Is it a “Good Idea”?

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The other day, I wrote about ethanol – the corn-sourced alcohol that’s used as a fuel additive in almost all the “gas” sold in the United States. Air quotes used because the “gas” is actually 10 percent ethanol.Whiskey rebellion image

Or, more.

I got replies – mostly favorable, a few not.

Some of the nots touted the virtues of ethanol – and I will freely admit there are some. As I hope the nots would acknowledge ethanol’s downsides.

It’s neither here nor there.

Let’s assume for the sake of discussion that ethanol is the ideal fuel. It’s still an irrelevance… morally speaking.

The issue – whether it’s ethanol or Obamacare or some other “program” – is whether the use of violence (threatened or actual) is morally justifiable. Debating the utilitarian merits (and deficits) of whatever it is we’re talking about sidesteps this fundamental point and by doing that, concedes the field. Or at the very least, keeps the matter open for discussion when it ought to be closed.

This – debating the utilitarian pros and cons –  is key to the ongoing vitality (and viability) of the Red vs. Blue, Republican vs. Democrat, liberal vs. conservative puppet show.jeblary

There is no debate over the fundamental question. Just a discussion over how much violence will be visited on whom – and to what end. Who will benefit (and even profit)… and who will be compelled to provide those benefits (and profits).

This is why it doesn’t matter which candidate or party wins a given election. It’s the same as having an intermission at an auction – and announcing a new auctioneer for the second half of the auction. It’s why the debates are so tiresome – and why people (even though most probably don’t realize it) are so sick of it all. Everyone knows their lives and property are up on the block – that whether it’s Tweedledee or Tweedledum – they are going to be told what to do, how much they’ll pay and so on. It’s like being in a prison and always having to sleep with one eye open.

There is no “leave me be” option – and can’t be, so long as the question is even up for consideration. The very best one can hope for is a temporary respite or a slight decrease in the amount demanded or the control asserted. This is the sole and only difference between Team Red and Team Blue, between liberals and conservatives.whiskey plaque

Since at least the time of the Whiskey Rebellion (1791), the principle has been enshrined that it’s ok to take other people’s stuff or make them do what you like provided you have the political muscle; the votes or the “leaders” willing to make it so. Not by asking but by telling.

Some 225 years ago, the “Founding Father” of the United States, Toothless George – and his golem, Alexander Hamilton – marched on rural Pennsylvania to teach the veterans of the American Revolution a lesson about what they’d actually fought for.

Or rather, for whom.

It wasn’t for freedom from obnoxious taxation. It was for an exchange of auctioneers. They’d been bled for the cause of replacing the British ruling elite with a homegrown elite. Washington and Hamilton and the rest rather than George III and the rest. New boss, same as the old boss.

Worse, actually.whiskey tax 2

Most Americans do not know this – for very good reason – but the fact is taxes  on the average person were less oppressive (effectively nonexistent) under the original Team Red (King George and Parliament) than under the original Team Blue (President George and Congress). The Revolution was fought to benefit the colonial ruling class, crony capitalist finance shysters like Hamilton – not ordinary people like the Pennsylvania farmers – who had previously never been threatened with bayonets to hand over money they didn’t have to pay what amounted to federal income taxes on the whiskey they made and bartered among themselves as a medium of exchange.

It must have been a rude wake-up call.

Since that time, at least, the debate has always been: who shall pay… how much shall they pay… and to what end? Never whether anyone ought to be forced to pay anything.

The latter concept having been abandoned and the former embraced, it is today merely a question of degree. It is why we have a formal federal income tax, state taxes,local taxes, real estate taxes, sales taxes, motor fuels taxes, sin taxes, taxes on property, taxes on transactions, taxes on meals (and whiskey) as well as Obamacare and all the rest of it. There is no longer any end to it. How could there be? What would be the basis for drawing a line?Republican Candidates Take Part In Debates At Reagan Library In Simi Valley

Republicans believe in “less government” (so they say) but still demand your money and insist on their right to control your life. Democrats advocate the same, just tweaked a little here and there.  Both sides argue interminably over the spoils. Never whether they have any right to the spoils.

Ron Paul tried to put the debate on a moral rather than utilitarian level. If he’d been a younger, more charismatic man he might have been dangerous. Cue the Zapruder film.

Trump, on the other hand, isn’t.

Neither is Hillary or Bernie or Jeb or Ben or Marco.

Fundamentally, they are all in agreement.

Which is why the coming election doesn’t matter.

A year or so from now, we may have a more luxurious White House (it’ll be great, really) but what we absolutely will not have, ever, is a government that leaves us be. Because it’s a contradiction in terms, an impossibility. Government – as Washington himself admitted – is force. Organized, systematized. Expecting it to just sit there and leave us be is like expecting a lion to not eat the sheep just shoved into his cage. It’s what he does.

It’s the nature of the beast.

