The Alternative Currency of a 19th Century Abolitionist

Via The Daily Bell

Have you ever had the dream of starting your own society? What about introducing a new currency? Turns out Bitcoin was far from the first private currency.

Josiah Warren didn’t like the political system, and he didn’t like the economic system, so he started his own little alternative community, with a unique medium of exchange. Warren actually started multiple “anarchist” micro-societies, with varying levels of success. Although he never called himself an anarchist, he believed in individual freedom to the point that he argued government was inherently a violation of rights. Continue reading

Welcome! Take a Free Book

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First off, welcome to my blog, where you can read about freedom, philosophy, and the future!

I am a writer and mini-farming living on the panhandle of Florida; a transplant from Massachusetts.

And you heard right, I am giving away my latest novella! You can now read my 2016 dystopian thriller “Flight Grounded” for free, just by signing up for my email list.

(I’m not going to send you many emails, only when I actually have something new to share with you. Expect an email about once a week.)

This blog was once geared towards politics and government, but I now write on those subjects for The Daily Bell.

Here you can expect philosophical musings on life, posts about the mini-farm on which I live and work, and my experiences traveling.

Freedom is my passion, and themes of liberation are woven into essentially all my writing. I want to build a future that will only get better for future generations.

My vision is nothing like what we have experienced on Earth before, but I am not pessimistic about the possibilities of changing that trajectory.

Continue reading

The Elizabeth Warren Hype Escalates

This past April I wrote an article suggesting we would begin to see Elizabeth Warren touted in the news as a 2016 Democrat Presidential nominee favorite, and viable alternative to Hillary Clinton.

But why bring up this old issue of the insulting statements made by the President and one random Senator? Because this “random Senator” is shaping up to “pull an Obama” in 2016. Remember how you had never heard of Obama, and then all of the sudden the freshman Senator from Illinois was the President? He had not even been a Senator for 4 years when he was elected President, and the media made a bigger deal about the Republican Vice Presidentialcandidate’s short tenure as Governor of Alaska. The 2008 election was not about women, it was about race. And anyway, conservative women are not victims of the “war on women”.

It was all about race. If you didn’t like Obama, well you were just harboring racist feelings. And its not Fast and Furious, or the refusal to prosecute black panthers, or his career as a Wall Street defense attorney, or his investigations of reporters that made you dislike Attorney General Eric Holder, its just because he is black. But that card has been warn out over the past 6 years, and the “war on women” rhetoric has heated up. This strategy is out of the same playbook:make the establishment seem anti-establishment by playing the victim. A vote for Obama was “a vote against racism”. And this time around the Democratic nominee will garner “votes against sexism”. And naturally the pick would be Hillary Clinton; after all she is crazy far ahead in the polls, a strong independent woman, and everyone knows her name.

But there’s a hushed buzz running through the Democratic party and liberal circles that suggests Elizabeth Warren could “pull an Obama”, come out of nowhere and be the next President before we know what hit us. This is what happened with Obama and the media love fest surrounding him, and drowning out any critics. The old cry from the sheep herd of “four legs good, two legs bad” had turned into “four legs good, two legs better” within just a few nights. His lack of experience was not a concern, even though Palin (again the media focus being on the GOP Vice Presidential candidate) had more executive experience than Obama.

Now, 3 months later, when “Elizabeth Warren” is searched on Google news, 8 of the first 10 articles are about a potential run for President in 2016 by the Senator from Massachusetts. It just seems strange to me that Democrats are so eager to pick first term Senators for their Presidential nominees.

My main problem with Warren is her typical politician dishonesty, as well as her outright hatred for the free market, and indeed businesses in general. Her attitude is that government solves problems, government is the only way to grow the economy, and that since people are bad we need to keep them in check with a government made up of people.

I’m not sure “the people” pick the President anymore. The media pretty much take their orders from above, and turn that into public opinion. People think that Warren would reign in Wall Street, but that is absurd! The only reason Wall Street has power is because they are in a crony capitalist relationship with the government. And Warren’s solution is more government regulation! I don’t understand how people could be so naive.

