Canary in the Libertarian Coal Mine

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Even Lew Rockwell is having money problems (see here).

That says a lot.

And it’s not good.

Lewrockwell.com is huge in terms of its audience; it reaches millions of people. Yet it is having trouble making ends meet – let alone making a profit.canary pic

I’ve posted here about my problems, which are similar. I am not alone. The financial strangulation of contrarian web sites such as LRC and EPautos (and many others) is a pervasive problem that’s getting worse. And it is getting worse because Internet advertising has become a virtual company town, with Googuhl the owner of said town.

Probably 90 percent of online advertising is not direct, a deal between the publisher/owner of a web site and the advertiser, but indirect, through Googuhl or a Googuhl emulator that pays only for “clicks” rather than the space/visibility. The payment per “click” is based on Googuhl’s secret internal formula, which we know is to some extent based on how highly (or not) Googuhl “ranks” a given web site.

This reduces the potential income of online advertising to almost nil. Or at least, an amount that’s so low it makes it very difficult to meet even basic expenses such as servers (you need heavy-duty servers, with back-up, when you have a lot of traffic; we are not talking about $50/month “blog” servers) and forget paying contributors or staff.

I posted the other day about this site’s traffic. According to Quantcast, about a quarter-million people read EPautos each month. Lew’s traffic is several times higher. In pre-Internet/print media terms, each site has the equivalent audience of a successful national magazine, or at least that of a medium-sized city’s daily newspaper.

And yet…

As many of you already know, I used to work as an editorial writer and columnist at The Washington Times, back in the ’90s. I was a salaried employee, along with an entire editorial page staff of writers, editors, copy editors and graphic designers, plus an entire newsroom of reporters and support staff. The Times never had more than about 150,000 paid subscribers. Fewer people read The Times than read EPautos. Yet The Times could afford to pay for an entire newsroom/editorial page staff.

Because advertising paid.

Thanks to Googuhl, it no longer does. Even when a site is very successful in terms of its readership. google evil pic

Which is a very effective way to stifle contrarian news/opinion without overt censorship. They have become infinitely more clever than that. Simply destroy your adversaries’ ability to make a living and they will all go away. No need to outlaw LRC or EPautos.

Just put ’em in the poorhouse.

What Lew did not mention in the article I linked to at the top of this rant is that the weapon being used against us is the narcotic of freeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!

I have mentioned it numerous times – and figure now’s a good time to to mention it again. Googuhl’s strangulation tactics depend on the majority of readers electing not to support sites such as Lew’s and mine. If they did support LRC and EPautos and other such sites, Googuhl’s power would be smashed at a stroke.

And that is the key to everything.

We could have a powerful alternative to the mainstream media. Imagine what Lew could do if he had the means to pay contributors and staff. If EPautos could do the same.company town pic

Our ability to reach an ever-wider audience, to put Libertarian ideas before people who’ve probably never encountered them before, would be infinitely greater. The debate might actually shift from left-right/blue-red to something different.

But as long as Googuhl controls the company town, sites like LRC and this site are in perpetual peril of going under and even if we manage to survive another month and gimp into the next one, our effectiveness is greatly reduced.

It’s all so sad – because so not necessary.

If even 10 percent of Lew’s audience and this site’s audience tossed in $5 or so a month, the Internet company town would become what it was supposed to be: An agora of ideas, with the best ideas taking pride of place. Instead, we have – for the most part – the same old ideas. Because – notwithstanding the demise of MSM print media – MSM online media has both the support of Googuhl as well as the support of the same entities (the cartel capitalist power brokers) as before.

I will give you an example – and share some inside baseball.

Most of you have probably heard of The Huffington Post. It is one of the biggest online gorillas. And why? It is not because of the sparkling brilliance of the writings you’ll find there – which for the most part are as predictable as Pravda during the Brezhnev years and not even clever on top of that. Yet HuffPost is huge. Can afford a staff.huff

Why?

Because Arianna Huffington, the Zsa Zsa Gabor of the MSM, is extremely rich and well-connected. She became a “writer” using this money, which she did not earn but rather was awarded in her divorce settlement from Michael Huffington, her extremely wealthy ex.

Arianna was – still is, in my opinion – a socialite. So why is she now a famous columnist and pundit?

When I worked at The Times back in the ’90s, we all of a sudden began to receive submissions from this person. Who had no more standing or competence to offer an opinion than any other hausfrau – and whose opinions were expressed poorly, at about the level of a typical American high school sophomore. Much re-writing was necessary. I ventured to ask why we were bending over backwards to accommodate this Arianna person, to make space for her dreck on the editorial page. To give her space rather than to an actually deserving (but not rich/connected) writer who’d written something worth reading.

The answer was, simply put, that powerful interests (i.e., money) wanted her byline in print. So we were obliged to publish her (after re-writing her) and the rest is history. Arianna is now a national level talking head and famous pundit and she is both of those things because she and those backing her had the means to vanity-press her to national prominence. Having achieved national prominence this way, it is assumed it was achieved on the merits. I assure you, this is not the case. Read her stuff yourself and see. Better yet, read her stuff before it gets re-written. Probably by someone who is being paid nothing or next to nothing.

Anyhow, this is what we – Lew and I and other Libertarians who are trying to upend the coercive collectivist applecart – are up against. The truth is we can’t do it without your support. When you have a quarter-million people visiting your site (or millions, as in the case of LRC) and you still can’t meet even basic expenses via advertising, you have a serious problem. Precisely the problem Googuhl intended.water images

So, it’s up to you guys. If you want Lew to survive, if you want EPautos to survive, don’t assume we will survive. That what you are reading today will still be here tomorrow. That things are ok, that someone else tossed in a few bucks. Each of us, in our everyday lives, exchanges value for value. We gladly pay $1.50 for a good cup of coffee; do not expect the coffee to just be there – much less just take it because it is there.

If you value LRC, if you value EPautos (and other such) then please support what we’re trying to do. It doesn’t take much, individually. But it does take each of you, as an individual, deciding to support what you think is worth supporting.

Will you help us? 

Our donate button is here.

 If you prefer not to use PayPal, our mailing address is:

EPautos
721 Hummingbird Lane SE
Copper Hill, VA 24079

PS: EPautos stickers are free to those who sign up for a $5 or more monthly recurring donation to support EPautos, or for a one-time donation of $10 or more. (Please be sure to tell us you want a sticker – and also, provide an address, so we know where to mail the thing!)EPautoslogo

 

 

 

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82 COMMENTS

  1. Can Clover please give me a detailed plans on how pencils will be made without a government department of pencils.

    Does he not want children to have pencils?

    (Who thinks he will know what I am referring too?)

  2. ‘Spell-check for hate’ needed, says Goolag’sGoogle’s Schmidt
    https://archive.is/xewh0

    How many would take advantage, if there were real life freebies the way there are internet freebies.