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100 COMMENTS

  1. Forget it Guys and Gals ,Clover is a concept ,a construct ,a machination ,like Bigfoot . Thus immortal ,some claim to have seen Sasquatch ,who has ever seen Clover ? We see Clover wannabees everyday ,but have you seen ” Clover ” ?
    Virginia ,there may be a Santa Claus ,but where is the Corpus of Clover? .
    Clover ,I refute thee!

    • Clover’s real.

      Unfortunately.

      She is useful as a kind of online anatomy lesson. We remove her from the jar of formaldehyde for examination. In this way, she serves a purpose.

      It lifts my spirits to know those arrayed against us are such nonentities. They have one thing we lack – numbers. And, the tacit acceptance of Authority as legitimate.

      Both are very fixable things.

    • Please Clover ,take a hike -I normally have a lot of patience and tolerance , but when the “Brownies and Patsys ” try to take over my teeth are on edge .I would like to go to “Galt Gulch ” with these Guys ,but your taxes and regs almost make it impossible,( maybe we can go to the the “antipode ” from where I live it would be around Pern ,Austraiia .
      Clover we are not the problem ,but the solution . We Libertarians would not willingly harm the earth or any of its beasties or plant persons . You apparently read us wrong for the sake of argument .Erics 455 is not a catatrophe ,but a tribute to what dwells in our collective heart .

  2. Eric,
    I believe another example can be made with the newest issue of issues: Women should register for the Selective Service System after coming of age since the military has decided to let them participate at the front lines of the action. All kinds of distractive opinions are out there to be read except for one: Abolishing the Selective Service System to begin with!!! It is just a given that the SSS is a part of the natural landscape of our society instead of being seen for what it is: a gateway program to forced slavery.

    • That’s already been put out there by some generals. Now they could be doing it because they don’t like this women-in-combat thing and are trying to make a point or maybe they legitimately want it. Doesn’t matter though. I believe it won’t happen. Why? Because feminists won’t allow it to. Feminism is about women having choices and being drafted isn’t a choice.

        • Suffrage now Feminism is a political movement and a rather strong one. They will not allow a choice to become an obligation without a fight.

  3. If you drive a car, I’ll tax the street
    If you try to sit, I’ll tax your seat
    If you get too cold I’ll tax the heat
    If you take a walk, I’ll tax your feet

    And you’re working for no one but me
    Taxman!

    Written by George Harrison when the English govt was letting them keep 5% of their earnings.

  4. Back to ethanol…

    35 years ago after not one but two “oil shocks” which gave us such joys as “odd/even” days many were freaking out that we would “run out of oil,” so ethanol as a fuel stretcher (& to a lesser extent oxygenator) was much more compelling than today.

    There’s no longer a justification for adding it to gasoline, not with a glut of crude & with oxygen sensors on every vehicle for the past 25+ years

    • Oxygen sensors go back to the early 1980s. I replaced one on an ’82. It’s how the computer controlled quadrajet knew what to do. The whole lean trick thing was nonsense. The only cars it’s cleaning up were around 20 years old when the RFG oxygenate mandate hit in the 1990s that have never seen a tune up since before that time. Turning the mixture screw is all many need. The rest get new jets. How many 40 year old cars are out there as daily drivers that haven’t seen a tune up since Bush the elder was in office? None.

      The oil shocks were due to politics and price controls. Of course we’re never supposed to realize that.

      • Brent, I’m not sure about that. At the grocery store at a nearby town recently a car come hissing up with squealing brakes at 1 mph, chunking out plenty unburnt fuel. Driver stayed on the brakes and virtually crawled up beside the pickup. I couldn’t figure out what it was beside the Malibu sized GM of the early 80’s. Sure enough, it said “Apollo” on the back. I had forgotten what Buick called their version. Guessing it had a 307 Chevy in it…..in bad need of a carb overhaul at the least. Probably had the same engine oil it had in the 80’s.

        • A 1980s 307 has a computer controlled Qjet with an oxygen sensor that adjusted to the oxygenate in the fuel the first time some went into the tank.

          • I’m saying that car might never have had a tune-up. No way to know but it had mucho fuel problems. The problem was with vehicles that continually had problems was there wasn’t a viable replacement carburetor wise. The small Holley just got horrid fuel mileage and the Carter non-metal replacement for the AFB. The Carter was adjustable as far as fuel flow but the barrels were all the same size. You could adjust it for fuel mileage but that killed the performance aspect. You could adjust it to deliver what you needed for big HP but that negated it’s fuel economy. The non-metal body would eventually not work properly. The ONLY carb I ever saw that came close to being an all-around carb to compare with the Q-Jet was a Holley with a GM part number. It differed from a standard Holley, thank god, but it was more complex, like a Q-Jet. I owned one and loved it and had to do the rebuild every time it got “Holleyitis”. Show it to any mechanic or performance geeks and they’d run the other direction. It wasn’t as bad as it seemed, no harder to kit than the Q-Jet, just different. It had lots of things going for it, smaller jets for the primaries like a Q, a choke that really worked and a power valve that worked as it should. It had vacuum secondaries but had the ability to work well if you wired the vacuum advance to the throttle causing it to achieve full fuel flow a bit quicker.

