Why Do Libertarians Pay Taxes?|
It never fails. Every time I write anything about taxes I get long, rambling e-mails from tax trolls who scour the Internet looking for articles about taxes so they can contact the writers and impress them with their knowledge of the tax code.
These tax trolls usually call themselves "non-taxpayers." They say things like: paying taxes is voluntary, the Sixteenth Amendment was not properly ratified, most Americans aren't required to pay income tax, many Americans have gotten refund... (more)
Do We Need to Bring Back Internment Camps?|
Last week, Retired General Wesley Clark, who was NATO commander during the US bombing of Serbia, proposed that "disloyal Americans" be sent to internment camps for the "duration of the conflict." Discussing the recent military base shootings in Chattanooga, TN, in which five US service members were killed, Clark recalled the internment of American citizens during World War II who were merely suspected of having Nazi sympathies. He said: "back then we didn't say 'that was freedom of speech,' we p... (more)
The Sorry State of Race Relations|
The headline story last week was as disturbing as it was ironic. The Gallup poll reveals that both blacks and whites think race relations are generally bad, and by wide margins. In general, two thirds of survey respondents say that people are not getting along and that tension is high.
The striking fact: this is the reverse of what people believed in the days after t... (more)
First, They Came for the Bar Owners...|
Chris Penner, owner of the Twilight Room Annex club in Portland, Oregon, had bills to pay and a payroll to meet. He called up his business account only to find that it had been completely drained.
“All my money was gone,” Penner later related to the Oregonian newspaper. He was shocked, but not completely surprised, by this development: “I raced to the bank, ... (more)
The American Nightmare: The Tyranny of the Criminal Justice System|
How can the life of such a man
Be in the palm of some fool’s hand?
To see him obviously framed
Couldn’t help but make me feel ashamed to live in a land
Where justice is a game.—Bob Dylan, “Hurricane”
Justice in America is not all it’s cracked up to be.
Just ask Jeffrey Deskovic, who spent 16 years in prison for a rape and murder he did ... (more)
Trump Is Right: John McCain is Not A Hero|
On July 18th, Donald Trump enraged fellow Republicans by stating that Arizona Senator John McCain is “not a war hero." Trump referenced McCain’s imprisonment by the North Vietnamese stating, "I like people that weren’t captured."
Americans like to think of all their armed servicemen as heroic, and this is especially true of McCain, a POW who was imprisone... (more)
Authoritarians Like Twitter, Too|
In May 2014, CNN aired footage of a Ukrainian helicopter being shot by pro-Russian militants. Taken with a cell phone camera and posted on social media, the video showed compelling evidence of the scale and technological sophistication of the Ukrainian conflict.
The video was also fake — it was actually over a year old, and from Syria. CNN retracted the footage and apologized, but the “incident” was still widely discu... (more)
Cops and Donuts Don't Mix|
On a Sunday morning early last summer, I was driving south across the Potomac River to a hike in Fairfax County, Virginia. The previous night the hike leader posted online a map of the jaunt. It looked like a typical suburban stroll until I saw a Dunkin' Donuts marked near the start point. As the Food and Drug Administration has warned, donuts can be addictive and publicizing the location of donut stores can utterly destroy people's free will. (Or maybe I am confusing this with the FDA's hectori... (more)
The Intellectual Intolerance Behind "Check Your Privilege"|
A decade ago, no one had ever been told to “check your privilege.” Now it commands an appreciable “market share” in academia and social justice rhetoric. But it does so despite sharply opposed interpretations of its meaning. In fact, its expanded footprint is partly because of its ambiguity.
It Could Be an Invitation to Debate
In a sense, “check your privilege” largely amounts to “check your premises” behind your views, and many are willing to recognize that ... (more)
Operation Jade Helm and Texas 'Paranoia'|
Mainstream statists are yucking it up over the so-called paranoia of Texas citizens who are concerned about the U.S. military's giant training exercise in the Southwest called Operation Jade Helm. "Yuck, yuck," the statists are exclaiming. "Those paranoid Texans!"
The statist idea, of course, is that the military is our friend -- our protector -- our god. The military establishment (and the CIA and NSA) keep us safe and secure from the terrorists, the communists, the drug dealers,... (more)
Trumpism: The Ideology|
It's not too interesting to say that Donald Trump is a nationalist and aspiring despot who is manipulating bourgeois resentment, nativism, and ignorance to feed his power lust. It's uninteresting because it is obviously true. It's so true that stating it sounds more like an observation than a criticism.
I just heard Trump speak live. It was an awesome experience, like an interwar sÃ©ance of once-powerful dictators who inspired multitudes, drove countries into the ground, and died ... (more)
Administrative "Law" and the Tyranny of "Tolerance"|
In a collectivist society, “offenses” aren’t defined by behavior, but rather by identity. This is compellingly illustrated by cases of Antonio Darden and Elaine Huguenin, New Mexico residents and business owners who, acting in the service of their principles, exercised their property rights by refusing service to potential customers.