    Imagine White Hat Freebies

    Libertarian Mail & Package delivery. Libertarian banking and bill pay for free. Libertarian Meals Ready to Eat. Libertarian PVC apartment pods, live for free. Available everywhere. And absolutely free. Reason: donations and grants to make govt obsolete.

    Imagine Grey Hat Freebies

    Linux Free WiFi TV

    All the free television, radio, and internet channels in the world. Now all in one place – your TV. And all for free. All the way back to the first broadcast. Freely available on demand 24/7 forever. Premium plan to access all world’s premium contact for a single rate.

    Imagine Black Hat Freebies

    The Jewish Internet Defense Force took over all U.S. Mosques and made them free residences for anyone willing to agree to the terms of the “free lodging” before moving in.

    What if the free things came from Google, Facebook, Twitter. Eat, live, enjoy leisure, all for free. But there’s some minor ads and some unobtrusive tracking involved. How many would partake then?

      • I think we need to place at least some of the blame on the gunvermin, which accustoms people to receiving ‘free’ tax funded bennies. Even if your are trying to ‘think libertarian,’ it can be hard to break old habits, especially if you are fairly new to the mindset.

        • That’s an interesting observation, Phillip. I hadn’t thought about it quite that way, but it makes sense.

          I think the main problem, though, is that because of technology, it has become very hard to get people to pay for media (written or audio; including music) because it’s just “there” for the taking.

          So people take.

          Imagine if Porsche put cars on the lot, keys in the ignition – and everyone knew there would be no consequences if they took one for a spin.

          How many people would buy a Porsche?

          Writers and musicians are in the unusual position of having very little effective control over their work product.

          As a Libertarian, for me, it comes down to doing the right thing. I admit I’ve downloaded “free” music; I’ve stopped doing that because I know I am screwing not just that artists but artists generally; that the work was created by someone else’s talent and time and that it’s wrong for me to just take it, even though I can. I support artists whose work I enjoy. In part, this is a moral position. But it’s also a practical one. I want them (and others) to continue making music and I know that for them to do, they need to make a living.

          • I agree it’s about ‘doing the right thing,’ but for those unfortunate enough to spend 12 years (or more) in the gunvermin ‘education’ prisons, some of them have never even heard that there are such things as right and wrong.

          • BTW, I have heard that in at least some cases, musicians do better on the net than they do under the old ‘studio contract’ scenario. Except for a very few, musicians never did get rich. But the studios were raking it in hand over fist, and they are the ones screaming the loudest about ‘piracy.’

            • Dear Phil,

              Right.

              I used to buy into Ayn Rand’s concept of IPR, Intellectual Property Rights. It sounded reasonable at the time.

              http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/patents_and_copyrights.html

              But later I changed my mind, even though I myself had two copyrighted libertarian themed screenplays that I had written, and stood to lose money if the legitimacy of IPR was nullified.

              There is another way to look at IP, but it is even harder to square with traditional property rights. When one acquires a copyright or a patent, what one really acquires is the power to stop other people from doing certain things with what is indisputably their own property. One can say that a copyright holder doesn’t actually own anything but the legal authority to stop other people from using their own equipment to copy a book or CD they purchased. And one who holds a patent on the widget actually only has permission to call on the state to stop others from manufacturing and selling widgets in factories they own.

              IP is a peculiar form of property, indeed.

              To Create Is Not to Own

              Why is this approach resisted by so many advocates of freedom? A key reason is the importance attached to the act of creation. If someone writes or composes an original work or invents something new, the argument goes, he or she should own it because it would not have existed without the creator. I submit, however, that as important as creativity is to human flourishing, it is not the source of ownership of produced goods.

              If I build a model airplane out of wood and glue, I own it not because of any idea in my head, but because I owned the wood, the glue, and myself.

              If Howard Roark’s evil twin trespassed on your land and, using your materials, built the most creatively original house ever seen, would he own it? Of course not. You would–and you’d have every right to tear it down.

              Thus ceasing to treat ideas like property would not jeopardize real property. On the contrary, it would affirm it. Protection of intellectual “property” requires the violation of real property rights…

              In other words, the free society and competitive economy require an end to intellectual “property.”

              Sheldon Richman

              Intellectual “Property” Versus Real Property
              What Are Copyrights and What Do They Mean for Liberty?

              http://fee.org/resources/intellectual-property-versus-real-property/

  3. I am a regular donor. I gladly donate about $10.00 a month. If everyone who read these pages did, I doubt that there would be an issue at all. Even at $5.00. So, subscribe already.

  4. Alexa was bought by Amazon in 1999, a major “competitor” of googuhl(wink wink panopticon cartel). They put the ranking system behind the proprietary wall of Amazon Web Services

    The Alexa Web Information Service API makes Alexa’s vast repository of information about the web traffic and structure of the web available to developers.
    https://aws.amazon.com/awis/

    Amazon is now larger than Walmart and still growing
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Amazon.com

  5. “I do not insist or even ask that Googuhl play “fair.” I merely expose their execrable actions and observe that people could easily express agreement by end-running Googuhl; that is, by supporting the sites they regularly visit. In other words, let the market work.”

    Eric, The free market does not work based on donations or contributions. It is based on the buying and selling of something of value.

    You need to get readers to subscribe to a “Premium” version of your site. Provide enough content in a free, “basic” site to keep getting views. Then use that as an opportunity to entice them to subscribe. That will allow them to access your your most valuable and/or controversial articles. Perhaps the ideologues, who are your most passionate, voluminous posters, will be willing to pay a modest sum to share their enlightened opinions about your premium content. 🙂

    Just a final thought. There are a lot more auto enthusiasts out there than Libertarians. Increasing the ratio of “car content” on your premium site might prove profitable.

    You can do it!

    • Hi Mike,

      The problem with that approach is that once anything is available online it can be easily copied – and will be. I doubt there are many if any subscription-based web sites that have avoided this pratfall.

      • FWIW, the model of basic free section and paid premium section has worked now for quite a few years over at Linux Weekly News (lwn.net). They have different subscription levels with different features. A similar approach might work here.

          • Yes, you can read the lwn.net story here:

            https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LWN.net

            The site started as a free resource for Linux users in 1998. By 2002 they were going to close the doors due to lack of funds, but because of the expressed support of readers they went to a subscription model instead, mixed with a few ads as well. This has sustained them to the present day.

            I’m not sure how many subscribers they have but a 2007 subscriber survey had nearly 1000 responders.

          • Eric, just wondering…..if you had a subscription service, and one of the perks of subscribing was having the privilege of posting comments…………….?

            That would move me from the ranks of occaisional donor to subscriber. Of course, you might not want a contrary old @$$hole like me as a subscribing commenter. 😉

            • Ed, you’re exactly the sort I want here! 🙂

              I value intelligent, lively back and forth. Including such that actively disagrees with me. I can’t abide imbeciles and quibblers, people who set up straw men and then knock ’em down. But that’s not you – or the other regulars here!