  5. I’ve spent most of my life in Corn Country so I’ve seen how it got to be that way since the massive government interventions of the 1930s. Enthusiasm for Ethanol in Iowa is driven by the fact that the only way most farmers survive is by producing crops that are subsidized. All the land-grant universities are focused on alternate uses for corn and soybeans everything from corn syrup to biodegradable soy-based plastics.

    Ethonol production is just one more destination for the only crop the government has allowed to be profitable via subsidies. Add to that the long-term ZIRP policy of the Fed driving out family farms when speculators drove up the cost of land when commodity prices were at their highest and only coops and corporate farms survived.

    Add to that the political horse-trading and log rolling with the food stamp program and we have a well and truly screwed up food system.

  6. I am amazed at the hostility of people that have stopped thinking for themselves (the liberal professors have done a good job ) we are headed into socialism without any benefits ,only burdens .When I was a young fellow ,chances were when you went to the emergency room for stitches and trauma you could almost pay the bill from what you had in your pocket.
    I tried to get in a conversation with a Guy about the Civil war and Lincolns part in it ,He immediately became hostile and wouldnt let me defend my position ,I must assume He thinks all White men are evil ,prejudice ,woebegone idiots (otherwise He is a pretty good fellow .The point is ,people always want ,the easy simple solution ,when you are dealing with greed it doesnt exist.
    Fellow free thinkers take a trip on the” Georgian side ” , it will clear some of te clouds .

    • We’re in the grip of the instant gratification society. It’s a sure sign they don’t know the lyrics George Harrison wrote these many decades ago: Got to pay your dues if you wanta sing the blues and you know it don’t come easy.

  7. WAWA and Gate gas stations are offering Ethanol FREE GAS. The octane is 89. And Wawa is about .20 more than premium. But it is starting to become more available.

      • There’s a Conoco just north of my place up in the woods that sells ethanol free gas. E10 was $1.67 last time I was there. E-free was $2.39.

        I opted for the E-free and ate the $.72 per gallon. It’s the principle.

        • Let’s see, 8,000 X $2.39 + cost of a 10,000 gallon storage tank…..nope, can’t afford it. I live between the Pride refinery and the Alon refinery. I have yet to find any place with plain gasoline. And of course, fuel is always higher near the wellhead too.

    • Not so in the People’s Republic of Maryland. There are a few scattered ‘performance’ stations that sell EtOH free 110 or 116 octane in 5 gallon cans. Otherwise, they’re only on the Coast or the Eastern Shore, i.e., basically at marinas. Which is a good place to have them, but doesn’t help me.

      • Of course the wife’s Grand Caravan is dying, and we can’t afford to replace it, so only diesel price currently matters to us. It’s <$2/gal. a few places around here now.

  8. I get to pay the healthcare penalty this year! Shame on me. 2+2=5 I didn’t understand it til had a rat in a cage attached to my face

    • Hi CP,

      This one’s my line in the sand. They can come get me. I won’t pay. I won’t have anything to do with Obamacare or CruzCare or TrumpCare or whatever “care” they demand I partake of.

      More weight.

      • They obviously don’t care about someone’s well-being if they charge you for not having the insurance. If I was jobless it would be free, as would a phone anf food stamps, but I make just enough to pay for something I don’t need. I need the money though. I feel molested

      • Ditto, Eric! No Obamacare or insurance for me, either. I pay my own bills, and don’t want anyone else to be burdened; nor do I want to be burdened paying for others. If only a relatively small percentage of people would resist these tyrannies, they would cease. But the millions who think that they are getting something for nothing will keep socialism going strong, until we are consumed by it.(Hmmmm, how’s that working out for all the countries which have been practicing it?)

        Great article, by-the-way. It says a LOT, very concisely. It’s like a summation of history and of our current plight, summed-up in a few paragraphs. Excellent!

        • Thanks, Nunzio!

          And – you’re absolutely right. A “critical mass” of refuseniks is all it would take. Maybe 20 percent of the population; I think that’s a doable goal.

          It’s why I do what I do.

      • And if you don’t pay, you get the “tax”, but the bastards call it a “shared responsibility payment”. Unbelievable gall.

    • Obamacare is slavery and I don’t know why everyone doesn’t see it that way. Over a century they made medical care only affordable with insurance and then they made the insurance unaffordable without employment or government dependence. Then they made medical insurance mandatory or else. The or else currently being a fine er tax which requires payment in dollars. Dollars which have to be earned. Why can’t they see this is just a not-so-complicated route to slavery? It’s just like real estate taxes. You need a place to live. They tax it. You have to pay the taxes or they put you out on the street. You have to work to pay the taxes. Taxes which are perpetual. Or you can rent, but the rent is perpetual and the landlord has to pay the taxes so it just gets passed on to the renters. Slavery. Serfdom. Always needing to provide treasure to the king, to the system, to be allowed to continue to exist. Never a free man.

