The socialist left in disguise

That’s what Zfacts is. Luckily it’s a pretty thin disguise. If you wander through the pages you’ll discover, quite quickly, that they don’t seem to have any facts concerning Democrat funding or left thought. Reams of information on Republicans and that most elusive of creatures, the ‘Neocon’.

Most damning is the views on Social Security. I’m no fan of Bush’s plan to ‘privatize’ Social Security; but that doesn’t mean that SS doesn’t need fixing, or isn’t a ponzi scheme in it’s last phase before collapse (and it will, as soon as the baby boomers start collecting their checks) If you read the pages on SS at Zfacts, everything is fine and Bush is trying to rob the trust fund. Glad to hear it. I’ll be making withdrawals from that ‘trust fund’ in the near future, I wouldn’t want to think that there’s going to be any problems getting ‘my money’ (and it is mine, at least until we get to the other end of the 40 thousand they’ve withheld over the years) from the lovable cuddly federal gov’t and it’s ‘oh so friendly’ bureaucrats.

Doesn’t change the fact that Social Security is a socialist program; the definition of which is a ‘gov’t managed business’. Or the fact that 40 thousand set aside by me personally would have grown to about half a million in the time the gov’t has held it.

So much for Stoft’s claim to not have a ‘bias’.

What War

This was one of the speeches I wrote for Politimasters.

Some say that war is a necessary evil. Others say that antiwar is the ultimate good. I propose that choosing between a war & antiwar stance is like choosing between Republicans and Democrats; it’s an example of a false dichotomy. There are other choices that can, and should, be made.

Necessary evil is a contradiction in terms (otherwise known as an ‘oxymoron’) it is an impossibility for something to be both necessary, ergo good, and evil, ergo bad. (I see your hand up back there, I’ll bet you think you’ve got an example to prove me wrong. I would suggest that you check your precepts, there is a logical flaw in your argument somewhere.)

War is a many faceted concept. One of its facets, the right to defend oneself against aggression, is necessary. It is only through the ability to defend ones rights that the rights themselves can be secured; even if that defense requires violence in response to violence.

However modern warfare, wars of conquest, wars of aggression, are evil. Modern warfare, which is exemplified by large groups of soldiers highly trained and mechanized, able to wreak great destruction and death from a safe distance, is very hard to legitimize. Conquest and aggression violate the rights that we hold dear, and so should be avoided at all costs.

On the other hand, the antiwar movement has breed its own evil, and cannot possibly be the ‘good’ as currently constituted. Watch any antiwar rally, listen to nearly any antiwar protestor talk, and you will hear and see hatred of America, and the demonization of the American people.

This begs the question, if they are Americans, and all Americans are bad, how can they possibly be good? Are ‘we’ bad as libertarians? Of course not; and Americans in general are not evil or bad. Misguided, yes. America is the most generous nation on the face of the planet, and I have a hard time believing that is a sign of evil as well.

A facet of the antiwar movement, is the pacifist movement. Pacifism, in my opinion, is evil in its own right. True pacifism does not allow for a credible self defense; if you cannot mount an equal or superior force, then the consequences for aggressive actions are not sufficient enough to give an aggressor pause. Just like the possibility of being shot in states that allow concealed carry curbs crime, the knowledge on the part of an aggressor nation that the population of its ‘target’ is prepared to defend itself will tend to dissuade it from carrying out its aggression there.

In light of the above, let’s analyze the current conflict in the middle east. Are we involved in a war of aggression, or are we engaged in self defense?

Do we face a real & credible threat? If you travel to New York city, and look into the pit that was the base of the World Trade Center, I think you will have to agree that there is a credible threat to us. The ‘terrorists’ who flew the planes into those buildings were part of a larger religious sect, and that religious sect has declared war on us. There may be no governments that have declared war on us in the middle eastern region, but several governments support this religious sect. That constitutes a threat in my opinion as well. In light of these facts we could be said to be engaged in self defense.

