The Big Plantation

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Are you more likely to be injured in a car crash because you weren’t wearing a seat belt – or because you were?

Both are possibilities – and sometimes, actualities.

An unbuckled driver might be hurled out of the vehicle and crushed by it (this happened to someone I know). But he could also be trapped inside the vehicle and burnt to death (or drowned) because rescuers couldn’t reach him in time to cut him free.

But the proper question isn’t which is more likely to happen but rather, who has the right to decide which of these two risks alarms them more.

Is it ourselves? Or is it someone else?

The government asserts – via laws and men with guns – its power to make that decision (and many others) on our behalf and contrary to our own preferences. This is a pretty outrageous thing, when you think about it a little bit.

More than outrageous.

Evil.

But it’s an evil principle that’s been accepted via a kind of mesmeritic philosophical-moral osmosis, over several generations. It is the idea that the government is (effectively) our parent and endowed with the rightful authority that parents have over children to protect them – for their own good (as decided by the parent).

Of course, it is never stated in such explicitly honest terms. It is implied – and that is enough to obtain, if not the consent of those parented, at least their compliance (based on the threat of violence, always hovering, for non-compliance).

The problem, of course, is that we are not children and the people who operate the levers (and wield the guns) of government are not our parents. We don’t even know these people, except by name and title. And they only know us in a figurative sense – as “the public.”

Or something worse.

What gives these people the right to claim parental authority over grown-up men and women unrelated to them?

Italicized to emphasize the philosophical-moral issue at hand. The people who constitute this fictitious entity styled “the government” certainly have the power to enforce their decrees – but that is a very different thing than rightful authority of the sort exercised by parents on behalf of their minor children.

And what the government does isn’t parenting. That is an inaccurate – a much-too-benign –  term. The government is – and does – something much less savory.

A parent’s job is both natural and kind; it is to prepare the child to be a free and independent adult – a person no longer in need of parenting. It is a temporary and short-term occupation in the scheme of things, with the end result being (hopefully) another free adult.

What government asserts is ownership – in perpetuity – of infantilized adults.

The object is not the eventual independence of the pupil – so to speak- but rather his permanent submission to the power of the government. By which is really meant the power of the relative handful of people who comprise it.

There is a better name for this arrangement. It is slavery.

Everyone is opposed to this, of course – but for cognitively dissonant and conditioned reasons, only when it’s obvious.

Massa in his great house; an overseer keeping the field hands compliant. But do we not live on a very large plantation ourselves? Is not the arrangement the same in its essentials?

The “massas” are several, federal state and local – but they assert ownership over us just the same as the one – and they use overseers (armed government workers) just the same to enforce their asserted ownership. How else to view this business of grown men and women being told they will wear a seat belt (and hand over a portion of their earnings and accept being told what they may do with their property, with whom they may associate – and so on) else be punished?

The massas’ doctrine is premised on our being their property – which they claim a (specious) right to protect.

Put another way: The only way such a right would not be specious would be if we are in fact their property; if they do own us.

Owners have every right to do as they please with their property. It defines the relationship.

Just the same as we assert ownership over our dog or cat, say. No one disputes our right to have Fido or Felix  “fixed” and groomed, to decide what they will eat and where they will be allowed to roam (or not)   . . .  and to punish them when they act contrary to our wishes.

Because it is understood that these critters are our property. 

Just the same as massa (singular) in the great house asserted his ownership over his slaves by ordering them about, managing their lives and having his overseer threaten to or actually whip them if they disregarded his authority.

Is this sounding familiar to you yet?

Seatbelt laws are no different; they are merely a manifestation of ownership.

It may seem a trivial thing to object to “buckling up,” but it is not the buckling-up that’s being called out. It is the asserted authority to compel the buckling up.

A very big principle is at stake.

By accepting that the government – just other people, remember – has the rightful authority to take away from us the free choice to assume any risk affecting ourselves only because it (they) considers those risks unacceptable, we have accepted the evil principle that the government has a property interest in us.

That we are owned by the government.

By the people who are the government.

Does it rankle? It ought to. But it doesn’t – for most people – who’ve been narcoticized by their conditioning to accept such effronteries as both normal and desirable. With the vicious consequence of the field hands begging to be controlled – and owned – to ever greater decrees by demanding controls be imposed on others, who then demand controls imposed upon them in turn.

Cui bono?

Only the massas – rendered in the plural.

. . .

Got a question about cars, Libertarian politics – or anything else? Click on the “ask Eric” link and send ’em in!

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162 COMMENTS

  1. ‘The Big Plantation’ film, starring YOU…’You can’t blow your nose without it being seen. And wait for the next phase, in which Big Brother will hear you laugh.
    In line with the Western approach, there is little mention of surveillance in other cities, but the website ‘Caught on Camera’ has analysed world-wide practices. It reports that there are some 25 million closed-circuit surveillance cameras world-wide and “the United Kingdom [with 4 million cameras] has more CCTV activity than any other European country, per capita… surprisingly, the Wandsworth borough in London in particular has more CCTV cameras than Boston, Dublin, Johannesburg and San Francisco put together. It is estimated there are 500,000 cameras dotted around London. The average person living in London will be recorded on camera 300 times in one day.”’
    –Brian Cloughley
    How Surveillance and Propaganda Work in ‘the Free World’
    informationclearinghouse.info/52543.htm

  2. I’ve heard it all about this or that person who escaped immolation due to not being belted or owes his life to being ejected from a vehicle. But these are outliers. Most people ejected are crushed to death by the car they’re ejected from since they’re traveling through space at the same rate as the car and mostly they don’;t get thrown clear. As for burning to death still belted in, those people are probably knocked out by collision forces and wouldn’t be able to self rescue, belt or not. Race car drivers of the earlier years believed the myth about restraint and old photos of race cars somersaulting often include the figure of the driver flying through space. I always wear seat belts and have had good experiences with their protecting me in accidents. Nevertheless, I don’t accept being required by law to wear them and if you’re dumb enough to drive without them, that’s your choice. But, if you have people in your life who love you, maybe you should consider not needlessly leaving them bereft because you were a dumbass…

    • I’ve personally known two people who survived because they weren’t belted; but who would have been killed or very seriously injured or disabled had they been belted.

      One was the friend of a girl I used to know. The friend was a passenger in the girl’s Mustang when they were T-boned massively, on the passenger side. Friend was ejected, and while injured, it wasn’t too bad. Had she been belted, she would have been crushed to death, ’cause the Mustang smushed virtually in half, with the intrusion essentially obliterating the passenger side of the passenger compartment, to the point where the intrusion was touching the center console.

      Other other one was my best friend’s brother: He was driving a Bronco II when someone cut him off- so he swerved, and the SUV rolled. He was tossed into the back. The roof of the SUV over where he had been sitting has crushed down to the steering column. He walked away withouit a scratch. (Well, a few bruises).

      Plenty of people have no doubt been saved too by wearing a seatbelt…..but the level of risk we are willing to tsake is our business; as is the ability to do what we deem propitious under any given circumstance; and we shouldn’t have to fear being punished for making such decisions.

      But of course, politicians care much more about the insurance lobby (and the potential to take some more of our money and to have another excuse to interfere with us and to have an excuse to scrutinize us for other possible crimes, than they do about our liberty.

      • It should be completely a personal decision, Nunz. I figure that in most accidents there’s a good chance of going through the windshield so I wear ’em. Also keeps me from sliding around on the seat. (I do keep a cutter in the car just in case.) But no way should it be forced on anyone.

        • Exactly, Jason. I used a seatbelt before it was “the law”- I do figure that it’s more likely to help me rather than hurt me. In fact, in the one accident I was in, even though it was low-speed, I likely would’ve gone out the window if I hadn’t been wearing my belt. But *they* have no right to tell me that I HAVE to wear it; much less any right to punish me for not wearing it if I so choose. They have no claim over me until and if I have caused harm to someone else.

          They want us to think they’re “keeping us safe”, but yet they have no problem robbing us; brutalizing us and even killing us if we dare not to comply with their piddling edicts.

          The absurdity of it all, is when my sister drove her car from the driveway of the apartment complex where she lives, to the Post Office, next-door- which is a distance of about 10 feet (Just hold the steering wheel full right when leaving the complex and you directly into the P.O.)…and gets a ticket for not wearing her seatbelt!

          The scary thing is, that the grown pig who issued such a ticket, can actually live with himself and look himself in the mirror.

          • Morning, Nunz!

