to authoritarianism as such.  Because you yourself have endorsed authoritarianism. It is either – or. There is no middle ground, no exceptions.

You either are – or you are not.

Likewise, government handouts. That is, money taken by force from one person in order to give (some of) it to another person. You either support this – or you do not. Which means, you cannot make a claim to Social Security without losing any basis to object to the claims made by the EBT underclass to their dole. The fact that you were robbed in the past (your “contributions”) does not make robbery in the present (your “benefits”) morally justifiable. You either oppose using the government to provide benefits to other people by threatening to imprison or even kill them – or you do not. If you make an exception for one, then you have lost any basis for objecting to the exceptions demanded by others.

Either – or.

If you want to be left in peace you must be willing to leave others in peace. If a restaurant owner wishes to allow his customers to smoke inside his restaurant – or to serve only adults, or even only white (or black) adults or only men or only women or whatever – then you must be willing to tamp down your personal feelings and leave him be to do as he wishes with his property.  If not, you have surrendered any basis for complaining about laws that threaten you with lethal violence if you fail to use your property as directed.

If you expect to have the benefit of due process – to not be incarcerated without formal charges having been presented and proved  – then you must object when anyone is deprived of due process, irrespective of their “looks” or the nature of their supposed offense. If you do not object, then you should not be surprised when you are dragooned off into the night.

Much less object to it.

Americans used to understand that when any single individual’s rights are trampled on, then everyone’s rights are trampled upon. Perhaps not immediately – but always inevitably. The Gadsden Flag – Don’t Tread on Me – used to be the appropriate symbol of that rapidly receding America. The new flag – which might read Tread on Me (and Let Me Tread on Others) is the flag of the new America.

An America of morally compromised control freaks who never look into the mirror. Perhaps because what they’ll see there is too upsetting.

Throw it in the Woods?

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  1. I actually think that it’s a good thing that more and more people buy into social security, taking it as they retire. I also think that more people ought to pursue all of the grants, “entitlements”, etcetera that the government hands out.


    Because it will cause the government to go bankrupt that much faster. It cannot sustain the endless wars and the endless entitlements without shattering the illusion of being a servant, and when those checks stop coming and/or the fiat monies contained therein cease to have value, THEN there will be a revolution, or massive secession, or both.

    The moral hazard is great, and those who don’t have the taste for it should certainly not be condemned, but it’s also true that so long as they are able, the rulers will NEVER stop doing what they do: Be parasites. The only way I see to delegitmize them at this juncture is the disastrous failure of the currency. Then the average man (who is DEFINITELY a clover) will suddenly have to think like a human, instead of a cog in a machine. Anything that accelerates this is at least worth considering.

  2. Tyranny and Oppression is Wrong and should be Opposed as
    Contrary to ” Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness “

  3. Eric –

    I’ve had this debate with my conservative Republican father many times. He’s a retired CFP yet still doesn’t get it. His reasoning is the same as most others – “I paid $XXX into the system and deserve to get it back.” He’s also an evangelical Christian which makes it all the more frustrating…..Thou shalt not steal!

    For your readers who remain unconvinced that Social Security is a fraud I’d advise them to read John Attarian on Lew Rockwell –

    If this doesn’t change minds then nothing will.

    And by the way, I’m not a negative person. I’m probably the most positive person you’d find out there. Although I’m libertarian / panarchist by nature I work with a homeless shelter in my hometown and put my money where my mouth is. I dropped out of corporate America two years ago, have no debt, my kids are raised and decided to ride a bicycle across the country at age 55. Now I’m leaving on May 19th for a 12,000 mile journey around the U.S. to raise money and awareness for homelessness and hunger. The last time I rode across the country I was taken aback by what I saw. Economic policies like NAFTA and GATT have gutted the heartland of the country and many towns I rode through were virtually shuttered. So this time I’m riding literally around the border of America. I’ll be posting a lot of Youtube videos and doing the social media thing. It’s not really my style but a great tool when endeavoring to raise awareness for an issue. I’d be happy to report to you what I see, could send you a link to my website if you’d like.


  4. I TOTALLY ….DISAGREE … with the Author in his conclusion that a person has no RIGHT to recieve SS … if he a LIFELONG has paid to this security with money deducted from HIS earnings .
    I …totally AGREE with the author that this system is FRAUDULENT though …. the FRAUD though being perpetraded by GOUVERNMENT …by the POWERS WHO ARE
    As it is … current society is a CONTRACT ..between the individual and the people elected to run day to day business of society: The GOUVERNMENT
    Money is taken by the Gouvernment from the individual ie various Taxes and contributions motivated in a number of promises amongst these Social Security .
    The problem is that gouvernment ..which needs to BUY VOTES … extends the entitlements also to people WHO DO NOT CONTRIBUTE to the systems …Addtionally uses the money collected for OTHER PURPOSES … for ex WARS and other PET PROJECTS of Gouvernment
    Also Gouvernement need to exert POWER and needs to employ ARMIES of Gouvernment Servants ie BUREAUCRACY , POLICE , INTERNAL “SECURITY ( Surveillance ) etc … the latter being increasingly EXPENSIVE due to the VAST NUMBER of people directly employed by Gouvernment
    Therefore the overall system is NOT adequaetely FINANCED … and therein lies the problem .

    Thats in a NUTSHELL … the Problem …. nothing else !


    • Ole,

      A couple of points:

      One, a contract is consensual pact; the parties choose to accept the terms or they do not. They are free to not agree to them. SS is an imposition; one has no choice whatsoever. One is forced at gunpoint to provide money for the benefit of random strangers to whom one owes nothing (other than goodwill).

      SS is not a contract – and neither is “society” or “government.” You’re just spouting authoritarian euphemisms.

      Two, the fact that money was taken from you does not give you a right to take it from others. SS is wealth transfer – direct dole – nothing more. It’s an unpleasant thing to face up to, but that’s the reality.

      Three, how is that you have failed to notice that there’s never “adequate funding” for any government program? What if I don’t want to “fund” your program? I guess then you’ll be ok with the government sending armed thugs to beat it out of me for your benefit.

      I let your illiterate post through as another object lesson – to show people here the nature of the mindset we’re up against.

      • Eric,
        While I agree with the other points in your post, you must either be very young or very rich if you expect retirees to not collect Social Security. Yes, Social Security is a fraud and a Ponzi scheme, but most Americans have paid quite a bit into the program before they realize this fact, and rely upon it for a major portion of their retirement, and it’s hardly equivalent to a person who doesn’t work and doesn’t intend to work but is on the dole. So get off your high horse. There’s more to life than splitting philosophical hairs over who’s the purist libertarian.

        • I don’t think you understand.
          The money people pay into SS is gone…Stolen by the politicians. There is no money for them to get back.

        • The government’s courts have ruled that social security is a welfare program and that FICA is a tax. They also ruled that both the welfare payouts and taxes are set at the discretion of congress.

          However that is not what the government tells the people which makes social security a fraud, but like any fraud the recourse is against those who perpetrated it.

        • Hi Mark,

          I’m neither rich nor very young – and have in fact “contributed” (that is, been forced to pay FICA tax) for going on three decades. I don’t expect to ever collect a cent – and more, don’t want a cent of other people’s money.

          That’s the thing, Mark. SS is theft – and redistribution – nothing more. I understand the hardship it has imposed. Hell, I could easily retire if I had all the money stolen from me over the years to pay for other people’s retirement. But the fact that I have been stolen from does not entitle me to steal from others. The same goes for you. Is that “high horsed”?

    • What a well thought out and lucid argument. I’ve changed my mind about everything now. I can’t believe it took me so long to get it. Government is the answer!

      Let’s see….press F7 to check spelling and grammar, oops….it’s spelled government not gouvernment…..cut, paste and post comment.

      • It’s telling, isn’t it, that “arguments” such as Ole’s are often purveyed in ALL CAPS (and riddled with spelling and grammatical errors). I suppose EMPHASIS is a substitute in their minds for logic.

        • Eric,

          And this is precisely why I’m not particularly optimistic about the future of America. I’ve come to the conclusion that 99.9% of the people just don’t get it. They don’t understand freedom except on their terms. They don’t get that individual liberty, religious freedom and economic liberty are all linked. Like I said in a previous comment these things are inextricably bound.

          People like Ole are the majority in this country. In my experience people get their information about the world from limited sources and therefore have a distorted viewpoint. Those on the ‘left’ get watch MSNBC and those on the ‘right’ from Fox. They allow others to do their thinking for them. Myself, when I read something I tend to validate it against multiple sources. My mantra in life is – “I believe none of what I hear and half of what I see.”

          Keep up the good work, I’ve been reading your essays on Lew Rockwell for a couple of years now.

          • Hi David,

            Yeah, I know – it’s easy to get down in the dumps about it. However, it is always an active minority that determines policy, for good or bad. This was just as true in the 18th century as it is today.

            This web site has helped me to connect with a lot of like-minded people; we’re not alone!

      • David, note the locations of the V and B keys on a North American keyboard. Maybe Ole was referring to the GOOBERMENT? No, couldn’t be. Repeat compound typos.

        Seriously though, you’re going to find this attitude common among older people who never read the fine print on SS until it became important to them. They aren’t corrupt, they’re pissed off, and with good reason.

        It’s going to be very hard to convince someone who was robbed to turn the other cheek and let it all go. I understand the moral issues you raise with trying to “get my money back”, I get it. But I still want some kind of justice. I’ve been robbed in broad daylight by people who knew they were doing it and thought it was just a *fine* plan. I can let the money go as long as some butts get kicked.

  5. Who loves safety? In my experience, it’s only Moms, girlfriends, and wives who demand and extol the virtues of safety. That’s why I am calling for…

    A Call For the End of Woman Suffrage

    Women are human beings, and consequently have all the natural rights that any human beings can have. They

    have just as good a right to put words on a piece of paper and call them laws as men have, and no better;

    which is to say they have no right at all. No human being, nor any number of human beings, have any right to

    make reams and reams of laws, and to compel other human beings to obey them. To be a law, it must be commonly held knowledge. To say that they have rights to write a plethora of laws 10 times longer than the works of Shakespeare, is to say that they are the masters and owners of those of whom they require such innumerable obediences.

    That is why I stand up here before myself and the world I inhabit and call for an immediate end to these

    endless cotton picking laws. Come November 3rd, 2012, I ain’t gonna pick another bale unless and until, my

    masters agree that each and every law I am held accountable to should be permanently chiseled into physical

    granite monuments I can visit 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    The only laws that any human being can rightfully be compelled to obey is are simple laws of justice. It these

    laws of yours are so compelling and valuable to my well being, should they not be presented before everyone,

    for all time? If all have suffrage over all, then no one has suffrage, save those that guard and fill the vaults of laws. Let only the miners, bringers, bearers, and chiselers of granite have suffrage. A suffrage that is plain to see for one and all.

    If justice is a thing that is made, or that can be unmade, or altered, by any human authority, then let me see

    these laws chiseled into walls of solid rock, that I may behold them and understand. It is a natural principle, a

    part of the very nature of man and of things, to see with one’s own eyes. It is that natural principle which

    determines what is mine and what is thine, what is one man’s right or property and what is another man’s

    right or property. It is, so to speak, the line that Nature has drawn between one man’s rights of person and

    property and another man’s rights of person and property. If you have written things superior to nature, let

    me come to visit these laws made real, so I can trace the letters with my own hands.

    The excuse which the women offer for all the laws which they have inflicted upon us since their suffrage is that

    they themselves were oppressed by the laws that were passed by men. Of course they are oppressed; and so

    are all men — except the oppressors themselves — oppressed by the laws that are made. As a general rule,

    oppression is the only motive for which laws are ever made. If men wanted justice, and only justice, few laws

    would ever need to be made; since justice itself is not a thing that can be made. If men or women, want justice,

    and only justice, their true course is stop making so many laws, and to abolish all the laws not worth inscribing

    into a valuable slab of granite. One could start from the code of King Hammurabi of Babylon, and delete, alter,

    and append as seems best.

    When they shall abolish all the laws that have already been made, save those inscribed into the national

    granite, let them give themselves to the study and observance, and, if need be, the enforcement, of that one

    universal law — the law of Nature — which is “the same at Rome and Athens” — in China and in England —

    and which man did not make. Women and men alike will then have their rights; all their rights; all the rights

    that Nature gave them, save those altered or nullified by these slabs of stone. But until then, neither men nor

    women will have anything that they can call their rights. They will at most have only such liberties or

    privileges as those that do not contradict the endless pages of laws that come and go and float about on the air and wind, the laws that multiply like a cancer upon our liberties.

    If the women would only remove their sanction from the ruinous mounds of paper about to decree an end to

    our republic, and instead join in a strike until a better more forthright system of chiseling in stone our laws,

    they will do a most merciful, self-serving, and sensible thing. One of the most sensible things it is in their

    power to do. And if they should do this, I will join them as will a crowd of men — at least all the sensible and honest men left in this nation.

    • Follow the money and you will find that in the case of unlawful law$* the Law Para$ites don’t want folks to obey them.

      Whatever became of the $25 fine? Is any fine today less than a week’s pay for a wretch surviving on minimum wage?

      Bad law is a form of revenue collection and income for juris doctors.

      The genuine Law of the Land has been displaced by Political Expediency and Judicial Ukase.

      Tinsley Grey Sammons

      *Lawful and Legal are not synonyms. There is an ethical element in lawful that is often criminally absent in Legal.

      • I agree. We drove past serfdom and are rapidly approaching Saudi Arabian legal prohibition and Russian legal plunder.
        Take Illinois as an example. Without a guardian, it is unlawful for a 16 year old to be outside after 10pm and a 12 year to be outside after 8:30. They can’t come out until 6am.
        The parents can get a $500 fine. Three fines in a year and they get community service. Even out in the country and small towns.
        A business that sells a cookie to a Curfew breaker can expect thousands in fines, and even have his license revoked.
        It won’t be long before every transaction will be monitored and approved by the state, until our whole economy collapses, and until we all have to learn Portuguese or Chinese and start doing the rich foreigners’ gardening and housekeeping.

  6. I first picked up on this essay in Whiskey & Gunpowder. It expresses a lot of what I have come to observe. I think there’s a lot of closet socialists out there in the Republican and Tea Parties. I have plenty of examples observed….I just won’t belabor the issue with them at this juncture.

  7. Re: Gawd and Jee-zus!

    At an early age I became convinced that the Christian Drama is a myth. Several years later, I concluded that the existence or non-exisence of Gawd is not relevant to my own. Faith is not a safe substitute for Logic.

    Suggested read: ANSWER TO JOB by C.G. Jung. Jung concluded that Job was morally superior to God. Based on the scriptural “evidence”, I must agree.

    Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)

  8. Eric,

    I hear your point, but the fact remains that a portion of what I earned was taken from me. Return it (with interest at a reasonable statutory rate) and I will gladly opt out of the system. As to Medicare, I was again forced onto it at the point of an implicit gun. As a retired U.S. Naval Officer with slightly over 20 years of active service, I kept up my end of a contract which was very widely advertised as having military medical care for life for myself (and my unremarried spouse if she survives me). That was a contractual arrangement. Buy me out of the contract.

    Keith Töpfer

    • You were forced at gunpoint to join the United States Navy? As I recall, and I was around then, conscription ended in 1973. You volunteered didn’t you? You knew precisely what you were getting yourself into. Like so many military types and many American’s in general you feel entitled. I didn’t ask you to join….I didn’t get to approve your “contract” or nor did I offer to pay your damned retirement and lifetime medical benefits.

      If you were an O-5 when you retired that means with 20 years of service you’ll steal, um, earn a lifetime retirement amount of $3,500,000+ if you live to 78 presuming you joined at age 18. That’s crazy! This doesn’t include the medical benefits paid to you and your wife which is probably another $1,000,000. And what exactly did she do to deserve that? Greet you at the quay when your ship pulled into port.

      This country is doomed as long as this kind of thinking exists. You’re just another welfare recipient sucking on the teat regardless of the clothing you wore for 20 years. There’s nothing noble about that.

      • “In the councils of government, we must guard against the acquisition of unwarranted influence, whether sought or unsought, by the military-industrial complex. The potential for the disastrous rise of misplaced power exists and will persist.” –President Eisenhower’s Farewell Address

        The entire address is a profoundly worthwhile read easily found on the Internet.


        • Indeed, it was a great speech. Unfortunately Ike was a huge hypocrite. If he’d been genuinely concerned about the military industrial complex he would have forfeit his retirement. I have no respect for the guy.

          Notice Martial won’t engage in any debate on the subject. I came to the conclusion a long time ago that military retirement programs are akin to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid and other redistribution programs. Worse really because there’s zero “contribution.” There’s a website that allows someone to calculate retirement benefits based on years of service and rank. It’s amazing what someone can make in a lifetime if they join at 18, retire at 38 and live another 40 years. Are you telling me that a supply clerk or support person should get a couple of million dollars over the rest of their life for being a paper pusher? I know, I know….it’s part of the social contract and the patriotic thing to do. And also, where would we be without the military ‘protecting’ us?

        • I don’t like Ike, Tinsley. When using a quote of a parasitic entity, I’d prefer you to include a caveat of sorts.

          As a mouthpiece of the Parasite Class, he was a one man shop of horrors who should be hated and villified for all time as a demon scaremonger that convinced millions of Mr and Mrs Cleavers to throw all their hard earned wealth into the flaming maw of the Moloch State as a sort of sacrifice against the allegedly lethal scribblings of Karl Marx.

          Eisenhower’s farewell speech was a long-winded hysterical and calculated lie designed to inflame the peasants about a fascist monster tale called the “Cold War.”

          He convinced Ward and June to hold as their highest value, their contribution to a military policy against Russia. Like Reagan, he played the part of a noble warrior cowboy soul captaining a grand metaphysical struggle that should take over our minds and souls, in shameful manner that puts our current generation of Clovers to shame.

          Ike’s words were Wilsonian, even messianic. The job of U.S. military policy is to “foster progress in human achievement” and enhance “dignity and integrity” the world over. The Unicorn of Government is now an ever expanding herd of magic ponies we can ride to the ends of the earth. Saddle up patriots the war isn’t over. The UN Preamble is the new higher law of our land. “We the peoples of the United Nations are fighting everyone to bring four freedoms to every man at the point of our righteous rifles.”

          An enemy stands in the way of achieving this dream, sayeth the U.N. Prophet Ike, and this enemy is “global in scope, atheistic in character, ruthless in purpose, and insidious in method.” This great struggle “commands our whole attention, absorbs our very beings.”

          We the crusty apparatchiks of the U.N. are a jealous God. We will not tolerate the crusty apparatchiks of the Soviet Herd of Socialistic Unicorns imposing every manner of economic control over Russia and a few satellites. Proponents of limited government are a treasonous band of Unicorn Deniers.

          Ignore the stirring in your own loins for the life that lies ahead. Follow the crazed fantasies of the old dessicated loins of your councils of living fossils. Russians, Martians, and faraway countries are coming for your freedoms. The rich authoritarian states are at war with the poor authoritarian states. Forget what was said about them only a few years ago being our valiant ally in the struggle against Japan and Germany.

          The prophet Dirty Harry Truman has shown me the sacred oracles. There is no peace. Demand that your congresscritters continue to send me your treasures. You are the United Colonies of America. There will be no postwar disarmament. You are a colonists of the greatest plantation ever to exist. I will keep increase the U.S. industrial dependence on government spending, especially the American corporations operating overseas.

          There is a great tide of freedom throughout the lands enthralled to the Soviet Herd of Socialistic Unicorns. I will pretend this great wave of liberalization by Kruschev doesn’t exist. I will spread lies and fear of this greatly weaker “rival” of the endlessly unraveling and dwindling nonviable Soviet Parasite state.

          We the Fascist Clovers of the United Colonial States will not only fail to encourage this liberalization, but instead, pretend it isn’t happening so as to build up a new permanent form of socialism at home.

          I am the almighty Ike. I decree a neverending peacetime socialism. One that appeals to big business, and I will be its spokesman. The libertarians who support Cold War opponent Robert Taft for the Republican nomination in 1952 are commie pinkos, cowering beneath my bludgeons.

          The Eisenhower Machine by brute force has usurped the party nomination. The great power establishments know that I will always put my backers and supporters first, and that this tradition will never die, because never will the authority of the Corrupted Clover United Colonies of America ever die.

          • I couldn’t agree more. Well said. I lost all respect for Ike when I read about Operation Keelhaul following WWII. Millions of men, women and children were forced to return to the Soviet Union and many were slaughtered upon their return. This sad chapter started at Yalta when FDR worked with Stalin and Churchill to carve up Europe. Ike had a chance to expose the atrocity to the American public or stop it outright but sat on the sidelines like a coward. Truman carried out Operation Keelhaul after FDR died so he’s another piece of work.

            FDR, Truman, Ike….these guys and their cronies should have have been tried at Nuremberg but of course we won so that wasn’t going to happen.

          • Ike did not have the advantage provided by 20 20 Hindsight. In my opinion he was a good person and as human beings go in his heart he harbored malice only for things perceived as bad, wicked or evil.

            During part of my enlistment in the Air Force I was an Automatic Tracking Radar Specialist assigned to Strategic Air Command’s Tenth Radar Bomb Scoring Squadron at Adams Field in Little Rock. The Zeitgeist was very different in the 1950s and the Stalinist influence lingered for a very long time following that monster’s death. I’m convinced that much of our fear was justified at the time and I make no apology for my attitude and my service.

            What is truly frightening today is our own military overkill and America’s philosophical distancing from the Principles that supported the American Ideal expressed with incomparable eloquence in the Unanimous Declaration.

            Hopefully someday a significant number of WE the American People will actually “hold these Truths”.

            Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)

          • Well said Mr Sammons. To me Zeitgeist is important and gives context, but the ethics of one’s actions are timeless.

            Of course, using hindsight in my own life, or any one elses, yields all kinds of opportunities for improvement.

            The case for Ike’s value is implicit in the fact that his image is on a dollar coin.

            I find him a creepy leper and someone to be summarily refuted, and then forgotten, never to be thought of again.

            He’s been grossly overpaid for the services he rendered, in my opinion.

            The bribery and flattery that started in 1965 with Social Security and Big Media lionization of a greatest generation should cease.

            American Soldiers have quite racked up quite a few atrocities of their own, en masse.

            I have foresight that sees that when America is broken or assimilated by one of the emerging entrepreneurial countries, the whole ugly American story will come to light, and will be just as horrifying and disgusting as what we now say about the former regimes of Germany or Russia.

          • A wise man chooses Principles over personalities. I have found it advantageous to study material and arrive at conclusions independent of the material’s author.

            What a dreadful loss the Unanimous Declaration would be if its value to Humankind depended solely on the fact that Thomas Jefferson owned slaves.

            It is indeed outwardly ironic that history’s most eloquent Human Rights Declaration was primarily authored by a slave owner. To that I say,it’s the Eternal Substance of the Document itself that really matters.

            Ike was a truly great soldier-diplomat while in command of the wartime alliance. His was a uniquely great achievement. Keeping a leash on glory hound generals was a most unenviable duty*. In retrospect, I’m convinced that he and Harry (The buck stops here.) Truman were both good persons and both were exceptionally competent as Commander in Chief of America’s Armed forces.

            *It can be argued that Ike should have kept a tighter leash on Montgomery. Patton too was an arrogant son-of-a-bitch but in my opinon he was head and shoulders above Montgomery as a commander.

    • Hi Martial,

      I understand – but please keep in mind your contract was not with me. In other words, your position amounts to: The government took from me, therefore, it is ok for the government to take from others in order to make me whole.

      That’s the chain that must be broken if we ever want to be free again.

  9. Scott sez, ‘I know – and can prove it – that Elvis existed.’ Oh horsehockey!”

    I can so prove it. Just yesterday I saw Elvis in the Walmart. He was buying some bacon and a 12-pack of Hostess Snoballs, the pink kind.

    I said, “Hey, El, cool shades.” And he said, “Thank you vuh much.”

        • I’m jealous!

          I was too young to get to see the King while he still walked amongst us. But I have made the pilgrimage to Graceland and I do have a lot of Elvis “stuff” – including an Elvis bust-lamp, Elvis wine, Elvis whsikey decanters, Elvis tapestries and multiple black velvet paintings. Plus every box set and every album.

          If you’re a fan, don’t miss:

          Bubba Ho Tep
          Finding Graceland
          True Romance

          Watch this:

          It could have happened!

          • When I saw Elvis I was a young Coast Guardsman dating my first wife.

            Elvis’ voice was powerful and uniquely beautiful. To his credit, even when it was an obvious effort to do so he always gave his fans his very best.

            In my opinion Elvis was a good person. A young White Boy awed by his own fame.

            Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)

            BTW, I cannot imagine Elvis at 77.

            • Agree. That was a large part of his appeal, I think.

              Did you see his last concert in June of ’77? It’s available on YouTube… the voice was still there but it was obvious he was in bad shape. Very sad.

  10. Zorg sezs, “If you admit that in your view morality is a construct, then you must also admit that you don’t know (and can’t prove) that any of these moral assertions about right and wrong are actually true.”

    What’re you, one of those goofy existentialists? 😮

    You’re right, but only technically. At some point you have got for practical purposes to come down on one side or the other. I don’t technically *know* there’s a tree standing right outside my window, but I’ve got to accept the evidence of my senses unless I want to risk braining myself when I try to walk through it.