      And what’s worse? People like it this way and want more of it because for some it eases their burdens in the short term.

      • Especially considering I would be paying for insurance with high deductables – they claimiyw affordable. What it really is – is car insurance: expensive and wasted money. It’s funny that they use the irs to catch you but you couldn’t write off spending that much per year for something you don’t use. I’m young and healthy, working and paying taxes. If I don’t feel entitled to being on government rolls why should they feel entitled to my money.

      • I ain neaux tax lawyer like the ones mentioned in the Grisham book Gray Mountain but I think I’m on my third annual salud penalty now. L’ Chaim!

        What do I know about the Rubikosmos tho. I swear they solve their cubes via sleight of hand. TiVo them then go to slow I they only ever got one side solved. They just use six different cubes and never show you the dark sides of the color boxes.

        An how com their clocks say linear time while in the real cubic whirled it always is either dawn morning day noon evening dusk night and all at the same time.

        It still noon here in da bayou but in Vegas its day and in China its dusk. Guess PTBs missed Picassos memo about perceptive dissonance or Dali in Spain feeling the night over his grave

      • I don’t know anyone who likes it. Those who bum off the system don’t care since it doesn’t affect them. Those who work cuss hell out of it. My doc keeps pushing me to retire but I can’t afford their payments or at least, won’t afford them.

        I sorta had retirement figured into payback. When I can no longer work it’ll be time to nut up or shut up.

        • Obamacare does benefit people who don’t work at all or work very little. Perhaps you don’t have anybody like that in your circle of friends. I have relatives like that, unfortunately. Those people think that Obamacare is the best thing since sliced bread. Really what Obamacare amounts to is another welfare program.

          • Hi Mike,

            Yup. And it will drag us all down with it. The Next Step is ensuring we all get the same “care.” After all, it’s not fair that some people get better “care” than others… right?

          • toldev I admit I do not know anything about Obamacare but I do know what it was trying to fix. Before Obamacare when people went to the hospital and if they had anything serious 10% or more could not pay the bill so they declared bankruptcy. That hurt us all. You ended up paying it in the long run. Kind of like Eric wants to not pay for auto insurance and since he says he is about broke if he causes you harm then you get stuck with the bill. Libertarians feel they have the right to harm others. Libertarians have the right to give violence to others.Clover

            • Clooooooooooover!

              Still doesn’t grok that one can’t be guilty of having caused harm until one actually has caused it. And without guilt, punishment is by definition unwarranted. Holding people responsible for not having been responsible for any harm is outrageous and preposterous.

              Asserting a harm might happen isn’t good enough, either – because anyone might do anything. And pointing to harms caused by others isn’t sufficient to justify holding me responsible for what they did.

              So, while Clover might take umbrage at my objecting to being forced to buy insurance (whether car or health or whatever) if I have not injured him or some other person, then he has no right to force me to pay for “damages” I might cause.

              I know, I know.

              Here we go again!

              • Like all those traffic laws passed a couple years ago in Tx. Everybody must wear a seat belt. No more getting Z’s in the backseat, guess that’s really supposed to help the hotel/motel industry or just another revenue maker if you get stopped. No open container as if my drinking a beer affects someone who doesn’t drink at all or just a broken seal on a bottle of wine with nobody drinking.

                Hell, those damned shoulder belts only exist so they can see if you’re not buckled up…..or maybe mitigate the injury from an air bag……. I guess all those coppers know exactly what year a model is and whether it did or didn’t have shoulder belts.

                I never hear clover object to left lane blocking though, a thoroughly dangerous act, esp. when traffic is heavy. And really clover, the damned signs say Left Lane Passing Only and Keep Right, not Keep Right or Left Lane Passing Only except if you’re going the PSL.

                • Well said Eightsouthman by someone who is on probation and you want to tell us what is right and wrong.

                  Then there is BrentP who is in so many accidents that his insurance cost for a car is $5000 a year and he wants to tell us how we should drive because he has a better way ! Really?Clover

                  Then there is Eric who says the government enacted violence on him. Well maybe that is why he tells so many lies. They must have smashed his head in so he does not know how to tell the truth anymore.

                  • Clover, as I told you repeatedly before, what I pay for insurance on a V8 Mustang is -cheaper- than what you pay for whatever appliance you drive. The fact is you’re lying. again. Eric should ban you forever because it’s clear that you do this deliberately.

                  • Clover,

                    I’ve stated that government relies on explicit threats of violence to coerce obedience. This is a simple, obvious fact. Yet you deny it. Either you’re delusional – or simply not very bright. Which is it?

