"Any and all non-violent, non-coercive, non-larcenous, consensual adult behavior that does not physically harm other people or their property or directly and immediately endangers same, that does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, and that is done in private, especially on private property, is the inalienable right of all adults. In a truly free and liberty-loving society, ruled by a secular government, no laws should be passed to prohibit such behavior. Any laws now existing that are contrary to the above definition of inalienable rights are violations of the rights of adults and should be made null and void." D. M. Mitchell (from The Myth of Inalienable Rights, at: http://dowehaverights.blogspot.com/)
Friday, November 20, 2009
First of all, as a psychiatrist, he wouldn't be killing his Muslim brothers. Secondly, where has he been? Muslims kill Muslims all the time. Who is behind the car bombings in Pakistan, Afghanistan, and Iraq, Buddhists? Sunnis kill Shias, Shias kill Sunnis. Muslims killing Muslims have been going on for centuries.
Most, if not all, of the people killed in the massive car bombings in the markets and other public gathering places are innocent people, and many of them are women and children, Muslims all, as are the car bombers who kill them. What didn't Major Hasan understand about that?
I don't want to be sent to kill other Muslims . . . oh please! Major Hasan's logic was not logic at all. It was pure emotionalism, but then he was religious, a fundamental Muslim, and all religions are based on emotion, not on logic.
So why didn't Major Hasan resign his commission? If his religious faith (a belief in that which cannot be seen, tested, nor proven) was such that he couldn't participate in a war on global murdering Muslim terrorists, why was he in the Army in the first place?
Okay, maybe he became more devout as his career developed. Still, when he realized that his oath to uphold the U.S. Constitution was in conflict with his religious beliefs, then the logical thing to have done at that time would have been to resign his commission.
Then he could have immigrated to some Muslim country like Saudi Arabia, or even Afghanistan and lived a devout Muslim life. He could have found a devout Muslim sla..., er, wife. He could have even joined in with the Taliban or Al Qaeda and gone to war against the evil invading Christian soldiers from American. Then, if he had been killed, he would have been assured a place in Heaven with his 72 virgins* (which, by the way is not in the Koran).
But he didn't resign. He decided to kill other American soldiers. He became an enemy combatant for Allah. He became a murdering Muslim terrorist.
* By the way, why virgins? I have had exactly two virgins in my life . . . it got better. Of course, since in the fundamentalist Muslim way of thinking--that is, medieval--a woman is the property of a man (don't laugh Christians, you believed that way until the 20th Century . . . some still do). The purpose of owning a woman is for production of sons. The purpose of starting with a virgin is to ensure that no other man has had her before you and that any children she produces for you are, in fact, your "flesh and blood," which, by the way, you own like slaves, too. (The boys get to own themselves when they become men . . . not the girls, though.) My point here, is that in Muslim heaven there would be no need of virgins. No, in fact, what one should logically want is an experienced and artful lover, one who knows what to do and can do it with enthusiasm; in other words a high-priced whore. Oh well, so much for logic.
Saturday, October 10, 2009
So there I was, watching an episode of "Bones" (do an internet search for it if you don't know the series) and one of the regulars, an attractive female, kissed another woman. Well, the other woman kissed the regular and she kissed the other woman back. And it wasn't just a quick shot, then fade to black. They each kissed each other sensually two or three times.
I am a male and I am turned on by women. I am also an old fart, 62 years old, but the scene was HOT! I guess it was a way for the liberals among us to let us know that women loving women actually exist, and that they are not bad people, or shady characters.
Okay, I know that. I am very accepting of other people's sexual orientation and life styles, as long as it involves consenting, non-coerced adults. And logically, two women kissing, or loving each other in a romantic way, or having sex together does not violate the rights of others. It's a personal moral thing and I believe that personal moral beliefs that do not violate the rights of others is not a matter for the law.
But then the thought occurred to me that, while the TV networks, or cable TV executives might be willing to show a bit of female on female titillation, would they ever show, on a popular TV series, a man kissing another man . . . in a sensual, sexual way?
I don't want to see that! Do you? Does anyone, except for gay men?
Do I have a point? I don't know. Maybe my point is this: Our society, after being inundated with female sexuality on TV and billboards, in magazine advertisements, in the movies for so many year, can accept two women kissing, but they are not ready for the sight of two men doing the same thing. Or maybe, just maybe, women are, by nature, more sensual and sexual than men. Maybe even "straight" women can accept the sight of two women kissing easier than the sight of two men kissing.
Anecdotally, from my experience with women, and I have had a fair amount of experience with them, the impression I got was that those women would much rather see women kissing and making love than seeing men do the same thing.
I wholeheartedly agree with them. But then, I am a man who loves women for being women, for their very difference from men, and for allowing me, when that has happened, to kiss them and to make love with them.
Friday, October 09, 2009
This reminds me of what has happened with sporting events for small children, where everyone gets a trophy merely for participating. You don't have to accomplish anything. You just have to show up.
Well, President Obama showed up by being elected President of the United States. Why doesn't the Nobel Committee just go ahead and give a Peace Prize trophy to all the other nominees? Some of them just may have actually done something to try and further peace in the world.