              • Thanks, bro. I’ve been absent here for a long time. The first few months was because I was busy starting my antique/vintage bead business back up. Then, in early June, I was hit head on by someone driving HUA (head up ass), and nearly killed.

                4 months in the hospital and rehab, then finally back home in October, I only recently regained partial use of my left arm enough to be able to type. I’m doing therapy on my own, and will gradually recover to run my business again.

                The accident has been life changing. Glad to see this site is still alive, and I like the improvements. Keep it up, and thank you for fighting to stay up and running.

    • Yep, I dumped Google in favor of Ixquick HTTPS and installed a good adblock for linux. Google ads display, but aren’t engaged for linking.

  6. I find it amusing when libertarians dislike and complain about market outcomes.

    First, the internet is unregulated, so if Google is doing a bad job (as in not providing for their customers), compete. Otherwise you are making a case that they are becoming an abusive monopoly – but I see no government regulation causing it – and I can find articles about how monopoly is either impossible or irrelevant. Just because the people who own Google are statist bastards who don’t want to sell ad space to libertarians, isn’t that their right?

    You want to stick it to Google – support ad blockers. Put links to Adblock Latitude, u(micro)Block, and howtos (my Router has an ad/tracker DNS blacklist). If you, LRC, AntiWar.com and the rest declared war telling people to “free their browser” – and it is already happening – Google might take notice. “Use this free ad-blocker – it will save you hours a month – how much is your time worth? Please donate”.

    That won’t happen and that is the problem. Whine, complain, but not take action. Maybe not this but another action – yet nothing will happen.

    Second, have you considered your product? Ron Paul is exciting – Liberty is his message and he is passionate about it. His message is that he wants to make America free again (and by doing so, make it Great again – Trump’s message).

    I think it was Tom Leikis that said libertarians always lose because they can’t explain anything in under 5 minutes. Not quite. Instead of shouting “Freedom” like Braveheart, they prefer to have long, obscure discussions with techno-babble – and only with those in their particular denomination of libertarianism (Tom Woods arguing and discussing with a Minarchist was quite interesting – most are just screeds against the “dreamers” or “statists”).

    Libertarians don’t do rhetoric well. At least not most. I don’t read LRC except for the rare article linked. This goes back to Aristotle – “rhetoric”. Ayn Rand was convincing because she put the ideas in the context of a character you could empathize with. The best quick read on the problem is “SJWs always lie” by Vox Day. While about a slightly different fight, he points out the proper battlefield, strategy and tactics.

    ISIS is more effective at recruiting than libertarians.

    Shocking but true, but I think I got your attention and that is because it is rhetoric. You can either go back to reading about some detailed and complex proposal for property rights that never occurred in history or ask why is something so evil on all levels more effective than those who have truth and good on their side?

    Even here – you are passionate about cars. You laud the muscle cars and complain about government mandated nonsense. Do you think you would have so many readers if half the articles were deep engineering analyses with lots of equations, charts, diagrams? Think of the most boring car that you would not even want to drive if it was the last one on the lot available as a rental. But it is a car! Who would need anything more? Why should driving be enjoyable or exciting?

    Why should the general public need anything more than the boring technical minutiae or whining about abuses? Why should they actually enjoy reading the articles? Why should we have to make liberty exciting and something people can get passionate about? Shouldn’t it just be obvious?

    Socialism would work. All it would require is to have an economic version of Next or Minority Report. You object that we don’t have precogs. Exactly. And we have a population of people with weak wills, weak reason, but lots of passion.

    Using fear is using passion – how do those things like the Patriot act get passed?
    Ron Paul and his supporters had passion. A call to greatness is also passion. A glorious vision of a free America. They believed in something. And it was contagious.

    To a large extent I don’t care because libertarians don’t – they have no passion but whine and complain – whether about Google or about Rand Paul or about donations. I will regret some of the losses, but somehow while complaining that socialists want the product of effort without effort, libertarians seem to want freedom without fighting – in the necessary way – for it.

    I for one am willing to fight. But only in a way there is a chance of victory, and only alongside my fellows. I have far more respect for those who were there at the Bundy Ranch taking action than I do for the whiny or technocratic keyboard jockeys who can’t even write with half the passion of Tom Paine – and his “summer soldier” work was to soldiers training, drilling, and freezing.

    http://www.ushistory.org/paine/crisis/c-01.htm

    The only reason we are losing is because we don’t have the will to win – the will to do what is necessary, not what we want to do. And the modern Thomas Paines are rejected and ridiculed more than rallied around. Lets not elect a CSPOA.org sheriff. Lets not organize against anti-liberty companies. Lets not organize (all sites with an open letter to Rand) a contract with Rand saying we will support him if he fights for these 10 things his Father would do, better just to whine he is not his dad. Lets not repackage the boring messages, and lets not have any passionate calls to Freedom. Braveheart is so not wanted.

    • Hi TZ,

      The core issue here, ultimately, is not “rhetoric” but the problem getting people to freely support that which they seem to value. So it’s not about Googuhl, per se. Execrable as this company’s methods are, they are beside the point. I do not insist or even ask that Googuhl play “fair.” I merely expose their execrable actions and observe that people could easily express agreement by end-running Googuhl; that is, by supporting the sites they regularly visit. In other words, let the market work.

      Now, it may be that the verdict of the market is that Libertarian ideas are not worth supporting. If so, then so be it. I will not contest the verdict.

      But I believe that the readership stats prove the opposite and it is mostly a matter of appealing to the moral sense of people to resolve this issue.

      We – Libertarians – are in the position a Chevy dealership would find itself in if people could simply walk on the lot and drive away in a new Corvette or Tahoe. Clearly, the product is desired. The problem is the producers are not being compensated.

      Meanwhile, the cartel capitalists use their leverage to dominate the debate. It’s not coercive in the sense that the IRS is coercive.

      But it’s difficult to compete when there is no real alternative forum except this one (the Internet) and it s a forum very much controlled by a single entity (Googuhl).

    • Libertarians require long explanations? It takes 14 years of government schooling (age four to 18) and constant media reinforcement after the age of 18 for statism to work.

      Libertarians may require an essay, a book, a documentary, but it is overcome the many years statism had with people first. And why doesn’t anyone listen to the long libertarian explanations? The government schools are designed to break people’s attention spans.

      Rand Paul is at 1%. Practically nobody seems to be supporting him these days.

      Economically everyone is being squeezed by the beast. This makes living a pure libertarian life economically very difficult, essentially a vow of poverty. Each individual that takes that vow of poverty accomplishes nothing beyond his own satisfaction. Why? Those 14 years of government schooling everyone gets. Now could it be achieved to get 6% to go through the pain and would that 18million or so people be enough to change the society at large? That’s the question. But that seems to be a very difficult road.