            I work out – run every other day and lift weights. Not because it’s the law – but because I believe it’s healthy (another way of saying ssssssssssssaaaaaaaafe). But I’d probably stop if it became a legal requirement.

            That’s my position with regard to seat belts and so on. I’ll be got-damned if I accept being parented. I’m a grown-up man, not a child – and not their pet or their property. These are my decisions to make (and yours and every other adult’s) and no one else’s business. Period.

            • Another argument I hear is that libertarian society would require everyone to have a 200 IQ, because the marching morons can’t fend for themselves. But that doesn’t automatically mean that government has to step in and do the thinking for them (or you). In a anarchist society people would recognize the people who cannot otherwise take care of themselves and establish charities, or just help them out. But you can’t do that with very large groups.

              One of the big sales pitches for Social Security was that old people were a burden on their children, so by encouraging self-funding of retirement your kids could go away for work. BTW, this led to the establishment of the suburban tract home, too small for multiple generations, too little land to work and not worth enough to keep in the family. But more importantly it left the less-abled people out in a world not made for them. We all remember getting screwed over by some marketing BS when we were kids, and we developed our inner skeptic. Imagine living life that way, falling prey to every slick marketing message, every created problem, every rip-off and flimflam man that comes down the pike. Someone, if they knew you and your story, would probably help you. But now, there’s no one, so Uncle steps up. Except that Uncle can’t discriminate and therefore has to paint with a broad brush. There’s no effective advantage to having brains or ability, at least in the bureaucrat mind.

              • The only way that IQ should affect implementation of libertarianism is if none of those who are learning about it get their information from libertarians in favor of the Internet. There have been a lot of books written to introduce the ignorant to libertarianism and they have found their way to used book sellers, where they may cost nothing more than shipping and handling, because that is the only way to sell books to those with IQs below 200.

              • Gotta love that! [The idea that everyone would have to have an IQ of 200- to have a Libertarian society].

                Yeah, like it’s so hard for people to grasp the idea of direct consequences or rewards as a result of their own actions, choices and behaviors.

                Those of us who remember the days when as kids, we could play, far from any adult supervision….. Get a bunch of 10 year-olds (or even one alone, as was often the case, as I always loved my solitude) and it was always apparent how self-reliant we could be, and what good decisions we could make when we knew there were no adults around to save us; and how resourceful we could be, etc.

                We never ever had a problem. In fact, our little world was much better than that of the adults, who were always being prodded by some law or requirement, and had thus lost the ability to think for themselves.

                Even the stupid kids would “get” it, and even come up with some good ideas.

                Meanwhile, in real life- those with very high IQs [Luckily, I don’t qualify- mine’s only 162 ] tend to be “specialists” who only possess a great deal of knowledge on one or two subjects- and those subjects in which they are most proficient are usually either theoretical and or predicated upon layers of work by others who came before. When their car won’t start, they shrug and call a tow truck.

                Look at Stephen Hawking. He was a friggin’ retard. Billed as one of the smartest living men in the world (*when he lived) yet in reality, he was nothing more than a creator of science-fiction [only, his fiction was peddled as though it were fact] who could invent fanciful stories of what happened in far-away space 80 billion years ago, and artfully intertwine such lunacy with other fairy tales, and arrange them so that the fanciful events they’d describe would mesh with one another, and the math could be made to work out- and thus, no one would notice that was absolutely no proof for any of this BS, other than other speculative theories which would therefore demand that x be true, if they were in fact true.

                And it seems, that most of these egg-heads spend their lives being supported entirely by the military-industrial state in one way or another…and actually do nothing that is truly useful or helpful to anyone else, nor even seem capable of supporting themselves apart from the collective. That’s what a society full of 200 IQers would be like.

                Life and liberty are simple and can be enjoyed by all. Tyranny/collectivism, on the other hand, has space for only a small percentage of winners- the ones who figure out how to take advantage of the rest, and who have no qualms about doing so.

                In the collective, one’s success is predicated upon another’s loss; one’s freedom is predicated upon another’s restriction, etc.

                Conversely, in Libertarianism, we are all free to enjoy as much or as little as we require of ourselves; and what our own hands are capable of doing, or by trading on the free market for product of others.

            • Amen, Eric! Same with eating fast food- I ain’t eating that crap….but if they were to declare that I couldn’t…..

              Or the way they’re waging an almost de facto war on cigarettes, while legalizing pot[as they should]. I’ll smoke an occasional cigarette, but I don’t smoke pot. I believe cigarettes in moderation can actually be beneficial. Europeans (‘specially Italians and Romanians) still smoke a lot more than Americans now do (But less than Americans used to… People here used to smoke ridiculously!) without all of the hysteria and problems that we are always be warned of.

              Uncle does “studies”- and they are always “all or nothing”- 4 pack-a-day smokers vs. non-smokers. Then they tell you that ANY amount of smoking will kill you- as if it’s any of their busy-ness [I used to say ‘Bidness’, but I’ll cede that to 8SM, since he was here first! ], and as if they have the right to spend millions of our dollars to do so….

              Authoritarian-collectivism is a disease far worse than anything than tobacco or any drug can cause!

              • Those studies work in reverse too. I was often told by non-runners that running would destroy my knees, as would skiing. Well, sure, if I ran 6 marathons a year and competed in the super-G! Turns out regally running 5 miles or less a few days a week, along with weight training, is incredibly beneficial for keeping your knees in good order. And who could forget all the heart studies in the 1950s and 60s that “proved” someone who had a heart attack couldn’t ever stress out their pumper ever again? I smoked from age 18 to about 30, pack a day. Then I quit and got back in shape. I don’t know that it did any permanent harm, aside from taking about $100,000 out of my 401(k).

            • Eric,
              My late mother was a hospital-trained RN, so you can’t tell me that she lacked the ability to detect alcohol and marijuana in those she proved care for. I started smoking the latter at 15, but she never mentioned it to me. I started working at a Western Electric manufacturing plant one week after I left high school with a letter from the principal stating that I had completed the graduation requirements and I would receive a diploma in the spring, after they were printed. She had to give her permission for me to work in the plant at the young age of 17. After I turned 18, while still living at home, I began binge drinking at a 3.2 bar every night. I drove home under the influence every night and made it to work on time every day.
              My mother had something that no government has ever exhibited, intimate knowledge about the parented child. Yet, she never talked to me about what had to be my apparent use of marijuana and alcohol. I, apparently, never had a problem requiring her intercession.
              Governments are a lot like standing armies. They will go out and find problems if none appear to them.
              If one does not come to the attention of the government, one should not kick a sleeping dog.

              • ***” I drove home under the influence every night “***

                Would’ve been funny if she had moved the van while you were out one night! 😀

            • You know what’s worse than the government overseeing us? The populace not only accepting it, but in fact demanding MORE of it! The reason? Freedom = responsibility. (Most) people hate the idea of having to think and/or do for oneself; ergo, freedom must be abolished.

              Despite all of that, however, I still have hope that this madness will come to an end eventually. It has to. Nothing lasts forever; regardless whether it’s good or bad. Plus there’s one thing that these goons tend to overlook: survival instinct. Once that shit kicks in, all bets are off!

        • I think that the large steering wheels of modern cars and with airbags would stop one from going through the windshield. Plus the consoles and the steeply sloped front windshield and the closeness of the car roof would stop going through almost completely. All safety measures are not foolproof or harmless. Many of these so called safety items lead to serious problems. It is the sudden stoppage that is the real killer in accidents.

          • The physics of accidents and how bodies react, are weird! They can’t account for every scenario- and what may work under one set of circumstances may be disastrous under others- but they would have us believe that everything always works the way it’s supposed to in real life, because it did so under their controlled conditions.

            My neighbor got rear-ended by a pig while he was stopped at a light. Pig plowed into him doing about 45MPH (He was futzing with his phone, of course). My neighbor ended up UNDER the seat! (And after recently having had back surgery!)- He was belted…just slid out through the back……

    • Agreed. There’s the argument to have your vehicle equipped with seat belts and to wear them on the basis of physics and physiology; i.e., what happens in collisions to the driver and/or occupants is GENERALLY mitigated by the wearing of a properly designed, installed, and utilized restraint system. Yes, there can be exceptions, like the poor chap (more an anecdote than a reality, I defy ANYONE in this forum to cite a case, documented in a newspaper article or TV station report or a police/highway patrol report, where this actually occurred) trapped in a flaming wreck whom can’t unbuckle himself and therefore tragically is barbecued alive, but the odds are overwhelming that you’re better off to wear your seats belts.

