New Year’s Wish

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This coming year is an election year, when some of us will vote to take things that don’t belong to us – or have things done to other people that would get us locked up if we tried to do them ourselves.New Year image

My New Year’s Wish, therefore, is that people give thought to what they’re voting for – what it really means – and if it’s something they’d be uneasy doing on their own, that they not expect other people to do for them. Or, if they don’t feel uneasy, that they at least man up and be open about taking things that don’t belong to them and bullying other people to make them do what they want (and don’t want) them to do.

I wish for clear thinking – and honesty, at least insofar as the spoken and written word.

If I take your stuff without your permission or against your will – whether it’s your money or some other piece of property – it’s theft. Not “taxation.” Not some other thing that sounds civilized. The test is simple: Is it yours? Did you make it? Did you earn it? Did you buy it? Was it freely given to you? If it was any of those things, then it is yours – and by logical extension can’t belong to anyone else. And if it does not belong to anyone else, then no one else has the right to take it from you.

If they do, it is theft.

The nature of the act doesn’t change if you get someone else to do the thieving for you, or by calling it some other thing. In that case, all that changes is the way you look at it, what you tell yourself. Much in the same way that some men think it is not possible to rape one’s wife. But rape is rape – just as theft is theft.

Which brings up the issue of consent.

Either you’ve got it – or you haven’t. There is no middle ground, no such thing as “implied” consent. A woman consents to be married; she does not “implicitly” consent to rape.

How is it possible to consent – implied or otherwise – to a contract one has never even been formally presented, let alone signed?

Whether marriage – or Constitution.kids understand

A couple hundred years ago, a handful of men got together and decided on a contract that we’re all supposedly bound by today. How does that work, exactly? It doesn’t hold up to critical examination – to dissection with the tools of precise language, exactly applied, Which is precisely why it is treated with evasive generalities quickly mentioned and then passed over, such as “the people” and the “common good.” Who – and what – are these things, exactly? To ask those questions is to answer them.

And the answers are not much wanted.

The other way – evasion, euphemism, don’t look too closely at the process of sausage-making – is easier. Things “get done.” Well, things get done that some people want done. Using other people’s resources to get them done. This is what actually happens when “the people” act for the “common good.” But the unexamined generalities make it seem ok. Which is why they are so necessary to the success of the operation.

The ordinary, otherwise decent person would be ashamed of himself if he took his neighbors’ stuff – or fingered a pistol while “asking” him to do something (or not do something) he’d otherwise probably prefer not to do (or would like to be left in peace to do). So much easier on the conscience to pull a lever in a quiet voting booth and then not think about it too much. Which is why it’s absolutely essential that everyone be given the opportunity, at least, to vote. It is an act of secular transubstantiation; something despicable (when done by the individual) miraculously becomes legitimate when done by the mob. How this works, exactly, is as mysterious a process as the changing of wine to blood and crackers to flesh. But both acts have a thing in common: predation, consumption… cannibalism.Libertarian Jesus

At least the Host was (apparently) willing.

A lesson, there.

Or rather, a moral.

One we are taught as children but learn to forget as adults.

Cooperation is good. Coercion is bad. Talk, discuss. Don’t hit – or threaten to.

If another has some thing you’d like to have yourself, perhaps ask to borrow it. Or buy it. But never take it.

Most schools have a “zero tolerance” policy for violence. Why not emulate this idea and apply it to the adult world? If it’s wrong for kids to act out violently then how can it be all right for adults to do so? Either our morality is situational and arbitrary – or our thinking is.

If we’re honest with ourselves, most of us – the majority who are decent people at heart – intuitively know the answer; that the morality we implicitly accept and which guides our actions in our individual lives isn’t situational or arbitrary. If this were not so, why vote? Why the need to use euphemisms? Why, in other words, be ashamed? Why not just take what we want? The fact that most of us don’t – even though we could – should tell us all we need to know. If only we’d think about it some more. If only we’d be a bit more consciously precise about the words we choose to use.

And that’s my wish for the New Year.

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196 COMMENTS

  1. I just hit the backspace on my computer and lost 3 paragraphs of comments. Have I said how much i hate wordpress? Fuggggggggg it!.

    • Yep, the WP siteware is a conversation killer. I’ve just closed the page and gone surfing many times after having a response eaten before I could post it. It chases me away once in awhile .

      • Yep….Hit the shift and enter keys to drop down a couple lines……and it’s all gone. Most likely I’m gone too after that and totally away from the computer.

      • I hear you guys… and (trust me) I know just what you mean. My hope/plan is to have a custom-built web site and serious tech support… but that takes money and right now, there’s just not enough available, unfortunately.

    • I’ve mentioned this before, but after losing 2 long posts, I now do the following: For any post longer than a few lines, I open a word document. I periodically cut and paste my text into the document. Before I click “post comment”, I make sure the word document is complete. It’s a little more time consuming, but not much. And it sure beats losing your post altogether.

      Jeremy

      • Justin, Disqus is malware. It’s sold to site owners as a way to make moderation easy, but it actually tracks forum users. I avoid sites where Disqus is used.

        • “but it actually tracks forum users”…

          Everything you do on the web is tracked by somebody.

          And what has Disqus done to you to make you so worried about it? Did Disqus dox you? Steal your identity? Turn you over to the local police? Install a virus on your PC?

          Disqus hasn’t harmed me that I can tell and I use it a lot. But Disqus does do WP convos really well.

          • I find Disqus even more annoying to users then what we have here. You get logged off for no reason, its hard to log on.

            Disqus is worse overall then word press.

            • The only time I had an issue with Disqus like that it was how it was playing with my browser’s add-ons. (add-ons which block autoplays and the like) Also how I migrated data to the new machine. Once I sorted that it was fine again.

              Disqus also does nearly proper threading which is rare in the web world.

            • Haven’t had one negative experience with Disqus either hosting on a blog or commenting.

              TomWoods.com uses Disqus. Seems to work ok. I’ve had no trouble logging in on Disqus at any site. Users can use a Disqus, Facebook, Twitter or Gmail account…

              Where’s the beef? If Peters is interested and has any concerns he should contact Woods to learn more.

              And Disqus is free.

                • TANSTAAFL OR NO SUCH THING AS FREE SHIT! Someone always foots the bill. In DicksUS case it is collecting information without saying so up front in plain short language. What they do is bury the collecting data shit into a document of expanded legalese that no one in the world would read! Not even a Lawyer! The same is true for any social media web portal. Those I avoid like they spread the black plague. So FarceBook, TweetieBird, ReaditSomewhere, DicksUS all get the same treatment from me. Can you TYPE Boycott? I knew that you could!

                  David Ward aka Guitarman6052
                  Memphis, Tennessee

                  • Okay, now that I’m on my soap box. Let’s stop using the word FREE to mean no charge. Free means, or use to, “Free from obligation” Freedom is an expansion of this usage as free from obligation to the state or another person. It certainly doesn’t mean no charge. No charge means what it says. No charge to the person receiving the good or service.

                    Yes, Yes I know, what people are doing is shortening the once oft used phrase, “Free of charge”. A bastardization if ever I read or heard one. If I give a service or good to another person then I PAY FOR IT! The item/service becomes therefore, “Free of charge or no charge” to the recipient so to speak. It isn’t free SHIT! There isn’t a such thing as FREE SHIT! Someone always pays.

                    The moron that thinks there is FREE SHIT just can’t connect the dots! Therein lies the rub where government is concerned. Moron A gets money, housing, food, clothes and who knows what else without having to expend any effort all due to the government stealing from productive person Z. Moron A sees this as FREE SHIT! While productive person Z sees moron A as a zombie stooge that votes to take his property by political means. Now why would Z detest or despise A?

                    This concept has been tried all throughout history. The most notable instance was the Massachusetts’s colony founded by the Pilgrims. They tried the FREE SHIT theory and nearly starved themselves to death (several other colonies did starve to death for the very same reason). A fact that, sadly, didn’t happen for now we have these Yankee busybodies fucking with the rest of the country with their God SAVED us mantra! Please note, this same mindset is what Yankees used to murder the people in the south for refusing to bow to their, “our way or hell’s way” agenda.

                    BTW the war of 1860 was not over slavery to other men it was over slavery of men to the state. Okay epiphany going on here. I have never thought to phrase what happened in 1860 about making all men slaves to the state. I guess I should have. In essence the war of 1860 was TOTALLY about slavery. The enslavement of all men, women and children in the united States of America to the government . As for chattel slavery, it certainly wasn’t about that. LOL!

                    At no time in the history of man, has there been anything no charge. That doesn’t happen. Someone always pays. Most times with their life. As someone was always the first to develop something then some other asshole decides it is not fair that the developer gets to keep it for themselves.

                    Rand had it right. Moochers suck.

                    I, now, return my soap box to its regularly scheduled rant.

                    David Ward aka Guitarman6052
                    Memphis, Tennessee

                  • “So FarceBook, TweetieBird, ReaditSomewhere, DicksUS all get the same treatment from me”

                    Me too, David. My prescription for all of those data miners is FTAFTFH.

                • Disqus is a comment engine that I believe costs the site owner money. So it’s not free. Disqus has no clue who I am unless they get information from other entities and a human sits down and puts stuff together.

                  These things are a lot dumber than people give them credit for. I’ve got facebook so confused now it’s hilarious what it comes up with.

                  Use private browsing, use a tracker blocker, lie about all personal information. Piss in the data pool. Wrong data is worse than no data.

              • Your dual response makes me wonder why you’re on here promoting Disqus malware. Maybe you’ve never had a problem with Disqus because you’re a host/user.

                Posting observations about Disqus being malware can get a user blocked from logging in. Disqus is malware, and it isn’t “free”.

                WP siteware is a bad enough commentary killer. Add Disqus and the site will become unusable to me.

                • Hi Ed,

                  For years, I’ve been trying to figure out how to keep the magazine look/layout of EPautos while also having a comment-discussion friendly environment such as VBulletin.

                  If you – or anyone else – has ideas, please let me know!

                • If Disqus is so EVIL as you claim, I haven’t personally had the experience. I’ve hosted it on a site and I’ve been commenting on it for years… and I’m still breathing!!!

                  But I don’t CARE what comment method EPA uses. It’s HIS freakin’ site. I only offered the suggestion as a possible solution that I have no issues with (except load time). I’m not so paranoid as you.

                  It might come as a shock but EVERYTHING you do online is tracked by someone. The entire Internet is one giant social network… one big fishbowl like it or not.

                  There is a new WP plugin called wpDiscuz that is getting good reviews. I have no experience with it so I have no opinion.

                  http://wpdiscuz.com/

                  And it’s free too!! 😛

  2. Where does one procure a merkin? What is its purpose? Is it some sort of Tarnung for cunty americans, so everyone else doesn’t know what big gaping Vag’s prit-near they all fokking are?

    I’m sittin here in Mollys Pub. Waiting for Godot, or the revolution, or maybe one more beer before its once more into the breech mein froinds. A breech of patriotic starry eyed pay tree utts in this dank meme’d valley of these good’ol abominable cunty-americans.

    Thing about cunts, is they expand or contract to fit whatever size thing you’re trying to put in to them. Even if its some OSHA compliant shit-kicking boots. Or maybe an EZ-Pass-fag-tag to thwart the terrier-ist American dogs(arf arf allaaa hoooo ack barrrr bark bark bark a la la la la snarf growl), and your RFID 10 Gigabyte tracking hat and degraded plutonium belt buckle y’alls.

    Must of been some cunts behind the scenes at this place, seeing as how I had to surrender my drivers license and sign a receipt, since this is a dry part of Hairless Cunt County, or some such Scheide or other. I need a lot more Molly i guess. https://www.facebook.com/MollysPubKingwood/

    • Tor, old thing, “Merkin” is how W pronounced “American”, so yeah, it’s some sorta Tarnung, Remember how W used to try to sound like a Texan? He’d call terrorists “terrace” and he referred to terror as “terr”.

      See, since I ain’t a paytrut nor a job holder and ain’t never bought a new car or a new house and don’t have credit down to the grosetry store, then I’m a total failure as a Merkin. I ain’t no merkin. I’m from South Carolina.

      • Hi Ed,

        My 50: “American” in general usage has become synonymous with “Yankee”…. pushy busybodies who can’t abide different strokes/live and let live.

        Clovers, in other words!

  3. http://www.armstrongeconomics.com/archives/39102

    “Then by 2014, that number had ballooned to roughly $4.5 billion for the year, making this 35% of the entire number of assets collected from 1989 to 2010 in a single year. According to the FBI, the total amount of goods stolen by criminals in 2014 burglary offenses suffered an estimated $3.9 billion in property losses. This means that the police are now taking more assets than the criminals.”

    Well, of course. It’s not like the criminals are anywhere near as organized or insulated from prosecution. I’m actually surprised at the inefficiency of the pigs.

  4. The possibility of hackers gaining access to the financial system concerns Ross Perot Jr. enough that he’s keeping key records in file drawers in case the Internet goes down. Being chairman of Hillwood, the largest landowner in the Dallas-Fort Worth region, helps him to sleep well at night.

