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About AllMenAreIslands

  • Birthday 04/15/1958

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    I was told about Objectivism in my early 20s when I was living in Vancouver, B.C., having left my immediate family in Australia with my extended family in the U.S.A., England, and possibly Columbia, South America to name probably but a few. Much further removed in Scotland and Romania.
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  1. Galt's Gulch did have a system of government in the sense that it had an overarching law in accordance with which everyone agreed to live, being of course that "No one has the right to initiate the use of force." It simply did not need to have a large number of persons employed in applying the law to actual disputes, transgressions, or confrontational situations. You may recall that Dagny's arrival by plane crash did warrant a decision being made on how to deal with her and her "trespass." Rational objective law is the essential ingredient for harmonious co-existence. Judges (and court staff), police (and their support staff) & armed forces personnel (and their support staff) become necessary as the population grows: to settle disputes, deal with occasional criminal behavior, and defend against foreign attack. But the same law is and would be driving the whole system.
  2. The correct interpretation of the Welfare Clause is that it is completely immoral in principle and, as proven by the imminent bankruptcy of the U.S. government, completely unworkable in practice. The system of taxation represents a form of coercion. Express permission by the founding documents of the United States to engage in it "legally" does not somehow magically alter its nature. It doesn't matter which political party is elected; both are committed to the proposition that some coercion is unavoidable. In fact, that's why I don't foresee becoming a country that has done away with tax. Neither party comes across as willing to alter in that commitment, which is why I don't see how we can Despite every civilization alleging that everyone has to be forced to chip in a "fair share" to pay for certain services, none has succeeded to a rational standard by doing so. When any branch of government has the right to initiate the use of force for any purpose whatsoever, the rights of the citizens are abridged and a distrust of law and disrespect for the rights of others is disseminated. The basic law of a rational nation must be simple, really it should be one that even children can understand to facilitate the education of future generations and reduce criminal acts. :when no one has the right to initiate the use of force, fewer people find value in even trying to employ coercion to obtain values. It really is more productive and more satisfying to obtain values rationally. More people are able to achieve values by rational means, which increases the real wealth of vastly more individuals. The law needs to be universal, to apply to everyone. People will quickly discover that finding ways to pay for the kind of self-protection that serves their lives meaningfully can only be discovered and implemented when people are free to decide what that protection looks like. Paying for the courts of law, the police and armed forces becomes something people do because they see the value - both in the immediate purchase (for instance peace of mind in buying policies of insurance to provide funds to defend oneself in court or buying a lottery ticket) to the long-term value (for instance of knowing one's weekly lottery ticket purchase is also helping to pay for local, provincial or federal self-defense units such as police, navy and so forth.) Once people realize that when not even government for the purposes of self-defense needs to have the right to initiate the use of force, will they discover that individuals buying their own peace of mind will put funds into the kinds of self-defense that actually get the job done, so that it is not just done but seen to be done rationally objectively and morally. Because, one cannot achieve the welfare of the general public through coercive mechanisms. The truth is that without government interference on behalf of all of us collectively, each of us individually would have to deal with those issues individually. The truth is: there is no substitute for being involved in your own life. Government cannot achieve the values on your behalf required for your individual existence because that can only be achieved by each of us, individually on our own behalf. The rational job of government is to provide defense of individual rights, thereby providing the environment in which individuals can pursue their own interests for the purpose of achieving their rational values: including their next meal, a roof over their heads, clothes on their backs, food to eat, medical care, education for all ages, entertainment, power and heating & cooling, transportation, roads and phones and computers and so on & so forth. The job of government is to protect individuals' rights to engage by mutual consent in commerce that is mutually beneficial. In a rational society everyone has to obey the law, and that law is no one has the right to initiate force. When government does its job which is to uphold the law and is not permitted to itself disregard the law, then men will have created the only form of government that can work and will do more than avoid bankruptting the country: it will actually make the country's government rich while its people also grow rich too. All that people have to do is come to terms with the notion of banning coercion and establishing a law that deserves to rule all our lives - that no one has the right to initiate the use of force. I do know that for any country currently using the tax system, it would take a period of a few years to actually shut the system down as privatization becomes widespread in all those industries and professions into which government has inserted itself improperly. However, that road is never going to be travelled if people don't keep talking about it as the proper goal to be heading towards. I think that this is a perfect thread in which to raise this issue, because this particular clause in the Constitution is the main flaw to be fixed and until it actually happens, it's worth repeating it again and again.
  3. Greed can be good - I would define it as "intense hunger." Just as with selfishness, it is not necessary to load the term with negativity. One can be greedy for knowledge, for wealth and remain rational and respectful of individual rights in one's pursuit of those goals. Greed should not automatically imply immoral or irrational or evil.
  4. AllMenAreIslands


    You used exactly the right word there. "Inherent" means "inborn." The whole discussion is about rights and when they begin. It is not about when life begins or when conceptualization begins. Rights begin at birth. [edit because it wasn't Bob I was replying to.]