But why Iraq? They don’t support the religious group who has declared war on us; and while they do train terrorists there (we should know, we funded them for many years) there has been no provable link between Iraq and the 9-11 attacks. The answer is: strategy. If you listen to the spokesman for StratFor ( he’ll tell you what the governments won’t: The real reason we are in Iraq is for long term strategy. We destroy the strongest army in the area, we have large numbers of troops on the ground in the region and we get to remove our troops from Saudi Arabia where they are causing problems. (in fact, their presence there lead indirectly to the 9-11 attacks, but I digress) all good strategic reasons to be there.

Isn’t that by definition a war of aggression? It sure looks like it on the surface. In reality, however, how can we know? The ‘top secret’ information that our governments is acting on is not available to us. No discussions of the facts behind our current conflict have been allowed so far. Very few public discussions of a factual nature have been conducted at all; generally all we get are propaganda based posing on either side (war and antiwar) which are framed in such a way as to create a rift amongst the American people.

So, here we are, libertarians all. What should be our response to this. I’ve got one for you: What war?

There has been no declaration of war. There has been no request for one. The president has gone out of his way to stress to insurance companies that there is NO war, so they have to honor the claims of businesses and people harmed by the current conflict.

We have no ‘real’ information. The CIA doesn’t report to any of us, and how could we know whether to trust them or not, even if they did? The only people that know what’s going on are the men in the field, and most of them are too close to the action to be objective about it.

We have a genuine need to remove real and credible threats, but is this the right way? Do we have to subjugate the entire middle east in order to remove the current threat? That certainly seems to be where we are headed, and without any direction from the people who will have to foot the bill for all this. I welcome discussion on the facts, Mr. President, members of congress; give us the facts. Give us the chance to judge the truth of the matter as sovereign individuals, as is our right. What are the long range intentions in relation to the middle east, and militant religion in particular.

So the next time (Did I hear you say “Hey the wars over, we won.”? Right…) someone asks you “what do you think about the war?”, just ask them “What war?” I guarantee it will be a conversation they’ll remember.

In hindsight, it strikes me as funny that Bush declared victory in 2003, but we’re still fighting battles over there on a daily basis. What does ‘victory’ mean? Doesn’t sound like the war is over from where I’m sitting.

The thing I got the most trouble over from people who heard the speech is that I needed to revise my views concerning necessary evil; it was deemed to be a sign of naivete, that I didn’t understand the issues well enough to understand what evil was and why it might be necessary to do evil. Nearly three years later, I simply feel stronger about it. Most people who use this phrase are just looking for an excuse for supporting something that they ‘know’ is evil. The problem remains in the unrealistic definition of what evil is, as I asserted originally.

If you find yourself mouthing the phrase ‘necessary evil’, you better be 100 percent sure of the necessary part.

Smaller Government, Anyone?

I get so tired of Republicans and Conservatives talking about how they’re for “smaller government”; and then when you start talking about actually making government smaller, they marginalize you. Like this person:

While I did like many of the positions of the Libertarian Pres candidate (although not enough to vote for him) most of the local & state candidates were either unknown to me (in many cases the only time you hear of a Libertarian candidate is when you read the ballot in the booth) or they’re so far out in left field in their positions for me to vote for them.

I corrected the mis-statement concerning ‘left field‘ Libertarian candidates, which lead to the statement “Perhaps I should have said bizarre and strange.”

My response of:

bizarre as in the Republican drive to make women into chattel (property. What you are when you don’t have a right to ‘your own body’; the outcome of reversing Roe)

Or Strange as in the Democrat desire to make the healthcare system a government agency, so that we can have the same quality of service that N’Orleans is getting from FEMA?

Didn’t seem to please this person much. In fact, I think I got his/her goat.

As in completely abolishing county payroll – including the sheriffs dept!
As in doing away with all building codes, health codes, traffic laws, well that was where a bug flew in my mouth and broke the spell…
Seriously this guy that was running for County Commissioner was spellbinding in his zeal and fervor and that he was actually serious. This was probably 6 years ago.
Even though I tend to vote for R’s more than D’s I don’t approve of either of the examples or your distorted view of them.
While I believe that abortion is murder; I also believe in God who created man & woman and whose first gift to us was free choice. Since we have free choice it seems illogical to say I know better than God and to take that gift away from someone.