    “What I like about land is I can drive out and check on it,” said Perot, 57, last month in an interview in his Dallas office. “It doesn’t go anywhere. It’s hard to steal land.”

    Ross Perot Jr. – Hillwood Development Co
    http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2015-11-12/cyber-threat-underscores-safety-of-owning-texas-land-perot-says

    Planetary Resources, Inc. Press Conference
    Ross Perot, Jr., Chairman of Hillwood and The Perot Group & Planetary Resources, Inc. Investor, speaks via phone during the launch press event for Planetary Resources, Inc. at the Museum of Flight’s Charles Simonyi Space Gallery.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pSYDZAcdIL8

      • Actually its not hard to steal land. It very hard and expensive to remove a squatter, as they actually have more rights then the land owner.

        Yes, really!

        You would think it would be a simple arrest for trespassing. With the state prosecuting the trespasser at the expense of the taxpayers. You would be wrong.

        If a trespasser manages to set up housekeeping on your property (becoming a squatter), they gain most of the rights of a person with a valid signed rental lease. The longer squatters can prove they have been there, the more rights they get. Yes, really!

        Since most locales in the US now have laws and regulations favoring tenants over land owners, it’s only gotten harder to remove illegal squatters. For example, cutting utilities to make someone leave, will only get the land owner in trouble.

        The government for the most part, doesn’t consider squatting a crime, but a civil matter. So you have to go through a slow, expensive civil court system at your expense. So squatters could be staying on your property (rent free) for months if they know how to work the system. Even if you manage to get an order to evict them, you have to pay the sheriff to “evict” them, even though all they will do is present the squatters with a notice from the court. Most will not forcefully evict anyone. So you end up trying to get the local police to arrest for trespassing. See where this is going……..

        It happens far more then you think too. Own property hundreds of miles from where you live? Someone could be living in your property for months if you don’t check it regularly (or have someone you trust checking it). Vacant property is often targeted because they know the property owner is far away (ever wonder why its hard to insure a vacant property, its one of the reasons).

        Sometimes you get a third party that doesn’t even know they are squatting. They are taken in by these scammers representing a property as their own (like on craiglist). They pay the scammers rent, a deposit and sign a “lease”. Since most people don’t bother to check to see if that person even has a right to collect rent, they think they have a valid lease.

        So when the real property owner discovers they have a tenant they don’t actually have a lease with, they may be still stuck with that tenant. Because a government agency may rule that the lease is still valid, even though it was never agreed to by the property owner.

        • If you need some bureaucrat to vouch for you and help you keep the mean smelly squatters away from what’s yours. You are an imbecile incapable of owning real property.

          I tip my hat to any man who eats free lunches while an angry Yankee fumes “but but muh statutes.”

          If you have enough capital to own real assets. You have enough capital to hire a guy who specializes in human husbandry and relocation motivation psychology, capiche?

          • I simply replied “No Shitsky” but wordpress felt that wasn’t sufficiently verbose so now I had to write a frickin paragraph when two words were exactly the right amount. Fuck you wordpress.

  5. Happy New Year everyone, and may I encourage you to join me on election day. I have finally convinced myself to vote for ‘None of the Above,’ since the lesser of 2 evils is still evil.

  6. I’ll leave you all with a saying from Aesop, a Greek slave:

    We hang the petty thieves, and elect the great thieves to public office.

  7. You are a party to the social contract.
    But who will build the roads?
    You want chaos and anarchy?
    You hate the poor?
    You should move to Somalia.

    🙂

    • By definition a “contract” requires a meeting of minds between two or more parties. Please show us a copy of this “contract” you speak of with our signatures on it.

      Through the 19th century most roads in the U.S. were built by private parties.

      On the other hand, without government, who is going to conduct mass murder, brutality, slavery, theft, and extortion? The most ambitious private-sector criminal gang doesn’t even begin to approach the level of outright butchery regularly practiced by governments.

      Anarchy and chaos are not the same thing.

      Somalia suffers from multiple competing proto-governments competing to forcibly impose themselves on the same territory.

      • Dear Jason,

        The would be “debunkers of anarchism” never deal with the issues rationally. They invariably resort to obfuscation and straw man arguments.

        There is a reason for this.

        Basically their response to the anarchist argument is a confession of ideological bankruptcy and intellectual impotence.

        It is a tacit admission that anarchism, which is scrupulously consistent morally and logically, is impervious to their attacks.

        Their behavior is essentially that of someone who having lost at poker flips the table over in a fit of anger.

    • I’ll build the roads since I commonly do. I have participated in building one road for the state, all others were paid for privately.

      WTF do chaos and anarchy have in common?

      Why would I hate myself? The number of “poor’ in this country grows every day.

      • Dear 8sm,

        “You hate the poor?”

        LOL.

        Hard not to laugh at such charges. Especially since we anarchists are among the harshest critics of the 1% bankster elites, and champions of the ordinary hard working joe.

        • bevin, like I said, why would I hate myself? I make about 1/2 as much again trucking as I did in 1974.

          In my lifetime, truckers were the first to be singled out for extinction. 1975 saw the number of owner/operators drop by 75% and the same for 1976. That left few to none. Consider the OPEC oil embargo constituted 3-5% of our oil at the time. It was all a ploy to raise oil prices and send the rest of the country into a permanent depression to silence the quite vocal anti-govt. population. It worked quite well too. 1974 was the year of peak wages in this country and wages took another drastic plunge following NAFTA.

          • Happy New Year 8! it won’t be very happy for most of us if the TPP gets ratified by our bought and paid for congress. You’re spot on about NAFTA, that sent most of the decently paid manufacturing jobs overseas; the TPP will finish that job. Ross Perot hit it right with his quote “that giant sucking sound is your jobs going to Mexico”. Most went to China but the result is the same, the MSM tried to portray him as a nut job while overlooking the fact he was a sharp business guy with his company E-Systems worth millions.
            i’d bet my house there’s a “terrist” incident somewhere in the USSA to distract the sheeple while they sneak that so called “treaty” into law.

            • Hey Mike, you’re spot on. EFF might be the only thing I contribute to and that’ll be whenever the patch resumes. We’ve been in bad weather the last 10 days, left me sitting my old butt at the house……HELP!!!!. I tried to get somebody to work with me on an ongoing job but nobody would operate the blade since I knew I’d be stuck every load. That’s not a deal breaker if I have dozer on hand. I’ve pulled or pushed(in this case)just about everything out of the mud with a variety of equipment but a grader doesn’t have the nads to push a big rig out by itself……uphill.

              But back to the TPP. It’s more of the same we see every damned bill congress votes on. That small meteorite that will toast 100 square miles will hit DC at the Capitol being the bulls-eye this year if I get my druthers.

            • Mike, a correction or addition here, Happy New Year to you too. I got carried away and left off epa, the other place I’ll contribute for obvious reasons such as this great article by eric.

              I’m going to start referring to eric as “The Hammer” since he hits everything right on the head…..and he damned sure did this one.

            • Mike, here are Ross’ words(he was absolutely correct and saw what would happen as I was told by an old christian in action friend):

              We have got to stop sending jobs overseas. It’s pretty simple: If you’re paying $12, $13, $14 an hour for factory workers and you can move your factory South of the border, pay a dollar an hour for labor,…have no health care—that’s the most expensive single element in making a car— have no environmental controls, no pollution controls and no retirement, and you don’t care about anything but making money, there will be a giant sucking sound going south.
              …when [Mexico’s] jobs come up from a dollar an hour to six dollars an hour, and ours go down to six dollars an hour, and then it’s leveled again. But in the meantime, you’ve WRECKED(my capitalization) the country with these kinds of deals.

              • Thanks for the quote 8, I read somewhere that Chinese workers are starting to demand better pay/working conditions so the corporations are looking for other more downtrodden places to shift the jobs to. I guess when they run out of starving desperate people the playing field will finally level off, too late for most of us.

                • Mike, labor in China mostly involves landlord who charge for a board to sleep on and not even warm enough. As they continue to raise the cost, the workers are finally working for nothing so they go back to the farm. I don’t think it’s a matter of demanding anything, just getting a halfway decent meal and a half ass warm place to sleep in between countless hours of working too hard. Once again, the ones with money are ruining what little economy a country had.

                  Things went the same way in this country for decades till we hit the breaking point, post-NAFTA. I watched everything that came from manufacturing plants either originate in Texas or come through on it’s way to Mexico. Hell, even a local company that was very large, Mrs. Baird’s Bread, pulled up stakes and moved to the other side of the border from Laredo from Abilene, Texas. It was the same with any, and every, company. We could watch the entire US manufacturing base move down the interstates piece by piece every day.

                  Once you’ve seen that, voting becomes almost hysterical. You want to fall down laughing at the people who argue Democrat or Republican.

          • ” I make about 1/2 as much again trucking as I did in 1974. ”

            Did you mean you make half as much (50%) or half as much again (150%)?

            I make half as much as a coin scout as I made in ’05. I’d rather be making half as much again. 😉

            • Ed, I make half as much more, 150%……but even that works out to about a quarter or fifth(WT for me) or less of purchasing power. A nice car was 3 grand back then and of the few I bought on time, I don’t recall making it to the end of the loan period before outright owning it…..as if you outright own anything.

              Back then you could fly under the radar fairly easily and some that didn’t have things such as the fed looking at their DL and Road Use Tax and commercial insurance could and did live quite well without any govt. entity even realizing they were alive.

              I knew people who hadn’t had a DL in many years. Even if they got stopped it was a warning to get a new one. Now it’s a trip to the morgue or prison or the beginning of the trip to the poor house since once in the system it’s hell to get any fresh air to breathe. I could write a book but tens of millions of others could write the same one and many probably already have.

              And did you notice the wages Ross spoke of in my other comment where he speaks of 12$-14$/hr wages? That was in ’92 and that’s what people are making today….no comparison to what everything cost then and now.

              • Hi Eight,

                A measure I find useful is to contrast what my ’76 Trans-Am cost when new vs. what a similar car costs today. My car – loaded, with virtually every option available at the time (including electric rear defrost, power windows and locks – all very high-end options at the time) stickered for about $5,800. This works put to about what the price of a base Mustang or Camaro costs today.

                Now, granted, the new Camaro/Mustang – even with the base engine – have more power/perform better than my ’76 did when it was new. And they have features such as a touchscreen and climate control AC and all the “safety” stuff.

                Well, I don’t want that stuff.

                I want the V8 (and mine’s easy and inexpensive to modify; for about $1,500 in today’s money one could double the factory 200 hp rating of the 455) and I don’t give a damn about touchscreens and “safety” features.

      • “the government is the evil corporation the public most needs protection from”
        That’s why the one segment of the economy where union membership is growing is gunvermin employees.

    • Hi Right,

      I assume you’re being facetious! 🙂

      But, as regards the idea that I am a party to the social contract. What does this mean, exactly? Does it mean that my having been born into a given society, I am contractually bound to obey whatever laws the “society” (that is, the people who wield power) issue?

      If this is the standard then (logically) a person who was born in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia or Communist China is morally obliged to submit to the laws of that society… .

      In fact, there is no such thing as a “social contract.” A contract, by definition, involves specific individuals (not generalities such as “society”) who agree to the contract. You cannot simply posit a contract and then insist that others – who have never consented to it – are bound by it.

      “But who will build the roads”?

      Well, how about “who will build the pyramids”?

      Whether the roads are built – or not – isn’t the moral issue. The moral issue is whether anyone has the right to force others to build (or pay for) roads. Or pyramids.

      Clovers (Hamilton’s progeny) always trot out their utilitarian (and material) arguments; their projects and such. What they want to “get done.” Some of these things may be good things – like roads. But if they’re done at gunpoint, they necessarily become bad things.

      “Hate the poor”?

      No, I hate violence. I hate the use of aggressive force against anyone. I especially hate unctuous frauds who want to “help” others… with other people’s money.

    • “You are a party to the social contract.”

      The social contract is to contracts what social justice is to justice.

      Take off on that, White Stuff. Tip on out on it.

    • Look at the twitter archive you coward clovers and learn the truth about cops and about what shitty people you are, you pants pissers who need the protected gelded reality these maniac psychopaths “provide.”

      How do you fucking live with yourselves?

      • Hi Tor,

        It’s the Hobbesian mindset. This idea that human nature is inherently depraved and that without rule by force people will never rule themselves. That is, voluntarily restrain their impulses to kill, rape and steal.

        Conservatives are particularly afflicted by this dismal view of mankind.

        I wonder whether they ever stop to reflect that by assuming the worst of people – and treating as presumptively rotten – they get what they seem to not wish for.

  8. And this consent DOES have to do with autos. What about the videogame console in your dash that has software? What about the program running your modules like VW’s Diesel ECU? http://www.ipwatchdog.com/2015/07/01/john-deere-gm-push-back-against-consumer-modifications-of-vehicle-software/id=59014/ http://www.wired.com/2015/04/dmca-ownership-john-deere/

    But you consented so that makes it okay. Don’t want to consent, then don’t drive, or buy a really, really, old car, preferably from a company that no longer exists.

