Jack Douglas sent me an article about “free-range parenting” being made legal in Utah. I didn’t know what the term meant, much less that it was illegal prior to the law being passed.
The new law allows “kids the freedom to walk to and from school, wait in parked cars (while their parents run errands in a store, for example), and visit playgrounds solo…” “…the following situations would not qualify as [parent] neglect: traveling to and from school or recreational facilities by walking, running, or biking, playing outside, or sitting in a car unattended, provided the child is at least 9 years old and in reasonably safe conditions.”
You might say that this is one way to build a libertarian from the ground up: Create an independent person immersed in other examples of the same within respectful relationships of family and friends, although not without stormy interludes and setbacks that affect most everyone.
I’ll vouch for the “method”, which I take not to be a method but the natural way of raising children. I didn’t go to kindergarten or daycare. Was there any in 1946? I started first grade when I was 5 years old in Lynn, Massachusetts. The elementary school was about 0.75 miles away. I walked to the E. J. Harrington school both ways, often alone. There was no school bus, and my father never played school chauffeur. On the other hand, he drove us to visit all the relatives and friends on Sundays; and he sometimes drove us to Boston to his place of work. He was a furrier who designed and made fur coats. He had two partners and later just one. Besides his family, He lived and breathed the fur business, which was located on the 8th floor of a building on 115 Chauncy Street. Dad used to go to New York City to buy fur pelts at auction. He worked mainly in the pre-mink era when mouton lamb, persian lamb, muskrat and beaver were popular and stylish.
Before I was 8, I’d walk unaccompanied about 1.5-2 miles to get to the Shute Branch library. I loved the stereoscopic view cards as much as the books. Central Square was in the opposite direction from home, maybe 0.75 miles. Home in Lynn, by the way, was a small rented apartment in a 3-decker. We had good neighbors, some of whom I know worked their way up to better dwellings.
Roaming around downtown Lynn alone was taken for granted. I was alerted to staying away from strangers. I used to take a shortcut through a department store, maybe Burrows and Sanborn. After awhile I’d walk to my cousin’s business. He was a glazier and I used to travel with him in his truck and assist, if you want to call it that, in putting in windows. He’d give me a glass cutter and scraps of glass to cut. Going to the playground, the beach and the movies was something I did with my two older brothers, who were also “free-rangers”. There was discipline enough at home, and especially after we broke the dining room table in our non-supervised play. My mother usually saw to the discipline. That table doubled as the operating table upon which one brother had his tonsils removed. I stayed the course, despite lots of tonsillitis.
When I was 8, we moved to the adjacent town of Swampscott, which meant learning new places to walk and roam, again without adult supervision. The house was bigger, but I still never had my own bedroom as a child. By then my older brothers had their own friends and so did I. I used to walk a long way down Lewis Street, which connected to Lynn, in order to reach a store that sold comic books. I was into MAD comics and Classics Illustrated. I got the money from doing errands for neighbors and later on from playing trumpet. An allowance? What’s that? It was more like “Here’s 25 cents for the three of you to go to the movies.”
Conscious parenting by method seems weird to me. Mom and dad eschewed all books, and there weren’t many at the time anyway. Their guide was common sense. Mom had no kind words to say for Dr. Spock when he came along. It’s hilarious and tragic to read a headline that says that “free-range parenting” is controversial, and that it might even be against many laws. Is this what the country has come to? Do people need laws to make them into good parents? Is it not ridiculous to think that legislators can micromanage behavior relating to nearly all parenting? What do they know? Why should they even have a say in one of the most highly personal realms that parents experience? If they are trying to “protect” children by safety measures and prevent bad parenting, the results will be awful and pile up in ways that they never could imagine or anticipate. An experienced mechanic of age 40-45 who works on garage doors told me (unsolicited) that his company has to let go (fire) one young person after another because they are “brainless” and can’t figure out how to resolve mechanical issues on their own.8:41 pm on March 23, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
A majority of Republicans in the House and Senate just voted to pass a 2,232-page $1.3 trillion spending bill (that no one read) to fund the monstrous federal government for the rest of fiscal year 2018. Is there anyone left in the United States who still thinks that the Republican Party is the party of fiscal conservatives?11:24 am on March 23, 2018 Email Laurence M. Vance
That’s the headline of a blog. It’s a good question. There are six factors involved: Iran, sales of arms, Israel, the CIA, indifferent cruelty, and the system of empire. These are all bad reasons that shouldn’t persuade right-thinking and honorable U.S. senators, but votes for genocide do not come from right-thinking and honorable senators.
