“There is No Safety You Dumb Bitch,” a Lesson From Sandor Clegane, The Hound

Brienne of Tarth, in Game of Thrones, is noble in her cause, and intends to uphold an oath she swore to Lady Stark to keep her children safe. But she is also a bit naive about the nature of the world in which she lives.

Brienne thinks she can bring Arya to a safe place, wherever that is. But as The Hound so eloquently reminds her:

“There is no safety you dumb bitch. And if you don’t know that by now, you’re the wrong one to watch over her.”

Continue reading

Liberation: A Spiritual Hypothesis

I see two extremes in religious beliefs. On the one hand, during dark times people flock to religion for the promise of something better after death, since they have lost hope for something better in this life. On the flip side, people ignore religion, or are too distracted to engage themselves spiritually, when their lives are going well. Continue reading

Startup Societies are the Future

In the past I have fallen into the habit of talking about the problems society faces, mostly from coercive government. These are real problems of which most of us are aware, and there is copious discussion on these topics in older posts on this blog. But at some point, we need to stop identifying the problems with society, and start formulating solutions. Continue reading

You Don’t Always Need to Know How It Works, to Know It Works

This was shared by the Facebook page Emancipated Human:

Although I can talk at length as to how a Voluntary or Stateless society may function, the reality is that this is fundamentally irrelevant to the idea of true freedom. Do you know exactly how your laptop works? Do you know exactly how your cell phone works? Do you know exactly how Skype works? Do you know exactly how the Internet works? Do you know exactly how your e-mail account transmits an e-mail? Do you know exactly how your car works?

The reality is many of us live in complete ignorance of how all of these things work and yet we are still comfortable to buy them from people who know how they work. Likewise it is similarly unnecessary to know how society may be “structured” in the absence of the coercive monopoly on initiated aggression known as “government”.

My desire to be free has absolutely nothing to do with how the roads will be built, who will feed the poor, who will protect us from foreign invaders, who will protect us from thieves, rapists, and murderers, who will take care of the sick, who will look after the elderly, and who will educate our children.

Aside from the erroneous assumption that “government” is adequately doing these things already is the fact that theft, assault, rape, and murder on a colossal scale is occurring today even amidst such a swollen monstrosity as the United States “government”.

Our desire to protect ourselves from thieves, liars, and murderers has given us the insane belief that we will be protected from them if we put other thieves, liars, and murderers into power. Sane people do not seek to subjugate or rule their neighbor, let alone their town, county, city, state, or country. It is not only that power corrupts but that it attracts the corruptible and vile among us. The lust for power is more addictive than cocaine or heroin can ever be. Vacate the State! – DC

With economic knowledge of the free market, we can be sure that all those things government monopolizes and does horribly (keeping you safe, roads, helping the poor) would be done better. That doesn’t mean I have to know exactly how it would function, just as I don’t know exactly how everything in the grocery store ends up on the shelf every time I go in to buy it. But it does.

When things are in demand, and people are free to voluntarily supply those demands, and others can voluntarily accept the service or goods offered for the price, there is nothing else to worry about! Keeping an eye on businesses from which you can simply remove your funding voluntarily will produce much better results than forcing everyone to pay for things they may disagree with, not want, or not use.

But it is always still worth questioning how these things might happen in the absence of a coercive violent monopoly.

How might the roads be built?

How might populations be defended from invasion?

What would happen to the poor?

The case for improvement, even if it is not heaven on earth.

Interview on “Under the Gun” Talking About PorcFest

This is a recording from “Under the Gun” from a few weeks ago, where we discuss PorcFest, the Porcupine Freedom Festival. We talk about freedom in the true sense, where you not only care about your own freedom, but you respect others’ freedom as well. The only line that is drawn, is when someone is victimized. We also discuss the tax men that showed up at PorcFest, and how at the end of the day, everything the government does is backed only by a gun to our heads.


Emails: Debating Limited versus No Government

Limited Gov Guy: I was arguing with [my girlfriend] last night about the Affordable Care Act and how it is not the government’s place to take care of sick people. I argued instead that the government is mainly there, to plagiarize Milton Friedman’s words, for the role of enforcing contracts between individuals and punishing individuals who violate others’ rights.

If you accept that (I know you might not), then consider this:
In the following scenarios, a citizen’s right to life is threatened by three different assailants.
– If an individual were to assault someone on the street for no reason, I would want the government to imprison that individual.
– If a wild animal were to attack someone unprovoked, I would want the government to contain or destroy that animal.
– If a bacteria infects someone and starts to kill them, then why should not the government take actions against that bacteria to protect the citizen’s right to life?
That’s what [my girlfriend] said to me, and I had no response.
I know it’s wrong, but I don’t know why.
Thoughts?

Free Association Man: If an individual were to assault….. but this doesn’t mean the gov can force you to enter into a contract with a body guard.

If a wild animal were to attack… but this doesn’t mean the gov can force you to enter into a contract with an animal trainer.

