that organization in society which attempts to maintain a monopoly of the use of force and violence in a given territorial area; in particular, it is the only organization in society that obtains its revenue not by voluntary contribution or payment for services rendered but by coercion.
While this may run contrary to how we’ve been trained to think about the State demonstrations like the one in the YouTube clip above demonstrate and prove the accuracy of this definition.
If you do not do what the State wants you to, including turning over your own property to them in the form of taxes, the State will use aggressive force and violence against you. … Read More
I realize this is a bit of “old news” but I’m just now getting around to reading the email below that was sent out by LPS last Friday (9/4/2020). Note especially the highlighted paragraph.
HOORAY FOR LINCOLN PUBLIC SCHOOLS, right?!?!? Well, let’s work through this together.
Virtually every data point available indicates that school-aged children are highly unlikely to contract COVID-19. In the rare instances where they do contract it they are highly unlikely to experience symptoms or to pass it on to anyone else.
Despite the evidence that COVID-19 is an extremely low risk for children, Lincoln Public Schools implemented a number of expensive and disruptive policies including mandatory mask wearing for children, contact tracing, rearranging classrooms, putting plexiglass dividers on lunch room tables, restricting movement during recess, and so on.
Kids came back to school, for the most part, and sure enough… COVID-19 has not been actively spreading through the schools, as all available evidence indicated even before the school year started.
I hate to sound fatalistic but there’s actually quite a bit about the world that we just don’t know. It’s far too opaque, interconnected, random, and complex. That’s not to say we can’t know anything, but more that we need to proceed with caution any time we’re trying to figure out anything with more than a minimal degree of complexity to it.
Take, for obvious example, the current COVID-19 world. A certain portion of the population considers the virus to be an existential threat that could kill virtually anyone who comes into contact with it. Another portion of the population at large sees CV as a minor inconvenience, no more remarkable than a particularly bad flu season.
And here’s the rub: they can both cite data, statistics, experts, and so on to support their side! How is that possible?
One place to start looking is the way we’ve pursued research and data gathering around the novel coronavirus. … Read More
In his delightfully authentic and autobiographical Setting the Table, restauranteur and entrepreneur Danny Meyer both laments and celebrates the role critics have played in determining the success of his various restaurants.
In one such story he recounts a time in 1994 when New York magazine profiled his newest restaurant upon its opening, complete with a cover page emblazoned with 4 stars under the prompt “Gramercy Tavern: The Next Great Restaurant?”
While publicity like this would normally be considered better than anything money could buy, the publication failed to inform their lead food critic, Gael Greene, that they would be running this piece. Mr. Meyer was put in the awful position of having to explain that her work would be overshadowed by that of the magazine for which she wrote. She was outraged and took it out on the newly opened tavern.
Predictably, Gael did launch an assault on the restaurant in her review; she was responding as much to her own magazine’s hype as she was to her sense of the restaurant itself.
Why won’t I wear a mask? First, it’s not because I’m selfish, anti-science, I want your grandma to die, Donald Trump told me not to, I believe CV is a Russian hoax, etc. Second, I actually don’t care if people wear masks or not. If you want to wear one, go for it. Throw on a face shield or even a HAZMAT suit on your way to Target and I’ll do nothing but smile and wave when we cross paths in the kombucha aisle.
But I’ve decided I’m not going to wear one. Here’s why:
My face belongs to me.
My body and, consequently, my face are my own personal property. They do not belong to anyone else, including the Mayor of Lincoln, Nebraska or the Interim Health Director of the Lincoln/Lancaster County Health Department. This point is not inconsequential because most State abuses and overreach violate a person’s rights to ownership of themselves and their property.
When they said “It’s just a mask” they were lying. In the name of some nebulous concept entitled public health the police have been sent to close down a privately owned business in Northeast Lincoln.
Their offense? Patrons of the business are not being forced to wear masks while inside the building. It should be noted that nobody in Lincoln or Lancaster County is being forced to patronize Madsen’s Bowling and Billiards against their will. But I digress.
Let’s put it very plainly. Some mid-level county bureaucrat, in this case the Interim Health Director, has the power to seize your property and prevent you from using it. … Read More
There are exactly two ways that wealth is acquired, and only one of them is morally justifiable.
But before we get to that, let’s define what wealth is. Strictly speaking, wealth is the value of the assets and resources an individual owns and has use of, including their own body, their labor, and their property.
Wealth can be created, destroyed, or transferred from one party to another. Imagine, for example, a field that has been plowed, fertilized, and planted with wheat. In a few months’ time a crop of wheat will exist that didn’t before. Now imagine that a week before harvest that same field is consumed by fire. That wheat can no longer be consumed or turned into other goods.
Production and Voluntary Exchange
As hinted at, one way wealth can be acquired is through production. A person can apply their labor (physical, mental, or otherwise) to create goods and services that did not previously exist, which then belong to them. … Read More
Here there are two alternatives: either we may lay down a rule that each man should be permitted (i.e., have the right to) the full ownership of his own body, or we may rule that he may not have such complete ownership. If he does, then we have the libertarian natural law for a free society as treated above. But if he does not, if each man is not entitled to full and 100 percent self-ownership, then what does this imply? It implies either one of two conditions: (1) the “communist” one of Universal and Equal Other-ownership, or (2) Partial Ownership of One Group by Another—a system of rule by one class over another. These are the only logical alternatives to a state of 100 percent self-ownership for all.