    It’s like Boothe said: Our experience is our teacher. Good — that is, moral — acts yield beneficial results. The fact that the affairs of man aren’t always that crisply clear-cut, well, that’s just part of the deal. At some point you have to decide, unless you want to spend your life agonizing over every move you make. You’ve got to decide that you “know”, within the limits of your human un-omniscience, and move on. So yes, in that sense it is a construct.

    Hemingway said a moral act is one you feel good after. That’s a bit loosy-goosey; it presupposes that you’re a good person to begin with. Bundy probably felt pretty good after his kills.

    • “What’re you, one of those goofy existentialists?”

      No. I’m one of those goofy question askers. I’m asking Eric about his own philosophy.

      “I don’t technically *know* there’s a tree standing right outside my window,”

      Yikes. What does that make you then, a solipsist?

      • Hi Zorg,

        Hopefully, I’ve explained my philosophy (as regards religious belief).

        To recap: We can theorize, we can suppose; we can ask, “what if” and postulate, “maybe.” All to the good.

        My beef is with the idea that any of us knows whether there is a god, whether more than just “endless, dreamless sleep” awaits us after death… because none of us does.

  11. To thrive as an anti-authoritarian, you need to develop a personal alternate modus operandi. There is no club to join. Borrow what you like from Eric, and ignore whatever you dislike. I know the TPTB fear self-sufficiency and self-protection. I have that. Be on the lookout for other things TPTB fear, those are the things worth having.

    I recently learned The #1 banned book in school libraries is l8r, g8r. A new language spoken mostly by women and children. If you paid attention, you know that women always have an encrypted communication system their cannot decipher. To some degree, men speak in the obvious grunting of slaves. I believe men should encourage their civilian woman to break solidarity with the women of the state. Convince women to help us develop an encrypted language that the state cannot breech. This requires negotiation and concession, and will not come easily or through force.

    TPTB’s greatest fear is the secret text language of Kardashian girls that made even Steve Jobs dance like a puppet on the very Iphones he created.

    Obama is a prime example of the increasingly Feminine Substance Within the decreasingly Masculine Appearance of Authority.

    The clover-sexual, while unable to comprehend our current masculine society and technology cornucopia, has nonetheless secured himself a superior perch as a valued lapdog by welcoming and escalating the juggernautic feminization of the formerly free world. Wherever a man be found in charge, upon inspection, he is mostly a woman masquerading as a man in charge.

    If we as men don’t defend the few places where testosterone still flows, the male will pass from endangered to extinct, and procreation will be possible only by those with a ration card prescription for Vitamin V.

    An injustice is relatively easy to bear, what stings is justice. The longer the women in our midst consider this escalating oppression just, the longer it will increase and endure.

    If you want to learn to exist in a less unoppressed manner, you should learn more about “the enemy” of freedom – the justifiably (in her mind) angry woman.

    From H.L. Mencken – In Defense of Women)

    I. The Feminine Mind
    A. The Maternal Instinct:

    A man’s women folk, whatever their outward show of respect for his merit and authority, always regard him secretly as an ass, and with something akin to pity. His most gaudy sayings and doings seldom deceive them;
    they see the actual man within, and know him for a shallow and pathetic fellow. In this fact, perhaps, lies one of the best proofs of feminine intelligence… a sharp and accurate perception of reality, a habitual immunity to emotional enchantment, a relentless capacity for distinguishing clearly between the appearance and the substance.
    The appearance (of man), in the normal family circle, is a hero, magnifico, a demigod. The substance is a poor mountebank.

    A man’s wife labours under no such naive folly (as wishing to be a man) She may envy her husband, true enough, certain of his more soothing prerogatives and sentimentalities. She may envy him his masculine liberty of movement and occupation (now heavily restricted by law), his impenetrable complacency, his peasant-like delight in petty vices (now mostly outlawed), his capacity for hiding the harsh face of reality
    behind the cloak of romanticism, his general innocence and
    childishness. But she never envies him his puerile ego; she never envies him his shoddy and preposterous soul.

    This shrewd perception of masculine bombast and make-believe, this acute understanding of man as the eternal tragic comedian, is at the bottom of that compassionate irony which paces under the name of the maternal instinct. A woman wishes to mother a man simply because she sees into his helplessness, his need of an amiable environment, his touching self delusion.

    That it should still be necessary, at this late stage in the senility of the human race to argue that women have a fine and fluent intelligence is surely an eloquent proof of the defective observation, incurable prejudice, and general imbecility of their (former) lords and masters.

    Women, in truth, are not only intelligent; they have almost a monopoly of certain of the subtler and more utile forms of intelligence. (Like Ron Paul, I believe in panarchy, because having to submit to the authority of the women in my life is burdensome enough. I need the freedom to shape the external civil authority I must conform to, so as to continue to serve the superior natural feminine authority endemic to human life itself.)

    • This seems true enough, “To thrive as an anti-authoritarian, you need to develop a personal alternate modus operandi.”

      Maybe there’s lessons in how not to, and how to, in this tragic story of a man driven from his house because he had chickens, and for, drum-roll, “having too many cars on his property at the time.” It ended in his death. This is how liberty dies?:

      City of Roswell, GA, bullies Andrew Wordes to death over his backyard chickens

      Ethan A. Huff
      Natural News
      Tuesday, April 10, 2012

      I’m sure the sociopaths involved had no doubt what they were doing was the right thing to do, even if it was illegal.

  12. To thrive as an anti-authoritarian, you need to develop a personal alternate modus operandi. There is no club to join. I know the TPTB fear self-sufficiency and self-protection. I have that. By uncovering the other things they fear, I find more necessities of the life I demand.

    Warning: TL;DR? Writing in a Monolectic Mythologistic Voice Alert

    I recently learned The #1 banned book in school libraries is l8r, g8r. A new language only for children. Upon reflection, a man realizes that woman also have an encrypted communication mechanism that men cannot decipher. Like the muslims, I think western men must begin a movement that causes their civilian woman to break solidarity with women of the state. And for us both to develop a second encrypted language that the state cannot breech. This must be made attractive to them, in the long run force has never overcomes the will of a woman.

    TPTB’s greatest fear is the secret text language of Kardashian girls that made even Steve Jobs dance like a puppet on the very Iphones he created.

    The events unfolding reveal the increasingly Feminine Substance Within the decreasingly Masculine Appearance of Authority

    The clover-sexual, while unable to comprehend our current masculine society and technology cornucopia, has nonetheless secured himself a superior perch as a valued lapdog by welcoming and escalating the juggernautic feminization of the formerly free world.

    If we as men don’t defend the few places where testosterone still flows, the male will pass from endangered to extinct, and procreation will be possible only by those with a ration card prescription for Vitamin V.

    An injustice is relatively easy to bear, what stings is justice. The longer the women in our midst consider this escalating oppression just, the longer it will increase and endure.

    (H.L. Mencken.In Defense of Women) The Feminine Mind – The Maternal Instinct:

    A man’s women folk, whatever their outward show of respect for his merit and authority, always regard him secretly as an ass, and with something akin to pity. His most gaudy sayings and doings seldom deceive them;
    they see the actual man within, and know him for a shallow and pathetic fellow. In this fact, perhaps, lies one of the best proofs of feminine intelligence… a sharp and accurate perception of reality, a habitual immunity to emotional enchantment, a relentless capacity for distinguishing clearly between the appearance and the substance.
    The appearance (of man), in the normal family circle, is a hero, magnifico, a demigod. The substance is a poor mountebank.

    A man’s wife labours under no such naive folly (as wishing to be a man) She may envy her husband, true enough, certain of his more soothing prerogatives and sentimentalities. She may envy him his masculine liberty of movement and occupation (now heavily restricted by law), his impenetrable complacency, his peasant-like delight in petty vices (now mostly outlawed), his capacity for hiding the harsh face of reality
    behind the cloak of romanticism, his general innocence and
    childishness. But she never envies him his puerile ego; she never envies him his shoddy and preposterous soul.

    This shrewd perception of masculine bombast and make-believe, this acute understanding of man as the eternal tragic comedian, is at the bottom of that compassionate irony which paces under the name of the maternal instinct. A woman wishes to mother a man simply because she sees into his helplessness, his need of an amiable environment, his touching self delusion.

    That it should still be necessary, at this late stage in the senility of the human race to argue that women have a fine and fluent intelligence is surely an eloquent proof of the defective observation, incurable prejudice, and general imbecility of their (former) lords and masters.

    Women, in truth, are not only intelligent; they have almost a monopoly of certain of the subtler and more utile forms of intelligence. (Like Ron Paul, I believe in panarchy, because having to submit to the authority of the women in my life is burdensome enough. I need the freedom to shape the external civil authority I must conform to, so as to continue to serve the superior natural feminine authority endemic to human life itself.)

  13. Not to rain on the parade or anything, but how can anyone here claim to know what is right and what is wrong? These are arbitrary, subjective, and unproven assertions. You might as well claim that Spiderman speaks to you.

    • Depends how you mean it.

      There is a right way to mix concrete (or set points) and a wrong way to do those things – in the sense that if you don’t follow the instructions, the results will be poor. It’s the same with human interaction:

      You appear to take the position that absent God, why not every man for himself? Why not Kill/rape/rob, if it’s advantageous to do so? After all, if there is no right or wrong – right?

      Well, no.

      Empathy, for one, does not require belief in God (let alone any specific religion).

      For two, rational self-interest argues in favor of decent behavior, including honesty and fair-dealing. It’s in my interest to treat you with respect in order that you extend the same courtesy to me. Without general agreement on this point, civility – and civilization – becomes impossible.

      So, in that very important sense, it’s right to behave decently because right behavior will have positive consequences (most of the time) while wrong behavior will have negative consequences, most of the time.

      I don’t kill/rape/rob because I dread God’s punishment (which, if you consider it, doesn’t make you a nice person – just a person who fears punishment). I don’t do those things because I can imagine them being done to me, or to someone I care about, and the idea of it is appalling. Not only that, I accept that if I do those things, then I’d have no basis for objecting to those things being done to me.

      No god required.

      • I didn’t say anything at all about God. I simply asked a question about the claims to knowledge here. You know what a claim to knowledge is, right?

        • Gosh Zorg, I don’t think Eric could have given you a much better claim to experiential knowledge as it relates to morality or ethics absent religious influence. It’s simple yes/no, one/zero digital logic. Look at it as If / Then statements: *If* I behave well toward my contemporaries, *Then* I will usually get good results. *If* I behave poorly toward them, *Then* I will often get bad results. If you attempt to mug someone or rape them you may get shot, arrested, incarcerated, etc. which should indicate with immediate feedback that your actions were wrong. If you assist someone in their time of trouble you may get their gratitude and even offers of compensation which would indicate that you did the right thing. If you go to a public bath house and have unprotected sex with 25 strangers you may very well contract a nasty disease once again idicating an unwise or wrong decision on your part. People who are unable to make these distinctions are typically sociopaths or psychopaths if you prefer. These are the people that ruthlessly claw their way to the top in any bureaucracy, because they don’t care who they hurt on the way up. It is a defect in that person’s capacity for empathy and compassion that allows them to do things to other people they would not tolerate being done to themselves. I’m curious; are you asking a rhetorical question here or do you actually have trouble telling right from wrong?

        • Sure!

          I know (and can prove it to you, objectively, beyond the realm of mere assertion) that if I don’t set the point gap correctly in my old bike, the bike won’t run properly – perhaps not at all. I know I am alive – and can prove it beyond mere assertion. I know – and can prove it – that Elvis existed. That the Earth is several billions of years old. Etc.

          The rest I’ve already explained.

          Sure, morality is a human construct – absent god – which is what I think you’re trying to get at. Ok. I agree. Well, so? Does that make it any less sensible to behave one way (the “right” way) vs. another (the “bad” way)?

          To be clear: I’m not making a universal statement that god does not exist. Or that he does exist. I am making the universal statement that none of us knows whether god exists – let alone what this god, if he exists, wants from us. All we can do is suppose, conjecture and so on. Which is fine. Just, please, don’t tell me you know God exists – much less that Jesus Saves! – unless you’re prepared to accept my claim that I know Spiderman is real.

          • Once again, my question made no reference whatever to God.

            If you admit that in your view morality is a construct, then you must also admit that you don’t know (and can’t prove) that any of these moral assertions about right and wrong are actually true. Isn’t that right?

            • Your argument is premised on this – i.e., you’re trying to establish a foundation for the necessary existence of god by making the argument that without god, right and wrong cannot be known. And therefore, anything goes.

              I conceded (twice now) that morality is a human construct. So? Does the fact that a useful concept is invented by us make it any less useful… any less right? Any less knowable? (Literature is also a human invention – but we know it exists, don’t we?)

              Nature is full of “rights” and “wrongs,” too. And they’re very knowable.

              The rule book (if you like) is experience. Is it right to stick your hand in a fire? It’s certainly not a good idea if you don’t want to get burned! We know that to do so is wrong, in the sense that something bad will result. Similarly, it is right to feed your child – otherwise it will probably die. And so on.

              None of this requires god – the thing you’re driving at – let alone your particular notion of god.

              So, yes – “right” and “wrong” can be known – demonstrably, directly, provably known. No god required.

              Look: I don’t preclude the possibility of god/the supernatural. Maybe! But maybe not. This is the best any of us can do.

              I don’t know – and neither do you.

              That’s the point I’ve been trying to make.

          • “I know – and can prove it – that Elvis existed. That the Earth is several billions of years old”

            Oh horsehockey! You can’t do either one and neither can I!

            One has to be very careful when making claims like that. Did you know Elvis? Why is it you think you know how old the Earth is?

            These are actually important questions.

          • Eric, I’m with Scott on this one. I’ve never met Elvis nor have I even seen him in concert (although I’m old enough to have done so). You claim that you never saw him live either, but I can’t prove whether you did or didn’t. I will concede that there is a tremendous amount of evidence to support the existence of Elvis, including eye witness accounts, videos and recordings. But as for me personally I have no hard proof although I have a lot of public evidence to believe he did exist. There are also people that appear to believe (a) Elvis is still alive and (b) he was abducted by aliens. Although both of these things seem highly unlikely, I have no capacity to either prove or disprove them; so I am left only with what I believe.

            As for the earth being millions or billions of year old, that’s right up there with “knowing” that God exists. We must take it on faith based on what so-called “experts” in the fields of geology, astronomy, paleontology and archaeology, et al, tell us. Based on the climate-gate emails alone, we know how reliable experts can be when there’s grant money to be had and political axes to be ground. There is a tremendous amount of evidence to support various theories about the age of the planet (e.g. the Yorktown and St. Mary’s fossil deposits right there in tidewater Virginia for example) but theories yet they remain.

            Then we have the Christian “fundies” that “know” the earth is only six thousand years old based on some questionable, yet widely accepted, biblical exegesis by so-called theological “experts”. If you want to see a fundy go apoplectic, bring up the three earth ages from the bible and ask them about the “time before” [Genesis]. That’ll get you censured at most “houses of worship.” I think you will concur that what we should come to realize in this life is just how little we really *know* and how much we actually just *believe*.

            My point is this; our individual existence is typically under 100 years. What lies on “the other side” we can only speculate about. Just as we can only speculate on what really occurred prior to our arrival on this particular plane of existence. Whether the world is 4.5 billion years old, 100 million years old or 6000 years old simply cannot be proven like one can “prove” that the point timing on a Yamaha RD350 is “right.” When it comes down to it, there are very few things outside our immediate realm of physical existence that any one of us can *truly* prove. At this point, you might accuse me of “being a lawyer”, but I would welcome it if you could *prove* me wrong. 😉

          • “I hope you’re not serious…” — Eric

            Well, sort of. I’m what folks call an “empiricist” or what people from Missouri would call a “citizen” 🙂 I spent a few years doing experiment design. Unless I see it happen and I can measure it, I don’t really believe it.

            I usually insist on seeing it happen more than once before a take it seriously.

            • Ok, I get that – and I agree in principle. But questioning the reality of god vs. the reality of Elvis ain’t the same thing. Unless we really do live in the matrix!

  14. Did you have any idea this went on?

    NYPD’s Stop and Frisk in Apartment Hallways!!

    I didn’t.

    Isn’t it something you’d expect to read about going on in the Old Soviet Union or behind The Wall in East Germany?

    Seems to me the focus should be on things such as that instead of on social security and the like,… or maybe not enough People understand or have read about the fate of programs like social security? I.e. When Government Safety Nets Break

  15. Your comparison between collecting a tax refund and collecting SS is silly. For one, there is a vast difference between PAST TAXES and PRESENT or ONGOING taxes. If I pay an extra $5000 in taxes, but get an extra $5000 in refunds, during the current financial year, that is possible without the state forcing any net increase in coercion of funds from others in net terms over the financial year (even though the sources of some funds may have become mixed up in the system). A tax refund is only possible if you pay more tax than you are legally required to.

    In the case of SS, SS recipients are not simply trying to get a refund on ongoing taxes paid in (perhaps in exchange for ending the program or stopping benefits). Or perhaps a refund if they paid more payroll tax than was legally required. No. They are claiming money from the system many years or even decades after they stopped paying any money in. And that money can only come from the contributions of younger workers.

    It is like the difference between getting a refund from a shop where you were overcharged, and going and robbing the store on the grounds that ‘hey, I spent money here all my life, dammit!’.

    • It’s not silly.

      The axiom that this whole argument is premised on is:

      1. Theft violates another’s rights, so it’s wrong.

      2. Any money one accepts from the gov’t for anything is theft, therefore it’s wrong.

      You can’t be “more moral” than others. That is a cop out and complete bullshit. Moral people make mistakes yes, but willingly accepting one kind of payment from the gov’t while rejecting another kind is not a mistake, it’s a conscience decision.

      Some in this discussion are starting to sound a lot like those they are always railing against. Trying to justify their actions with nonsense reasoning to fit their argument.

      I don’t have the answers. Gov’t is inherently evil and causes these sorts of conundrums between good people. The moral hazard is confusing. But I have no doubt that if everyone stopped taking SS it would benefit the gov’t, not hurt them. Since everyone would still be forced to pay SS, the gov’t would just have that much more money at their disposal to fuck the world up with.

      I bet if everyone stopped flying the gov’t would keep the TSA with the excuse that “safety and security is ever vigilant” LOL. Nothing we can do will affect the behemoth.

      I say we take our SS and buy guns. 😉

      • “But I have no doubt that if everyone stopped taking SS it would benefit the gov’t, not hurt them. Since everyone would still be forced to pay SS, the gov’t would just have that much more money at their disposal to fuck the world up with.”

        This is an example of the kind of ‘putting the cart before the horse’ type thinking that tends to affect the ‘I’ve paid my taxes, I want my benefits’ crowd. Governments only levy taxes as they need revenue to pay for spending that is politically popular. They don’t levy taxes for the hell of it, and then figure out how to spend the money. I’m sure if governments found some way of funding all their activities through means other than taxes, they would. After all, it would be very popular with the electorate. In other words, taxes don’t come first. What comes first is people wanting stuff from government, which then requires taxes to pay for it. In other words, demands for government spending cause taxes.

        As I said before, I am not saying anyone should voluntarily stop taking SS so long as they are legally entitled to it. The fact is that we all have to live in a world where the costs and benefits are not always to our liking or how we would choose, so we shouldn’t have to opt out of all the benefits while still incurring all the costs in order to stand on principle. Being a martyr to the system will achieve nothing.

        What I am saying is that it is silly and immoral to provide political support or demands to keep the system going for longer, just so that those who paid money into the system can get more back. That is throwing good money after bad. As the system is a Ponzi scheme, it will collapse sooner or later. Those who want to extend the system a bit longer are really just trying to shift more costs to those further down the line. Younger workers today are not responsible for the fact that older generations bought the lies of politicians who sold them snake oil. They should not be forced to shovel more funds into bailing others out and supporting a system that probably won’t be there when they retire anyway.

        Continuing to collect SS may provide some benefit insofar as it will bring on the fiscal collapse of the current state (including programs like SS). The less people pay in tax, and the more people who take from the system, the sooner that government debt will become unsustainable and governments will be forced to drastically reduce their size and scope. Call it starving/bleeding Leviathan to death. If you do the right thing and pay more taxes while taking nothing, you are just propping up the system a little longer for the other rosters. And no-one will really be impressed by your heroic sacrifice.

        • “Governments only levy taxes as they need revenue to pay for spending that is politically popular. They don’t levy taxes for the hell of it, and then figure out how to spend the money.”

          What???????????? Name me one gov’t program that, once started was cancelled due to lack of participation? Just one.

          Gov’t spending is fungible, so if they don’t spend it on what it was allocated to, they will spend it elsewhere.

          Having worked in a gov’t budget office as a younger man I can tell you: no gov’t budget will EVER go unspent!

          That’s just silly.

  16. “Oh man you can’t say that taking a tax refund is in fact stealing from someone else BUT it’s not stealing AS MUCH as SS and therefore justify it. You can’t be just a little bit moral Eric.”

    Yes, you can be a little bit more moral than others, while not being perfect. You don’t have to be perfect in order to judge others. You just have to be not as bad as they are. This whole ‘hey, you are not a saint, so shut up’ argument is undergraduate sophistry. If you stole a packet of chewing gum as a child, do you then lose your right to criticize a mass murderer?

    When it comes to dealing with government, none of us are perfect or have completely clean hands. But some are a lot more compromised than others.

  17. “What if a thief steals your money on the street and the court finds him guilty and orders him to pay you back. Where’s a criminal going to get the money to pay you back? Even if it’s stolen money, will you accept it because the court said it’s ok?”

    Completely false equivalence. One is not responsible for determining how other individuals obtain funds to meet their obligations. Do you expect a business owner to determine how every customer obtained the funds to pay their bill?

    In the case of Social Security, the money is legally compelled from innocent third parties and everyone knows it. The government is not a private individual that is being compelled to meet an obligation. Collecting SS is not like getting restitution from a thief. It is more like getting compensation from a taxpayer-funded victims of crime program where those paying the money had nothing to do with the crime.

    • “Do you expect a business owner to determine how every customer obtained the funds to pay their bill?”

      We’re not talking about voluntary interactions. We’re talking about theft right? So your business example is also a false equivalence.

      The question is: if money is stolen from you and a court (gov’t) mandates to the thief to pay you back will you accept the money even if you know it’s stolen? Even if you know he’s on welfare receiving money stolen from those that had nothing to do with his theft of your money?

      How is that any different than the SSA and its agents (thieves) stealing your money and then the gov’t mandating that they pay it back to you?

      What about if you are beatan and abused by cops and you sue and win? Will you accept the settlement the court (gov’t) mandates because it will all be tax money, money stolen from others who had nothing to do with the abuse; theft and in cases like those the amount can be far more than any SS benefit you’d ever receive.

      Any gov’t mandate is theft, SS simply being one of them. Medicare, Medicaid, Indian Health Services, HHS, Food Stamps, TSA, Auto Insurance and a thousand others. if it wasn’t theft then the gov’t would have to mandate it.

  18. What if a thief steals your money on the street and the court finds him guilty and orders him to pay you back. Where’s a criminal going to get the money to pay you back? Even if it’s stolen money, will you accept it because the court said it’s ok?

    Don’t call it your money then. Say that the gov’t “owes” you. Do you deny that they do? What about those who have successfully sued the gov’t and received financial compensation?

    Like that guy who had his property taken from him. He was awarded a financial settlement. Did the gov’t not owe him? Should he not have taken the money for the land the gov’t took and turned into a drainage ditch?

    The constitution says that if the gov’t takes your property that they should compensate you for it. Would you just walk away from your land without the money for it?

    I agree, the whole problem lies in the existance of the gov’t in the first place, but if they take my money w/o my permission, then they owe me. But since they have nothing, they’ll have to take it from someone else. Not my decision, nor do I advocate it.

  19. Have you ever filed an auto insurance claim? Auto insurance is forced on us just like SS. If you file a claim the money you get is money coming from others who were also forced to carry auto insurance even if they never file a claim. Money stolen from others. So you should never file an auto insurance claim either.

    We have nothing to do with the gov’t’s thieving ways. Do you believe that if SS didn’t exist they wouldn’t find another bullshit program to take people’s money with? It doesn’t matter whether we take our ss benefits or not they will keep stealing the money of others. You taking your ss benefits (and they are yours in as much as the gov’t is giving you an equal amount of money they took from you) will have no impact on their decision making process.

    I don’t see it like I made a voluntary bad investment. I was forced to make a bad investment but I am not advocating the gov’t go rob someone else in order to recoup the money I was forced to flush down the toilet, they are choosing to do that regardless what I say or do.

    It doesn’t seem to make much sense to allow the gov’t to forcibly take your money, but you won’t allow them to give you money back.

    I agree the system has to go, but its existance has nothing to do with you or me or anyone else. A strategy of not taking your ss benefits will not change anything except guaranty that you flushed tens of thousands down the toilet.

    Again I ask: if you found out that the returns on your private pension fund had been acquired through fraudulent, criminal activity would you give the money back since it was money stolen from others? Would you consider that “your money”?

    If they had taken no money from me, then I wouldn’t take money from them. I don’t want an entitlement, I just want my money back. If they’d give it to me in a lump sum today I’d take it. As you pointed out: I’m out my direct contribution plus the other 6% my employers have paid over the years that represents the opportunity cost reflected in a 6% lower salary for me.

    • The government forcing everyone to buy the product of auto insurance is a separate issue from its structure.

      Auto insurance works under the premise that the insurance company will end up with more money from your premiums plus what they made with that money then paying out on claims because of you. It’s not a wealth transfer. Some auto insurance companies will actually send out checks to policy holders if their profits were larger than some threshold. It’s not a wealth transfer.