                    The threats made by government (by people such as yourself) are directed against people like me who’ve injured no one – based on the justification that I might. Or because some other person has caused harm. This is morally wrong because you are holding people responsible for things they’ve not done. Example: Taking away my right to own a gun because some other person used a gun to hurt someone. How is that any different than forcing me to buy insurance because some other person caused a wreck and left his victims holding the bag? I didn’t do anything!

                    I’ve tried to explain to you that if “might cause harm” (or “someone else did, so you could”… but haven’t actually) becomes the standard for taking people’s money, using threats to coerce their submission, then there is no basis for objecting to any taking of people’s money or forcibly obtaining their submission.. since anyone “might” cause harm, etc.

                  • Speaking of lies clover, I have to wonder why you say I’m on probation. I know how it works and I’d be the first to know if I were. Then you throw a ridiculous number out there for BrentP’s insurance cost, clearly as accurate as the lie that I’m on probation although I’m sure you wish I were and wouldn’t care what it was for. Then you say eric has had violence enacted on him when he’s never said as much but merely points out govt. is always there with the threat of violence on everyone, even your stupid ass.

                    So saying eric doesn’t know how to tell the truth is transferring your lying ways onto someone else. Pitiful, just pathetic. No doubt I would be on probation if I ever met and identified you and you could identify me as the person who kicked your ass so bad you laid down and screamed and cried. Tailbone injury just keeps on giving.

                    Better be more careful in real life than you are with the protection of the internet. Your hero cops will simply be taking your statement when you get to where you can speak semi-coherently after someone takes umbrage to one of your personally directed lies. When you disappear from this site we’ll know justice has finally found your lying ass.

                    • Eightsouthman Eric said he had violence placed on him by the government. You do the search because he said it.

                      Eightsouthman Eric says that the government threatens violence on someone who does not pay. Show me the proof of that? It never happens. The only time violence is place on us by the government is when you act like a jerk or point a gun at someone. They never do it for nonpayment. If they do there must be some law stating it. where is it? Clover

                      BrentP you are the liar here. You told us you pay $5000 a year for your insurance and now you say that you pay very little? Brent you can not say both things without at least one of them being a big fat lie coming from a big fat liar.

                      I am out of here. I have some races out west again I need to participate in.

                    • Clover,

                      Anyone who has been threatened with violence to coerce their obedience has “had violence placed on him,” as you put it. You obey or else. The or else being violence.

                      Even the government accepts this definition of violence. For example, it is illegal for me to threaten to beat you up unless you give me money. And if you know I have a gun and am going to use it on you if you don’t sign a contract, that contract is not legally binding.

                      Except of course, when applied to itself.

                      Then, the government’s threats are – to a mind such as yours, at any rate – not violent.

                      Just obey... and “no violence will be placed on you.”

                      It’s amazing you don’t forget to breath and self-asphyxiate.

                    • Well Clover, if you’re correct, you can find it. Just log in, click the little comments icon in the upper left, and search. You can’t find it because you lie. You won’t look because you’re lazy.

                    • BrentP if you did not have the ability to remove your statements then it would still be there. BrentP after you see that some truth that you say makes you look really bad then you have it removed. Libertarians are good at removing the truth. The truth hurts Libertarians.Clover

                      Show us Eric your what if policies by the police or government? Send us the link Eric. Eric if you do not pay then the government does not send out the goon squad to break your legs. If you say otherwise then show us. If you are asked to go to jail because you are breaking the law and you bring out your gun or start swinging then I hope they smash your face in and break your legs.

                    • Clover writes:

                      “If you are asked to go to jail…”

                      Italics added.

                      It speaks for itself.

                      How about I ask you to drop your pants, Clover?

                      No one can possibly be this dense.

                      Of course, this assumes an at least average IQ and no major mental hobbles.

                      It’s also possible you’re simply dishonest. That you want to avoid discussing the violence at issue. By taking the absurd stance that it’s only violent if you’re actually physically assaulted. That if you submit to threats, you’ve “had no violence done to you.”

                      It’s striking in its effrontery.

                      But I doubt you’d agree “no violence had been done to you” if a guy balled up his fist, made it clear he was going to beat the shit out of you unless you did exactly what he said…

                    • Clover, you ignorant under bridge dweller, I have no admin powers here. None. Zero. If I did I would just banish you.

                    • “Eric said he had violence placed on him by the government. ”

                      Clover, you are amazing.

                      You are living proof of the failure of “public education”.

                      Your English is worse than that of ESL (English as a second language) students.

                      It’s pretty clear from your illiteracy, that you yourself have been victimized by the very government you defend so blindly. Pitiful.

                    • Eric you are the person who says that the government is violent because they have the ability to be violent rather than they something they routinely do. Eric the government might give you a kiss so does that mean they will? You show us no proof of any of your statements Eric. A person or group is not violent because they have the ability to. Violence is an action and not a threat that Eric made up in his mind. Where is the threat that you keep talking about Eric? If I did not pay any taxes I can tell you that I would not have my legs broken by goons because of it. If you can show me that threat then do it!Clover

                    • Clover,

                      “Eric you are the person who says that the government is violent because they have the ability to be violent rather than they something they routinely do.”

