"In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense; and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to determine for themselves; that he will put on rather than off, the true character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond the present day." - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Myth: The Common Good

Here's a line that rulers and politicians love to drop: "the common good." Such-and-such act must be done for the common good, or to promote the general welfare! Taxes are paid, laws are passed, wars are fought, lives are lost, and our rights as individuals are abandoned - all for "the common good."

But has a great ring to it, doesn't it? The common good - it's, like, good and... common! So, like, it's all good for everyone, right?

No. **** no. Wrong.

When someone invokes "the common good" for justification, everyone listening/reading immediately thinks of their own individual "good," and applies it to whatever action is being justified.

But this overlooks the simple, obvious fact each and every person has different needs and wants and what I consider my "good" may not also be your "good." What if I'm a taxpayer and you work for the government? What if I'm a butcher and you're a vegan?

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Socialism And Genocide: The Simple Facts

"The classes and the races, too weak to master the new conditions of life, must give way. [. . .] they must perish in the revolutionary holocaust."    
- Karl Marx 

It's interesting that in recent times, socialism has been successfully re-branded and white-washed as a feel-good ideology where everyone gets what they need, everyone is equal and nice to each other, greed and poverty are erased, brotherhood of man reigns eternal, etc. In many ways, socialism is more popular now than it ever has been because people are less honest about it now than they ever have been. Ardent socialists either make excuses or simply refuse to turn their heads and look back at the history of the ideology they espouse.

The simple fact is that no other political philosophy has been so closely linked to mass murder and oppressive dictatorship as socialism. Except in the realm of lofty conjecture and theory, socialism in practice is defined by brutal, genocidal regimes and a complete lack of respect for human life and dignity. The history and future of socialism is haunted by Communist China, Soviet Russia, and Nazi Germany, the three most murderous regimes in history. All three were socialist, either national or international. All three abused innocent people in horrific ways we could never imagine. But why?

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Are You A Libertarian?

I happen to have a sneaking suspicion that most rational people are closet libertarians. Unfortunately, there are a lot of ridiculous and false claims about libertarianism that only serve to turn people away from it. Depending on who you read/watch, we liberty-lovers are either a bunch of bisexual, pot-smoking, tinfoil-hat-wearing, flag-burning, closet-Democrat, almost-terrorist, troop-hating hippies that still live with mom and dad; or a bunch of angry, flag-waving, closet-Republican, gun-toting, Koch-funded, tinfoil hat-wearing Gordon Gecko wannabes who like to shout at walls a lot.

So let's try to cut through all the absurd rhetoric and straw-man arguments. Even if you don't think you're a libertarian, read and honestly answer for yourself the following questions:

Saturday, February 14, 2015

The Truth About The Pledge Of Allegiance

Heil Roosevelt!
Remember that kid in school who everyone hated because he refused to recite the pledge of allegiance? Hand over heart, we'd glare at the treasonous scum for his lack of love for 'Murica. What is he? Some kind of commie? Some kind of fascist?

Well, it turns out that it's the Pledge itself that's fascist. It's Nazi-esque. In fact, the "Bellamy salute" was adopted by the Nazis about forty years after children all over American were already doing it every day. The US waited nine years after the Nazis took power in Germany before finally deciding, "oh, we should change that," and went with the hand-over-heart gesture in 1942.

Saturday, February 7, 2015

The Government Is Not The People

 "The state is the name of the coldest of all cold monsters. Coldly it tells lies too; and this lie crawls out of its mouth: "I, the state, am the people."
- Friedrich Nietzsche, Thus Spoke Zarathustra
One of the most persistent myths in political thought is the absurd idea that the you and I (as in, society) "are" the government. Remember, "of the people, by the people, for the people?" Nothing could be further from the truth.

Government is not the same as society. However, politicians love to say things like this because it makes you, dear voter, feel included in whatever they say and more likely offer your consent to be ruled. It gives credibility to the State by linking the public will to government action.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

4 More Signs That Big Brother Is Here

It seems as if privacy is a thing of the past.

Friday, January 30, 2015

The Forgotten Man: Stuck With The Tab

"As soon as A observes something which seems to him to be wrong, from which X is suffering, A talks it over with B, and A and B then propose to get a law passed to remedy the evil and help X. Their law always proposes to determine what C shall do for X or, in the better case, what A, B, and C shall do for X. . . . What I want to do is to look up C. . . . I call him the forgotten man. . . . He is the man who never is thought of. He is the victim of the reformer, social speculator, and philanthropist, and I hope to show you before I get through that he deserves your notice both for his character and for the many burdens which are laid upon him." - William Graham Sumner
Herein lies the problem with government do-gooders and the welfare state: no matter how much they think they're helping, someone has to pay for their spend-crazy policies. Obamacare is going to cost $50,000 per person. 46,000,000 people are on food stamps. The US has at least $93 trillion in unfunded liabilities (programs that it has yet to find a way to pay for). There is no such thing as a free lunch, so who pays for it all? The government?

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Is Medical Cannabis Coming To PA Soon?

It's already here, actually. You just get locked up for growing/selling/transporting/having it.

A new report from ArcView Market Research makes the prediction that 18 states will legalize cannabis by 2020. From Fortune:
"In the report, Arcview claims that “2014 will be remembered as a year when … a sense of inevitability about national legalization became conventional wisdom among elected officials and the general public.”
Absent from the list is Pennsylvania. However...

Saturday, January 24, 2015

American Sniper: It Was Ok

Directed by Clint Eastwood, American Sniper is an action-drama depicting the life of Navy Seal Sniper Chris Kyle. Officially the most lethal sniper in US history, Chief Petty Officer Kyle amassed 160 confirmed kills out of 255 probable kills over the course of four tours of duty.

I've read some reviews praising the movie as a "cultural moment" and others ripping it as "pro-war propaganda" or a "hero-worshiping gag-fest." It has its flaws for sure, but I actually hated it less than I thought I would. I haven't read Chris Kyle's book, nor do I plan to, so I cannot say whether or not this or that actually happened, or even if the movie's Chris Kyle is an accurate portrayal of the real person. These are just my thoughts on the movie.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Charlie Hebdo Hypocrisy And Free Speech

For now I just wanted to talk about the elevation of Charlie Hebdo itself to a heroic level, as if it were some grand symbol of free speech and the power of western democracy over the
third-world savages. You've already seen media and governments all over the West using it as such, organizing massive marches through Paris, "I Am Charlie," and even a gag-inducing "display of solidarity" from a couple dozen blissfully rich, soulless oligarchs from around the world.

But Charlie Hebdo is not some group of hardcore, dedicated journalists hunted by authorities for exposing the crimes and corruption of those in power; though it's called satire, Charlie Hebdo is really just full of pointlessly stupid (stupidly pointless?) and crude cartoons published solely for their ability to offend certain people. And by "certain people," I mean everyone but Jews. And those marches and "displays of solidarity?" A bunch of useless, hot air from people who don't actually care about free speech when it matters.