Iran. The idea is that Saudi Arabia is thwarting Iran in Yemen. The evidence for this is very, very thin, but even if the Saudis want to thwart Iran somehow in Yemen, that doesn’t justify either a war initiated by Saudi Arabia, a war of the type and scale being waged by the U.S. and Saudi Arabia, and a U.S. presence in that war.
Sales of arms. Huge sales to the Saudis are being made by U.S. companies who influence senators.
Israel. Israel is anti-Iran and in league with Saudi Arabia. Senators are influenced by the Israel lobby.
Notice that in none of these factors or those to follow does the American public play a part. The Senate is only remotely under the control of Americans on this issue, and why would it be? Americans are little affected by what their government does in Yemen, and the U.S. role is kept quite hidden. The visible and well-heeled Israel lobby is more influential than the invisible “pro-American public” lobby.
The CIA. The CIA operates an anti-al Qaeda operation inside Yemen. The war has allowed al-Qaeda to expand. This justifies an expanded CIA presence there. This benefits the CIA.
Indifferent cruelty. The lives of Yemenis count for little to those who vote for genocide. This is a characteristic of fallen man that is sometimes ameliorated by moral teachings and the threat of punishments or worse blowback, but only now and then. The institutional customs and mechanisms to control this trait are not strong enough to stop genocides.
The system of empire. Habitual cruelty is a feature of the U.S. empire. Empires enforce “order”, actually control and dominance, over broad domains that they seek to extend. They use killing to accomplish their expansion in most cases. Their victims are not counted as costs.10:29 am on March 23, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Trump does not want war with Iran, North Korea, Russia or China. He wants deals. Trump is not your usual war/peace politician or president. He thinks in terms of deals that bring advantage to his side.
Why then appoint Bolton to replace McMaster, when Bolton is reliably pro-war? Why appoint Bolton when he is so often wrong in his analyses and recommendations? Trump makes appointments on the basis of whether or not he expects them to help him to make deals. He fires people when he thinks they no longer are helping him make deals or when they’ve become an obstacle to his deal-making plans.
Trump thinks that Bolton’s view of countries like North Korea, Iran, Russia and China as antagonists combined with Bolton’s readiness to make war will enhance his own bargaining power with those countries as he attempts to make better deals than at present. Bolton threatens. He makes extreme threats consistently. That’s why Trump wants him at this juncture. Bolton’s threats scare everyone. It even helps that he gets things wrong and still stubbornly doesn’t back down from his recommendations and threats. Bolton is the bad cop to Trump’s good cop. Bolton gives Trump enhanced credibility that he’s not bluffing as he bargains to achieve a different world order.
Trump is not building a war administration. He’s not preparing for new wars. He’s trying to reposition the U.S. role in the world. He still wants to talk with the leaders of all these countries, his goal being better peacetime deals, as he sees them.
Won’t these countries see through this appointment as a ruse? They cannot. I cannot be sure that my interpretation is correct, and neither can they be sure of the meaning of this appointment. The uncertainty in making the deals has risen, and apparently Trump views that as to his advantage. He can bargain to restrain the war-mongers here in America in exchange for what he wants.7:36 pm on March 22, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
“Libertarians for Trump,”organized by my old friend, co-author, and colleague Walter Block, is now officially defunct. Well it ought to be, anyway. Trump just appointed the worst bloodthirsty, warmongering, cowardly neocon on the planet, John Bolton, as his new national security advisor. Bolton is sure to “advise” Trump to invade North Korea, Iran, Syria, and Russia, for starters. He is Dr. Strangelove minus about 150 I.Q. points. Trump already sounds sufficiently crazy with his “my nukes are bigger than your nukes” rhetoric, so it’s not like he needs an even crazier-sounding warmonger like Bolton to add to his “credibility” with North Korea, Russia, etc. I wonder if Prince Jared had anything to do with this?7:35 pm on March 22, 2018 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
Because public schools are a special kind of breeding ground for do-nothings, collective thinkers, bullies, low achievers, envious types, me-toos, and followers, the threats against schools have become an epidemic since Parkland. Detroit Public Schools have received 23 threats in 24 hours, and many schools have closed.