      But it’s when the “Gubmint” got involved and MANDATED their use that the entire discussion went off the rails. It’s a matter of insurance companies, or, as Eric puts it, the “insurance mafia”, leveraging political muscle to mandate vehicle design and on-the-road usage in order to reduce their claims payouts. If insurance companies had their way, a car would have a 12-inch layer of styrofoam, impregnated with fire retardant, built out of 1/4 inch boiler plate, and capable of not only being dropped from a hundred-foot cliff and being driven off (as was done to show the strength of a 1934 Chrysler Airflow in a famous vintage ad), but supporting the weight on its roof of an M1 Abrams Main Battle Tank, and having all manner of warning systems that would shut the vehicle down if it got within twenty-five yards of another object, front or rear, and would have a top speed of 15 mph anyway. Of course, who would WANT such a “nanny state” contraption? Who knows, maybe Ralph Nader masturbates his demented ass into a frenzy over the thoughts of such a vehicle.

      At the rate we’re going, we’ll have our meals dispensed from licensed nutrition stations, to make sure we don’t consume anything bad for us, with weekly weigh-ins and BMI measurements to make sure we’re not “cheating”. At least, in the TV series “Two and a Half Men”, when Charlie Harper gives up “Booze, Tobbacco, Meat, and Fat”, all to win the affections of his fetching fiancee, Mia, who’s a dancing instructor with one fine ass (Emmanueline Vaughier), and tries to change the habits of the horn-dog, drunken ass-wrangler that Charlie Harper (as well as, to some extent, the actor that portrayed him, Charlie Sheen) is known and “loved” for.

  3. I don’t really know but guess there is some life preserving benefit from wearing seat belts. If governments eliminated laws requiring seat belts insurance companies would probably give substantial discounts to those driving cars so equipped–Unless it turns out that seat belts are a hoax. For libertarians this issue is probably not a productive hill to die upon.

    I often marvel at cops who pull people over for malfunctioning light bulbs, cracks in windshields or unfastened seat belts. One would think a certain fraction would gun down the meddling officer as he walks to the car. Maybe a few cop shootings would reduce their meddling. For now I won’t be the cop killer because I don’t want to rot in jail.

  4. While Eric is generally correct on the broad philosophical issue of mandatory seat belt wearing, the underlying issue is property rights. The government (the State) owns nearly all roads in the US. As owner they set the “rules of the road” including stopping at red lights, stop signs, speeds, etc. as well as making you wear seat belts (or get ticketed). They do not enforce those rules if you own your own road on your own property. But because roads are expensive to build/maintain even if on your own property, most landowners deed roads over to the county/city/state even when on their own land entirely. Don’t want to pay for upkeep.
    Eric might want to consider this. The same “property ownership” issue about seat belts is also what enables Trump, et.al. to want to enforce laws about illegal immigration. The feds “own” the border and most other vacant land where illegals sneak in or move to. Even temporarily trespassing violates Uncle Sam’s property rights at the border crossing location. Hence the owner can remove them/punish them. So it is a broad principle here. Once the State asserts ownership, your personal beliefs are worthless. (The State also makes rules for your own private property usage, but that’s a different issue..)

    • The “Feds” “own” the Border due to a clause in the Constitution of the United States that requires the central government to provide for the common defense…the Several States abrogate their right to protect their borders with this clause. Border protection is a Constitutional obligation for Washington, and one that it has not to date met.

      The “Feds”, however, do not “own” the road system in the USA. Even the National Defense Highways (Interstates) are under State jurisdiction, in most cases, sometimes even local. The Feds do extort “ownership” of roads by the power of the purse…Federal subsidies, which will be withdrawn from the “owners” of the roads if they do not comply with the Federal diktat on a number of issues, “environmental” (code for greenies and their communism), “saaaafety” (code for busybodies and their communism), etc.

      The State of Texas “owns” I-20 running through Texas, and in reality, it’s the people of the State of Texas who do, as one example. So, we the People of Texas should be able to dictate what level of requirements for drivers and vehicles on I-20 should exist. Due to events following the 1865 War of Northern Agression continuing (and accelerating) to this day, we do not.

  5. re-‘rightful authority of the sort exercised by parents on behalf of their minor children’ nope,prof Eric, all gone…viz., ‘Due to the increasing frequency of stories being exposed regarding children taken away from their families for simply disagreeing with their doctors, we felt it was time to put up a completely separate website to document these tragic stories.

    Most of the public is largely unaware of these medical kidnappings simply because the parents are almost always threatened by the family court system in their state from speaking out, usually via an illegal gag order. When we hear these stories for the first time, our natural reaction is “there must be another side to the story.”
    For an overview of the problem of legal medical kidnapping, showing that this is a very real problem…
    Medical Kidnapping: A Threat to Every Family in America Today
    More key articles to understand the medical kidnapping problem:
    Medical Kidnapping in the U.S. – Kidnapping Children for Drug Trials
    The U.S. Foster Care System: Modern Day Slavery and Child Trafficking
    Child Kidnapping and Trafficking: A Lucrative U.S. Business Funded by Taxpayers
    From Child Protection to State-sponsored Child Kidnapping: How Did we Get Here?
    Christian Churches Redefine the Meaning of “Orphan” to Justify Participating in Child Trafficking
    Are Constitutional Sheriffs America’s Hope to Ending Child Protective Services’ Tyranny?
    Does the State Ever Have a “Right” to Remove Children from a Home?
    Are New Pediatric “Child Abuse Specialists” Causing an Increase in Medical Kidnappings?
    Child Sex Trafficking through Child “Protection” Services Exposed – Kidnapping Children for Sex
    Whistleblowers Reveal CPS Child Kidnappings in Kentucky Adoption Business
    Senator Nancy Schaefer: Did her Fight Against CPS Child Kidnapping Cause her Murder?
    The Corrupt Foster Care and Adoption System: Why Aren’t More Foster and Adoptive Parents Speaking Out?
    Foster Care Children are Worse Off than Children in Troubled Homes – The Child Trafficking Business
    Study: Children from Poor Parents, Even if they have a Drug Problem, do Worse if Put into Foster Care
    World Renowned Medical Anthropologist Compares Munchausen Syndrome by Proxy Labeling to Witch Hunts

    medicalkidnap.com/about-medical-kidnap/

    • A well-known and vicious tactic in a divorce and/or child custody proceeding is when one parent uses tobacco; it’s just about a “quid quo pro”, on the order of the offending parent being a molester, for the tobacco user (even ‘smokeless’!) to lose custody and/or visitation rights. Never mind if the tobacco user refrains from usage in front of the impressionable child, he’s fucked.

    • But if your arms or wrists get broken or otherwise damaged, the cutter will be useless to you. If the car overturns or goes into water, the cutter may have moved to a different position in the car, whereupon you will have to find it while trapped by the seatbelt.

      • It’s not possible to cover every possibility in every type of accident. You can only figure what you believe is most likely and play the odds.

        • T’is true, Jason. It’s the idea that one MUST live their life according to statistical probabilities, that is abhorrent.

          How long before they out-law motorcicles because one is 27 times more likely to die in a crash on one?

  6. They do, in fact, own us. This too, shall pass.
    Slavery ended peacefully everywhere in the 19th century, with two exceptions*, for one reason alone. Inefficiency. People will do as little as possible to avoid the lash. Free people innovate, risk and produce, which benefits everyone. Slaves sit in their shacks and wish for a better massa.
    So, outgunned and surrounded, what to do? Exploit and increase the inherent inefficiencies of the system. Sand in the gears, man. Pee in massa’s mint julips. We can grind them down, too.
    I file a 1040 every year (paper), but I’m old and that ‘rithmutick stuff is complicated. Honest mistakes happen, ya know? Which form says my IRA withdrawal is 72(t)(2)(A)(iv) compliant and not subject to the 10% early withdrawal penalty? It takes a few letters back and forth, but nobody gets tazed or caged. Whadda ya mean I left that Ron Paul sign in my yard too long after the election? Let’s discuss it in court. I don’t have any idea how much bureaucrat’s time I’m tying up. Any answer >0 is good enough for me.

    *Haiti, a genuine slave rebellion against a small white population with limited resources and the US, where it was a political football used to justify the war of northern aggression.

    • I like your spirit but don’t forget every bureaucrat you tie up is financed by theft from you and everyone else. Is it really a victory to make them hire more people to deal with the gear-jammers?