If a bacteria infects… but this doesn’t mean the gov can force you into a contract with a health insurance company….

BTW: We have the CDC, NIH, and the FDA already charged with viral and bacterial defenses for the population.

The pain for the ACA is all back-loaded to 2017. Mr. Obama says the ACA is “working” because more people have health insurance. But that’s because the gov is subsidizing enrollments. This is why a SCOTUS decision against subsidies would have killed the ACA. The subsidies expire, penalties begin, and all the new taxes (not fees…thank-you Chief Justice Roberts), start Jan 1 2017.

Example: The tuition at my school is 10K. Now lets mandate that every kid on the Cape has to enroll in my school. Lets further mandate that my school has to cover all sorts of new services (health clinics, free breakfast, psych counseling…) But not-to-worry.. the tuition is subsidized so that 10K tuition will only cost you 2K and you get all these great new services. What do you know?? Enrollment is booming at my school! What will the tuition bill be in 2017 when the subsidies expire? Parents are going to be wishing for the good-old-days when they weren’t mandated to enroll and the tuition was only 10K. This is why most analyst say that the ACA is not sustainable after the subsidies expire. (google: ACA-subsidies-expiration). Johnathan Gruber – the main architect of the ACA – said that the ACA is not sustainable and called the American people “stupid” for not seeing this (http://dailycaller.com/2014/12/30/obama-adviser-jonathan-gruber-in-2009-obamacare-will-not-be-affordable/).  And where will Mr. Obama be in 2017? Playing golf.


Economics Guy: In all those cases I want to be my own first line of defense.  If an attacker or an animal survives my defense (which can include nearby citizens), then the government (or a private entity that provides a similar service) can take appropriate action.
If I decide that I need help with an illness, I have the option to contract for that help with whomever I think can help me.  In my lifetime this is how it was.  You got sick, if you needed to see a doctor you paid him.  You only paid for what you needed.  Medical care was less costly before the government got involved.  (Everything was.  More on that to follow.)
It might seem like a good idea to have government agencies trying to identify and contain disease in general, and maybe it is.  The problem is that nobody ever asks “What will this cost?”  The other problem is that every government program expands and becomes a horribly inefficient bureaucracy.  The cost thing might sound callous, but it is an unfortunate reality.  Products and services are not free.  Somebody must produce products and services and that somebody wants something in return.
Economics 101:
Wealth is created, it is not distributed from some pre-existing stash.
Wealth is the availability of a standard of living higher than naked, alone and afraid, struggling to survive 24/7.
You want to eat?  Go find some berries, pick them, chew them and digest them.  You just produced one meal.
You want to get out of the rain?  Find a cave and defend it against the bear that comes looking for a den and a non-berry meal.  You just produced shelter.
You want a companion?  You have to offer her a better deal than the one she has.  Better companionship or more food or more comfortable shelter.
You see where this is going.  People enter into agreements to produce for each other.  The standard of living increases.  Infrastructure gets created.  It is all supported entirely by people who produce more than they consume.
Fast forward to 1776.  The colonists decide they are not happy with the British government.  They decide to create their own.  There are big government guys and small government guys.  We end up with a republic with a constitution that limits the federal government to very specific roles.  The government needs some amount of revenue.  It comes from taxes.  Taxes are the taking of some of the produce of the producers.  Almost everybody is on board with some amount of government and therefore taxes.  Government produced a producer-friendly environment the cost of which is taxes.
But the government starts to grow.  There are government people who keep thinking of new things the government can do.  It can do them because it can take from the current producers and borrow against what it will take from future producers.  Few in government ever ask if the government should do these things.  It is easy to spend other peoples money.  Some people like some of the things government does, other people like other things the government does, almost nobody likes all the things government does.  If you are a net producer you pay for it anyway.
How can we tell if we are producers?  Don’t government employees produce something?  Often government employees produce things.  Teachers teach, firefighters fight fires, researchers conduct research etc.  The litmus test is this:  Would a free market pay them to do what they do and how much?  Some people have always been willing to trade what they produce for what a teacher produces, or what a blacksmith produces or what a composer produces.  Can an artist produce enough art in a free market to live comfortably?  Good for him!  The list is endless.
But who will trade their produce for an IRS audit or for the NSA to spy on them?  Or for a bureaucrat to give some of their produce to a non-producer who could produce?
Today’s government is so bloated with bureaucracy that most of what producers produce goes to supporting the non-producing bureaucrats.  It is not that they don’t do what they are hired to do, it is that they shouldn’t have been hired to do it in the first place.  To make matters worse much of what bureaucrats do, make it harder for producers to produce.
Economics 102:
Economics is the study of incentives.
Costs rise or fall to match the supply with the demand.
When something costs less the market wants more of it.  When something costs more the market wants less of it.
Cost in this case is not just part of your produce.  It can be your freedom or your state of well being or pretty much anything you care about.
If you attend an event with an open bar you might drink more because you don’t have to trade your produce for it, your host has decided to trade his produce for your drink.  Or you might drink less because you don’t want to take advantage of your host.  In this case your cost is the idea that you are taking advantage of your host and that is a higher cost to you than your produce.
Our government routinely hides the true cost of things from us.  Piles and piles of red tape and taxes drive costs up while subsidies, tax breaks and special treatment drive costs down, sometimes on the same product.
Insurance was invented as a way to share economic risk.  A group of people who all face a more or less similar level of economic risk agree to create a pool of money to be paid out to those members who have an actual loss.  This works if the level of risk is relatively low over the life of the agreement.  Homeowners insurance is a good example.  You can’t afford to lose your $250K house and neither can most people so you all pay $500 a year to the insurance company who provides (produces) the organization to collect the pool and investigate and pay claims.  They probably get about 8% of the pool each year for this service, and everybody is happy.  It works because everybody faces about the same risk which is low, the incentives to try and cheat are small and the pool can pay the actual costs with enough left over for the insurance company to get its cut.
Health insurance is different.  Risk is affected by your lifestyle, your age and your genes.  Young, clean-living, hardy specimens don’t want to share the risk with broken-down old drug addicts.  Paying an insurance company $54 so they will pay for your $50 doctor visit doesn’t make a lot of sense.  A 60 year old man paying an insurance company for pre-natal care makes no sense at all.
Government medical care makes medical care look free or low cost.  When things cost less, people want more.  When demand goes up, actual costs (which are hidden from the consumer) go up.  This is why I said earlier that everything costs more when the government gets involved.  They can re-distribute the costs but they can’t make them go away.
The lowest possible costs and the most efficient solutions occur in a well informed, truly free market.  A true free market has never existed in America, but we were a lot closer in the past.
Obamacare (and every other government program) will benefit some people at the expense of many others.  This is socialism.  There is a limit to how much socialism we can afford.  There is no limit to how much wealth we can create.  Poor people in America today live better than kings and queens of yesterday.
Freedom creates wealth.  Socialism destroys wealth.
The bottom line: There are few if any things the government does that can’t be done better at lower cost by the free market.  (The real free market, not the government manipulated “free” market.)