That’s why the only reason I would support a Presidential candidate is if I actually think they would reduce the size of government, and the power government has over our lives. If there is someone who would deescalate the police state, stop nation building, and make the market free by taking subsidies, grants, bailouts, and loans off the table, I would support them. But I am starting to think that might be too much to hope for in this day and age.

Miami-Dade Police: Arm Yourselves if You Want to be Safe

I’m not sure if this police officer was trying to use scare tactics to keep his budget in tact, but he ended up reminding citizens that the police will not protect you: that’s on you. Apparently $64 million is being cut from the Miami-Dade police budget, which will include closing 1 station out of 9, and downsizing the force by up to 600 officers. If the budget cut stays in place, the “Incident Management Team, Sport Unit, Tactical Narcotics Team, and one of the three Special Response Teams in the city would be disbanded.”

Maybe I’m a cynic, but 600 fewer cops sounds like people will be safer to me. Especially if they take the police officer’s advice, and arm themselves.

Rivera said, “If the mayor’s not going to provide security, then my recommendation, as an experienced law enforcement officer for nearly 40 years, is either buy yourself an attack dog, put bars on your windows and doors and get yourself some firearms because you’re going to have to protect yourselves.”

Sound advice. But I think he forgot that we have always had to protect ourselves. How many murders are thwarted by cops? They come and they do an investigation, sometimes bring someone to justice, and this is supposed to deter future crime. You call 911 and the cops show up after the criminals are gone—again to the credit of the police, sometimes they catch the criminals. But the supreme court has specifically said it is not the duty of police to protect civilians, according to FreeRepublic.com.

“You, and only you, are responsible for your security and the security of your family and loved ones. That was the essence of a U.S. Supreme Court decision in the early 1980’s when they ruled that the police do not have a duty to protect you as an individual, but to protect society as a whole.”

The idea is that they protect society as a whole by providing deterrence to crime, because there is someone to come and find you. Of course, if we weren’t compelled to pay for guvment “security” most people would use that same amount of money to buy their own, who would still probably not be on site when you are victimized, but would almost certainly have a better track record in bringing real criminals to justice (because right now we are paying for pot smokers to be arrested, and jay-walkers harassed).

But still, when someone breaks into your house, or when someone assaults you on the street, the chances are overwhelmingly that there will be no one there to save you… unless you’ve got your good friends with you, Smith and Wesson.

Let’s Keep Putting People at Risk with Stupid Gun Control Proposals based on Emotion

A writer for the Daily Beast says it is time to “think big or shut up on gun control”. I suggest he choose the “shut up” option because as the proverb, and various historical figures have said, “it is better to remain silent and be thought a fool, than to speak and remove all doubt”.

The author begins by saying, “Making the same arguments over and over isn’t changing anything.” I guess his solution was to abandon all arguments, and illogically appeal to emotion. The problem is that he pretends if only enough people felt sad when guns are mentioned, gun violence would be prevented. His other suggestions include keeping guns out of normal people’s hands… which is the same argument that has been made over and over again. Perhaps the 5 million member strong NRA is not a “special interest group”, but rather represents what mainstream America knows: you cannot stop the guilty by punishing the innocent.

1. Grassroots activism targeting corporations. A band of courageous mothers lead by Shannon Watts have created “Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense” and are engaged in a grassroots campaign in same vein as Mothers Against Drunk Driving. They not only protested outside the NRA’s national convention, they have been effective in convincing Chipotle and Starbucks to not allow open carry of weapons in their stores and have now set their sights on Target.

First off, Shannon Watts, aka Shannon Troughton has been in public relations for years, as opposed to her image as a home grown activist who just couldn’t take the violence anymore. No, she has worked for corporations like Monsanto in public relations, and is skilled at manipulating corporations and the media. So she was very at home convincing Chipotle and Starbucks to make their stores more dangerous by declaring them personal protection free zones. Jack in the Box has been robbed at gunpoint 3 times since the CEO asked people to leave their guns at home. A North Carolina restaurant with a “no guns allowed” sign was also robbed at gunpoint on May 19. So really Shannon and her group are trying to make Chipotle, Starbucks, Hallmark, and Target less safe for workers and customers, asking them to be defenseless in the name of ideology. Well Target and Hallmark employees have moms too, and their moms don’t want them to be murdered either.