      Their seeking government force to make people buy was to aquire profitable customers. Ones that don’t have claims and to either charge high risk customers a lot more or dump them on to the state (aka taxpayers) to insure.

      Much like obamacare is about forcing healthy low risk no claim people to buy health insurance.

      SS on the other hand is taking from A to pay B.

      • Disagree.

        SS is insurance. Auto insurance is insurance.

        I am forced to pay into this SS insurance program.
        I am forced to pay into the auto insurance program.

        How the gov’t manages my money in the SS program will affect how well my “social insurance” does economically. Poor management – as you see now – will affect their ability to provide me with proper “social insurance” when claimed.

        How an insurance company manages my and others premiums will affect how well my auto insurance company does economically. Poor management will affect their ability to provide me with affordable, reasonable auto insurance coverage when claimed.

        I’m forced to pay into SS and there’s a 100% chance I’ll file a claim at some point in the future and see a return on my money.

        I’m forced to pay for auto insurance and there is a less than 100% chance I’ll ever file a claim and a greater than 0% chance I’ll lose far more paying for forced auto insurance than I’ll ever benefit from it.

        SS is taking from A (Peter) to give to B (Paul)
        Auto insurance is taking from A(Peter) to give to B (Auto Insurance Company)

        No difference. Funny note: I’ve been forced to give around $40,000 to SS to date and about the same to mandatory auto insurance yet I’ve NEVER filed a claim on my auto insurance. I’ll lose every penny forever. With SS I’ll get some back at least depending on how quickly is goes pear shaped for good.

        • You can still choose which auto insurance company and various policy details and limits. Let me know when I can choose even a connected wall street investment company (along with various details including how much) for a government mandated retirement program called “social security”. Or choose a provider for the “insurance” aspect of SS.

          Mandatory auto insurance is fascist / corporatist while social security is just plain old socialist theft.

          What you get from auto insurance without filing a claim is risk mitigation. That’s what real insurance is.

          There’s a huge difference between being forced to buy a product and simple wealth transfer pyramid scheme fraud.

          • I agree to a degree, auto insurance is still forced upon you by the gov’t. I’ve driven 32 years w/o filing a claim and estimated roughly I’ve paid over $40,000 in premiums in that time. It’s a wealth transfer from me to the gov’t’s insurance buddies who are also Wall Street Investment firms.

            But how much risk mitigation I want should be my choice shouldn’t it? Choice? How many auto insurance companies are there? There’s no interstate competition allowed between them. Come on, that’s not choice, that’s the illusion of choice.

            Shit auto insurance is a huge scam on us. The sheer magnitude of their profits indicates how much they take in thanks to gov’t mandates compared to how little they payout in claims. They know, the chances of you ever filing a claim are slim to none, which means those that do file claims are being paid out of the pool of money we were ALL forced to pay into against our will. Put another way: money that was stolen from us.

            Sure even w/o the gov’t mandate some would still voluntarily choose to carry some form of auto insurance but it would be a privately negotiated contract with ANY insurance company, with ANY terms agreed upon by the two contracting parties. No forced participation and hence to stealing of money.

            We need to be intellectually genuine in our application of our principles. If we think there’s a “grey area” where SS is all out theft and wrong but tax returns and other gov’t mandates are bad but not so bad as to villify them like we do SS then that makes us just as bad as those that say things like: sure the gov’t’s not perfect but …

            Any forced participation in anything by a gov’t mandate is theft to some degree so if you’re against taking other people’s money then you cannot participate in those programs.

          • mandatory auto insurance is a scam but it’s an entirely different scam from social security. Manadory auto insurance is a pretty standard corporatist scam. High prices, required purchase, etc and so forth. Not much different than the AMA using the state to create a monopoly so their form of doctoring doesn’t have to compete. Social security is a whole other animal. If social security had been privativized and we each had our accounts at a connected wall street finanical institution then it would be like mandatory auto insurance. We pay in and get a substandard good we might not even require out. Social security is just force A to pay B.

      • Don, you make a lot of good points, but… Socialist Slavery is not insurance. I realize it has been misrepresented as such to the public since its inception. It has also been misrepresented as a “trust fund” but that appellation is just as incorrect as calling SS insurance or labeling the payroll withholding it relies on as “contributions”. The courts have ruled on this long ago. As David pointed out in his excellent post on the matter what they essentially said were: There is no trust fund, it is not insurance, the money is not earmarked for anything, the money is a payroll tax that goes into the general fund and there is no guarantee you will ever receive a “benefit” for your “contributions.” With insurance, if you pay in and have to file a claim the insurance company must pay it or face the music for fraud. The insurance company will not simply pay you benefits under a fraudulent claim without at least putting up a fight. I have seen more than enough cases of able bodied “disabled” people collecting way more in SSDI with impunity than they ever paid in.

        I watched my thieving former neighbor use his “benefits” to buy 30 acres of land with a house and live water on it. He started scamming the system to the tune of $800 a month at 23 years old (he’s in his forties now). If this were a private disability plan, they would have already sent an investigator out, videotaped him working, filed charges and cut off the money. But under the government’s system of so-called “insurance” fraudulent “participants” are seen as “clients.” The Socialist Slavery administration won’t do a damned thing about this even when presented with video evidence proving that the miscreant is able bodied. I was informed that they didn’t have sufficient manpower or resources to enforce the fraud laws. The fact is the number of “clients” a particular office “serves” dictates their budget, building size and manning table. No bureaucrat in his / her right mind is going to start cutting their “client” base and risk losing real estate, money and manpower.

        Yes, we are forced to “buy” automobile insurance essentially under the threat of state imposed violence. But there are both economic and civil laws dictating what the insurance company must do to survive (unless the insurance company is AIG and the economic laws would cause Goldman Sachs to lose their ass, in which case the government steps in and mugs us one more time for their favored few) . But as BrentP pointed out, if I’m a careful driver with a clean record, I can shop around for a better deal on my insurance from a different company. I cannot, on the other hand, shop around for a better government pension Ponzi scheme (at least not without expatriating and renouncing my citizenship). I can’t tell my employer I’d rather participate in Canada’s or Chile’s social welfare program and change my withholding to reflect that. Nor can I say “I will arrange my affairs so that I will not need SS, so stop taking it out” in the same way that I could say “I will move two blocks from my job and ride a bicycle to work thereby having no need of auto insurance.”

        Whatever your justification may be for planning to take a Socialist Slavery “benefit” at some point in the future, it does not equate to filing a claim with a private insurance company. The private insurance company does attempt to operate at a profit and I have received refunds from insurance companies when they did well. SS does not even make a pretense of doing so and I have never received an SS refund of any kind. Most of us do not make plans to “have a car accident” in the future. But the vast majority does intend to collect SS. Insurance is essentially gambling in the sense that you are betting something bad will happen that will be paid for by the company and the insurance company is betting that it won’t. Just like the casino, they give you odds (higher or lower premiums) based on assessed risk. The problem arises when government steps in and says you must let the highest risk gamblers belly up to the craps table too. This leads the insurance companies to lobby for special dispensation to compensate for their mandated losses, such as forcing everyone that drives to participate. Government intervention is what now causes private insurance to superficially resemble SS, nothing more.

        • I agree that SS is what it is. No argument there. I’m with you, but ANY gov’t mandate is theft so participation in any such program is theft to some degree. Are you not a thief if you only steal $20 rather than $2000?

          I’ll ask you the same question I asked Eric: if a thief, any thief, robbed you on the street would you feel he owed you that money back? And if the cops caught him and the court (the gov’t) mandated he give you your money back, would you take it EVEN if you knew – being a thief – chances were good the money was stolen or would you not even bother to ask because you didn’t care, you just wanted your money back? What if he was a welfare recipient so the money he paid you back with came from his welfare check? More theft.

          Here’s the problem as Eric pointed out: the gov’t’s got its devilish little hands in every aspect of our lives that none of our hands are clean. According to the logic of stealing from others if you take SS, then you’re all guilty of this already is so many ways, for many, many years.

          Taking an income refund but reject SS – IMHO – is giving the illusion that you reject gov’t theft of others for your benefit.

          Maybe I’m trying to convince myself as much as I’m rebutting your arguments, I don’t know, but for me the issue isn’t as clear as Eric makes it and I don’t know what the answer is but I sure know I reject the gov’t stealing $40,000 from me so far and me just flushing it down the toilet.

          If I have to I’ll go to Pelosi’s house personally and get my shit back. ;))))))

          • But based on your arguments and analogy above Don…( firmly placing tongue in cheek)…if we went to Princess Pelosi’s house to get our shit back, knowing how she got it, wouldn’t we still be guilty of receiving stolen goods? 😉

  20. “What you’d be doing is using the government to take money from other people just like you”

    I disagree. “You” are not using the gov’t to do anything. The Social Security program was not your idea; you did not spend the money in the trust fund. The gov’t decided long before you ever put $1 in SS that it was going to take other people’s money and it will continue to do so even if it pays $0 out. Their decision to steal other people’s money has nothing to do with you or social security, that’s just the excuse for the theft.

    You have a “good faith” (whatever that means to the gov’t) contract with the gov’t. Why wouldn’t you collect on your contract?

    • A contract is something that is presented to me, which I am free to sign or not. If I sign, then I have knowingly bound myself to the contract’s terms and am obligated to abide by them. As is the other party. I never signed up for SS. Like most people under a certain age, I got inducted into SS as an infant – no “consent” (informed or otherwise) possible.

      Contracts don’t “just happen.” One isn’t “born into” a contract – unless you support the idea of serfdom.

      SS is in no way a “contract” (good faith or bad faith or otherwise). It is just a tax – and a scheme for redistributing other people’s money. I was never given a choice about “contributing” (sorry, becoming a mendicant Amish or just mendicant is not a choice).

      But that’s ultimately neither here nor there.

      Bottom line, your money (and mine) is gone. Our money was spent on government functions/given out as “benefits” (or some combination thereof).

      We cannot recover our money. All we can do – as you advocate – is rationalize benefiting from the theft of other people’s money by taking as much back in the form of “benefits” as we can. And by so doing perpetuate the system while undermining any criticism we make of it.

      Or, we can do as I advocate and accept that we’ve been victimized, demand that we be left alone henceforth – and decline to partake of or otherwise profit from the victimization of others.

      I’m personally prepared to break the chain right now. I will foreswear any claim to future benefits in exchange for simply being permitted (gawd!) to opt out of the system and no longer be subject to FICA taxes. I would wager that millions of Americans would accept such a deal.

      The system could be terminated within 10 years. Current coots (say age 75 or older) could be given their promised benefits simply by cutting the “defense” budget by 10 percent. Everyone else gets a clean slate.

      • Have you ever taken a tax refund? Stolen money because, like with SS, your money is long gone spent. Why do you file taxes though? Because you feel they owe you your money back right? Every deduction you take is another dollar stolen from someone else to give to you.

        You should just send the IRS a letter every year telling them that every dollar you paid in taxes is fine with you and you don’t want any money back.

        • Don, I get it – the system is devilishly clever because it practically forces us all to dip our fingers in blood.

          But you seem to be defending/rationalizing one of the most egregious wealth transfer schemes ever devised.

          If we really mean what we say when we advocate for liberty, then we ought to shun SS and all forms of wealth transfer. I grant you that accepting a tax refund amounts to accepting money taken from some other party (since my money is, as you say, long gone and the money used to pay me comes out of some other person’s hide). But while that’s true, a tax refund is not the same as holding out one’s paw for a monthly check for decades (potentially), not only because it comes out of your fellow man’s pockets, but because it helps to legitimize and perpetuate this vile scam.

          No thanks. I’ll pass.

          • Oh man you can’t say that taking a tax refund is in fact stealing from someone else BUT it’s not stealing AS MUCH as SS and therefore justify it. You can’t be just a little bit moral Eric.

            Hey man I’m on your side dude! I agree that the whole corrupt temple is rotten to the core but and the moral hazard that is thrust upon us is a tough thing to deal with. Filing your taxes and taking your refund is perpetuating the income tax which is also theft. Purchasing mandatory auto insurance the same.

            I don’t want a wealth transfer, I just want my money back! Again is it ok to take a financial reward the court gives you from the gov’t? Is that justice? Then how is me getting my money back (financial reward) from the gov’t in a monthly SS check any different?

            Anyone who takes a student loan also steals money from others since federal funds are used to subsidize the interest on the loan and administer the program so if you took a loan you stole from others for your education and you didn’t even put anything into it! That’s even worse! At least you actually contributed to SS.

            I don’t want anything I didn’t earn, but like anyone who steals anything of mine, I want it back. Don’t you?

            I’m not saying I’m right on this issue; I think the issue itself is so egregious how does anyone sort it out but it’s when dealing with SS, it’s not so easy.

            You know I could have paid my entire college education with what I’ve paid to SS until now, and yet I borrowed a student loan instead (and worked). Did I intentionally violate someone’s rights? The gov’t owns 25% of Chevy, so anyone buying a Chevy is stealing from someone else? Where does it all end Eric?

          • Money is fungible. To argue that a tax refund is like SS is nonsense.

            Want not to have a tax refund? Set your withholding so you owe money at the end of the tax year. Done.

      • The Amish that I know and do business with are hardly mendicant. Prosperous would be a far better description. But I am pretty partial to running (hot) water and electricity on tap…

        I’d be happy to opt out of SS as well Eric, but the point of the system is keep as many people dependent on government as possible. This is so they will support conscription of the productive for their support while the government thieves skim the cream off the top for themselves and their cronies. So the modern income tax and SS systems equate to applying the fugitive slave laws to all of us; we ain’ gwin to git off da plantation if massa’ can hepp it. And any who do run off will be made an example of. When I hear the “Land of Liberty” these days, I want to puke.

        • Well, mendicant in the sense that they live an 18th century life, technology-wise. No motorcycles, for openers. And I’m just not a beard kind-of-guy!

        • I’ve been thinking of the Amish quite a bit recently.

          There’s a middle way–Mennonite. Plenty of Mennonite communities down South America-way. I might look into them.

          But buying into the whole Super Friend In the Sky thing might defeat me. I just can’t do it again. Aslan is a wonderful character…but it’s a fantasy.

          Chile is looking better and better; even if/when the NWO comes there, at least you’ll have a few years of peace and freedom.

          It might also be that the NWO breaks their teeth on Amurika; certainly the central banks are chewing their fingers to the bone right now. If the NWO fails, they’ll make Amurika a living hell in the process…and places like Chile will
          a) avoid the worst of it and
          b) provide ample opportunities once the dollar hegemony is broken.

          I’m drifting toward expatriation as a solution again.

          While things are *relatively* OK still here…can you imagine the level of misery here when:
          * the EBT’s stop working
          * bank withdrawals limited to $200/week
          * one bag of groceries = $200
          * gas is $10/gallon…when it’s available which is rarer the more price controls they put on it (a la 70’s)
          * the gnomesayin’s finally go wild; sure they’ll burn their own neighborhoods first, but the enterprising among them will venture afield ‘fore long
          * the grocery stores are largely empty–a combination of infrastructure breakdown, trucking made impossible by high fuel prices, and the price controls (which make selling unprofitable)

          These aren’t pie-in-the-sky predictions. That shit is happening in Argentina right now, and happened in 2000-2001 there, too. It’s a frequent occurrence world-wide; we’ve just never seen it before.

          Americans will go bat-shit crazy when the dollar fails.

          Sure–Europe will go first, the probably Japan. For a while, we’ll look really golden. But eventually, everyone will realize that the dollar is nothing but microscopic spots of magnetism on some bankster’s hard drive…and its value will collapse.

          It’s the moment the NWO is waiting for, when they can sweep in with some Messianic world leader and a brand-new World Money–fraudulently “backed” in part by gold.

          But they’ve miscalculated. The chaos will be insurmountable by that point.

          Better to wait it out in the sunny plains near Chilean mountain ranges sipping well water in the shade of your PV panels?

          • I’ve been considering Switzerland. It’s a civilized place – a country that’s quietly endured for hundreds of years and seems likely to continue enduring. And, I have an ace in the hole: Eligibility for Swiss citizenship, transferable to my wife.

            Very few gnomesayins’ there, too.

          • Eric I’m drooling with envy; how do you have an “in” to Swiss citizenship??

            Whatever you do, solidify it now and get a passport. I’d kill for it.

            Even though I was born there, getting my South African passport (admittedly slightly less desirable than a Swiss one. Only slightly) will be extremely difficult; their government is more retarded than ours, but arguably a little less psychopathic.

            • My mom is native-born Swiss, so I am eligible for citizenship; I have the necessary paperwork – just have to visit the embassy in DC to get it done (and brush up on my German – I can understand it fairly well and grunt out a few sentences but my grammar is atrocious!)

          • If you can get a Swiss passport, in the words of Arnold… “Do it, Do it now!” Unless there is some sort of downside like military service or taxes or some such.

            A second passport is very valuable for when the SHTF. A Swiss one is probably the highest value one out there or close to it.

          • I wouldn’t turn down a Swiss passport if I was eligible by birth. I lived in Dornach, about 20 kilos south of Basel back in ’76 and I do like Switzerland. A good friend of mine just emigrated from the outskirts of Zurich to Wyoming though and he tells me things have changed. The Swiss are suffering from the same massive influx of immigrants coming in from the Middle East and North Africa that the rest of Europe is having to deal with, and they’re getting upset about it. The result is they’ve gotten very rigid, passing all sorts of new laws and resolutions in an attempt to protect their culture. Robert says the upshot is you can’t fart without a permit in Switzerland anymore and he didn’t want to stick around to watch his country go to hell.

            Still and all, a Swiss passport is a pretty nice thing to have. If I were you I’d do it.

          • Very few gnomesayins’ there, too.

            I am thinking of traveling gnomes stopped at the Swiss border due to not having the proper papers. 🙂

            A Swiss passport would be a good asset to have provided that it is not too difficult to attain.

          • Even if Switzerland isn’t what it used to be it’s a good passport to have because it will allow travel anywhere without any of the worries of a US passport.

  21. Why is that Stalinists like Nancy Pelosi will never be prosecuted under the same statutes that sent Bernie Madoff to prison?

    $65 billion in fraudulently-acquired funds? Madoff was a piker!

    How many hundreds of billions did Nancy Pelosi and her ilk (hey, there’s a thought! Ilk Hunting! Ima get me an Ilk!) cause to be wasted or acquired through fraud?

    In fact, I’d like to see not a new law, but a whole new CATEGORY of law: Crimes Against Liberty.

    And the first people prosecuted under the new law will be Democratic Congressmen.

    Just dreamin’ out loud…

  22. I don’t personally agree that individuals should have to voluntarily choose not to collect SS that they are eligible for. The reality is that we all have to live in a world with rules and rewards and penalties which are not entirely to our liking. As individuals, we should not have to opt out of all the benefits while still incurring all the costs in order to stand on principle. I agree with what some others have said here, in that there is no point in voluntarily being a martyr to the system. That will achieve nothing.

    If I was eligible for SS, I would still collect the benefits for as long as I was legally entitled to them. But I would also vote for any politician that promised to cut, means-test, or abolish SS. And slam the door on anyone promising to “protect my entitlements”. And I sure as hell would not subject others to claptrap about how I am only “getting my money back” or living off entitlements I have earned and paid for.

    It is only when people provide material or political support for maintaining the programs or benefits that they become part of the problem.

    • I understand the frustration – the not wanting to be the one left holding the bag. At the same time, if I collect SS, then how can I criticize anyone else for taking government money – that is, using the government to take someone else’s money?

      • Most (all actually) people use government as a proxy to do their bidding so that they can have a clear conscience. With government as their middleman they can feel good about themselves when they receive any number of benefits – SS, unemployment, military / public sector pensions, food stamps, farm subsidies.

        • There are few things more despicable than a person who would not take credit for doing the things that he supports government in doing.

          What’s the difference to an Individual if Government confiscates his property and puts him in a cage for a non-crime*, or if I do it? Morally, there is no difference.

          Those who support the unlawful Drug War are accessories to the fact of one of the most monstrous legal violations of Human Rights in history. There is no more sensible place to begin restoring respect for the Bill of Rights than with an across the board repeal of de facto Drug Prohibition along with arrests and trials according to the Nuremberg Precedent . . . especially the Trial of the Judges.

          Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)

          *Political crimes are lawfully, i.e., morally forbidden in America. So-called drug “crimes” are actually political crimes.

    • Herein lies the real problem – American society has changed so radically over the last hundred years that theft is woven into the fabric of our existence. People who are otherwise moral don’t even know that they are stealing from others. Furthermore they justify it by invoking the old catch phrase – “Hey, I paid into the system….” We all have a sense of entitlement.

      In the final analysis we have to ask ourselves this simple question – “where did this money come from?” with respect to our income. If it came from my own labor then it is legitimate. If it came from the efforts of others involuntarily then it isn’t legitimate. I draw this distinction because a case can be made that from time to time people may need the help of others. However, until the government began usurping social service functions they were handled by churches, other organizations and families just fine. Americans are by in large generous people and will take care of each other. The problem is that we’ve grown so dependent on government that we take the path of least resistance and let them continue not realizing that we’re stealing from our neighbor.

      Let me give you an example of just how insidious this thinking is: I recently had a debate with my brother who is retired from Army Special Forces and a Ron Paul supporter / libertarian. When I suggested that he was part of the military industrial complex by virtue of his military pension he got a little defensive. I explained that his pension was funded by the taxes paid involuntarily by me and others. His pension was paid for by the same redistributive polices that he often criticizes. So you see, even the most “patriotic” person can be duped into believing that these things are legit. And yes, he continues to accept his pension.

      • Exactly. So what has been created is a society of people who simply do not know the difference between right and wrong. They’ve given that responsibility, and authority to the gov’t to define for them. The most corrupt, abusive, fraudlulent organization in our society. That’s how absurd it is.

        The gov’t has created a society of people who, at the drop of a hat, are willing to conscientiously do the wrong thing out of fear of the gov’t. They will compromise their principles and then bitch about it later but it’s a society of immoral, ethically weak people nonetheless.

      • The statists will argue that there isn’t enough private voluntary charity and that is why people have to be forced by the state to help others.

        Oddly, there is never enough coercive government charity either because they always want more.

        • And that may be true – but it’s entirely beside the point. Never accept the statists’ utilitarian premise. Someone’s misfortune does not confer a right to use violence against innocent parties.

  23. Eric, the reason I don’t agree with Heinlein’s point is that it would mean that people who want the most to decide the fait of others and control the use of force would drift into positions of power. In other words those who seek power would be the first to sign up. Then the pasive people who don’t seek power over others would have no say over those who seek out power. Most people are not naturally agressive. I suppose it could be argued that this would force them to become agressive people, but how is that a solution to anything? Should we be teaching people to desire power over others?

    As poor as the choice is, (to be whipped by the left hand of the master or the right hand of the master) it’s still a choice.

    Better yet they might someday choose to take the whip away, let’s say by voting for Ron Paul! Should hundreds of thousands of college kids be denied the ability to support him simply because they don’t want a master?

    One last question. Who do you think the people who desire power would vote for, would they vote for less State power or more?

    • Yeah, I get that… seems to me the key is to limit the authority of the state so that these power-lusters only have so much to work with. And much more fundamentally, the general public must accept the non-aggression principle for that (limited government) to have any chance of working or lasting.

      • What was the price of liberty again, eternal vigilantism or something like that?

        Anyway, in my opinion the reason why the statists creep inexorably toward victory is because they’re a professional class of troublemakers with time to push for all these new laws.

        Whereas we out here in the real world keep saying things like, “Well hell, I caint’ go to that there town hall meetin’ tomorrah! I gotta get up an’ go to work!”

        We have these troubles because the Founders gave the State legislative power.

        Let’s not do that again. If the rabble-rousers have nothing to agitate for and can’t affect policy, they’re not too dangerous.

      • Oh, forgot one thing. Words have meaning.

        Remember what I said in another post.

        The modern American State doesn’t have Authority.

        It has Power.

        Whatever Authority it had finished evaporating around the time women got the right to vote.

        Which was another brilliant move. Cue the hate mail.

        • Agree – it is very important to use words correctly, because words are shorthand for concepts (see Orwell).

          The state exerts power over us. Authority is arguably a more neutral word. As in legitimate authority and illegitimate authority.

          The franchise, as such is not the problem. The problem is giving people (any people) the power to legally use violence against their fellow man via the ballot box.

          • Well, I’d argue that one aspect of Authority is a genuine concern for the well-being of those under you. So you could say Authority is something one must be worthy of and must earn.

            Power is a fundamentally different concept.

            That’s why the State has Power but lacks Authority. They see us as tax cattle, and they have no concern for any of us, beyond keeping us just content enough with the system to prevent a full-on insurrection.

  24. Hi Eric. Hope you had a nice hoppy day. This is a little off topic but it’s interesting. The clovers over on Huffinpuff think the CDL is the cat’s meow. The topic was about a trucking company that couldn’t get employees because the feds wouldn’t pay to train them. They were not ticked off that this company relies on the feds to train their drivers of course they are ticked that the funds were cut.

    I pointed out that of course without the CDL license requirement they would be free to hire any driver they decided was qualified or train them themselves. By their response to me you would think that I suggested that the company would hand the keys over to a crackhead on roids who just drank a thrity pack of ice beer. Not sure why the crackhead with a CDL would be better?

    The suggestion that the CDL written test might take a better driver off the road and replace them with a less experienced driver was met with. “How dare you suggest that my husband it too dumb to pass the test, he worked hard to get his license so why shouldn’t everyone else.” Just a little protectionist? Maybe worried there is better driver who can’t pass the test, but might take her hubbies job?