Scary Anarchist:Allow me to pontificate.

1. I’d much rather mitigate risk from criminals, animals, nature by voluntarily entering into contracts with privatized for profit agencies than to be forced into conditions imposed by government.

2. “Where do you find these angels to run government.” Milton Friedman.


Limited Gov Guy:These are all excellent points, but I think I should have specified.

I am attempting to figure things out theoretically, in a vacuum of sorts, where the only considerations are individual freedoms versus collective security.
Many of your arguments are based on the impracticality and budgetary butchery of government work. I agree with all of these ideas, and perhaps they are your sole reasons for opposing the ACA.
But imagine a world in which the government could provide such services (police, corrections facilities, healthcare — all to protect the citizen’s right to life) just as efficiently as the private sector.
In this scenario, with numbers aside and the only factors being individual freedoms versus collective security, where do you draw the line?
I would be willing to pay taxes for the government to protect the public from criminals and wild animals, but not for them to protect us from disease.
The more I think about it, the more inconsistent it seems. Why do I pick and choose?
It seems the only reasonable progression is that government provides ALL services or NONE of them…

Economics Guy: Correct!  But does everybody need or want all the same services?  The only way government can provide anything at all is to first take it from somebody else.  If everybody wanted the exact same thing from government, and if government were efficient and had no agenda of its own, then it may indeed be the best way to provide those things.

But none of those things are true.

[My town] provides water and sewer service, collects the trash, has a school system, plows the roads, collects leaves in the fall, has curbside recycling, maintains parks and athletic fields and some other stuff.  Hopedale residents pay for this in the form of property taxes, which are high.  If you have a small lot, lots of kids, plenty of money and aren’t very handy then this is a good deal.  If you have a big lot that would support a septic system and a well, don’t generate a lot of trash, have no kids, don’t use the park and dump your leaves in the corner of your own property then you are getting screwed.  Your only option is to move.  If you stay in [my town] you are paying for stuff you don’t need or want.
On the federal level it is even worse, there are zillions of government programs that almost nobody would voluntarily support, and the option to move is more or less unrealistic.  So I come down on the side of very limited / no government.  This will preserve my freedom and a market WILL develop to serve people who want a higher level of service.

Joe Jarvis: I agree, it is much easier to consistently argue from the no government perspective. Then, it is a simple matter of not being robbed (in the form of taxes). Healthcare would be wrong, not necessarily because of what was provided, but because it was done by force. This is akin to how charity is no longer charity when you steal someone else’s money to donate.

Now our idea of limited government would be protection from foreign invaders essentially, and protection from being victimized by fellow citizens. In that sense the argument would be, if the USA is going to declare 3 million square miles “theirs,” then at least they have the responsibility to repel hordes and make sure they foster a safe environment within. But even this stands on shaky ground, because A) how do you pay for it without theft which is wrong, and B) how is it legitimate to claim land people already own, live on, work etc.?