Schools across the country have been plagued by a rash of school threats since the massacre that killed 17 high school students and faculty in Parkland, Fla. Since the shooting in Parkland, a total of 40 threats against schools were received by the Detroit Police Department: two bombing threats, 34 shooting threats, and four threats to shoot and bomb.
Moreover, Craig said his department received 23 reports of threats against schools in the past 24 hours.
5:34 pm on March 22, 2018 Email Karen De Coster
11:57 am on March 22, 2018
Email Charles Burris
Extremely powerful and courageous cinematic effort to correct the flawed and duplicitous Post-WWII historical record concerning Allied (particularly American) governments of the deliberate and calculated horrific treatment of captured German soldiers and non-combatant civilians. Described as “the last dirty secret of World War Two,” this tragic story remains highly inflammatory and subject to criticism by court historians and regime academics. Together with his central role in the Operation Keelhaul forced repatriation of captured Soviet POWs back to the USSR, the place of Dwight David Eisenhower in history will remain disputed and controversial for decades to come.
American politicians are fond of rallying Americans around Great Britain as an ally and a prime exponent of freedom and the free world. More and more, the “free” part is a lie.
Laws against hate speech in England and Wales deny free speech. They attempt to delete free speech. Hate speech is criminal in England.
If a person says or writes the words “I hate England” or “I hate the prime minister” or “I hate England’s participation in the Syrian War” or “I hate immigrants” or “I hate you” or “I hate Protestants” or perhaps even “I hate tigers”, they risk being arrested, tried, convicted and sentenced to prison for as long as 7 years.
Expressing hatred is a moral bad in some systems of morality. It’s a social bad in some systems. It does not follow that a society should turn it into a crime. That’s the same kind of step as when the possessors of legal force use that force to stamp out a practice, like drinking alcohol, smoking, homosexuality, swearing or smoking marijuana. The government force turns non-criminal acts of citizens into criminal acts; but hate speech, being speech, is in and of itself a non-criminal act. It’s an expression of thought and feeling that doesn’t necessarily damage a person’s rights or property as public slander or libel might.
Speech should not be confused with an imminent threat to do bodily harm or commit an actual violent crime, like assault or beating someone up. It shouldn’t be confused with a crime like damaging property by painting hateful slogans or symbols. Having one’s feelings hurt because someone has insulted you doesn’t mean necessarily that you have been the victim of a crime. Expressing hateful opinions, making racial slurs and publishing anti-religious tracts are not crimes.
The next totalitarian step is to make it a crime not to express hatred. Both John McCain and John Brennan want Trump to express more hatred toward Putin; and they’ll support laws forcing Trump to be more belligerent if they can devise them and get them passed.
If that sounds far-fetched, then consider that one already risks being a social outcast by not endorsing some politically correct point of view or using the politically-correct and approved pronouns. The movement toward the totalitarian begins, not necessarily with a government law, but with political and social correctness exerted on people by social forces and at social levels short of the direct presence of government. Yet government is there behind the scenes via regulations and broad laws that have a totalitarian impact. Laws aimed at equality often have this effect when fleshed out with agency and department directives.
The presence of hate speech laws shows that the incisions into social behavior made by political correctness have graduated into deeper wounds made by government laws exerting the power that it only possesses. In ways like this, political correctness becomes more powerful. On American campuses, political correctness in the form of anti-hate speech can no longer hide its totalitarian face. Universities show their totalitarian face by imposing language practices and codes upon students. Long lists of microaggressions accompanied by demands to punish them are totalitarian in nature.