    It was also suggested that the CDL provides immunity from liability. If they don’t have the license they can get sued for hiring someone without it. It never occured to them that without the requirment it wouldn’t have an effect, or that you are still liable and that you can’t go sue the State for handing out a worthless piece of paper. It never occured to them that the criteria for liability should rest on your shoulders for hiring a crackhead and instead counted on a piece of paper stamped by the government.

    • Hi Brad,


      The assumption is that the owner of a $200k rig is going to let just anybody operate the thing… Or the company that employs an owner-operator has no interest in making sure the guy can handle the rig. Etc. Only government can protect us from such daaaaanger!

      Similarly: The “m” motorcycle endorsement. Just another pro forma ritual – and an excuse to extract more dollars from people.

      Good to have you with us!

    • This is the crux: The unquestioned belief that if there is a problem, government is the only provider of the solution.

      This belief more than any other will be — or has been — our undoing.

      • Right on!

        Furthermore, the more a society relies on laws the less it relies on personal responsiblity and a moral code. Baiscally we end up with a group of people who believe that whatever they do is fine as long as they don’t break the law, no matter how finely they skirt it. Then we end up with the question “did you ever get arrested” and not “Have you ever totally F#$ked somebody over”. So now you are not a social pariah unless you get caught breaking the law. On the one hand you might get caught doing something that hurt nobody but yourself and be castigated. On the other hand you can hurt a million people and be cheered as long as it’s legal.

        Just another problem in the long list of problems created by Statism.

      • It occurs to me that the above might qualify as a Jeopardy question. I’ll take “Well, Duh!” for $1,000, Alex.

        We talk a lot in here about disabling “safety” stuff on new cars, saying in effect, newp, don’t want your help to keep me safe, I’ll take care of my own safety, thank you very much.

        Government being so pervasive now, I believe virtually every citizen has at his disposal some way, some small thing he can do to reject fedgov “help”. Health is a prominent example, but there is so much else. Much of what can be done would be outlawry, i.e., telling the building inspector that you are capable of building a safe deck on YOUR house and he can shove his code book. Business owners refusing to paint the bottom step yellow, on the assumption that his workers have a sufficiency of intelligence to discern when the steps end. Figuring out a way to acquire and use incandescent light bulbs. Planting a flower that is endangered somewhere else (now illegal, in case you didn’t know). Business owners sending in 50% of the necessary forms and ignoring requests to send the missing ones.

        Not exactly fedgov level, but: Filling your blue recycling trash pickup bin with potato peelings.

        This almost goes without saying, but: Tearing down any “See Something, Say Something” posters. Or leaving them in place and defacing them with creative graffiti.

        Getting 50 of your best friends and staging a sitdown at the airport gates. Or when a TSA goon says he’s going to pat you down, say, “That’s okay with me if you don’t mind waking up in the hospital.”

        Even welfare recipients can get into the act. Each month make it your goal to save ten percent off your EBT card and send it back with a note, “Don’t need this part, thanks anyway.”

        Little acts. Small rebellions. Millions of us, each gumming up the machine in our own little old ways. Slowly shedding our mental and political imprisonment. Reawakening our independence, as Americans and as human beings.

  25. Now wait a second here. Using the Social Security reports to me, and my wife, about how much we put into Social Security, and adding the amount our respective employers matched over the past 50 years, according to our checks, it will take 22 years for us to simply get back the dollars we put into FICA. That does not count the time value of money, or interest that may have accrued, and would continue to accrue over the next 22 years. By the way, 22 years exceeds our expected life expectancy. I know how much I put into my 401K over the past however many years that has been available. I have contributed 5% of my income, and another 5% the other tax deferred program I had available, but that amount is about half what the total that went into Social Security. My company pension program gave me a lump sum payment of almost $1 million. I have been there for more than 32 years. I made a real decent wage. Of course I got a big pension, I made a big salary. I never asked what the company contributed to my pension fund, but I bet it was nothing like 15% of my salary, which is what FICA is. Yep, I am well off. 40 hour weeks–hell–I worked more than just a lot of 60 hour weeks. I worked more than a few 80 hour weeks. I was gone from home a lot of nights. I was salaried, I didn’t get overtime. I had a room in my home totally dedicated to the company office. There was nothing but company office equipment in that room. 1 stall in my garage was solely dedicated to the company car. I had to pay the difference between the cheapest thing Ford Motor Company offered Companies, compared to what I actually bought, plus I had to pay a monthly personal use charge. When I went to work for this company, I considered FORD to be an acronym for Found On Road, DEAD. And until I started driving Crown Victoria’s in 1992, Every one of my cars ended up that way–Found On Road, DEAD. The engine in my 89 Taurus blew up while my boss was riding shot gun, so you know I wasn’t doing anything nasty. Had I succeeded in driving more personal miles than what the personal use charge paid for, I would have been nailed at tax time for that, too. I didn’t get any credit for the fact that I didn’t drive that much personal use on the company car. I don’t think they got that great a deal from the dealer they used for the last 60 years. I know the fleet sales manager for a local Ford Dealer. Just for drill, I asked him to quote me a price on my last car. He came in more that $1,550 under the company dealer price. They made me go 300 miles each way to get their dealer car, and pay his price. You want to find out what happens if you buy a car out of state then try to get a local dealer to do guarantee repairs on it? The sunshine mechanic works on it–they park it by a wall, and let the sun work on it. The company had some deal where we were supposed to take the car to a Ford Dealer, and they were supposed to treat us right. My pal worked at a dealer more than a couple miles away. I’d take it to his shop, and he’d go down to the service manager and tell him to treat me as a pal, because I was. It got to the point where the service people knew me by name, and without asking, they’d hand me the keys to a courtesy car, no paper work, no questions. Maybe that is one reason my car has lasted 322,000 miles. Cash value life insurance is not a good investment. Had we been able to put the money we, and our respective employers, put into FICA, we would have had a cash value, in our hands, of over $800,000. If you only get 5% interest, you get $40,000 a year, which is more than Social Security is paying us. And when you die, that is the end of that. With cash value life insurance, that goes into your estate–so the government can try to tax that, too.

    • I get that same piece of paper. I do the same calculation. IF I get what they are currently promising, I have to live to about 90 just to beat cash in a mattress. And that’s if I never get another raise.

      That’s not a retirement program. It’s theft. Nobody who could do math would voluntarily enter into it.

        • Those “statements” make me f-ing *furious*. It’s such an obvious scam, like income tax. Scavenged at gunpoint by the enforcement arm of the private Federal Reserve.

          Implemented by non-existent laws–ask them some time to show you the law that requires you to file. There isn’t one; it would violate the Fifth amendment (self incrimination), so there’s no law.

          But try standing on principle. Men with guns will kidnap you, probably beat you, and possibly kill you.

          But I’m an Ameeeeerrrricaaan, where at least I know I’m freeeee.

          • Right on methyl! The IRS (at least the higher ups) know it’s a scam. A few years back I started signing almost all “government” forms with the statement “Under duress” above my signature. This is a beacon that a gun was essentially held to my head to elicit my signature. If you really believe that what government does is coercive, then I would encourage everyone else to do the same. A signature obtained under duress is legally no signature at all. Small protest though it may be, at least it shows a modicum of resistance to “the system.”

          • “But I’m an Ameeeeerrrricaaan, where at least I know I’m freeeee.”

            Even worse than the statements! And Republicans are often the worst offenders, with their flag pins and magnets and all the rest of it. Gag.

    • Yup – and the younger you are, the greater the rip-off. People who retired before the 1990s really cashed in – because they hardly paid in relative to workers who joined the ranks of “contributors” since that time. I am self-employed, so I get to “contribute” 15 percent right off the top. That’s in addition to federal taxes. Plus state taxes. Plus the taxes we pay on our house and vehicles. Plus all the little taxes: Motor fuels taxes, sales taxes, taxes on official papers (vehicle registrations, titles, etc.) which are taxes in and of themselves.

      You get the idea – and know what I’m talking about!

      • When you go back to the supreme court cases David cited in this thread and actually understand what was exposed, you will become painfully aware that it really is Socialist Slavery we are engaged in, not Social Security. It’s nothing more than an additional payroll tax that goes into the general fund. They dole out enough of these now inflated “dollars” (worthless unbacked Federal Reserve bank notes to be accurate) to keep the sheeple placated. In my case, I encourage my parents to use every dime of it and Medicare they can get their hands on since I’m paying in the maximum and I know it will be long gone when I reach “retirement age” (I have no intention of ever retiring, I’ve seen it kill too many of my friends).

        When you factor in Fedgov’s debt, debasement / monetary inflation and overhead, you can only get back mere pennies in value for each dollar you “voluntarily” contributed by mugging the next poor schmuck anyway. Worse yet, “legally”, we volunteered to participate because no one put a gun to our heads (at least not my generation’s)and made us apply for a social security number. Oh, we were encouraged to apply rather than to resist by our families, schools and even clergy as “the right thing to do”. But when it comes down too it, no one forced me. This is how government does business. If they can use the mass mind to trick you into doing something they want, it’s cheaper and easier than actually sending the tax collectors around to steal your pigs and chickens with a sword. There’s nothing more insidious than setting the stage for everyone to voluntarily become accessories to the crime.

        • “In my case, I encourage my parents to use every dime of it and Medicare they can get their hands on since I’m paying in the maximum…..”

          The problem with that line of thinking is that you aren’t the only one paying for your parents. By telling them to ‘use every dime of it’ you are encouraging them to steal from the car mechanic down the street and the short order cook at Denney’s. You’re encouraging them to steal from me! When will the cycle of theft be broken? I have a few ideas –

          1. We must stop referring to Social Security / FICA as a “contribution” or saying we “paid into the system.” Nothing could be further from the truth. To contribute is voluntary. You contribute to an IRA. You contribute to United Way. You contribute to your church. You don’t contribute to Social Security, it’s involuntarily withheld from your paycheck.

          2. It’s essential the people be educated about Social Security and its funding mechanisms. Personally I think every Social Security check should include language that includes the source of the money –

          “This check comes courtesy of –

          Steven Smith – Auto mechanic in Riverside, California – 10%

          Jane Jones – Office worker in Albany, New York – 10%

          Mary Brown – Bank teller in Kansas City, Kansas – 10%

          Frank Richards – Police officer in Reno, Nevada – 10%

          The remaining 60% comes from debt issued by the government and to be paid by your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.”

          Maybe if recipients knew the source of their ‘benefit’ they’d be more inclined to save for retirement instead of depending on and stealing from others.

          • First of all, David, because I have no dependents or other meaningful deductions, I pay in considerably more in taxes than my parents receive in “benefits” each year. I am penalized for having a “better paying job” or in other words, becoming proficient in my craft and being productive. So even though my money goes into the big (cess-) pool in DC along with everyone else’s, at least I am having more than enough stolen from me to cover for my parents (they started mugging my dad along bout 1944) had stolen from them. That being right or wrong in your philosophical estimation does not keep me from taking pragmatic solace in the fact that at least this portion of my money is not being spent on D.U. rounds to contaminate a few more square miles of Afghanistan or to pay for another TSA goon to squeeze your “junk”.

            And whether you like it or not, the system is “technically” voluntary because you can join a “recognized” religious order and drop off the Socialist Slave roles. Or you can choose to reduce your standard of living below the taxable threshold (which is some ridiculous figure like $1700 for domestic help and $1500 for election workers). Or as Gary North recently proposed, you can become an undocumented worker. In my profession, I would not enjoy the standard of living to which I have grown accustomed if I did this. And, having studied how to avoid this particular form of government theft now for over three decades, I happen to know people who have successfully fought the system and no longer pay in. It is major PITA, takes many hours of study and letter / brief writing, it stresses you out and even just discussing doing this leads friends and family to view you as a nut case.

            One more thing I must take exception too: “Frank Richards – Police officer in Reno, Nevada – 10%”. No David, Frank is a government employee; a tax feeder. Frank doesn’t do anything productive in the free market. The PTB dock part of his pay to make it appear to Frank (and the rest of us) that he is “paying his taxes” too. But since Frank is on the public dole (and would probably gleefully give me a wood shampoo for writing this), he produces nothing saleable on the free market so he does not actually pay FICA or any other withholding tax for that matter. If the state paid Frank $12.00 an hour without withholding any “taxes”, instead of $16.00 an hour with 25% withheld, it would amount to the same thing. But when Steven Smith – Auto Mechanic has 25 or 30% held out of his pay, that is actual theft of the fruits of Steve’s labor; actual lost productivity. There is no comparison, because Steve receives his livelihood by providing a service on the open market that people willingly pay him for. Frank, when pulling someone over for “speeding” or arresting them for smoking a joint is committing the actual crimes of armed robbery and kidnapping.

            I use the euphemistic term “contributions” and “voluntary” sarcastically, which is sadly lost in the written word without elaboration. I agree that educating the masses is the key; we must change group-think before we can hope to change the system. Dr. Paul has done a remarkable job of this. I frequently refer to the SSN as a socialist slave number (that’s good for a sneer from the officious twit at DMV when you renew a driver’s license). I often explain to anyone that will listen that it is socialist slavery when you mug Peter to pay Paul and it’s a sure fire way to get Paul to vote for you too. But right now, the system is what it is and all I can do as an individual is try to wake others up and put away enough of what the government muggers leave me with, that when my time comes, I won’t have to rely on mugging my neighbors (or my kids) for beans and band-aids.

          • Boothe –

            I agree (mostly) with you. Especially about the police officer in Reno. That was a bad example.

            However, the question still lingers: when is the cycle of theft broken? You don’t “pay in”, you are stolen from. We all have to shift the way we look at this whole thing and how we individually contribute to the problems. It doesn’t matter if you were taxed 5% or 95% you were stolen from and that does not give you a license to steal from others or encourage that behavior. It may assuage your conscience to suggest that “I’ve paid into the system so I’ll take some out of it” but that doesn’t solve a thing. Nor does it justify or legitimize the act.

            Also, I should not have to join a ‘religious order’ in order to avoid taxes. I’m a devout Christian and don’t buy into these red herrings. You are either free or you aren’t. Period. I would never use my religious / Christian beliefs as a mechanism to escape paying taxes. I shouldn’t have to. I shouldn’t have to do a thing to avoid paying (direct) taxes because they are immoral and plunder even if they are “legal” in “technical” sense. The recent debate about contraception is a vivid example about how the church (I use that term in a macro way) is in bed with government. If they don’t want the government telling them what to do then they should stop becoming 501(c)3’s. I’m sick and tired of hearing about religious freedom and how it is under attack. Again, you are either free or you aren’t. I challenge anyone to show me a country in this world that has religious freedom but no personal liberty or personal liberty but no religious freedom. They are not mutually exclusive but inextricably bound. Churches forfeit their right to contest government regulation the moment they file to become tax exempt because then they are subject to the thousands of pages of regulations just like the rest of us poor souls.

            Finally, while Ron Paul is somewhat right I disagree with him in a number of areas. His worship of the constitution for one. Personally I think it was a coup d’etat by those who wanted a centralized government. As Lysander Spooner said – “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it.” All one has to do is read the thing to see that it doesn’t restrict government in any measurable way. Article I, Section 8 gives the government almost unlimited power. And to those who suggest that the Bill of Rights provides protections to individuals I ask this question – why wasn’t it part of the constitution to begin with? Individual freedoms / protections were an afterthought by the framers. My theory is that once the constitution was ratified and sent to states and citizens they read it and said – “Uh, you have a lot of language in this thing about taxes and commerce and the makeup of the house and senate and the courts, how old the president has to be but nothing about how my liberty is protected. You’d better do something about that.” They did…sort of. We’d have been better off under the original Articles of Confederation with a Bill of Rights.

          • David, I understand what you’re saying perfectly and I of course agree with you. What you apparently want is honest equal protection under the law with as few laws simple as possible and no privileged classes. I’ve mulled all this over for years and I’m with you. The illustrations I use (which I think you’ve taken to mean that I support all this fraud, theft and conversion) are merely moves taken from our captors’ playbook to expose how the fraud works. As a devout Christian you should be familiar with Luke 11:46. It gives you a good idea of what Christ thought about lawyers. The root of government sanctioned theft and murder often lies in statutory construction (“legalese” if you prefer) and the public’s misunderstanding of legal terminology (i.e. believing that a term under “the law” means the same thing as its common usage). Through artful language, the legislators (of whom many if not most are lawyers) can do all kinds of nasty things to us under the commerce clause, the general welfare clause and yes, even the exclusive legislative authority of federal territories clause of the clearly imperfect Constitution (our works are as dirty rags if you will recall). Because the judges and justices understand statutory construction, they can parse the legalese in such a way as to declare it “technically” kosher when its application is obviously pure evil even to the masses.

            So we’re stuck with the Constitution in our present system, imperfect and misinterpreted or not. I will contend that Dr. Paul is such a strong supporter of the Constitution because it is part of “the system” and he has done a great job of working within the system to at least change the discourse of political debate. To propose anarchy or anything more radical than a return to the Constitutional Republic would have cut him completely out of the political process years ago. For that level of pragmatic dedication and consistency he should be lauded. But other than that, he is just a man subject to all of the common human faults and failings and can be picked apart as such. So what? What have you or I done to top his accomplishments? Then we have Peter Eric Hendrickson on the other end of the spectrum. He has analyzed how all this works, what the statutory language actually says and he appears to be correct in his analysis and wrote a book about it. Several thousand people agree with him and changed their tax returns to reflect this. Many of them received total refunds, including social security. The IRS proclaims that this was by mistake. The took him to task. He stood up to the IRS, fought them in court, they have yet to answer any of his assertions in kind; yet he languishes in federal prison. I suppose that’s one way to break the cycle of theft, but it wouldn’t be my first choice.

            Years ago I took a small portion of some of the same conclusions Mr. Hendrickson has drawn to my family attorney after a trip to the Richmond, Virginia IRS office. With witnesses and tape recorders running and they could not cite a specific law or section of code that obligated me to pay any federal income tax. My attorney (and trusted family friend), after reviewing the information I provided to him, told me my legal conclusions were correct. I asked him what could be done to stop the theft. He said “You are playing with fire. Leave this alone. These people will kill you.” Another friend of mine confronted the IRS with much of this information. The lady he spoke with laughed and told him what the law says doesn’t matter and “we [the IRS] are like a blizzard. We will cover you up.” So I agree that we are being stolen from under threat of force regardless of the legal weasel words. What do you and Mr. Spooner propose to do about it? Start your own private letter company to compete with the US Postal Service? No wait that didn’t pan out too well for old Lysander now did it. How about setting your self on fire on the federal building steps? Or landing a perfectly good airplane in your local IRS offices like Robert Stack did down in Austin? That sort of thing will certainly solve the problem for you personally. But change the system? Not so much.

            The simple fact of the matter is the Articles of Confederation (like the Confederate Constitution) are nothing more than a dead letter. Yes, the existing Constitution (captured as spoils of war by the Fedgov at the end of the war of federal aggression) does indeed give them a license to steal and murder. What meaningful steps do you plan to take to change this? Would you prefer to rely on the language of the Declaration of Independence? The courts will say that is not a legal document. I appreciate your idealism, but just like Mr. Spooner, the masses do not. As for me, I am arranging my affairs so that with God’s grace I may be able to endure elderhood without government (i.e. robbing my neighbors) dependence or privation. But in the meantime other than spreading the word about the scam, my alternatives are time and labor intensive exercises in futility, potential destitution, incarceration and even premature death. At some point you can be philosophically idealistic but you’ll have to be physically pragmatic to some degree to survive and thrive. Or you can be a martyr. I have no interest in martyrdom. So, we know what the problems are with the state, how about you give me some practical…yes, practical….solutions to them. I’m all ears.

          • Boothe –

            I guess we agree then. In the final analysis what can any of us do? Speaking for myself and based on my understanding of the “system” my plan is to make the smallest possible footprint. Do my level best not to participate in programs that are morally wrong. I believe in three things – community, contract and collaboration. I don’t believe in coercion or use of force, at least not in the way it is used by government. This whole discussion is moot anyway because at some point in time the whole thing is going to collapse and people will be forced to consider a host of options that they heretofore hadn’t. Family and community, that’s the solution. And God of course. Like you I’ve made every effort to invest and ensure that I won’t be dependent on Social Security or Medicare. What I would say is that I believe 99% of people just don’t get it and that is pretty sad. I’m not judging, well, maybe a little.

          • David, there’s nothing wrong with judging as long as it’s done fairly. We should excercise judgement every day in things like: “I shall drink orange juice, I shall not drink Draino.” or “If I walk around East St. Louis unarmed at night I will probably get mugged.” We just have to keep in mind that extension of you reap what you sow; with what judgement ye judge, so shall ye be judged. Go ahead and judge, but judge wisely.

  26. Eric: What is the matter with the links to your site? And WITHIN your site? They take umpteen minutes to open if they open at all. I have cookies enabled if that matters. The ONLY WAY I can get onto this article is by keeping the “Inform me if there are comments” thing. When I try to go to your home page and then to politics … nothing. Places that are so user unfriendly as to think my time is theirs to waste are places I don’t often visit. I don’t have this problem with other sites I visit so what is wrong with yours? There are only a few anarchist friendly sites that are worth a damn. Most libertarian sites think a little sucking up to government is fine if (fill in the blank). That’s like drinking a little cyanide is fine if …. I like your site but if your links won’t open for me I won’t be back.

    • Luke,

      You may want to contact Eric or Dom directly and provide more information. (computer, OS, browser, connection, etc.) This may be helpful for someone to determine what may be causing the problem.

      Have you viewed this site from other computers? If yes, is there a difference in viewing experience?

      I use (usually) vista, firefox, high speed broadband, ghostery. I think the site is about average with regards to speed.

    • Luke, I’ve been having the same problem from home. The only difference between here and my computer at work is I’m running Internet Explorer 8 here and IE 7 there. I have to toggle back and forth with compatibility view to get the site to display properly (no, just leaving it in compatibility view doesn’t get it either). I tried the latest version of Firefox to no avail as well. I’m considering trying Opera. I did have one of the IT guys at work send me the intall files for IE 7 and may just have to go back one interation. Anyway, I feel your pain brother.

      • So weird..

        I normally use FireFox, but also use IE9 and Chrome and never have any issues. Never have issues at home, work, or cell phone. I’m thinking it’s an ISP issue.

        Know what? I just thought of something that I’m doing differently. I have the site setup to display cached pages to users that are not logged in. The only page that is always fresh is the home page. The rest are cached (older versions) of the page. Maybe try logging in and staying logged in when you browse/post on the site.

  27. “But the tables are very quickly turned when liberals point out – correctly – that these (mostly) middle-aged and older white people are fiercely protective of their dole – that is, of Social Security payouts.”

    I take issue whenever someone uses that to paint anti-tax, anti-government activists in a bad light.

    Social Security “payouts” are monies that are stolen at gunpoint from each individual during the entire course of their working life, held until an arbitrary (and ever changing) age limit is reached, and then returned to the worker a pittance at a time.

    Welfare and EBT monies are monies that are stolen at gunpoint from each individual during the entire course of their working life and given to those who do not work or pay into the system.

    While there are genuine hardship cases where such a system is laudable, I would venture a guess that the overwhelming, clear majority of welfare recipients are second- (even third- or fourth-) generation, career parasites who have never and likely will never become contributing, productive members of society.

    Is the system at usable or workable? Not in its current form. Should it be abolished? Not permanently.

    I think a national, ten-year moratorium on all welfare taxes and payouts needs to be enacted. I think we’d all be surprised at just how many people can finally get off their asses and get out and do something with themselves. Those that truly can’t will either die off, or fall in the care of charities or family. It would be win/win for everyone.

  28. I’d like to chime in on this, on a couple of points.

    I in fact agree with the article one hundred percent. I am an anarchist (not anarchoxxxxx, just anarchist.)

    However, I would say as a STRATEGY, it might be wise for the anti authoritarian to take the dole, and any other “handout” they can lay their fingers on, while still declaiming it.

    Why? Because of another principle that you didn’t mention. And that principle is that honor is not owed to the dishonorable.

    Morally, this is questionable. But an economic war is being waged against us, so why not use their own weapons against them? This Empire is too large and too well entrenched to take on by force of arms. But all empires inevitably fall under their own weight, and these “entitlements” are their Achilles Heel.

    If you could somehow magically make them give up all of their wars and dismantle the military apparatus to purely defensive levels (such as the Swiss model, perhaps), the problem of the “entitlements” remains. It will collapse this government eventually due to lack of resources eventually, though the heavily increased burdens placed on each successive generation will probably trigger a revolution beforehand.

    So as a strategy, it might be wise to take as many entitlements, grants, etcetera as you can, and encourage all your neighbors to do the same with the INTENT of overstressing the system to collapse.

    I wrestle with this idea constantly, because it does offend my morals. But I have to think that it is worthy of thought and discussion by anarchist and libertarians both. It very well may be the strongest weapon we have available to us. It is always better to attack an enemy’s weaknesses rather than their strengths, and these “entitlements” are indeed their biggest weakness.

    • Not me, Kevin – because the resources come out of the hides of your fellow men; in other words, victim just like you. If you knowingly partake, then you lose any claim to objecting. I’d like to be able to keep on objecting!

      • Yeah, that’s what I think most of the time. Other anarchists have suggested the above strategy, and I think it has merit. But it leaves an ugly taste in my mouth.

        The argument, though, seems valid. They are GOING to take the money anyway. Why not steal from the thief? It’s a hard choice, and one that I have to think long and hard about.