If the answer to A is competing government agencies which you can defund by patronizing another one, that would seem to no longer fall under the definition of government; it would be more like a business. Yet that is exactly what would deliver the best results, as every other sector of the free market.

The competing agencies could team up in the event of a larger outside threat. Think of if every state’s police and national guard were privatized, had to find investors to buy back their equipment, and rebate the money to the taxpayers. Then they could start their own agencies, and the ones who provide a good enough service in the free market would still exist. The Colorado State Police, from what I hear, would do quite fine as a private company, due to the high quality service they provide to the public. People would still voluntarily pay for their policing activities, be it business owners, individuals, or road owners, because there is value in the product.
But I guess I am getting a bit off topic.

Scary Anarchist:Here’s a good barometer if you choose to put all other aspects aside.

Is it voluntary?

If taxes were voluntary would anybody pay them? If social security were voluntary only those who wanted it could CHOOSE to partake and pay into the system. What’s wrong with that? If police “protection” were optional, could I opt out of the system and provide my own protection? In fact isn’t this what we call privatization? Much of what we are subject to by govt. is deemed a “collective right” thus justifying it as a NON-voluntary system. If the system were option many who make their living off of thieving and controlling you and I would be out of a job. But what is a collective but a collection of individuals. I am an individual not a collective, who has different dreams, fears, hopes, wants, needs, then the next. The litmus test of all political theory for the libertarian minded is the championing of voluntary transactions and maximum individual liberty while upholding the non-aggression principal (NAP). Case and point: isn’t it good if we’re all forced to get immunization to keep deadly disease at bay (which beckons the question how are they going to force this)? This may be true but I would say NEGATIVE. Cannot subject individual liberty to this supposed “need” of the collective. If it’s truly a good idea than the market will uphold it. What is “the market” you say…. much to learn you have young Padoine!


Limited Gov Guy: I’m beginning to think that government should exert no control outside of a few necessary evils:
1) The Feds should defend our borders from other nations, and have almost no influence on American citizens themselves. This would require a federal tax, unfortunately. However, in order to preserve the freedoms inside our borders, I think I could bear a defense tax.
2) The States/counties/towns should deal with violations of rights among their residents. If one violates another’s rights to life or property (which I think are the two basic rights from which all others stem), then the government has a court system and a police force to deal with him. I also think that, at this lower level, government could own land for the sole purpose of selling it to any citizen who wanted it.
3) All else would be left to the free market.
I can’t say I completely buy into the anarchist mindset, even though I really enjoyed the ideas in Joey’s Anarchy in New England.
1) I’m not sure the private arbitration agencies could be trusted to agree upon verdicts impartially. I understand the idea that business ethics reviews would destroy such agencies if they made unjust rulings, but they might not all adhere to the same standards. What if there was a Muslim-run arbitration agency ruled that a thief ought to be beheaded?
2) And lastly, I think the lower-level government would have to own land and sell it to citizens. Otherwise, there would be no legitimacy to land ownership. Anybody could claim as much as they wanted, as long as they had more guns than the next guy.
Could the free market take care of such things?

Joe Jarvis: Yes, I believe the free market would take care of these things better than the government can. Competition and the profit motive are what will allow for this, while monopolies, including one on defense and conflict resolution, means no alternatives.