                      Er… hmmm…

                      It’s painful to read – to try to parse – your incoherent, illiterate posts. You ought to be embarrassed. But you’re not – because (thanks to your government-provided “education”) you don’t even realize the extent of your inadequacies.

                    • Clover,
                      If you want to see the violence, try not obeying and then when they demand you submit to punishment, don’t. See what happens.

                      But you already know what will happen.

                    • Tell me what happens when I do not pay BrentP? It is not the policy of any government agency to to break your legs for nonpayment. If you say otherwise then show us! Show us BrentP. That is what you ask me to do all the time. Now I am asking you and you refuse? Really.Clover

                    • Clover:

                      Really? No kidding? You’re serious?

                      Ok, I will “tell you what happens when you do not pay”…

                      First, you will get letters. These letters will contain increasingly direct and specific threats. If the letters are ignored, these threats will be acted on. Armed men will eventually seek you out and use force to compel your compliance. They may not break your legs, but they absolutely will physically assault you – even if all you do is try to walk away from them, or decline to admit them to your home. You are not free to go. You will not be left in peace, even though you yourself are entirely peaceful. Guns will be drawn and hands will be laid upon you. You will be taken away, by force. Your property will be taken from you, by force.

                      How is this not violence, Clover?

                      Why are you so afraid to defend the violence that undergirds your political views? Why do you feel it so necessary to evade it? To pretend your system is peaceful – when you know as well as I that it all comes down to obey… or else?

                      Your position – that there is no violence because nothing happens if you obey – is perhaps the most bizarre and moronic construct outside of flat Earthism.

                      According to your logic, there was no violence in Nazi Germany or Soviet Russia (or North Korea today). Just obey and no violence will be visited upon you!

                      Whether a given law or government order is morally defensible – that’s neither here nor there as regards our discussion. The bottom line is every law has behind it the threat of violence if it is not obeyed and the certainty of it if one openly refuses to obey.

                      Are you really going to continue to deny this? If so, be advised. You make my job altogether too easy. But it makes me feel somewhat chagrined; the same way I’d feel if I beat a Down Syndrome sufferer at chess.

                    • Clover, haven’t you been banished yet? You’re the one arguing the government doesn’t use violence so you’re the one who has to refuse to obey, refuse to go along so you can see exactly what is really behind the laws.

                    • I was visiting a friend and noticed a new car out beside the barn. From a distance it didn’t look bad so I asked about it, curious a new car would be out there in the weeds. It seemed his SIL had been on a shitty and drove at high speed in a rage. DPS tried to stop her with a roadblock but she got around them like nothing. Other DPS came to the aid and riddled the car with .357 Mags ruining the engine and transmission. She was lucky as hell she didn’t get hit. This was in the 80’s, now they would simply have blown her away and been done with it.

                    • Eightsouthman criminals who evade roadblocks can be shot. Eightsouthman I have no problem with that. Clover

                      Also Eric if the police have an eviction notice or a warrant for your arrest and you fight back then I could care less if you get your legs broken. If you choose to have violence then you get what you ask for. Eric if you choose to not follow a policeman doing his job according to the law then you get what you ask for. If you ask for violence then I hope they give you what you ask for.

                  • Too bad it’s only t-shirts. I expect to get a ticket every time I drive my wife’s car. The seat belt and my jacket are perfect matches color wise.

                • “or maybe mitigate the injury from an air bag”

                  Yes, “maybe mitigate” somewhat. My airbag deployed in my recent headon collision and the shoulder belt still broke my collarbone and left a bruise which is still visible 8 months after the accident. The airbag blowing up in my face kept me off the steering column but the force broke my glasses and the glasses made a bone-deep cut in my forehead.

                  I wear belts anyway, since long before their use was made mandatory and I’ve never deactivated an airbag except the passenger side when it had an on/off button and then only when riding alone.

                  Point is, I don’t need anyone to pass a law to get me to take an interest in my own safety. Such laws are really aimed at giving cops probable cause to stop you and fish for cash they can confiscate and give insurers an out for the purpose of dodging a bullet in the form of a claim.

                  • Ed, that damned shoulder belt is the killer. I’ve had a good bruise from one when it wasn’t needed. The shoulder belt only exists so the cops can see if you’re “wearing”.

              • I’ve been a silent reader of this site for a while and finally feel compelled to comment. The NAP is fine and well for those few who are open to logic, reason and persuasion, none of which apply to Clover. She not only rejects these things, but also embraces the concept of initiatory violence, so long as someone else does it on her behalf. The only solution to dealing with cowards and cucks like this is to visit the same violence upon them and rid the world of their genetics.

