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The Destruction of Libertarian Ideology

A few of my ideological mentors over the years have written or spoken recently on the idea of open borders, condemning the idea as not only anti-libertarian, but also dangerous and destructive. It pains me to think these mentors of mine as being so wrong on this question, but alas that's what they are. In fact, the argument they employ would destroy libertarian ideology completely if taken to its logical conclusion. continue reading

What is Boredom, Why Do We Want It, How Can We Cure It, and Why Do We Quit Things?

My son comes to me about once a month complaining of boredom. I remember feeling this way when I was his age, and of course I've felt this way as an adult. After this last instance, I become a bit more thoughtful and began wondering where boredom comes from, why it exists. The world is full of amazing things, and as unschoolers my son has complete control over his time and what he does with it. Talking through this with my wife I made a few interesting realizations, which I'll get to. But first, why the boredom? Here's my theory: boredom is the absence of felt uneasiness. continue reading

Who Benefits From Upper Class Wealth?

Many a social democrat and left anarchist decry the existence of wealth inequality, considering it evidence that a crime somewhere, some time has been committed, and that justice must be made through violent confiscatory and re-distributive government programs. To them such is perfectly just because it is the righting of a wrong. The state is a tool that may used in this way, just as for small government libertarians it may be used in self-defense. This is a type of self-defense by the have-nots against the haves. It make me wonder, however, just how beneficial wealth is to the haves, and even to the have-notes? Let us count the ways. continue reading

Indoctrination and Mind Control

Indoctrination, in the Webster II New College Dictionary is defined as “to teach to accept a system of thought uncritically”. Mind Control is a more intensive form of the same thing, requiring some form of physical or mental torture. Indoctrination and mind control can be used to instill a system of ideas before an individual has been subjected to any belief system or it can be used to change the system of beliefs already accepted by an individual. continue reading

Short Subjects and The Shipping News

Send him mail. “Finding the Challenges” is an original column appearing every other Wednesday at, by Verbal Vol. Verbal is a software engineer, college professor, corporate information officer, life long student, farmer, libertarian, literarian, student of computer science and self-ordering phenomena, pre-TSA world traveler, domestic traveler. Archived columns can be found here. FTC-only RSS feed available here. Obviously, my plan to catch up to my bi-weekly production goal for columns foundered on the rocks of gang awry.  Now I am even farther behind schedule.  It’s the summer schedule or lack thereof.  When I have teaching duties at the Community College, and when I am involved in my Lifelong Learning courses, I often have several hours at the library or in the computer lab which can be filled with constructive work.  In the summer, however, I often find myself working outdoors on the farm during daylight hours, sometimes up until nearly 10 pm. But now the autumnal equinox is near, and I am getting back into a regular schedule.  I’m going to give the serialization effort a more fair trial under these conditions. Logic Fallacies — Short Subjects Just a few days ago, I began to meet with a shared interest group (SIG) on Logic and Reason.  Our facilitator, a retired math professor from Transylvania University, gave each of us in attendance a set of 5 informal fallacies to explore and present to the group next week. Veteran readers will know that I have frequently included discussions of  logic fallacies in previous columns, and I often have an idiosyncratic view of them.  So it is with enthusiasm that I will do capsules here, in hopes of expanding them in future writing. Argument to the stone:  The story behind this one was that Dr. Ben Jonson insisted that Dr. George Berkeley‘s philosophy on immaterialism was disproven by the existence of a stone, which Jonson kicked, thus believing he had proven materialism.  Unfortunately for Dr. Jonson, he himself could just as easily have imagined the stone and the kick.  Both doctors insisted on their own versions of reality to reject the other.  A modern version would be to counter an assertion with “you can’t be serious!” Argument from ignorance:  My lovely bride and I have been married now for 50 years, but I pulled a stunt during our first year that leaves me amazed that we are still a team.  She told me about a huge oceanic whirlpool in the North Atlantic.  I was sure that there was no such thing.  “That can’t be true!  Else I would know about it!”  It turns out that I just had not consulted the proper sources.  This was before the Internet was available to groundlings.  If you go to the Bay of Fundy, in the Canadian Maritime Provinces, by boat, you had better be prepared for the “Old Sow Whirlpool” or you may sleep with the fishes. Argument from (personal) incredulity:  Often we may react to an instance of our own ignorance by insisting that... continue reading

The Reality of Things

Send him mail. “Food for Thought” is an original column appearing sporadically on Tuesdays at, by Norman Imberman. Norman is a retired podiatrist who loves playing piano, writing music, lawn bowling, bridge, reading, classical music, going to movies, plays, concerts and traveling. He is not a member of any social network, nor does he plan on becoming one. Dr. Imberman has written a fantastic Christmas song which he had professionally recorded as a demonstration record. He is looking for a publisher, or A & R man, or record producer to listen to his song. It deserves to be a permanent member of the portfolio of familiar and favorite Christmas songs. Archived columns can be found here. FFT-only RSS feed available here. I am not a Democrat. I am not a Republican. I am not a Liberal, Conservative, Libertarian or Independent. My credo is that ALL forms of coercion and the threat of coercion—theft, rape, force, fraud, kidnapping, the purposeful infliction of bodily harm—are evil acts no matter who or what organization inflicts the coercion. The perpetration of coercion for a good intention is just as evil as for a bad intention since it creates victims. Politicians are the prime perpetrators of coercion in a society since they, with the sanction of the populace, inflict the most coercion. It should be evident that my doctrine is a doctrine of peace and all doctrines that sanction and condone its opposite are doctrines causing class warfare, domestic warfare and international warfare—note the state of the country and the world. The most evil politicians are those presently in office since they are in the position to inflict, and actually do, perpetrate the most harm to a society. Right now, July 20, 2016, president Obama and his administration are the most evil and the most destructive of society. Once a new president takes office, he or she and the new administration will then become the most evil and destructive. So if I criticize Obama I am not picking just on him. The time will come when the next administration will be in office and receive my wrath. My disdain is universal and equal towards all sides of the aisle. I’m an equal opportunity critic and display no favorites and show no mercy towards political action. There is no such thing as good coercion. All coercion is evil and must be recognized as anathema to the well being of mankind. So when I criticize liberals, I do so with vehemence and bitterness. Their coercive policies are the cause of the ills of society. In like manner, I criticize conservatives with the same vehemence and bitterness. They too are the cause of the ills of society. Both factions are birds of a feather. Both think that their form of coercion is good coercion. It makes no difference if you (yourself) can’t figure out how to fashion a society of peace after castigating the ideology of coercion. The first step towards the salvation of mankind is to... continue reading