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A better system

Q. A young girl who knows absolutely nothing about politics (or much else) just cancelled my vote because she liked the candidate’s shoes. There has GOT to be a better system of government. A. Here’s a better system. Only voluntary associations. That means no one can force us to obey them. No organization (the state) gets to force anyone (citizens) to obey its edicts without prior consent. The state is replaced by various voluntary associations with differing terms of service. Some offer only collective self-defence. Some offer wealth redistribution, etc. You choose which to join thereby agreeing that the association has the right to enforce its rules on you as per its terms of service. Disputes between individuals are settled under the association’s terms of service. If more than one association is involved, the dispute is settled by appeal to a previously agreed upon dispute resolution service. The association’s decisions […]

The free car wash

In my opinion this is the best fundraising idea out there. The idea is to hold a free car wash. There’s no catch to that, it’s totally free and you do not ask for donations. You wouldn’t raise nearly as much money if you just asked for donations. The Car Wash Enlist about 20 people to participate in the free car wash. The whole group will participate in washing every car. Someone sprays the car with a hose, someone washes the right fender, someone the left fender, someone washes the hood, and so on. Assign a different job to each of the 20 people so every single person has a role to play in washing every single car. Be warned: if you think you can just hold up a sign saying “Free Car Wash” and people will flock in, you are sadly mistaken. People will think there’s a catch and […]

Power corrupts

I’m starting a collection of links to stories about the abuse of power by police, politicians and any other so-called “public servants”. Lots of people complain about this abusive behaviour but few understand its cause. Power is the ability to get one’s way, to affect one’s environment, to have control over one’s circumstances. We all need and want power and that’s good. But there are only two kinds of power. One is acquired by reason, persuasion, and respect. It is the power over that which one acquires a right to by voluntary exchange, by bringing into being, by discovery, or by first use (homesteading). The other is the power asserted by brute force, violence. The former is appropriate for rational animals – humans – who maintain and enhance their lives by virtue of their mind’s ability to reason. The latter is appropriate for wild animals. It is a measure of […]

How yellow journalism starts wars

Here’s the headline on CNN: “‘Move back those troops,’ President Obama tells Russia’s president about forces near Ukraine’s border.” Here’s what Obama actually said: “And, in either case, what we need right now to resolve and deescalate the situation would be for Russia to move back those troops and to begin negotiations directly with the Ukrainian government as well as the international community.” In politics perception is everything. If Putin’s constituency, or even those able to influence that constituency, perceive the implied threat in the headline as having been uttered by Obama, it does not matter that Putin knows it wasn’t, he’ll have to respond as if it had. CNN’s desperate attempt to bolster flagging ratings has now reduced the likelihood of a deescalation of tensions, which by definition increases the odds of war.