            • The first thing to know about it, is that it’s a tax. Republicans, Conservatives, Ron Paulists, and Libertarians soapboxed for years about over half of the Americans of taxpaying age not owing any federal income taxes each year. So the democrats decided to give them what they asked for. Give it to everybody good and hard.

              Now almost all people will at least owe a penalty for not having Obamacare. Or at the very least, a full accounting of why they shouldn’t owe this tax, and who they’re getting their coverage from.

              You’re generally considered to be the worst of the clovers. Big picture problem though, is most libertarians, Ron Paul enthusiasts, and even most anarchists are clovers who ar also all to happy to ensnare us in bullshit just as lethal as the shit you’re so gonzo to make us all participate in.

              All people that participate in American politics have little or no soul
              http://www.libertarianism.org/columns/politics-is-destroying-soul

              • “All people that participate in American politics have little or no soul”

                As Clyde Wilson once wrote, voting may not be evil, but at best it’s an act of general cluelessness, like chewing gum.

    • Dear Phil,

      “Trade agreements are, by definition, managed trade, not free trade.”

      So true. When Clinton first pushed NAFTA, I was naive enough to applaud it. Foolish me.

      Only belatedly did I catch on to the scam. NAFTA. North American Free Trade Agreement. Who was it who said that government labels invariably mean the opposite of what they appear to?

      Examples that come to mind are the “Affordable Care Act” and “Operation Iraqi Freedom”.

      Trade agreements are never “free trade” because they are deals reached by governments. This makes them intrinsically coerced, to a greater or lesser degree, hence anything but “free”.

      • “Who was it who said that government labels invariably mean the opposite of what they appear to?” Don’t know, but it sounds like it could have been Will Rogers.
        I do know that he said “When Congress makes a joke, it’s a law. And when they make a law, it’s a joke.”

        • Yep…I noted this in early 80’s (Ammended in 1995) with the Paperwork Reduction Act. The question is who’s paperwork is being reduced…to me it appears that government paperwork has only increased…most likely on both sides…

          Tax forms and all other federal forms have an OMB number (usually UR corner) supposedly showing that the need is legit for you to complete the form…What I did not find is a revision of that legislation requiring the government to keep that information safe from loss to Hacking, etc using “Best Practices”…probably because that sort of Stuff is only for them to dictate to us, not for them to do, as the Federal, State and Local Governments as entities are safe from civil liability (Soverign Immunity).

          Also why the EPA is exempt from litigation of harm to citizens like the “Animas River Spill of 2015″…

      • well bevin, it was touted as a 200,000 jobs making bill. Of course that isn’t squat when it comes to employment. OTOH that big eared guy from Texas warned the nation it would be the “giant sucking sound” of jobs leaving the US. Then the MSM did a number on Ross and told everyone he was going to nuke the world but never gave a reason. They did the same thing to him as they did to Goldwater so he lost, like Goldwater. And Goldwater said he’d like to slice off the eastern seaboard and send it out to sea. Sounds good to me to this very day. I was just too dumb to vote for Ross.

        • I voted for Ross Perot because, as a republican back then; I had a negative gut feeling about Bush Sr. I likewise haven’t liked any of the mainstream candidates since then, so I voted for Howard Phillips from the Taxpayers Party, then for Pat Buchanan as the America First party although I liked Harry Browne too, then I wised up and stopped voting altogether.

      • If guns and paperwork mongerers didn’t make us all Cold Slaves that 1861 morn I don’t know what else ever could.

        We don’t hear the whips crack nor the chains clank like in Full Metal Jacket and Tie Hot Slavery outlawed in Britain in the 1830s but that doesnt mean yo free.

        There was at least six sides to that rubric^3 – blues and Grays whites reds black. And yellow sides. We can twist it around all day but if we can’t solve top cross top corner middle edge bottom cross bottom corners some ol how we ain’t never gonna science are way off this glassy marble brick and onto the cold red desert Mars brick and then who knows how far else?

  9. If you’re from Copper Hill, do you know Luke Staengl from Floyd? You should talk to him sometime about ethanol. For some reason you seem to have a strong opinion for someone who is from an Appalachian mountain plateau where they grow very little corn.

    • Hi Wes,

      I am (Copper Hill) and the name’s familiar. My position (as distinct from feelings) on ethanol is two-fold:

      One, I’m opposed to cartel/crony capitalism in principle, so I am opposed to such as regards ethanol (gaudily named the Renewable Fuels Standard).

      Two, I’ve personally dealt with the problems created by using alcohol-laced fuels in engines (in fuel systems) not designed for them. In particular, older vehicle and motorcycles with carburetors. Not just myself, either. Locally, I’m good friends with Tim Marchon who owns Reeds Garage and (in Christiansburg) Graves Clayton, who owns Main Street Automotive.

      • But but what about GPEC the Grain Product Exporting Countries and the World Commodies War. How we gonna starve out them 4 billion Asians if we don’t burn up all the food driving everywhere instead of letting some Commie like Bevin architect us some cities we can navigate with our own God-Given two legs.

