Saturday Morning Spooner - Part 2

Lysander Spooner “No Treason — No. II. The Constitution.”
One essential of a free government is that it rest wholly on voluntary support. And one certain proof that a government is not free, is that it coerces more or less persons to support it, against their will. All governments, the worst on earth, and the most tyrannical on earth, are free governments to that portion of the people who voluntarily support them. And all governments—though the best on earth in other respects—are nevertheless tyrannies to that portion of the people—whether few or many—who are compelled to support them against their will. A government is like a church, or any other institution, in these respects. There is no other criterion whatever, by which to determine whether a government is a free one, or not, than the single one of its depending, or not depending, solely on voluntary support.

Saturday Morning Spooner - Part 1

Lysander Spooner, The Constitution, LibertarianismLysander Spooner in “No Treason — No. II. The Constitution.”

No middle ground is possible on this subject. Either "taxation without consent is robbery," or it is not. If it is not, then any number of men, who choose, may at any time associate; call themselves a government; assume absolute authority over all weaker than themselves; plunder them at will; and kill them if they resist. If, on the other hand, "taxation without consent is robbery," it necessarily follows that every man who has not consented to be taxed, has the same natural right to defend his property against a taxgatherer, that he has to defend it against a highwayman.

An Update to Margaret Thatcher

Margaret Thatcher once said that, "The problem with socialism is that you eventually run out of other people's money."  While I think that is mostly true, I want to improve on the accuracy of the statement just slightly:

The problem with socialism is that it requires the use of violence against innocent people, and the practical limitation of it is that you eventually run out of their money.  

Insert "communism", "fascism" or "a mixed economy" for "socialism" and the statement will remain true.

Liquor as a Store of Value

Vodka MartiniI had quite a bit of liquor left over from my wedding.  When I was putting it away, the thought crossed my mind, "I wonder if I can return it?"  I thought about it for a moment.  I like rum and vodka, the two varieties I had left, so I would eventually drink it all.  If not, my wife and I could throw one heck of a party that would take care of our alcohol stock.   But when?  Would we be through the liquor in 6 months, a year, two years?  Would I rather have the cash or the booze?  Then I thought about what the price of the drinks might be in a year or two.  Given the propensity for the central bank to inflate the money supply at the risk of increasing prices, I expect the price of practically everything to go up over the next couple of years.  I see no reason for vodka and rum to be excluded.  On the other hand, the drinks are mighty stable.  The mojitos and martinis I make next December will taste just as good as the ones I made this weekend with the same libations.  So in my estimation, distilled spirits, properly cared for, are a considerably better store of value than the Federal Reserve Note, though that may not be saying much.    

A Tale of Home Ownership?

I was planning to put a privacy fence up in my back yard to shield the neighbors and passers by from my occasional early morning nudity.  You see, my kitchen and living room are unfortunately eye level with the back alley, and my cats occasionally like to wake me up in the wee hours of the morning, in which case they need to be locked in the basement for a couple of hours.  I usually pull the blinds before bed, but I do not always remember.  I do however insist on sleeping in the comfort of my own skin.  You do the math.

So you can see how a privacy fence sounds like a good idea.  However, it seems that I do not actually own my house or the ground it is on.  Between Federal, State, County and Township governments, we are sharing it.  I almost just put up the fence after looking through the Township's website and not being completely clear on whether I needed a permit.  I decided to call just to be safe.  Sure enough, they sent me an application packet in the mail.  I filled it out, found a survey of the property in my records and drew a line where my fence would protect  my neighbors' innocent eyes.  I got a call a couple of days later asking me how high the fence would be.  I told them 6 feet per the regulation.  That was all they needed; we are all set.

Last weekend I received my denial in the mail.  Privacy fences are not aloud in the front yard it said.  I was surprised to say the least but assumed that it was some sort of mistake.  Clearly my address is on the other street, and my house faces that way.  It was Sunday so I emailed the Township asking for clarification.  They were very responsive, but unfortunately, there was no mistake.  What I consider my back alley, they consider a street.  This means that I have two front yards in the eyes of the Township.  Lucky me!  Poor neighbors.

The Statesman as Hero

I came across this quote at a site I am sure will soon be one of my regular stops on the net, Quote Investigator:
If you shoot one person you are a murderer. If you kill a couple persons you are a gangster. If you are a crazy statesman and send millions to their deaths you are a hero. — Watertown Daily Times.

Imagine

Statist Newspaper Headline:

Federal Agents Bust Hells Angels on Drug Charges


Anarchist Newspaper Headline:

Hells Angels Lose Battle with Rival Gang.  




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