I'm not saying that President Obama won't try, or that he won't accomplish something. All I'm saying is that it cheapens the whole purpose of the Nobel prizes to be giving them out just for showing up.
Thursday, October 08, 2009
I don't know what the problem is with these uneducated nimcompoops. NASA isn't sending any expolsives, especially not a nuclear bomb, to the moon. What they are sending could be called (and, I'm sure has been, because I read about it in a novel) a kinetic energy weapon, much like a meteor striking the surface of the Moon. (That's about as natural as you can get.)
The idea of kinetic energy weapons (as applied to Earth) go back at least as far as the 1950s and Jerry Pournelle: Project Thor. They have also been given the name of "Rods from God."
Think of a telephone pole sized rod of tungsten, or some other equally heavy material, plummeting through Earth's atmosphere at 36,000 miles per hour. When it struck the Earth it would create an atomic bomb sized explosion, but without the nuclear fallout and radiation.
Of course, Robert Heilein wrote about this when, in one of his novels, he had the moon colony people, who wanted their independence from Earth, threatening to use computer aided catapults to throw large boulders at specific target on the surface of the Earth.
There was anothe novel I read some years ago (science fiction, of course) about an alien race attacking Earth and doing the very same thing from orbit around the Earth. They had just gathered up some appropriate sized rocks from the asteroid belt.
The moon will be okay all you silly protesters out there. The purpose of the experiment is to see if spectrographic images of the impact and resultant explosion shows that there is any water below the Moon's surface...at least sufficient water for a Moon based colony.
As for Earth-targeted kinetic energy weapons, well, I would like them a whole lot more than nuclear bombs and all the radiation and fallout problems associate with them. But then, I don't like war or warfare because it tends to be harmful to children and other living things. Of course, one should have the right to defend one's self, shouldn't one? Better KEWs than nuclear weapons.
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
I live in the hill country about 30 miles north of Fresno, California, about half-way to the beautiful Yosemite Valley. This is oak and digger pine country and we have a plethora of acorn woodpeckers.
Acorn woodpeckers are black with white around their eyes, as well as wing patches and bellies and a red patch on the top of the head, among other markings. Some people have remarked that they have clown-like faces.
As I was reading, I was also listening to the sounds of several of those birds. It was a beautiful, partly cloudy, blued-skyed, clear-aired, and deliciously cool day. Many of the woodpeckers were sounding off at the same time in what I now call the "chattering cadence of laughing woodpeckers."
This is not important when it comes to health care reform, unemployment, financial crisis, war in Afganistan, and whatever else our instant, up-to-date news media inundates us with daily, which can only cause us stress. But that time was important for my soul. (Although I am not religious, I do believe that people are healthier if they are listening to, paying attention to, and, at least to some extent, in tune with nature).
Last Saturday was a beautiful interlude of sun, blue sky, white cumulus clouds, and a cool breeze rattling the oak leaves and whooshing thought the digger pine needles. And it was made even more beautiful by the chattering cadence of laughing, red, white, and black, clown-faced acorn woodpeckers.
Saturday, October 03, 2009
I am going quote from Mr. Nock's essay, "On Doing the Right Thing," and I will insert the word "libertarian" for his use of "anarchist." He was not speaking of the wild-eyed, bomb-thowing type of person that we think of when we use the word anarchist today. What Mr. Nock had to say was important then, in 1935. It is even more important today . . . for those of us who know that the "State" is only getting bigger and, as it gets bigger, our personal liberty gets smaller. And, just as important, we also know that morality cannot be legislated and the attempts to do so by the Liberals and Progressives has only cause more problems in our society.
In the essay from which I will quote, Mr. Nock was talking about three regions of behavior in all of the actions of mankind. The first region is that which is controlled by law or some outside force beyond the individual, the second region is of "indifferent choice," that is, what type of car, or shirt, or toothpaste to buy. The third region is the one that we, as individuals, through our culture and society learn and have a choice of obeying or not. For instance, "women and children first," used to be common language and accepted as the right thing to do in case of an emergency. I'm not so sure that that is true today. This is the freedom of moral choice region.
The third region is a region that can build character and make good and morally strong citizens. It is about choices and mistakes and learning from those mistakes to become better, stronger people, and it has to be done by the individual, through experience. It cannot be forced upon people. They must understand and accept it. As the old saying goes: "A man convinced against his will is of the same opinion still." Legislating morality is a form of tyranny and it never works.
Mr. Nock said that, in 1935, Americans had very little of that type of personal moral freedom, their lives being controlled more by morality laws, rather than laws meant to protect rights and punish rights-violators. In Latin there are two legal terms. The first is malum in se, which means that an act is, in and of itself, wrong: murder, rape, assault, robbery, child molesting, etc. The other term is malum prohibitum. That means that the act, in and of itself, is not wrong, in the sense that it does not violate the rights of others, but that some people find it to be morally wrong and those people have enough influence to get the government to make a law against such behavior. Therefore, we, as individuals, don't have the legal right to behave in certain ways because of the moral beliefs and influence of some people; we don't have the freedom necessary to a truly free and liberty-loving society. And, that is the type of freedom that Mr. Nock is referring to when he wrote what I have quoted below.
