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 are made according to the terms of service. I would prefer a lottery to choose some of the association members at random who serve a short term at no remuneration (proposed by Nobel prize winning economist and political philosopher Friedrich Hayek).
Realistically, as technology continues to progress at an increasing pace and we continue to move more and more of our lives online, geographic proximity will no longer be an important factor in the viability of such free state-like associations. Witness Estonia’s E-Citizenship and Bitnation as early steps in this direction. Free state-like alternatives are likely to emerge almost unnoticed by most and grow as they coexist in the political ecosystem until it becomes more and more obvious that they out-compete nation states in the economic prosperity and social harmony enjoyed by their members. The nation-state system then withers away as did its most its most logically consistent expression – communism.
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 they will not come in. You need some outgoing member of your group to approach people as they are parking or getting into their cars. Assure them that people have already sponsored you and it is absolutely free. Tell them they would be doing your group a big favour by letting you wash their car for free. That works 80% of the time.
Ideally your car wash location will be fairly close to a mall or downtown area for this reason. You can also call up people you know or who have sponsored you and ask them to bring their car in for a wash. This is best done before the car wash itself to save time as you should be done washing 20 cars in less than 2 hours.
In the time (days, weeks) leading up to the date of the car wash, each of the 20 participants takes a sheet of paper and contacts friends, family, neighbours, co-workers, etc. asking them to sponsor them. The sponsor agrees to pay some amount for every car the participant washes. You can tell them there will be a limit like say 20 cars so if they agree to pay you 25 cents per car their total donation will be just $5. Of course if they want to sponsor you for 50 cents or more per car, by all means take it but, in my experience, if you suggest a particular figure you will get it, whereas if you don’t suggest a particular figure you will only get a total of about $2 per sponsor.
You just say something like, “Hey John, my church group is raising funds for a trip. We’re holding a free car wash. Would you be willing to sponsor me? Any amount is fine but most people give 25 cents for every car I wash. I’ll wash 20 cars so that’s a total of $5 you’d be giving. Does that sound ok?”
They might remark that $5 to wash 20 cars isn’t very much. You can answer by telling them that they are welcome to sponsor you for more than 25 cents per car. You can also tell them that you won’t be the only one washing the cars and that other people will be getting their own sponsors too.
Be sure to write down who has agreed to sponsor you and for how much. Many will just give you the total amount right then and there so be sure to keep track of who paid and who didn’t.
Always invite your sponsors to come get their own car washed but warn them to come early so they don’t miss out. Most will not bother but it’s nice to offer.
So let’s take a look at the numbers. If 20 people have each obtained 20 sponsors at 25 cents per car and each person takes part in washing all 20 cars you get:
20 people x 20 sponsors x $0.25 x 20 cars = $2,000. Now how else can you raise $2,000 that easily?
1. If you have some way of carrying water you could make this a mobile car wash and knock on doors or spot people in their yards and ask them if they will do you a favour and let you wash their car as part of a fundraising project. Assure them that people have already sponsored you and it is absolutely free.
2. Instead of a car wash, organize it around a spring cleanup of people’s yards (older people?) or streets (so many kilometres of a long road or several smaller streets).
3. Do it for leaf raking in the fall. Seniors or public areas.
4. Do it for snow shoveling in the winter. Have a bunch of people lined up who have agreed ahead of time to let you shovel their driveway after the next snow storm. Or just drive around at a convenient time for your group shortly after a snowfall and spot uncleared driveways and volunteer.
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 far we are from becoming truly civilized that we permit these beasts to exercise power over us.
Police abuse of driver caught on dashcam. Charges dropped but no wrong doing found.
Cops taser man to death while handcuffed because he was too tired to walk.
Two cops repeatedly punch a prone man posing no threat in the head while onlookers plead with them to stop.
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.