      Few want to hit the state’s the biggest weapon, the schools. Liberty will never happen so long as the state controls the schools. But here’s the thing, everyone knows the schools suck now and are very expensive. There’s the reactor vent. Now how to hit it?

      • Brent P, Libertarians will never win the discussion until they come up with a solution. With the thousands of libertarian posts here there was not one detailed explanation of how your world would work. You say that if everyone is free then everyone will be nice and pay their fair share. If you believe that then you are living in the clouds. It can never happen in the world we live in. Everyone will not be nice and everyone will not pay their fair share and everyone will not make a decision that will not negatively affect others. If you disagree then explain in detail.Clover

        • Clover,

          It’s not that Libertarians haven’t got plans. It’s that we won’ force our plans down your throat.

          Your ilk, on the other hand, always has plans. Which you will force on others, if they don’t agree with you peacefully.

          No Libertarian I know has ever said that ” if everyone is free then everyone will be nice.” Why must you always lie? Why cant you at least argue honestly?

          What is my “fair share,” Clover? Is it money you claim I owe for things I did not agree to buy and which I do not use? That’s an interesting idea…

          • One of the beauties of the free market, if and when it is allowed to exist, is that no one person, or even group of people (think gunvermin committee) has to plan it all. A wide variety of people will come up with a wide variety of solutions, especially in different geographic areas. Others who like the ideas are free to try them. If they like the results, they will continue to do so. If not, then try another idea.
            Ludwig von Mises wrote back in 1920 that socialism was doomed to fail, because of the lack of all encompassing knowledge.

            • Nice Phillip. So you say that if we get rid of everything we have now, then you or others will decide what to do? Is that before or after the riots hit and world war 3?

              So Phillip if none of us likes the job that we are at should we all just quit and figure out what to do after the bankruptcy notice hits? Smart people look for job alternatives before they quit a job. Smart people plan before making a huge change. Why is it that you feel that planning is not needed before a very significant change?Clover

              Eric says he is against eminent domain. What do we do if the power lines no longer can handle the load and a new 50 mile line needs to be put in. So if someone disagrees with it over their land do we make it a 100 mile line instead and try to get twice as many people to agree they will let it through?

              Phillip it is nice to say that we need to get rid of our current system but you and others have offered no other detailed solution. If you are not smart enough to come up with a single detailed solution then tell me why anyone should listen to you or anyone else here? Would any smart person listen to you?

              • Clover,

                You do not grok morality. What is right – vs. wrong. All that matters to you is your utilitarian feelings about what “works.”

                If people have to be threatened – and worse – in order to get them to do what you feel “works,” so be it.

        • Clover, you either intentionally refuse to understand what libertarianism is or you are intellectually incapable of understanding what it is.

          Your problem lies in the fact that you are attempting to shove libertarianism into your socialist statist world view where people have to pay ‘shares’ of something. Shares of what exactly? Tribute to the dear leaders? Tribute to the wealthy that own the dear leaders? Expenses the dear leaders come up with? What’s a fair share? Your kind can’t even agree on what that is both in concept and amount.

          Under a libertarian system if you want to go live in some onclave where you pay a ‘fair share’ to some dear leader who plans the community for everyone, you’re free to do so. However you don’t get to create a military, police force, etc and force everyone else to join that plan and pay the dear leader.

          Those of us still making the USA go are getting tired. Your ilk keeps increasing what a ‘fair share’ is for those who do the work while allowing more and more people not to work at all or very little. It’s not going to last much longer. People can’t keep paying 5, 10, 15K property tax bills on stagnant incomes. People can’t keep paying more for your dear leaders and monopolistic services and welfare and wars and everything else your system demands and going deeper and deeper into debt. It’s not sustainable Clover. It’s going to end sooner or later. Knowing your dear leaders it’s probably going to end in a very ugly way.

          • Brent I have a very simple question for you. If we got rid of all government tomorrow then what would you and other do? I do not want an answer like we will live in Utopia! Clover

            I want details. Is that too much to ask for? How do roads get maintained and built. How do power lines go through if you have a singe person who says no. How do gas pipelines get replaced over someone’s land? Answer any of these Brent. How about reckless drivers? Do we just let them go and tell them to try to pay costs when they kill or injure others? What do we do in your system if someone keeps getting into accidents and can not afford to pay damages? Brent you have offered no solutions. The time to start is now.

            • Clover,

              The only relevant “detail” is whether someone’s rights have been violated; whether an act of aggression has been committed (or threatened). You have no right to force me to accept a power line through my land… because it’s my land. Because you did not pay for it.

              For you, force rules.

              But – interestingly – you personally are a pussy. Too much of a coward to even use your real name on this web site. Much less to actually do the violence-threatening yourself.

              Instead you vote for others to do it for you.

              If you were even half a man, you’d perhaps ask yourself why it is that you feel the need to hide yourself. And, more so, why – if your way is the right way (morally speaking) you don’t just walk over to your neighbor’s house and forcibly demand he hand over money to “help” whatever “project” you’d like to see completed.

              Tell me, Clover, why it is that you won’t do that?

              • Actually Eric the first owner of the land was not you. And if they take land from you for a power line they usually pay far more than what it is worth. If you say it should never have happened then you need to shut off your electricity. Eric with no eminent domain you would not be living on the land that you say that you bought. It would be worthless. There never would have been roads to your land, no electricity to your land and no gasoline to power your vehicle to get you there. If you do not believe in eminent domain then you need to leave. Sewer lines where put in cities with eminent domain, I would not want to live in a libertarian stinking city. Eric just move to an island out in the middle of the ocean and do whatever the hell you feel like. Go back to the way they lived 5 thousand years ago in the middle of the wilderness.name one very large project that has been performed by a large number of individual independent people working on their own?Clover

                • Clover,

                  “Actually Eric the first owner of the land was not you.”

                  So, let’s accept this argument at face value for the sake of discussion (even though we’d need to go back hundreds of years to do so).

                  It boils down to the same argument a man whose great great grandfather got robbed by someone long dead and gone might use to justify robbing someone else today.

                  You’re a moral imbecile, Clover. A hyena, keening over the corpses of your victims.

                  Except you lack even the hyena’s courage. You won’t even use your real name on a web site – let alone attempt to impose your “plans” on others yourself.

                  Coward.

                  • Eric many roads are placed on land still owned by the land owners. When you drive on those roads would you then be classified as a trespasser and someone has the right to shoot Eric since he is trespassing? Trespassers can be shot according to Libertarians.Clover

                    • Clover,

                      If a road is privately owned and I do not have permission to use it/have not paid to use it per the owner’s terms then yes, I would be trespassing.

                      It is good to know you are beginning to grok the concept of property rights.