"The practical reason for freedom, then, is that freedom seems to be the only condition under which any kind of substantial moral fibre can be developed. Everything else has been tried, world without end. Going dead against reason and experience, we have tried law, compulsion and authorititarianism of various kinds, and the result is nothing to be proud of. Americans have many virtues of their own, which I would be the last to belittle or disparage, but the power of quick and independent moral judgment is not one of them.
. . . .
"Freedom, for example, as they keep insisting, undoubtedly means freedom to drink oneself to death. The [libertarian] grants this at once; but at the same time he points out that it also means freedom to say with the gravedigger in "Les Miserables," "I have studied, I have graduated; I never drink." It unquestionably means freedom to go on without any code of morals at all; but it also means freedom to rationalise, construct and adhere to a code of one's own.
. . . .
"The [libertarian] is not interested in any narrower or more personal view of human conduct. Believing, for example, that man should be wholly free to be sober or to be a sot, his eye is not caught and exclusively engaged by the spectacle of sots, but instead he points to those who are responsibly sober, sober by a self-imposed standard of conduct, and asserts his conviction that the future belongs to them rather than to the sots.
. . . .
"The [libertarian], moreover, does not believe that any considerable proportion of human beings will promptly turn into rouges and adventuresses, sots and strumpets, as soon as they find themselves free to do so; but quite the contrary. It seems to be a fond notion with the legalists and authoritarians that the vast majority of mankind would at once begin to thieve, murder and generally misconduct itself if the restraints of law and authority were removed."
I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Nock. The government, that is, the "State," cannot force morality upon us. And, by having so many laws that govern our personal moral lives, it takes away the ability of many people, especially the young, to fully come to grips with true morality. After several decades of the Progressive and Liberal social engineering of our society, are we more or less polite than we were 100 years ago? Are we more or less violent than we were 100 years ago?
Friday, September 25, 2009
If a policeman or politician is in office for 2 years or more, they know that the system is corrupt. If they want to get anything done, they must work with the corrupt ones. That makes them corrupt also.
The two-fold purpose of the police force is to follow up on crimes, after they have been committed, and to harass otherwise honest citizens. No policeman will magically appear between you and the bad guy as he is about to stab, beat, shoot, or rape you. "To serve and protect" is a nice slogan, but it does not match reality.
Am I against all policemen? No, if they honestly and diligently go after the people who violate the rights of others, especially those who violently violate the rights of other. Everything else is harassment of otherwise honest citizens.
Am I against all politicians? That one is a bit harder. Most politicians, as my brother adamantly states, are whores. There are few who are actually working for their constituency and not themselves. It's the power thing. Very addictive. Our politicians today are the new aristocracy.
Do not trust your public servants. Most of them want to be, and to some extent are, your public masters.
As Friedrich Nietzsche said, "Mistrust those in whom the urge to punish is strong." The United States is, per capita, and in actual numbers, the largest jailer in the world. The government loves to punish. Can we truly trust the police, the prosecutors, the politicians, and the judges who work for the government? Because, if you know nothing else about politics and the law, know this, the law doesn't not equal justice. Want proof? The United States Supreme Court upheld slavery and the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. The Supreme Court of the United States! Was it justice? No! But, it was the law. Think about it.
If your behavior is non-violent, non-coercive, non-larcenous, and done alone or among consenting adults, then it is you inalienable right to so behave. If you do not harm other people or their property, if you do not immediately and directly endanger other people and their property, it is you inalienable right to so behave if you wish to do so.
Go to http://dowehaverights.blogspot.com/, "The Myth of Inalienable Rights", to read what I am really talking about.
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Unfortunately, the law, quite often, is not just. Let me say that another way: Legality does not equal justice.
Once upon a time, in this nation, it was legal to own slaves. The Fugitive Slave Act of 1850 allowed slaves owners or their agents to enter free states to capture runaway slaves and take them back to slavery. The U.S. Supreme Court upheld that law. It was legal, but it was not just.
Women were not allowed to vote until the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920. (There were some exceptions in a few Western states, Wyoming being principle among them.) Before 1920 women had no direct representation in Congress. If they worked and were taxed, then they were being taxed without representation, among other issues. That, too, was not just, but it was legal.
According to Lysander Spooner, a 19th Century writer-philosopher, in his essay "Vices are not Crimes," it was legal in Massachusetts for a 10-year-old girl to consent to have sex. At the same time it was illegal for any person to buy and drink distilled spirits. All legal, of course, passed by the Massachusetts legislature.
In early England, and in the American colonies at first, a person could be punished for not going to church. It was required by law to attend church on Sundays.
Also in England in those days, a women who was pregnant or had a child but had never been married, that is, had no legally recognized husband, was considered to be a abomination to society and an affront to God. Those women could be thrown in jail, along with their bastard child. All legal, but was it justice?
These are but a few examples of how the law does not equal justice. But I have a different definition of justice, one that is based on logic--not on the emotional basis of religion or personal moral beliefs.
My definition of justice is as follows: Justice is when you get what you deserve, nothing more, nothing less. Right is when justice is done; wrong is when it is not. (From my political pamphlet "The Myth of Inalienable Rights.")