    • Hi Thomas,

      ” buy a really, really, old car, preferably from a company that no longer exists.”

      Done!

      1976 Pontiac.

      No computer. No black box. And Pontiac sleeps with the fishes…

      • eric, that’s the very reason I don’t wish to progress beyond a ’93 GM diesel pickup. Mechanical injection, no black box and ABS that works great when unplugged(regular brakes). If the auto-lock front hubs fail, replace with manual if so desired(some came with manual).

        BTW, did you notice on the ’16 Suburban you can only get the HD version by buying bulk? I don’t understand that. 3/4T Suburbans are virtually bullet-proof and that’s the one I’d buy.

  9. Esau?
    While you attempt to make a big point on consent (what about Rolling Stone’s Jackie and “Mattress Girl”?) you’ve probably agreed to be ruled by a tyrant many times.

    First, your computer is probably not running Linux and you probably have a smartphone. In order to use the software there was a button which said I Agree under dozens of pages of abstruse legalese. “You did click the button?” https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Button,_Button_%28The_Twilight_Zone%29

    Then there’s your donate button – PayPal. http://krebsonsecurity.com/2015/12/2016-reality-lazy-authentication-still-the-norm/ Their terms of service would be a nightmare to anyone who loves liberty.

    But there are two things concerning the Constitution which you claim you never signed. Each of these agreements has a provision that you will be bound by the law in a particular state, typically California, which in turn, is under the Federal Government and the Constitution. You did click the button?

    The second thing is the Constitution ought to only affect those who are in the Federal Government since the whole thing is about limiting what they can do, I can’t find a single term limiting what an ordinary citizen can do other than Treason and Piracy. It also says (and you aren’t consenting that) your freedom of speech, religion, the press, the right to bear arms, to be secure in your paper and property and not to be forced to incriminate yourself can’t be infringed. And it says you have a right to trial by jury if the matter is over $20, and to the courts in any case.

    In the previous post I noted that words cannot defend themselves, even the NAP. You require men of good will to defend and enforce good ideas if nothing else to prevent the twisting of the words. But what if men voluntarily agree not to enforce the good and to be ruled by the bad?

    You clicked your right away – you agree to mandatory binding arbitration. Sounds libertarian? It is a kangaroo court. http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/01/business/dealbook/arbitration-everywhere-stacking-the-deck-of-justice.html No court, no judge, no jury, just an arbitrator that will want repeat business from your opponent and doesn’t care about you and is hardly impartial. Often you can opt-out via an involved procedure (I do it with my credit cards, it is against the law to deny credit if you don’t agree), but you can’t do that with click-throughs.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Cu0lqUlHEko

  10. Eric, Allow me to summarize your “New Year’s Wish” column in two words….”Vote Libertarian.”

    That’s like telling the crew on the Titanic to try to pump out the ocean water.

    I’m not disputing your advice. It’s probably the best possible way to Waste Your Vote, because at least your conscience won’t trouble you later.

    At this point in the game, it’s time to head for the lifeboats, and hopefully get rescued, or make it back to shore on your own.

    Then you can try to build a better ship for future use.

    • Hi Mike,

      I never recommend voting – for anyone. For a Libertarian, voting is an act of moral hari-kari. You are accepting that someone else has authority to control your life; you are granting them what amounts to open-ended proxy power.

      No.

      I expend my effort advocating self-government.

      It may be a hopeless cause, I realize.

      But that doesn’t make me feel any less good about giving it everything I’ve got.

      More weight!

      • OK, got it…..”don’t vote, period”

        That works for me too.

        But I’m still headed for the lifeboats, before the stampede. 🙂

      • Eric –

        The only reason I vote is to vote against the theft of my property by my so-called “fellow citizens”. For those not understanding what I mean – I will vote in any election involving a tax increase and I always vote NO. Doesn’t matter what the reason is – for the children, for a new swimming pool, for “better” roads and sidewalks, etc. I always vote NO. My fellow citizens aren’t entitled to my money (although they think they are) and if they want better sidewalks, let them pay for them.

        Outside of that, when it comes to candidates, I simply write in random family members or famous people who aren’t running. I do that just to screw with the system.

        • Michael, I understand your angst. Where I live the polls close at 7pm or at least during my life they have. My life has mostly boiled down to gone before daylight, in long after. I won’t waste an hour or several hours involving other people on a job to vote. I think I voted in the ’92 election and in the 2012 election where I voted for a libertarian for every office except voting for Cruz. It wasn’t like I was believing him or thought he was really going to do what he said but it as an experiment and one of those lesser of two evils things so I didn’t figure it really mattered. I can’t tell it did but the hardcore Republicans hate him so that helps. If there had been a Democrat I’ could have done the same for I might have.

          I actually had no illusion anything would change, it was more of an experiment to see what would happen in the ensuing years. Ted continues to piss off the Israeli suckers so that is sorta entertaining.

        • Agreed Michael, let me amend my earlier post to say I will no longer be for for (or against) anyone, but will vote against tax increases (bond issures, etc.) and on ballot ‘issues,’ including constitutional amendments. I will do this not because I expect it to make a difference, but as a protest.

  11. The “zero tolerance policy” is Gun Control for kids. Disarm yourself and hope everyone else does and that the “authority figures” actually enforce the law.

    A second problem is many libertarians reject the NAP by redefining it. Rothbard doesn’t see slander or libel as aggression. Block says blackmail isn’t aggression. Many don’t think copyrights are valid, so it isn’t aggression to take the creative products without compensation. Then there’s the whole matter of redefining “initiating” in a world of hurt feelings, micro-agressions and safe-spaces.

    • Hi Tz,

      Yes, these things will need to be worked out. Speaking just for me:

      Initiating violence (actual or threatened) is aggression. Defending oneself against violence using violent means, if need be, is not aggression.

      Blackmail is – as I see it – obviously aggression. You are threatening someone to coerce them to give you money or to do/not do something against their will. Put another way, you’ve harmed them – or are threatening them (very specifically, in an undeniable, concrete way) with harm.

      Likewise, slander can cause material harm to a person; it can ruin a person’s reputation, which can ruin them professionally.

      Rothbard and Bock are – with respect – wrong on these issues.

      I also disagree with them on the issue of copyrights. The standard, to me, seems simple: Did you write it (or compose it or draw it)? If you didn’t, then it’s not rightfully your property unless you paid for it. Now, we can parse this some. For instance, I don’t see a problem with photocopying a page out of a book and sending that to a friend. But I do see a problem with reproducing the entire book’s contents and then re-selling these copies – or even giving them away.

      I plan to go at this stuff in detail soon… need to eat some BLTs and drunk some coffee to get in the mood!

        • Wouldn’t most blackmail be akin to inciting the mob to violence?
          Reveal the information, and the Mob tears the person to pieces (possibly literally.)

          But your hands are clean, you didn’t touch the person you tried to blackmail….
          Isn’t that like Clover’s assertion that the police carry a gun for protection, there’s no threat of violence?

          I’m not sure I can divine a difference. It’s why “Just following orders” isn’t a valid defense, per Nuremberg, I think.

          Perhaps I’m being overly dramatic, as I can’t think of being blackmailed for failure to pay taxes, say. (You can drop a dime on anyone, guilty or not, and the burden of proof is on the accused.)
          Most blackmail would be a heinous crime, I think. Blackmailing a person about marital infidelity, maybe? Unlikely to include mob violence, but that depends who you married… Some families take things VERY seriously, even before it’s THE family….

          • I’ve seen blackmail work to prevent aggression from another person. If you’re correct, two wrongs can make a right.

            • “I’ve seen blackmail work to prevent aggression from another person.”

              I’m not using the broad definition like that because it’s incorrect. You’re describing coercion.

              Blackmail is threatening to reveal something the victim wants to keep secret if the victim doesn’t pay the blackmailer. Where the fraud comes in, is that blackmailers never back off after being paid as they say they will, and also they never intend to make public what the victim wants to keep secret. To follow through on their threat would mean an end to getting paid.

              • Ed, Eric, etc…,

                Blackmail does not inherently violate the NAP, nor is it inherently fraudulent. While most people correctly view blackmail as ethically wrong, this does not make it fraudulent or a violation of the NAP. The fraud claim you make is due to the fact that a theoretical blackmail contract is not legally enforceable. If it were, the terms of the contract could stipulate a one time payment (eliminating the additional demand problem), the destruction or transference, to the blackmailee, of all evidence to the secret in question and a defined penalty for violating the contract.

                Imagine that I stumble upon evidence of a transgression that you wish to keep secret. Assuming that the information I possess is true, it is not illegal for me to sell that information to a tabloid. Do you believe that doing so is fraudulent and a violation of the NAP? If not, then why would selling that information to you, under the terms of a contract, be fraudulent and a violation of the NAP?

                Please note, I am not condoning blackmail. I merely think it is important to understand the limits of libertarian theory. The NAP, and libertarian theory, is not a comprehensive guide to morality. It is an attempt to define the justifiable use of force. There are many actions people take that are not NAP violations, but are still deemed ethically wrong by alot of people. These include racially discriminatory hiring or housing policies, drug use, profligate spending, homosexuality, indifference to the suffering of others, etc… Consistent libertarians would assert that there should be no legal sanctions for engaging in any of the above behavior, even if they find some, or all, to be morally abhorrent.

                Jeremy

                • Hi Jeremy,

                  I never made the fraud argument. But blackmail is another matter.

                  It seems to me that blackmail is a threat. A very specific one. I will hurt you unless you give me money or do what I say. Your are using the threat to coerce someone’s actions. You are putting them under duress.

                  That’s aggression, so a violation of the NAP. No different, morally, than me threatening Clover that I will bash his face in if he doesn’t do what I want him to. You are making your victim an offer he can’t refuse.

                  You write:

                  “Imagine that I stumble upon evidence of a transgression that you wish to keep secret. Assuming that the information I possess is true, it is not illegal for me to sell that information to a tabloid. Do you believe that doing so is fraudulent and a violation of the NAP? ”

                  This is not blackmail. Or fraud. Just despicable.

                  It’s not blackmail, because you haven’t threatened me. You have simply sold the material to a tabloid.

                  Despicable, but not blackmail.

                  It would be blackmail if, rather than go to the tabloid and make arrangements with them to buy the story, you came to me and told me you would do so if I didn’t pay you.

                  See the difference?

                  • Hi Eric,

                    I am not arguing that blackmail is not despicable. I am arguing that it is not an inherent violation of the NAP.

                    You write:

                    “It seems to me that blackmail is a threat. A very specific one. I will hurt you unless you give me money or do what I say. Your are using the threat to coerce someone’s actions. You are putting them under duress.”

                    This is true, but that fact does not make it an inherent NAP violation. People often use threats to coerce the behavior of others. Some of these threats constitute a NAP violation, some do not. You said in an above post that blackmail is “obviously aggression” and thus a NAP violation to be condemned on Libertarian grounds. With respect, I don’t think you’ve made your case.

                    Imagine that I discover that the young man my daughter is dating is an habitual drug user. Further imagine that I know that his parents will cut off his funding for college if they become aware of this fact. I approach the young man and threaten him with exposure unless he ceases to date my daughter. He asks me what guarantee I can give him that I will not tell his parents, even if he stops seeing my daughter. I offer him a contract (as described above) that will bind me to silence as long as he honors his obligations under the contract.

                    I have blackmailed this man. I have threatened him with harm unless “he does what I say”. Is this a NAP violation?

                    Once again, libertarian theory is not a comprehensive guide to morality. It is an attempt to define the justifiable use of force. In my above example, I have not threatened the young man with force. The NAP neither compels me to inform his parents, nor compels me to remain silent. Either action is consistent with the NAP.

                    Jeremy

                    • Hi Jeremy,

                      You write:

                      “Once again, libertarian theory is not a comprehensive guide to morality.”

                      Yes, it is. Initiating force is always morally indefensible. You have no right to cause harm to those who have not harmed you.

                      “It is an attempt to define the justifiable use of force.”

                      Yes, exactly!

                      Defensive force used to thwart aggression is always defensible. Aggressive force never is.

                    • “Initiating force is always morally indefensible.”
                      But blackmail, while it may be ‘aggressive,’ does not necessarily involve force. I think that is where the disagreement/confusion is coming in here.

                  • Hi Eric,

                    I posted my comment before I noticed you had added to your post.

                    I understand that you did not make the fraud argument. I was responding to Ed’s comment. However, I should have been clear on that point.

                    Yes, I see the difference between selling a story to a tabloid and selling my silence to someone who doesn’t want the story made public. What I don’t see is why the former is not a NAP violation, but the latter is.

                    Jeremy

                    • Hi Jeremy,

                      You wrote:

                      “Yes, I see the difference between selling a story to a tabloid and selling my silence to someone who doesn’t want the story made public. What I don’t see is why the former is not a NAP violation, but the latter is.”

                      The distinction is this: Your “selling your silence” is an oily euphemism. What you’ve actually done is threaten to harm the person unless they pay you to keep quiet. If you don’t see that as an aggressive act, then I don’t know what else to say.

                      Again, I am assuming this person you’re blackmailing hasn’t caused you any harm. That you are not acting defensively.