Shannon also recently responded to the claim that good guys with guns stop bad guys with guns by saying, “This has never happened. Data shows it doesn’t happen.” In addition to the examples in the article of good guys with guns stopping bad guys, a CDC report found that more lives are saved each year in the USA by someone using a gun than taken. The claim is even more ludicrous when you consider that police take down bad guys with guns everyday, but police cannot be everywhere.  So while moms demand action, anyone who can think knows that double-action works better to stop a criminal. Oh, and by the way, I didn’t see any of the protesters outside the NRA annual meeting.

The author of the Daily Beast article also suggests holding up pictures of dead people so that “something will be done” about gun violence. I think posting pictures of dead criminals–shot by good guys’ guns–would be more effective. Or maybe suing the NRA would help, he suggests, since if they hadn’t opposed particular gun laws, lives could have been saved. And I would in turn suggest suing Mom’s Demand Action if anyone you know is killed in a gun free zone. And while we’re at it, let’s sue Ford if someone dies in a car, and sue the farmers’ market if someone chokes on a carrot. What about the ACLU lobbying to protect Fourth and Fifth amendment rights? We could sue them if they keep criminals on the street by refusing to allow cops to search and arrest anyone arbitrarily.

4. Rewrite the Second Amendment. I’m not saying repeal it, but take a page from the pro-gun lobby who for 20-plus years preached, wrote academic papers, held seminars, etc., to support the then-radical notion that the Second Amendment bestowed a personal right to own a gun, thus making it more challenging to enact laws that restrict access to them. Of course, the Second Amendment says no such thing.

Except, of course, when it says exactly that, in plain black and white. “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.” (Emphasis added). Such a radical notion that the Bill of Rights refers to individual freedom! Let’s see what some other amendments refer to. (Emphasis added).

First Amendment: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Fourth Amendment: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

Ninth Amendment: “The enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people.”

Does the author really think that “the right of the people” or “the people” does not refer to individual rights? Or does only the American military have the right to peaceably assemble? Somehow “the people” does not refer to an individual right in the Second Amendment, but does when referring to the right to free speech, the right to be secure against unreasonable searches, the right to practice or not practice a religion? Obviously “the people” in the Constitution means each individual has whatever right is being discussed.

And just in case there was any doubt, the Ninth Amendment clears it up: these aren’t the people’s only rights. They also have natural rights, that cannot be denied, even when they aren’t specifically mentioned in the Constitution. One of these natural rights is to protect myself when someone threatens my life or my property. And an attempt to disarm me, and make me submit to the will of a criminal because I follow the laws, denies and disparages my right to life, my right to defense, my right to property.

These idiotic suggestions are not new, they are not “thinking big”, they are the same old punish the innocent, disarm the people that follow the laws, ignore the real problem, demonize the good guys, put yourself at risk, and submit to criminals propositions that are paraded as a way to “make us safe”. Well the author said it himself, it is time to think big or shut up on gun control. Since he is obviously incapable of thinking (let alone thinking big), then it is time he shut up, instead of creating a giant hunting preserve for the criminally insane.

Discussing the NRA Convention on “Under the Gun”

Harry Jarvis at the NRA Annual Meeting, (host of "Under the Gun").

Harry Jarvis at the NRA Annual Meeting, (host of “Under the Gun”).

Joe Jarvis at the NRA Annual Meeting

Joe Jarvis at the NRA Annual Meeting

Check out last week’s recording of “Under the Gun” on WMRC radio, where host Harry and I talk about our experience at this year’s NRA convention in Indianapolis, Indiana. We discuss which speakers we thought were the best, and the attitude of the speakers and politicians present towards lax security (and at the same time the best security). Listen below!