Now, abolishing the county payroll would be a rather extreme first step, but at least that would be a reduction in gov’t. I’ll give him points for being consistent. However, every LP candidate who attempts to ‘incrementalize’ the reduction in gov’t, is vilified by the hard core members of the LP for not being ‘real libertarians’. What you get as a result is a candidate like him, and a reaction like the above.

As for the second point, there isn’t any reason why those codes cannot be handled by the ‘private sector’. Traffic laws would be enforced by the highway owners, building codes by the design professionals in the area. Health codes are the stupidest of all. It’s in the food services interest to visibly comply with common sense health rules. A prime example of a service that could be provided on a pay basis, taking another burden off of the taxpayer.

As someone who votes for ‘R’s, I would expect some sympathy for ideas that reduce the size of gov’t, not ridicule. I’m sure the LP candidate in question was serious. I’m equally serious; something has to give, and the average tax payer is tired of giving. It’s the gov’ts turn to give.

As for the ‘view’ that I presented, It’s wasn’t a viewpoint. What I did was present a logical extrapolation of a stated goal for each of the two ‘major’ parties. That most people don’t recognize the obvious flaws in their favorite political parties stated good intentioned goals is why we are on the road to hell right now.

This also is not a viewpoint:

abortion isn’t murder, because there is no human life without brain activity. Those are just the facts. That many people disagree and say that they know or ‘believe’ otherwise is just an example of them simply denying the known facts in a given situation.

If you believe in free choice, then you are definitely wasting your vote pulling a lever with an ‘R’ or a ‘D’ next to it. There won’t be any choices left to make if things aren’t changed (and that’s even if the Democrat’s return to leadership) There will soon be only that behavior which is compelled by law, and that behavior which is forbidden by law. There will be nothing in between; except perhaps, behavior they are still drafting legislation to ‘control’.

Harry Browne

He was the first presidential candidate that I actually believed in when I cast my vote for him (two times, even) I wish I could say he was “my friend” or that I “knew him well”, but we only met briefly, once during each campaign. He had what was needed in a presidential candidate, that air of confidence and and charisma that makes you want to trust him.

We’ll miss you, Harry.

Here’s a bit of him in his own words (thx to TL Knapp for the link)
I Love America. Do You?

When are Taxes not Theft?

Heard on the radio today that Austin is going to give 3 million dollars as an incentive to HP so that they’ll graciously relocate here. Oh, I know, they aren’t actually ‘giving’ anything. They’re offering incentives (rebates on taxes) and I’m sure you and I won’t even notice that HP (the multi-national corporation) isn’t paying the same property taxes that us working stiffs are.

Why should we care when we as living, existing entities with limited time in this world are stolen from on a daily basis while a corporation with no real existence and no limit on their lifespan (profitable or not) gets a free pass for 10 years (about a quarter of the average persons working life) and has potentially centuries to make however many millions it is destined to make.

So, to get to the point, when are Taxes not Theft?

When the tax is levied on an legal entity that has no physical being to maintain. When the tax is levied on creatures of law that have no existence outside of law; if the cost of maintaining it’s existence is the maintenance of gov’t and law, can any cost be considered ‘unreasonable’? Can any cost short of self destruction be considered theft, since the alternative is for them to cease to exist?

Taxes levied on creatures of the state cannot be ruled theft. Corporations and other creatures of law, government sheltered businesses of any kind, should carry the burden of gov’t since they owe their very existence to government in the first place, and would have no ability to continue in existence without it.

In my opinion, this is the answer to the age old question of how to fund government. Let those who profit from it, those who would have no existence with out it, pay for it. Starting with corporations like HP.

Might *doesn’t* Make Right

Got into one of those discussions this weekend (I don’t know how I manage to do this so often) someone insisting that the use, or threat of use of force, is required routinely to provide a ‘safe and secure’ society.

