"And how we burned in the camps later, thinking: What would things have been like if every Security operative, when he went out at night to make an arrest, had been uncertain whether he would return alive and had to say good-bye to his family? Or if, during periods of mass arrests, as for example in Leningrad, when they arrested a quarter of the entire city, people had not simply sat there in their lairs, paling with terror at every bang of the downstairs door and at every step on the staircase, but had understood they had nothing left to lose and had boldly set up in the downstairs hall an ambush of half a dozen people with axes, hammers, pokers, or whatever else was at hand? . . ." - Alexandr Solzhenitzyn "The Gulag Archipelago,"
There is no larger tangible threat to liberty and freedom than police.  During the “Arab spring” around the world this year and last, the dictators and rulers always sent their police and security forces after protesters and citizens alike to “restore order” which is a nice way to say retighten the cuffs and fetters in the feedlot.  People often talk of the political threat to freedom and liberty as the sin qua non of the entire fetid system of government.  The usual suspects gripe about the absence of responsible statesmen and politicians.  Much like limited government, these people have not and will never exist but the police forces are the “law enforcers”.  They are the water carriers and virus transmitters for the government meme that has enslaved and maimed and killed millions in the last few centuries.  The police at every level from local to state to federal fulfill one primary goal – to threaten, fine, cage, maim and kill free citizens. A quick aside:  Malum in se laws are the acknowledged evil of initiated aggression against person or property such as rape, murder or theft.   Malum prohibitum are the majority of laws in tax jurisdictions (nation-states) around the world.  These are characterized by the War on Drugs, tax compliance and a myriad of other forms of armed robbery and abuse the government has institutionalized.  The lion’s share of what cops do support the latter and very little of the former.  By its very nature, police forces don’t prevent crime and for the most part are historians who arrive at the scene of a crime after the fact.  Police forces in these united States serve two primary functions: first, assessment of fines for non-crimes like speeding and drunk driving to increase revenue to the state above and beyond the dozens of taxes imposed on the citizens and second, the snaring and capture of subjects who have violated one of the hundreds of thousands of laws and regulations that darken the American dream every day.  The increased militarization of police forces, the self-selected bullying archetype attracted to the job and the propagandized cop fetishisms that are vomited out of the government-media-education complex on an hourly and daily basis make for a wicked brew of brutality, sadism and a systematized revulsion of individual rights. All police and “justice system” functions will only be effective if divorced from the government and privatized.  Which brings us to officer safety.  

He's noble enough to know what's right But weak enough not to choose it He's wise enough to win the world But fool enough to lose it - Rush This morning I woke up to hear that the man that kept my family and I in a constant state of fear is dead. Osama Bin Laden was killed during a commando raid somewhere in Pakistan. Hooray! We got him! Finally, after all of these long years, living in a perpetual state of terror is over! Does this mean we can check out at Wal-Mart without Janet Napolitano lecturing us? Does this mean that we can travel without being molested by government agents? Does this mean some patriotic country singer will try and capitalize on this good news? Man, I sure hope so! I had a voice mail when I woke up this morning, it was my brother. He is ten years younger than I am, and does not think the way I do. He said, "Chris, check the news, it's about Bin Laden! WE killed his ass!" I thought to myself that "we," well, that implies me, and I killed no one. I mentioned the word "we" in the first paragraph quite a bit, because it just seems to be engrained in our minds. Exactly what does "we" mean? When my brother said "we" he was referring to the US Government. I am not part of the US Government, and neither is he. Sure, agents claiming to be from the Government steal our money to fund...

Publisher's Note: Kaiser has penned an elegant and abbreviated jeremiad on why the production of Obama's BC is not only irrelevant but in the end more distraction from the real problem.  Whether Obama or whatever his name is hails from Hawaii, Palookastan or is a Manchurian candidate from the Soviet Union's last political gasp; it simply does not matter.  The real question is how the office retains any legitimacy whatsoever.  The President is nothing more than the Tax Collector-in-Chief for his tax jurisdiction.  The pomp and circumstance that surround the office and all the tentacled bureaucracies has one objective:  maintenance of power through the vampiric expropriation of wealth and means of its subjects coupled with a government media complex to provide psychic cover for mass theft and extortion.  Citizenship is not a privilege, it is the means to establish that poor sap's eligibility to be fleeced, fined, jailed, maimed and killed by his tax jurisdiction.  The very locus of the entire controversy, the birth certificate, is nothing more than a government registration of a taxpayer at birth.  A brilliant but diabolical system. -BB Barack Obama has released his long-form birth certificate. You should download it as a historical curiosity, if you are interested in such things. What you should not do is dissect that birth certificate, looking for errors. What you should not do is to insist that the darkened numeral '1' or the PDF inconsistencies or the color of the background offer proof, or even suspicion, that Mr Obama should not...