In the matter of slavery: If we believe in the concept of inalienable rights--that is, that each person owns, and owns completely, the property of himself or herself--then to enslave a person is not just. It is the gross violation of his or her right to freedom and personal liberty. Besides which, slave owners are slave owners only because of the use of force--legally or illegally--over the slaves. And no slave owner wishes to be a slave.
In the matter of womens' suffrage: One of the calls to revolution for this nation was the slogan "No taxation without representation." By not allowing women to vote, but by still making them subject to the law, their rights were violated and they did not have what they deserved--a right to help determine what laws would be passed that affected them to a lesser or greater extent daily.
In the matter of being able to knowingly and willingly consent to sex at age 10: Does a 10-year-old child deserve to have sexual relationships? Would such a girl have the social skill, the knowledge, experience, or ability to decide whether or not to have sex? From everything that I understand about human mental development, I think not! A 10-year-old girl, or boy, would be extremely unlikely to voluntarily initiated sex, especially with an adult.
In fact, many who are 18 years old aren't fully equipped for that decision either. However, we have to have an age limit for when a person is fully responsible for his or her actions when it comes to things sexual, so the age of 18 is acceptable. After all, the average teenager has been driving for a couple of years by that time, and that is a much more dangerous proposition.
As to whether any adult is mentally competent to decide to buy and drink alcoholic beverages brings me to the biggest injustice of our times: The so-called war on drugs.
The notion that drinking alcoholic beverages or using any other recreational drug is immoral (and therefore should be illegal) is a religious concept and has no place in a modern secular society based on logic and inalienable rights.
If adults (and I am only talking about adults here) actually do own the property of their minds and bodies, and if those adults do not violate the rights of others in the use of that property, and if said use includes using one or more of the presently illegal drugs, then the use of drugs is what that person deserves because that is what he or she wants. They also deserve any consequences, positive or negative, incurred by their drug use behavior.
It is not a matter of whether you, or anyone else, thinks that drug use is dangerous and harmful to the people using those drugs. That is their inalienable right. Drinking alcohol, smoking tobacco, downhill skiing, race car driving, sky-diving, scuba-diving, and mountain-climbing are all arguably dangerous and possibly harmful to those who enjoy those behaviors.
It would be an injustice to arrest, convict, incarcerate, and forfeit a person's property for their drug use. The mere use of a drug does not cause a person to commit crimes. That is, the mere use of a drug does not cause the user to violate the rights of others . . .except, of course, for the drug alcohol.
According to U.S. Department of Justice statistics, approximately one-half of all violent crimes are committed by people who have been drinking alcohol. The vast majority of all crimes associated with the presently illegal drugs are caused, not by their mere use, but by the laws making them illegal.
Also, the U.S. has 5% of the world's population, but it has 25% of the world's imprisoned population. Is that because we have a better justice system than any other nation in the world, or is it because we have a bigger injustice system?
There was a time in this country when the presently illegal drugs were legally available and there was no criminal justice problem associated with their use. The religious people got Congress to pass laws making those drugs illegal because those religious people believed that their use was immoral. That is using the government to enforce specific religious ideas. That's not only unconstitutional, it's a great injustice.
You and I deserve the benefits of our actions, of what we can do and of what we can get by the use of our bodies and minds, just so long as we do so without violating the rights of others. And, if our actions harm us, then we deserve that too. That is justice. When the law does not protect our rights, as is the case in the so-called war on drugs, and, if it punishes honest, non-violent drug users, then that is injustice.
Remember, law does not always equal justice. And, if we do not fight for our rights and true justice, then the government will slowly but surely become a granter of privileges and not a protector of rights. That is, our civil servants will become our civil masters.
For a full discussion on this issue go to "The Myth of Inalienable Rights."
Sunday, August 23, 2009
At the time there was a lot of raving and ranting in the news about that unconstitutional law (there is no legitimate constitutional authority for the federal government to ban gun ownership) being the biggest rights violating law in U.S. history.
Those ranter and ravers were wrong.
The biggest rights violation laws are the laws prohibiting adults from the manufacture, sales, and use of certain mind-altering, sometimes addictive, sometimes dangerous drugs used by private individuals for recreational purposes or, in some cases, for self-medication.
The domestic violence conviction gun prohibition only violated the rights of somewhat over one million people. The so-called war on drugs (WOD) violates the rights of tens of millions of adults.
If we, U.S. citizens, have inalienable rights as the Declaration of Independence states, then we have the right to the use of our bodies and minds as we so wish, just so long as the use does not violate the rights of others.
The drug use that is the greatest cause of the violation of the rights of others--merely from its use--is the true narcotic drug alcohol. According to Department of Justice statistics approximately one half of all violent crimes--murders, rapes, robberies, assaults--are caused by people who have been drinking alcohol.
Almost all of the violence caused by the presently illegal drugs is caused by the laws making them illegal, not merely from the use of them.
Marijuana is the number one illegal drug use in America. Not only are there no recorded deaths from using that substance, there are few if any recorded murders or other violent crime associated with the use of it.