The totalitarianism is defined at the university level by their attempts to impose one view on everyone by force and sanction. Universities are in a position to do this because they can sanction students in many ways. Furthermore, being recipients of federal aid, they are subject to federal sanctions themselves if they do not adhere strictly to various totalitarian federal regulations. In this way, the force of government regulations permeates universities.10:27 am on March 22, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Hooray for Tim Tebow. He says “it’s good to be different,” except that being “different” doesn’t count unless it falls within the set of specific guidelines as defined in the government’s equality-diversity handbook.
It’s a shame how hard homeschoolers have to work to convince the rest of the clueless, bewildered masses (who shove their kid into the collective pipeline of dumbed-down public schools) that their decision to homeschool is the right one, as opposed to the government indoctrination farms that are funded by robbing taxpayers. I like the hardcore homeschoolers – the ones who just resort to telling the skeptics to piss off.8:45 am on March 21, 2018 Email Karen De Coster
Congress is acting quickly to ban pit bulls in schools, or within a half-mile of a school. This threat must be dealt with in order to save the children, even if pit bull freedoms are infringed upon in the process. I wonder if pit bull control can be better achieved through addressing their mental health issues that have gone untreated?8:38 am on March 21, 2018 Email Karen De Coster
The author is exactly correct in stating that “the weaponization of psychiatry and other medical venues against gun owners could be a reality in America if the gun control crowd has their way.”
Criminal, totalitarian states (what other kind is there?) have always used mental illness as a means to empowerment. And by that I mean to suggest that so many people who commit acts of violence are deliberately tagged with “mental illness” as the underlying cause. This is how the state and its institutions use the power of propaganda to create yet another crisis that requires more government resources and taxpayer funding, further growing state power, especially as it applies to the mental health of individuals.
However, what is often ignored is how this utilization of power and propaganda so easily grips the passions of the masses who rely on the advisement of so-called “experts” in the public sphere; sound bites in the mainstream media and on social media; and emotional arguments that confirm their own biases. The uninformed, hyper-emoting, non-reasoning masses of asses around us are as much of a threat to our freedom as state power in the hands of miscreants.8:34 am on March 21, 2018 Email Karen De Coster
for Arizona, Oregon, Texas, and Nevada. Unaffordable housing and taxes are the main reasons.
“There’s nowhere in the United States that you can find better weather than here,” said Dave Senser, who lives on a fixed income near San Luis Obispo…and now plans to move to Las Vegas. “Rents here are crazy, if you can find a place, and they’re going to tax [you] to death.
Earlier this month, U.S. News and World Report ranked California dead last in quality of life in the U.S.:
Many commentators on the “deep state” that has been working tooth and nail to sabotage Trump and his administration act as though it is a new phenomenon. It is not. As long as there has been a federal bureaucracy there has been a deep state. This is because every government bureaucrat is always and everywhere a conniver/manipulator/propagandist/lobbyist for the growth of government, especially his or her part of it, and a fight-to-the-death opponent of even any talk of tax cuts, spending restraint, constitutionalism, or anything else that would slow the growth of the Leviathan state. We’re not just talking about the CIA and he FIB, but ALL federal bureaucracies. They have ALL been doing everything imaginable to sabotage Trump since, although he has greatly expanded government in general, he has also reduced regulations and cut a few taxes. That is to the federal bureaucracy what sunlight is to a vampire.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower’s famous 1961 warning about the “military/industrial complex” was a warning against the machinations of the deep state of his day. The “deep state” was also on display during the Reagan administration. That motivated Milton Friedman to write a book entitled The Tyranny of the Status Quo. The theme of the book by the Republican Party economist was that Reagan had only 6-9 months to achieve what he wanted to achieve during his second term because the deep state of his day (Friedman did not actually use that phrase) would quickly coalesce to sabotage him and his administration, and indeed it did.
I recommend Bureaucracy by Ludwig von Mises; The Politics of Bureaucracy by Gordon Tullock; Inside Bureaucracy by Anthony Downs; A Disquisition on Government by John C. Calhoun; and Murray Rothbard’s online essay, “Anatomy of the State,” for a little light reading on the subject.