“There is no worse tyranny than to force a man to pay for what he does not want merely because you think it would be good for him.” – Robert Heinlein Whenever the word Anarchy is whispered it is accompanied by thoughts of Molotov Cocktails, hooded punk youth, and general chaos. I can understand these thoughts, at one point in my life I was the skateboarding punk "Anarchist" who actually had no idea what the principles of Anarchy were. I also was not a very polite young man, and I had no problem proclaiming very loudly my "beliefs" to people who did not necessarily want to hear them.  My view of Anarchy back then is very much at odds with the actual principles of Anarchy, but my views were right in line with the public's view of the ideology. I just wanted to bring the whole rotten structure down, regardless of what system, or non-system rose up in its place. However, I am also of the impression that Statists also try and tarnish the idea of Anarchism the best that they can. There are documented reports of law enforcement officers dressing up in the standard "anarchist" garb and causing ruckus at public events. Heaven forbid the public ever find out the "State" is just a huge scam, and in fact, the biggest ever. There are a couple of different traditions in the Anarchist school thought; I most closely follow the individualist flavor of Anarchism. I believe the individual can claim sovereignty over himself,...

 
“Politics is the art of looking for trouble, finding it everywhere, diagnosing it incorrectly and applying the wrong remedies.” - Groucho Marx
"...and he loved big brother."  Orwell's chilling first line to 1984. I have written before about the impossibility of limited government.  Let us make sure our terms are correct.  Government is any entity that attempts to monopolize the use of force and reserves first use of same to itself.  They make noises about consent but this is simply window-dressing to keep the animals in the feedlot from feeling oppressed or taken advantage of.  Their variants range from communism to socialism to democracy.  The first two, at least, are honest in their intentions of ballooning government oppression to proportions common in history but democracy is probably the biggest and most dangerous sham when it comes to governance.  While the usual bugbears of collectivism make themselves manifestly evident in terror-states like the USSR and Communist China, the Western democracies make Orwell proud.  The pastiche of 1984 and Brave New World come to the fore in Europe and America.  Here in the land of the unfree and home of the formerly brave, the huge Federal leviathan is helmed by telegenic Presidents whose claim to fame is the ability to speak (George Bush?) in platitudes and illiterate homilies to the joys of government intervention and using the state as the means to empty your neighbors pockets and, magically, the pockets of the unborn through non-consensual deficit spending. Boasting the highest corporate income tax and capital gains rate in the galaxy, America continues to run up mountains of debt and oceans of red ink in pursuit of …bigger government.  In addition, we are afforded the opportunity to spend countless billions and trillions maiming and murdering tens of thousands of men, women and children overseas in the name of liberation and advancement to the joys of democracy (God help them…). Take a breath because I am about to insult most of my readership and increase the volume of my hate-mail. If you believe in limited government, you are no different than the Communist Party apparatchiks or the socialists or even the Democrat Party or Grand Old Politburo (GOP) members.  You all share a common bond with every democidal maniac traipsing through the sordid and bloody history of government on Earth.  Whether an active member or simply the usual electronically tethered shambler that makes up most of America, your belief in limited government is a fraudulent assessment of what is going on around you.  Limited government never has and will never exist. Whatever the hopes and dreams of the political schemers at the heart of the creation of the new government, usually in the ashes of the last epic government failure, the government will metastasize into a monstrous and bloody-minded giant intent on crushing freedom at every turn and annihilating self-ownership of individuals whenever those unfortunates make their intentions known. All the Founding Lawyers, even the sainted Thomas Jefferson, were guilty of this tragic delusion that armed strangers must be invested with the power to fine, cage, maim and kill residents of tax jurisdictions (also known quaintly as nation-states) to maintain a just and prosperous society.
Today marks two signal events:  the shots heard ‘round the world at Lexington and Concord in 1775 when the formal divorce proceeding by America from the United Kingdom began and the day after the annual deadline every year for paying taxes and tribute to the new King we inaugurated after winning the first Revolutionary war.   That King is the Constitution and its administrator is Washington DC and all its political satraps in the states.  Mistaken for an instrument to finally limit government, it turned out to be one of the greatest wealth expropriation and mining devices Western man has created.  Unlike the failed collectivist experiments in the Communist world, the fascist political model relied on ensuring that the population would always labor under the illusion that what they made, earned and produced was theirs and they simply had to pay their “fair share”.  That share eventually ballooned to a peak of 94% in income tax in 1943 and saddled the entrepreneurial engines with the highest corporate income tax in the industrialized world.  Of course, a corporate tax is merely an indirect tax on all consumers since it is a cost of doing business passed on in the price. The other day I was asked what is the ideal tax rate and predictably I said zero because any number above that would increase exponentially as evidenced by ALL history in the Western world.  The sheer conceit and hubris of any individuals much less governments that some or all of your earnings are theirs for the taking violates the most sacred principles of self-ownership, the just society and simple virtue.  The highwaymen at the Internal Revenue Service bedeck their splendid temple to theft with the noble words that “Taxation is the Price of Civilization”; au contraire, it is the price of servitude and collaboration with evil, it is barbarism, taxation is institutionalized theft and nothing more noble than that. You should enjoy the following screed. –BB  
That no government, so called, can reasonably be trusted, or reasonably be supposed to have honest purposes in view, any longer than it depends wholly upon voluntary support. ~ Lysander Spooner
This essay is an incendiary device. My muse is Wilberforce and the subject is the abolition of the last existing institution of slavery in America — taxation. Like Wilberforce, we may be generations from satisfaction of the dream of the end of the coercive state but if the seed is not planted, the goal will never be realized. I despise the income tax. I loathe the property, excise, gasoline, sin, estate, capital gains and every other tax. I think the colonists got it backwards, I want representation without taxation. These are often derided as utopian but I would suggest they are dystopian notions. I see no possibility of perfection in this mortal coil, but risk and possible failure are the engines of progress and capitalism invigorates the most powerful economic engine of all — self-interest to serve others. Mises claims "[t]he member of a contractual society is free because he serves others only in serving himself. What restrains him is only the inevitable natural phenomenon of scarcity."