Darden operates a hair salon in Santa Fe, where Republican Governor Susana Martinez has been a regular customer. Darden announced in 2013 th... (more)
Because Logic Is Hard: Under-30s Want To Legalize Weed But Outlaw Tobacco|
Young people want to end pot prohibition and expand it to tobacco prohibition, because logical consistency evidently takes a back seat to political schizophrenia.
From the UK Independent:
Cannabis should be legal and tobacco should be made illegal, according to a new survey for young people.... (more)
Greece Today, America Tomorrow?|
The drama over Greece’s financial crisis continues to dominate the headlines. As this column is being written, a deal may have been reached providing Greece with yet another bailout if the Greek government adopts new “austerity” measures. The deal will allow all sides to brag about how they came together to save the Greek economy and the European Monetary Union. However, this deal is merely a Band-Aid, not a permanent fix to Greece’s problems. So another crisis is inevitable.
The ... (more)
Jade Helm, Terrorist Attacks, Surveillance and Other Fairy Tales for a Gullible Nation|
“Strange how paranoia can link up with reality now and then.” ― Philip K. Dick, A Scanner Darkly
Once upon a time, there was a nation of people who believed everything they were told by their government.
When terrorists attacked the country, and government officials claimed to have been caught by surprise, the people believed them. And when the government passed massive laws aimed at locking down the nation and opening the door to total government surveillanc... (more)
Of Wedding Cakes and Puritanical Collectivism|
By declining to make a wedding cake for Rachel Cryer and Laurel Bowman, Aaron Klein and his wife Melissa saved the lesbian couple roughly $350. This is a case in which discrimination on the part of a business materially benefited the supposed victims – even before a Soviet-grade “civil rights” bureaucrat in Oregon ordered the business owners to pay $135,000 to the aggrieved couple.
In January 2013, the Kleins, who operated a bakery called “Sweetcakes by Melissa,” turned down t... (more)
Greeks Vote NO To EU-Imposed Austerity|
With 90% of the votes counted, the Greek people have voted 61% to 39% against accepting the latest round of austerity that the EU is trying to impose on the Greek people for the benefit of the One Percent. What is amazing is that 39% voted for the One Percent against their own interests. This 39% vote shows that propaganda works to convince people to vote against their own interest.
The vote was not a vote to leave the EU. With the backing of the Greek nation, the Greek government... (more)
Why Not an 'Independence From the State' Day?|
I'm about to witness my 61st "Independence Day" in the US Collective. And all I see forthcoming is still another celebration of failure, still another empty gesture from clueless citizen/slaves who have no independence.
The supposed "independence" noted and celebrated is recorded in the document known as The Declaration of Independence. Those enslaved by a king at that time, declared themselves subjects instead to some, as yet, undefined government master (later to be ... (more)
Self-Determination and Secession|
The secessionist impulse doesn't seem to be going away in Europe. This month, the Wall Street Journal reported that the latest drive for secession comes from Sardinia. The leaders of the movement propose that the island, only part of Italy since the 1860s, be joined to Switzerland instead.
The Sardinians have a tough row to hoe in convincing the S... (more)
Heresies Against the Imperium|
If Barack Obama is correct that white Americans are racist at a genetic level, shouldn’t this tendency be considered an inherent trait? Given the persistence of racism in the face of unremitting remedial action by government, should we regard it as an ineffaceable characteristic to be preserved and celebrated in the name of “diversity”?
Keeping Government Bureaucrats Off the Backs of the Citizenry: The Supreme Court Responds|
“No man in the wrong can stand up against a fellow that’s in the right and keeps on a-comin’.”—Texas Rangers
In one swoop, on June 22, 2015, a divided U.S. Supreme Court handed down three consecutive rulings affirming the right of raisin farmers, hotel owners and prison inmates. However, this push back against government abuse, government snooping and government theft only came about b... (more)
Obamacare Travesty: The Supreme Court Continues To Make Stuff Up Out Of Thin Air|
Thanks to the Supreme Court’s willingness to make stuff up, Obamacare has been saved once again. In order to save Obamacare from utter disaster, Chief Justice Roberts essentially rewrote the law. If you are thinking that the Supreme Court is not supposed to do that, you would be right. But this is what our judicial system has devolved into. When I was in law school, I was horrified to discover that most judges in our country just do whatever they feel like doing. Instead of applying the law... (more)
Why the Media is Blaming Everyone for the Charleston Shooting Except for the One Who Deserves It|
Dylann Roof fatally shot nine people. In a church. He chose to do it. It wasn't self-defense, it wasn't by mistake; it was premeditated, cold-blooded murder. It's hard to get any more evil than that.