                      And selling “dirt” to a tabloid? It’s not blackmail, but it is an NAP violation – and an extremely maggoty act – because you are deliberately causing harm to some other person in order to benefit yourself.

                • “The fraud claim you make is due to the fact that a theoretical blackmail contract is not legally enforceable”

                  You’ve been reading too much Walter Block. There’s no “contract” involved in blackmail. Blackmail is an extortion scheme based upon fraudulent intent. The blackmailer has no intention of honoring any agreement he offers to his victim, nor does he actually intend to reveal anything the victim wants to keep secret, as ai stated earlier.

                  If you can’t agree with that, fine, but positing some nonexistent contract is simply a strawman argument. I would say “nice try”, but candor forbids.

                  That was actually a very poor attempt on your part, though Dr. Block would probably find your argument very compelling.

                  • Hi Ed,

                    I was actually influenced by Walter Williams, not Walter Block. The fact that a “blackmail contract” is not enforceable under current law does not mean it is impossible. Asserting that if it were, a blackmail contract could be non-fraudulent is not a strawman argument.

                    My claim is that blackmail is not inherently fraudulent, nor is it an inherent violation of the NAP. You have said nothing to counter that claim. Blackmail can be fraudulent and it can be a violation of the NAP, but it is not necessarily so.

                    You have not offered any argument as to why it is inherently fraudulent. Given that, you are the one engaging in a strawman argument.

                    Jeremy

                    • “You have not offered any argument as to why it is inherently fraudulent. Given that, you are the one engaging in a strawman argument.”

                      Yes, I did explain exactly why blackmail is inherently fraudulent. You just ignored it.
                      Your arguments are as baseless and as tedious as anything Block posts daily.

                      That’s all the energy of mine you’re getting. Have the last word if you like.

                    • Hi Jeremy,

                      We disagree.

                      It’s always morally wrong to harm people who’ve not harmed you.

                      You confuse/conflate defensive use of force (morally legitimate) with aggression (always morally illegitimate).

                      If I happen to come into possession of some information that I then use to strong-arm someone who has not done me any harm into giving me money or doing something I want him to do, contrary to his free will, then I have committed aggression. My actions are not defensive and so not morally defensible.

                      This is the essence of “blackmail.”

                      Your example proves my point. The young man dating your daughter engages in an activity you do not like but which – as such (as you’ve defined it) causes no harm to you or others. He “uses” drugs. So? I understand you don’t approve. Again, so? How is his “use” of drugs any different – morally – than the “use” of beer or liquor? Maybe it is a vice. But “use” – as such – does not rise to the level of harm caused to you or your daughter. You simply disapprove of his personal choices – and now you’ve decided to strong-arm (blackmail) him.

                      You threaten the young man with economic harm as well as personal harm, notwithstanding he has not harmed you, nor threatened to (and as far as your example goes, has not harmed or threatened to harm your daughter, either… unless it is your view that merely “using” arbitrarily illegal drugs necessarily harms others, which is obvious nonsense).

                      The contract stuff is Bockian – tedious and pedantic. If aggression (non defensive violence) is involved then whatever the action is, it’s not morally defensible. To speak of contracts in this context is ludicrous. One does not debate the legitimacy of contracts made Luca Brasi-style.

                    • Hi Jeremy,

                      Again, a “blackmail contract” is a contradiction in terms. A legitimate contract does not involve aggression, which means no blackmail… a contract based on aggression is no contract at all (morally speaking).

                      Some may take the position that “blackmail” can be non-aggressive; e.g., it can be used defensively, to thwart aggression. I suppose so. But we need to be very careful about our definitions. As commonly used, “blackmail” means an aggressive act. You’d have to specifically note otherwise, to convey a non-aggressive (i.e., a defensive) act.

                      I do not like lawyerly parsing – and it seems to me that’s what’s going on here. It’s akin to parsing the meaning of “sex.” Does a blowjob count? Or just intercourse?

                      I think you and I both know that the relevant issue is whether an action involves aggression. If it does, it’s morally wrong. If it doesn’t, then it’s not.

                    • The system isn’t perfect and I will and can admit blackmail to be a legitimate course of action. It’s not necessarily violating the NAP although it COULD be.

                      This is excellent. In the comments, also see the letter from a Common Law Superior Court Judge in Alaska, which details the rise of Admiralty law at the expense of Common Law. Here is the link:

                      http://thepetesantillishow.com/wp-content/uploads/2015/12/AVR095-openlettertosheriffward.pdf

                      If you’ll read the above, I believe it represents the Bundy’s successful stand-off with the “feds”. I’d bet they used this “blackmail” to stop the aggression.

                    • Hi Eight,

                      See the comments I just left for Jeremy!

                      (Top o’ the morning to ya, by the way… it’s pig-bitin’ cold here in The Woods!)

                    • Hi Eric,

                      “Threatening to cause harm is the standard I apply. Doesn’t have to be physical.”

                      This is an interesting point, although I’m not sure it is always applicable. Imagine that I am paying for my son’s college education. I discover that he is doing something that I don’t like. Further imagine that what he is doing is sufficient to get him expelled from college. I contact him and let him know that, unless he changes his behavior, I will inform the college and he will be expelled. I am threatening him with harm. He has not harmed me. Is this a NAP violation?

                      Ed,

                      You have explained why blackmail, under current law, is fraudulent. You have not explained why blackmail is inherently fraudulent. To do so, you must show why it is impossible for a blackmail contract to be non-fraudulent. I have explained how this could be possible. You have responded by incorrectly claiming I made a strawman argument.

                      Jeremy

                    • Hi Jeremy,

                      I don’t think so. Here’s why. Your son is receiving financial assistance from you that is conditional on your approval of his actions. You have every right to rescind your support if he does not conform to your standards. Or put another way: Your son does not have a right to financial assistance from you. Hence, you have a right to set terms and conditions, which he is free to accept or not.

                    • In re blackmail and fraud:

                      Any contract, to be valid, must be based on mutual, freely given consent. If either party is under duress or coerced, the contract is morally invalid. Fraudulent.

                      Blackmail is by definition not based on mutual, freely given consent. It is inherently fraudulent in that respect at least. It is not an above-board transaction. The blackmailer is relying on fear of what he may do (as well as what he says he will do); in other words, the “terms” themselves are not defined and subject to unilateral change at the whim of the blackmailer. I can’t think of a more fraudulent transaction than that.

                      This business is like trying to parse honest theft.

                      Makes my teeth hurt.

                    • Hi Eric,

                      I expected you to make that argument. It is, of course, correct. It is correct because the father owns the money he has decided to spend (or not spend). Thus, this is a property rights issue. As libertarians, we believe that we own ourselves. This includes our knowledge, our thoughts and all legitimately acquired property.

                      In the case of a blackmailer, assume that the knowledge he has is acquired legitimately. In other words, he acquired the knowledge without committing fraud or theft upon another.

                      You write:

                      “Your son does not have a right to financial assistance from you. Hence, you have a right to set terms and conditions, which he is free to accept or not.”

                      To which I respond, “the blackmailee does not have a right to control the knowledge that I possess. Hence, I have a right to set the terms and conditions of what I do with that knowledge, which he is free to accept or not.”

                      As for the fraud claim, thanks for offering an argument that addresses my contention that blackmail is not necessarily fraudulent. You claim that any blackmail contract is invalid because it is made under duress. However, I am not convinced. Duress is a slippery term.

                      Imagine that I am a libertarian anarchist. As such, I reject the validity of minimum wage laws. I own a business. A young man, recently released from jail, approaches me. He has a young daughter to support and he cannot find a job. He says he is willing to work for the minimum wage. I explain to him that the job I have to offer him is not worth the minimum wage. I offer him employment at 60% of the minimum wage. He is under duress, yet he accepts the job under the terms and conditions I require. According to libertarian theory, this is a valid contract. It is not a violation of the NAP.

                      Jeremy

                    • Hi Jeremy,

                      Bottom line, you’re defending your “right” to hurt someone. You have information; you threaten the person that you’ll reveal it unless he does what you want him to do (or not do), etc. Unless this person initiated aggression against you, you are in the wrong, morally.

                      If you disagree, we’ll have to agree to disagree.

                      In your example, the young man is not under duress that came from you. The duress is coming from somewhere else – and you (in this case) are trying to help the guy.

                    • Hi Eric,

                      OK, we’ll agree to disagree. I think I’m applying the principle of property rights correctly, you don’t.

                      BTW, did you receive my envelope to you unmolested? If so, I’ll send another.

                      Jeremy

                    • Releasing truthful information is not considered an aggression by any measure I know of. Now there may be consequences upon its release but it isn’t hurting them. It’s also perfectly legal not only to release truthful information for free it’s legal to sell it to the highest bidder. What if the person who would suffer the consequences upon its release is the highest bidder for the exclusive, that is the silence to everyone else?

                    • Hi Brent,

                      The issue isn’t “releasing truthful information” – which is, as you note, perfectly legal as well a morally acceptable.

                      Because it’s not blackmail merely to “release truthful information.”

                      Let’s define our terms.

                      Blackmail is leveraging the possession of potentially damaging information as a threat to coerce another person who has caused you no harm to do as you demand, or to get money out of them.

                      It’s worse than being a tattle tale – and tattle tales are as obnoxious as busybodies.

                      Libertarians ought to be first to respect the concept of MYOB.

                      But the thing I am getting at here is the desire to hurt someone else for gain – and that is what blackmail fundamentally is.

                      Libertarians already have a heavy load trying to shed the common perception that we are “selfish” and (yes) immoral people who only care about how much we can get, however we can get it.

                      It is, in my view, essential that we counter this by doing all we can to demonstrate by word and deed that we, more so than adherents of any other political/moral philosophy, base our actions on not causing harm (and when we do, inadvertently, owning up to it and making amends for it).

                      Exploiting another human being’s vulnerability for the sake of money or to control them is despicable. It’s exactly what Clovers specialize in – and thus should be repellent to us.

                    • Thanks BrentP. I would clarify by saying that as long as no rights were violated in obtaining the information, then one is free to share or not share that info as one sees fit. And to sell it, or request payment not to share it.

                    • Hi Phillip,

                      Free to share is one thing. But blackmail is something more. The blackmailer threatens to “share” the information unless the target pays him off (or does/doesn’t do as commanded). This is the element that makes it an NAP violation – the threat, the placing of another under duress in order to benefit the blackmailer.

                      To be very clear: I am assuming the person being blackmailed has not done something to deserve it; i.e., that you are not acting defensively but aggressively.

                    • I had a beatch accuse me of a thing I didn’t do. I told her I’d tell her friends who weren’t too friendly with the circumstances what she’d done that was a fact. She didn’t take the threat seriously, stupid her, and was banned by the crew she hung with. Her husband divorced her and kept custody of my god daughter. She blackmailed me for some stupid reason for something I hadn’t done. She lied, I told the truth but both were threats. Nothing good came from any of it. I wish(and so did her husband, I’d simply disappeared her and not even spoken), in fact, he suggested it. Coulda, woulda shoulda. Some people are evil. They deserve what they get.

                      All my friends in my life referred to me as “uncle” because I was the voice of reason and did my best to calm the waters whenever needed. I have few regrets about my treatment of people although I screwed up now and again like anybody but it would only be hindsight where I wished I had simply deferred to not be involved, a hard thing to do with close friends fighting each other.

                    • Well as I mentioned, don’t threaten, offer to sell silence or exclusivity to the information to the highest bidder. If the fine line is the presentation, as a threat or as a sales pitch, I’ll accept that premise for the sake of argument and say just do the sales pitch.

                      Who bids higher, the person who would suffer the consequences of information being released or a national or even local newspaper or TV station?

                      No need to threaten at all, just put it out there for bid. Sell the exclusive. Sell silence to everyone else.

                      But let’s say the information is of a nature no one else would bid money for it. Then it’s finding out what silence is worth to the person for whom would prefer the secret be kept. Again, no threat needs to be made. Just an offer. If there is no acceptance or counter offer then the so called blackmailer would do what just about everyone else would do, and talk, spreading the information.

                      The wind is taken out of a blackmailer’s sails by not caring or at least pretending not to. If he can be made to feel that secrecy is of no value to his target well the whole affair is done with. Once he blabs his information will have no value, because the value is in silence, but if silence also has no value he becomes disarmed.

                    • For me, the core issue is whether an action comes at someone else’s expense. Whether I am doing something I know is going to hurt someone else and am doing it for precisely that reason.

                      And for money? Merely because I can?

                      I’ll pass.

                      Mind: The foregoing assumes the person being blackmailed is someone who has not done anything to harm you first; you just happen to “know about something” that could hurt the person and you choose to take advantage of that. Not as a counter against aggression but as aggression.

                      Libertarians are very vulnerable to criticism on this level. That they will take advantage if there isn’t a law to restrain their actions. The average person reads a post like Jeremy’s or Bock’s and is repulsed. I am, too. Here’s someone who is defending the knowing abuse of another person… just because they can.

                      Which is precisely why we should vigorously reject such contemptible actions. Earn your money; create something of value. Don’t be a scumbag and fleece people just because you have something you can use against them as a cudgel.

