PREACHER ON TV: …nointed with oil on troubled waters? Oh, Heavenly Grid, help us bear up thy Standard, our Chevron flashing bright across the Gulf of Compromise, standing Humble on the Rich Field of Mobile American Thinking? Here in this Shell we call Life… (excerpted from The Firesign Theatre’s “How Can You Be In Two Places At Once, When You’re Not Anywhere At All”)
Oregon Department of Transportation
By all accounts, Robin Speronis is engaged in a successful experiment in “living off the grid” in Cape Coral, Florida. The 54-year-old former real estate agent disconnected from city water and power about a year and a half ago. Now she relies on solar panels, propane lanterns, and collected rain water in her duplex and seems quite happy about it. But the city clearly is not. Officials tried to boot her from her home, and have now given her until the end of March to reconnect to the grid. A special magistrate who tossed many of the charges and admits that reasonableness may not play a role in the rules says she will ultimately have to comply. Speronis is standing firm.
You can’t be FREE, all by yourself, doing as you please! That’s not being part of the collective! Don’t you know it takes a village? Resistance is futile!
Okay, all you freedom-loving self-actualized, libertarians and self-governing folks. Listen up. The government NEEDS you.
Political power grows out of the barrel of a gun – Mao Tse Tung
h/t Say Uncle
“Like tears in rain…”
NO. This post isn’t about the Harrison Ford dystopian Los Angeles film of thirty years ago. (Sorry)
It’s about the film’s title – derived, I believe, from the name of the government officers tasked with ‘shutting off’ the androids who escape the outer worlds and come to Earth. Because they are ‘dangerous’.
Someone who runs along the cutting edge of the blade.
I’m speaking about a company. Cutting edge, as it were. Ares Armor is such a company. They produce ‘firearms’ in California, when many other companies are leaving the State, due to high taxation and over-regulation. Well, not exactly firearms…
One of the things Ares Arms does is produce incomplete firearms – those not required by law to be serialized and tracked by government. For free citizens to do with as they wish.
As I said, cutting edge. Below is the sign they put up…
I don’t have any opinion about their legally-incomplete firearms (including AR15 and 1911 platforms) but I do have an opinion about local government trying to restrict their promoting legal business and their freedom of speech. (From their website, below)
Ares Armor forced to defend their 1st Amendment Rights
SAN DIEGO COUNTY, CALIFORNIA – The Local Government of National City thinks it is acceptable to re-interpret their own city code to suite their political agenda if a message appears that does not suite their liking. They have chosen to attack us based on opposing political views. They have abused their elected positions in order to silence those who do not agree with them. WE WILL NOT BE REMOVING OUR SIGN. I WILL GO TO JAIL FIRST! If it is a fight they want, it is a fight they shall have.
- Dimitri Karras, CEO Ares Armor
CALL TO ACTION: We need your support to help get this story out.
In our opinion, National City has not only violated OUR RIGHT to FREE SPEECH, but also OUR RIGHT to DUE PROCESS. Please help us fight back by spreading the word and putting heat onto the elected officials of National City. Below you will find their phone numbers and contact information, if you would be so inclined to let them know directly how you feel about their actions. We greatly appreciate your support in fighting Tyrannical, Would-Be Dictators.
Please visit the link to the company’s website, and contact the ‘authorities’ regarding their attempts to stifle a legal business from operating and promoting their products.
I see no problem with them operating as a legitimate business. If customers choose to violate the law, that’s their business!
(FTC – ARES Armor gives me nothing. But, as yet another government bureaucracy you probably don’t even understand why I’m doing this. Go away!)
Matt, a former blogger, occasional commenter and friend commented thus on a recent post of mine regarding the apparent wanton killing of a pinned suspect by ‘the authorities’.
I asked why such a thing could occur. His answer – because they can.
This is the crux of why I’m a libertarian, and not a left-wing socialist type. The Left seems to hold to the idea of the Philosopher King. Someone placed in charge by the gods to rule over us lesser folk, with wisdom and compassion. Even though many of them decry gods.
But, they forget kings are people. Human beings. Fallible, and with feet of clay. This is also why the
gun people control folks keep trying to tweak the system.
“If there is just one more law…” Yeah, right.