If Americans have a right to use the potential dangerous and violence-causing narcotic drug alcohol, why don't they have an equal right to the use of the less harmful and non-violence causing drugs that are presently illegal? Further, by what legitimate constitutional authority did Congress outlaw the presently illegal drugs? And, by what legitimate constitutional authority did the Supreme Court (a branch of the federal government) uphold those laws?
If one researches the history of drug use in America in the early part of the 20th Century, he or she will find out that the use of the presently illegal drugs was not associated with real criminal behavior--that is, the violation of the rights of others. Only alcohol was, as it is, still, today. The ban on certain drug use is specifically a religious or personal moral matter and there is no constitutional authority for Congress to pass laws to regulate your personal moral decisions that do not violate the rights of others.
The WOD is the biggest violation of the rights of otherwise honest adult citizens and it set a precedence for the federal government to continue to skirt the legitimate authority of the U.S. Constitution to pass other rights violating laws. The domestic violence conviction gun ban being but one of them.
Our government long ago passed from being a rights protecting institution, as the Founding Fathers of this nation wanted it to be, and became a granter of privileges to "the people." In other words, it long ago became a paternal dictator, which is just another word for tyranny.
In America we are free . . . free to do whatever the government allows us to do.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
What follows are facts about global-warming/climate change from scientists, or otherwise educated people, who have studied the issue. Climate change or global warming is not the working of one simple gas produced by the modern, industrialized world. The complexities of what effects our climate are myriad.
Greenland has been cooling since 1940. "The Greenland ice sheet and coastal regions are not following the current global warming trends." P. Chylek, et al. 2004, "Global Warming and the Greenland Ice Sheet", Climate Change 63, 201-21. (A factual footnote from Michael Crichton's novel, State of Fear, Harper Collins, 2004.)
"There are a number of causes of climatic change, and until all causes other than carbon dioxide increase are ruled out, we cannot attribute the change to carbon dioxide alone." Reid A. Bryson Ph.D., D.Sc., D.Engr. (Emeritus Professor of Meteorology, of Geography and of EnvironmentalStudies. Senior Scientist, Center for Climatic Research, The Gaylord Nelson Institute for Environmental Studies [Founding Director], the University of Wisconsin, Madison.) http://www.sitewave.net/news/s49p1837.htm
"Water vapor is at least 100 times as effective as carbon dioxide, so small variations in water vapor are more important than large changes in carbon dioxide." (ibid.) (Few, if any computer models of climate change factor in water vapor!)
"The oceans, by virtue of their enormous density and heat storage capacity, are the dominant influence on our climate. It is the heat budget and energy flows into and out of the ocean which largely determines what the global mean temperature of the surface atmosphere will settle to. These flows, especially evaporation, are quite capable of cancelling the slight effect of CO2. This is clearly evident in the tropics where there has been no temperature increase at all in spite of a 50% increase in CO2-equivalent greenhouse gases." John L. Daly, http://www.john-daly.com/deepsea.htm
"Global Warming is not due to human contribution of Carbon Dioxide (CO2)."
"Richard Lindzen . . . is an atmospheric physicist and a professor of meteorology at MIT, renowned for his research in dynamic meteorology - especially atmospheric waves. He is also a member of the National Academy of Sciences and has held positions at the University of Chicago, Harvard University and MIT. Linzen frequently speaks out against the notion that significant Global Warming is caused by humans."
"As Lindzen said many years ago: 'the consensus was reached before the research had even begun.' Now, any scientist who dares to question the prevailing wisdom is marginalized and called a sceptic, when in fact they are simply being good scientists." Timothy Ball, Ph.D in Climatology, University of London, England, former professor of climatology at the University of Winnipeg, Canada.
"Water vapor constitutes Earth's most significant greenhouse gas, accounting for about 95% of Earth's greenhouse effect.
"Water vapor is 99.999% of natural origin. Other atmospheric greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane (CH4), nitrous oxide (N2O), and miscellaneous other gases (CFC's, etc.), are also mostly of natural origin (except for the latter, which is mostly anthropogenic).
"Human activites contribute slightly to greenhouse gas concentrations through farming, manufacturing, power generation, and transportation. However, these emissions are so dwarfed in comparison to emissions from natural sources we can do nothing about, that even the most costly efforts to limit human emissions would have a very small-- perhaps undetectable-- effect on global climate." Monte Hieb
"Of the 186 billion tons of CO2 that enter earth's atmosphere each year from all sources, only 6 billion tons are from human activity. Approximately 90 billion tons come from biologic activity in earth's oceans and another 90 billion tons from such sources as volcanoes and decaying land plants.
"At 368 parts per million CO2 is a minor constituent of earth's atmosphere-- less than 4/100ths of 1% of all gases present. Compared to former geologic times, earth's current atmosphere is CO2- impoverished." Monte Hieb (Different article than above.)
"In what could be the simplest explanation for one component of global warming, a new study shows the Sun's radiation has increased by .05 percent per decade since the late 1970s. . . . 'This trend is important because, if sustained over many decades, it could cause significant climate change.' . . . . 'Solar activity has apparently been going upward for a century or more.'" Robert Roy Britt, Science.com.