But it seems that some people have trouble holding individuals accountable for what they do. One NBC story talked about how nice the killer's family is, and about how he had been a "sweet kid" when younger. Yes, a lot of other murderers were "sweet kids" at some point, too. So wha... (more)
Taylor Swift Vs. Apple: Post-Scarcity Growing Pains|
On June 22nd pop mega-star Taylor Swift, released an open letter to Apple Music, refusing to grant the company’s new music streaming service access to her newest album. Her letter was a response to Apple’s policy of not paying musicians whose work is listened to, by customers during their three month, free trial of Apple’s platform. ... (more)
Too Good for Government "Work": The Death of a Baton Rouge Peace Officer|
Every phone call that arrives after midnight is freighted with terrible expectations, and the one received Warrick Dunn at about 12:30 a.m. on January 7, 1993 bore the worst possible news.
“You need to get to the hospital – quick,” directed the caller, a Baton Rouge police officer. By the time the 18-year-old Warrick arrived, his 36-year-old mother, Betty Smothers, had died from gunshot wounds received during an ambush at a nearby bank. Betty was killed in the line of duty as a pr... (more)
Trump for President?|
Perhaps it has occurred to you as it has to me that the United States is no longer capable of producing political leadership. In the current issue of Trends Journal, Gerald Celente describes the eight candidates (at the time he went to press) for the US presidential nomination as “Liars, cowards, freaks & fools.”
Celente put it well. If you look at the sorry collection that aspires to be the CEO of what continues to be described as the “exceptional, indispensable, most important c... (more)
The Trouble with Kids Today: Too Much Deference to 'Authority,' Too Little Respect for Property|
We direct the fashionable outcry of each generation against those vices of which it is least in danger and fix its approval on the virtue nearest to that vice which we are trying to make endemic. The game is to have them running about with fire extinguishers whenever there is a flood, and all crowding to that side of the boat which is already nearly gunwale under… Cruel ages are put on their guard against Sentimentality, feckless and idle ones against Respectability, lecherous ones against Purit... (more)
How Policing Works in a Privatized City|
“All the common areas of Atlantic Station including the streets, sidewalks, parks, and alleys are private property.”
Thus reads one line buried in the Rules of Conduct for Atlantic Station, Atlanta, Georgia: a marvelous city within a city. But it’s this one line that makes the critical difference. It’s why this one-square mile in the heart of this great city has done more to model beauty, prosperity, diversity, and happy livi... (more)
Magna Carta and the Fantasy of Legal Constraints on States|
Magna Carta turns 800 years old today. The Great Charter is often hailed as the first event in a series of limitations on the power of government. For Americans, Marga Carta seems even more important because it is a document that was written and signed for the purpose of limiting the power of a monarch. Americans love grandiose gestures in the form of written documents such as Magna Carta and the Mayflower Compact and the Constitution of 1787, and the document is today taught to school children ... (more)
The Totalitarian Mindset of the 'Hurt Feelings' Industry|
Has freedom of speech become a thing of the past in America? College campuses now are intellectual prisons, and the thin-skinned offendotrons are the guards. And in post-9/11 America you can’t criticize the Regime without being called a “traitor” or “unpatriotic.” The political and social fascists and control freaks really seem to be trying to drive people into silence these days.
For example, on college campuses if you say something deemed offensive, you might actually receive a ... (more)
Socialism Is War and War Is Socialism|
“[Economic] planning does not accidentally deteriorate into the militarization of the economy; it is the militarization of the economy.… When the story of the Left is seen in this light, the idea of economic planning begins to appear not only accidentally but inherently reactionary. The theory of planning was, from its inception, modeled after feudal and militaristic organizations. Elements of the Left tried to transform it into a radical program, to fit into a progressive revolutionary vision.... (more)
"Blue Privilege" And The Criminal Enterprise Called The Idaho State Police|
“They’ve laid us out,” Idaho State Police Trooper Sam Ketchum reported in a text message to his superiors during an April 13, 2012 court hearing in Payette. The intended recipient was Lt. Colonel Ralph Powell, who would shortly be appointed ISP Director. “They” referred to ISP Corporals Quinn Carmack and Brandon Eller, who had – in defiance of expectations – testified truthfully in the preliminary hearing for ... (more)
What Bastiat Had to Say about Police Abuse|
When it comes to being employed by the government, membership has its privileges. How far do these privileges extend? It’s a question that is central to political philosophy. It is most poignantly addressed by one of my favorite pieces of writing, Frédéric Bastiat’s The Law (1850).
The same question is being debated on the streets in every US city today. Videos of citizen abuse at the hands of the police are everywhere. I... (more)
Slave or Rebel? Ten Principles for Escaping the Matrix and Standing Up to Tyranny|
"Until they become conscious, they will never rebel, and until after they have rebelled, they cannot become conscious."--George Orwell
The more things change, the more they stay the same.
It's a shell game intended to keep us focused on and distracted by all of the politically expedient things that are being said--about militarized police, surveillance, and government corruption--while the government continues to frogmarch us down the road toward outright tyr... (more)