Saturday, April 30, 2011

In Canada it makes sense to charge high taxes on cigarettes since the government pays for health care. Smokers' taxes can offset the burden their habit places on the health care system.

The government pays for healthcare with our money. It's not free. It extorts (a violation of the Seventh Commandment!) the money so it can fund services (e.g., healthcare) that may well rank lower on our individual scale of values (e.g., food, shelter, entertainment).

You're treading on dangerous ground, moreover, when you give the State moral and legal authority to make our health choices for us. When the Clinton administration tried to saddle the U.S. with "free" healthcare back in the 1990s, Hillary Clinton testified before Congress that, yes, as a matter of fact, the government might well want to consider imposing a twinkie or burger tax, to offset the burden those habits place on the healthcare system.

There's no end to the mischief this mentality will generate. The government will tax beer, wine, cigarettes, fast food--anything it can argue is detrimental to health, even if it isn't--to fund its healthcare system. Then it'll use the proceeds to promote mandatory vaccinations, which are truly hazardous to your health.


Monday, April 25, 2011

I read your posts about the Nuclear Bombs on Nagasaki and Hiroshima. I have a different point of view from yours. My Dad and my Uncle (my namesake) would have been landing on the beaches of Japan - two 'country hicks' from Carson City, MI would have been engaged in God knows what to defeat the Empire of Japan. I take this personally. In all likelihood, they would have both been killed in action - so when it comes to war (real war) a country has to absolutely devastate the other country's willingness to fight - you need to kill/destroy everything that stands in your way - which is why war is ugly and serious and why a war declaration should not be taken lightly. People die - including civilians - very hard to reconcile. Personally, I am glad that Truman made te decision that he made - I honestly believe that I am here because of that decision. Taking about 0.5 million US casualties was simply not acceptable when other means - however destructing - were available. ~KL

The only reason your dad and uncle would have been landing on the beaches of Japan is because Truman--and FDR before him--insisted on Japan's unconditional surrender. If you have a beef with people who put soldiers' lives at risk for no good reason, you should take it up with Truman and FDR and their apologists, not with me.

You're the one who has swallowed the U.S. Empire's false alternatives of invasion or dropping the Bomb. Again, Japan was trying to surrender. A negotiated settlement would have spared soldiers' and civilians' lives. Why was the only civilized option off the table? Because neither FDR nor Truman was civilized.

Moreover, I take very personally the idea the Forces of Good (whoever they are) have free rein to devastate another country's infrastructure and civilian population. My mom and her townsfolk dodged British and American bombs in German-occupied Northern Italy during World War II. Many of them were killed by their purported liberators.

Too many otherwise intelligent people still believe you can kill to advance the Greater Good. It's the terrorist's mentality, and I have no use for it. In fact, I wrote a column about it a while back:


Sunday, April 17, 2011

As far as mainstream conservatives are concerned, U.S. military intervention is the default mode. They'll tell you in one breath the Federal Government is incapable of running a daycare center, and in the next they'll insist it's fully qualified to manage a global military empire. So when the occupied wogs react the way Americans would react if they were occupied by a foreign military power, of course it's all the wogs' fault. What are you? Some kind of Blame-America-Firster?!


Saturday, April 09, 2011

Libertarians have to be careful to use words like coercion very narrowly. In an anarchist, state-of-nature society, commercial and religious relationships would be entirely voluntarily--unless the corporate executives and priests in that society were to compel us, at the points of their guns, to work for them, purchase their products and abide by their religious decrees. But in that anarchist, state-of-nature society, we would be just as free to take up arms and defend ourselves from them.

The statists believe chaos would quickly run rampant in such a society. But we anarchists believe liberty is the mother of order, not its daughter. An armed society is a polite society. The state, with its territorial monopoly on violence, is actually the mother of chaos *and* tyranny--to say nothing of all the impoliteness it spawns. (Have you visited the DMV lately?) Centralized violence does not a civilized order make.

Statists want *to force us to be free*. The contradiction doesn't trouble them in the least: they sincerely believe only state power can protect the people from greedy corporations' shoddy and dangerous products, their slave wages and unfair employment practices. Likewise, atheist statists will claim their infringements on religious liberty actually serve to *enhance* religious liberty, else the churches brainwash everybody into palsied submission to their Medieval dogmas and conservative morality tunnels.

But this kind of thinking gets us nowhere. The religionists can just as easily seize political power, turn around and apply it against the atheists. How else are they to protect the atheists from the aggressive inculcations of a godless zeitgeist?


Thursday, April 07, 2011

Kudos to B.R. on a persuasive and finely crafted column. It's high time libertarians stop ceding the moral high ground to progressives. Not just because transfer payments and business regulations do more harm than good, even focusing solely on the interests of the poor. Efficacy is nagging triviality in this context. No, first and foremost, welfare-statism violates every standard of basic human decency.

You can't fund the welfare state--any state--without resorting to taxation. Taxation is just extortion by another name.

I have a nit to pick nonetheless. B.R.'s tendentious characterizations notwithstanding, religious views will always have a place in the marketplace of ideas. Belief in God, Christ, virtue, sin, judgment, redemption, heaven and hell survived the coercive atheism of the Soviet Union, the bloodiest dictatorship in history, and they will survive (nay, thrive!) in any devoutly (!) to be realized anarchist society. They are neither "foisted on the uneducated" nor "coerced," in any reasonable sense of that word.

This is not to disabuse B.R. of his own atheism. I just see no correlation between religiosity and statism. Some Christians (e.g., the late great Joseph Sobran) are anarchists; many atheists are ardent statists. Why alienate the religionists? Like the raw milk-trafficking Amish, they're as apt to strike the root as anyone.