Wednesday, July 08, 2009
The most basic property is one's own body and mind, to which no one else, including the government, has a claim except by one's knowing and willing word or contract with another party for the use of one's body or mind. This assumes, of course, consenting adults only.
Further, inalienable rights, by their very nature, cannot be voted out of existence, otherwise they are not inalienable. No majority decision of the citizenry and especially no majority vote of any legislative body has the legitimate power to nullify, that is, violate a person's inalienable rights.
To put it another way, if an adult's behavior is done alone or with other, consenting, adults; if said behavior is non-violent, non-coercive, and non-larcenous; if said behavior does not disturb the peace or create a public nuisance, then that behavior is the inalienable right of that person. This is even more true is said behavior is done privately, so as not to be viewed by the public, and done on private property. The essence of an inalienable right is behavior that does not violate the rights of others.
It matters not if others believe that the behavior is immoral or harmful to the person who is doing it. Immorality is a religious concept and we do not have a religious government. And, in the United States, we are supposed to have both religious freedom and freedom from religion. Harm is subjective. There are many behaviors that can cause harm, even death, to the participants such as suba-diving, mountain climbing, smoking tobacco, and drinking alcoholic beverages, among others. Society accepts the fact that adults who participate in those types of behavior can and may be harmed or even die from their actions. We do not allow the government to arrest, and punish those people behaving in those ways, unless their actions harm or directly threaten to harm others or the property of others.
The alternative to the above is that we do not have the right to own property or, at the very least, we do not fully own ourselves; that we merely get privileges granted to us. That would make us slaves. If we don't have inalienable rights--the right to participate in any behavior whether potentially harmful, or whether others find it to be immoral--then who is the privilege master, the slavemaster, the one authority that will dictate what we, as adults, can and cannot do even if our actions do not violate the rights of others?
In a society that values individual liberty and styles itself as the land of the free, the government can have no more power than an individual has. The government gets its legitimate power from the people. (See the Declaration of Independence and the 10th Amendment to the U.S. constitution.)
If a citizen cannot legitimately force his or her personal moral or religious beliefs upon any other person, then the government also lacks the legitimate power to do so, even if all the legislators vote for it. If it is wrong for an individual citizen to resort to force in an attempt to make another person moral, where the person being so force has not violated the rights of others, then it is wrong for the government to do so, whether by itself or in the name of a majority of the citizens. Actually, it is more than wrong. It is criminal, in that it would be violating the rights of the person being forced to adhere to other people's personal or religious moral code.
The government of the United States (all three branches) in the attempt to impose a specific moral code upon all adult citizens regarding behavior considered by many to be immoral and wrong, but which, in and of itself, does not violate the rights of others, may and, quite often, does resort to the use of force to impress its will upon the people. I am specificially talking about consensual adult drug behavior, although other types of consensual adult behavior also apply.
All tyrannies have behaved in this manner. And a democratic government that violates the inalienable rights of some citizens by a majority vote is no less a tyranny. This nation was not set up as a pure democracy. (For example, think of two wolves and one sheep voting on what to have for dinner.) The Founding Fathers believe strongly in the principle of inalienable rights. They also knew that some people would destroy themselves if left to their own devices. Sad, certainly. Tragic, maybe. But as long as those people did not violate the rights of others, then they had an inalienable right to do what they wanted with themselves.
So, who will put a stop to the present tyranny in the United States? Who will punish the government for overreaching its legitimate constitutional powers? There are literally millions of honest, peaceful adult citizens who do not believe in nor adhere to the specific moral code that the government is trying to force upon them when it comes to what we, as adults, can do with our most personal property, our bodies and our minds.
How has it come about that once strong and independant United States citizens now depend upon the government to tell them what to do and to allow their civil servants to become their civil masters? If a person's behavior does not violate the rights of others, or if that behavior is not a direct and immediate threat to the rights of others, then that person's fellow citizens have no legitimate power or right to interfere with that person's life. More importantly, neither does the government. We must re-establish this principle of inalienable rights if we, as a nation, truly want personal liberty and a strong, free society.
Monday, June 22, 2009
A producing worker is someone who is integral in the production of tangible goods, which is what true wealth is. You can't eat money and you can't build a house out of money nor can you wear it as clothing. Money is merely a way of keeping track of your wealth. Even if you are not fabulously wealthy, you still have wealth if you have possessions.
So who is a producing worker? A producing worker is a person with the idea for making something that other people want to possess. Or it is a person with the capital to get that idea made into a tangible object. Or it is a person who provides the labor to make the object. Or one person could fill all three positions. One person could have an idea, have the capital to buy the necessary materials, and provide the labor to make it.
The taxes that the producing workers pay support everyone else, with one minor exception. Service providing businesses such as restaurants, hotels, and airlines get paid directly by producing workers, or indirectly by people who have shared in the taxes that the producing workers have paid. Then, the service providers pay taxes on the money that came directly or indirectly from the producing workers.
Let me try and create a mental image. Imagine a large pool of water with the water representing the collected taxes from all taxable income. There is a very large inlet pipe which is coming from the producing workers. Off to one side of the large inlet pipe and before the tax pool outfall is a smaller pipe leading to the service workers and then from them an even smaller inlet pipe pouring into the tax pool.