      • Of course they will. Is it better for us all to just buckle up, pay up and shut up? More “efficient” government is better/cheaper? One more paper shuffler forces the choice of either increased taxation/borrowing or one less cruise missile. Thanks to the Fed, easy choice, so far, but there is a limit somewhere.
        Complex, top heavy systems are more prone to critical failure. Complex, expensive, non-productive governance incites more frustration. Many commenters here have wondered “When will people say enough is enough?” Not until it hurts enough to say Enough! When it takes six hours in line to get your driving permission slip renewed? When it takes two years to get your tax “refund”? Nobody is suggesting this is going to be painless. I’d just rather not shoot or get shot by anyone, yet. If you have a better alternative, I’m listening. Just please don’t suggest voting.
        Shaming TSA agents, under reporting income and generally f’ing with them does offer some personal satisfaction and that’s the best I’ve got. Like I said, I’m old.

    • Honest mistakes aren’t the problem with the high probability of different interpretation and implementation of regulatory language that would do Alan Greenspan proud. If you give a complicated return to several different CPAs, you’ll get that many different sets of numbers. I haven’t filed a tax return since the early 1990s and when the IRS finally found a reason to contact me, they sent the levy to an friend’s address that I hadn’t used since the mid 1990s. They didn’t attempt to garnish me until I started receiving SS payments, in 2016. The one good thing that has occurred is the introduction of a statute of limitations on IRS collectors. They only have 10 years to collect.

      • Sounds good. I work a cash business and have not filed a tax return for over 40 years. I don’t make much, but what I make I keep – and I’m not funding the Forever War machine aside from whatever excise taxes they manage to mulct.

        I don’t participate in Social Security or Medicare either, despite being well over the age of eligibility. I want nothing from those dirtbags.

    • The sad corollary to the 13th Amendment is that for many American black folk, living in high-crime ghettoes with little hope of bettering themselves as long as they remain in “da Hood”, being returned to the slave quarters and having shelter, good food, and protection in return for a semblance of an honest day’s work wouldn’t be all that BAD, now, would it?

        • The sad thing is that it’s likely most people of any ethnic background would gladly kiss the feet of one Massuh or another in exchange for cradle-to-grave security. (After all, individual liberty carries with it the “terrible” responsibility of taking care of one’s self.)

          • Amen, Jason! It’s pretty much what people are doing when they:
            a)Spend a significant period of their life acquiring credentials (and debt) and then spend the rest of their viable years being a slave to some corporation or government agency.
            or,

            b)Join the “service”.

          • The etymology of “terrible” indicates its relationship to terrorism, and what a freeman has to do to get through life is as far from terrorism as is possible as compared to doing so under a progressively totalitarian authoritarianism.

      • Or, according to a character played by the late great Garrett Morris on the old Saturday Night Live, “All we want is a good woman, comfortable shoes, and warm place to go to the bathroom”.

  7. Great post as usual!

    so…long time reader…only posted a few times…

    This article as well as a few others I’ve read this morning (mostly Lew Rockwell stuff) have “triggered” me to think about where I’ve come from and how messed up things have become.

    Allow me a teensy trip down memory lane to further elucidate my current angst.

    I graduated from a simple state college in 1987. This was when college was mostly affordable and the only sex class was “dirty 230” which basically showed porn films from that time period (tons of body hair anyone?) and also usually had some gays/lesbians come in and talk. I didn’t actually take the class but I (being 18 and at probably the horniest time in my life) managed to make a few of the classes on “movie day”.

    Once graduated and freshly married to my college sweetheart (no…we did NOT meet on Movie Day) we began our life together in the humble town of Kennewick, WA right at 1988 (we’re still married by the by…not necessarily virtue in itself, but I am REALLY glad we have stayed married…the single world looks like a labyrinthine torture tunnel of misunderstandings, bad decisions, and MeToo!).

    I will never forget the offer my company (still working there at 32 year and counting) made in 1988 to hire me for the princely sum of $25K/year. I thought that was more money than existed (I hadn’t yet awakened to the Fed’s ridiculous ruse of simply printing money until someone or something cries Uncle).

    This was also a time when you could just barely make it on a single income and my lovely bride worked for awhile until the 4 children came along and then she stayed home (and worked HARDER than I ever could) until a few years ago.

    Now…all the above drivel is to get me to this point:
    During the last 32 years I have watched almost helplessly as the value of the money I make has dropped, the raises used to be 5-10% each year until they weren’t. For many years the raises dropped to under 2% per year with some years no raise at all. Obviously the lurkers here at EP Autos fully understand that inflation is WAAAAY more than 2% per year. Not complaining here because we all endured this…but just trying to further tell the story. Then you get all the various taxes, fees, licensing, insurance, whatever…just to try to eke out a life in Amerikaa. During the last few years it has FINALLY hit my dull understanding how much we have been ripped off.

    Housing alone is absolutely crazy. My 4 kids are out in the world now and the cost to rent a simple apartment is nuts.

    Well…throughout the last 32 years, I have been to Alaska exactly twice (the 2nd time was this last summer). And the impact on my mind, body, and especially my psyche was truly amazing. That place has a sense of freedom like no other (except maybe other freedom loving states/municipalities…).

    What Alaska did for my mind was a wonderful thing. It allowed me to “see” what “more freedom” means. Now sure, some wag will argue with me about how Alaska still has taxes and rules and stupid laws and so-forth. But the sheer size of the state in comparison to the number of people there is probably what gives you a large portion of the sense of freedom and wide open spaces.

    A few examples:
    1. I am NOT kidding when I say I was there for 10 days and I NEVER ONCE saw a local cop car, nor highway patrol.
    2. Speaking of highways: the main highway (AlCan?…can’t remember?) is usually straight as an arrow with curves that support at LEAST 80 MPH and many times I simply drove 100 MPH to get to whatever lake or river I wanted to fish (don’t even get me started about the heavenly fishing in Alaska…..sigh….). NOBODY cared how fast I drove (obviously…I have to take personal responsibility for a certain level of safety)…but the point: they mostly leave you alone.
    3. Building codes: HAH! We stayed in Salcha, AK (just south of Fairbanks) and I saw all manner of housing materials (some obviously came from the dump or a friend) and you would see a glorious mansion-esq home next to something slapped together with recycled materials. Again: nobody cared (or at least they didn’t seem to care).
    4. Overall “happiness quotient”: now I’m no pollster, but being there only 10 days I couldn’t help but drink in the overall “vibe” of the state. People seemed to be happier, tougher, more likely to help their neighbor in a state of emergency, etc.
    5. Guns: wow. TONS OF GUNS! I’ll never forget our hosts asked me to go grab something from their master bedroom. I waltzed in there and probably saw
    6.

    Now…all of this is not me wishing for a utopia. It’s simply that folks like us are going to have to start making some decisions on HOW we live and WHERE we live. The famous “vote with your feet” is very applicable here.

    All I’m really saying is that it took me getting past the age of 50 (I’m currently 55) to be able to look back and “see” the erosion of my freedoms, the value of my money and quite frankly, to be able to also “feel” the lack of freedoms in certain places vs. the more abundance of freedom in other places.

    In fact, don’t hate me, but while I was up there, I think some current political “thing” was going on where the threat of nuclear annihilation was being bandied about. My thinking: let ‘em destroy the mainland, I’ll be safe up here. Now sure…terrible thing to say (and probably inaccurate as heck, but I still can’t adequately put into words the feeling of being left alone that Alaska gives you. Heady experience.

    Here’s hoping y’all have a great holiday season and that you are seeking more freedom every day (if possible!).

    Sincerely,

    Kevin B. Selby

  8. http://www.espn.com/classic/s/2001/0223/1104412.html

    “According to a report in the New York Daily News on Saturday, stock car driver Dale Earnhardt altered the seat belt in his No. 3 Chevy Monte Carlo before the Daytona 500, possibly playing a hand in his death on the final lap of the race.
    NASCAR officials said Friday that Earnhardt was found with a broken seat belt after the wreck in which he was killed instantly.”

    • The doctors who examined his body came to a consensus that he died from a broken neck. The impact forces slammed his head forward so forcefully that, if anything, the seat belt was broken by the same impact that broke his neck. None of the doctors are “NASCAR officials.”
      If you go to a sports network for your information, you’ll get it from sportscasters rather than coroners.

    • I think the point is who has the right to tell you as an adult that you have to take care of yourself. You assume the risk to yourself every time you get behind the wheel. Whether you belt in or not and as a consequence whether you are hurt or die in an accident or not only affects you. It doesn’t injure another person. If by not wearing a seat belt you caused harm to another person then maybe the government should have a say in it.