  5. Taxation is the initiation of force by government against its own citizens. As such, it is an improper method to pay for rational government. The alternative is not just "donations," which means gifts, hand-outs, bequests and the like, where the link between payment and goods/services received is tenuous, idealistic, or vague. Of course, donations are acceptable, but I do not advocate that one rely primarily on them to run rational government. First of all, understand what the purpose of government is - the means by which to uphold and enforce the law. So, you have to have a rational objective set of laws, the very foundation of which is: no one has the right to initiate the use of force. And by no-one - that means not even those employed in the various branches of legitimate government. I think it is a matter of identifying that which can be properly offered "value for value" by government, and which can be purchased such that it not only provides a good or service but also provides the means to provide the government protection. Yes, you are buying protection - of one kind or another. The vital difference is that on each occasion, with each transaction, there is the option not to purchase the insurance, or the piece of paper, or the registration of the agreement as between you and another person. Not buying such insurance could cause you a problem IF there is a dispute that arises in your dealings with others, if no copy has been registered with the government, and nobody can produce a copy for the Court to use in settling the dispute. Or if you decline to obtain a card certifying you have reached the age of majority, and thus find it more difficult to obtain employment or be allowed to buy alcohol or what-have-you because you cannot prove your age. The idea behind "voluntary" does not mean "charitable donations." It means that you have the choice to pay the fee, the premium, the costs involved in obtaining the good or service you want from the entity that is legally empowered to provide it. And - in the case of contract insurance for instance - not buying it would mean that should you wish to initiate legal proceedings, you would have to pay for it from your own pocket; you would not have a policy of litigation insurance to turn to. If you were impecunious but had a very good case, you would be able to find a lawyer willing to work on "contingency." If you couldn't find such a lawyer, consider that you probably haven't got a case, and drop the matter. Point is - the government is at root the law, and objective law is what governs. APPLYING the law to an individual situation/set of circumstances does take money - the cost of the judge's time, the court clerks and other support staff, even if both parties are self-represented. Contract insurance is a very good idea proposed by Ayn Rand, which clearly needs to be enlarged so that people have a really good sense of how it might work in practice. What you are buying is two things with one payment - the peace of mind of knowing you have coverage in case you need to go to court to enforce a contract PLUS the knowledge that a portion of the premium you pay is going towards the day-to-day costs of the "infrastructure" of government at the domestic level anyway - i.e., the cost of the courts and of the police. It is truly time to stop trying to make the case for tax. It is irrational and immoral as well as unworkable & corruptible. There are non-coercive methods of paying the costs of rational government, and the sooner we start looking for them, the sooner we will find them. Charity/donations are not the only alternative.
  6. If there is really no fighting the IRS, then things are beyond bad. Sounds like your freedom and rights are gone.
  7. I love this idea, Zip! Are you going to organize it? I'd love to give a short talk.
  8. I would make them track me down. Ignore the 1099. The government is broke. How are they going to afford to chase after every $600 transaction? It's intended to break the system. "Unintended consequences"? Rubbish.
  9. So, BP will soon be bankrupt, right, after paying up to settle the claims of all & sundry. Lots of people out of work, an important producer of oil no longer producing, and likely few people understanding the real causes of the catastrophe: the environmental movement. How fair is it to lay ALL the blame on this occasion at BP's door? Given the insane hysteria of the environmentalists, who lobbied against oil drilling on land or closer to shore, shouldn't a good deal of blame be laid at their door too?
  10. Rights are not created by men in order to live in society. Rather it is only when rights are correctly identified by men (and codified into law) that they are able live successfully in a group ("society"). The job of government is to recognize rights, codify the principles in sound law and uphold that law. Essentially the government's job is to protect the rights of individuals against the initiation of force. That is why the government cannot be permitted to initiate force and cannot be successfully funded by a coercive method such as taxation. That is why the countries in the world today are all in debt, some worse than others. Laws and legal systems have yet to be fully integrated with and supportive of the protection of men's actual rights. Men do still need to correctly identify that which is a right. The concept of rights has been corrupted by bad philosophy and bad laws, which support the erosion of real rights in order to provide power to some and unearned livelihoods to others. And so I would ask you all: is property only a natural right? Or is it also an acquired right, in the sense that a man acquires the right to property by exerting effort to bring it into being, and/or by trading his mental/physical efforts for money (i.e., a job) which enables him to buy property from someone else, or some combination of the two? Because consider how nowadays there is constantly whining about the right to education, the right to housing, and so forth, as if such things ought by right to be supplied to every citizen regardless of costs, ability to pay, etc. The muddying of the waters in respect of property rights has happened precisely because the concept of earning the right has been left out, with property having been treated as though it were a natural right to which all men should by law be decreed to have. Property items such as an education, health care, housing, food, support funds etc have been transmogrified from that which is earned by the individual via effort and voluntary trade with others, into those things which belong to the category of natural rights and which should therefore somehow be supplied by the government. In that sense, I see property as having been open to such interpretations, and thus having proven susceptible to corruption. The fact is, one does not naturally have a right to a given apartment, or the services of a doctor or schoolteacher. Having the rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness do not dictate the means by which a man is to acquire the things he needs in order to live. Having a natural right to property could, I suppose, be stated to be the right to keep what he earns and to spend it as he sees fit. So in that sense it is a natural right, since a man needs property in order to live. But property also lends itself to being thought of as an acquired right in the sense that one acquires the rights to goods and services ("property") by making efforts, doing the work, earning property and entering into voluntary trades/contracts to mutual benefit with the owners of other property: the landlord, the doctor, the teacher, etc. Thoughts, comments, criticisms?