When I offered the counter observation that it was hardly the case, and that most poeple would rather do anything to avoid a fight, it was scoffed at; never mind that day after day, time after time, events transpire to prove that people will tend to avoid confrontation if they can.

(one might even argue that it would be a better world if only more people felt there were things worth fighting for, but don’t get me started)

That there are people who only respect force is a given, in my book. That is one of the core reasons that some form of government will always be necessary. Self government only works if you are intelligent enough to modify your own behavior when your desires drive you to take what isn’t yours or in some way transgress the ‘normal’ code of conduct that is currently enforced as law. That there isn’t daily killings on the highway for transgressions of driving ettiquette is all the proof that I need that most people are capable of self government.

If Might made Right, then anything achieved by force would be acceptable to the sensibilities of people in general. Logically, if the use of force “made right”, then I’m not sure what business anyone has objecting to anything that is done to him. Obviously it’s ‘right’ if it can be done, given that force is the only measurement of ‘right’ (being what the word ‘makes’ means) if you accept the statement as true. That people object, and that some people will respond with force (also known as self defense; a concept near and dear to my heart) proves that Might Doesn’t make Right. Not even ‘Right now’.

Lucky for the rest of us. I guess I’ll have to add a few more names to the book, though. The record of people that I will need to apply force to if I ever want anything out of them…

Downward Spiral Continues

Mentioned Steve Kubby the other day; I also blogged about the Downward Spiral that the system seems to be caught in.

Well, Steve isn’t getting any better, he’s getting worse. A quick scan of articles on the subject should make that quite obvious. The people responsible for holding him in prison are getting cold feet, made him sign a waiver of liability in case he should die in their prison. I imagine that they want us all to think that locking a man up and keeping him from taking what he believes will save his life, which will most likely cause his death, shouldn’t be held against the prison system. Like prison guards anywhere, they should understand that ‘just doing their jobs’ isn’t a good enough excuse.

Which brings me to Cory Maye. Cory Maye did what that friend of mine had a nightmare of doing. The nightmare continues for him. I don’t see why this man should sit on death row for something that any of us should not be afraid to do; shoot unidentified intruders who break into our houses in the middle of the night. It’s a point in the favor of the policemen involved that Cory Maye isn’t dead; most of the people who resist the police in these types of situations end up with several bullets in them.

If those backing ‘total law enforcement’ don’t like that Cory Maye can shoot a policeman and not be killed in return; I suggest that in the future, the police avoid being mistaken for petty criminals involved in smash and grab burglaries, not prosecute the average citizen for defending himself.

Why I am a Libertarian

Another historical piece from the archive. On rereading it, I remembered that I had used a little literary license in writing the piece.

The first time I heard the word ‘Libertarian’ was at the Texas State Capitol building, about ten days before the the Gulf War in ’91. During an anti-war protest there, I got to talking to Terry Liberty Parker, and he mentioned that Libertarians were against the war, unlike the Dems. I have since fallen out of friendship with Mr. Parker (and, in fact, his behavior is at the core of why I’ve become inactive in the party both times it’s happened) but I will always be in his debt for introducing me to the party.

I had said several times prior to that event, in discussions with ‘the wife’, if I was given a choice between socialism and fascism, I would choose socialism because you live longer (socialists just want your money, fascists want you to agree with them philosophically, or they shoot you. Or at least that’s what I thought at the time) but I could not understand how the Democrats (the party of Jefferson, the party that cast itself as the opposition to the Vietnam war) would be in support of a war that was not in our own interest. I was all for getting involved with a group that wanted to end the military adventurism that we’ve been involved in since the end of WWII, so I started looking for libertarian meetings and talking to libertarians when I found them.