                    • The average person finds driving without a government permission slip contemptible. They see the same with prostitution but then the next moment are saying a woman owns her own body and the state should provide free to her reproductive services. The average person doesn’t try to derive from F=ma. They feel in the moment. They are perfectly fine with using violence to tell their neighbors how to live. If we concern ourselves with their contempt that gives up the core of any belief system based on liberty for their contempt isn’t based on reason or logic but emotion, authority, and tradition.

                      If I knew something that by spreading it could cause social or other difficulties for another I wouldn’t say anything unless a situation arose where it would make sense to. (With the possible exception of iron clad evidence of extraterrestrial life and similar things people should know. In which case I am selling the story to the highest bidder.) I wouldn’t seek to be paid for silence. But that’s my personal moral code. What I can’t do is project that on to what others should do.

                      If Frank is willing to pay Joe to keep quiet about Frank having two wives what do I care? That’s a deal between them. The public that finds the deal contemptible would argue if Joe has an obligation to tell Frank’s wives or not. Half or so of this public would say Joe has the obligation.

                      As to taking advantage if there is no law making something illegal, that’s the statist mindset. Any such accusation is their own projection. They excuse mass murder because it’s ‘war’ or a ‘police action’ and thus legal. They have no basis to levy such a charge with regards to a contract between people not them.

                      In industry there are non-disclosure agreements to keep secrets. A doctor or lawyer is supposed to keep secrets as part of the contract he enters into, it’s part of what he is paid for. What is this so called blackmail but a contract to keep a secret in exchange for some consideration?

                      I may personally find such behavior objectionable but what I personally find objectionable is separate from what is logically consistent for a free society. To have a free society means that much of the things people personally find objectionable aren’t going to be illegal. The masses are not capable of this intellectual distinction yet and instead of pandering to it perhaps we should work to make them capable of it?

                    • Hi Brent,

                      I think part of this debate is about word choice.

                      What, exactly, do we mean when we speak of blackmail?

                      I define it as threatening another person that you’ll reveal something you know about them unless they give you money or do something you want them to do, contrary to their will. This is what most people understand the word to mean. And I submit it is an NAP violation, because the blackmailer is intending to harm someone; there is no nuance or gray area. He is making a specific, deliberate threat that he will cause you harm unless you give him money (and so on). This is aggression. And aggression is morally indefensible.

                      (Again, I am assuming an innocent victim here; someone who has done you no wrong and the object of the exercise is simply to fuck with the person, get money out of them, etc.)

                      Now, contrariwise, if I write a book that contains truthful information unflattering – or even damaging – to a public figure, it’s not blackmail. The guy’s a public figure, it’s truthful information and I am writing a book.

                      I also would argue it’s morally defensible if I accept money from the public figure to not publish my revelations, if he seeks me out and makes the offer volitionally.

                      Mind, I have created something here. I wrote a book. It is my work, my creative effort. That’s properly property. I’m not some douchebag calling the guy from a pay phone and threatening that I’ll spill unless he leaves me $10k in a brown bag.

                      A person who purveys dirt (as in your example of Frank and Joe), on the other hand, is just a scumbag. He created nothing, contributes nothing of value. He is a maggot feasting on someone else, a parasite.

                    • Hi Eric,

                      In most cases, blackmail is repellent. I have not defended the knowing abuse of another. I have argued that blackmail is not an inherent violation of the NAP, nor is it inherently fraudulent. There is a difference and it disappoints me that you assert otherwise.

                      My problem with your argument is that it presents an arbitrary and inconsistent application of property rights because of your, entirely justifiable, revulsion of blackmail. Property rights are the core of libertarian theory. You may argue that the NAP is the core, but the NAP is derived from the principle of self-ownership. As such, it is a derivative concept of property rights.

                      So, I do not “defend” blackmailers. I object to the torturing of libertarian theory. The legitimacy, or lack, of blackmail is a property rights issue. You have applied this principle arbitrarily and inconsistently.

                      For the purpose of argument, we have agreed that the knowledge obtained by the potential blackmailer is legitimate and true. The potential blackmailer can: keep the knowledge to himself, release the knowledge freely, sell the information to a tabloid or news source, or sell the information to the potential blackmailee.

                      You apply the NAP very differently to each of these possibilities. In the first case, there is obviously no issue. In the second, you claim that the action is morally acceptable, but probably obnoxious. In the third you claim that a NAP violation has occurred. In the fourth you claim that fraud, as well as a NAP violation, has occurred.

                      Here are your quotes to back up my contention.

                      “The issue isn’t “releasing truthful information” – which is, as you note, perfectly legal as well a morally acceptable.”

                      “And selling “dirt” to a tabloid? It’s not blackmail, but it is an NAP violation.”

                      “Blackmail is by definition not based on mutual, freely given consent. It is inherently fraudulent.”

                      So, I can freely reveal truthful information, which may be obnoxious, but it is not a violation of the NAP, and thus morally acceptable. But, if money is added to the mix, it becomes a NAP violation. Finally, if I sell the information to the person most affected by its’ release, I have committed fraud as well as a NAP violation.

                      Don’t you see how absurd this is, from a libertarian perspective? If the underlying act is permissible under libertarian theory, then so is receiving money for it. To claim that receiving money for an otherwise permissible act renders that act immoral is leftist twaddle.

                      Your claim that “duress” renders any potential blackmail contract invalid is also unconvincing. I explained how a contract, made under duress, may still be legitimate. You responded by claiming that it is different because of who is causing the duress. Sorry, that doesn’t cut it. The ultimate cause of “duress” to the blackmailee is his decision to engage in an action he wishes to keep secret. It is interesting to note that the radical feminist Catherine MacKinnon argued that a woman who made a contract with a moving company should not be bound to that contract because the patriarchal power structure put her under duress.

                      To justify these seeming deviations from property rights theory, you bring up intentions and harm.

                      You write: “For me, the core issue is whether an action comes at someone else’s expense. Whether I am doing something I know is going to hurt someone else and am doing it for precisely that reason.”

                      First, as far as intentions go, the person who reveals the information freely is the one most likely to be motivated solely by the intent to do harm. Second, causing harm is not necessarily a violation of the NAP, no matter one’s intentions. Imagine a manufacturer in my town makes a particular widget. I discover a method of manufacturing this widget much more efficiently than the existing manufacturer. I can release it freely, I can sell it to another manufacturer, I can start my own business and compete with the original manufacturer or I can approach the manufacturer and “threaten” him with the above options unless he buys the information from me. In every case, the original manufacturer is likely to be harmed. In all but the first case, I am seeking a monetary reward.

                      I assume that you would not assert that, even though I have intentionally “caused harm” and I have sought monetary compensation, I am guilty of a NAP transgression.

                      I understand that bolstering the image of libertarians is important. However, I believe that corrupting the core principles is not the right way to do that. I understand that you do not believe that your arguments amount to such a corruption. I do, that is what debate is for. I love this website because of the free and open discussion that happens here. That is what I have been trying to do.

                      Jeremy

                    • That’s what I was getting to earlier. What’s the line between a threat of disclosure and an offer of silence?

                      One of the ways to stop a competing technology is to buy it. What if the public figure buys the book on agreeable terms and then it is never published?

                      So what we have here is nothing more than how the approach is made. Is made in a ‘let’s make a deal’ manner or in a threatening one?

                    • Hi Brent,

                      I despise Clover because he is willing – eager – to hurt others if it helps him. This is what blackmail fundamentally is. I am not going to get into pedantic, Talmudic parsing of the meaning of words. We all know what it means in common, accepted usage to blackmail someone.

                      No, you don’t have an obligation to keep secrets you’ve not promised to keep. But it’s an asshole move to call someone up, someone who’s not harmed you, and say: I know you have been seeing a woman not your wife; pay me or I will tell.

                      There’s the difference.

                      To defend such behavior is, as I see it, also extremely foolish if the long-term goal is to convince people that Libertarian morality – and the politics that flows from it – is superior to what we have now.

                      In homey (as opposed to recondite Bockian) language, if it ain’t yours don’t take it. If he ain’t hurting you, leave him be.

                      It’s smarmy to speak in property rights terms about some embarrassing or damaging piece of information about someone else that you’ve stumbled onto. You didn’t create anything. You didn’t perform any productive/honest work. And now you’re going to get money by threatening to reveal this information unless your victim pays you off?

                      That sort of mindset – whether the doing or the defending – is as fatal as cancer, in terms of the viability of Libertarianism as a political-moral system.

                    • About 5 years ago I was discussing the 1964 civil rights act with my former brother in-law. I argued that the ban on discrimination in a “public” accommodation was wrong. He was aghast. “How could I defend racism?”, he said. “I’m not, I’m defending private property rights and the right of free association”.

                      He told me that was “just bullshit”. I was obviously just defending racism. He also told me that “arguments like that just make libertarians look like assholes”.

                      I guess he was right.

                      Jeremy

                    • Hi Jeremy,

                      Completely different things.

                      I own a restaurant. I paid for the damned thing; I work to serve my patrons. No one has the right to force me to serve them. You are free to eat elsewhere. I may have hurt your feelings. But I have not threatened you with any tangible harm.

                      To equate free association, declining to do business with someone, with blackmail is preposterous.

                    • Again, what’s a threat and what’s a deal? You accept there is a right to blab it so why can’t silence be sold? Let’s say Frank finds out that Joe knows about his two wives. Frank offers Joe something to stay quiet. Joe accepts. Now is that a deal or a threat because the call came from the person who wanted silence?

                      As far as I know that’s just as illegal as the other way around presently. The difference between a threat and a deal seems subjective and if it’s not the difference would be somewhere in the approach. Who approaches who for the deal and how it is done.

                      There are many asshole moves in life on this planet and few are actually illegal. Just because I find the state should be less involved than it is doesn’t mean I condone or defend the behaviors the state says are illegal presently. The mixture of morality and law is where problems start showing up. Where people get the idea of imposing their moral code on others right down to what they eat.

                    • Illegal vs. legal is tangential and even irrelevant. Right – and wrong – that’s what concerns me.

                      It’s wrong to threaten to hurt someone who has not hurt you. It is despicable to do so in order to force money out of them.

                    • Any “deal” that involves a threat is just bullying by another name. The kid agrees to give his lunch money to the bully in exchange for not being beaten up.

                      Legitimate (moral) deals are entered into freely by the parties to the deal. Otherwise it’s just Luca Brasi assuring his victim that either his brains or his signature will be on the contract.

                    • Hi Eric,

                      I’m not equating free association with blackmail. I’m responding to your oft repeated statements concerning the image of libertarianism, as well as your characterization of my arguments as just defending my “right” to hurt someone.

                      See the difference?

                      Jeremy

                    • Defending blackmail is defending the “right” to hurt someone.

                      You can quibble – by presenting cases that involve defensive actions (and which are therefore qualitatively – morally- different). But then we are talking semantics.

                      My premise is the commonly accepted meaning of the word, blackmail. Which is to threaten harm unless the victim pays you money or submits to some demand, contrary to his free will.

                      I am not going to continue parsing the Talmud here.

                      If you harm or (clearly, specifically) threaten to harm someone who hasn’t harmed or threatened to harm you first, it’s an NAP violation. I’m not talking about writing a book that contains truthful information about a public figure. I am talking very specifically about threatening an ordinary private person that you will tell on them unless they give you money or do as you say, to some advantage of yours.

                      It’s no different than my making it clear – sotto voice – that I might beat you up if you don’t buy me dinner.

                    • Libertarianism, to me, is fundamentally about taking the conscious decision to not be the cause of harm; to eschew violence and its threat, except in self-defense.

                      I am not defending myself by threatening to embarrass my neighbor or ruin his marriage by revealing the fact that I saw another woman come to his house the other day.. unless he pays me off.

                      I am simply an asshole who is hurting someone to get money out of them.

                      And, by the way, the guy who refuses to serve blacks is also an asshole. But he’s a different species. His actions don’t involve positive threats. The black guy is merely denied service, which is rude and other things, too. But merely refusing to do business with someone (for whatever reason) isn’t the same thing as threatening someone that they’d better do “business” with you… or else.

                    • Hi Eric,

                      I have described blackmail as “ethically wrong”, “despicable” and “repellant”.

                      I have never said blackmail and discrimination were the same thing.

                      Jeremy

                    • And an NAP violation, too!

                      If we are talking about using threats to obtain cooperation or money or advantage. Not in self defense. Against a person who has neither harmed you nor threatened to.

                      Oy vey!

                    • There’s all sorts of despicable behaviors and not all of them are violations of the NAP. Microsoft leveraging its market share, is that a violation of the NAP or just the terms of the deal?

                      Comcast just deleted one of the few channels I watch from the package I have. I called. They refused to restore it unless I paid them more for the next package up. I refused to pay. I may go elsewhere or turn the whole thing off. Their attitude is pay for a bunch more channels I don’t want or don’t have the one. The behavior is despicable. It’s not a violation of the NAP.

