Episode 335 has Skyler giving his commentary on the following entries to r/shitstatistssay: CNBC writes, “Full-time minimum wage workers cannot afford a two-bedroom rental anywhere in the U.S. and cannot afford a one-bedroom rental in 95% of U.S. counties.”; GoAheadAndH8Me writes, “Free consent cannot be given in a society that lacks a UBI providing a comfortable life as the worst possible outcome.”; the Hampton Institute writes, “If capitalism were suddenly outlawed & we all began working for each other (instead of for a handful of rich people), we’d have 10-hour workweeks, no poverty, no war, no crime, more time with our families & communities, creative/productive outlets, and sustainable/healthy living.”; and Talos-Valcoran writes, “The government takes a part of the money it gave to the companies, who gave it to you, back so that it can improve your life. Without taxes the whole government wouldn’t work.”Open This Content
Why is there so much anger in the world?
People fight over statues; over differing opinions on gender, race, and policing. Over masks and whether to end the shutdown or keep society imprisoned until everyone is perfectly safe — which can never be.
Activists are even protesting to abolish the Fourth of July … without mentioning Independence Day. I guess if they are successful, future calendars will skip from the third to the fifth … unless the activists are confused.
What causes anger over such issues? Politics — where every win comes at someone’s expense.
Politics forces everyone along the same path. Legislation dictates things only our ethics and morals should determine. To understand the anger, notice how politics makes a difference of opinion into a life and death struggle. An unnecessary one.
It’s odd that something imagined to be a hallmark of civilized society is instead the root of most antisocial behavior. Trying to form a society around politics is like trying to form a pearl around a pellet of nuclear waste.
If you want to play politics, go ahead, but any results should only apply to you. You shouldn’t expect others to be bound by your results. They shouldn’t be expected to fund your political institutions or agencies. If you want it, you fund it. I have better uses for my money.
Just as there is no “one-size-fits-all” church, you shouldn’t be able to force everyone to participate in the same political system based on location. Or any political system at all. If you force everyone to play your game by your rules, or else, your game is toxic. Society would be better off without it.
Just imagine if no one were forced to fund a park or a statue. If your group builds a park, good for you. If you want to put a statue in the park to honor Willie Nelson, people can choose to visit your park or not. As long as they aren’t forced to subsidize it, they aren’t harmed.
If, however, you force people to chip in for the park and pay for statues and monuments to things they dislike, it’s no wonder people get angry. I do, too.
The way these things are currently done causes strife. It’s long past time to give it up and try something better. Something voluntary, based on unanimous consent. If you want to chip in, go ahead. If you’d rather not, go your own way. It’s the only civilized way to organize a society.Open This Content
NBC News reports that US president Donald Trump is “furious” over “underwhelming” attendance at his June 20 campaign rally in Tulsa, Oklahoma. Only 6,200 of 19,000 seats ended up cradling Trump supporters’ butts. An optimistically pre-arranged overflow area went unused.
Explanations abound: Trump’s campaign spokesman, Tim Murtaugh, blames “radical protesters, coupled with a relentless onslaught from the media.” Others note the 95-degree heat combined with thunderstorms — not the weather combination most conducive to standing in lines. Still others credit a social media campaign to request but not use tickets to the event.
The most obvious and likely explanations are simpler.
First, Trump isn’t as popular, nor is his base as enthusiastic and energized, at the moment as was the case four years ago.
Second, despite what you may have heard, an individual’s support for Trump does not necessarily indicate more general idiocy.
Believe it or not, COVID-19 really is a thing, people really are worried about it, and it really is sensible to take precautions.
Has COVID-19 been abused by opportunistic bureaucrats and authoritarian politicians as an excuse to violate our rights? Yes.
Have we found ourselves bombarded by dubious claims about everything from how COVID-19 is transmitted to what must be done for humanity to survive it? Absolutely.
Have mask-wearing and other measures transcended their practical containment value and become more like public testimonials to belief in junk “science” as a state-sponsored religion? Yep.
The “lockdowns” should never have happened, it’s a good thing they’re ending, and the sooner life gets back to something resembling normal the better.
On the other hand, it’s a real disease that’s really killing people, and taking reasonable precautions is, well, reasonable.
Yes, as freedom returns, some people will throw caution entirely to the winds. They should be free to act like idiots, right up to the point they actually — not prospectively, not hypothetically, ACTUALLY — cause harm to non-consenting others.
They should also be free to refrain from acting like idiots.
Packing tens of thousands of people from hundreds or thousands of miles around into an arena for a rally in Tulsa was an idiotic idea that might as well have been designed specifically to maximize the spread of COVID-19. But hey, it turned out that most of Trump’s supporters from that area weren’t idiots after all.
Packing thousands of Republicans from all over the country into an arena in Jacksonville, Florida in August, or hundreds of Libertarians from 50 states into a hotel ballroom in Orlando, Florida in July, for gratuitous “national convention events” are idiotic ideas too.