For both libertarians and statists, it's easy to forget that there's a difference between believing that a thing ought to be done and believing that the State ought to be the one to do it. There's a similar difference between an ideological opposition to  a particular act (in this case, abortion or premarital sex) and a belief that the act ought to be legally, and thus forcibly and violently, prevented. The non-aggression principle means that our personal feelings on the best possible world can't influence our decision to use force against other people, no matter how strongly we might feel. Case in point: Politico reports that donations to Planned Parenthood have exploded 500% since a Republican budget amendment stripped the group of its federal funding. The Reddit comments on the situation recognize that this lends credence to the argument that the Federal government doesn't need to be funding such activities, but most of them lament that fact. Talk of defunding NPR and PBS was met with a similarly vitriolic response. I don't see this defunding as a bad thing, for any side of the debate. The social and fiscal conservative voters "get what they want," in that their tax dollars are no longer spent on these specific activities they might find abhorrent. The libertarians and state abolitionists and anarchists get what we want, because the government is taking less action in general. Those who support the missions of Planned Parenthood and PBS get what they want, because these organizations will no longer be bound...

[caption id="" align="aligncenter" width="480" caption=""Close Enough" to accurate for our discussion. Cartoon by Michael Ramirez, stolen from Investors.com"][/caption] You don't understand large numbers. You don't comprehend them. I don't either, and neither do our brave and fearless leaders. Without the benefit of a visual aid, really big numbers just blur together: we couldn't say whether there are closer to a billion or a trillion grains of sand along an island's coast just by guessing, because we don't have a frame of reference for those quantities. In our day to day lives, we might drive a few hundred miles, or spend tens of thousands of dollars on a vehicle. A few of us may have a frame of reference for what a million-dollar piece of industrial equipment looks like. None of us has any idea what a trillion really means, and why last week's arguments are so silly. The cartoon above is close enough to accurate for discussion purposes (I did not count the pixels). The deficit constitutes nearly half the budget; it is conceivable to think that there will be "non-discretionary spending" which will bring that deficit to more than half the budget by the end of the fiscal year. When we hear about this in the news, we hear that there's a $30 billion dollar difference between the Democrat and Republican budgets. That number sounds significant. It's enough to satisfy those on both 'sides' who want to be angry at the other; at risk are such things as NPR and Planned Parenthood. But...

"You must be the change you wish to see in the world." - Mahatma Gandhi How much do you change? We all read about how things are wrong. We all reach conclusions as to how things ought to be fixed. We all complain that the war in Iraq or Afghanistan or Libya is wrong, that there's too much inequality, too much abuse, that taxes are too high or that we use too much gasoline or that things just aren't right. I write furiously, preaching to a choir of like-minded individualists who almost always agree with me. You read these writings. But how much do any of us do about the troubles that the world faces? We might seek to adjust our lives and better ourselves within the existing system, to guarantee a future for our children or our friends. We might go so far as to write snide and condescending comments on the internet, to draw attention to the great evils our ideological rivals would perpetrate if given the opportunity, or to pay lip service to our support for some idea or another. One or two of us might volunteer a portion of our time to the causes we support, and spend a double portion making others aware of those causes and our support for them. But how many of us have affected any change in the past month? How many of us have done anything more substantial than talk to our friends about Anarchism, or write something intelligent on the internet? When's the...

Publisher's Note: D. and I are friends and he has been an entrepreneur and a businessman for more than three decades.  He speaks from a lifetime of dealing with the other enemy – smaller government.  I did not say limited government since that does not exist.  I am referring to the smaller brother of the state and federal government, local government.  We live in and near a town that sees its fellow citizens in commerce not as neighbors and friends but simply yet another victim to be mugged by their infernal system of tax and regulatory oppression to fund their rather luxurious existence and push people around to refuse to comply.  One of my other business associates tells me that nearly sixty cents of every dollar in revenue is vacuumed up by some level of government and, by the way, he is not even reimbursed for his collection services for various state Mafiosi.  Both major parties in America from local to federal levels of government are friends of big business and the mortal enemy of the small business.  As Bastiat said:  “The state is the great fiction by which one group of people live at the expense of another.” *The lamprey is the curious fish that lives attached to its host until death do they part. -BB   “The politicians say ‘we’ can't afford a tax cut. Maybe we can't afford the politicians.” -Steve Forbes I sit on the board of the Economic Development Foundation which receives $139,000 annually from the citizens of...