1) Currently Muslim run Governments dictate that thieves be beheaded (or witches, or woman drivers). An arbitration agency however would be competing with other ones. If I was a thief, and have representation, then it is likely that a Muslim agency would adjust their sentences to themselves avoid action against them. However if an entire region (customers) agreed thieves should be beheaded, the punishment would persist.
But the profit motive and competition means a draconian agency would have to justify their existence to customers, versus forcing customers to fund their “service” (the government). The fact is our current system is not impartial, and states/ towns do not have the same standards. An ounce of weed has landed people with life sentences in some states, while in MA it is a $100 fine. Any agency that tried to jail a man for life for possession of a plant would be opening a can of worms that would threaten their profits, and open up competition for rival, less crazy agencies.
And everyone would save money because a crime would require a victim. Currently the government steals our money, and labels things crimes, even if there is no victim. We are forced to pay to lock up non-violent drug offenders. But without government monopolizing security, consumers would balance service with cost. The best service (as decided by the consumers, who in a truly free market would also necessarily be producers) for the lowest cost would win out. War has high costs, and so does dishing out draconian sentences that people (your customers, or customers of rival agencies) will protest.
Is it possible for injustices to happen? Of course. But based on what we know about market forces, we have to assume the injustices would be fewer, farther between, and more easily righted outside of monopoly control.
And finally, we cannot take the best example of government, and act like all governments will be that way. Cliche, but look what Stalin, Hitler, and Mao’s governments did. Absolutely no private agency could afford to do that, get nearly as far, or survive the public backlash.
2) Land ownership is indeed important, and I think the structure would be slightly different without government, but no less just. First off, there is no private ownership of land currently. We rent it from local governments; the rent is called Property Tax. If you don’t pay your rent (property tax), they will eventually confiscate the land from you. The Feds can also confiscate your land according to the Constitution, and give you what they decide is the market price. How absurd: the market price is whatever I want to sell the land for. If I don’t want to sell, the price might go through the roof. If you want occupied/ owned land, pay for it what the owner asks, or move on.
So that is the price we pay for allowing government to control land ownership. Currently, the guys with the most guns indeed claim the most land. America claims 3 million square miles officially, and another 54 million square miles unofficially. I think I will trust the market to ensure that at least more than a few hundred governments own all the land on Earth.
It is not legitimate to claim land you do not use. I cannot say for sure how this would go down, as it would be different in different regions, however the consumers would still decide on what constitutes land ownership, just as they would dictate the laws through patronizing a security company that shares their values. This would give us true votes (with dollars) on what laws exist, as opposed to mob rule law as it currently stands.
If I owned a security company, I would agree to protect land that people use and/or improve. If you have a house, and a fence around your property that no neighbors dispute, then it is easy: register with your security company the land you want them to protect. If anyone else claims it, they will legitimize the fact that it is yours. Same if you build a factory: it does not magically belong to the workers. Absentee land ownership would be legitimate as long as his capital paid for the improvements on the land.
Does a random tree in the forest belong to you? No. But when you cut down the tree, mill the wood, and make a bar out of the tree, the bar belongs to you. Even if you cut down the tree and split it into logs, they belong to you. The berries on the bush belong to you once you pick them. And an unoccupied piece of land belongs to you if you add value by manipulating the natural resources.
Something not legitimate would be claiming Isolation Mountain as your own. No security company would agree to protect that land as yours, because it would threaten their public perception, and profits. In fact multiple New England agencies might even get together, and decide on large swaths of land they will never register to a single owner (in order to avoid later conflict, and thus save money). You could still go out and build a hut in the forest, grow a garden and in my opinion that would make the land your own.
Land ownership, in that sense, predates humans. Wolves understand the invading party to be in the wrong, and that invasion will most likely lead to mutual destruction, with a slightly higher possibility of the owner coming out on top, due to incentives to protect ones own property. It is possible, though less probable, the invading wolves win the land. But as I’ve already noted, the American wolf pack has already stolen your land. So it is a matter of collective ownership of all 3 million square miles (if you agree not to threaten the alfa male, you might be allowed to live on THEIR land for a relatively low cost, with some benefits, including other wolf packs not invading your land, but with the very distinct possibility of your own wolf pack cannibalizing you).
But you couldn’t simply claim an area you do not use as your own because: A) it would require the personel to protect it, in which case, you are adding value in a sense (providing jobs, and therefore using/ occupying the land). or B) if there are already people on the land, this is aggression on their property which the owner’s security should protect, and if you impose your will or take a tax from the people within the land your claim, you have just created a government.
The subject of land ownership really requires a book, but perhaps I will try to tackle it in a post. One thing I am sure of however, is that the free market will make for better rules of private ownership of land than the current monopoly provides.

Gays, Guns, and Ganja: PorcFest 2015

I struggle at an event like PorcFest, to find a good balance of work and play. On the one hand, the attendees are the best targeted audience for my book and writings in one place. On the other hand, it is so much fun that I find it hard to drag myself away from the revelry to sell my book, and promote my blog. The good news is, I ended up doing a lot of promotion just from having fun!

Gays

Anecdotal evidence suggests that the gay community at PorcFest seems to be growing every year. And I see this as the perfect demographic for liberty. Gays have been historically persecuted by government, so it seems natural that they would want to take their protection into their own hands, and disassociate with the entity causing the inequality in society: the government.

As the country celebrated that gay marriage is now legal in every state, we sort of just laughed: “whatever”. The government didn’t create this equality of marriage, they were the ones who created the inequality! As one meme says, gays are confusing freedom with permission. Anyway, the government shouldn’t recognize anyone’s marriage. Oppressing gays equally to straight couple doesn’t exactly make the government the savior of the gays.

Flaming Freedom got crazy! Flaming Freedom is a podcast every Thursday night from 10pm-midnight hosted by Derrick J. I told him he could be the Howard Stern of the liberty movement if he wants to. The PorcFest Flaming Freedom with a live audience has been posted, and you can listen here. I was on the first segment, and gave away a free copy of Anarchy in New England to the first person to take a shot (which also required the removal of a piece of clothing, enforced by Derrick). So Jeff from San Francisco excitedly jumped to the front of the room in order to get my book. Yes, people come from far and wide for PorcFest, I met at least three people from San Francisco. And that’s about all I can discuss about that episode of Flaming Freedom without making my readers blush.

Buzz’s Big Gay Dance Party was off the hook! They say it was the last year of the party, but I am hoping someone will pick it up and carry the torch. I just love seeing a bunch of extremely straight people dress ridiculously and dance the night away in solidarity with gay libertarians and anarchists. But the actual gay attendance this year was probably a record. And where else can you attend a Big Gay Dance party with a gun on your hip?!