                  • I did not even have to look at your link Eric. If the bad guy in your link tries to run then you would say let him go because anything the police would do to a bad guy would be excessive. Eric if a policeman does something bad and against the law I believe they should be treated like anyone else. Eric bad guys are in all areas of our society. The guy that delivers you mail or packages may be bad. Do we stop the delivery of all mail and packages because of it? Your logic is non-existent.Clover

                    • Clover,

                      Again, I note the imprecision – the deliberate misrepresentation – of what others have argued.

                      Did I ever argue that “anything the police would do to a bad guy would be excessive”?

                      Notice the italics.

                      I did say summary execution is excessive.

                      But that is not “anything,” is it Clover?

            • Not only that Eric, he doesn’t even understand utility. As long as the gunvermin is stealing so much money, no one can afford to come up with alternatives.

              • Phillip it does not cost anything to use your brain so tell me how your society will work? You say you know that there is a better way so tell us how it works in detail or a link of someone that does have the answers in your opinion.Clover

                If you say there is a better way but are unable to point out what that better way is then would you be classified as a liar? Do you really think we should stop everything that we have today and then in a few years or decades you or others might come up with something better. If I am going to the grocery store, I do not just get in the car and drive and maybe I will happen to drive by the grocery store. I plan on what streets to drive on so I get there without running out of gas first. Do you want our society to run out of gas before you come up with your so called solutions?

                • How many times must we “tell you,” Clover? How many ways?

                  We want a society that is not based on the legitimation of aggression.

                  In which people socialize/do business on the basis of mutual agreement.

                  You want “plans” and “details.”

                  There is just one plan, Clover. Only one detail.

                  Let people alone.

                  If you threaten someone with violence or do them violence, then you are a criminal. But otherwise, you are a free man and have an absolute right to be left in peace.

                  These are concepts you recoil from because your “plans” matter more to you than other people’s rights. To you (and people like you) other people are things to be made useful, to further your “plans.”

                  Why not try to impose your “plans” on others yourself, Clover? Why must you use euphemisms, the ballot box? Have others do your dirty deeds for you?

                  I do not need to threaten my neighbor to get him to help me mend my fence – and he doesn’t need to threaten me to get me to help him fix his machinery…

                  Why do you need violence, Clover?

                  Why can’t you use reason and persuasion? Rely on ordinary human good nature?

                  Let me tell you why: It is because you are a control freak and a thug. But too cowardly to admit this to yourself. So, instead, you talk of “plans” and “getting things done.”

                • Clover,

                  I am unwilling to spend time answering your questions for two reasons. First, you are not sincere. You do not ask these questions with the genuine desire to learn, discuss and debate honestly. Your intention is to dismiss and ridicule. Second, you quite deliberately lack an intellectual grounding in even the basics of libertarian theory. Your cartoonish understanding of libertarianism is puerile and false. You reveal this by your many absurd statements concerning what we want or believe. You have also proven that you are unwilling to challenge any of your preconceptions.

                  There is nothing I, nor any one else on this site, can say that would provoke you to an honest discussion. In my earlier post I put it in your court, and you failed. So, I will try once more. If you are sincere, read something. I will be happy to discuss these things when you show that you desire an honest debate.

                  https://mises.org/search/site/privatization%20of%20roads%20and%20highways

                  The above book is available for free, in pdf form, from the Mises Institute. It discusses the issue both theoretically and practically, and it addresses all of your questions. Unfortunately, at your current level of understanding and reflexive hostility toward libertarian ideas, it is impossible to have an honest debate with you. Prove me wrong, Clover. Read something; then discuss honestly. You might like it.

                  Jeremy

                  • Thanks Jeremy. That is a fun read. I have never laughed so hard.

                    Walter Blocks solutions are a joke. I liked his answer to eminent domain. Either make a wide detour around the property or properties, which in effect would raise costs significantly and increase travel time for users, or he would build bridges or tunnels over or under the property. I bet Eric would love those solutions. I guess it would be OK for him to have power lines over anyone’s property as long as a pole is not on the property.

                    Then he also talks about road safety. It would be up to the owner to create his own rules of the road. Tell me which Libertarian would follow that one or how it would be enforced. He also mentioned it was up to the owner to do his own tests for drunk drivers. I am sure that all libertarians would love that one.Clover

                    Then he talked about how users would pay for roads. He mentioned that toll booths over short distances would not work. He said maybe each car could have a sensor in it and be automatically charged. Again that sounds like some kind of nationalized system that libertarians would never go for.

                    In effect Jeremy the book is a joke. If you indeed think that it answers all of the questions on privatized roads then you never read it.

                    Then he talked about how much less everyone would pay and how much better the roads would be. Are the people that work on the roads going to accept less pay then? What a joke. Then he says that indeed the new owners of the roads would expect to make a profit. How does that fit into the roads costing less?Clover

                    Then he discussed that the price of using the road would be limited because if it increased too much then people would fly or use buses or trains. He failed to mentioned that people are able to do that now with his so called too expensive roads.

                    He also discussed pollution. He mentioned that it was up to the owner to limit being sued by his road polluting too much. Wow , the new road owners now have a lot of responsibilities. It sounds like a full time job for a couple of people for every mile of road. Where does that fit into it costing us less?
                    Jeremy you need to find a new book to refer to. I do appreciate you providing the link. It should be put on TV as one of the greatest comedies ever.

            • Clover – take another look at my post above that you tried to mock. Brent can’t come up with all the answers. No one can. No group can. Only EVERYONE, thinking and working independently, not as a collective. The Soviet Union failed because they could not make intelligent decisions for everyone. The US will eventually fail for the same reason.
              But again, Eric is right – the main point is right and wrong, not ‘what works.’

              • Phillip the Bruce, name one very large project that has been performed by a large number of individual independent people working on their own? Phillip it has never happened. Clover
                You say that Brent can not do it all. OK Phillip. I understand that no person can do it all but if he wants to make the decision to get rid of complete way of life that we have now then he should have thought of at least one thing to replace it with. Phillip now I have all the food I need, all the toys I want, freedom to travel the country on roads and bridges and I have a nice place to live. If you think that is all bad then what are you replacing it with? By the way, I have all of that and have never been beat up by the government like Eric says.
                Do you think our society is like the Soviet Union was? Really? No way in hell.
                The only way a libertarian way of life is possible is If everyone has their own farm and never leaves it. Other than that you do have to work with others if you want 400 million people to live in our country. I challenge you to find a large island somewhere with a thousand of your fellow libertarians to try out your new society before you make 400 million people be part of your poorly thought out test.

                • Clover,

                  “name one very large project that has been performed by a large number of individual independent people working on their own?”

                  Always with the deliberate dishonesty!

                  Neither Phillip nor I nor any other Libertarian opposes large projects or collaborative effort. We oppose coercive projects; forcing people to collaborate.

                  What you are, Clover, is a slave driver.

                  You believe it’s morally right to forcibly impose your “plans” and “projects” on others; to use the threat of violence to make them participate, to force them to work, to compel them to pay.