  11. I may be interested to meet up at some point.
  12. I would definitely throw out the term "tax" when speaking about the voluntary funding of government services. Tax, whether strictly or not by definition, does in practice involve the intiation of force. I advocate that you eschew the use of that term completely when discussing methods, proposals & ideas for voluntary funding. I think that at its highest, voluntary methods of funding achieve at least two aims simultaneously: raising funds to pay for government services and providing a tangible benefit to the individual. For instance, contract insurance puts money into the government coffers and buys court time at cut-rate pricing in case of default on the contract. In my view, not buying contract insurance should not leave you without recourse in the courts. Rather, you would be faced with paying the "going rate" or the "posted fees," which might be fairly steep. So, if someone foregoes purchasing insurance, all they have done is saved a handful of pennies or dollars (depending on the value of the insurance contract); if the contract concludes satisfactorily, they have saved that insurance. But if they run into difficulties enforcing the contract, then being able to bring a lawsuit would require having the funds to do so. This is how contract insurance would gradually come to be seen to be in one's own best interest. All it takes is seeing a friend experience contract default without contract insurance, and people would be sure to purchase their own coverage. In additiona, I see that by and large, it will be companies buying it automatically with every employment contract, joint-venture project, financing arrangement etc etc into which they enter. In that way, companies would properly end up laying out a lot of the funding for the courts/government/police, which would in the long run be paid by their customers as part of the cost of the products, goods & services. When compared with the bloated costs these days thanks to the tax system, it will not even be noticeable as an inflator of costs. On balance, the net costs WILL be decreased a great deal. That of course covers the civil side of things, not so much the criminal. Working out how to handle the criminal side of things is something I've only just begun to turn my mind to. For one thing, should the government be the initiator of actions? As in, should the Crown, Her Majesty, or The State of New Idaho be the named plaintiff? If so, where does funding come for that? Again, it must be raised voluntarily. There is zero justification for the initiation of force, so there is no room to compel, coerce or otherwise force anyone or everyone to kick in $2 each (or what have you). As for the military, should costs be covered somewhat, mostly or not at all out of the proceeds of contract insurance? That may be an issue that can be addressed when one buys the insurance. A term could be included allowing that 5% of the premium may be spent on military needs. Alternatively, people could choose from an array of lottery tickets, some of which are purpose-built. This is similar to the way things are now, where there are lottery games part of the proceeds of which are to benefit a hospital, or disease research or a school gymnasium project etc. Being able to buy the ticket of your choice is how you "vote" for where the funds are going. Even in such broad strokes as that, it will be possible to show support for a particular military operation (or alternatively keep funds away from those with which YOU disagree.) Should it matter that 90% of the population does support that military operation? No, not really. If you disagree with it, then having the ability to direct your funds to other uses is about the best that can be arranged in a free society. These are just a few of the ideas I've been thinking about. I've thought most about the contract insurance angle, since for a new country, that would be the fastest way to begin to raise cash to pay for immediate needs of a court, judge and police. Being able to defend ourselves militarily against invaders is something that will have to come as soon as productivity generally is underway and there are funds for same. Taking a rational approach and banning the initiation of force would tell our future neighbours that we do not intend to invade their land. We will simply ask them to kindly refrain from invading ours and ensure that if they try it, they'll be filmed and immediately broadcast on the internet doing so.
  13. Ok, ok, I'm convinced. Let's start looking at the logistics and getting elements on paper. Where do you suggest we start, Zip? Has anyone worked out the following: How much space is needed? How many people are needed at start-up? How many people are going to be able to join in later? What kinds & amounts of provisions are needed at start-up? What is the safest way to obtain interim provisions? What kind of product/good/service can be produced/offered to earn money and to whom shall it be offered? All this you understand while construction continues ... Being in the middle of the Pacific, well, sort of middle, and having a big enough seamount, how do we survive? Need seawater filtration units/desalination on small scale at first, then larger. Start with hydroponic gardening, recycle all organic matter, including composting waste matter, just to start having enough food. Now - shall we go back to looking again at getting a portion of Canada, Western US or Western Australia to secede and form a new country? That might yet be the best bet... anyway, I'm definitely up for it, and hubby is too!
  14. There's always some kid whose parents happen to know and then the whispering starts. If the kid in question knows it's not as bad as when she ends up learning the truth at school in an embarrassing way, because having been in the dark, the poor kid starts out denying the truth of the comments, and learns later that it's all true. Trying to hide this kind of thing works out worse than just telling the kid so she can deal with it.
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