Guns

Literally, everywhere, though that is nothing new for PorcFest. I find it interesting to note that more people die at music festivals than at this freedom festival where guns are on every other person’s hip, chest, back, or who knows where! There were also many knives, swords, and other instruments of defense. And no one got hurt, this year or the previous 11 years that the event has existed. And no one’s been victimized either.

The people that attend clearly value freedom, and by extension personal responsibility. Embedded in the desire for freedom and control over one’s own life, is the understanding that with great power comes great responsibility. Self ownership means you are responsible for your actions, no excuses, play like a champion. When the buck stops at the individual, there is no one to scapegoat.

I carried my Smith and Wesson .38 with an internal hammer, double action only. It was fun, since that’s not something I could do in Massachusetts without having the police called, despite my carry permit, and despite the fact that we shouldn’t need a permit to defend ourselves. I put it away when I started drinking, not because anything would happen, but because I am responsible, like most other PorcFest attendees.

Ganja

And shrooms. And LSD. And mdma. But I didn’t see any heroin, cocaine, or other narcotics. I have always seen a clear difference between hallucinogens and heavy addictive drugs. In fact many studies are starting to suggest that magic mushrooms could have wonderful potential to cure the mind. One guy I talked to mentioned mushrooms in their capacity of helping him heal from a heroin addiction. One girl told me she does mushrooms quarterly as a mental clean up.

I just love the mixture of people, and the live and let live mentality. People who have never smoked weed in their lives did not bat an eye. Stoners who never carried a gun didn’t bat an eye. This is respecting others’ freedom. Live and let live! If someone isn’t hurting you, why try to restrict their freedom? And that is what PorcFest proves: we don’t just talk the talk, we walk the walk. Otherwise, you might just see a bunch of middle aged white guys with confederate flags and beer guts: which yes, they were there too! And no, they didn’t care that gay guys were cuddling by the nightly bonfire, and nobody else cared that someone was riding his ATV around with a confederate flag blowing in the wind.

In a free market, you aren’t shamed as a “drug dealer”. You provide a product that is in demand: marijuana. They are entrepreanuers, and the people selling weed and shrooms have more legitimate jobs than the tax men who showed up first day of PorcFest in a hilarious failure of an attempt to rob the food vendors. (They must be the new guys in the office that someone was playing a joke on… “Hey, why don’t you go try to collect taxes at PorcFest”.) In 1776, they would have been tarred and feathered, so they should consider themselves lucky.

The Future of Freedom

There were three sites in a row, the Muslim for Liberty tent, the Pagan worship tent, and the Jewish Chabad tent. My favorite Texans told me about the transition to open-mindedness in reference to each of their gay children, and then bought chocolate covered mushrooms (for, I believe, the first time). Free range children roamed the campground, without fear of creeps or danger: this voluntary community cares deeply for the welfare of each individual in the voluntary collective.

I know this movement is big, powerful, and permanent. We are going to win. I know this because we are real. It is hard to understand for people with diabolical motives, but we have none. Seriously, we just want to be left alone and live a happy and fruitful life. That is why we are going to win. We aren’t trying to change anyone, we are just trying to do what works for us. The passion, the camaraderie, the philosophy: this movement for true liberty is on a higher plane than those which work within this narrow system of government oppression, desperately trying to promote the freedoms they care about, while exerting force through government on others.

And also, we are going to win because we have more fun than everyone else. But luckily, we are not exclusive! If you value freedom; not just your own but everyone else’s, you are welcome!

5 Reasons it Doesn’t Make Sense to say “We Owe Our Freedom to the Military”

Unfortunately the most important issues become controversial, which makes them difficult to discuss with a level head. I am not trying to offend anyone, though I am sure some will be offended. The subject however is too important to shy away from, so I hope you will give it some rational thought.


The problem with thanking the military relentlessly for protecting our freedom is that people might start to believe it is true. If anything the military is ordered to do becomes “protecting freedom”, then if you disagree with American military deployments you are against freedom. This strategy equates any military action with protecting our freedom, which is clearly a fallacy.

Our freedoms have been disappearing one by one. So even if the military does protect our freedom, they aren’t doing a great job. “We owe our freedom to the military,” is essentially a propaganda statement that allows our government to be aggressive at home and abroad, while shifting focus from the very real threat to our freedom from Washington DC, to a much less potent threat thousands of miles away, across an ocean.

First off, most founders of this country warned against a standing army, and pointed out that a standing army is actually a threat to liberty. But today we equate any action by that army to freedom. Coming from the right, I have seen pretty much everyone who worships the military also complain about big government, and correctly claim that we cannot trust a single politician. Do they realize it is the politicians who send the troops off to war? Do they realize that the military and police have always been what big governments use to oppress the people?

Secondly, I care about people in general, and I hate seeing anyone die or be maimed. Blindly repeating that we owe our freedom to the troops encourages more people to make a bad decision–joining the military. It is not safe to join the military, the pay is not worth the risk, the cause is not noble (remember, the scumbag politicians decide the cause), and the USA will forget about each soldier soon as he comes home.