    • By gum that’s the ticket! We’ll be even safer if our betters force us to wear helmets and nomex while exercising our driving privileges. If not they have the right to end our breathing privileges!

  9. Excellent rant, Eric. Where I live, there are signs everywhere, “Click it or ticket.” Isn’t that clever?

    Anyone who enforces this kind of law deserves to be met by whatever level of force is necessary to stop his meddling.

    • In re those “signs everywhere:”

      Has anyone besides me ever noted the sick irony of those flashing, changeable freeway overhead signs? The ones that nag you to (fill in the blank), tell you the lame aphorism du jour or issue the latest amber alert?

      The irony is this: No matter what the message, the signs are a significant distraction to drivers who take their eyes off the road to read them. Will we ever know how many times these signs have contributed to accidents involving distracted drivers? Don’t hold your breath waiting for the nanny-highway state to tell you.

      At most, the only justification for such bulletin boards is to warn of hazards in the road ahead. All other purposes and messages are frivolous and likely dangerous.

      • Good point. The mutable signs near me always seem to require two or three “pages” to complete their message, and each page lasts WAY too long to see the entire thing. Which of course means it causes WAY too much distraction from the road. And of course if you’re craning waaay to the right to try to catch that last page as you go by, it’s worse than from a moderate angle.

        The click-it-ticket signs are permanent, so we need never feel deprived of the government’s gentle, helping hand.

        • Don’t know if they still do this, but back in the 80’s, Pennsyltucky had roadside signs featuring the silhouette of a trooper holding a Kustom Signals radar device…below that it said “Radar For Your Protection”, and listed the fines for “speeding”. Outrageous, but at least it was truth in advertising!

          • Where my late uncle used to live in CA. (Not even southern CA. or any populous area, but in the wide-open spaces of Inyo county) they had signs on the highway saying “Speed limit enforced by helicopter”!!!!!

            HELICOPTER! I doubt that they went to such lengths to catch The Manson Family back in the 60’s…..but by the 80’s….drive a few miles over the arbitrarily-determined speed limit, and G.I. Joe and Ponch from C.H.I.P.S will be burning 100 gallons of jet fuel in a coordinated effort to snag your ass….to “keep you safe”, just as all highwaymen do. (Only the ones without state-issued badges go to jail when they do it)

            • Senor Nunzio, I’m sure you’ve noticed it, but actual criminals really don’t get much in the way of punishment. Most thieves and murderers get off on a few months and they are back on the street- further to terrorize the hoi polloi into believing they need government “justice” and “law enforcers” to keep you safe. However did we manage in the 18th and 19th century?

            • The Manson Family at Barker Ranch was raided by the Park Service for vandalism.

              In the 1990s it took THREE MONTHS for a helicopter to spot the missing German family’s rented mini-van in Death Valley.

              • I didn’t know that, Anon! Hilarious!

                “Gosh Yogi, I don’t think the ranger’s gonna like this”.
                “Ah well, fuck the ranger, Boo-boo!”

              • As I recall, the Manson Family had been vandalizing heavy equipment in DVNP which brought the Park Service down on them. I don’t remember how they were then connected to the Tate murders, but there’s lots of information out there including videos of the Barker Ranch which is up a canyon near the SW corner of DVNP.

                If you want another black hole to go down, look up the sad story of the “Death Valley Germans” on theotherhand.org.

  10. And it hasn’t stopped with seal belt wearing compulsive syndrome. The control freaks are mostly people who are afraid of a world where people are free. The more corrupt the owners of the system become, the more control they require to keep the corruption from turning inward upon them. That is where we are at. Government is going broke on all levels and employ hoards of control freaks to find ways to exert more control as in upping taxation and creating laws. This is not going to end well. Hopefully, the slaves will be able to pitchfork the control freaks out of power.

  11. There are 2 points on the seatbelt topic. 1, the sound proof that seatbelt laws are at least nothing but revenue scams is: the government buses millions of “children” twice daily without seatbelts. 2, in a free country, if I own myself, I have every right to make the call to or not to wear a seatbelt. However, if the government owns me, than government has the right to make that call and can force me to wear a seatbelt. But the government doesn’t own me as a fact by the highest laws in the land. I own myself and I alone can make the call to wear a seatbelt or not. If I get hurt, that is on me and me alone and I have to deal with my decision. But some will say that my decision could cause others/the state to pay for my medical bills. My next question is, how can government honestly and legally make me have to take care of other people, when that makes it next to impossible for me to take care of my own family? (Thank you democrats for the out of control money vacuum started by Obamacare when it comes to the outrageous cost of health insurance.) Frankly, doing so is, Communism, to get to the core source of the mindset of the seatbelt laws. Never misunderstand that every single Communist was once a Socialist. Socialism is the stepping stone to Communism, period. Seatbelt laws are just another seed to Communism’s master plan.

    • Exactly, Mark!

      The point is to impoverish us – in order to render us uneasy and dependent. This is done by using the argument, which you’ve laid out, that action (or non-action) “x” might result in a harm that others will end up paying for. Of course, the harm is speculative – it may not and probably will not ever come – and even if it does, the only way it harms others is if they’re forced to pay for it. This is an immoral thing on the face of it as taking money from someone who caused no harm to compensate another for harms he caused or which he inflicted on some third party, is theft. Someone else’s misfortune is not a valid (morally speaking) claim to make someone who had nothing to do with it pay for it.

      But if the premise is accepted that we can be forced to hand over money – or else! – because some person unknown to us suffered or caused harm or because we “might” – and that “might” could be used to force others to hand over money, etc. – then we have accepted the premise of communism, which is that we are forcibly beholden to others as opposed to being responsible for ourselves and our actions only.

    • Well said. There is of course one more stepping stone, democracy. Democracy is socialism is communism. All are mob rule, and we’ve never been a democracy. We have democratic (allegedly) elections in a constitutionally defined republic. What the founders attempted to leave us was mostly anarchy, where free individuals rule themselves and the republic (Latin res publica) concerns its elves with a limited selection of public matters, using a strictly limited palette of delegated privileges. This has been hijacked by oligarchs and demagogues using mostly propaganda and force. A very ancient pattern, repeated throughout history.

      • Bingo! The USA is not a, democracy and never was one. It’s a Republic, period. Abe “the atheist” Lincoln saying, “for the people, by the people, of the people”. Without question had the founders rolling in their graves because the country is a Republic and not one of those democracies that always fail and are on the hook to the Bankers. The other scam is, you hear all the time that America is a, “Capitalist country”. More BS, it’s a country based on, “Free Markets”. Capitalism is fascism, Capitalist don’t want anything but monopolies where the people have zero choices and are under total control. Free market based Republic is the whole truth and nothing but the truth of what this country is by the highest law of the land. Until the SCOTUS dismantled pretty much everything the country was founded on. Yes Sir, seatbelt laws are a perfect example to how far off base the country has become.

        • The US being a republic hasn’t prevented our congresscriters from giving our money over to a private central bank controlled by the same banksters as control all of the other central banks.
          The free market died in the early 19th century. Aaron Burr would have done us all a favor if he’d killed Alexander Hamilton before he created our first central bank instead of afterwards.
          Maybe it is time that you read Secrets of the Federal Reserve by Eustace Mullins and/or The Creature from Jekyll Island by G. Edward Griffin to learn more about the beast. You obviously need to read the same books that Jefferson, Madison, Washington, and Franklin did to learn how far off-base you are about capitalism.

    • The mass of a school bus (which are built like rolling brick shithouses) will mitigate the collision forces of anything vastly lighter. Beyond that, if all of the students on any given bus had to be wearing a belt before the bus could be put into gear, it would never be put into gear.
      The whole school bus premise will be eliminated when classrooms are eliminated in favor of software that will allow all of the students (who will “attend” remotely) to be seen and heard by the teacher individually by a wall of monitors and their microphones selectively muted by the teacher. Since the entire proceeding will be recorded, the students will be able to refer to the class session to complete their homework and those “absent” will get to see the same sessions as those “present.” If the greenies get their way, school buses will become history due to fuel and time consumption. The next step will be to eliminate teachers in favor of Max, or Maxine, Headroom AI.

      • But have another tragedy involving children akin to the terrible Carrollton, KY, bus crash and fire in 1988, and “safety advocates” will call for the next generation of school buses to be built like armored personnel carriers. Of course, considering that new schools are being built like fortresses that would rival anything ever constructed for the Maginot or Siegfried lines, with entry/exit controls not much less than those securing Plant 42 in Palmdale, CA, it’d seem fitting.