 

Government Fears Iron Grip on Media Slipping

What happened to free speech? Just a reminder to everyone, the First Amendment of the Bill of Rights says (emphasis added):

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

So if a government agency was to, say, regulate news outlets to ban them from endorsing a political candidate… would that violate the First Amendment? I suppose if we interpret “Congress shall make no law… abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press” to mean “Congress can make a law abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press—if it’s for a really good reason!” then, no, that seems fine, nothing to see here, move along.

But now the government is not satisfied with the annihilation of free speech already forced upon PAC’s, they want to also censor internet news outlets, because their stranglehold on TV media is slipping, and they have to protect their phony bologna jobs. And what happens when regulatory power is given to government? Selective enforcement of regulations, or regulations to “level the playing field” are brought out to destroy whatever competitor is not paying off the right politicians, or propagating the correct point on their media outlet. I’ve actually written about this a lot lately, sparked by Comcast’s merger with Time Warner Cable which the FCC and Justice Department must approve.

News outlets like Drudge Report and other internet media are in the FCC’s crosshairs because they cannot regulate them the same way they regulate broadcast television, you know, for the good of the children.

Liberals over the years have also pushed for a change in the Federal Communications Commission‘s “fairness doctrine” to cut of conservative voices, and retired Supreme CourtJustice John Paul Stevens has delighted Democrats recently with a proposed Constitutional amendment that some say could force the media to stop endorsing candidates or promoting issues.

Well maybe I should give Justice Stevens credit; at least he thinks the Constitution should be amended in order to steal the rights of the people in favor of government overlordship, while most politicians and government bureaucrats just ignore the Bill of Rights completely! But to think that a man who once sat on the Supreme Court with the sole job of interpreting the black and white words in the Constitution wants to kill the First Amendment, an amendment apparently important enough to the Founders to put it first, is a scary prospect indeed—especially knowing that most decisions are decided 5-4.

But as the FCC’s power wanes and media is moved to the internet, don’t expect them to go down without a fight. They are making bold moves in an attempt to redefine the mission of the FCC to regulate all communications whatsoever, in flagrant disregard to the First Amendment, which anyone who can read can clearly see prohibits regulation of free speech and media. Maybe that’s the point of Common Core, if no one can read (or think), then it doesn’t really matter what the Constitution says, does it?

All animals are equal, but some animals are more equal than others. -Animal Farm

Rallying for our Rights: NRA Annual Meeting

Tens of thousands of NRA members and other gun enthusiasts descended upon Indianapolis, Indiana this past weekend to attend the National Rifle Association annual meeting, rally, and “9 acres of guns and gear”! It was carnage, there was blood in the streets, and the bodies piled so high by Sunday night that front end loaders were brought in to clear the way for traffic. Just kidding! It was the safest city in the world this weekend because there were thousands upon thousands of “good guys” with guns—and oddly enough not a “bad guy” to be seen.

At the Leadership Forum on Friday many politicians spoke, the theme seeming to broaden this year beyond merely the Second Amendment to include freedom in general. There was plenty of criticism for Michael Bloomberg and his coming efforts to disarm law abiding citizens by spending $50 million of his own money in this year’s midterms. To that, the NRA responded with an ad entitled “Bloomberg’s Millions”, calling attention to the fact that he is injecting millions to influence politics; a common criticism from the left of other billionaires who donate to Constitutional causes.

 

My favorite speakers were probably the Governor of Indiana Mike Pence, and the Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clark. The Governor was articulate and uncompromising in his proclamation of freedom and support for the Bill of Rights, of course including the Second Amendment. As Governor he has helped Indiana accomplish great things like being one of the first states to allow concealed carry in their parks, which is absurd that most states would ban the practice of self defense in remote places where animals or psychos could attack a victim without help nearby.

After introducing his wife, Pence quipped “You know after meeting her 30 years ago, she had a motorcycle and a handgun; it was love at first sight”. Indiana has balanced budgets, one of the lowest unemployment rates, and is leading the way in school choice and educational improvement—and they’re doing it not because, but despite Common Core. Pence said “Here in the Hoosier state we believe education is a state and local function and decisions about curriculum, about standards, about text books should be made in the communities by the parents and families that are affected by them the most”.