        I mean, lets face reality. Voting, even for someone like Ron Paul, is ultimately futile, and just as morally egregious as what I proposed above. Perhaps even moreso, since voting is a defacto affirmation of the legitimacy of the system.

        Using their weapons and weaknesses against them at least might have some effect.

        • Freedom, responsibility, ethics, altruism…. We must become better human beings and worse savages. Emancipate yourself from mental slavery. None but we can free our minds. – Bob Marley

        • The easiest way out of this dilemma – if it is one – is to ask yourself: Is it yours? if it’s not, then you don’t have a right to take it – even from a thief. And in this case, we wouldn’t be taking it from the thieves (the already retired old coots who are using us for milk cows). We’d be taking it from the poor working bastards who are “contributing.” I figure if I don’t like someone taking my stuff, then I can’t be taking other people’s stuff myself…..

          • Eric – I disagree with your premise on taking money from the government. While I enjoy your writings and agree with you much of the time, I take the position of the great Walter Block that you cannot steal from a thief. As long as you actively fight the system and decry their theft, you are perfectly within your right to relieve them of their ill-gotten gains.

            Please read this letter by Dr. Block on the subject.

          • This idea of stealing from a thief is interesting. If it really were just a “suspected” individual thief then, isn’t that what a justice system is for? To determine if he really is a thief or not, and then demand economic restitution which he could be forced to pay against his will? So does the justice system steal from the thief?

            In the case of the gov’t, there is no doubt: we know they are stealing our money so what if we refuse to take it back when they offer? Will they stop stealing it? No, they’ll just have more money to use on other nefarious shenanigans that could be very harmful to us.

            It seems in the case of the individual and society where – even w/o a gov’t – justice can be had morality dictates, but in the case of the gov’t, there is no justice to be had; zero; zilch; nada.

            By accepting money from a system he invested (albeit against his will) in and had a good faith contract with the gov’t for, he is violating no one’s rights. Yes the gov’t stole your money. Yes the gov’t is violating the rights of the contributors but the recipient is violating no one’s rights.

            If you contracted for a private investment and you reaped the returns for years, and then found out that all those years, those returns were from a fraudulent source, would you return the money? Would you expect to be held culpable? Did you violate someone’s rights?

            Maybe not a clear cut problem to solve but I say “no” you did not. How can you hold someone responsible for the actions of another?

          • Correct Eric. You’ve stated the definition of right and wrong: if you need someone else’s permission then you have no right, and if you do then you are wrong.

            So in the case of the thief: if he mugs you and then trips and knocks himself cold, do you have a right to take your money back out of his pocket right then and there? What if he gets away but the cops bring a “suspect” in for identification and you identify him and he has the exact amount he stole from you in his pocket, do you have a right at that point to take that money? What if the case goes to trial and the jury finds him guilty ( is he? did the jury convict the right man? ) do you have a right to take this man’s money now?

            Is possession 9/10 of the law?

            I think that all the moral hazard questions of this dilema disappear when the action of the gov’t stealing our money in the first place stops.

            • I’m with you if we’re talking about the actual guilty party (as in your example). But when you take SS, you’re not taking your money back from the mugger. Honesty demands clarity on this point. What you’d be doing is using the government to take money from other people just like you. Note: Note just one victim, either. But many.

              So – no thanks. I want no part of stolen goods. Or rather goods stolen from someone else.

    • The answer is not to steal from other victims indirectly though the govt. It is to stop being robbed by thieves. We need a tax revolt which means resisting to the point of blood. That time draws near. Those who make peaceful revolution impossible make violent revolution inevitable.

      • Inevitably the other side of an armed rebellion is the “success” of another group of rulers. Agitating for blood works in the government’s favor, not ours.

        Granted, at some point it will probably come to that, but when it does, it will likely be the government firing the first shots. And if we want to win our freedom, we better be DOCUMENTING that fact. Cameras and the internet are more potent than bullets against this enemy.

          • …If that idea doesn’t get buried, marginalized, or lost in the noise. Good ideas need prophets (in the old sense, those that publish the word, not “predict the future”)

            You’re doing a good job of that. I’m trying 😛

  29. Good article…. Social Security is legally a tax(see the Helvrering Decision and the Steward Machine Tool Decision among others). The money doled out is a revocable benefit,which can be ended by Congress at any time. Social Security,at this time,is completely bankrupt. The so called “Lock Box” or “Trust Fund is made up of mostly Treasury Bonds that can only be paid off by collecting more taxes. Basically you have worthless paper backing up worthless promises with the promises paid for by increasingly worthless paper currency buying a diminishing amount of real goods and services. A very sad state of affairs. With that said,Social Security is completely voluntary and you can,if you wish,rescind your Social Security Number. You can also stop paying the “voluntary” Income Tax. Although,the consequences of such an action in today’s world, where the Social Security Number has become your National ID number may be dire. Do so at your own risk. But,sometimes the price of Liberty comes with a risk. Just ask the guys who fought alongside Washington throughout the American Revolution.

  30. “PS: Thanks P.M. It’s nice to know I’m not the only person in the country that understands the nature of contracts and obligations.” – Scott

    SS is not a contract. The Supreme Court has consistently ruled that SS is a non-contractual social welfare program. I challenge anyone who has ever paid into or received benefits from SS to show where they have a contactual agreement with the government. The fact that politicians promised benefits, and dumb individuals believed their promises, does not obligate others to honor those commitments anymore than I have to compensate any random individual taken in by any charlatan or snake-oil salesman. Moreover, governments often make promises in order to get elected which they then fail to honor. No-one ever suggested that there is some kind of legal or contactual obligation to honor them. So if governments are not bound to honor their own promises, why on earth should they be obligated to honor the promises of previous administrations that are no longer in power?

    The very notion that the government could have ongoing contracts of this scale with nearly the entire population, and that these same contracts would be rolled over with successive administrations that would be expected to continue to honor them, is utterly preposterous. Are you not familiar with the longstanding principle that governments and legislatures shall not make decisions that bind their successors?

    So much for your asinine posturing about how you are almost the only person in the country who really understands these things. Or perhaps your comment is a clever piece of satire directed at braindead, conservative, corporatist authoritarianism?

    • “SS is not a contract.”

      I just have to laugh at that. Really? So you think that *I* think SS isn’t a contract? You’re of the opinion that not only I, but most people involved in this travesty *don’t* think it’s a contract!? What planet do you come from?

    • “asinine”, “braindead”?, “conservative”?

      Tell you what new chum, if it wasn’t for me, I wouldn’t be reading the bullshit you just wrote.

      • Scott,

        I couldn’t care less whether you or anyone else “thinks” they have a contractual agreement with the government. The fact is you don’t. Full stop. You don’t suddenly have a legal claim based on your subjective feelings.

        Your position is akin to knocking on someone’s door and saying “hey, you owe me $1000. I know I don’t have a contract that would hold up in a court of law. But hey, I feel owed goddamit! And besides, I lost $1000 to a con artist some time back. Hey, I know you didn’t take the money. But I just want my money back goddamit! I don’t care who pays”. This is clearly the position of a stand over thug.

        You cannot reason with Clovers. Their mentality is so ugly and primitive. You may as well try to reason with an angry guard dog. It kind of reminds me of what Eric wrote recently regarding the growing proletariat mentality. That is, the proles want and they hate. But they cannot think.

        • I’m with you, Nick.

          Being a victim doesn’t entitle a person to become a victimizer. I lost a great deal of respect for Ayn Rand when I learned she used Medicare to pay her medical bills. She lost any standing to write/speak with contempt about such programs.

          Do I like the idea of being, for all practical purposes, a martyr to a principle? No, of course not. It would certainly be easier to (when the time comes, if the funds are still being doled out) collect $1,500 a month in “benefits” from SS as opposed to relying on what I have been able to save/invest on my own. But I’d rather not become one of …. them.It makes me feel cleaner. It makes it possible for me to write/say the things I do without fear of being called a hypocrite and worse besides. And that’s hard to put a price tag on.

          • The hedious thing about medicare is that because of medicare the options to medicare are essentially only for the wealthy.

            I believe that medicare wiped out the private insurance for people of medicare age. So there is only paying out of pocket for everything. But what’s worse is that government interference caused prices to skyrocket. Of course that is the goal. To make it so that there is no choice but the government for the vast majority of people. The return to serfdom and slavery where we are all dependent and have no choice in the matter other than to die.

  31. either you do think that it is okay for the group to forcibly control what the individual does with his own property and body, or you do not. that is the dichotomy that Eric is describing.

    so which side are you on, P.M. Lawrence?

  32. On principle, not accepting SS is a noble thing since it is a transfer payment and a burden on those who will never collect from it. Principle takes time to mature and requires first shaking off brainwashing from mom/dad/schools. Do it too early and you’re a delinquent; too late and you’re a dead ‘hero’ or a “former” Republican. We can’t blame others for taking a long time to find a way out of the mental prison. All the wars of the last 50 years were unnecessary and wasteful. However, 95% of Americans supported the Iraq war at the time and that includes almost all of you reading this. You were hoodwinked by the fool Bush/Cheney regime and, yes, their murderous complicity in 9/11. This is a failed society because the population isn’t trained early to think for themselves – we lost that. Are the people finally waking up? Sure, but to what. They’re stupid and still vote and will just latch onto something else just as dumb and will go down with the failed state. The thinking man has to reject the lie and walk alone but be very careful not attract the rage of the system and the useful idiots marching under one authoritarian banner or another. The system will continue until it stops. Therefore, I say screw principle because it’s just another permutation of wrong belief in this screwed up society. Suck every nickel of SS from it and any freebie you can get. It’s far too late to change a thing so I see no point in the martyr thing. Live free in your mind. Meanwhile, do something illegal every week just to stay on your game.

    • “However, 95% of Americans supported the Iraq war at the time and that includes almost all of you reading this. You were hoodwinked by the fool Bush/Cheney regime and, yes, their murderous complicity in 9/11.”

      Not me – thank god.

      I despised The Chimp even before 9/11 – afterward, I loathed him all the more for his sociopathic transmutation of the country into a nation of sociopaths a la Political Ponerology.

      • “However, 95% of Americans supported the Iraq war at the time and that includes almost all of you reading this.”

        That does not include me either.
        Also, I doubt the 95% figure.

    • But “contributions” aren’t… .

      The only “choice” you have is whether to decline the blood money benefits. Perhaps the most despicable aspect of SS is just that: It impoverishes Smith during his working lifetime in order to “help” Jones. Then Smith, in his turn, is placed in the position of needing the government to rob Edwards because he now “needs” the funds that were stolen from him!

      PS: Please refrain from ALL CAPS. It’s poor form.

    • It’s voluntary the way the statists call everything voluntary. We can choose to participate (defined as giving them the fruits of our labor) or we can be imprisoned or killed by the state or we could have no fruits of our labor and live in poverty.

      Multiple choice, where the choices are defined by others, isn’t voluntary.

  33. You are either someone who wants to control other people, to compel them to behave and live as you believe they ought to – or you are someone who believes everyone else has the same right to live their life as you’d like to be free to live yours.

    No. It’s a false dichotomy to make out that it’s either/or. For example, I myself don’t “[want] to control other people, to compel them to behave and live as [I] believe they ought to”, which may be because of my apathy or laziness from not believing such things strongly enough or just my lack of empathy from not caring enough about them to help them even if they don’t want it, yet neither am I “someone who believes everyone else has the same right to live their life as [I’d] like to be free to live [mine]”. In my case, I believe that nobody has a right to interfere in other people’s lives (that’s not a barrier to acting when someone else comes into your own life), but I don’t believe that those other people have any kind of positive right to do absolutely anything (which is what I’d like for myself). The thing is, I know that there are some wrong things that people shouldn’t do but which there is no way to stop them doing without making things worse; they have to find out for themselves if they don’t already know, after which an informed conscience should direct them. But that’s not what I’d like for myself, what I’d like for myself is for none of that to matter so I wouldn’t have to worry about it.

    If you would prefer not to be subject to arrest for enjoying a cold brew while you watch the game in the privacy of your own home – causing no harm to anyone, even if you end up passing out on said sofa before halftime – then you must object to the idea that your next door neighbor’s door is subject to being kicked in (and your neighbor carted off to jail) simply because said neighbor happens to enjoy partaking of a different drug – even though his partaking, as such, causes no harm to anyone else any more than your partaking of the legal drug does.

    That does not follow at all. While I do in fact have enough empathy to want that for him, and enough of a common interest to want a protection like that for him because I can see that whatever protects him is likely to protect me too and vice versa, I can also see that a powerful sociopath might lack either of those motives despite wanting those defences for himself – he has his own protections already so he doesn’t need any more, and he doesn’t care about the neighbour either… Call it a reverse Good Samaritan. A pragmatic, unscrupulous anarchist might be willing to settle for becoming an absolute monarch, although it would mean a lot of continuing work for him; after all, he would get not to be ruled while the sheeple would get a ruler the way they want. But uneasy lies the head that wears a crown…

    If you do no [sic] object, then you have lost any moral authority to object to authoritarianism as such. Because you yourself have endorsed authoritarianism. It is either – or. There is no middle ground, no exceptions.

    That’s wrong at several levels:-

    – I already pointed out that there is indeed middle ground, and gave an example.

    – My silence would only be that, and should not be construed as endorsement. For all you or anyone else know I might have better things to do – things that might include better tactics to use in just this area.

    – That argument is a “performative contradiction” in that it seeks to interfere with me, to make me behave as you would like by throwing my weight behind your position.

    Likewise, government handouts. That is, money taken by force from one person in order to give (some of) it to another person. You either support this – or you do not. Which means, you cannot make a claim to Social Security without losing any basis to object to the claims made by the EBT underclass to their dole. The fact that you were robbed in the past (your “contributions”) does not make robbery in the present (your “benefits”) morally justifiable. You either oppose using the government to provide benefits to other people by threatening to imprison or even kill them – or you do not. If you make an exception for one, then you have lost any basis for objecting to the exceptions demanded by others.

    This illustrates the legal maxim “hard cases make bad law”. Bearing in mind that, not being an American, I do not have a dog in this (particular) fight, let’s try to unpick this:-

    – People who paid in to (U.S.) Social Security really were given undertakings that they would get it back later. So there really are obligations towards them, on the part of those who made the promises.

    – That money was diverted, but that didn’t dissolve the moral obligation to pay it back.

    – Up to now, people really got paid back – in a Ponzi scheme way, from fresh diversions of funds. This will probably continue for a little while longer. So far, these people haven’t been ripped off in a way that has been realised, and so far neither have those still paying in; that is hanging over their heads, though, as it is almost unavoidable.

    – When the music stops and the obligations are no longer met, the defrauded will be entitled to demand what they are owed. It’s a jump in the argument to think that their demanding is the same thing as demanding that the people who owe them go off and find someone else to rip off – it’s buying into the very thing at issue by supposing that it endorses further rip offs. But the moral obligation only means that the rip off merchants ought to use their own funds, or any resources held in trust that fit (like public lands, which could be sold). It doesn’t mean that anyone is throwing their weight behind the whole practice of ripping off.


    So, no, just asking for what they are owed does not amount to endorsing other benefit systems that already use rip offs. It would only turn into that if the defrauded also said, “don’t get it right, make it come right just for me at other people’s expense”. As it hasn’t yet come to that, so far their asking for what they are owed is only aimed at the rip off merchants and isn’t endorsing rip offs.

    I won’t try to unpick the rest of the post; this should serve to demonstrate that there is a lot more to this topic – though it does circle back to similar conclusions once it is being handled rigorously.

    • What he said 🙂

      PS: Thanks P.M. It’s nice to know I’m not the only person in the country that understands the nature of contracts and obligations.

      I’ll propose that if SS decides to go insolvent, we liquidate federal assets to pay the debt. I’ll take a nice little chunk of land on the shores of a federal wildlife refuge in Florida.

        • No, I’m not in Australia except in spirit. I would like to consider residency in your fine country and near as I can tell I could be happy there, except for your laws concerning the private ownership of small arms.

          In truth, I’m seriously considering Chile. But I would have liked Australia I think.

      • I’m puzzled, where do you people get the idea that social security is some kind of contract? Social security is a law, it is not a contract between two or more parties. It is a law past by politicians who lied to their constituents. It is simply a tax on the young to pay for the retirement of the old. Certainly there were a lot more young people paying in at the beginning, and there was talk of a wonderful trust, but that’s all it was, talk. Our lying politicians spent the tax money. By the way, those people that are crying about the possible loss of their benefits are the people who repeatedly re-elected the politicians who were furiously spending that future benefit. The cry babies spent decades tacitly approving the profligate ways of their politicians to the tune of 16 trillion dollars and growing rapidly. It is gone, they spent it. Not only that, but they’ve spent their children’s and grandchildren’s money. Are you really saying that the young people today have an OBLIGATION to these people, that they are somehow owed EVEN MORE?

        I encourage you to review your premise on what a contract is and who has a rightful claim on the earnings of our children? I, for one am encouraged that you almost see the whole picture as you do realize that Social Security is a ponzi. However that is a moot point as all US government programs follow the same principle. Money is confiscated, money is spent and even more money is borrowed and spent, ad nauseum.

        Who do you think did that? Answer: Everybody with a SS number. They voted all these decades and now they have their just rewards. Please don’t conflate just with nice. An outcome of destitution is just.

        • My approach to this has been to live modestly, beneath my means, so as to not need the filthy lucre of SS. Would it be nice to have all the money back that has been taken from me? Certainly. But I understand – and accept – that it has been stolen and is gone for good. I plan accordingly. And most of all, I am determined to not become that which I have spent most of my adult life denouncing: A tax feeding maggot. Once you compromise on this, you lose your right to complain about other forms of tax-feeding maggotry. That was the main point of the original article. That the “conservative” political movement gets nowhere in part because it is full of shit. I am trying to not be full of shit myself!

        • “Are you really saying that the young people today have an OBLIGATION to these people, that they are somehow owed EVEN MORE?”

          No Free Surfer, we’re just sayin’ we’d like a pound or two of prime backstrap in return for being screwed.

          You with us or agin’ us? 🙂

    • “It’s a false dichotomy to make out that it’s either/or.”

      You try to disprove Eric’s dichotomy by hanging it about with rationale that he didn’t go into. Your reasons for assigning yourself to one camp or the other don’t themselves disprove the dichtomy.

      “I don’t believe that those other people have any kind of positive right to do absolutely anything … ” He doesn’t say that, either. Maybe he should have, maybe it was unwarranted to take that understanding for granted without spelling it out, but omitting it doesn’t imply — at least not to me — that he’s okay with others feeling free to wreak evil.

      • Thanks, Gail – just pointed that out myself. ‘m sure he knows, too – as he’s been around this site for awhile and read my previous articles. His position on SS is pure pettifogging Cloverism!

        • His position on SS is pure pettifogging Cloverism!

          Tosh. Read it again. I did not advocate further theft, I only pointed out that people do indeed have a right to demand what is owing to them from those who promised it, and that that no more means they endorse those people going out to rob yet others than my trying to get my wallet back after my pocket had been picked would have meant I wanted the thief to go and pick someone else’s (that’s a hypothetical). Now, if the practicalities mean that that is the only way, then when that time comes either full restitution will be impossible or the thieves will be doing the stealing – but nobody should read demanding restitution as endorsing further theft; that’s working to the thieves’ own mindset, taking their vision of the world inside yourself.

          Now, Cloverism would be if I really did think that the thieves were entitled to pass the theft further on. I don’t think that, but neither do I think that that makes the thieves exempt from making restitution, nor do I think that demanding it is equivalent to asking for further thefts. And I have explained why I do not think that, in a way that should make sense if you think it through – but it’s late and I’m tired, so I won’t walk you through it just here just now.

          I’ll reply to your main points in your main reply, and then I’ll call it a day – it’s nearly midnight by my body clock, since daylight saving only ended last Sunday.


          • “I did not advocate further theft, I only pointed out that people do indeed have a right to demand what is owing to them from those who promised it.”

            In fact, that is precisely what you advocate – if words (if concepts) have meaning. Fact: The money extracted by force (or its threat) from the SS “contributor” is gone – spent immediately on the SS beneficiary. “His” money no longer exists. Therefore, the “contributor,” though certainly defrauded, has no right to demand that others be defrauded for his benefit, in order to make good his loss. I have no moral right to use your money to pay my debts. And you have no moral right to threaten me with violence to pay off the debt incurred by some other person. It is precisely the same as regards SS.

            I am sympathetic to the people who have been defrauded (myself included, for 25 years now). What took place is certainly unfair. But the fact that life is unfair – the fact that you suffer a loss – does not impose an obligation enforceable at gunpoint on innocent bystanders.

            Your entire premise is the premise of the Clover Collective. What if I or others want no part of your collectivist schemes? To merely be left in peace to live our lives as we wish? (Mind, without causing you any harm along the way.) Then you assert the right to threaten us with violence in order to force us to comply. That makes you a thug.

            A well-spoken one, I will admit – but a thug nonetheless.

          • Readers, I would like to point out that the word “Clover” at the end of what I posted was added by someone else and may well convey entirely the wrong impression.

            Tomorrow I will point out just how Eric’s reply is accurate in almost everything but what he reads into my position; that is, most of the things he is saying about how Social Security is actually run are spot on, but he is quite wrong in thinking I am advocating them just because I think people are indeed entitled to try their best to sort things out. I never, not once, not nohow, suggested that further theft was a right and proper response! This whole disagreement comes from Eric reading my not going through one door as my picking another door, when I’ve been saying all along that the choice might be wider.

            Oh, and I do know one way to mitigate the damage from all the theft, but I would never claim it was good, only that it might on examination prove to be a lesser evil – like a doctor deciding whether to save a mother or a child in childbirth. If it had been applied from the beginning the thefts would have been long over by now.

      • You try to disprove Eric’s dichotomy by hanging it about with rationale that he didn’t go into.

        No, I don’t. I disproved it by providing a counter-example: me. I don’t belong in the group that wants to run others’ lives, and I don’t belong in the group that “believes everyone else has the same right to live their life as [I’d] like to be free to live [mine]”. Mind you, I do believe they have a second order right to like that right.

        Your reasons for assigning yourself to one camp or the other don’t themselves disprove the dichtomy [sic].

        Of course they wouldn’t, if that were what I had done. But please don’t misrepresent me as having done that, when what I did was show that I didn’t fit in either group.

        “I don’t believe that those other people have any kind of positive right to do absolutely anything … ” He doesn’t say that, either.

        Oh? What he wrote was, “or you are someone who believes everyone else has the same right to live their life as you’d like to be free to live yours”. Since that refers it to what I’d like, not to what I think is right, it is quite correct for me to plug that in there – because that’s what I’d like, if only it could be managed. I went to some trouble to spell out that that was different from the reverse of what he’d put as the other option.

        Maybe he should have, maybe it was unwarranted to take that understanding for granted without spelling it out, but omitting it doesn’t imply — at least not to me — that he’s okay with others feeling free to wreak evil.

        Now don’t you go putting words in my mouth; as someone famous once said, quod scripsi scripsi, I have written what I have written. I doubt if he is OK with that too – but he was signing a blank cheque for it, whether he meant to or not; quod scripsit scripsit.


    • PM,

      The unstated (in this article) premise is that you have a right to be left alone so long as you cause no harm to others. This is the qualifier to my either – or statement. The principle of non-aggression/no first-use of force.

      Thus, in my example of “legal” drugs vs. “illegal” drugs – the guy drinking beer as such is no more a violator of anyone’s rights than the guy smoking a joint – as such. To fail to defend the right of the “illegal” drug user who is harming no one to be left in peace is to endorse authoritarianism. You stand on one side – or the other. And please: No GOP crap about the “illegal” drug user supporting criminal activity via his mere use. That’s as absurd – as vicious – as saying the beer drinker is enabling domestic abuse because the guy who drove the beer truck beats his wife.

      You’ve read my other articles, so I suspect you understand my position already. Hence I have to wonder about your motives in trying to falsely characterize what I wrote in this article as advocating unrestricted license. Of course, I did no such thing.

      On SS: Nothing you’ve stated vitiates the point made about the essential nature of thing; i.e., that it is systematized (and inter-generational) theft. You wrote:

      “Up to now, people really got paid back.”

      Yes, with other people’s money. Taken from them at gunpoint.

      “So far, these people haven’t been ripped off…”

      Indeed. Most early recipients got back far more than they “paid” in – so not only did they rip off others, they ripped them off on a grand scale. And of course, none of this obviates the initial theft that took place. SS is not consensual. No one has any right to force anyone else to “contribute” to their retirement fund. Keep your god-damned hands out of my pockets!

      “those defrauded will be entitled to demand what they are owed.”

      Really? Then you are saying that people who are ripped off have a right – a moral right – are entitled to rip off other people to make up for their loss? That being a victim entitles one to victimize others? This is the philosophy of a jackal. It is also the cornerstone of our violence, based, parasite society.

      So much for “picking apart” my arguments.

      • First of all, I would like to apologise in advance if any of what follows raises hackles. That is not my intention, but I do wish to defend my position, and I have found that this sometimes challenges things that people have internalised enough to take personally. And it is late, and I am tired.

        The unstated (in this article) premise is that you have a right to be left alone so long as you cause no harm to others. This is the qualifier to my either – or statement. The principle of non-aggression/no first-use of force.

        Look again at what you wrote. You may be so close to it that you really didn’t see that the two alternatives you presented are not complementary/opposites. There is indeed scope to be neither; it is probably because I myself have that sort of ethos that I noticed it (free will and the guidance of the informed conscience, very Protestant).