    • In fact, there are two levels (at least) of “self ownership”. One for “deplorables” and one for the elite. Deplorables are expected to shut up and do as the Murican Stasi directs. Deplorables only “own themselves” when it comes to banksters and other grifters and their bankruptcy, taxation, insurance, etc. laws. The elite can hide classified information in completely non-secure locations, an action that would land a deplorable in Leavenworth, and have any concern over said action evaporate like a fart in the wind, merely because they are “more equal” than us deplorables. The elite have complete self-ownership, like the Inner Party in Orwell’s description of life in Airstrip One.

      Another reference. Natan Sharansky, “Fear No Evil”, his description of life in the Soviet Gulags. The Zeks (political prisoners) referred to the Gulag prison as “the Zone”. The rest of the Soviet Union was “the Larger Zone”. Kinda like what we are discussing here in this article’s comment box, eh?

  12. Eric,
    To put it another way, much of our tax dollars are used by the government to harass us. Why, then, do we accept this tyranny?

    • Hi Steve,

      Many of us do not accept it; I certainly don’t. You seem to agree with me. The problem is, we are in the position of people wrongly jailed for crimes we didn’t commit (or which aren’t crimes in any moral sense). We don’t accept being caged… but there’s not much we can do beyond express our non-acceptance.

      Nothing will change until a sufficient critical mass of Americans wake up (or change their minds). I’ve devoted my life to furthering that goal.

    • Hello Steve
      Because we have been programmed from birth to death that government knows all and that you “can’t fight city hall”. Few can or even want to break this programming because it means everything you know is probably wrong. They create and run the legal system, the monetary system, the ‘education’ system and they count the votes.
      Few want to fight a system with this many strikes against them knowing that 90pct of ‘citizens’ will probably agree with the benevolent government of the People, by the People and for the People and the greatest democracy ever.

      • Sadly, I’m slowly coming to the realization that 95% of folks are just not capable of liberty, they wouldn’t know it if it fu**ed them in the a$$. There is a natural aristocracy, a small percent able to handle liberty, and the rest clamor for a king, and for the immoral force to take from someone else to give to them.
        If those are the stark options- ruler or ruled, I guess I know the only side I can be on.
        I’ve always believed the better way was to rule myself but every day that right is infringed more.

        • It became crystal clear to me after a short time as a volunteer for the LP that most people construct mental prisons for themselves that are more impregnable than anything any government could impose.
          There is no justification for blind obedience to laws that can’t be enforced.
          Where is this right to rule yourself?

        • Hi Ernie,

          This was Napoleon’s view, also – and he was probably right. But – got-damn it – I can’t bring myself to give up just yet. I suppose there’s still time for that, of course.

      • Anyone that believes that the United States is a democracy has drunk too much koolaid to ever be detoxified enough to understand that it is not one.

          • Jeremy,
            The United States is a constitutional republic.
            A democratic republic is an oxymoron.
            You need to read what the founders had to say about democracy to understand why they didn’t create one.

            • Hi Vonu,

              I have read them and I know that they hated and feared democracy. Still there are democratic elements in our constitutional republic, no? I don’t see why a democratic republic is an oxymoron. Unless you define democracy as a direct democracy or a representative democracy without constitutional restraint. Please, define what you mean by democracy.

              Cheers,
              Jeremy

              • Jeremy,
                It was more like reviled than hated or feared.
                The only democratic part of a constitutional republic are the elections, but elections are inherently democratic unless they are as corrupt as ours have been for decades.
                Things never go well when there are more votes collected than voters registered.
                Have you read all of The Federalist Papers and all of The Anti-federalist Papers?

                • Hi Vonu,

                  I read all of them while attending St. John’s college, over 30 years ago. I should reread them. It’s not that I object when people assert that “we have a Republic, not a Democracy”, so much that I don’t understand what they mean. Of course, the founders didn’t create a direct Democracy (are there any?), nor a representative democracy tasked with implementing the “will of the people” absent any constitutional restraints. They created a Constitutional Democratic Republic. I think this is right,

                  https://www.reference.com/government-politics/constitutional-democratic-republic-94535bfb08c336da

                  please let me know if you think this is wrong.

                  Anyway, despite the theory, what we actually have is a representative democracy tasked with implementing the “will of the people”, as interpreted, and molded, by the self serving tyrants in power, unconstrained by the constitution. As should be obvious by reading many of my previous posts, I am not a fan of democracy, even the supposedly limited form that “we” have. Years ago I managed to get this published in our local rag.

                  https://www.sfreporter.com/news/letterstotheeditor/2008/11/11/first-person-democracys-illusion/

                  Cheers,
                  Jeremy

                    • C’mon Vonu,

                      They set up a system that requires voting, for representatives and, indirectly, for Presidents. That is some form of a representative democracy. The fact that they don’t use the word in the founding documents is irrelevant.

                      Jeremy

            • They would have rather shanghaied Gen. George Washington and declaring him Emperor, whether he liked it or not, than institute a “democracy”. It was NEVER intended that most adults would vote, voting was for those whom actually had means and therefore “skin in the game”!

              • They did try to have Washington become our first king, but he wouldn’t have it.
                Jefferson had a similar problem after having two terms as president. They wanted to re-elect him and he told them that he’d be happy to be re-elected but they’d have to find someone else to fill the vacancy that would result, if they did.

                • Vonu,

                  Spooner argued convincingly, to me at least, that the constitution has failed in its supposed purpose. That is what is important to me, not the legal distinction between a contract and a constitution, which has no bearing at all on whether the constitution can successfully limit the government.

                  I am not having a hard time distinguishing between a republic and a democracy. I don’t even know what you mean by democracy, as you have yet to define it. Perhaps your definition of it is entirely incompatible with a republic. I cannot know because you won’t define your terms. You have yet to provide any evidence that the system designed by the founders was not a constitutional democratic republic. You simply assert that it’s not. You also assert that a democratic republic is an oxymoron, but don’t explain why.

                  You seem to think that the fact that the word does not appear in the constitution provides evidence that the system created is not a form of democracy, it does not. You haven’t even addressed whether there are different forms of democracy, though I have always qualified my claims by asserting that a particular form of democracy is embedded in “our” system. You have not responded to that at all.

                  I provided a link to an article that specifically defined “our” system as a constitutional democratic republic and asked you to argue why it was wrong, you chose not to. I don’t consider the link proof of my position, nor definitive. Merely that it seems right to me, perhaps you could explain why it is not.

                  Jeremy

                  • Since you are committed to using my definition of democracy to argue outside of, I’ll use the most succinct and accurate one I am aware of: two wolves and a lamb deciding what to have for dinner.
                    Correspondingly, a republic would be similar aside from the lamb being armed.
                    The Constitution had failed before Spooner wrote the book, making it easy to describe its spots.

                    • Vonu,

                      I can’t argue outside of something you won’t define. You do understand that it is impossible for anyone to respond to your claims about democracy and republican government if you won’t define democracy? Sorry, your definition does not solve that. You have yet to refute a single point I have made, you haven’t even tried. You’ve just made assertions, asked meaningless questions and given implied and direct insults.

                      “The Constitution had failed before Spooner wrote the book, making it easy to describe its spots”.

                      Well, of course. So what?

                      Jeremy

                  • Hey Jeremy,

                    I like Spooner very much, though I am not well versed in his writings. Based on your quote of him above, I might contend that it was not necessarily the Constitution that failed, but rather the people, who did not maintain the requisite love of liberty, nor the diligence to maintain the checks on power and government intrusion that the Constitution allowed them when the citizenry still possessed enough power, and the government was still small enough to least be constrained by the precepts of the Constitution, which would have at least ensured a limited tyranny(government) vs. the all-powerful unlimited tyranny(government) which was allowed to form.

                    Ultimately, Spooner was correct; in that no document can grant liberty- but certainly, things could have been a lot different/better had our forefathers been more diligent to preserve what liberties the Constitution at least would have anabled them to preserve.

                    • Hi Nunz,

                      “Based on your quote of him above, I might contend that it was not necessarily the Constitution that failed, but rather the people…”

                      True enough, but it begs the question, “If the diligence of the people is required to maintain liberty, why have a government at all?” Such an institution will always create obstacles to that diligence and actively seek to undermine liberty, no matter what any constitution says.

                      Cheers,
                      Jeremy

                    • Exactly, Jeremy!