No, those events shouldn’t be prohibited. Freedom demands that they not be interfered with. But freedom also allows us non-idiots to avoid the events and scorn their organizers.Open This Content
Autonomous zones are suddenly all the rage.
I’m all for setting up autonomous zones, but not if you steal other people’s private property to do it. That’s what political governments do, and it’s wrong. (Government “property” already belongs to you so it can’t count.)
Your property is– or should be– an autonomous zone, whether it’s your house or your business. You rule that zone as supreme dictator (if living with others, as supreme co-dictators)– at least until you choose to voluntarily open it to others, in which case you can’t just violate visitors’ rights because you want to. If you do this you’re no different than any other political government.
But as long as it’s your legitimately-owned private property and you don’t open it to visitors, it should be yours to control completely.
No representatives of any other government allowed in unless you explicitly permit it on a case by case basis. No cops. No “tax” collectors. No inspectors. None of them. They have no right to violate your autonomous zone in an “official capacity” for some other organization that has no legitimate claim on your property (like a town, county, state, or country).
A “property tax” is a yearly ransom imposed by these thieves who have no legitimate claim to your property– but who will steal it and murder you for resisting. Be careful dealing with this kind of robber. Their gang is large, stubborn, and heavily armed.
If you use your property to violate the life, liberty, or property of others, they have the right to defend themselves from you. You can’t make a rule to take away their right to do so– again, this is a tactic political governments try to get away with. So, act wisely and ethically, unlike they do.
You might even join with others to create a larger autonomous zone– as long as it is by unanimous consent. That’s more difficult, and not necessary.
No one has a higher claim on your property than you do– not even if legislation and policies pretend otherwise.
Your home is your autonomous zone; your castle. Never forget it. How you choose to act on this knowledge is your business.Open This Content
“I fear that many Americans will resist getting vaccinated against the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus,” Dr. Lauren S. Grossman writes at Stat. “To put this scourge behind us, I believe that our nation should, for the first time ever, require all Americans — or at least schoolchildren and workers in direct-contact jobs — to be vaccinated against this coronavirus.”
Grossman’s prescription flies in the face of the World Medical Association’s International Code of Medical Ethics: “A Physician shall respect a competent patient’s right to accept or refuse treatment.”
It would also violate the American Medical Association’s Code of Medical Ethics. For example, “Informed consent to medical treatment is fundamental in both ethics and law” (Code of Medical Ethics Opinion 2.1.1) and “[r]espect for patient autonomy is central to professional ethics …” (Code of Medical Ethics Opinion 2.1.2).
And canons of medical ethics aside, it’s just plain wrong.
If you’re muttering under your breath that I’m an “anti-vaxxer,” you’re wrong. I’m pro-vaccine. I’m glad I didn’t face the risks of measles, mumps, polio, etc. that previous generations (and my older siblings) faced. I get my flu shot every year. I’ve had my pneumonia vaccine. I’ll be getting my shingles vaccine Real Soon Now (I had chickenpox before THAT vaccine became available). If there’s a reasonably safe and effective vaccine for something I’m vulnerable to, I want it.
In fact, I’ve probably had more vaccinations than you, if for no other reason than that my shot record got lost between overseas military deployments and I had to get a bunch of them an extra time.
I even got an anthrax vaccine right out of a tube marked EXPERIMENTAL: DO NOT USE ON HUMANS in Saudi Arabia in 1991. I objected to that one. I “consented” to the shot only after being threatened with court-martial if I didn’t.
Which brings me to my point:
Forcing a needle or a pill into someone’s body without that person’s consent is no different in principle than forcing a penis into someone’s body without that person’s consent.
It doesn’t matter how much more you think you know than the person whose consent you require, or how much more important you think your goals and priorities are than the goals and priorities of the person whose consent you require.
If you don’t have consent, you’re committing assault. And the medical version of assault should trigger the same social, civil, and legal penalties as the sexual version.Open This Content
Why shouldn’t you be forced to marry and have children against your will? Why shouldn’t you be forced to join and support a religious organization? Why shouldn’t you be forced into friendships to spend your leisure time with people you don’t like? Why shouldn’t you be forced to do unimportant and unproductive work for an abusive boss? Why shouldn’t you be forced to comply with the demands of politicians who steal your money and use it in unethical and counterproductive ways?
The answer is simple: nobody has a higher claim on your life than you do.
Argument against freedom of association constitutes a rejection of ethics. Politics is what you are left with after you reject ethics. It is the systematic violation of consent. It is an endless fight over oppressive control and stolen resources in which association must be either forced or prohibited.
When civilized people disagree, they don’t claim the moral high ground while violating consent to enforce their unprincipled demands on others. They respect the right of individuals to self-select into associations that seem most likely to result in their safety and happiness. If the internalized cost/benefit ratio is not satisfactory, they are free to disassociate.Open This Content