Absolute power corrupts absolutely? You bet!
I recall a story I heard some years ago about a local small business. The business had been burgled, and the sole proprietor diligently reported records of the missing property and damages to his insurance company and the authorities. They never caught the burglars. He received his insurance settlement and all was right with the world.
Except, because of all the damage, he mis-reported something that he thought stolen, and had been paid for it. And he tried to make things square with the insurance company and the police.
But, the insurance company filed a lawsuit against him, and made certain he was charged with filing a false police report!
The end result was he lost his business, his property, and was forced to pay a large fine.
As he stood in the back of the business behind the tape, watching ‘the authorities’ confiscate his remaining property, he asked one of the agents gleefully loading it up on government trucks, “Why are you doing this to me?”
His answer. “Because we can.”
I have a healthy distrust of government. I know many government employees who feel the same. It’s inherent in the system to accrue power.
And not give it back.
There Ain’t No Such Thing As A Free Lunch! - Robert A. Heinlein
This is the most basic of economics. Everything costs something.
And yet, it appears roughly half the population of The United States believes in ‘if it’s FREE, it’s for ME!’
The ‘Affordable’ Care Act? Hey, FREE health care! Food Stamps? Hey, FREE Food!
There’s even a circular route short bus system in my college town – it goes and connects all over, in a 10 square mile area, largely around older commercial and university venues. And, even one of my staunchest libertarian friends uses it. Why?
BECAUSE IT’S FREE! (The tax dollars paying for it, notwithstanding)
I, for one, have chosen NOT to use it, thinking doing so only perpetuates the myth of FREE. Of course, as my 2000 Oldsmobile Intrigue gets older, and requires more maintenance (at more cost) it may become a necessity.
THEN, I can get a bicycle, and join the hoards of collegiate bike riders ignoring traffic laws, putting themselves in harm’s way, and demanding more bike paths.
Because, eventually, we WILL turn into Beijing.
Going backwards is such a great way to move forward, don’t you think?
I do, too. But Kent’s “Hooligan Libertarian Blog” offers perspective, along with support.
To wit (in part):
The powderkeg of “troops”Are individuals in America better off that there are US troops all over the planet? Do troops really help “the people”?Think about it.Was Germany better off by having and supporting the Nazi troops? Or, in the long run was the normal, average German made less safe and less prosperous because of “the troops”? (And don’t bother trying to misuse Godwin’s Law on me- I’m on to that game.)
The only ones helped by “the troops” are those who work for that gang of thugs called “government”. Everyone else is harmed. They may think they are benefiting, but only until consequences catch up to them all. At that time the veil is ripped away.
You should go to Kent’s link above and read the whole thing. Blind obedience isn’t thinking, and it certainly isn’t what freedom and liberty are about.
Question Authority. Not just for the exercise, but for the meaning; the agenda.
TThe Whited Sepulchre reminded us of The Wisdom of David Nolan – founder of the Libertarian Party.
How does one tell if one is truly a Libertarian (philosophically, not necessarily a card-carrying LP member!)
In David’s words, below:
As a founder of the Libertarian Party and editor-in-chief of California Liberty, I am often asked how to tell if someone is “really” a libertarian. There are probably as many different definitions of the word “libertarian” as there are people who claim the label. These range from overly broad (“anyone who calls himself a libertarian is one”) to impossibly doctrinaire (“only those who agree with every word in the party platform are truly annointed”).
My own definition is that in order to be considered a libertarian, at least in the political context, an individual must adhere without compromise to five key points. Ideally, of course, we’d all be in agreement on everything. But we’re not, and probably never will be. Debate is likely to continue indefinitely on such matters as abortion, foreign policy, and whether, when, and how various government programs can be discontinued or privatized. But as far as I’m concerned, if someone is sound on these five points, he/she is de facto a libertarian; if he fails on even one of the five, he isn’t.
What then, are the “indispensible five” — the points of no compromise?
YOU OWN YOURSELF
First and foremost, libertarians believe in the the principle of self-ownership. You own your own body and mind; no extermal power has the right to force you into the service of “society” or “mankind” or any other individual or group for any purpose, however noble. Slavery is wrong, period.