                      THAT is the real issue- that so many believe that the establishment/existence of government can guarantee and preserve liberty, when in fact government is the antithesis of liberty.

                      But if some insist on compromising liberty for the supposed ‘benefits’ of some amount of government, at least maintaining a predetermined limit on that government would be wise, and could have been maintained with some diligence if enough had cared….but of course that begs the question “At what point does one draw the line?”- and as long as that line can be moved, then as we have seen, there is essentially no limit.

              • Hi Douglas,

                “…voting was for those whom actually had means and therefore “skin in the game”!

                So, a form of democracy, limited by a constitution (republic) and a restricted franchise. Still a form of democracy, no?

                Cheers,
                Jeremy

                • Jeremy,

                  “So, a form of democracy, limited by a constitution (republic) and a restricted franchise. Still a form of democracy, no?”

                  How many times is democracy mentioned in said constitution?

                  • Hi T,

                    Arguably, a “republic” is a “democracy” – in that both deny the absolute sovereignty of the individual and declare his obligation to submit to the will of a collective. The democracy is worse, of course – being premised on pure “majority rule.” But the “republic” is premised on the same general idea – executed via “representatives” who are empowered to take away the rights of individuals, or limit them.

                    I agree, of course, that a republic is much to be preferred in an imperfect world over a democracy; but it seems to me to be inevitable that a republic will devolve into a democracy, the basic premise opening the door to it…

                  • Hi Tuanorea,

                    A few more thoughts. There were three important constraints on democracy in the constitution, two of which, a restricted franchise and the appointment of senators, are now formally gone and the third, the constitution, has, as Lysander Spooner convincingly argued, proven to be useless. The republic, that many pine for, has long been dead.

                    Of the three constraints, the two most powerful have been eviscerated, leaving only the constitution, that has been interpreted to allow almost every imaginable power claimed by the State. What we have now is a dishonest representative democracy, where the supposed “will of the majority” is molded and then used to justify the oligarchy that actually reigns.

                    Cheers,
                    Jeremy

                    • Jeremy,
                      Do you know enough about the difference between the legal construction of a contract and a constitution to recognize that Lysander Spooner’s book constituted nothing more than polemic?
                      If not, that would explain why you are having so much difficulty understanding the differences between a democracy and a republic, notwithstanding the constitution that might constitute either.

                • Hi Tuanorea,

                  “How many times is democracy mentioned in said constitution?”

                  I’m really puzzled why anyone thinks this is some sort of zinger or meaningful question. It is entirely irrelevant that the word democracy does not appear in the constitution. Think Shakespeare and a rose. I’ve asked people what they mean by democracy when they claim “the
                  US is not a democracy”. So far, nobody has offered up a definition. This claim only makes sense if the meaning is restricted only to direct democracy. But, nobody calling the US a democracy means this, so it’s not germane.

                  The US was quite clearly designed to be a constitutional democratic republic. So far, nobody has offered any evidence to the contrary, just irrelevant questions and disparaging comments. It is true that the founders considered unconstrained democracy to be nothing more than mob rule, they certainly didn’t worship it as do today’s Statist propagandists. So, they put severe constraints on it, one of which, a restricted franchise, has been abandoned, to the detriment of us all.

                  Cheers,
                  Jeremy

                  • Jeremy,
                    The US was clearly designed to be a loose confederation, as demonstrated by the Articles of Confederation, which were summarily disposed of after the convention was impanelled. The Constitution was meant to be a stopgap document to hold together the new republic while a more durable document was evolved. The majority of the convention was loyalists and other enemies of the republic who conspired to turn the republic into a parliamentary democracy like Canada. They were opposed by a more learned minority who were able to argue them into a reparable republic.
                    Thomas Jefferson, watching from afar, knew the closeted proceedings bode ill for the success of liberty. He said so when he wrote that “(t)he spirit of the times may alter, will alter. Our rulers will become corrupt, our people careless. A single zealot may become persecutor, and better men be his victims. It can never be too often repeated that the time for fixing every essential right, on a legal basis, is while our rulers are honest, ourselves united. From the conclusion of this war we shall be going down hill. It will not then be necessary to resort every moment to the people for support. They will be forgotten, therefore, and their rights disregarded. They will forget themselves in the sole faculty of making money, and will never think of uniting to effect a due respect for their rights. The shackles, therefore, which shall not be knocked off at the conclusion of this war, will be heavier and heavier, till our rights shall revive or expire in a convulsion.”

  13. Hi Eric,
    Long time reader here, but the first time I have left a comment.
    When I was growin’ up in TX, my dad refused to wear seat belts even after it was made “law”. He was a funeral director and I can’t count how many death calls I went on with him. I asked him once why he never wore seat belts and he told me that the dynamics of every vehicle crash were different and it was pretty much a 50/50 chance of livin’ or dyin’. Later on, when I was takin’ flight training in a Cessna 170, we always had a seat belt cutter handy in case we wound up upside down, as your body weight will prevent you from opening the clasp on the seat belt. If your plane is on fire or in water, you are f**ked with out a way to cut that belt.
    Fast forward to a couple years ago, the wife and I were drivin’ through Missouri and passed one of those programmable signs on the highway that read ” 700 fatalities on this route last year, 47% unbuckled.” I thought, ” That must mean that 53% WERE buckled and died anyway.” That’s pretty much the 50/50 my dad told me years earlier…
    I refuse to buckle up to this day…

    • Hi Bluesman!

      Glad you’ve surfaced – and amen, in re your comments about 50/50 and seatbelts. Of course, even if were 99/1 in favor of buckling up that carries no water as far as forcing people to buckle-up… unless you’re one of the sociopaths who thinks they own other people. If so, it’s time to stop eating red meat, give up booze, exercise three times a week at least … or else!

    • Bluesman,
      Your mention of seat belt cutters reminds me on an incident on a medic unit (ambulance) in my department. The paramedic’s kid was visiting the station and asked what that was attached by velcro to the top of the orange trauma box. We told “it’s a seat belt cutter.” Out of curiosity he took it when we weren’t looking and Zip! cut the front passenger’s seat belt in two. Needless to say that was a very long explanation letter to the chief, resulting in a memo outlining specific protocols for visits by civilians, friends and family to the fire house. Until we could change over to another medic unit for the seat belt replacement, the paramedic had to tie the seat belt together when riding shotgun. And the seat belt cutter went into the bottom of the trauma box. Hehehe, you can’t make stuff like this up, too funny, and way embarrassing.
      Aloha, Vic

    • As a side note and some backstory, this particular paramedic was against seat belts and would tell a story about a one car accident he had in his pick up truck, in which he was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected but was uninjured. He did admit to being drunk at the time, and would go on about drunks being “more relaxed” in an accident and less likely to be injured. We saw many drunks walk away from accidents so maybe there is some truth to his contention, an opinion also voiced by others. There is some irony to the whole story, and of course drunk drivers are an extreme danger to everyone on the road.

    • I still insist that your odds are better with a belt, but I have a belt cutter/window breaking tool on a fixed mount, readily accessible in case the vehicle ends wheels-up or on its side. I’ve been in a bad wreck of some 20 years ago, in a 1989 Chrysler New Yorker (the “EEK” chassis, it was a plusher version of the more common Dodge Dynasty), which went arse-over-teakettle (how THAT happened is an interesting, freakish tale) and landed on it’s roof when the car was gong 40 mph down Power Inn road in Sacramento. My then 14 y.o. son (now an engineer with a water district in Nevada) and I survived with only moderate injuries, even though the roof was severely crushed. Yes, we both had belts on, though my air bag didn’t blow. If the wreck had “brewed up”, though, we’d have been scraped out of it.

  14. Dead-on and lyrical thoughts on this subject from C.S. Lewis:

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

    C.S. Lewis

  15. Jeremy posted it already, but I wanted to post the whole thing.

    “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience. They may be more likely to go to Heaven yet at the same time likelier to make a Hell of earth. This very kindness stings with intolerable insult. To be “cured” against one’s will and cured of states which we may not regard as disease is to be put on a level of those who have not yet reached the age of reason or those who never will; to be classed with infants, imbeciles, and domestic animals.”

  16. We ARE their property. Just like the slaves under Massa we own nothing but the cloths on our backs. Just received the tax statement for my home that has been paid for over twenty years ago. My next door neighbors were evicted last week due to taxes in arrears.