Over 20 veterans a day kill themselves, many are homeless, and many are battling mental illness brought on by their time in the military. The best thing we can do if we care about the troops is stop sending them off to die in stupid wars and operations. But how are we going to stop that when we keep pretending these wars are protecting our freedom… we don’t want to give up on freedom, do we?

Which brings me to my third point: acting like the troops are protecting our freedom prevents proper scrutiny of troop deployments. Lots of people say, “I may not agree with the war, but I support the troops”. Yet when a veteran comes back from the middle east, many thank him or her for protecting our freedom. But the wars in the middle east are not protecting our freedom. So this attitude again makes people assume any act of war by the USA is to protect our freedom, which is pretty much never true. The more people who realize the troops are not protecting freedom, the harder it will be to frenzy the public into another war.

Fourth, in a sense, we are all shirking our own responsibility of defense, and praising young men and women for allowing themselves to be thrown into situations which could kill them or debilitate them in the prime of their lives. Many encourage these young men and women to join the military because they will attain glory, and be held in higher esteem than they could achieve in another field. Or people claim they will gain skills needed for work, without mentioning it is more likely that PTSD will prevent them from holding meaningful employment.

Really, America is lying to a bunch of naive young people in order to get them to join the military, and “protect our freedom”. Artificial fear, manufactured by the government, is making Americans throw their fellow human beings under the bus in the misplaced hope that it will keep them safe and free.

Fifth, I take issue with the oft repeated phrase, “Well, someone’s gotta do it!” No, no one has to do it. We would all be more free and safer if there was no military. But instead there would need to be top of the line, fully automatic firearms beside a cache of ammunition in every single home on this continent where the inhabitants claim to care about freedom. How is any hostile going to invade a land where every house has a machine gun? Ask Switzerland: they’re not!

We cannot outsource the defense of our freedom. People must care about their region, their friends, their family enough to take steps to defend them in an emergency. Regions could absolutely voluntarily team up to defeat a larger threat. But this means we will not be able to conquer; we will not be able to invade. And that is what defense means. That is what needs to happen for us to defend (or take back) our freedom.

I realize a lot of people join the military hoping to protect the Bill of Rights, and the freedoms mentioned there-in. But this is not reason enough to perpetuate the false claim that the military is what guards our freedoms, especially as we have fewer and fewer freedoms in this country every day.


5 Reasons It Doesn’t Make Sense to Tell People, “If you don’t like America, leave!”

I’ve been noticing lately a lot of people saying, “If you don’t like America, get the heeelllllll out!” Part of this could be due to the whole flag-stomping thing going around the internet. Clearly those walking on the flag wanted to elicit the very response they are getting.

I don’t think that stomping on the flag is a good political tactic, because I am interested in changing hearts and minds, not pissing people off and creating more tensions. But I have a huge problem with the whole, “If you don’t like it here, get out!” mentality.

First of all, I was born here. Just because some thugs in DC claim they own 2.8 million square miles between two oceans, taking up almost half of North America–one of only seven continents on Earth–does not mean it is my responsibility to leave if I don’t like the force they regularly use against me and my fellow human beings. Most people that tell others to “get out if they don’t like it here” also claim to believe in private property. So what they are saying, is that the government’s right to boss me around supersedes my right to simply live peacefully on a piece of land that I maintain as my home, without hurting anyone else.

Secondly, someone is going to turn that phrase around at some point. Examples: “Oh you don’t like taxes? Well it is our civic duty, so if you don’t want to pay for America, get out!” or “If you don’t like the President the people elected you can get out!” or “If you don’t like regulation from the EPA, FDA, or Department of Energy, why don’t you move to Somalia where there is no regulation?” Disagreeing with something, and even going to extremes in using free speech to get your point across, does not mean you have no business living anywhere from sea to shining sea.

Third, telling someone to leave sort of implies that there is somewhere to go. You are telling me I must choose between a few hundred governments, each using a varying degree of unjust force to rule? There is nowhere I can go and be left alone. Every piece of inhabitable land on Earth has been claimed by some coercive violent group who will force me to follow their arbitrary rules if I move there.

Fourth, for a long time, America stood for something good: free speech, free markets, life, liberty, and property. But now that it has gotten this bad, instead of trying to improve it, instead of pointing out what went wrong, I am supposed to leave because I disagree with whatever group? And as for disrespecting the flag, what happened to free speech? What happened to: “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend with my life your right to say it”? When you tell someone to leave because you think they have disrespected what America stands for, you are forgetting what America stood for: FREE SPEECH! I’m sorry, but a piece of cloth is not more important than actual freedom.

Fifth, you might be angry that I just called the flag a piece of cloth. You might claim it is not just the piece of cloth, but what it stands for that matters. You might bring up the countless people who have died, “for me” or “fighting for my freedom” or “protecting my rights”.

The other day I was at work, and a coworker thanked a woman for her service in the military. Her reply was priceless: “Well I get paid”. We all must do a cost benefit analysis, and in a dangerous profession, you need to weigh the risk with the reward.