Because you own yourself, you are responsible for your own well-being. Others are not obligated to feed you, clothe you, or provide you with health care. Most of us choose to help one another voluntarily, for a variety of reasons — and that’s as it should be — but “forced compassion” is an oxymoron, a contradiction in terms.
THE RIGHT TO SELF-DEFENSE
Self-ownership implies the right to self-defense. Libertarians yield to no one in their support for our right as individuals to keep and bear arms. We only wish that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution said “The right to self-defense being inalienable…” instead of that stuff about a “well-regulated militia”. Anyone who thinks that government — any government — has the right to disarm its citizens is NOT a libertarian!
NO “CRIMINAL POSSESSION” LAWS
In fact, libertarians believe that individuals have the right to own and use anything- gold, guns, marijuana, sexually explicit material- so long as they do not harm others through force or the threat of force. Laws criminalizing the simple possession of anything are tailor-made for police states; it is all too easy to plant a forbidden substance in someone’s home, car or pocket. Libertarians are as tough on crime- real crime- as anyone. But criminal possession laws are an affront to liberty, whatever the rhetoric used to defend them.
NO TAXES ON PRODUCTIVITY
In an ideal world, there would be no taxation. All services would be paid for on an as-used basis. But in a less-than-ideal world, some services will be force-financed for the foreseeable future. However, not all taxes are equally deleterious, and the worst form of taxation is a tax on productivity — i.e., an income tax — and no libertarian supports this type of taxation.
What kind of taxation is least harmful? This is a topic still open for debate. My own preference is for a single tax on land. Is this “the” libertarian position on taxes? No. But all libertarians oppose any form of income tax.
A SOUND MONEY SYSTEM
The fifth and final key test of anyone’s claim to being a libertarian is their support for an honest money system; i.e. one where the currency is backed by something of true value (usually gold or silver). Fiat money — money with no backing, whose acceptance is mandated by the State — is simply legalized counterfeiting and is one of the keys to expanding government power.
The five points enumerated here are not a complete, comprehensive prescription for freedom… but they would take us most of the way. A government which cannot conscript, confiscate, or counterfeit, and which imposes no criminal penalties for the mere possession and peaceful use of anything, is one that almost all libertarians would be comfortable with.
You notice you don’t see the word control in there, except perhaps the understood doctrine of self-control. Fascists, Communists, Statists, For-your-own-good-ists need not apply! No Nudgers, either!
(from The San Antonio Express News, courtesy of Live from the Alamo)
We have advocated in the past for universal background checks and an assault weapon ban. Incompatible with the Second Amendment? Not if the concept of “guns in the wrong hands” has any meaning.
I had a thought upon reading this. What if we promoted universal background checks for anyone who wished to establish religion and freely exercise it, or speak freely, or publish, or peaceably assemble or petition the government for redress of grievances? And ban certain kinds of rapid dissemination of published material. Incompatible with the First Amendment?
After all, isn’t there a concept of “words in the wrong hands”?
How far do you think we’d get? Questioning the inviolability of The First Amendment? We’d be tarred and feathered and pilloried and spat upon and run out of town on a rail. Then hanged, drawn and quartered and the pieces arrested!
Of course there are “common sense” controls on The First Amendment! Laws against libel/slander, inciting riots, yelling fire in a crowded theatre. And there already are “common sense” controls on The Second Amendment. Laws against armed robbery, armed rape, armed mayhem, armed murder.
Mr, President, Mr. Blumberg, and Mr. King – leave me and my rights alone! If I do something wrong, arrest me.
♫…I don’t feel much like dancin’…♫
Kent McManigal shares with us an essay regarding the essence of personal liberty, freedom and individual rights in this Constitutional Republic.
I find it sad that whenever someone wants to do something, the first question most people ask is whether government allows it, requires a license, or forbids it.
There is so much that isn’t (or shouldn’t be) the business of government. Most personal conflicts are attached to an understood contract between individuals in the free marketplace – If you don’t like guns, don’t buy one; if that head of lettuce is bad too soon, don’t buy them there, anymore; don’t like illegal drugs, don’t use them.
There are remedies before getting the government involved. That shouldn’t be our go-to choice. It should be the last resort.