        We need three of them red pieces so we have bars of red white then blue on the west hemisphere of the celestial cube.

        Them Asian Muslims are our enemies cause they like green white and red. And the commies are fighting for all nine red pieces to solve their east hemisphere.

        Games people play you take em or you leave them things that they say aren’t right if I’m selling you the moon and the stars do you believe it games people play in the middle of the night.

        So I bought kiddos there.second mini Segway self balancing scooter. Aren’t there all kinds of standard marks for products. This one is from Malaysia via eBay don’t see how Uncle Festering Sam has squat to do this one

        • “Games people play “….oh the games people play now, every night and every day now, never meanin what they say now, never sayin what they mean………Well, they while away the hours in their ivory towers till they’re covered up with flowers in the back of a black limousine…..

  10. Just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should do something.

    A few years ago there was a documentary called Trinity and beyond, about the atomic bomb tests done in the 1950s. They interviewed Edward Teller, who defended his push for the hydrogen bomb by using the excuse that it should be done for knowledge’s sake. He couldn’t have known at the time that the there were Soviet spies throughout the nuclear weapons research world (some of us think that they were permitted to be there to maintain the “balance of power”), but look at the mess it made. One of the reasons we’re in this mess is because old people vote, and old people (like my parents) were indoctrinated from day one that strong central authority will be the only way we can maintain “freedom” because of the various threats to it from around the world.

    I’m always amazed that they want to tax things like smoking (and now vaping), fuel, alcohol, gambling, and income. One of these things is not like the other. Shouldn’t they be eliminating taxes on income and capital gains if they want to encourage working people? Oh but they depend on us and the 20% or more they grab from our paycheck. Without it they couldn’t borrow 100X revenue every year. We’re the collateral for the loans.

    • Morning, Eric!

      Government is a kind of nitrous oxide for “progress” that may not be such a great idea – the hydrogen bomb being an example and also the fission bomb. Neither would have been developed or needed absent coercive collectivism. I’ve argued about all this with Clover many times.

      We might not have the Interstate system and many other Great Works. Life might be simpler – and very possibly, physically harder. But it would probably be less stressful, more peaceful and satisfying. Because we’d not be so under the yoke, so controlled and directed and managed.

      Humans are by nature not bees or ants – but that is the way society is structured now. It probably explains why half the population takes anti-anxiety/depression meds and the other half has high blood pressure!

      • And there’s the fundamental flaw with the libertarian/classic liberal argument: It means hard work and more risk. It’s mostly human nature to take the less difficult path, and the state presents the libertarian alternative as a world full of danger and peril. Oh and no roads.

        On a viceral or surface inspection, this seems to be true. Being in a world of anarchy or at least libertarian government would be harder. But think about what we do today. The government can’t stop listeria infections in ice cream, or stop Taco Bell from putting a certain amount of sand in their “meat.” And the War On Drugs(TM) is a miserable failure. Why would the free market be any worse? Especially now, when the collective intelligence of the planet is at our fingertips? And remember, Underwriter’s Labs is a private ordination that has nothing to do with government, and is able to test for safety and is trusted by just about everyone to do so.

        All this gets addressed by Mises and Rothbard in many essays and papers, most of which are quite readable and make sense, but because there’s no “scientific” method backing them up, they are ignored (not that there’s much science behind Kaynes).

        I work in the telecom industry. I can tell you that there are indeed “interstate highways” built with private money. We call it the Internet. Much of those interstate lines run along railroads. Many of the early rails were built entirely with private money, it was only many of the western routes that became subsidized, Field of Dreams-style land grabs after the indian wars. The Great Northern Railway being the exception (and is a fantastic example of the free market and capitalism building large projects).

        It is unfortunate that modern technological advances came about in the age of Progressivism. As far as I can tell, there’s no correlation, aside from the government “leaders” attempting to get out in front of a technological advance and either quash it or take credit, depending on the popular opinion. Drones=evil=regulated out of existence. Cell phones=great=FCC playing God with spectrum allocations (and trumpeting their involvement in change).

        • “And remember, Underwriter’s Labs is a private ordination that has nothing to do with government, and is able to test for safety and is trusted by just about everyone to do so.”

          UL is a spawn of corporate/govt. collaboration. Various govt. agencies require UL tags that can mean nothing more than a manufacturer paying through the nose to get the tag and the testing is hit and miss at best or non-existent at times. I’ve seen crap with a UL label a second-grader could knock off as dangerous.

          In the construction trade….or any other trade, it can mean only a payoff and nothing else……but some govt. agency required it.

          • I’ve had products go through UL… um no. No government anything and the testing and standards are quite real. If government bodies require it for their purchases, it’s because they didn’t come up with their own standards for whatever product it is. Yet.

            What Chinese companies do is just put their own forged UL labels and claim it when they didn’t do it.

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