I was already an Objectivist, I had read most of Rand by that time and found her philosophical outlook to be very much like my own, so I was already ‘in tune’ with the core of Libertarian thought. At some point I took the “World’s Smallest Political Quiz” and found that I was a dead center Libertarian (These days I’m nearly 100/100 on the chart) I spent a good bit of time in the old TCLP office on Middle Fiskville Rd. talking to Bruce Baechler, and I think he was the one who made me feel most comfortable with supporting Libertarians as more than just a protest vote.

Anyway, what follows was what I posted in response to a request for “Why I am a Libertarian” articles. The ‘Republicans coming to power’ was Reagan in ’80. I thought Carter was a great president at the time. ‘The wife’ still does; don’t hold it against her, though. She hates the current Democrats.

I am a libertarian because I believe, first and foremost, in the concept of limited government. Most people, when told this will exclaim “ah, you are a Republican”. Nothing could be farther from the truth.

Before I discovered the Nolan chart ( and through it the LP, I was a staunch yellow dog Democrat, like my parents and grandparents before them. I believed that government was there to help, and that social freedoms could be taken for granted under the Democrat’s benign rule. But I was at a loss to explain why the drug war persisted, why the term PC was ever created and why taxes were increased, even in the face of Democrat dominated legislatures and presidents.

When the Republicans came to power, they talked of reducing the size and expense of government. My fellow Democrats cried over this, but I could not understand how reducing government, and the tax burdens on the people, was necessarily a ‘bad’ thing. Strangely, the cost of government never got smaller. The Republicans did reduce taxes, but the debt burden passed on to the next generation went through the roof. I started to think that the politicians were not being truthful with us; and if they were lying to us about their intentions, then what else were they lying to us about?

It took eight years of a Democrat president to convince me of the truth that I know today: If a politician has words coming out of his mouth, he’s most likely lying. You well may laugh, but to an honest man, this was shocking. I discovered something else in the course of nearly 30 years of following politics: Government is a weapon. It is a loaded gun that you point at wrong doers to make them stop what they are doing. That is the only ‘help’ that government can give; and it doesn’t even do that cheaply. If you want government to do something for you, then you are employing force to get it done.

Everything that government does can be done by private industry better, faster and cheaper. The fewer government run programs, the less force that is present in our system; less force means more freedom. Jefferson and those who started the ball rolling way back when understood this. They were Democrats. Because of this, I was a Democrat. What I did not realize was that the allegiances of the parties have shifted over the course of 200+ years, which brings us back to the Nolan chart, and the LP.

Chart the beliefs of the founders, and nearly to a man they will turn up Libertarian; Jefferson was solidly so. When I took the test, I too charted as solidly Libertarian. It has been more than 10 years since I took the test, lodging protest votes against the two major parties, discussing issues with fellow libertarians; and it’s been only recently that I have come to the realization that I was indeed a Libertarian in belief, and not just a political misfit.

Ask any libertarian why they are what they are, and you will get a different story. Some are former Republicans and some, like me, are former Democrats. Most of them are of the younger generation, fresh out of college and worried about the future they face at the hands of an ever-expanding federal government. If there is a core libertarian belief, then that is a good portion of it; the requirement that government at least return to constitutional limits, and be responsive to the people who fund it. That force not be employed except in response to force. That we are all capable of governing ourselves, just as has been done throughout our history. We are the Libertarian Party, and we are here to stay.

Editor’s note: June 11, 2016.  The wife of the blowjob president is the presumptive nominee for the Democratic party and I support her.  It is a weird world we live in.  I still have libertarian delusions but I have medications that keep those in check.

I used this article as a template for a submission to a local newsletter. It became my About Me blog entry until it was superseded by this one.

I just took the quiz for and I’m apparently a Sanders supporter. Which is weird because I like Hillary Clinton better as a leader.  Proven track record as a leader.  I’m good with that. Still weird. Still liberal.

Steve Kubby and the “Insane War on Drugs”

Actually, when you understand who Steve Kubby is and what he’s gone through then you pretty much have a picture of just how insane the War on Drugs really is. The Administration is willing to kill this man simply to prove that they have the right to kill him by denying him his medicine. Who voted for these nutjobs anyway?