On the other end of the pool are three siphons: federal, state, and local governments. Any money that is disbursed by these governments, whether for paying wages to government workers, farm subsidies, corporate subsidies, personal subsidies (welfare), social security, medicare, the military, road construction--anything paid for from and by these governments--comes from the taxes paid by the producing workers.
Of course, anyone getting an income from the government has to pay taxes, so there is another inlet pipe collecting that "tax water" and putting it back into the tax pool from the government side of the tax pool. However, that does not raise the level of the tax pool. It is only a small percentage of the water that was taken out previously by the governments. (And, one wonders, why government workers don't have a tax adjusted income so they don't have to pay taxes, thereby reducing the cost incurred by them filing their taxes and having their tax claims processed by more government workers.)
Also, when anyone receiving an income from the government eats in a restaurant, stays in a hotel, flies on an airplane, they are paying the service workers with the money paid in taxes by the producing workers.
When a producing worker buys anything, whether it is an automobile or a pencil, he or she is paying for it with the wealth--translated into dollars--that he or she has made by producing things that people want. When anyone receiving an income from the government buys anything, they are paying for it from the wealth created by the producing worker.
If producing workers are taxed too much it destroys incentive and, perhaps, makes some of them want to try and get in on the "free" government money. Heavy taxes also makes many of the financiers of production look for cheap labor overseas.
And, as to government largess (with other people's money), the more people receiving government money, for whatever reason, the fewer producing workers there will be to keep the tax pool at a sustainable level. If the tax pool level gets too low, the national economy will fail.
We should never forget that the whole of our economy is supported completely by the producing worker. Also, there is no such thing as a free lunch (TINSTAAFL to those who understand), regardless of what the progressives and socialists would have you believe. Fewer people on the government payroll or dole would mean more money in the pockets of those who actually support us all. That would mean more spending by those people, which would create more demand for goods, which would create more jobs and more producing workers . . . and a healthier economy.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
They were victims because an outside agency--in this case, other people--caused them physical harm to the point of death. And that is a good definition of victimhood, being harmed--physically or financially--by an agency outside of one's self, whether it be by other people or by nature, and whether or not it causes one's death.
It is my contention that you, yourself, cannot be a victim of your own knowing and willing actions. You may be stupid, or ignorant, or careless, but if you harm yourself by your unforced or uncoerced actions you are not a victim.
A crime, in today's convoluted legal world, is defined as a violation of the law. But there was a time in which a crime was defined as the violation of the rights of others.
One of my favorite 19th Century authors, Lysander Spooner, in his essay Vices are not Crimes: A Vindication of Moral Liberty, stated that "[i]t is a maxim of the law that there can be no crime without a criminal intent; that is, without the intent to invade the person or property of another."
I wholeheartedly agree with Mr. Spooner. How can there be a crime if there is no victim, no person who has been physically or financially harmed by some other person? Therefore, there can be no "victimless crime." Either a person has been so harmed or he or she has not. If such harm has been done then a crime has been committed.
However, a person behaving in a way that may, or may not, harm himself or herself, either phyically or financially, is not violating the rights of others and is, therefore, not committing a crime. Neither would he or she be a victim, because that person, not some outside agency, is the actor.
The biggest cause for the use of the term "victimless crime" is the use of the presently illegal drugs. The laws making it criminal to make, sell, buy, or use those substances are based solely on religious or personal moral beliefs.
I agree that an adult (not a minor) who knowingly and willingly uses one or more of the presently illegal drugs and comes to some kind of harm is not a victim. But I disagree that such drug behavior is a crime. The mere use a drug does not violate the rights of others. People who drink alcoholic beverages (alcohol being a true narcotic drug) are not arrested unless their behavior harms or threatens to harm the rights of others.
Another area where the term "victimless crime" is use is in the so-called sex industry, mainly in prostitution. If an adult women knowingly and willingly rents her body for sexual use to a knowing and willing adult, there is no victim. And, since the behavior is consensual and no rights are being violated, there is no crime.
As another 19th Century author, John Stuart Mill, stated, "[t]he only purpose for which power can be rightfully exercised over any member of a civilized community, against his will, is to prevent harm to others. His own good, either physical or moral, is not sufficient warrant."
Unfortunately, society believes that the government has the legitimate power to dictate proper moral conduct and to criminalize conduct that is considered immoral by a certain percentage of the population. That flies directly in the face of the concept of inalienable rights as mentioned in the Declaration of Independence. Also, there doesn't seem to be a legitimate enumerated Constitutional clause allowing the government this power.
Crimes harm other people. Victims are harmed by other people. There is no such thing as a victimless crime because if there is no victim then there can be no crime. That is logical, but then, the morality laws are based on religious and personal moral beliefs which are rooted in the emotionally controlled part of our minds.
Thursday, February 19, 2009
The “consensus” of theologians, philosophers, and scientists in 1663 was that the Sun, not the Earth, moved. In that year Galileo Galilei was forced to recant his theory that the Earth moved around the Sun. (“E pur si muove!” And yet it moves, he supposedly said afterwards.)