4:52 pm on March 20, 2018 Email Thomas DiLorenzo
Damond, a 40-year-old [Australian] expat…called 911 [last July 15] to report a possible sexual assault in the alley behind her home. Damond’s deadly encounter with [Officer Mohamed] Noor happened on July 15 when she approached the SUV that Noor and his partner, Officer Matthew Harrity, were driving in.
Both officers were wearing body cameras, but they were turned off, as were the headlights of their vehicle.
Body cameras on both officers turned off. Imagine that. Calling the cops can indeed be hazardous to your health.4:44 pm on March 20, 2018
The hubris of the techie types.
An Uber self-driving car hit and killed a woman in Tempe, Ariz., a tragic milestone that could lead to a major setback in the otherwise feverish development of driverless transportation.
The death of Elaine Herzberg, 49, who was crossing a street outside the marked crosswalk, appears to be the first time a self-driving car has been involved in the fatality of a person not inside the vehicle.
Seen in the comments on Yahoo: “Just wait until one of those driverless 18 wheelers flattens a few kids on their way to school.”6:47 am on March 20, 2018 Email Karen De Coster
CNN publishes so-called “analysis” by an editor-at-large with the headline “1 sentence that explains the wacky and super dysfunctional world of Donald Trump”.
The article is about White House personnel turnover and non-estrangement even when there is turnover.
Why look at inputs? Why not look at outputs of Trump’s administration? That’s a polite way of saying that CNN and the Washington Post habitually go out of their way to focus on anything superficial having to do with Trump that provides them a negative headline. They never let up, even 15 months into his administration. One effect has been to sideline Trump’s desire to cooperate with Putin. The resulting danger of stoking hostility with Russia is monumental.
How about the substantial reduction in federal regulations? How about this? “Trump Regulations: Federal Register Page Count Is Lowest In Quarter Century”.
“A year ago, Obama set the all-time Federal Register page record with 95,894 pages.
“Trump’s Federal Register is a 35 percent drop from Obama’s record, set last year.”
The two ruling parties view libertarians as from another planet, if not galaxy, and these numbers show it. However, that is not my point, which is that a 3.1 percent change is no wackier or dysfunctional than what the last two presidents brought us. Outlays were $2.2T in 2000 and $3.02T in 2008. Bush 2 hiked outlays by 37.3 percent in 8 years. Obama went from $3.02T to $3.54T in 2016, an increase of 17.2 percent in his 8 years.5:58 pm on March 19, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
Comey writes up notes of meetings with Trump. It’s a blatant attempt to get Trump on a charge of obstructing justice. Comey’s behavior has been despicable during the entire election and afterward, start to finish. James Comey is a worm. His notes of meetings have no value.
Susan Rice sends herself an e-mail about a meeting with Obama and others. One reason for the meeting appears to be to keep information out of the hands of the Trump team. “The meeting, which also included then Vice President Joe Biden as well as former FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates, reportedly covered the topic of what information about the Russia investigation could be shared with Trump’s transition team.”
A nonprofit organization in Detroit, Detroit Hives, is succeeding where government could not succeed. Detroit Hives is taking over some blighted property on Detroit’s east side and transforming it into honeybee farms while teaching minority children the art of beekeeping. Unfortunately, even with Detroit’s helpful Land Bank, the process for obtaining ownership of abandoned land can, at times, be frustrating and time-consuming.7:22 am on March 18, 2018 Email Karen De Coster
With the Florida bridge collapse, there are the usual suspects: (1) government contracts and the role “diversity” plays in the doling out of those contracts, and (2) rent-seeking interests that continually profit from government intervention in markets in order to “level the playing field.” Based on the various links in this story, there’s some good evidence that, once again, government policy is responsible for the death of innocent citizens.
Senator Bill Nelson of Florida has tweeted: “Just asked USDOT to turn over records related to the engineering, design, construction, safety and inspection of the bridge that collapsed yesterday at @FIU. We need a clear understanding of who had what role in this tragedy and hold them accountable.”
What will they do when they find that government policy and ‘politics as usual’ is directly responsible for the deaths of these individuals? They may find a scapegoat to throw into the pit to make the lawyers happy, but the real cause – government – will never be held accountable.