        To fail to defend the right of the “illegal” drug user who is harming no one to be left in peace is to endorse authoritarianism.

        You really don’t see that statement as the very sort of thing that seeks to set my own conscience aside, as much wrong through fraud as coercing me with force would be? I see your own assertions about what I ought to do as being on a par with claiming moral authority to tell me what is or is not right – and as such it presses all sorts of buttons of mine (Protestant, remember).

        Whether I, in the light of my informed conscience, do or do not choose to defend that drug user’s right is up to me, in the light of circumstances known to me, and in the presence of alternative actions open to me that may or may not present other morally persuasive reasons to undertake them instead. If, all things considered – and I shall consider them – I choose not to defend that particular right, then it does not at all mean that I endorse over-riding it. All it means is that I am silent on the point. Right now, for instance, it strikes me that I am under a far more pressing moral obligation to instruct you (a concrete human being with whom I am in contact) about my moral position than to defend an abstract illegal drug user over whose fate I couldn’t even have that much indirect effect, acting from where I am.

        Hence I have to wonder about your motives in trying to falsely characterize what I wrote in this article as advocating unrestricted license. Of course, I did no such thing.

        See my earlier reply. You did indeed do that, whether you realised it or not. That is, the wording you used said just that, since it basically said “at this point, plug in what you would like“. So I did just that. Take it as a reductio ad absurdum or as following it to a logical conclusion that you don’t like after all, but do see that you left that open.

        On SS: Nothing you’ve stated vitiates the point made about the essential nature of thing; i.e., that it is systematized (and inter-generational) theft.

        Yes, I have, here and elsewhere. That is only how the thieves have been implementing it, but it is not its essential nature – the thing that makes it what it is, something that, if it were missing, would mean it was not what is called “Social Security” in U.S. English (in the rest of the English speaking world the term means roughly unemployment and health benefits, not benefits for the elderly as such). To see that, consider that if the thieves had run it as they said they would, not as a Ponzi scheme but with payments in really being invested to be paid out later, it would have worked as they claimed it would. There still would have been theft to make people pay in, but there would have been restitution (by which I do not mean to endorse the theft, in case anyone is confused about that), and there would never have been any element of “systematized (and inter-generational) theft” but only some incidental, avoidable theft at the beginning (and so, not inter-generational) that could even have been eliminated over time – which means that that was only their practice, and it cannot have been an essential feature since it could have been avoided.

        Perhaps you are using “essential” as if it meant “really importantly” or something like that, the way some people think “literally” means “very” and end up saying “he literally exploded with rage”? Sorry, this is an area where precise technical stuff matters.

        Most early recipients got back far more than they “paid” in – so not only did they rip off others, they ripped them off on a grand scale.

        No, no more than the man who sold cigars to the Kray twins was a thug himself. Those recipients were used as PR by the thieves, they were not the thieves. If it really were possible to rub off guilt in that contagious fashion, then hey! guess what, we’re all in it together in a collective way after all, and there’s no problem after all.

        The only way to make sense of it is to break it up into parts and follow each part one at a time, slowly, as otherwise you will never see which thimble the pea is under. That confusion is just precisely how the thieves’ PR worked so well for so long.

        “those defrauded will be entitled to demand what they are owed.”

        Really? Then you are saying that people who are ripped off have a right – a moral right – are entitled to rip off other people to make up for their loss? That being a victim entitles one to victimize others? This is the philosophy of a jackal. It is also the cornerstone of our violence, based, parasite society.

        No, that is what you are saying I’m saying – precisely because you don’t see the gap between the two alternatives you presented, and by means of editing out what I put that you clearly didn’t see made a difference, but which actually makes a huge difference.

        Here is what I really wrote, with the part you cut put back and emphasised so you can see it: “… the defrauded will be entitled to demand what they are owed. It’s a jump in the argument to think that their demanding is the same thing as demanding that the people who owe them go off and find someone else to rip off – it’s buying into the very thing at issue by supposing that it endorses further rip offs. But the moral obligation only means that the rip off merchants ought to use their own funds, or any resources held in trust that fit (like public lands, which could be sold). It doesn’t mean that anyone is throwing their weight behind the whole practice of ripping off.”

        You truly don’t see that all the rest of it is almost the precise opposite of what you just now made out I was saying?

        Oh, and I wasn’t claiming I was picking apart your arguments. Again, read what I wrote: “let’s try to unpick this”, referring to the text I had just quoted. I suppose it serves me right for using simpler words; I just meant “analyse” (which is just Greek for doing just that).

        No, Im not even picking apart your arguments here, though I did feel tempted to do that. Here, I am just restating my position, hopefully more clearly, and sweeping away faulty rephrasings and editings of what I really did put. I am a servant of truth and an enemy of the lie, for I know that the easy path to a comfortable view may conceal losing the way. Facts are stubborn things, and going for an exaggeration of a limited truth because it seems to offer a more black and white picture of what went wrong may be far from the true way to see what to do about it.

        • You’re very verbose, PM – but how about answering a simple question or two:

          One, do you or do you not agree that a person who is not harming others has the right to demand to be left alone – irrespective of how you may feel about what he is doing? Viz, if a guy wants to smoke pot (or not wear a seatbelt or not buy health insurance) do you believe he has the right to do so free from fear of “criminal” prosecution – or not?

          If not, then aren’t you advocating that people be threatened with violence who have caused no harm to you or anyone else? In other words, aren’t you justifying authoritarianism? Aren’t you saying that it’s ok to go after people merely because you or someone else, or the government doesn’t like what they are doing?

          My position is simple: If I am not harming you – a demonstrable, actual harm – then you have no right to interfere with my actions or my life. Just as I have no right to interfere with your actions or your life, unless – and until – your actions have caused harm. This is the essence of the Either – Or. Either you respect human rights, or you don’t.

          Two, do you think a person who was unwittingly conned or defrauded has a moral right, by dint of his being unaware he was being conned, to force others to make his losses good?

          If I buy a car that’s a lemon, thinking – believing – it was a sound car because it was represented as sound – does that give me the right to make some other person who had nothing to do with the transaction make me whole?

          This seems to be the essence of your argument defending SS as something other than what it is.

    • Editor’s note: Post deleted. Many posts deleted.

      This Clover keeps on tryin’ but he’s not getting through!


      Oh, and for your own edification, Clover (if you’re reading this) I’m not deleting your posts because they express a contrary opinion or argument. I’ve been deleting them because your “arguments” are either typically high school-level personal insults (e.g., “faggot Libertarians” – the sort of thing a 15-year-old bully with homoerotic tendencies might offer) or incitements to violence (suggesting a government troll).

      So, g’day mate.

    • Lawrence, there isn’t a shovel big enough to dig yourself out of that pile of bullshit you dumped on this blog.

  34. All governments, any government survives through coercion, theft and murder. All governments are antithetical to individual liberty and private property. i don’t care what benefit someone derives from government … he is complicit in the coercion, theft and murder. If von Mises and Lew Rockwell are too heavy for your palate may I recommend a flash animation titled “philosophy of liberty.” 8 minutes. Laws aren’t instituted to protect us, by and large. laws are written by political vermin at the behest of the power elite ( domhoff, 2012) to loot and control us. the only reason to criminally sanction behavior is it harms an individual’s life, liberty or private property. as homicide, rape and armed robbery do. neither our liberty nor their authority come from a piece of paper. our liberty, a birthright of every human, flows from our capacity to reason, to make decisions and to act on them. liberty is asserted every day. it cannot be conferred once and for all.

    • Dear Mr. Weatherbee;

      Consider this when you criticize what passes for government these days; in a peaceful society of independent equals, “government” is nothing more than a contract between consenting adults concerning some group project that benefits all members. It’s a way of pooling resources to accomplish a goal (think roads, sidewalks, streetlights).

      Where it goes bad is when a) force is used to compel people who wouldn’t otherwise participate in these projects, and b) when the partnership grows the ability to defend its own existence beyond its original purpose.

      Taxation is at the heart of the evil we think of as government. I have two neighbors that adjoin my property. I wanted to pave the common road that serves all three properties. I called everyone, put the question to them and told them how much it would cost. I compared it to the cost of putting down road base (rock) every couple of years and proved the pavement would pay for itself in less than five years. One neighbor said ok, and put up his share along with mine. The third said hell no, we’d pave the road over his dead body.

      Two of us paved the road. We paid for the whole thing. We didn’t threaten the third with a lien or some kind of civil action, we just did it. The other guy gets the benefits from the work we did, but it was our choice; we did it even though we knew in advance he didn’t want to pay. That’s our choice and it’s his choice. We didn’t have to do it and we don’t have any basis for bitching about him not paying.

      That’s the way things *should* work in my opinion. I’m kind of proud to say I’m a member of our little community, even though other people think my non-paying neighbor is taking advantage of me. They just don’t understand.

  35. Is anybody else creeped out from the “Ads by Google at the top” in which on of the links is “Anti-Barack Obama”????!!! That basically means this article is being put in a category warranting a tag like that, but no where in the article is there anything close to anti-obama in written words. hah

    • Nah. I get something about petitioning Congress to fight a proposition limiting funding for the Department of Education. Like I’m going to do that?

      I clear my cookies every day though. It’s sort of like using a condom on the internet. You might want to try it 🙂

  36. Well said, Eric.

    All we can do is keep saying the truth and participate in the process in hope for change. Of course, speaking the truth tends to make you a paria at the cocktail party.

    And then, the process becomes a choice between a Demopublican and a Republocrat.

    So, while I did use that silliest of words “hope”, I would encourage everyone to become acquainted with the term “resignation of the masses”.

    • Thanks, Freed –

      Notice we’ve already had a few crypto-Clovers come out of the closet in defense of “their” SS… it is a barometer of the extent of the rot.

  37. Yes – it’s a sad, sad state of affairs.

    Since everything has become everyone’s business, nobody can leave anybody alone.

    I shouldn’t care a hoot that the Goldman Sach’s executives got ginormous bonuses for betting bigtime and losing. I had no stock in Goldman Sachs, their failure would have hurt me as much as Lehman Brother’s failure (zero). However – since I’m subsidising their failure – it has become my business.

    I shouldn’t care if some poor person blows their money on drugs, fancy duds, and tweenies. It is was private charity – I would stop giving them money. It has become my business.

    My neighbor shouldn’t care that I could stand to lose 30 lbs and smoke (gasp!) on top of it – but he can and will “care” (aka want to restrict my freedom to do something he disapproves of but otherwise does not affect him) if he’s forced to pay any of my medical bills because of it.

    When everybody is “responsible” for everybody else, “none of your business” can’t exist.

    With national mandated medical insurance – just wait for the safety Nazis. The “preventative care” Nazis will be exponentially worse than the car safety Nazis.

    I asked a co-worker about disabling the extremely annoying seat belt warning chime in my Honda. He said “WHY DON’T YOU WEAR YOUR SEAT BELT?!” I told him I do most times, but I still find it annoying that it screams at me if I don’t on short trips.

    He gave me the standard lecture, so I asked “Should motorcyles be illegal then? They have neither seat belts nor airbags and are demonstrably more dangerous to the rider in a collision than an unbelted driver in even the smallest car.”

    “Should stuntmen be illegal – their jobs are statistically more dangerous than unbelted drivers.”

    Something clicked and he smirked.

    For God’s sake can’t we bask in our own glory and wallow in our own misery – in at least one stinking area of our lives?


      I considered having one installed on my hang glider but t just didn’t work.

        • And that of course would be the fundamental problem. As you’ve so succinctly pointed out, there’s just no way for me to be safe. I think I should shoot myself and put society out of its misery.

        • The alternative was to get an Online Masters Degree in Political Management from the George Washington University.

          Eric, where do you find these ads?

          • They have a specially formulated algorithm that combines words on a page, cookies, and browsing habits/history. Usually you’ll see things you’ve been looking for, or researching. It’s really cool! Oh Eric, guess what I rode yesterday for the first 50 mile break-in? And guess what I am heading out to get oil for right now?

          • Hey Dom, I suppose that would explain the Concealed Carry report ad I’m seeing today? I’m nit sure this c an be explained by cookies, keywords or browsing history. I’m very much against concealed carry, I prefer Townes Van Zant’s assessment of Pancho Villa, to wit:

            “He wore his guns outside his pants
            For all the honest world to see”

            No point in concealed carry. It fails completely as a deterrent.

  38. People will endlessly complain about government doing something to them or with their money until someone suggests that we have freedom. Then their control freak side comes out. Never do they realize that they are their own source of complaint. Other people are just like them but with different feelings on who/what should be controlled and how.

    None of them can see it. That to be left alone they must leave others alone.

    So we have a bunch of people trying to control each other while those who lust for power, the sociopaths, take advantage of the situation by playing the groups off each other and telling them all what they want to hear.

    It’s sick. It’s a disease.

    The funniest thing is how they all turn against the libertarians. They all hate freedom. They won’t admit it. But they hate it. The idea of other people living their own way scares the crap out of them all. They all want conformity.

    It goes to absurd levels. I learned the other day that not being a morning person is a disorder. Yep. If you sleep best from say 1am to 9am, you have a disorder that needs treatment to make you into a morning person that sleeps from 10pm to 6am. How more absurd can it get?

    • Hey Brent,

      I think it is going to get a lot worse. I think they are going to pathologize resistance (or even mere objection) to ObamaCare, for one.

      You’re absolutely right that most people hate liberty – the real McCoy, the idea of leaving others alone, no matter how foolish or silly or sick you think their personal choices may be.

      • I use this against the “Christians” who want to impose their own religious based morality on everyone (Santorum, for instance, or prohibitionists of all stripes):
        “However, let none of you become as a murderer or a thief or an evildoer OR AS A BUSYBODY IN OTHER PEOPLE’S AFFAIRS.” 1Peter 4:15

        I then tell lthem that if they support laws that criminalize activities that are not truly crimes (acts which do NOT violate the unalienable rights of anyone, like using a recreational “drug” that is not alcohol) then they are disobeying their deity’s explicit admonition to not be a busybody. I’ve never had anyone of the authoritarian bible believers respond to me after being hit with that biblical verse, though those who are libertarian usually comment that they agree, give me a”thumbs up”, “like”, etc..

        • On religion: How can anyone claim to “know” anything about it? One may believe or have an opinion; but to claim knowledge about God is an unprovable assertion, hence gratuitous. It is a matter of personal opinion – thus, arbitrary and subjective. The fact that “it is written” is not proof of anything (other than that someone wrote something).

          Believe whatever you like – just please, don’t try to tell me you “know” Jesus or what will happen to you when you die (other than your corpse will rot if not cremated). Much less try to claim your beliefs carry more weight than the arbitrarily held beliefs of others. Let alone try to use such a claim about your supposedly “correct” beliefs to impose them on others.

          I freely confess that I do not know. I wish others would do the same. It is a fascinating subject to discuss – but it is beyond the realm of proof (so far) and thus ought to be undertaken with a sense of humility and tolerance. Not judgment and righteous assertion.

          • “but to claim knowledge about God is an unprovable assertion”

            What do statements like this even mean? That no one knows God unless they can “prove it” to you? It will always be “unprovable” to someone. Are you saying that knowledge only exists if everyone agrees? Does this same standard apply to you when you’re preaching libertarian ethics to the world?

            You are conflating knowledge with the transfer of knowledge or the convincing of others. Two different things. And in the typically modern fashion you’re applying some ridiculous reductionist standard to what you term “knowledge” and “proof.”

            I guess no one has yet written the great “Philosophy is Dead” article for our times, but it is long overdue.

            • I am saying a claim that cannot be demonstrated as true is nothing more than an unprovable assertion. All statements made about God fall into this category. It is a subject beyond proof. (So far, at any rate.) It falls into the realm of belief – or put another way, an emotional state. An intuition. Etc.

              People say they “know Jesus.” Ok, what if I say I “know Napoleon”? What makes the first claim any more valid than the second? It’s sloppy thinking at best – demented at worst. If someone really does believe he literally talks with Jesus, that is. Meaning, Jesus talks back!

              Or Napoleon. Or the Flying Spaghetti Monster!

              Now, if I say, “two plus two equals four” or “Napoleon was the emperor of France,” those are provably true statements. They are not mere assertions. One cannot disagree with these statements because they are true – demonstrably, irrefutably, factually supportable. “Jesus saves” is not. Therefore, one can disagree. Indeed, one can dismiss the statement out of hand.

              That’s the difference.

              I get aggravated not by religion as such – but by claims of certainty and (what usually follows) that other people’s different religious beliefs are wrong, or that those who don’t buy any of it are wrong.

              The bottom line is, none of us knows – not in the sense that we know two plus two equals four; not in the sense that we know our parents or wives/husbands/kids. Nor even in the sense that we know it’s Saturday or that it’s raining…

              We are finite beings of limited perceptual and intellectual capability. Maybe there is a supernatural first cause; maybe not. None of us know. We certainly don’t know what this being – if it/he/she exists – wants us to do. All we have are books written by men and interpreted by men – no more probative than a Marvel comics book is proof that Superman exists.

          • So proving the existence of God is like proving the existence of love?

            To me, it’s a lot like a Person walking out of a newly built house while saying, there’s no such thing as carpenters.

            We are the proof.

            Pardon me, I didn’t mean to contribute to derailing the conversation about anti-authoritarianism, but I couldn’t help it.

            • Well, here’s the thing (one of them – or maybe two):

              It’s a big leap to go from a general assertion that there may (or may not be) be a god to specific claims about the (alleged) One True God – e.g., “Jesus is Lord.”

              Maybe there is a god. Maybe not. Who can honestly say? Let me rephrase that. I don’t question that people hold honest belief. That is, they are not being disingenuous when they assert their beliefs. But mere assertion of belief is just that – a mere assertion. Believe whatever you like (including atheism, incidentally). Just please don’t tell me you “know Jesus” or I’m gonna snicker. No offense meant. I’m just a facts-oriented kind of guy. Existence is mysterious and awesome (old-school meaning of that much-overused word). But that, to me, doesn’t translate into the doctrines of any specific organized religion.

              On love: Its existence actually can be proven – that is, substantiated with real physical evidence – using MRIs. Put a person in the machine, show them a picture of their spouse or child – and visible activity can be documented in a certain area of the brain. Love also manifests in human action. Love is an emotion – just like hate. Both are demonstrably real things.

              Not quite the same as claiming that the Bible is the authoritative word of the deity (rather than the product of the Council of Nicea as edited by the minions of King James).

          • It always sickening that there are modern humans that believe in sky-daddy when something-from-nothing should be a bogus concept even to the most unthinking.

            In the beginning there was nothing and then sky-daddy magically appears from nothing and creates everything by pulling everything out of its butt.

            Or is that not accurate?

            • My bottom line on this is we just don’t know – and probably can’t know. That goes for atheism, too. We may suppose, we may conjecture – we may have inclinations and feelings. But how can any reasonable person claim they know? That’s what kind of creeps me out – the militant certainty about that which is incapable of proof (according to any rules of evidence I’m aware of, at any rate).

          • DD, and your alternative explanation is…? Spark from noth

            There’s nothing sickening about People’s beliefs.

            Without them, where does anyone get off saying they should be free? It’s just as easy then to say most everyone should be a surf.

            “Whether or not we are individually believers in Christ, we are beneficiaries of the moral doctrine that has curbed power and protected the weak.” – Paul Craig Roberts in, The Greatest Gift for All


            Even Atheists Should Celebrate Christmas

          • DD, and your alternative explanation is…? Spark from nothing for no reason?

            Also, there’s nothing sickening about People’s beliefs.

            Without them, where does anyone get off saying they should be free? It’s just as easy then to say most everyone should be a surf.

            “Whether or not we are individually believers in Christ, we are beneficiaries of the moral doctrine that has curbed power and protected the weak.” – Paul Craig Roberts in, The Greatest Gift for All


            Even Atheists Should Celebrate Christmas

          • The message of Jesus, untwisted (no church or other self serving institutions or individuals) is of live and let live. It is a message of a radical against the violent institutions that rule over people and manipulate them.

            It doesn’t matter if he was the son of God or just a historical composite or even a fictional character. Regardless the stories in their true form are to teach much that we are still trying to teach the rest of the human race today.

            It’s not if someone believes in the figure, but in the message of how to treat each other. How to live and let live. How to love and not hate. And so much more in what was a radical libertarian message then and still is.

            Sad that in over 2000 years humans have learned so little and fall for the same scams and fear the same unfounded fears of the other.

          • “How can anyone claim to “know” anything about it?”

            There’s no point in making the claim since, as you point out, there’s no objective way to prove the claim, though you also defended the concept of “love” being provable using an MRI machine. Might be interesting to see if there’s a related response in those who claim religious insight?

            I’ve always thought it was a problem with evangelism rather than religious thought in general. You just can’t talk about it; doesn’t mean you can’t know about it. Hopefully that made sense in some weird gnostic kind of way…

            • Yup! I’m open to all possibilities (just about) because, after all, who knows? The natural world – existence – is amazing. It’s certainly beyond my own capabilities to understand more than a small portion – probably imperfectly, even then. Plato’s cave comes to mind.

              For all we know, we might be constructs in a Matrix. Or something else not even imagined.

          • The truth is I’m just killing time while I wait for my son to bring me a gallon of parts cleaner and an 8″ gear puller. What do I know about evangelism… 🙂

          • Existence is Eternal.
            Consciousness IS God – which evolved from Existence.

            This should be obvious to everyone by now.

          • Basically what you’re saying is that “philosophy is bunk” (and “religion is bunk” specifically) – all philosophy (and all religion) except yours, that is.

            Suppose we apply this reductionism of yours to libertarianism? Can you explain one damn thing that would be considered “true” and “proven” by your own reductionist standards?

            Try “proving” to me, for example, that a meat sack has “rights” in the same way that 2+2=4 or that today is Easter Sunday. Because if you can’t, then you might want to take your own advice and just shut up about what is “right” and “wrong” concerning human behavior. You seem to be very religious about it!

            According to your philosophy, we can’t “know” or “prove” that it’s “wrong” for one meat sack to take (we can’t really say “steal” because that concept is an unprovable assertion) resources from another meat sack. So why make a fuss about it?

            As you say, “It’s sloppy thinking at best – demented at worst,” to make unprovable assertions.

            “I get aggravated not by religion as such – but by claims of certainty and (what usually follows) that other people’s different religious beliefs are wrong, or that those who don’t buy any of it are wrong.”

            Well, that sounds like an emotional issue.

            “We certainly don’t know what this being – if it/he/she exists – wants us to do. All we have are books written by men and interpreted by men – no more probative than a Marvel comics book is proof that Superman exists.”

            You are simply describing your state of alienation from God. You have no reference whatever because it’s outside your understanding and experience. I can assure you that what you say has absolutely “no probative value” for me as well. My experience is the opposite of yours. This being the case, I wonder why you think you are right and I am wrong when you maintain that it’s aggravating to you when people claim that they are right and others are wrong! Shouldn’t you claim that everyone is right since whatever anyone “thinks” or “feels” is simply reducible to the physical state of chemicals in their body? Why are your chemicals “right” and mine “wrong”?

            Your reductionist philosophy is built on sand. If people actually followed it to “logical” conclusions, it would justify just about anything because it literally reduces a human being to a thing and feigns ignorance about the most iimportant and inescapable aspects of reality.

            • How is it saying “philosophy is bunk” to insist on more than someone’s beliefs, feelings – and arbitrary assertions – before accepting said beliefs as more than just someone’s arbitrary assertions?

              Everything you’ve written assumes your absolutist (and utterly unproved) premise – i.e., that there is a god. Based on… what? Your feeling that there is one? Your claim that you had some sort of epiphany and thus just know? Or because you read about it in a book? Well, what if I say the same thing about Spider Man? I believe he is real; I feel it in my bones. He spoke to me one night. I have read about him in books. Etc.

              How is my epiphany any less valid than your epiphany?

              For you to say “I am alienated from god” is no different than my saying you are alienated from Spider Man. We’re both just tossing out gratuitous assertions – each as valid as the other. That is to say, they both have no value whatsoever – they are just our own unsupported opinions.

              I’m not saying there isn’t a god – I am saying none of us really knows. That’s all I’m asking we agree on – because to claim further knowledge is (to me) to cross the line from reasonable philosophical discussions about “what ifs” and “might bees” into unreasonable statements of certainty and fact that are unreasonable because they are not supported by anything more than the asserter’s feelings and beliefs.

              We certainly don’t know, for example, whether god = Jesus. Or Allah. Or Mythra. Or Zeus. Or Viracochah or Huxuitlophctli or any of countless other human-confected conceptions of god. Let alone what this deity wants of us (as opposed to what men claiming to know the mind of god wrote or said or parsed).

              Believe whatever you like.

              The Egyptians believed in Ra and Aten for 2,000 years. And probably 2,000 years from now people will believe in something else – and wonder how people today could ever have believed in Jesus (or Allah).

              Meanwhile, I’ll accept as true that which can be demonstrated to be true. Everything else is just speculation –

              PS: Regarding your “meatsack” point…. one does not have to believe in Jesus (or whatever) to accept the non-aggression principle as valuable; indeed, as essential to civilization. I don’t need to “accept Jesus” in order to accept the idea that it’s bad policy for me to steal and murder, because then I should expect to be stolen from (and murdered) in turn. An animalistic existence, in other words.

              Empathy does not require belief in the supernatural.

              Meanwhile, you ought to reflect on the fact that people can and do behave decently – often very decently – who hold to no particular religious belief system and often don’ believe in god at all. And meanwhile, we have numerous examples of god-talkers who are (or were) among the vilest of human beings imaginable.