                  Tell me – as you always put it – how that is meaningfully different from forcing a man to pick cotton against his will?

                  • Eric you want to force your ways on 400 million people and you do not even have a plan.

                    You say that you want no coercive projects to happen. Well Eric that leaves out the jobs of about 100 million people in the USA. Eric if you have a job you are being coerced with pay or being fired to work together to get something done that you can not do on your own. Clover

                    Eric you say that our society is coercive. Eric if you had a vote of the people, 95% would vote for what we have now over your so called plan. Eric I want a coercive society that does not allow dead-beat Libertarians to say that they are driving on our roads but will not pay. They want electricity and will not do without it but say that it was done illegally but that is OK since they did not do it so they still get to enjoy the so called spoils. Eric people like to eat. People like to be able to drive to their job and they like electricity in their homes and gas to heat them. Under your non-existent plan it would not happen. Clover
                    Eric it would be coercive to let a small percentage of libertarians to force their terrible life on millions of other people. Eric if your way of life is so good you would have millions of backers. Where are they?

                    • Clover,

                      “Eric you want to force your ways on 400 million people…”

                      No, Clover. I want 400 million people to leave me (and other peaceful people) alone.

                      Only you could turn that around – argue that asking not to be threatened with violence is “forcing” myself on those who threaten me with violence. I suppose you also believe the Jews who were exterminated by the Nazis forced the poor Nazis to do them in… ?

                      “…you do not even have a plan.”

                      Oh, I have a plan. For myself. But not for you.

                      Do you grok the difference?

                      “Eric if you have a job you are being coerced with pay or being fired to work together to get something done ”

                      Oy vey.

                      Clover, I am not being forced to accept the job – and I am being paid by whomever hires me without coercion. I am free not to work for whomever – and they are free not to hire me. There is no coercion involved. It is a mutually agreed-to arrangement. Do you understand the meaning of words? What the word coercion means?

                      You can’t be this stupid… it’s not possible… is it?

                    • Yes Eric if you are working for someone and you refuse to do what they want then they threaten to fire you and they do not even have to tell you. That is probably why you work for yourself. You do not have the ability to mentally work for or with others. Clover
                      Eric I am not threatened with violence. Our system of government was not set up that way. If you refuse to pay then you are asked to leave or go to jail depending on what you have done. If you choose to fight it out then that is your option to then be threatened with violence. Eric I am not threatened with violence because I do not start a fight like your kind does. If you are a robber or dangerous person then I do not care if you are threatened with violence. I am not a robber and am not dangerous so I and everyone I know have never been threatened with violence. When you say that we are threatened with violence you can leave a few hundred million people out of that statement.
                      Tell me Eric what I have to do to be threatened with violence in your own words?

                    • Clover,

                      You still do not grok.

                      The employer-employee relationship is freely entered into by both parties, who have each freely chosen to give their consent. No coercion is involved.

                      With government, you are forced to obey; you have no freedom to decline.

                      Do you see?

                      I “do not have the ability to mentally work for or with others”? Tell that to my publisher; tell it to the newspapers and magazines and web sites I’ve been working with for the past 25 years.

                      I offer them my services as a writer; they accept (on terms agreeable to both of us) or not.

                      There is no coercion involved. Because I am free to not work for them – and they are free to not hire me to work for them.

                      Poor ol’ Clover!

                      As regards:

                      “Eric I am not threatened with violence.”

                      Every law on the books contains an explicit threat of exactly that. The fact that you obey does not in any way change the fact that you (and everyone else) have been threatened.

                      Do you enjoy getting these daily wedgies, Clover?

                      Would you like a signed photo of me?

                    • Wrong again Eric. You do not want to let us alone. You want roads to go away. You want electricity to go away. You want gasoline and natural gas to go away. You have given no alternative to the things you want to force us to get rid of to allow such things. In effect you want to force your way of life on 400 million other people.Clover

                    • Clover,

                      “You do not want to let us alone.”

                      I want you to keep your hands out of my pockets and your nose out of my business. Only a Clover could argue that this constitutes not leaving others alone! You are like the bully who says: Look what you made me do! (Except, of course, you’re too much of a poltroon to even use your real name, let alone confront anyone yourself. Instead, you vote to have others do it for you.)

                      “You want roads to go away.”

                      Liar. I’ve never said anything of the kind. You simply make things up and then critique others for talking positions they’ve never taken.

                      It’s not that you’re stupid. Because the distinction between advocating private roads vs. “wanting roads to go away” has been carefully elaborated numerous times. You are, simply, a liar. A person who cannot engage in a civil, honest discussion.

                      Another example:

                      “You have given no alternative to the things you want to force us to get rid of to allow such things.”

                      I have “given the alternative.” Literally dozens and dozens of times. Once again, I will give it: The alternative is a society in which people cooperate willingly, without coercion. If they do not wish to cooperate, then they agree to disagree and find another (non violent) way to get done the things they wish to get done. Some things (which you value) may not get done. But you have no right to force others to “help” with your “plans,” or submit to them.

                      The only thing I want to get rid of, Clover, is the initiation of aggression by people – by cretins – such as yourself. Who believe they have the right to control other human beings by threatening to harm them if they do not willingly agree to your “plans.”

                    • Eric you have no right to destroy our lives. There has been no violence toward me or anyone I know. Why is that Eric? Clover

                      Eric on a very stupid person would get rid of everything that we have now because you want to get rid of it and according to you someone will probably come up with something different that we will not like according to your own statements. Eric complete freedom is nice until you die of starvation, freeze to death or have world war 3. Name the society that is closest to what you think we should strive for? The world has had different civilizations for thousands of years. Name one that is close to what you are looking for. I guess it would have to be a modern society also because no one I know would do without electricity, roads and energy without your violence being placed on them.

                    • Clover,

                      I particularly enjoyed this concatenation of yours:

                      “Eric on a very stupid person would get rid of everything that we have now because you want to get rid of it and according to you someone will probably come up with something different that we will not like according to your own statements.”

                      Yes, Clover.

                      Government schools are doing their job.

                    • Clover,

                      You claim that you want “details” about libertarian solutions. Problem is, we know that your supposed interest is a lie. Still, many here have tried to engage you honestly. We have provided general explanations and specific examples. We have pointed out that security, roads, health care, education, justice, etc… are all goods that people value. We have pointed out that free people, cooperating voluntarily, have proven remarkably adept at providing goods that people value. We have pointed out that all of the goods that you insist can only be provided by government have been provided privately and voluntarily in the past.

                      Yet, you lie and insist that nobody has ever said any of this to you. You have shown that you are unwilling to try to understand even the basic elements of libertarian thought. You claim that you want answers, but you have proven that this is false. You have never delivered a single substantive argument against libertarianism. Your “arguments” follow a similar pattern: you call us stupid, you lie about what we say, you raise a straw-man objection that reveals your own ignorance, you often wish that harm befall us, then you call us stupid again.