This isn’t a pointless philosophical debate. On May 5, President Obama warned Ohio State University graduates to reject the warnings people like me are passing along, and to simply trust government.
My motivation is that I trust you to run your own life, and I want you to understand liberty and experience it in all its glory.
What might his motivation be?
If you can be fooled into asking the wrong questions, the answers don’t matter.
This should be our (libertarian’s) anthem. – Guffaw
h/t Kent’s “Hooligan Libertarian” Blog
(What follows has some language that is Not-Safe-For-Work. I thought it best not to edit or censor it, to give it it’s full impact - Guffaw)
This is the crux of the libertarian, Constitutional argument. Why are we so against all these ubiquitous encroachments on our civil liberties? And why we should continue to be.
Every time I see something like this, be it use of a no-knock warrant (or no warrant at all), surveillance cameras everywhere, GPS on modern cell phones that we cannot disconnect, institutionalized warrantless searches at airports (and elsewhere) or beating a confession out of a suspect, I recognize we have lost something beyond price. And, I know we probably won’t get these liberties back without a fight.
Kent’s “Hooligan Libertarian” Blog touches on the most recent of these issues. The lock-down and methodical search of an entire city to locate a terrorism suspect. He says, in part:
The same goes for imposing a police state and illegally/unethically/immorally locking down a city and invading homes to catch a suspect. Every cop who entered any property without the explicit permission of the owner/renter deserved to be shot dead. Immediately. Good thing for those stormtroopers that the “people” there gave up their responsibility and guns long ago, and are cheering fans of Big Brother. Makes me furious to even think about.
Follow this up with Lurking Rhythmically’s screed regarding some folks disdain for an individual’s natural rights. She says, in part:
From a comment on my previous post:
You know, I like most of what you post, and followed you even though I disagreed with you on your position on so-called “gun rights”.
Oooh. Isn’t that just delicious contempt ? It’s so thick and creamy you could drizzle it on a pancake. I especially like the one-two punch of so-called and the scare quotes. They aren’t rights, they’re “rights”. That’s quality passive-aggression right there.
Here’s the lovely thing about rights: They aren’t up for a vote. That’s why they’re rights.
Let’s put it another way:
Are you offended yet? You should be. You should be screamingly furious that anyone would diminish these rights with the phrase “so-called”.
And yet my inalienable right to defend myself with the most effective means possible is threatened because one, ONE asshole out of 10 million law-abiding gun owners decided to commit a raft of crimes that another law would not have stopped.
You say, “Compromise.” I say, ”Fuck you, you mewling cowards. I will not embrace victimhood. I will not willingly disarm. If you demand I give up my life just to make you feel better, you are selfish on a level that is beyond comprehension.”
I believe this is how most of us feel, even if we can’t quite put our feelings into words. Individual rights are individual rights. Whether ‘natural’ or ‘derived from our Creator’, it doesn’t matter. They are not up for debate or vote. Period.
And to allow them to be voted on is yet another encroachment.
Go and read the entire Declaration of Independence, and then the two links above. Then look at the news, and read what we accept as a normal course of government business every day.
Then, perhaps become angry about the state of our Nation. And cry a little.
S. Weasel brings us the following:
This is Li Meng. He hasn’t left this computer terminal for six years. He gets up to pee and shower and they hold his place for him. The rest of the time, he’s sitting in this internet cafe in this very chair playing video games. If you Google “Li Meng” and “internet cafe” you’ll get a ton of different takes on the story, mostly a bunch of handwringing about “internet addiction”.
But here’s the thing: renting a spot full time in the internet cafe costs him about eighty bucks a month. Playing video games, he says he’s making about $325 a month. You know what I say? THIS MAN IS THE KING OF AWESOME.
Plays video games all night, sleeps in the chair all day, slips out for a wash and some Chinese takeaway and puts money in the bank every month. I am NOT seeing a problem here.
It’s like when heroin got cheap in the Nineties and there were all these articles about how horrible it was that junkies could take a McDonald’s job and have enough money to rent a small apartment and support a smack habit. And I’m thinking, “wait…they’re fully supporting themselves and their wicked habits with an honest job? So what part of this is your business?” (emphasis Guffaw)