              Just saying.

          • Isn’t the threat of some afterlife punishment nothing more than the same violence the government uses?

            Be good or else. Or as it comes to organized religion, the same as the state, obey or else.

            Be a good person for the sake of being a good person, because it is the basis of a society we want to live in, not because of the ‘else’. Those who act good only because of the ‘else’ aren’t really good, but simply giving into their fears. That means as soon as the fear the of punishment is lifted they have nothing to restrict them.

            I don’t want people to be good because they fear the state or divine punishment but to be good because that’s what advances civilization. Because it’s what makes this a place worth living in. Because it is mutually beneficial. The same with natural rights. It’s mutually beneficial to respect them.

            But if we are to base society on punishment, on violence, be it of man or the divine, well we don’t really have a society. We just have fear and violence creating a facade.

          • You assert that God can’t be known. Is this a claim to knowledge or is it not? It seems to be, and it seems to be dripping with the same taboo certainty that you so despise in others. It seems to imply that others are wrong (which is, of course, a very very bad thing to imply) if they reject this assertion of yours. You seem to be claiming to know the truth, and would paint me and others as delusional for rejecting your Truth About Everything. I thought that was a no-no, but apparently not when you do it.

            That’s the first point – an obvious double-standard. I don’t see the “2+2=4” or “the sky is blue” type of proof in that claim – and you must provide this since this is supposedly the only way to know anything. If you’re going to lift up some standard by which all things are judged, then you should at least apply it to yourself.

            “How is it saying “philosophy is bunk” to insist on more than someone’s beliefs, feelings – and arbitrary assertions – before accepting said beliefs as more than just someone’s arbitrary assertions?”

            That’s just your mis-characterization of the issue! You say that anyone who claims that God can be known or claims to know God is wrong because you claim to be right, and therefore they are delusional and are peddling their arbitrary feelings to you as truth. It’s your assumption, argument, and conclusion that God cannot be known. Period. Therefore, you are right and anyone who rejects your opinion is wrong.

            There is no argument here. You just wave your hand and it is so. Then you back up this weak hand with ridicule.

            The “philosophy is bunk” comment refers the rejection of philosophy as a means of discovering truth in favor of the twisted modern version of “science” where literally everything is reduced to physics and subject to the scientific method (supposedly anyway, not actually, because the whole thing is undergirded by materialistic philosophy which is simply assumed). You’re a reductionist (probably simply by defualt as part of the great dumbing-down of our age). You want to be somehow compelled by the necessity of a 2+2=4 argument and apparently some kind of lab test that will show you God in a test tube. But if someone would refer to philosophical argument to prove anything about God, and even refer to our scientific knowledge in doing so, you would reject it out of hand
            and deny that it’s proof precisely because you reject philosophy proper. And since no one can show you the formula for God and produce God for you in the lab like they could with a hunk of rock or something, then this means that no one can ever know if God exists, etc. The only way to know anything at all is through the application of science to the natural world. And then, what you know has no significance beyond the fact of what is observed since it is necessarily assumed in science that there is no meaning or purpose to anything. This, then, becomes the “proof” that nothing has any meaning or purpose! Any explanation of things must be reduced to physical objects and causes, and a chain of such objects and causes. That is “reality” and nothing else. Is that idea “proven”? Of course not. It’s a philosophy in itself. It is simply assumed, and never questioned. And heretics will not be sufferred!

            And if someone does rationally infer something about the origin or meaning of what is observed scientifically in nature, the trained-monkey response is to reject all such rational inference by citing “science” itself now as the absolute boundary of reason! We are all supposed to pretend that we can’t infer anything at all. Our “knowledge” is reduced to mere observational data. No inference can be allowed which is not already contained within that “scientific” worldview, namely that everything is devoid of meaning and purpose, and nothing exists apart from chains of physical causes.

            But God is not part of the natural world in the first place. You can’t “prove” God like you prove DNA or 2+2. It is a perversion of both science and philosophy to use childish arguments about “proof” in this way. This mindset is so alien to me that I can’t imagine that any adults actually think this way, but they are all over the place now. It’s part of the indoctrination, I guess. They’ll try to argue with you, apparently, that God should be some sort of physical substance, and then laugh heartily at you when you can’t “prove” anything about this God substance. This is the extent of “argument.” It’s a total trainwreck as far as logic and reason are concerned, but as long as it’s peppered with references to comic book characters then I suppose it has at least of modicum of entertainment value. But it doesn’t make me want to lobotomize myself and to deny my knowledge and experience, or to throw actual philosophy out the window.

            I can confidently say that philsophy is dead today because people routinely argue by definition. That is, they try to argue simply by defining the opponent’s position out of existence from the get go. This is done by shifting meaning to make it appear that the opponent’s point starts and ends in absurdity. Thus, you can’t ever really get off the ground. There isn’t even a meeting of the minds to agree on what is disagreed! No discussion of terms or anything else. It’s all pretend.

            So from my perspective, this game that people now love to play by continually and mindlessly trashing “religion” by means of pseudo-scientific language is completely and utterly ridiculous, and doesn’t even rise to the level of argument.

            That’s all.

            • I didn’t say that Zorg. I said people who claim to know god can’t prove it – ergo, their claims are nothing more than their assertions. You say god exists. Ok. I say the Flying Spaghetti Monster exists. Explain why your claim ought to be taken more seriously – more respectfully – than mine?

              Knowledge of god is theoretically possible – certainly. That’s my point. Who knows? Maybe. But you don’t know any more than I or someone who says he does not know.

              And all we’re talking about here is the idea of a generic “god.” To go from that to the dogmas of, say, Christianity, now that’s a major leap of “faith” indeed!

          • Zorg, you’ve just proven the futility of evangelism; you’ve done it very well and to your credit. I seriously doubt you have opened the minds of your opponents, but perhaps you’ve encouraged a few to venture out beyond the social norms and consider the idea that not everything in our experience can be understood in terms of “2+2=4”.

            Good discussion, excellent points, an A+ for effort 🙂

            Does a dog have the Buddha nature? 🙂

            • Hey Scott,

              “… perhaps you’ve encouraged a few to venture out beyond the social norms and consider the idea that not everything in our experience can be understood in terms of “2+2=4″.”

              I agree – I am open to experience and freely admit (as any sane person with half a brain ought to) that “not everything in our experience can be understood in terms of 2=2=4.” But that is not proof that god exists, let alone proof that the Christian god is the right god.

              The statement could also be formulated thus: We don’t know everything; can’t know everything. The world – existence – is often mysterious and unpredictable.

              Hence, god exists.

              That just doesn’t do it for me.

              Look, I don’t expect chayzus to show up in my room or something like that. But by the same token, don’t expect me to believe that chayzus showed up in your room (or gave you “golden plates” or whatever) absent some real evidence to substantiate it.

              Extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof.

              For instance: I am inclined to believe that Earth is not the only planet among the billions of worlds in the universe that contains life. Indeed, I suspect strongly that there is advanced, technological life out there somewhere – just based on the odds. But do I know this to be true? Of course not. And if I insist that it is true, before I have proof, why should anyone give my unproved assertions the respect one gives to proven, known things?

              That’s all I’m saying… no ax to grind, no intent to belittle the idea of a supernatural something or other. Just my own insistence on knowing vs. feeling or suspecting….

          • “But God is not part of the natural world in the first place”

            Where exactly is the unnatural world located? Hackensack?

  39. Living in Amerika has become like living in a tent full of mosquitos…Or like living in Europe.

    The Democracy Parasites are not only thieving maggocites, they are mentally retarded and psychotic as well.

    Earth as Prison Planet will be with us for hundreds of more years.

    • “Living in Amerika has become like living in a tent full of mosquitos…”

      DD – this is the best analogy I’ve come across in weeks – top drawer!

      • Actually, the mosquito metaphor is only partially correct. True, we are being bled to death by parasites. But at least mosquitoes do it honestly and without resort to the nerve-deadening effects of propaganda that convinces nearly everyone that the blood-filled balloon hanging off your skin, if even noticed, is for your own good.

  40. ” Authoritarianism Starts in Public Schools ”

    Authoritarianism is ‘taught’, not inbred to humans.

    Government (public schools) have been spectacularly successful indoctrinating Americans to value government (authoritarian) ideology in all aspects of life.

    Authoritarian control was the historical reason that compulsory public schools were imposed on America in the first place during the Progressive Era. 90% American attend government schools during the critical formative years of their lives (..the other 10% attend government regulated/controlled schooling). No surprise at all that process churns out citizens who like authoritarianism.

    Get the government entirely out of the ‘education’ business… and you will cure the authoritarian outlook seen in most Americans today.

    Abolish compulsory-attendance (truancy) laws in the U.S. — and you will break the government stranglehold ‘education’.

    Always seek the root cause of observed problems.

    • Very true.

      Probably part of the reason why I’m viscerally anti-authoritarian is because I was kept out of government skools until the fifth grade… long enough for my Clover-dar to develop pretty strongly!

    • I envision an America with the equivalent of a Little Red School House staffed by volunteers in every Community. Also, the Internet has yet undreamed of educational and learning potential for those who want to learn.

      WE the People hear much about EDUCATION but it is really the LEARNING that counts. Methinks that America is overburdened with costly education and pitifully short on inexpensive learning. A truly learned people would not allow themselves to be RULED by juris doctors, career office holders, and office holders who ARE juris doctors.

      Madison warned of the danger inherent in FACTION in Federalist Number 10. There is no more important warning in the entire Federalist Papers. Add Eisenhower’s Military Industrial Complex warning and you risk an America that would make a Stalin, Mussolini or Hitler smile.

      Tinsley Grey Sammons

    • Fun quiz although there were quite a few questions I simply could not answer honestly. Middle right, libertarian.

      • No such thing as a left or right libertarian. As Robert Anton Wilson said, “Libertarians, if they were consistent with their principles, would be anarchists.”

        • Anarchy can’t survive in a world of social apes that band together to exert force on individuals.

          Someone mentioned never defending against superior numbers. The anarchist is, by definition, an individual first and foremost. That person can’t easily survive a coalition of two. Twenty is out of the question. This is why anarchy can’t work.

          • That doesn’t mean there can’t be anarchy, it just means that not having a world like that is one of the preconditions for anarchy. So practical anarchists look into how to get that and how to keep that without themselves falling prey to becoming the thing they oppose (think of the biblical description of what would come of Israel gaining a king to defend against others).

          • I’m afraid I don’t understand the biblical reference to Israel off the top of my head. I’ve never really studied the Hebrew or Christian texts in any great detail. I went to Sunday school until I was six then gave it up. For the past 30 years I’ve been a student of the Tassajara and Rinzai schools with no real preference between them.

            I think you’re right if what you’re trying to say is we anarchists don’t have a problem as long as people don’t gang up and fight with us.

          • I sort of jumped ahead a bit there. When I say Tassajara and Rinzai, I’m referring to Zen schools. I can’t say I’m a Buddhist, but then again I can’t say I’m not.

          • Finally, how the heck did I get so far away from talking about replacing the timing belt in my ’85 928? This site is downright insidious…

          • It’s naive to think that people can’t survive without government. They’ve done so and thrived for thousands of years. no matter how good or bad man is, he is better off in liberty. If men are good, then they need no rulers. If men are bad, then governments of men, composed of men, will also be bad – and probably worse, due to the State’s amplification of coercive power. Given the choice I’ll take my chances with in anarchy.

    • These folks have Barack Obama only slightly less authoritarian than and well to the right of Adolf Hitler. Don’t tell the “liberals!”

      I don’t know about it though, because they place Ron Paul as a +9 right-winger and only -1 libertarian. They scored me as to the left of and more libertarian than Ron Paul. I just can’t imagine that’s possible, nor can the regulars here who have seen enough of my comments, I’d wager.

  41. Eric,

    Here’s how I see it.

    God has AUTHORITY over me because he made me.

    My parents had AUTHORITY over me until I turned 18, because they raised me and were responsible for my well-being and development.

    I think they did a good job.

    I acknowledge that other human beings may have more POWER than me, but none have AUTHORITY over me.

    It’s easy to confuse POWER and AUTHORITY. God knows The State wants you to think they’re synonymous.

    I figure the only people that can legitimately claim to have AUTHORITY over me now are dressed in white robes and glowing.

    Otherwise, it comes down to POWER based on some caliber of bullet.

      • Oh really?

        When did they change the definition of Father? or Son? But I’ll give you Holy Spirit.

        Anyway, this is neither the time nor the place for a discussion of religion.

        • The definitions of a cult.belief system based on an extra-terrestrial maniac are not relevant to the creator.

    • Agree –

      No person has any right to control any other person – excepting minor children by their parents and criminals (that is, people who violate other people’s rights) by their victims, or proxies operating on their behalf.

      You own you; I own me – none of us has a claim on any other person’s person – or the fruits of that person’s creative/physical work. Period.

      It’s such a simple thing – but the moochers and Clovers will never understand it, or if they do, are determined to quash it for all the obvious reasons….

      • Eric wrote:

        “You own you; I own me – none of us has a claim on any other person’s person – or the fruits of that person’s creative/physical work. Period.”

        The fact that each one of us is an autonomous, sapient individual means to me that we were intended to be our our decision-makers, not tools of some gang of thugs or property of the great “We.”

    • No POWER that contravenes the PRINCIPLES underpinning the Unanimous Declaration has LAWFUL AUTHORITY.

      LAWFUL and LEGAL are not synonyms. There is an ethical element in lawful that is often criminally absent in legal. Would that all of my fellow humans appreciated and respected that fact.

      WE hold these Truths…

      Do WE really?

      Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)

  42. The whole left right thing is just BS. They are both Statists that would control your life. They play good cop, bad cop on us all day long and people fall for it.

    Take war for instance, the left has “humantiarian wars” the right is fighting to save you from the bad guys. What’s the difference? They both sent me off to wars that didn’t profit anyone but the MIC. The only good thing about my service was that I made some lifelong friends and learned a valueable lesson. Don’t ever trust the government, they lie just for fun and profit.

    • Ps Please don’t thank me for my “service” (it ticks me off) I didn’t serve you. I served our corporate masters and if there is a God in heaven I will most likely burn in Hell for my actions. Unless he feels pity for a poor fool who was young, dumb and full of ^um, filled with patriotic drivel by our indocrination centers called schools.

      • I almost went in, when I was 19 (ROTC)… but (thank Elvis) my anti-authoritarian streak saved me. I can only imagine the psychological pain one would have as a result of being placed in the position of killing “enemies of freedom” whom you later realized were just people much like yourself, but who happened to find themselves on the wrong side of a mapline or in the way of someone else’s agenda….

        • So Eric, let me ask you a question. I oppose Social Security for the reasons I stated earlier. I also oppose military pensions or public employee pensions of any kind for that matter. It doesn’t make sense to carve out a class of citizen and make them special. Also, isn’t that wealth transfer too? I oppose war for the most part, at least the way it’s been conducted for the last 50 years or so. I mostly come from the Ron Paul school on foreign policy. Why should I support it through military pensions? The VA has a website where you can see the monthly and lifetime benefit of someone in the military. A supply clerk in a stateside post (rank of E6) with 20 years of service will “earn” nearly $2 Million in lifetime benefits if they retire at 38. That’s pretty much plunder in my book. What are your thoughts on this? Isn’t wealth transfer to support a class of individual wrong regardless of how they are labeled?

          • I agree, David – it’s the same thing in principle. The bottom line is: No one has the right to live off someone else; to force them to provide a material benefit against their will.

      • I enlisted as a teenager for no reason other than to have a way to earn a living. I was a teenager and I didn’t know how to do a damned thing.

        I’m convinced that those who enlist to serve some noble cause have been, and continue to be, very few. Most who “serve” are rarely if ever in mortal danger. A relative few bear most of the Mortal Danger Burden. For example: The Luftwaffe Fighter Pilots and the American Helicopter Pilots and Crews in Vietnam.

        I despise individuals like Lyndon Johnson who undeservedly try to cash in on the glory. Politician Lyndon left Washington and went to the Pacific War just long enough to lay claim to a Silver Star . . . something that I am convinced he never really earned. The episode reads like a teenager’s cock story and reeks like boiled eggs and beans flatulence under an electric blanket.

        Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)

        • “…reeks like boiled eggs and beans flatulence under an electric blanket.”

          Dammit, Tinsley! You made my spill coffee all over my lap again!

    • Brad, what you performed in the military was “servitude” not “service” since, as you point out, no one was served except for the well-connected parasites in MIC and because you had absolutely no say in the matter.

      And I’d thank you for your servitude but that’s just plain absurd. 🙂

  43. I’m a big fan of Heinlein. He’s book “The moon is a harsh mistress” was a good book about 4th gen warfare. Also, his thinking on society has some pratical freedom uses. He wrote that those who vote for war should be the first to take up arms is spot on. How many wars do you think we’d be in if every congressman who voted yes had to report the next day to deploy? None.

    • Mine too.

      He was not merely a great writer (rare enough). He was also a great thinker – even more rare.

      It never ceases to amaze (and disgust) me that the most turgid warmongers are invariably chickenhawks. I’d love to see Newtie and Ricky and Mitt air-dropped over Tehran to “fight fer freedom.”

      And: Notice that guys like Ron Paul (and Jesse Venture) who actually did serve are among the least war-happy people you’ll ever meet.

        • Hi Brad,

          Excellent to know. And I personally know other vets (and even a cop) who, like you and I, dread what this country is becoming and who are determined to be on the right side of things. Welcome to our group!

      • So true.

        Major General Smedley Butler was the most decorated Marine at the time of his death. He was awarded the Congressional Medal of Honor — twice.

        He knew the evils of war so well that he became a crusader against US military adventurism.

        He said: “War is a racket. It always has been. It is possibly the oldest, easily the most profitable, surely the most vicious. It is the only one international in scope. It is the only one in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives. A racket is best described, I believe, as something that is not what it seems to the majority of the people. Only a small ‘inside’ group knows what it is about. It is conducted for the benefit of the very few, at the expense of the very many. Out of war a few people make huge fortunes.” (Bush/Cheney, Halliburton)

        Butler cleverly argued that future US decisions to wage war be restricted to those voters willing to risk death on the front lines.

    • Heinleins CROWNING achievment is the society he created in “Starship Troopers” where one has to earn his franchise in order to vote or hold office.

      • I’m a big fan of Robert’s, In fact I own a copy of every book and short story he ever wrote and I’ve read most more than once. I never agreed with his proposal for a citizens franchise. How do you make new citizens in times of peace? I don’t think he really thought that through. Endless war shouldn’t be a goal of any civilized society, but using his “Starship Troopers” model there wouldn’t be much in the way of alternatives in the US.

        Now, I could be beaten up on that using the grounds the US doesn’t have to be at war to have mandatory military service, but in fact if you look at the way the US Constitution is written, it really does. The Constitution doesn’t allow for a permanent standing army, Congress can raise an army but it has to re-authorize funds every two years. That they do this as a matter of course now doesn’t reflect the original intent.

        If the US military were run according to the will of the Founders, there would be no standing army, every able bodied person in the country would be a member of the militia, and Robert A. Heinlein would need to find a different way to franchise citizens.

        • Heinlein’s point was that SERVICE was required. You didn’t necessarily have to engage in combat, but the experience of serving gave you the moral understanding that the application / use of gov’t was the use of force. Only those who had served in the military could best appreciate the use of force and what it could do and the consecquences. I think that was the true point.

          • Nah, I served with a lot of smuckwits who would gladly take a job as a cop and take a billy club to your head. Same guys that would vote for W or O and if they themselves became the “leader of the free world” would gleefully send kids off to kill. The level of sadism in the military is probably no different than that found in the Catholic church or any place else for that matter.

            The only thing I will say is that having served in combat I became aware of what was going on. However, learning the hard way isn’t something I would suggest for anyone. It didn’t magically flip my morral compass. If I had been a smuckwit going in I would have simply been a better trained smuckwit coming out.

          • Yup. If we’re going to have a state in which force may be used against peaceful individuals who have caused no harm, then a solution such as Heinlein’s is at least a decent functional Band Aid.

            Similarly, if we are going to have direct taxation on incomes and property, then only people who are not net tax-resource consumers ought to have the right to vote.

            It’s madness to permit people who don’t pull their own weight to have the legal right to dispose of the property of those who do.

  44. There is a fundamental difference between social security and ebt.

    Social security recipients have paid into this system and are now receiving a benefit. People have money confiscated from their paycheck to fund this ponzi scheme which is then doled out to them once they reach a certain age or convince the gov’t that they are disabled and unable to work.

    The ebt recipients have not paid into the system for any of the benefit they are receiving. They are simply leeching off the system and have contributed nothing.

    • It’s a difference, but it does not convey a right to the “benefit.”

      If you disagree, then answer me this:

      If I am the victim of a mugger, do I then have a right to mug you in order to recover what has been stolen from me?

      This is the essence of Social Security. Today’s workers are robbed in order to provide “benefits” to yesterday’s workers – who were robbed in their turn.

      The fact that someone is a victim does not give them a right to victimize.

      • Better analogy,

        If you rob me, do I then have the right to mug someone that I don’t know to make up for what I lost?

          • I don’t know that I would call recovering your stolen property victimizing the person who stole from you in the first place.

            Are not the fruits of your labor your property?

            • The tricky part as I see it is we’re dealing not with an individual thief – and recovering your specific property. Consider SS. Your money is long gone (as is mine). It was given to others, long ago. How do we recover what was taken? If we take SS in our turn, then aren’t we taking from others (not the government) too?

          • This is the government sanctioned version of a chain letter, since the gov originated the chain and never dies, they will get their slice forever….

        • This is why I proposed in earlier discussions that social security contributions be compensated with land, minerals, materials, equipment, vehicles, and buildings the federal government currently has ownership of.

          Given the sweetheart deals insiders get there should be more than enough to compensate everyone. Furthermore if these sweetheart deals didn’t exist (market rates) and government wasn’t doing all this welfare and warfare we wouldn’t pay taxes. The federal government could run entirely on its own institutional assets.

          • Brent,
            It doesn’t matter what form the compensation takes, be it cash or ownership in a federal building. If you want a deed instead of a check, you are still asking for the same thing. The right to mug someone else.

          • Who is being mugged for an asset that the government acquired with the funds it took from me?

            For instance a mugger steals your wallet and uses the funds to buy a few silver eagles. Would it not be proper for you to take possession of those silver coins?

            Let’s say the same mugger blows the money he stole from you on alcohol. But he owns an automobile worth about what he stole from you. Would it not be proper for you to be compensated with the funds from the automobile’s sale or the car itself?

            The institution that is the federal government has assets. Paying restitution to those it has wronged from those assets is not mugging anyone else. The federal government has the assets it isn’t acquiring them to pay restitution, it already has them. Acquired by stealing them from people in the -past-, people who are now being paid restitution.

            Now is it a long line? yes. Will people be made whole? Maybe not. But it is a valid way to try.

          • There is no valid way to make the federal government pay anything without first expecting that government to mug someone. Unless you expect the government to dissolve itself and distribute its assets to its citizens (I appreciate the appeal in that).
            Short of dissolving itself, it will operate out of physical asset. It either has to own them or pay rent to someone that does own them. If the government sells a building to pay you your SS benefit, it then has to mug someone so that it can replace the building or stay in the building and pay rent.

            The point is, anything the government gives to someone, it first must take from others. The buildings are assets that it acquired by taking from citizens. The treasury balance of cash is an asset that it acquired by taking from citizens. Everything the government owns is an asset that it acquired by taking from citizens. If you want some of those assets, the government either has to shrink in net worth or it has to replace what it gives you by mugging someone.
            Much as we would like to see it, the government is not going to dissolve itself. Certainly there is the possibility of the government becoming smaller, but in financial terms the government is worth less than nothing. If it sells a few builds I would prefer to see the money used to reduce the level of muggings.

            We need to get past the idea that we are owned something by an institution. That is a fallacy. There is no institution that owes us anything. There is only a powerfully organization with the ultimate in coercive forces that decides who gives and who gets. It is very simply when you see it in its purest form, everything else is a “yes, but..” .

          • Why on earth would you make the assumption that my idea keeps the US federal government at a constant size? The whole procedure is similar to a bankruptcy procedure. What happened to Madoff’s assets? They were distributed amongst his victims. Madoff did not get to continue operating at the same size let alone at all after and neither would the fedgov.

          • IIRC, the Libertarian Party’s 1992 platform called for auctioning off as much federal land as necessary, then using the proceeds to buy an annuity for everyone age 45+.

            • The key thing, as I see it, is the cycle has to stop. We must each decide that we are responsible for ourselves – and that we do not have the right to threaten other people with violence to compel them to provide us with material benefits. All that we owe one another is goodwill – and respect for one another’s rights.

              That’s the starting point – if we ever want to have a free country again.

        • Yes, but in this case, reclaiming your money that you put in plus interest from the govt requires stealing from other people to obtain it, since your money has already been given to someone else. The govt does not have money. It takes it from others.