                      These are not the tactics of an honest man. So, it’s time to put up or shut up. Here are two sources that will begin to answer your questions. There is much more easily accessible. Mises.org has thousands of books and articles that are available for free. Many are available in audio form for free as well.

                      https://mises.org/library/privatization-roads-and-highways

                      http://fee.org/freeman/lodge-doctors-and-the-poor/

                      So, Clover, it’s in your court. If you are sincere, read something. If you find the arguments wanting, respond with a reasoned and honest critique. Based on your past behavior, I don’t think you can do it. Still, I hope you prove me wrong.

                      Jeremy

                    • Hi Jeremy,

                      Thanks for the back-up!

                      Clover’s demands for “details” are a dodge. A tactic he (like his intellectual godfather, Alexander Hamilton) uses to avoid discussing the moral question at issue.

                      It has been said – rightly – that America has produced no moral philosophy of its own, except for utilitarianism. Clover would describe this as “what works.”

                      Which, for him (and Hamilton) means coercive collectivist projects proposed by “leaders” and imposed on the general public by force. He will claim that the public has “consented” via its “representatives” to such.

                      This is “democracy” – and Clover will argue that it “works.”

                      And, it does.

                      For him.

                      That you may disagree; that you may desire to be left out of is “plans” is irrelevant. Clover will force you to be part of them, like it or not.

                    • Thanks Jeremy . So you say that you want everything privatized. OK Jeremy if you want everything privatized then I guess you have given it a lot of thought how a privatized system will work then?
                      We will start with a very simple item in your list. You want roads privatized. Answer these questions and how you came up with the answers.
                      1) Who would buy your local road and how or who are they going to buy it from?
                      2) How do you plan on paying the owner when you drive on the road?
                      3) If someone out of your area drives on the local private road then how do they pay?
                      4) How do you determine how much someone should pay? Per mile or what?
                      5) If each bridge becomes privatized then do you have a toll on each bridge?
                      6) How does ownership or payments differ for local roads and interstate roads?Clover
                      7) Who determines when a road should be repaired? Does the owner just let it go to pot and then fix it when everyone stops taking the road? Are the road standards now regulated by the owner?Eric I am not threatened with violence.
                      8) What about safety standards? Who determines when a bridge is now dangerous for people to take it? Is the new owner the responsible person for killing or injuring people when the bridge falls apart? Right now bridges are being inspected by the government employees. Who does it if at all under private ownership? Are there any responsibilities of the new private owners?
                      9) If everything is privatized and there are now hundreds or thousands of owners of roads and bridges then if you go on a trip how many hours is it going to take you to make payments to the hundreds of owners?Clover

                      Jeremy it is details that I am looking for. Example: I just took over your local road by your house, the only one leaving your property, and took it by force and I am the new owner. I did not have anyone to pay for it so I just took it. The next time you drive on it pay me $500 for each trip. My gun will be ready if you try to use it without paying. I am loving this privatized system already.

                      You say that “We have pointed out that free people, cooperating voluntarily, have proven remarkably adept at providing goods that people value.” So Jeremy your new society somehow eliminates the robbers, thieves and overall bad persons. Jeremy you are a brilliant person if you can make everyone an angel in your new society.

                  • Hi Eric,

                    Still not sure how to get responses to line up logically, oh well. Anyway, thanks for your response to my comment. You are correct that Clover always dodges the moral issue. However, he also dodges any honest debate. I tried to call him on it by pointing him to specific sources that address his specific questions. Of course, he won’t read them because he is not interested in learning or discussing anything in good faith.

                    You and I, for example, can debate honestly. We both advocate the basic principles of libertarian theory but, we have some genuine disagreements about the proper application of those principles. Still, I have never felt inclined to call you stupid, or impugn your character. Nor have you done so with me. But, that is all that Clover understands. He cannot debate honestly about moral issues or “utilitarian” issues.

                    See his latest comment to me: same “gotcha” questions that reveal his ignorance, same absurd comments, same unwillingness to even attempt to understand. I particularly love this one:

                    “You say that ‘We have pointed out that free people, cooperating voluntarily, have proven remarkably adept at providing goods that people value.’ So Jeremy your new society somehow eliminates the robbers, thieves and overall bad persons. Jeremy you are a brilliant person if you can make everyone an angel in your new society.”

                    Huh? His response to my statement is incomprehensible but does, of course, include a sarcastic insult. I’ve given him one more opportunity to read something and try to engage in an honest debate. When he fails, I hope I have the fortitude to never engage him again.

                    Jeremy

                • “… name one very large project that has been performed by a large number of individual independent people working on their own?”

                  How about the largest collaborative development project in the history of computing: the Linux operating system, which today runs the majority of servers and embedded systems?

                  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yVpbFMhOAwE

                  Truly, Clover, if the term “ignorant slut” were to be found in the dictionary, your picture would appear next to it.

                • Never happens? Have you seen a privately built skyscraper? How about a factory? Entire towns.

                  As to experiments Clover, we are living in one your ilk cooked up and it’s failing.

                  • Brent,
                    The skyscraper was built with a PLAN and people working together. Something you say should not happen.

                    Yes Brent I have seen a privately built skyscraper. The power that goes to that skyscraper was available because of eminent domain, something libertarians are against. The natural gas that heats that skyscraper was only possible because of eminent domain, something libertarians are against. The roads that go to that skyscraper are only there because of tax money and eminent domain, something libertarians are against. Clover
                    Eric there is not a single skyscraper that was built that could have happened without the government making it possible. Brent one thing you do not understand that if you got rid of the government that we have today you would still have to come up with a group of people to plan out how things are to be done in your new society.

                    You can not have 400 million people be involved with all decisions in the country or nothing would get done. You could not work because you would be busy going to meetings for everything. That is why we have the government that we have.

                    • Clover,

                      Your repetitive argument is that the things you deem desirable might not exist (or would exist in a different form) without coercive collectivism. I grant this is true.

                      And that is precisely my objection.

                      I don’t care how desirable you consider “x” or “y” to be. Nor even that it may be desirable (as such). The fact that something is desirable (such as electricity) does not mean you have a right to it at the expense of someone else. To hurt (or threaten to hurt) someone else, even if by doing so you improve your condition materially. Or, put another way, it is not an infringement of your rights to be forbidden improving your material condition at someone else’s expense.

                      That is a moral principle, Clover.

                      The fact that we live in a world built largely upon a different moral principle (might makes right) in no way validates that principle, nor invalidates its opposite.

            • Clover, do you realize all these things you want details on have only been government’s job for less than 100 years? Government as it is today in micromanaging people is at best a mid 19th century concept.

              This present experiment of human civilization is at least six thousand years old and for most of it there was no intrusive state as you demand, as you cannot imagine living without. It’s relatively very recent invention. This fact shows just how conditioned, dependent, and addicted you are.

