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On Jurisdiction

State lawmakers and law enforcement officers claim jurisdiction over their citizenry, meaning, they claim that the laws the make and enforce are applicable to those they claim are their citizens. What facts and evidence of those facts do they have to prove their claim? Dig deep enough, throwing out non-responsive answers to that question (non-factual, irrelevant, without evidence), the honest seeker of truth soon discovers they only basis for their jurisdiction: their guns. And that’s precisely the goal of such questioning, to reveal to the world the foundation of their power and the applicability of their laws. It’s not birthright or constitutions or majority rule or any of that other nonsense. It’s firepower. Bullets to the brain. And with that revelation the voluntaryist position on the state becomes clear: the state, the government, is nothing more in fact than a criminal syndicate enjoying and profiting off of a widespread, coercively perpetuated but mistaken perception of legitimacy. Given enough time and resources, any crime lord or street tough could obtain for itself the same perception. Does that mean we owe them our allegiance, our duty, our obedience, our praise, our honor? I think not. And that’s today’s two cents. Skyler. continue reading

On Illegal Immigration

Due to the lack of factual evidence on the applicability of state laws to people, there is no such thing as illegal immigration. It simply doesn’t exist. By definition, immigration by people can only be illegal if there is factual evidence that the state immigration laws they are allegedly violating apply. In reality, there is no such factual evidence. So in reality, illegal immigration is a fantasy. Doesn’t exist as anything more than people’s opinions and arguments. QED. Do you think it does? Present your factual evidence and let it be challenged. Good luck. And that’s today’s two cents. Skyler. continue reading

On Offensiveness

That we might say the exact same words and phrases to two different people and receive a different reaction proves that offense is taken, not given. One of the teachings of Stoicism is that each of us are responsible for our reactions to the events that surround us. How we interpret the behavior or speech of others is up to us, not them. Even violent behavior is subjectively interpreted one way or another. If what I say or what I do offends you, that is your problem, not mine. To take offense believing it’s given is to allow others control over you that they really don’t have. It is to enslave yourself to them. I tell my children daily that when they get upset over their siblings words or behavior, they are allowing their sibling to control them. I want them to understand their reaction for what it really is, a subjective interpretation. I think one day they’ll get it. I think one day I’ll get it. And that’s today’s two cents. Skyler. continue reading

On Rights II

It has become fashionable among the philosophical circles I run in to proclaim something along the lines of “Rights don’t exist!” The reasoning usually focuses on the fact that no person or group can point to a right that they claim they have. Even the so-called right to life or right to self-defense are nonexistent, they proudly say. Can’t be logically justified, or so it goes. Whether or not they are wrong on that count is a matter for debate, but where they falter is on their actions. Every person thus claiming that rights don’t exist no doubt recognizes where and when they should or should not ask for permission before interacting with someone or their property. Even if it’s solely on the basis of desiring to keep away from harm, their recognition of the limits to their behavior as it concerns other people and their stuff is a recognition of some underlying rights-based structure. Because that’s what rights, logical conceived, are: limits on behavior. If you want to claim that rights don’t exist, fine. But if you behave otherwise, you’re contradicting yourself. And that’s today’s two cents. Skyler. continue reading

On the 2nd Amendment

From all the studying I’ve done on the issue, it seems to me that the spirit and purpose behind the 2nd Amendment to the US Constitution was to preserve weapons parity between “the people” and “the government” in order to prevent tyranny. It doesn’t matter that the weapons back then were less powerful or sophisticated than the weapons we have today. If “the government” has a certain kind of weapon, “the people” must have it also. 2nd Amendment aside, its both a fact of history and a matter of common sense that one party with greater power will run roughshod over the weaker one. We see this every day, from the playground bully to the abusive parent to the petty bureaucrat to the totalitarian dictator. Weapons parity is the only antidote to the disparity in respect for the autonomy and property of others. And that’s today’s two cents. continue reading

On Scientific Controversy

Two things to remember when listening to scientific topics that have become controversial: 1) when terms like “heretic” or “heresy” are used, the conversation has left the realm of science and entered the realm of religion, and 2) when terms like “traitor” or “denial” are used, the conversation has left the realm of science and entered the realm of politics. Neither realm is at all conducive to scientific progress, but rather to division and scandal. And that’s today’s two cents. Skyler. continue reading

On Statists

The biggest threat to my liberty and safety are not Muslims, nor even radical Muslims. In fact, the biggest threat to me are statists. A statist is someone who believes in political authority, that some people are entitled to rule, that is, to wage war against the self-interests of others using any means necessary (compulsory schooling, police violence, bureaucracy) in forcing them to obey their ever-growing dictates. Statist ideology is responsible for murdering hundreds of millions of people in the 20th Century alone and in imprisoning and impoverishing hundreds of millions of others. Muslims aren’t anywhere near the level of threat presented by statists around the world. The attack on Muslims is obviously a distraction from society’s enemy numero uno, the State. State dogma is a much bigger and more dire threat to peaceful people than is Islam. And that’s today’s two cents. Skyler. continue reading

On Violence

Why do people act? Ultimately, to remove felt uneasiness. This is the basic need behind every other need that human life (at least) entails. When the means to achieve this end aren’t available for peaceful acquisition, people will employ violence. People will employ violence. I repeat that for effect. Ideas and ideologies are not and cannot be violent. Only people, and individual people at that, are violent or can be violent. The cause of violence is the desire to remove felt uneasiness that it is currently believed can only be achieved through the use of violence. What sorts of things cause felt uneasiness of which most people are likely to judge can only be removed with violent action? Think about it, and let me know. And that’s today’s two cents. Skyler. continue reading

On Perpetuating Ignorance

I witnessed recently a busy grandmother telling a toddler “no, no” when the latter was trying to grab at a curious looking empty drinking glass. The toddler persisted, which caused the grandmother to threaten a time-out. Aside from the obviously silly threat of punishment for being curious, the greater crime committed by the grandmother in my opinion was the perpetuation of ignorance. The toddler’s curiosity is evidence that she was ignorant of what the empty drinking glass was all about, and like the natural scientist that all children are, she just had to find out. The grandmother stood in her way, in effect, perpetuating her ignorance about some small part of the universe. Why do I consider that the greater crime? Because I value knowledge and wisdom and consider the perpetuation of ignorance to be foundational to some of the greatest atrocities the human race has ever seen. Thankfully I was on hand to assist the toddler in satiating her curiosity and become that much more knowledgeable about how the universe works. And that’s today’s two cents. Skyler. continue reading