                      What we have to assume about the blackmailer is that he would normally keep the secret for free. The normal behavior is to blab. Few people actually have a moral code that goes that far unless it was something they were told in confidence. A few people would be told who each tell a few more and so on.

                      It’s a matter of perspective. You see it is the blackmailer threatening to blab unless he’s paid, but if we change it to the blackmailer selling his silence, a deviation from the normal condition to blab, then the perspective changes.

                      Imagine a binding contract with penalties for blabbing and benefits for not. A person is paid $50,000 for keeping the secret but if he spills it there’s a $75,000 penalty. Sure someone might attempt not to enter into a contract but at minimum there would be a verbal contract and if the person with the secret started getting squeezed for more he could then have recourse legally. Under this framework people with secrets could be better protected under laws and precedents that define acceptable business like behavior in this situation. Court procedures that do not reveal the nature of secret could be created. Instead it’s just illegal and like by making the use of some drugs illegal just results in something far worse.

                      Now in an ideal world when a person knows that blabbing will hurt someone socially he just doesn’t do it. But that’s not the world we live in. Not all people are like that. You are, I am, but not everyone. And it’s those people that aren’t whom folks like our resident troll use as leverage to bring the state into our lives. But the despicable people actually flourish under these conditions because people are stripped of legal mechanisms to deal with the situation. What does one do when ripped off in a drug deal? Same here. The blackmailer can squeeze and squeeze because no contract is recognized.

                    • Blabbing is one thing. Threatening to blab (the blabbing meant to hurt you and capable of hurting you) unless you pay me money is another thing.

                      It’s the difference between wearing a sidearm and unholstering it and pointing it at someone.

                      Again, the broader issue is the importance (for the viability of Libertarian philosophy as more than a fringe thing) of not condoning actions that are clearly intended to hurt others, especially for financial gain but also just to make someone else suffer.

                      To do so is to invite ruin because most people will never buy in to Libertarianism if they feel it will mean accepting predatory conduct, especially in a financial context.

                      The only way Libertarianism will ever be a viable political-social system is – per the Founders of the United States – within the context of a moral people who, on their own, guided by their own moral compass, eschew stooping to actions as despicable as demanding money from another person to keep their mouth shut about some embarrassing personal matter that does not involve them in any way. Clovers do that sort of thing.

                      To make grubbing for money – regardless of who you hurt along the way – the primary focus of life is inhuman. To defend it is monstrous. It is why Rand’s books – and ideas – are fatally flawed.

                      And it will kill Libertarianism, too, if we go down that road.

                    • Libertarianism and the NAP are about what is and is not an acceptable use of force and coercion in society. But there are many things that do not violate the NAP that are not ‘good’ or ‘right.’ Intoxication, for example. Or prostitution. Blackmail upsets you, understandably. It does me as well. But that does not necessarily mean it is a violation of the NAP. It may or may not be, depending on other circumstances.
                      Libertarianism is not, nor is it intended to be a complete code of ethics. It is a rule against which all our decisions should be measured, that is all.

                    • Hi Eric,

                      As PTB points out, whether blackmail is a NAP violation depends on the circumstances. The legitimacy of the underlying act is important. Your Luca Brasi example is clearly a NAP violation because the underlying act (murdering the victim) is wrong on libertarian (and common ethical) grounds.

                      Imagine I discover that an MMA fighter is using steroids, in violation of his contract with the league. I approach him and ask him to beat the crap out of my wife’s on the sly boyfriend, or I will rat him out to the league. That is a NAP violation. If I ask him to stop using steroids, or I will rat him out to the league, that is not a NAP violation.

                      Why? Because the underlying act matters. Beating the crap out of someone is a NAP violation, revealing truthful information is not.

                      Jeremy

                    • Addition to my previous post.

                      Asking someone to stop using steroids and revealing (or not revealing) truthful information are not NAP violations.

                      Jeremy

                    • Context, Jeremy.

                      If I am a private individual (not a professional athlete) using steroids and my use harms you in no way at all and you threaten to tattle to my wife unless I pay you money then yes, it is an NAOP violation.

                      If, on the other hand, you are the coach of a professional athletic team and you discover one of your players is on steroids – which are against the rules of the league – and you demand he cease using them or you will reveal his use, it is not blackmail. His use threatens you (and the team) with harm.

                      Can we quit with this Talmudic parsing?

                      Please?

                    • Broader american society likes telling its neighbors how to live. It likes using force. It does these things and makes problems worse. It likes using the state to live off others while in reality making everyone poorer.

                      Purchasing someone’s silence is illegal so we have blackmailers that squeeze people. Some drugs are illegal so we have criminal gangs selling those drugs. Welfare (corporate and individual) seems like a good idea but instead concentrates wealth and destroys the carrying capacity of the economy.

                      libertarianism will never appeal to the masses so long as those masses believe in using force to achieve short sided goals. Critics will always seek to keep the public in a perception box with ‘what about roads?’ questions. What is going to be done about blackmailers, drug dealers, roads, consumer safety, and so on. But here’s the choice, stick by a free society model that is difficult to explain thanks to government schools or do what the state would do. That’s why the critics do this.

                      If people can understand that once the things they don’t like go from being illegal and into the world of contracts, free association, etc we can actually mitigate the problems caused for society as a whole. By being illegal because they don’t want other people doing them all that happens is the problems get worse. Just think if a blackmailer could be brought into court and sued for breach of contract? That would put a huge dent in the blackmailing business. Bigger than illegality ever did.

                      morality cannot be achieved at the barrel of a gun and doing so ultimately undermines morality. It’s what a person can get away with. That’s the society we have today. It’s what a person can get away with. Since selling silence becomes blackmail with illegality more people can get away with it. What’s a person to do? Call the police and disclose his secret? Maybe his tormentor goes to prison but his secret is still out. Working out an acceptable price of silence to both parties, putting it in a contract, having court proceedings that protect the secret should the contract be breached, etc would actually control the situation.

                    • Hi Brent,

                      I avoid debating the merits of “legal” vs. “illegal” because it’s largely irrelevant as regards whether a thing is right or wrong.

                      It’s wrong to blare music at 3 a.m. if it’s going to bother my neighbors. The fact that there are assholes who don’t grok that is ultimately why there are laws against such.

                      Similarly, threatening to hurt someone who hasn’t hurt you first by revealing something about them unless they give you money. It’s an asshole thing to do – whether legal or illegal.

                      Libertarians ought – in my opinion – to ask: Am I hurting someone who hasn’t harmed me by doing this?

                      If yes, then don’t do it.

                      Self-government.

                      If not, government.

                    • But when the merely despicable or disliked is illegal the harm from it grows. That’s a center point of why libertarianism is better. It recognizes the difference between moral and legal. Blur that and it just becomes like democrats and republicans. Opinions of what should be legal and illegal. What opinions should be forced upon everyone else.

                      Blackmail is despicable but it’s better controlled by contract than criminal law as we do with many other things.

                    • Hi Brent,

                      Remember Marx’s withering away of the state? That’s the end goal of Libertarian philosophy. If people learn to self-govern, government – laws – become an irrelevance. There will always be need for mediation of disputes, probably. And some mechanism for dealing with people who harm others.

                      But if most people, on their own, refrain from actions that involve intentional harm to others, the need for criminal law will wither away.

                      Any threat that’s not defensive isn’t morally defensible.

                    • I just have bicycles. A 2003 Cannondale. I forget the exact model. A rode bike. CADD5 frame. The others are just old bikes I pretty much wore out. One is functional. Mid 90s Giant. Have an old early 80s fuji I pulled from a dumpster in near perfect condition. That’s about it.

                    • Hi Brent,

                      Thanks for responding. I love bicycles in the way the Eric loves cars and motorcycles. I tweak them, machine custom parts, modify existing parts, build weird custom bikes for special needs, etc… So, I’m always interested when someone else is interested in them.

                      Jeremy

    • “Block says blackmail isn’t aggression.”

      Well as Tony Soprano said about someone else, ” It’s common knowledge that he’s retarded”. He could have been referring to Walter Block.

      Block gets my vote for the most tedious human being on LRC.

      • ED, “Block gets my vote for the most tedious human being on LRC.”

        Mine too. To me he seems to be that guy who is always trying to convince everyone else that he is the smartest guy in the room while he clearly is not.

        • ” To me he seems to be that guy who is always trying to convince everyone else that he is the smartest guy in the room while he clearly is not.”

          Exactly, he’ll post both sides of an email exchange that runs on until it should be apparent to any reader that both participants are just entertaining themselves. Tedious as hell.

          That inane argument of his about “evictionism” should be proof enough to a thinking human being that he’s totally full of shit. He tried to give a talk on that subject at Ron Paul’s side convention in Miami and the crowed booed his ass halfway off.

  12. This petition is simply following up on what Robin Williams suggested playing a comedian running for prez in Man of the Year.

  13. “I learned very early in life that fighting back would get me stomped by authority and that’s the lesson they want children to learn.”

    I failed to learn that one. That may be why I have amounted to no more than what I have, at least by the standards of Merka in general. I’m a total failure as a Merkin.

    • Probably why I’m so willing to do wrong things for the right reasons, E.G., snipe a dirty cop.
      Can’t do it up-front, using the law as a tool. Can’t walk up and punish him, either. And even hinting at it will get you damaged, most likely.
      But a bullet from a good range, one shot and gone?

      Justice served… Authority met with Authority.
      Problem solved… {And long discussion of details omitted. Getting smarter in my old age.}

      • Well, it’s not hard to see who is at least one of the government plants on this forum.

        Just so nobody will construe my silence as assent, I condemn public statements like the one above.

        Eric, I don’t understand why you allow posts like this to stay up.

        The limit of free speech is reached when the government uses it to put your site, and everyone who posts here on a lot more “lists.”

        • I think you’ve fallen into the trap of self-censorship driven by fear of authority (known among journalists of yore as “prior restraint”). This what the State is counting on: the sheeple gelding themselves.

          • Is Eric an authority figure on this website. Is he responsible for all of our comments. I should hope the answer is obvious. He’s been transparent and explicit about things from the very beginning.

            It’s a rigged game, when due to statism, you’re never able to build the kind of website you’d like. Nor run it in the way you would if it were truly your own property, and not some mixed bag of rights and obligations the thugs in charge allow you to “own” so long as you don’t rock the boat too hard, or make too many waves that pose a legitimate threat to their hegemony.

            Eric faces the pathetic options of owning a piece of the online surveillance and propaganda apparatus and risking his life, liberty, and property for doing so. Or having nothing at all, and having no way of communicating with the multitudes who very much want to hear what he thinks and what he has to say.

            Being an apple polishing bootlicker and “warning” Eric that he better keep on the straight and narrow path provided him by the ruling class isn’t helping anyone. On the contrary, it’s kind of a dick move. Even worse than clover in a way, since in clover’s case, I honestly don’t think he groks even the most basic points of the discussions he attempts to engage in.

            ‘THE MYTH OF AUTHORITY’ [AMANDA RACHWITZ © LARKEN ROSE]
            http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/219750/the_myth_of_authority_amanda_rachwitz__larken_rose/

            A summary of Larken Rose’s Monumental book entitled “The Most Dangerous Superstition”, Narrated by Amanda Rachwitz. Larken Rose is known for debunking the most dangerous superstition, Government. He is a Voluntaryist/Anarchist and a tax protester, as well as an author of several books. Larken promotes the concepts of self-ownership and a voluntary society, writing articles, giving talks and making videos available at his website: http://www.disclose.tv/action/viewvideo/219750/the_myth_of_authority_amanda_rachwitz__larken_rose/

            The sooner you reject the myth of authority, the sooner you can forgive and dismiss such intellectual atrocities, as Jean promoting the Islamic pick up artist Roosh V, or some of his other ideas, as anything we should ever give much credence to.

            That also goes for all the stuff I’ve written here. Eric allowing my posts and comments here doesn’t mean I’m any kind of authority or person of note, nor someone you should ever listen to, other than for entertainment purposes, since I’m certainly no kind of success story anyone should ever aspire to emulating.

          • Brian(and liberranter,)

            Would you each “honestly” answer one question? Do you believe Jean is..
            A. A government plant, whose purpose is to make inflammatory, almost incriminatory, statements to entrap others into agreeing or maybe even going farther?
            Or
            B. A dedicated advocate of liberty, who is simply expressing his/her opinions, and let the chips fall where they may?

            Thanks for your response.

            • I can honestly say I don’t care. I enjoy reading his comments from time to time because they are so raw and uncensored. Just as on the other side of the spectrum, I enjoy reading Clover’s comments. To “ban” either one would diminish the quality of the experience I get here at Eric’s site.

              • jean reminds me of a really good friend, one of the best. He was a mad genius, racist to the core and yet not racist at all to people he knew. He was the son of a cop. He was murdered in jail by a black cop. Of course it was covered up and all my friends who were friends of his wanted to believe he wasn’t murdered. Not for a second did I ever doubt it, knew as soon as I’d heard the story what went down and the entire “hung himself” in jail was a lie. He was the type if you beat him down would spit in your eye and cuss you all the harder.

                I feared for my life from a black cop in the same town(Austin, Tx.)and was probably saved by a white cop who rode with him, a young white guy who didn’t see every white person as something they hated on sight and needed to be beaten into submission or outright killed.