Gonna crib some text from Knappster here:

Steve Kubby update on Brad Spangler’s blog

Update from Michele Kubby on Hammer of Truth

Let’s try to keep the focus where it belongs, folks: On saving Steve’s life.

Ideally There Would Be No Idealists

So I get a response from Mr. Bylund the other day to my Blog entry, and I keep meaning to write up my own reply, and just never get around to it. I am a man of many passions (as this blog should quite readily show) I once spent an (in hindsight) inordinate amount of time on politics and political thought, but those days are quickly receding into the past. Much like the message he sent me.

Then, lo and behold, I notice he’s added comments to the blog entry itself.

Hello Mr. Bylund, I’m not ignoring you, I just think that achieving the anarchist ideal ranks somewhere behind science fiction fandom and humor (and living in the here and now) on the importance list. I establish my own values, just like I know and uphold my own rights; I don’t look to government to maintain them for me, but to abstain from violating them in the process of doing it’s legitimate work.

I read your comments through several times. This is the paragraph which I feel the need to specifically address:

To minarchists, the anarchist position is utterly utopian, perhaps even idealistic, and they conclude it would not work. Such a society could quickly degenerate into chaos and misery since there is no final arbiter in conflicts and no power to leash or control the evils unavoidably existent in society. The reasoning is that there needs to be something larger, but external to the market, setting the basic rules and enforcing them. Without the enforcement of rights, there are no rights.

The key phrase here is final arbiter. Government is legitimate, in my estimation, when it:

  1. Violates no rights in maintaining its existence.
  2. Acts only as the final arbiter in a conflict.

While I don’t know of any government that meets this criteria that is currently in existence, I believe that it is possible to attain (I would, in fact, refer to Nozick’s state as Government; because that is the word that fits the purpose being served) What I do hear from Anarchists that argue with me on the necessity of government is that they have a plan to substitute the structure that is government for another structure which does essentially the same job, but isn’t government. My counter argument will always be “a rose by any other name”; it is still government no matter what it is called.

When I point out to them that Anarchy is chaos, by definition; and that political Anarchy, to be true to its definition, would require that there is no structure (which I will always call government) in order for it to be called Anarchy,that the resultant society would be chaotic and prone to instability, which most likely would lead (and has lead in the past) to more repressive forms of government taking root, I’m told that I just don’t get it.

But I do get it. The anarchists want to use the word anarchy to serve as a figurehead for something that isn’t anarchy but will be different from the current government structure; a tactic which has and most likely will backfire again when acted upon. Which is why I bother to argue about this in the first place.

Utopian and Idealist visions have lead to some of the worst hell holes on the planet. During the time of the Russian revolution, Anarchists and Socialists were brothers in the same cause; fighting to bring change to a Russian society that, without a doubt, desperately needed it. The idealist Anarchists of the time thought that if they could just get rid of the Czar the social utopia of Communism (which is a governmentless form of society, an anarchy; at least as Marx envisioned it) would soon follow. I think history will show it turned out differently.

No, I’m not saying that Anarchists are Communists. The Wiki entry should plainly show, if nothing else, that Anarchists don’t even know what Anarchists are. Which is fitting, considering the definition of the word anarchy. Chaos is its own definition.

Every time I find myself butting heads with someone politically, I discover that the someone in question has some ‘ideal’ vision in his head concerning what should be the way things work; a Utopia for which they just won’t accept any substitutions. Unfortunately reality doesn’t consult with us concerning it’s inner workings. In an ideal world, there would be no idealists. That’s my idea of utopia. You can thank your lucky stars that I don’t believe in Utopias.

If we want structures to serve the purposes we intend for them, then we have to look at the constraints that reality places on us and design them to fit. Self-funding support bodies for essential government functions (i.e. the cost of police and fire departments being funded by the insurance companies and land owners that profit from their existence) is just one vein of thought on the subject. Government structures that don’t violate rights simply by existing in the first place.

Suffice it to say I’ve put some thought into this, and I doubt that there is much that can be said that will sway me from my opinion.