The consensus of scientists, we are told, is that humans are causing global warming by putting too much carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. However, the greatest “greenhouse” gas is water vapor. It makes up 95% of the greenhouse gases.  Carbon dioxide, with water vapor factored into the equation, only makes up 0.28% of greenhouse gasses and mankind’s contribution to that small percentage is miniscule. 
Dr. Wallace Broecker, a geochemist at Columbia University, in a speech before the American Geophysical Union’s meeting in Baltimore, Maryland, in May of 1996, stated: “I can only see one element of the climate system capable of generating these fast, global changes, that is, changes in the tropical atmosphere leading to changes in the inventory of the earth's most powerful greenhouse gas-- water vapor.”
And how about the planet Neptune? Scientists know that it has been warming since the 1980’s.  This can’t be caused by human activity. It is caused by the Sun, the same Sun that warms the Earth—and causes water vapor to evaporate and increase the greenhouse warming trend.
No matter how “green” we go—you, me, all of humanity—we will not be able to stop or control this natural process. According to Jane E. Francis, Professor of Earth Sciences at the University of Leeds, England, “[w]hat we are seeing really is just another interglacial phase within our big icehouse climate."  That is, it is well established that the Earth has gone through long ice ages with, relatively short (ten to twenty thousand year) warm periods over the last three million years, or so. We seem to be at the end of such a warming period. We should hope for all the warm greenhouse effect we can get, because it won’t last. The next ice age will come and the first generation of survivors will fondly remember the warm times.
Of course, there is taxpayers' money to be distributed to those scientists who scare the people the most and scientists need money to keep in business, so to speak. "Scientists who want to attract attention to themselves, who want to attract great funding to themselves, have to [find a] way to scare the public . . . and this you can achieve only by making things bigger and more dangerous than they really are."  (Dr. Petr Chylek, Professor of Physics and Atmospheric Science, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Nova Scotia.)
All of the above notwithstanding, that doesn’t mean that we shouldn’t take care of the planet upon which we live. It just makes sense to not mess up where you live and to try and clean up what you have already messed up. I like clean air, clean water, and healthy wild lands as much as anyone. But we needn’t beat ourselves up about producing a minute amount of a lesser greenhouse gas—CO2—when the greatest greenhouse gas—water vapor—is beyond our control. The cycles within cycles that cause the climate on our planet to become cold, then warm, then cold again, will continue no matter what we do.
 Global Warming: http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/greenhouse_data.html. Also see, Global Warming: A Chilling Perspective at http://www.geocraft.com/WVFossils/ice_ages.html#anchor2108263 and “click” on “A Matter of Opinion”.)
 Global Warming: A Chilling Perspective, above, at bottom of article under “Stopping Climate Change".
 Global Warming: A Chilling Perspective, above, sixth quote after “Fun Facts about Carbon Dioxide.”
Tuesday, February 17, 2009
Just because many of them have family ties on both sides of the border, or that NAFTA did a lot to put subsistence farmers in Mexico out of business...and they can't get jobs down there...is no reason for them to expect to come here and wash our dishes, clean our toilets, mow our lawns, pick our fruit and vegetables, and all those other jobs that they are taking away from us hard-working Americans.
Besides, the Germans and Irish and Italians and Polish, as well as the Chinese had to come here on boats. They had to go through a controlled access point and a proper admittance procedure. They didn't have 2,000 miles of border that they could walk, swim, or drive across. We need to build a 30 foot high fence with guard towers, search lights, and a razor-wire and white gravel "killing zone" in front of it, from the Pacific to the Gulf of Mexico. And it shouldn't even have any gates or opening. (And while we're at it we should rename that body of water to the Gulf of America. Hell, it touches more of our shoreline than Mexico's.)
No sir, let them Mexicans get on boats like the rest of our ancestors did and come through proper controlled access ports and a proper admittance procedure. Hell, those Mexicans supposedly give a lot of money to those so-called "coyotes" to lead them across the border. Let them use that money to buy a boat ticket, like all honest, god-fearing immigrants do.
And while we're at it, what about Canada? I mean, those socialists are out to wreck our pharmaceutical industry, what with all the cheap online medicines that you can buy. And those Canadians can just come into the U.S. anytime they want. What's up with that? And they aren't nearly so harsh with their drug law sentencing and they have nearly legalized pot!
What we need is another 30 foot fence on our Northern border...from sea to shining sea. Let's get serious about making America safe from all those sneaky, cheap-working, cheap medicine selling, pot-smoking, possible terrorist foreigners. And let's get serious about keeping America American.
Wednesday, January 14, 2009
"These fears are not merely imaginary specters, terrifying secluded doctrinaires.It is a fact that no paternal government, whether ancient or modern, ever shrank from regimenting its subjects' minds, beliefs, and opinions. If one abolishes man's freedom to determine his own consumption, one takes all freedoms away. The naive advocates of government interference with consumption delude themselves when they neglect what they disdainfully call the philosophical aspect of the problem. They unwittingly support the cause of censorship, inquisition, intolerance, and the persecution of dissenters."
(Luwig von Mises, Human Action: A Treatise on Economics, 3d. rev.ed. [Chicago: Henry Regnery, 1966], pp. 733-34) (Emphasis added.) (The original copyright date of Human Action is 1949.)