    Laws are the rules we must follow or the overseer will punish us. The rules are set by Massa even though we claim to be the greatest democracy ever. We have no say in anything including who comes into our country, how long they stay and they even ‘qualify’ for the same government benefits (and more) as so called citizens do.

    They own us, our property, our country, and our culture. According to them our consent is given when we vote. Which is why they use the term democracy rather than republic.

    Like an out of control toddler, the longer you let it go on, the harder it will be to correct it and eventually it will be uncorrectable.

    • “Just like the slaves under Massa we own nothing but the cloths on our backs.”

      Just wait. If this madness continues, we won’t even own them anymore. Hell, we don’t even own ourselves, so what’s to keep “Massa” from imposing a “fashion tax” on us? If you have clothes that are “out of date”, then you have to pay an exorbitant fee every year for a pass to continue wearing them. Don’t worry, though. Your “contribution” will pay for improving the quality of life in the sweatshops.

      • And it’s nothing new, either- this tyranny- as it is a manifestation of unbridled human nature. Probably won’t be long before we have a beard tax, like in merry old England.

  17. I’ve been having a similar argument with one of our resident safety nannies – er, professionals. According to “he who has almost 6 weeks of training”, my refusal to wear the insurance company mandated safety vest in the shop is not only a seditious act, worthy of burning at the stake, it also removes the protective force field that enables me to survive the onslaught of traffic driving through the building.

    Pointing out to the little worm that I’ve been working in a machine shop longer than he has been breathing, and never once have I witnessed any sort of accident that could have been prevented by $3.99 worth of orange polyester fails to placate him. My only true success has been turning the spindle up to 2200 rpm on a lathe with a 20″ chuck and asking him if he thinks that little vest might just catch on there. That kept him in his office sucking his thumb for a couple of days.

    I think the only SAFETY! regulation that has ever yielded a net positive result has been the development of dynamite. Everything else has been bastardized and co-opted to the point of stupidity.

  18. It’s only through the benevolent guidance of government employees that seat belts exist.

    Wait. I’ve just been informed that the three point safety belt was invented by Nils Bohlin, an engineer at Volvo.

    And here I thought all good things flow from government.

    • Prior to the invention of 3-point belts, lap belts were offered as an option by Nash starting in 1950. (There were few takers.) But if it wasn’t for the intervention of our government betters we certainly wouldn’t have dual-circuit brake systems.

      Wait a minute – AMC made that a standard feature starting in 1962…

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cC6kdTaO1e0

    • And workplace injuries were declining before OSHA ever existed, and food quality and incident of disease was improving before the FDA (whose original name was the Chemistry Dept) or vaccines existed, and education was better before the Dept of Education existed, and the literacy rate was higher before compulsory gov’t funded education existed, ad infinitum.

  19. I know someone who is only alive because he wasn’t belted in. After an offset collision he ended up in a cornfield without a scratch on him. The other driver burned to death. Driving a car is dangerous. But as you pointed out, it should be the individuals choice.

    • Right ho, Bill!

      It’s so sad that so many Americans have become busybodies; they didn’t used to be. Or at least, they were less able to forcibly impose their busybody ideas on others.

      I try to make the basic point with people; I often fail. I then resort to quid pro quo tactics. Ok, I say – you demand I “buckle up” because it’s “safer” – the same as saying “less risk.” Well, I think your fat ass needs to get to the gym (I’m not fat) because being a fatbody is . . . risky. It increases the chance of diabeetus and stroke and so forth. If you have the moral right to force me to wear a seatbelt, I have the moral right to demand you drop 50 pounds and stop eating crap food!

      They usually get really mad.

      • That day is coming. I have a feeling that the reason people in countries with socialized health care are healthier is because the last place they want to end up is the hospital. Here we can just pay some drug company to lower our cholesterol, pay some surgeon to replace our knees, and pay some medical device manufacturer to track our blood sugar. When all that goes away and we have to get in line, just watch what happens to the overall health of the country.

        But the lardbutts in Congress will be an exception of course.

            • I stay as far away from doctors as possible. If I’m not bleeding to death or dying of pneumonia, I just let it heal. People can’t believe that I’m not on any prescriptions.

              • from the horses mouth:’The Murderous Hammer Of Medicine’
                by Dr. Jennifer Daniels
                860,000 people are murdered by medicine each year in the United States alone. Information based on Medical Research, not mine.

                How does this happen? Do they fall out of a hospital bed, catch an infection in the hospital, or do they just take a medication as prescribed? It is all this and more. Tune in and avoid the Murderous Hammer of Medicine.

                archive.org/details/TheMurderousHammerOfMedicine

              • What do you know about pneumonia that they don’t?
                Since pneumonia is always an opportunistic infection aided and abetted by a deficient immune system, the first best thing to do is to optimise and strengthen it with vitamins A, D3, K2, and all 8 Es.

                  • I don’t know anything about treating or curing pneumonia, but avoiding getting it is very easy and I already told you the basics. The only thing that doctors do well is trauma remediation.

                  • That would definitely increase your odds of survival, Anon!

                    Doing some research for a friend who came down with prostate cancer, which spread to the bone (The skelatal kind, not the other) I came across a good discourse on how 100 years ago, medical schools were exploring ALL options for treatment and cures of all maladies.

                    The big patriarchs of the durgeoning drug companies came up with a plan in which they would use “charities” to prod the schools and hospitals into using the drug comapnies products to the exclusion of everything else (By such tactics as getting on the boards of those institutions, in exchange for large and continuing donations).

                    The kicker is, much of that money came from well-meaning people who donated to various “charities” to cure various diseases or support hospitals or help provide medical care for the poor……

                    The drug company dudes used this money to subvert the medical profession and turn it into a cash cow for their companies, while getting good press and tax write-offs for their “charitable work”.

                    When people donate to these big charities, they have no idea what’s really being done with their money.

                    As for my friend; I got him into eating raw organic bitter apricot seeds, and some other things…..and his doctors are stymied as to why he is now cancer free…… They can’t understand it. He’s now glad that I talked him out of going for their chemo!

                    • Nunz, ” (The skelatal kind, not the other)”. Killer. Karl Childers “Well, the guy was kinda queer, not the ha ha way, the other way. Well, they was real cold and wet so they get in this cave and this one guy cuddles this other one. I always thought cowboys huddled, not cuddled”. It was his narration of Brokeback Mountain.

                      I watched a Karl C. video yesterday. That guy kills me, best part of the Big Show……mmmmmm

        • People who live in countries with socialized medicine are healthier for the same reason that America has the lowest unemployment rate in many decades.
          Both are because some statistician lied and most of us believed it.

      • Observation indicates that the safest way to die is to return from a regime change military invasion with PTSD.
        I suspect that those who choose to kill themselves are having trouble with their consciences after having murdered innocent, unarmed men, women, and children under order of equally treasonous commanding officers.

  20. I had a trooper ask me one time why I wasn’t belted it. I told him the state of NC wasn’t my mama. Needless to say he didn’t like that. If they can tell you you have to be belted in then thy can tell you anything; you can’t smoke, you can’t eat red meat, you must get eight hours of sleep, etc., ad nauseum. I get it when your action or inaction may harm someone else, through no fault of their own, but I don’t need another mama.

    • Amen, Skeptic –

      The worst variety of tyranny is that exercised by the martinet “for the good” of the victim. One of my favorite writers, HL Mencken, derided these types as “wowsers” and “uplifters.”

      I share his contempt for them…

      • Hi Eric and Skeptic,

        This is a good place to remind everyone of this CS Lewis quote.

        “Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron’s cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience.”

        Cheers,
        Jeremy

      • Unfortunately, on the other side of the coin is the willingness of the sheeple to meekly accept the myriad tyrannical government diktats. As Goethe so aptly put it, “None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free”.

      • The other “for the good” is “for the good of the collective.” By spreading out risk across millions of people we make sure everyone is interconnected in a web of codependency. This pretzel logic is used to justify all these little assaults on liberty. We’re not slaves to Uncle, just slaves to each other. Uncle just happens to be the one willing to attach the manacles. Of course the collective mind tends to be selfish too. The preference is to get more than you give in any situation.

        • Of course the collective mind tends to be selfish too. The preference is to get more than you give in any situation.

          Exactly. Supporters of socialism miss this point. All socialism does is turn everyone into a lobbyist for government benefits. Why work if your income is stolen, and if by screaming what a Victim you are, someone else will be forced to support you?

          Capitalism channels our selfish spirits by saying “Get as rich as you want, but only by satisfying others’ needs.” That’s as good as it gets.

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