          • Had the government lived up to its original bargain regarding social security this situation would, more than likely, not exist today. But, it does. The question to consider here is, how do repeated acts of lawlessness and theft on the part of the original perpetrators of the “system” confer some sort of guilt or responsibility upon those who’ve been subjected to the theft for forty five years, or better, without having had any choice in the matter? For those of us who have been prisoners of the system our entire lives, Social Security, regardless of what it has been bastardized into today, started out as a contractual agreement (admittedly forced) between ourselves and the government. Having now reached retirement age and having upheld our end of the bargain, we now have the right to expect the other party to the agreement to hold up their end. Though I certainly am no fan of what the system has become, neither am I at fault for how it got to be that way. After all, it was not me, nor any of the other mundanes in my age group, that decided to steal the social security trust fund and spend it on “Great Society” give aways, now was it? Social Security… an entitlement? I think not. It is a contractual agreement and, as such, forced or not, is technically the very essence of free market capitalism. Right up to the point where “somebody” decided to change the rules in the middle of the game. Does it need to be changed? No. It needs to be eliminated. But, without further screwing those who are captives of the system. How do we do that? By phasing it out and affording future generations total control of and responsibility for their own money. And what is the first step to accomplishing such a task. I contend that a good first step would be to stop reelecting the very people who have been screwing you for the past fifty years.

            • Bob,

              I am sympathetic to the plight of those who have been paying in. I am one of them! But there never was a contract – unless you regard someone else imposing an obligation on you against your will as a contract. I do not accept that I owe you or anyone else funds for your retirement – irrespective of the unfairness of what was done to you – because I didn’t do it to you. Similarly, I do not demand that some young kid just starting out be chained to me, because my money was taken from me by others.

          • “Yes, but in this case, reclaiming your money that you put in plus interest from the govt requires stealing from other people to obtain it, since your money has already been given to someone else. The govt does not have money. It takes it from others”
            So maybe a congressmen could stop by the house and mow my lawn or shovel the sidewalk,,

        • Really?

          So the mugger needs to go out and mug someone else to pay you back with interest?

          Perhaps that new victim wants to be paid back with interest also.

          Just how many more should be victimized on your account?

          Is it just about you? Are you that greedy? Are you that self centered?

          Of course I really do not care all that much. I just eat the loss as a cost of doing business. In fact you have the freedom to be absolutely MISERable if you choose to…if you need to. Note the root word MISER…


          I thank God that I am free to choose this.

          Tall Tom
          I Cor 13

        • Agreed. But that’s not what SS is, right? You are not mugging the government when you collect “your” benefits. You are using the government to mug some other helpless victim. Makes my flesh creep.

        • The problem is that “the mugger” got HIS money from other innocent victims. If we “reclaim” “our’ money, we’re really just helping ourselves to money that was stolen from someone else, which is of course just as immoral as the original theft.

          • Lib, the idea is to stop the mugger. Anything else is gravy.

            You don’t stop a mugger by telling him he can’t mug people anymore. You shoot him or you put him in prison until his teeth fall out. Telling him to stop mugging, then patting him on the butt and telling him to go home doesn’t work at all.

      • I think it’s a false analogy Eric, I have to agree with Turd. Your argument focuses on the mechanism underlying SS and you rightfully criticize it as a Ponzi scheme, but that doesn’t matter at all to the participant. The internal structure of SS effects why it can’t work, which is a functional criticism rather than a moral one.

        Social Security is no different externally than any other insurance or pension plan. Before you argue it differs in that its compulsory, recall that there are many “private” unions with the same external features. There are also countless private insurance policies that can’t be distinguished from SS by looking at them from the outside.

        When these union or private insurance scams get busted, they are taken to court and the people who were robbed by them at least have the satisfaction of seeing the perpetrators jailed. That may be cold comfort, but it beats the heck out of letting them walk away with no punishment at all. That’s what Bush did with his bankster bailout. It sets a poor precedent and it sends a lousy message to the next generation.

        • No other insurance/retirement scam is compulsory to participate in except social security and medicare.

          No other insurance/retirement scam can just continue victimizing more people to greater amounts to avoid failing but SS and medicare.

          In the private world people may choose a scam, may fall for a scam but they cannot be legally forced into a scam. If SS were voluntary you could say it was externally the same. But it is not voluntary. I can opt out of all the plans my employer offers for retirement and insurance. I cannot opt out of social security and that’s a huge external difference that should send up red flags.

        • Actually Social Security is in fact different than an insurance benefit. This according to the Supreme Court in their landmark Helvering v. Davis decision in 1937. They said that Social Security is “a social welfare program” with none of the qualities of an insurance plan such as property rights. With an insurance plan you have a contract or policy. With Social Security you don’t have a contract. I dare anyone to show me a contract or written policy. Even the Social Security’s own website says this – “Entitlement to Social Security benefits is not a contractual right.” And – “There has been a temptation throughout the program’s history for some people to suppose that their FICA payroll taxes entitle them to a benefit in a legal, contractual sense. … Congress clearly had no such limitation in mind when crafting the law.” Right from the horses…mouth. If you read the Helvering decision you’ll see that Social Security was sold as and has continued to be marketed as something totally different than what it really is.

          Also, there is no ‘trust fund’. “The proceeds of both (employee and employer) taxes are to be paid into the Treasury like internal revenue taxes generally, and are not earmarked in any way.” In a later Supreme Court case, Flemming v. Nestor (1960), the court said, “To engraft upon the Social Security system a concept of ‘accrued property rights’ would deprive it of the flexibility and boldness in adjustment to ever-changing conditions which it demands.” What the Supreme Court is saying is that just because the money is stolen to you doesn’t give you any right to expect that you will in any way benefit in the future.

          For me it comes down to this – if I can’t opt out then it’s plunder. Period. I personally will never apply for benefits because I understand the true nature of Social Security and its funding mechanisms. Whatever others want to do, well, that’s between you and your conscience.

          • A final note on the enforceability of fraud laws; Bernie Madoff at least got a show trial for whatever it was he did. As a result, I have at least some faith in the position that a) Ponzi Schemes are illegal and b) you can put someone in prison for running one.

            I think you’re so caught up in wanting to end it you’ll forgive the people perpetrating the crime. I have trouble with that. I think it was Frank Herbert who suggested the difference between an animal and a human is that a human caught in a leg-hold trap would wait for the trapper to return and kill him in order to protect his species, whereas an animal would just chew off his own leg to escape the trap.

        • C’mon Scott… am I factually incorrect that the “benefits” paid out to retirees are only made possible by extracting money by force from current workers? That is, via theft? Or do you not regard government taking money from Smith at gunpoint in order to give it to Jones as theft? Does theft become not-theft when it is done by the government? That is, by a group of people under color of law? That makes it legitimate?

          “Social Security is no different externally than any other insurance or pension plan.”

          Really? Can you cite an example of a private insurance plan that pays benefits by simply transferring payments taken in from new subscribers? Were you not aware that this is the legal definition of a Ponzi scheme and criminally fraudulent? Legitimate insurance is a shared risk pool. People pay in (voluntarily, I hasten to add) and the funds are invested. The profit realized from this investment is then used to pay benefits. SS is “theft as you go.” Peter is robbed in order to pay Paul. And there are fewer and fewer Peters paying more and more money to the Pauls as time goes by. “Insurance” that ain’t.

          And: What the heck does “no different externally” have to do with anything – or even mean, for that matter?

          And private unions… you mean the private union you are free to join – or not? Yeah – just like SS.

          • I obviously have not expressed this well. My point is when an insurance company or union pension fund goes bust, they get audited and if the fund was operating a scam the people in charge get thrown in jail. I may not ever get my money back, but somebody’s ass belongs to me.

            For decades I personally paid into SS thinking it was a pension plan. It irritated me that it wasn’t optional, but I couldn’t tell the difference*from the outside* between SS and any other pension plan. It wasn’t until much later (and much too late) I discovered the truth about SS. That’s were the “no different externally” comment comes from.

            I’d like to see some people pay for this. It’s not just about being robbed, it’s about getting even.

            • Actually, no –

              Or rather, it’s a different “ass.”

              Let’s say your private insurance co. defrauds you. The people involved can be prosecuted – and sued civilly, perhaps. If they have assets, these may be used to compensate the victims.

              But SS? It has no assets other than those it steals from others. The only way the system can pay you is by stealing the funds from others.

              See the difference?

              I realize it sucks; like you I’ve “paid in.” A lot. But I’m aware that my money is gone – and I don’t want any part of what’s not mine by right – especially if it means taking it from people who owe me nothing.

          • No Scott, once again you’re wrong. When a union pension plan or insurance company goes bust “you” do not “own” the perpetrators “asses.” The government does (if they don’t give the con-men the nod ) and in the event the perps end up incarcerated “you” (and the rest of us) end up paying for the miscreants’ room, board and medical care too. If they have any assets these typically go to (a) the attorneys, (b) to fines, and finally if there’s anything left (c) back to the the people “left holding the bag”. I have a coworker that was previously employed by Enron. When the SHTF, they weren’t allowed to cash out of their retirement plan. He now has worthless paper, Kenneth Lay is long dead and buried and that’s that. When social security goes the way of Confederate money and the Continental note “you” will be in the same situation. You may have the perceived satisfaction of watching the government “own” some scapegoats’ “asses”, but they won’t be the actual transnational thieves that set up the scam and carried it to fruition. Your best bet is to write the Socialist Slave system off as a cost of doing business as David so accurately pointed out. My advice to you is put everything you can into a Roth IRA (or in value dense hard assets it will be difficult for the public parasites to find and steal) between now and elderhood. The scam is up, our money is gone and we can “hope” for “change” all we want to and that’s probably what we’ll end up with; we’ll get to keep “the change.”

          • You and Boothe seem to have made your peace with all this, I’m afraid I’m just a little less forgiving.

            Sure the people who started all this are gone, but their legacy lives on in the people who are, to this very day, still taking money from the general population at gunpoint with the full knowledge those people will never see any benefit from it. They’re still pretending its a pension plan. They still call it disability insurance. If you contact them they use terms like “date last insured” to determine your “coverage”. They send out semi-annual statements detailing your “account balance” and predicting your “retirement benefits”.

            Someone is still doing this. They know what they’re doing is wrong. I’m afraid my heart just isn’t quite big enough to forgive them for ripping me off, and at the same time turn a blind eye to the scam their pulling on my kids.

            Frankly, I don’t understand how either of you can be so blasé about it, where’s the righteous indignation? Where’s the justice in just writing it all off?

            Every pension plan I know of pays benefits by transferring payments taken in from new subscribers. They’re all run like insurance plans as far as I know. Many of them do exactly what SS was said to do, invest plan contributions in Treasury Bills. I don’t understand this comment.

            What I really don’t understand is the apologist stance. I’m not naive enough to think I’ll get my money back, but I’m also not a good enough Buddhist to just turn the other cheek and let these bastards go without some kind of punishment. I’m sorry about your friend at Enron Boothe, but just because he got screwed doesn’t mean I should sit down and shut up while somebody else does it to me.

            • Scott, I think (based on your comments) you misunderstood me. I don’t forgive the people (or institutions) that stole from me (and you and others). But I don’t want to partake of punishing people who had nothing to do with it in order to exact revenge or make me whole.

              I’ve already discussed this as regards SS. The money they took from you and me and everyone else is gone. Spent. There is no way to get our money back. All that’s possible is taking money from other victims (today’s workers) and I want no part of that.

          • Somehow this ended up as a reply to David. Putting it back here for continuity.

            A final note on the enforceability of fraud laws; Bernie Madoff at least got a show trial for whatever it was he did. As a result, I have at least some faith in the position that a) Ponzi Schemes are illegal and b) you can put someone in prison for running one.

            I think you’re so caught up in wanting to end it you’ll forgive the people perpetrating the crime. I have trouble with that. I think it was Frank Herbert who suggested the difference between an animal and a human is that a human caught in a leg-hold trap would wait for the trapper to return and kill him in order to protect his species, whereas an animal would just chew off his own leg to escape the trap.

          • No Scott, I have not “made my peace with all this” (“all this” being the fascist welfare/warfare state). I just understand that like the lone survivor armed with a knife surrounded by blood thirsty mutant zombie bikers, there is no way in hell I’m going to prevail in a straight fight with “the system”. So I look for the slightest opening in the throng; then duck, dodge and haul ass for cover. I remain hopeful that I can wait it out while they feed on each other. It’s already starting to happen. I just read about a case where truancy officials just went after one of their own, because her thirteen year old son stayed home with the flu. Once they can no longer distinguish between host (the productive) and parasite (tax feeders), and they are nearing that point, they’ll do a lot of the demolition work for us.

            We need to pick off the bureaucRats that perpetuate the system one at a time just like they do us. At this point the appropriate course would be to sue any one of them personally that violates our civil rights and even use the civil provisions of RICO on them. The problem is that the courts are stacked against us now. Jurors don’t usually understand the true nature of their role in court. The attorneys are mercenaries and jaded cynics for the most part. The judges that aren’t outright whores for the bureaucracy often have a superiority complex and are engaging in social engineering from the bench. Then there’s this little matter of cost; in both money and time. Unless you are independently wealthy (and even that’s no guarantee, ask Michael Milken) you usually don’t stand a chance against the “golden hoard” that is government.

            So, no I have not made my peace with my captors and antagonists; no Stockholm Syndrome in this quarter. I do not forgive those that know full well what they’re doing to us, yet do it anyway. I have just become sufficiently pragmatic now that I’ve exceeded a half century on this planet to try to protect what I can from the thieving bastards. It’s better to throw a few bones with some meat on them out into the woods for the wolves to fight over while you hoist the rest of the elk carcass up a tree on a rope where they can’t get to it while you reload that old model 94. But if you want to take up a burning branch and try to beat back the pack, you probably won’t find too many people willing or able to help you or even to sew up the teeth marks in your ass when the smoke clears.

      • This is the malign genius of government. It serves as the same sort of fictitious “person” that a corporation does. People naturally feel that since they’ve given money “to the gov’t”, that the gov’t should at some point give it back in the form of benefits. But behind the monolithic facade of “gov’t” there are only thousands of individuals, just as self-interested as anyone else, using the power of gov’t to advance their own agendas–which often amount to no more than money, power, and perks, never mind any philosophical aspirations. Their OWN pocketbooks are never opened when the gov’t gives out social security or welfare checks–it’s always taken out of OUR hides. That is, the hides of everyone you know, including yourself, one way or another. Even in the case of a lawsuit involving a gov’t employee, if the courts award a settlement to the plaintiff (doesn’t happen often), the money doesn’t come out of the perp’s pocket, it comes out of taxpayer money. And in the case of the Federal government, because they have the ability to create money at will, it needn’t even come from any existing source of funds–it just comes out of value stolen from every holder of the state’s currency. What a great scam!

      • But that’s not how our society works. You may or may not know who mugged you. If you don’t but the cops arrest someone and the courts convict him will you accept the court’s (gov’t’s) decision to force that person to give you his money as compensation for your loss? What if he didn’t do it? What if he’s receiving welfare? What if the money he gives you is also stolen?

        If not then you’re saying that the (bullshit) “justice” system is nothing but theft as well (which it is) and so cannot in good conscience ever use it.

        Not to mention the very “justice” system itself is paid for with money taken unwillingly from others so to use it to try and recoupe your money is also “mugging” someone else in order to recover what was stolen from you.

        If you use ANY gov’t “service” for your benefit you are “mugging” someone else. Taxation is theft.

    • There is no effective difference between these programs. Both are transfer programs–transferring wealth from one person to the other. No one “pays into” it. You are taxed with that money being immediatly spent through the general fund. It’s a classic definition of a ponzi scheme. What you “get back” after retirement has no relationship to what you paid in. There is no lock box, there is no “individual account” to track, etc.

      • Yup –

        Turd reveals the typical Republican mindset – its hypocrisy and contradictions. Or, merely its inability to reason, to accept a principle as the premise of any argument. Which is probably worse, since that’s not fixable.

        • Careful when you single out Rs for hypocrisy and contradictions. I think, as you said, Heinlein was right–the division is not really between Dems and Repubs, but between authoritarians and anti-authoritarians. Ds and Rs are examples of the first. Ron Paul’s campaign is going a long way toward educating the public on this.

          • Just to be clear: I’m not criticizing belief; whatever floats your boat! I just think it’s ridiculous (and often, dangerous) for people to assert they know that their beliefs are the right ones, to the exclusion of all others.

    • Businesses pay into the system through unemployment insurance taxes.

      Of course, because federal money can’t be siloed when times are good, the tax just goes into the general fund. When times get tough the government just borrows to make up the difference.

      But if you’re talking about the chronically unemployed, that’s a little different. But back in 2009-10 when Barry kept extending unemployment bennies, that was coming out of the “insurance” fund.

    • Gentlemen, very soon socialist security will come to a complete stop along with “welfare” payments. In the very near future, the fedgov will no longer be able to make interest payments on the national debt (it is physically impossible to pay off the principle). The derivatives market is scheduled to collapse in the Fall of this year, which will begin the final phase of the federal reserve note collapse. When the “welfare” recipients are no longer getting their checks you can guess what is going to happen next. This is probably why the FEMA camps were built in the 90’s.

      Anyway, SS and welfare will most likely not continue past this year. It’s a good time to stock up on guns, ammo and silver coins.

      • So ya’ll thinking the dollah will become completely worthless? When the collapse happens ya’ll think they’ll start taking homes? I’m just trying to think what all I should start doing to prepare. As long as they don’t take my home I’ll be a good shape. Just need to get more supplies/tools to sustain myself and be more productive here on the mountain.

          • No, they don’t have to catch you. Remember what Mao Tse Tung wrote about how to deal with guerillas and the like: “take away the water, the fish dies”. That’s what all the statists’ institutional changes are doing right now.

      • I think the social security and welfare checks will keep coming for a while yet. What will happen is that the checks will buy less and less.

        Many people talk about the coming day of reckoning with social security. What will happen is the government will inflate its way out of it. People will get their promised $1200 per month or whatever. They will just have to pay $50 for a loaf of bread.

    • The problem is in the structure of social security. It’s a pyramid scheme, not actual insurance or investment or pension.

      Real insurance, retirement investments, and pensions work under the principle of having the use of money today. In each the money is used to day to earn more to pay off in the future.

      Social security doesn’t work that way. Social security is a transfer. The government taxes workers of today to pay the former workers of yesterday. There is no fund. No investments. No working capital that produces for the payouts. It’s just money in and money out.

      Social security is as if your pension fund manager went out and spent your pension contributions on hookers, drugs, and alcohol* and then when you retired paid your pension benefits with the contributions of those still working.

      *Except the government did far less productive things with your social security contributions. For people retiring today, your social security contributions can be found as spent and unexploded bombs across south east asia and the middle east.

    • Turd, there are also people who never paid a dime into social security who are collecting social security checks. There are also many people over 65 who are still paying social security taxes.

      Social security taxes are just like federal income taxes in that you give up all property rights to your money as soon as the government gets its claws on it.

      • You’re right. The first SS thief, er, recipient was Ida Fuller. She ‘contributed’ $24.75 during her lifetime and benefited $22,888.92. The average (according to the CBO) gets roughly $100k more in lifetime benefit than they put in and the average woman $80k. It’s a Ponzi Scheme in most ways except that it isn’t voluntary unlike Bernie Madoff’s. At least you could opt out of Madoff’s…until the end when it collapsed.

        The problem is that it was marketed to the American people in one way and administered in another. Bait and switch. If you read the briefs for the Helvering case the government totally deceived America. That’s why so many people got duped into going along with it to begin with. If they had known “how the hotdog was made” they would have rebelled against it from the git go. That generation of American’s were opposed to government welfare so it had to be disguised and sold as something else which is exactly what happened. Now so many people rely on it that it would be difficult to unwind.

        • You know, the Fedgov (love that term, by the way) doesn’t just have DOLLARS to compensate us with regarding SS.

          I’d be happy to take a couple of scrap F-15s or a thousand acres of national forest in lieu of a check.

          • I’d be quite content if they simply left me alone from here on out! Gibs me a piece of paper. I will write out a contract agreeing to forswear any future claim to “benefits” of any kind in return for henceforth not being required to “contribute” to SS. They’ve been milking me for 25 years now. How about
            leaving me along for the next 20? Is it really too much to ask to be allowed to work the last half of my working life for myself?

            Of course it is.

      • Yes, you can actually opt out. The Amish have done it.

        With the exception of Wendy’s hamburgers, for almost all employers, their first requirement for hiring you is: “You must have a Social Security number.” There was a lawsuit leveled against Wendy’s years ago, so if you want a job with them, their application has the field:

        Social Security Number (optional) _____________

        Also, I have met one person who actually dropped out of the “system”. He told me that it was complicated and when you drop out, you don’t ever get back in again. But apparently, when you drop out of the socialist security system, you are also out of the “voluntary” income tax system as well. Believe it or not, the Amish do not pay income taxes.

        • Hi SM,

          It’s true that the Amish (and some other groups don’t pay SS). There is a “religious exemption,” but the catch is only certain approved religions are exempted – the Amish being one. And you can’t just say, “I’m Amish, I’m exempt.” You have to prove to them that you are a member of the approved religious group. No easy thing, especially as regards the Amish. Christian Scientists are also exempt by the way – last time I checked.

          • The Amish pay all taxes except SS. It’s a finely written exemption as Eric points out and it came into being because the public at large came to their defense on this matter.

            That’s the key, to challenge the government with massive support. As an individual or small group it rarely works out.

  45. “People do not want freedom. What people want is safety.” HL Mencken

    The majority have to be dragged kicking and screaming into freedom everytime is happens. It is no wonder why it never lasts. Now we have such excessive media propaganda that of you wrote an article about what freedom really meant, people would recoil in horror, mention children and anarchy and want to imprison you for suggesting such.

    • Absolutely – and more (and worse): People – most people – lust to control other people; to force them to conform to their way of thinking and doing.

      This society is almost ripe – almost ready to blossom into the next Reich or CCCP. And most people will cheer it….

      • Recall the genius of George Lucas in the final Star Wars movie when the formation of the Empire is announced, “So this is how liberty dies….with thunderous applause.”

        • Yeah, I used that speech to make a point in an article I did a few months back. It (the emperor’s speech) could have been spoken by The Chimp or Obama ….

          • An even better quote is something Padme asked Anakin earlier in Episode III:

            “What if the democracy we thought we were serving no longer exists, and the Republic has become the very evil we’ve been fighting to destroy?”

            Perfect description of modern America, IMO.

            Then there was Palpatine’s creation of the “Grand Army of the Republic” in Episode II. Chancellor Palpatine, meet President Lincoln!

      • Wow, I wanted to control someone’s thinking today and make them think more like me. Those the Obama 2012 bumper stickers bring out the worst in me.

      • In Christian cultures, such as what our nation was more or less created by and operated under, we, as Christians, have been taught to try and abide by the “Golden Rule”: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you. Humm…just how well did THAT work out for the natives of the American Southwest in the late 19th century or the native peoples of the Hawaiian Islands after the Christian missionaries showed up and basically wound up trying to impose the ethical, cultural, and moral standards of a society COMPLETELY foreign to the natives. The natives of these locals had absolutely NO desire to become Christian, live in stone or wood houses, and wear close-fitting, uncomfortable and climatically silly garments, like what was being forced upon them. Maybe a better “Golden Rule” should be: DO UNTO OTHERS AS THOSE OTHERS WOULD HAVE YOU DO UNTO THEM. Whatcha think?

        • I think it’s one of the reasons why many people are turned off by religious zealotry. Me included. The problem with all this god talk is everyone has a different notion about what god is talking about – and different gods, too!

          • “God-talk is a potential path to a life of ease and even wealth for many whose faith is questionable at best. Some believe what they preach but I suspect that many do not, or at least have grave doubts.

            Swaggart proved just how much bullshit multitudes will buy . . . and I do mean BUY! They eagerly consumed his “Ohh…Ahh have sinned.” delivery. To him I say, if there is such a thing as sin, you sure have you phony son of a bitch.


    • IF

      Based on the Unalienable Right to Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness, if You the the Individual had the power to repeal just one unlawful power that presently makes it possible to arrest, impoverish, and even imprison a person, which power would you repeal?

      And please explain why you would repeal that particular power?

      Tinsley Grey Sammons (1936 –)

      • First, I would replace “unlawful” with “immoral”, as a great many things that are lawful are also egregious. It bears repeating that everything Hitler did was LEGAL.

        That being said, I would remove the ability to tax. Without the ability to tax, most of the other egregious acts of government would cease to exist due to complete inability to carry them out.

        A great many ancillary ills would cease as well, since if you don’t despoil a man’s treasure, he will use it as he sees fit, or even horde it, harming none save possibly himself.

        I’ve read a great many of your comments, and you seem to be a man who believes in “just” governance. I think that if you look just a bit deeper, you’ll discover that there is no such thing. ANY form of “governance” that is predicated on the threat of force (ALL forms of rulership are)is inherently unjust. While benefits may derive, no act can be moral that is predicated on an immoral act as it’s initial impetus.

        Yes, I’m an anarchist. Voluntary cooperation WORKS. Coercive “cooperation”, while sometimes effective in the short term, always fails. NO empire has ever stood the test of time, and this one is no exception. It only stands apart from those of the past in sheer scale, and perhaps in how short of a time it exists.

        • “First, I would replace “unlawful” with “immoral”, as a great many things that are lawful are also egregious.”

          Immoral? Why open the door to religious cluttering by attaching a moral significance to things that don’t amount to a bag of fart?

          I see no justice in making conduct punishable merely on the grounds that someone considers it egregious.


          • I’m an atheist. Perhaps “unethical” would be a better term. Many things that are lawful are anti human, unfair, unwarranted, and frankly, counterproductive.

            And they are all financed by taxation. No law would have any force at all without the guns purchased BY TAXES, so removing the ability to tax would force a change in thought at the very least. It would defund the foreign adventures, it would defund the pig… I mean, cops and their racket.

            Sorry I took so long to respond, and sorry to be brief, as I could write a great deal on this, but I just worked 14 hours and am a bit brain dead.


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