Indiana has billions of reserve funds, and a triple A rating from all credit rating agencies in the USA. Taxes continue to be lowered in Indiana, with more scheduled over the next decade. Summarizing the theme of his short talk, Pence made sure to articulate that State governments must lead the way in restoring our rights, and taking power back from the federal government: “Despite what some may think in Washington DC our State governments are not territorial outposts of the national government… as Ronald Reagan said, ‘It’s important to remember that the States created the federal government, the federal government didn’t create the states'”.

Sheriff David A. Clark gave a fiery speech in defense of gun ownership as a way to protect oneself against criminals and tyranny alike. Clark criticized former Supreme Court Justice Stevens for suggesting that the Second Amendment be “clarified” by adding 5 words to only allow gun ownership “when serving in the militia”, which anyone who understands how to use commas knows was not the intent of the Second Amendment. In response Clark asked “Just what part of shall not be infringed does Justice Stevens not understand?” and said he would add his own 7 words to the end of the Second Amendment, “keep your hands off our guns damnit” to much applause.

The Sheriff used “smash-mouth politics” to call out the political elites who would disarm us, because they fear the people’s ability to resist tyranny and keep government in check. “The armed citizen made America free and the armed citizen will keep America free!” Clark also recounted multiple true stories from his county of armed citizens saving lives when being attacked by criminals who would otherwise have murdered and robbed them. “Those firearms in the hands of law abiding citizens saved-peoples’-lives.” Finally Clark reminded us all that the Declaration of Independence says it is our right and duty to throw off oppressive government and provide new guards for liberty.

Other guest speakers included radio personality Mark Levin, Colts kicker Adam Vineteiri, and Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal who all gave good humored and encouraging short speeches. The coldest response by the crowd was given to Senator Mitch McConnell who, while being good on guns, has still supported big government in the past; this showed me that the NRA members in the crowd had enough political knowledge to distinguish between their true proponents in the congress, and the ones who are all talk.

Walking around the “9 acres of guns and gear” I happened to run into Chris Cox, the NRA-ILA Executive Director who genuinely seemed humbled by the support of so many law abiding gun owners, and thanked me and my Dad, Harry of FirearmsAdvantage.com and host of WMRC’s “Under the Gun”, for coming all the way from Massachusetts. We also got to check out some pretty bad-ass guns which is always nice.

Joe Jarvis at the NRA Annual Meeting

Joe Jarvis at the NRA Annual Meeting (Creator of VigilantVote)

Harry Jarvis at the NRA Annual Meeting, (host of "Under the Gun").

Harry Jarvis at the NRA Annual Meeting, (host of “Under the Gun”).

At the “Stand and Fight” rally Sarah Palin made a quick appearance before country music star Sarah Evans took the stage followed by the classic country band Alabama. In between performers NRA CEO Wayne Lapierre spoke and asked the people in the crowd to show the diversity by standing when their profession was called. One by one the crowd of tens of thousands stood as Wayne thanked teachers, military men and women, those in the trades, business owners, stay at home moms and dads, police officers, retail workers, farmers, ranchers, nurses, doctors, and many more to great applause and cheers.

Indianapolis is a beautiful city with great restaurants and great beer. It was a fun and encouraging weekend to see so many freedom lovers who were engaged, polite, and pumped up! Join the NRA to support gun rights and fight back against evil billionaires like Michael Bloomberg who would disarm the law abiding citizens, pretending it would reduce crime while in reality causing death, as more people are saved by guns than killed with them each year in America. “Stand and Fight!”

Listen to “Under the Gun” here

Last week Harry from “Under the Gun” on WMRC radio had me on to discuss guns, politics, and government. We addressed the protests in Venezuela and the inability of the civilians to fight back against a murderous, torturous government. We discussed the violation by the Federal government of various rights, enshrined in the Bill of Rights, and how ridiculous it would seem if we all needed to get a free speech permit. We talk about the centralization of power, and victimless crimes. Click below to listen to the half hour show!