                BTW, MD’s dad wasn’t fooled a lick. Like me, he knew as soon as the story broke. Ever since my run-in with the black cop, I could only laugh to myself every time I heard the old racist card brought out.

                • With all of the documented brutalizing by police it’s no wonder that people express extreme outrage.

                  Those of us using Linux are still waiting to find out if the recent (Dec. 28th) suicide of Ian Murdock – creator of Debian Linux – was actually incited by an incident of police brutality, including being sodomized by a police flashlight, as he claimed before his death. A lengthy set of “tweets” leading up to the suicide stated as much. These along with his Twitter account have now been expunged.

                  For that matter, what little information has been out there is apparently being purged. His Wikipedia entry 10 minutes ago stated the above police brutality reasons for his suicide. That has now been changed to the details being unknown.

                  Reddit still has a lengthy discussion going on:

                  https://www.reddit.com/r/linux/comments/3yktcg/ian_murdock_debian_founder_is_threatening_suicide/

                  The sad thing is that while we don’t know if the allegations against the police are true in this specific case they are not at all difficult to believe, considering the murderous rampage our “Public Servants” have been on in recent times.

              • You probably should care. But we’ll just have to disagree about that.

                I respect Jean’s right right to free speech just like I respect a Cobra’s right to exist. But I don’t like either one slithering in the grass within a few yards of my feet.

                If you “enjoy” that sort of thing…..be very careful where you step.

                Hope you can enjoy me exercising my right to distance myself from Jean’s public statements. 🙂

                • Does “enjoying your right to distance yourself from Jean’s public statements” include advocating censorship?

                  “Eric, I don’t understand why you allow posts like this to stay up.”

                  Not only do YOU not want to read Jean’s statements, you don’t want ME to read them either.

                  • As defined in “1 b” below, I definitely “do” advocate censorship.

                    “Full Definition of censor
                    1
                    : a person who supervises conduct and morals: as
                    a : an official who examines materials (as publications or films) for objectionable matter
                    b : an official (as in time of war) who reads communications (as letters) and deletes material considered sensitive or harmful
                    2
                    : one of two magistrates of early Rome acting as census takers, assessors, and inspectors of morals and conduct
                    3
                    : a hypothetical psychic agency that represses unacceptable notions before they reach consciousness”

                    What you fail to understand is that we are indeed under attack: essentially “at war.”

                    If you enjoy reading the things Jean advocates, try looking into the Deep Web. You’ll probably find many cop killing advocates there. But they’re smart enough not to discuss it publicly.

                    • Hi Mike,

                      Censorship is one of those terms that needs very precise definition. I, for example, have no moral obligation to provide a forum for anyone (just as no one has an obligation to provide one for me). I get to determine what’s published here, because EPautos is my web site. If I decline to publish something – for whatever reason – I am not censoring anyone.

                      The person is free to create his own web site – and publish whatever he likes there. Or to speak publicly. Etc.

                      Censorship is a concept that only applies to state action.

                      If the government restricts what I may publish (or requires me to publish things I’d rather not) then that is censorship.

                    • Late coming back to the party.

                      Mike,
                      Calling me a government plant is akin to “fighting words,” if we weren’t in such an agora, I’d be offended. 😉 Seeing as anyone can pretend to be anything online, no big deal – you’re right to be circumspect.

                      I’d point out that if you cannot talk about such things (anything, actually) openly – then you’re censored, regardless of who is doing it. This is a problem, as you then cannot “advocate killing a cop” – even if said cop is a thief and murderer, corrupt to the core. You cannot talk about arresting and charging the mayor, who is corrupt and cheating the people he’s supposed to serve.
                      The laws are made to serve those who make and enforce the laws. So at a certain point, it is impossible to speak without saying something “incriminating” – but by that time, the boot’s on your neck, and now the entire society has succumbed to fear. East Germany, if you will, where everyone was spying on everyone, and the actual Stazi was small compared to the population.

                      Which I need to “challenge” Eric on, for point of discussion.
                      Facebook vs. EPAutos, say.
                      For Eric to block me isn’t censorship, I’d say. Too small an audience (with no offense intended to Eric’s enterprise.)
                      But Facebook….? Twitter? Tumblr, Myspace, even?
                      At what point does a corporation become part of Das Boot (government)? Microsoft could be on that list, too, with all the back doors built into their software.
                      Tor has linked to details on Ian Murdock. Ian is not unique, there have been SEVERAL reporters and innovators who “committed suicide” or died of “accidents.” In the Hitman game series, you actually had to kill people and make it look like accidents…. In RED, they showed an operative “manufacture” a suicide; same thing in “Shooter.” And manufacturing death is nothing new… Making it look like organ failure, or a bubble in the blood, or a drug interaction, etc. It’s a trope of police and detective shows, mysteries, sci-fi, even romantic comedies (E.G., “Heaven can wait,” Original story).

                      Here’s the hypothetical:
                      Facebook founder Zuckerberg is on the record, talking to Merkel of Germany, about Facebook’s attempt to silence criticism of Islam. They’re supposedly censoring posts, and I’ve tried to share several things that come back as “post removed” or “no longer available.” (Not all relating to Islam, so is it more widespread? Or maybe people find out they’re being lied to, and take it down themselves? Don’t know.)

                      So the question becomes, at what point does the service essentially become part of “free speech”? Not like there’s much competition, but enough to beat a lawsuit. Like Microsoft isn’t a monopoly, you could use Linux or buy a Mac.
                      So I can post here, or maybe find the Dark Web, but does it not become a form of censorship when THE leader in search engines black-lists your site? E.G., G00gle refuses to index your page, as has been happening? (Infowars, FredOnEverything.net, and G00gle Ads, as well)?
                      If Facebook tells us we cannot post “X”, and the closest competitor is … What, Twitter? Tumblr, maybe?

                      But it’s not censorship because it’s not “The Government?”
                      That’s a bit naive, don’t you think? Because all Das Boot has to then do, is get venture capital to an ambitious, likable shmuck (Zuck, say) and tell him to make a “social network.” It’s PRIVATE, right? So Das Boot gets to step on whomever they like, and there’s no “censorship,” because “it’s a Private enterprise.”

                      Just like wars are never about profit, right? Always about good and noble ideas like freedom, human rights, etc. (We have black sites in Chicago, and China is complaining about our treatment of prisoners. We have less freedom now than we did in 2000, forget 1985. A child can’t get aspirin at school without parental consent, but CAN get an abortion without parental consent. Or even knowledge. Kids can’t tell you who is president, when WW2 happened, or who was on which side – but they know the size of Kim Kardasshian’s @$$. It’s all linked, and that’s no secret. Dumb slaves be best slaves.)

                      Challenge is, how do we ensure the large corporations aren’t just another branch of government, as MS is a de facto monopoly on operating systems. The New York Slimes? NY Post? Fox? CBS? CNN? If they’re all under a “trust” of sorts (brain trust more than intentional ownership cartel), is it not a de facto censorship? Is that not also why there is such a push to block out the Internet, using softer techniques perhaps than China, but same basic ideas? Is not broadcast TV a sort of brainwashing, ensuring compliance of the masses…?
                      If you don’t see it that way, we have a long discussion to come.

                    • eric, if you won’t publish someone then you are censoring. As you said “it’s my website”. You are allowed to censor…..legally. And in my mind, you can censor all you want but it’s still censoring. But censorship is a mighty slippery slope and probably the reason you post clovers comments.

                      If we all owned this site equally, then censorship would be not only immoral but possibly illegal(not a lawyer and don’t want to be).

                    • Hi Eight,

                      Censorship is “the practice of officially examining books, movies, etc., and suppressing unacceptable parts.” It is something done by governments, not individual people.

                    • Eight, Eric,
                      The question still outstanding, and might not have an answer, is: At what point does the fusion of government and corporation occur, such that a Facebook is de facto government?
                      And therefore, that the government is in fact censoring things, just using a hidden hand behind the curtain, masking it in “profit,” and pretending that it’s NOT censorship?

                      Another way of phrasing this:
                      Local paper refuses to print your opinions. Even if that paper has been threatened by the mayor – you can make your own paper, and keep it running. (Like EPAutos, if you will. Small, local, under your control, and essentially not censored by Das Boot.)

                      But, if the New York Times, or Associated Press, refuses to carry your opinions? Even WITHOUT government coercion, you have de facto control of communications and ideas. A local printer can’t distribute papers out to remote regions too easily. Might be able to mail them to individuals…. But until Internet, no way to reach distant people, and impossible to be cost-effective over great distances, especially when the information must be timely.

                      How to determine when the government is the one pulling the levers, and hiding behind the mask of “private corporation”?

                      Haven’t been able to find it now, I think Mussolini said: Fascism is the perfect merger of business with government.

                      So, how does size (Say, in terms of audience) make something move beyond the “normal” realm? Things becoming limiting at a certain point. Only so much food, only so much antibiotics, only so much space; only so much oxygen to burn with carbon to produce CO2. Too much carbon, you get charcoal. Too much oxygen, the fire burns out before the oxygen is consumed.
                      Chemically, it’s 2C + 2(O2 )–> 2(CO2) + heat
                      If you only have 1C? Doesn’t work. Same for only 1 O2. (google Limiting Reagent for more details if needed.)

                      I want to ensure we don’t have people think that just because something is listed as “private”, it’s not a governmental organization. E.G., The Federal Reserve is private…

    • Hi Ed,

      Just as an aside you stated “I’m a total failure as a Merkin”. A merkin is a pubic wig, just as a point of information.

      WRT blackmail and the NAP…..it does not require the NAP to understand that blackmail is ethically indefensible. To me, the NAP is a result of applying logic to the basic premise that individuals own themselves. (As an aside, I never use the work moral to describe such issues because moral codes imply religious underpinnings. Ethics, IMO, do not.) In any case, Block’s opinions notwithstanding, no real small l libertarian would ever defend blackmail as a libertarian position.

      • “A merkin is a pubic wig, just as a point of information. ”

        True, that. This world is a veil, and the face you wear is not your own.

        I like quoting lines from movies and modifying them somewhat. “I am a total failure as a Merkin” is a modification of Jack Crabbe’s line in Little Big Man: “I was a total failure as an Indin.”

        • Or “hold on now, I can tell you’re a spicy little spitfuck…..we don’t need to know names right now…..it’s the same in Columbus as right here…..I’ll take you as far as Little Rock”.

  14. The consent of the governed did take place concerning the Constitution, as it was ratified by the States, who made themselves subject to it. The question becomes, “Who consented to (any of) the States?”

    • Hi PtB (Powers that Be?),

      The concept of the consent of the governed was a red herring from the get go. First, the ratification process implied that individuals in those areas consented. What in fact happened was that some “representatives” voted to ratify the USC. As with all such scams, the people (victims) really never had a say. Second, even if every man, woman and child at that time had agreed, the agreement would have no applicability to any individual born one minute or later after the original vote. So, applying the tiniest shred of logic eviscerates the “social contract” argument. But thanks to the miracle of “public education”, e.g. brainwashing, we have people on all points of the political spectrum nattering on about “If you don’t vote you can’t complain” and “It’s the law”. And all the PtB have to do to defuse any potential grumbling by the hoi polloi is to put on a spectacle like the Stupor Bowl or point to some group, like Muslims, and declare them to be a threat to our nonexistent freedoms. Bah humbug.

  15. Zero tolerance in general, not just of violence, is in most cases invalid. Take the EPA’s unstated but obvious goal regarding exhaust emissions. It is an example of perfectionism, which is a humanist concept, not to be expected in this world.
    Yes, there can be places where it is valid – Eric’s famous shit in the brownies for example. But those are exceptions, not the rule.
    One place where I would be willing to at least consider ‘zero tolerance’ is for misbehavior among pheroes.

  16. Jean, Jason is correct. The ‘problems’ with the NAP that you cite seem to be due to a misunderstanding of the NAP itself. The NAP forbids aggression, which is the initiation, or threat of the initiation, of force. It does not preclude defense, either of oneself or of others being agressed against.

  17. Eric,
    You said: “Most schools have a “zero tolerance” policy for violence. Why not emulate this idea and apply it to the adult world? If it’s wrong for kids to act out violently then how can it be all right for adults to do so? Either our morality is situational and arbitrary – or our thinking is.”

    Actually, it’s a bad idea to cite that idiocy. This punishes someone who was attacked if they defend themselves. Treats them as the aggressor, for trying to not be damaged.

    One reason I don’t agree with the NAP fully, having been bullied for YEARS as a child – school was in effect a warzone for me. I was assaulted, I was teased, humiliated, my things were stolen. If I had snapped, what would’ve happened? Yet, who is provoking? Who is the primary aggressor? Am I to be branded for life (that’s what is happening now) because someone stole from me, teased me mercilessly for years, beat me up, and I finally had enough and beat them down the way they deserved?

    Your example presumes everything happens in a vacuum. Presumes no causality, no order of events. It accepts no justice, it’s just punishment and blind obedience to authority.
    It’s going the WRONG way.