              That’s why government can’t go away tomorrow. It’s taken a 150 years or more to build this monstrosity. To remove it suddenly over night would be foolish. Too many people like you. The first step would be to get rid of the government schools as we know them. Push school control back to the local level and make the parents customers. No charging everyone for the schools. Parents pay for their children to make the community schools accountable. Stop the advance of government. Get it out of people’s business. Start rolling back the wealth transfers. Start with wall street, then the corporations, the military industrial complex, keep going down the list until reaching individuals on welfare.

              It will take years to peacefully roll back government and avoid chaos. But it will take far far less time than it took to build it.

              The problem is Clover, you and your kind, those who like violence, especially proxy violence, won’t go away peacefully. The soviet union ended peacefully but in the USA the vile control freaks won’t give up so easily. They won’t just walk away. They’ll get violent and leave as big of a pile of corpses as they can manage.

              • Clover is a Hamiltonian… without the brains.

                He, like Hamilton, has lots of “plans.” He’s a busy, busy fellow… wants organization and “progress”… as he defines it – and if you disagree with his point of view, want no part of his “plans,” he will bare his fangs and force you to be a part of them.

              • Brent do you enjoy telling lies? The schools today are at the local level. The local taxes pay for them. The local school board runs it. Brent get a life because we are sick of your lies. If you believe you can do better then get on your LOCAL school board. That would not be you though would it? How could you complain? Libertarians are complainers not doers. I always thought if you were too lazy to be involved with how things are run then you have little or no right to complain.Clover

                • Clover,

                  The only one lying here is you. Either that or you are catatonically ignorant.

                  So-called “local” government schools are controlled by federal policy; “standards of learning” and “no child left behind” dictating curriculum and testing.

                  Facts, Clover.

                  There is some slight latitude in terms of what plays will be held, after-school activities and so on – but the fact remains that overall policy is centralized and controlled by the federal government through law as well as funding.

                  Libertarians only ask that you leave us out of your “plans.” That – as a for-instance – you leave us free to educate our children according to our standards, at our expense. And refrain from forcing us to educate your children at our expense.

                  • Eric explain in detail what is being taught that is bad. I would like to hear what the hell you are complaining about or is it another Libertarian thing that everything anyone else does is bad?Clover

                    • Clover,

                      First, you “explain in detail” your refusal to concede that you were wrong about federal control of local schools.

                      As regards the rest: Illiteracy and innumeracy are the chief products of government schools. Yourself, for example.

                • Clover, Does “no child left behind” and “common core” ring any bells? Those are just two of many. If school control were local there would be no need for a federal department of education pushing its agenda.

                  Anyway if you bothered to study the history of the modern government schools you’d soon learn it is built to eliminate local parental (of the children) control. The desire is centralized, even federalized control. To where the parents have no say at all. Only the experts will have a say.

                  Then again if you bothered to study the schools or anything else you wouldn’t be here.

                  • Brent give us your expertise of your local schools. Tell me what are of the minimum requirements the federal government has that you disagree with? List them or call yourself a liar. Clover
                    Brent tell us what your problem is with minimum reading and math requirements? Do you prefer to have people who can not read and unable to balance a checkbook? Brent if the parents are supposed to do a better job at making the minimum requirements then are you saying the minimum requirements for reading and math are too tough and we need to dumb down the system? Are you saying that local school boards want to dumb down the system and are not allowed?

                    • Clover,

                      Brent (and I) have stated the fact that local schools are fundamentally controlled by federal policy. You claimed otherwise and then – when called on it – began to change the subject to the nature of the federal government’s control over local schools (i.e., what is taught – and tested).

                      The federal requirements are centered on successful test-taking; which is not necessarily the same thing as being literate (and so on).

                      You yourself demonstrate the truth of this. Your posts are typically ungrammatical and borderline illiterate. Mind, I am not critiquing typos. I am referencing elementary school-level errors of grammar and usage. Sloppy logic.

                      Again, it’s not that we disagree, Clover. It’s that you aren’t even able to discuss a subject coherently. You do not understand what a fact is, for example. Or a principle.

                      For you, everything is defined by your feelings and opinions. That is, by a subjective standard. That is why having a discussion with you is fruitless.

                      I therefore restrict myself to dissecting your blatherings, calling attention to your hypocrisy, your illogic and – most of all – your characteristic dishonesty.

                  • Brent and Eric, the federal government says there should be minimum reading and math skills done by the schools. Do you actually want to dumb down your school system? Are you complaining that the local school boards are not allowed to dumb down their school system and are complaining about it? It seems to me that a parent would want a high standard for the school they send their child to.Clover

                    …..

                    Italics added.

                    It speaks for itself.

                    • Clover, you have absolutely no clue. The fedgov isn’t about minimum standards it is about shaping what kids are taught and how they are taught.

                      You need to read the book, “The Underground History of American Education” by John Taylor Gatto. He explains the history behind the modern government run schools and what they were designed to produce.

                      If you’re not much for reading, I suggest you just look up what George Carlin had to say on you tube.

    • Actually, this is the free market at work. Google might someday be brought up on anti-trust charges, or not. To the market, it really doesn’t matter. In the mean time Eric is trying an alternative business plan, one that doesn’t rely on advertising or Google ad sense for revenue. Much like oil lamps (where Rockefeller made his fortune, gasoline came much later) were replaced with an alternative (town gas and electricity) by highly motivated individuals.

      Advertisers are worried. We’re installing ad blockers at an alarming rate. Apple opening up Safari on iOS to ad blockers sends a cannonball across Google’s port bow, and I believe it is Tim Cook’s way of getting back at Schmidt for Android.

      Remember Yahoo? A few bad quarters and a changing business model can kill Google. It just takes us willing to give up free stuff and start paying for value.

      • If google is gaming the rankings, the traffic of websites to starve them financially that means advertisers have no objection to the content, they are merely traffic sensitive. This means google is risking it’s reputation for an agenda. That often doesn’t turn out well. So if true google could find itself no longer trusted by the people buying the ads.

      • The return-fire from websites is that many do not function or load properly with Ad-Block Installed. So you have to disable adblock for the site to work. I can usually just leave sites that do this, because I realize I’m wasting time, but sometimes I’m doing research and have to allow the flood of ads. That might be the future.

        • That’s true for my Win7 machine running Firefox, but isn’t as much an issue on my Puppy Linux Slacko machine with its version of Firefox. I guess it’s the difference in the adblocking programs.

          Once in a while I have trouble with a site’s function where I see a lot of ad boxes blocked, but I just write those off as attack sites. To me an attack site is one that assaults me with several flash heavy ads and popups, eating my bandwidth when I’m trying to read something. None of the ads on this site are blocked out, so they must be simple, non-invasive html img frames that open in a new tab.

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