If someone thinks 30 grand a year is worth it to risk their life killing whoever the American government decided needs to be killed this year, don’t drag me into it. It is already my (stolen) money being used to fund the destruction, don’t add insult to injury by telling me that I should be grateful.

Maybe during the Revolution the flag stood for freedom, or protecting us against foreign aggression. Hey, maybe even during the War of 1812. But if you haven’t noticed, our soldiers are not defending the homeland, or protecting the borders. They are in various foreign countries, and at this point, it is getting hard to keep track of which one’s did what.

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We are at war with Saudi Arabia for funding terrorists right? Oh wait no, they are our ally who we fund, and we are at war with Afghanistan for… having mountains to hide in? We’re at war with ISIS… or is it Syria? First we helped ISIS, now we don’t like them, yea that’s it! And then we are drone bombing anyone who might be a terrorist in any country, or if they attend the wrong wedding.

The ironic part to me is that many of the people most pissed off about the flag stomping, are people who claim to believe in the founding fathers and Constitutional government. Why are they more angered by the flag being disrespected than by the fact that what the flag stood for has been eviscerated by our government?

If the flag represented freedom of speech, freedom from oppression, life, liberty, and property, the meaning of the flag has long since died. If the flag reminded us that freedom cannot be traded for security, or that a standing army would erode our rights, or that the best government governs least, then the flag has no meaning, because these things have been forgotten.

The people stomping on the flag are not stomping on those ideals, they are stomping on a hollow shell that was desecrated long ago by our government. People apparently didn’t have the energy to tell the politicians, bureaucrats, and government agencies to “get the hell out” when THEY were symbolically stomping on the flag.

So if you want to tell someone to “get out”, tell it to the people in government who ruined America. Don’t tell it to the people are are trying to point out how bad it has gotten.


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Setting the Example: Police Accountability Must be a Peaceful Movement

I am a peaceful person. I believe in the non-agression principle, that force should not be initiated against anyone, though obviously must be used in self defense. But even beside whether or not violence is justified, there is the question, is it effective? I don’t think randomly murdering two police officers helps the cause of liberty. I don’t think that act will solve anything, and I know it will not deescalate the crisis of police brutality, growing in this country.

While police are oppressors by their nature, a friend of mine pointed out that many are “benevolent” oppressors in a sense: they joined the police for the right reasons. This does not make these people good or their profession legitimate, but there is other more effective recourse than random violence. The reaction must match the offense. Without knowing the two slain NYPD officers, how could we realistically decide if they “deserved it” or not? I believe in a process, like due process, even though the justice system needs to be free from monopoly in order to work. The cops were not given due process, and though simply going to work every day was an act of aggression, the offense did not match the punishment, as far as I can tell.

I honestly don’t think I would choose to kill most Nazi’s given the chance. There is culpability in joining an oppressive group, but I would not imagine my actions justified to dish out punishment to a person I do not know, whose actions I have not observed. The time for violence is in defense only, especially while there exists no fair system to punish aggressors. Off the battlefield, the world had to wait for Nuremberg for the Nazi’s to have their crimes judged. And violence generally begets violence.

I much prefer the approach of Martin Luther King Jr., Gandhi, or Jesus, where they never sank to their oppressors’ lows. To exclusively occupy the higher moral ground, so to speak, is to set yourself up for eventual, if long fought victory. At all costs those who speak out against police misconduct and abuse must remain peaceful in order for our message to be heard. I will not stoop to the low that many law enforcement in this country have fallen to. I will not murder, despite my countless brothers and sisters who have been murdered.

My heart goes out to the families of the two NYPD officers killed, who are almost certainly victims in all this. And my heart goes out to Eric Garner’s family, also innocent victims. And both will have their dead loved ones ridiculed. The NYPD and supporters wore shirts that said: “I can breathe, thanks to the NYPD”, openly mocking the man that the New York Police Department murdered. Such insensitivity disgusts me. A murderer walks free, and then has the nerve to mock the slain victim? And the victim, not convicted of any crime, is made out to be a “criminal” for allegedly selling single cigarettes. A crime, which even if Garner was proven to be guilty of, hardly deserves any sentence, let alone a death sentence.

To act as if the NYPD kept others safe by strangling him to death, going so low as to mock his last words spoken in pain and anguish moments before his death at the hands of the NYPD, is beyond pathetic, sickening, and utterly immature. Do I condone the killing of police officers? Absolutely not. And I would even feel bad for the officers killed except for that one detail. They voluntarily were part of a department that murdered Eric Garner, and then mocked the victim with “I can breathe” shirts, twisting his last words to posture as if that murder had been justified, in the name of security.

The individual responsible for the death’s of the police officers is dead, while the individual responsible for the death of Eric Garner lives freely. If you are looking for a larger segment of society to blame, do not point your fingers towards those demanding police accountability. Blame the agents of the state who openly mocked their murder victim: it is a symptom that points to a larger problem.