    Someone steps up with blood in their eye, do you REALLY want to back down? It might be seen as morally correct, but that actually doesn’t make it right. Based on the same logic, we cannot interfere when a woman is being raped, or we witness a murder. It makes US responsible for our actions, and precludes the actions precipitating our responses from consideration.
    E.G., town bully, or the guy who “runs the town,” like a Boss Hogg or maybe a Fernando Wood (Google Tammany Hall). Everyone knows the town is corrupt, most people don’t care because they benefit, or at least aren’t hurt by it.
    One day, he steps to the wrong person, and threatens them; next thing you know, he’s bleeding from a few holes. How they were inflicted is irrelevant, as you postulate this person should be a criminal for the assault.
    That they should go to prison, under a “zero tolerance,” because Mr. Wood only spoke words.
    If I say I’m going to take someone’s house, and I have a state apparatus behind me, am I not making an actionable, reasonably believable threat?
    How is it different from a cop who pulls you over for speeding, and has a gun on his hip to ensure compliance?

    And if I respond to the implied threat with force, why am I wrong in taking the facts before me and acting on them? I’m not looking to be evil, I’m looking to ensure my survival. Killing the person who threatened me, who is coming from a position of strength, with “friends” to back him up? Doesn’t seem out of line to me.

    Maybe I’m just too damaged from my injuries in the past, but school authorities were worthless in protecting me as a child. I don’t think government has my interests at heart, and at least the school teachers did. Government profits regardless, it’s the Oroborous, the serpent swallowing its own tail. It grows the more it eats, too. Even if I were to be violent and destroy a police station, with all the officers and assets inside, what would happen? The Sheeple would bleat for a new one, and complain about the tax hikes afterwards – but they’d pony up in addition for all the “poor families” of those officers, while they also pay the pension of said officers, to said officer’s families. They’d speak out against the violence, brand me a traitor, and demand laws to make them feel “safe.” They’d arm and armor up and hunt me down…
    Even if I’d been brutalized by those officers for years.

    Average person, IQ, cause and effect, again.

    If we have a “zero tolerance” policy that makes sense? Maybe. “First time I see you hit your sister, I’ll cut off your hand.” Make sense? No? Too extreme?
    Because that’s what we’re doing already. The abused is to suffer with the abuser. The Abuser sees it as “paid vacation.”
    The Abused gets a “criminal record.”

    I can’t deal with that. We have too many manufactured criminals already, and too many real criminals wearing badges… Who instigate problems and then claim they were “afraid.”

    Please tell me I misunderstood your intent….

    • The NAP (and a “Zero Tolerance” policy based on the NAP) does not say you can’t defend yourself. It precludes the INITIATION of violence against another person. Big difference.

      As far as elections, I don’t get excited about them. It actually disgusts me to watch the useful idiots cheering for their team and berating their opponents, all of whom do the same damned things anyway when you get down to it. Big whoop, it’s like choosing between the Crips and the Bloods.

      • I made a guy think recently and offended him when he was telling me about the great Rand Paul and the no-good democrats who want to take his guns. I asked him a single question: Do you think this country has become what it now is because of one party? I never got to tell him voting for 3rd party might possibly help but you’re still voting to let someone else control your life.

        • 8 – “I made a guy think recently and offended him”
          Yeah, a lot of people are offended when made to think. It’s hard work.

      • ” Big whoop, it’s like choosing between the Crips and the Bloods.”

        Yep. I always said that rooting for one politician over another is like arguing over which turd is a nicer shade of brown.

        • Hey Ed,

          You wrote: ” I always said that rooting for one politician over another is like arguing over which turd is a nicer shade of brown.”

          Fair warning….I’m gonna borrow that line….perfect summary of politics.

          • Giuseppe, speaking of turds, today I saw a plumber’s van with the motto (in huge lettering):

            HURDING TURDS SO YOU DON’T HAVE TO.

            Outrageous, is what it was. I mean, they even misspelled ‘herding’. Can you imagine how embarrassed some poor old lady would be to have that van parked in her driveway? The neighbors might think the old girl had a houseful of turds that needed herding.

            A plumber might be known as a turd herder on a jobsite, the way carpenters are called wood butchers and electricians are called sparky. Still, it’s kind of uncalled for to put that motto on your van for the customers’ neighbors to laugh about.

            I don’t know….what do you think?

            • Is it possible that the plumber’s name or the owner’s name was Hurding and it was a play on words for name recognition purposes?

              Food for thought that comes out in the end as t……

              David Ward
              Memphis, Tennessee

              • It’s possible, but still it makes for an unseemly motto. I shit you not. Imagine your granny calling the plumber and that van ends up parked in her driveway.

                You might just end up havin to whup his ass.

            • I’ve seen pictures of a couple of good septic pumping trucks. One says “Satisfaction guaranteed, or double your sewage back.”
              But the funniest one is bright yellow w/black trim labeled “Stool Bus.”

              • The guy who empties the septic tank at my family cottage has this motto on his truck “We’re #1 at #2”. He also has a big turd painted on the back of the truck (the tank) with a big red circle with a slash line though it. I think its hilarious. You have to have a sense of humor to be in that business because you sure don’t want to have the sense of smell.

    • You misunderstood his intent… you say “One reason I don’t agree with the NAP fully, having been bullied for YEARS as a child – school was in effect a warzone for me.”

      What you experienced was an entire violation of the NAP, not an attempt to use it for your benefit. You had right to defend yourself. Being a child we all know that to be nearly impossible from these narcissistic and sociopathic state employees, and especially when our parents are all behind it. That would not of made it wrong had you tried to defend yourself and been unable to.

      I get the impression you believe NAP and Pacifism to be synonymous? They are not at all. The initiation of force, aggression, theft etc, can always be met with an equal or necessary force to stop it. Our society in a huge part is unable to, or unwilling to consistently determine right from wrong. I often say “Couldn’t comprehend more and couldn’t care less” about them. They always (based on fear) refer to an authority (law, judge, cop, priest, rabbi, etc) to tell them. Their fear of authority rules their thinking. for instance, I just had someone tell me on youtube:

      “+AngryHateMusic well you’re not even worth arguing with because for one you’re wrong and constantly falling back on your morals.”

      And I could just kick most parents right square in the face… Ask any of them if they would give their car keys to 7 or 8 different state employees to drive from 8am-3pm thru September-May. No one would and think you are crazy… yet, they give their children to this same thing and expect them to be protected, well maintained and educated? It is insanity. Home-school, or better yet Un-school your kids. You will be happy you did.

      • Oooorgle,
        I was unclear, I think,
        The problems I had were not from state employees. I went to a Catholic Parochial school. No state employees.
        This was probably my “clover” phase, but I can forgive myself for being too sheltered and naive. I sought protection from the authority figures. (Might’ve had something to do with the fact dad was pretty free with his hands; I figured I’d be safer around an adult, as they had that implicit threat of violence if you stepped out of line. I was naive on both ends, one that I was being abused, two that the abuse imposed a false narrative in my head. So now I’m an angry SOB no one wants to cross… 😛 Funny, that….)

        No, it was the other kids at the school. I was the punching bag. Sometimes literally.

        But if I fought back, I would’ve been in trouble, and mommy and daddy would’ve been disappointed in me… (Using the phrasing specifically.)

        Rock, hard place. And if I answered back, well, see Dad’s response above.
        When I finally DID snap, I almost killed someone. Grabbed him by the throat, picked him up, slammed him on a table, and started choking him. I let him go when I saw he’d realized he couldn’t win, and I’d kill him…. Guess I stopped seeing red, and my better nature asserted itself.
        But by that point, his older brother had already ruptured one of my testicles. I’d routinely been spit on, hit, mobbed (so one of the girls could kiss me), and taunted regularly.
        I might be a bit jaded….

        I agree about homeschooling, and I’ve read a comparison of gun control to the shit of modern parenting. The speaker, thinking from a gun rights rally, realized there was something more important than their guns, which they were entrusting to the State for hours every day…. As he heard the school bus go by…
        That was before we even had armed “resource officers” who attack children under color of law.
        The one thing I recognize as different from a civilian defending themselves, from a LEO “defending” themselves: LEOs dealing with fleeing suspects, or with teenagers in school – even the disruptive ones – you see them talk down the linebacker, and take down the 110-pound female. Handcuff a kindergartner, but address the pack of ‘coons in conciliatory tones – don’t wanna be no racis’, after all.
        It’s disgusting. Their use of violence is bass-ackwards from the get-go. And of course, there are likely times where we only get part of the story – the cop tries the peaceful and polite resolution first, and the phones start popping open when the perp refuses to comply with reasonable and polite orders. (the modern equivalent of kids yelling “Fight!”) So then the officer tries to assert authority to remove the disruptive student from the classroom, say, and we only see what happens afterwards, where she starts hitting him.
        But when we can also see unedited video of a cop who outweighs a student by 100-150 pounds, and he picks the kid up in stranglehold? That’s from the school video system, so likely not edited. And again, the weight difference…

        Just like my school, actually…. Someone hit me, he got a stern talking to. He was a frequent flyer….
        I hit back, I was in detention for a week…. I was the “good boy.” (I.E., I responded to punishment.) [I exaggerated with “a week.” More like one.]

        The laws only apply to those who will follow them anyway.
        The good do not need laws; the wicked will not follow them anyway. (Greek philosopher whose name I’ve forgotten.)

        • Jean, obviously you got the short end of the stick, both at home and at school. But again, the fault does not lie with the NAP, as that was being violated, both by those who attacked you and by those who punished you for defending yourself.

          • “the fault does not lie with the NAP, as that was being violated,”

            True, that. The NAP, as I see it, allows for taking revenge as well. If some asshole assaults a member of my family and I go and shoot his sorry ass, the NAP was violated only by the sorry asshole who I shot. He initiated force. I just answered him back.

            Great exchange between two SWPs in “Winter’s Bone” by Daniel Woodrell:

            Teardrop: Did you hit her?
            Little Arthur: What if I did?
            Teardrop: Say yeah and find out.

        • Jean, this is truly beautiful and powerful writing. I am grateful you are willing to share such things so vividly and concisely.

          I’m unsure, but perhaps you’re thinking of Epictetus. There’s also an OT proverb with similar words to the ones you’ve remembered.

          Epictetus
          https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/Epictetus

          [1] Everything has two handles, the one by which it may be carried, the other by which it cannot.
          If your brother acts unjustly, don’t lay hold on the action by the handle of his injustice, for by that it cannot be carried; but by the opposite, that he is your brother, that he was brought up with you; and thus you will lay hold on it, as it is to be carried. .

          Never call yourself a philosopher, nor talk a great deal among the unlearned about theorems, but act conformably to them. Thus, at an entertainment, don’t talk how persons ought to eat, but eat as you ought.

          For remember that in this manner Socrates also universally avoided all ostentation. And when persons came to him and desired to be recommended by him to philosophers, he took and recommended them, so well did he bear being overlooked.

          So that if ever any talk should happen among the unlearned concerning philosophic theorems, be you, for the most part, silent. For there is great danger in immediately throwing out what you have not digested. And, if anyone tells you that you know nothing, and you are not nettled at it, then you may be sure that you have begun your business.

          For sheep don’t throw up the grass to show the shepherds how much they have eaten; but, inwardly digesting their food, they outwardly produce wool and milk. Thus, therefore, do you likewise not show theorems to the unlearned, but the actions produced by them after they have been digested.

          Whatever moral rules you have deliberately proposed to yourself abide by them as they were laws, and as if you would be guilty of impiety by violating any of them. Don’t regard what anyone says of you, for this, after all, is no concern of yours. How long, then, will you put off thinking yourself worthy of the highest improvements and follow the distinctions of reason? You have received the philosophical theorems, with which you ought to be familiar, and you have been familiar with them. What other master, then, do you wait for, to throw upon that the delay of reforming yourself?… Let whatever appears to be the best be to you an inviolable law.

          The first and most necessary topic in philosophy is that of the use of moral theorems, such as, “We ought not to lie;” the second is that of demonstrations, such as, “What is the origin of our obligation not to lie;” the third gives strength and articulation to the other two, such as, “What is the origin of this is a demonstration.” For what is demonstration? What is consequence? What contradiction? What truth? What falsehood?

          The third topic, then, is necessary on the account of the second, and the second on the account of the first. But the most necessary, and that whereon we ought to rest, is the first. But we act just on the contrary. For we spend all our time on the third topic, and employ all our diligence about that, and entirely neglect the first.

          Jean,
          You are like a brother, and I hope I would know you well enough to pick you up by the movable handle of brotherhood to help you carry the weight, and to respect and fear you enough to stay clear of your immovable handle.
          [1]

    • Jean, the zero tolerance policies of schools with regard to fights and such were to enable bullies. Anyone with half a brain knows that punishing everyone involved in a fight only gives those who don’t care about their record, aren’t going anywhere anyway, an upper hand. The people who decided to punish those attacked must have understood this. Not everyone of course, lots of useful idiots around but the people who came up with it as a nationwide policy to spread.

      I learned very early in life that fighting back would get me stomped by authority and that’s the lesson they want children to learn.

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