7:01 am on March 18, 2018 Email Karen De Coster
Two videos, here and here, show Pygmy construction of a pedestrian bridge across a river. Video 1 shows how the first cross-river suspension rope is accomplished. Video 2 shows weaving and other construction.
All right, so the Pgymy bridge methods are too “primitive” for snooty American engineering and require too much upkeep (or do they?). Then why not go aluminum?
Prefabricated aluminum bridges are made and sold in America. Check out the photo. It looks safe and effective.
What unholy alliance of state, university and construction company resulted in the Florida design and construction? Is it really necessary to make a bridge for pedestrians that uses 950 tons of concrete?7:32 pm on March 17, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff
The UK expels 23 Russian diplomats after hastily accusing and condemning Russia and even Putin himself of poisoning “Sergei Skripal, a former double agent, and his daughter, Yulia, on March 4 in Salisbury, UK.”
This is another in a long-running set of actions by the West’s governments that show deep antagonism, fear and even hatred of Russia. Why does this exist?
Weapons industries batten on the presence of enemies. This is one powerful reason behind the hatred. Attitudes of hatred and antagonism conform to an ideology that economically rewards influential backers and beneficiaries of the national security state. They sponsor elected politicians who receive campaign contributions and are lobbying targets. Government defense bureaucrats rotate through industry positions, think tanks and government posts. Lately, intelligence bureaucrats and agents are attempting to rotate into political positions. In a word, the system is corrupt. Personal payoffs take precedence over the security of the voters.
Voters are bombarded by media that propagate symbols that strike fear into their hearts. Almost everything associated with Russia has been turned into a symbol of strangeness and largeness that generates fear, suspicion and antagonism. Russia is seen as strange and large and to be feared. The list of symbols generating fear is very long. I am not saying these are accurate. I am saying that they’ve been hung around Russia’s neck as negative symbols.
It begins with Russia being the largest country on Earth. Their Christian religion differs from the West’s. Their language is inaccessible and strange. Their communist system rivaled capitalism. The Kremlin and its walls symbolize secrecy. Their intent was to subvert the world. They are masters at chess and strategy, sneaky. They are masters at bigness: big satellites, big rockets, big nuclear devices, big tanks, intense rocket batteries. They were first into space and first to make an unmanned landing on the moon. Their army rapes and plunders. Their cold in Siberia is great and terrifying. The bear is an animal symbol that’s scary, surely more scary than the eagle. Their cruelty is noted even by Dostoevsky and emphasized by the gulag. Something as harmless as matryoshka dolls is turned into a symbol of layers of secrecy and deception. Their drinking is large: high-proof vodka in large quantities. They are against LGBT rights. Even their novels are huge, such as “War and Peace”. They defeat the West’s invasions, both Napoleon’s and Hitler’s, partly by size alone and partly by extreme climate. Their May Day parades are huge and imposing, with huge missiles on display and marching soldiers who resemble Hitler’s regiments. They are an energy giant. Their system is seen as run by oligarchs with huge empires of businesses. Their Mafia and criminal gangs are constantly the bad guys in the West’s movies. Their secret services succeed one after another and reach into the West. Communist agents infiltrated the State Department. They stole our atomic secrets. Now they are poisoning ex-spies with dangerous toxins. The color “Red” and the hammer and sickle became symbols to hate and fear.
We could go on. It is always the same as in the preceding cliches and exaggerations. The West turns anything Russia into a caricature and cartoon symbol to be feared and hated. It would not be hard to find activities carried out in the West and demonize them in the same way, and that is surely being done by those who wish to build up hatred of the West. The West’s politicians and media have built up suspicion of Russia among voters and themselves, interrupted only briefly by the war years when Stalin became an ally and then only for public consumption. Once enough Americans have been stirred up, they formed their own anti-communist and now anti-Russian organizations that deepened the process of creating antagonism.
Russia needs to counteract a wall of negative symbols that identify it in the minds of people in the West. Ballet dancers are not enough. It needs to find some positive symbols to represent itself. It has been trying. It has been acting in level-headed ways. It hasn’t been anywhere near as aggressive as the West has been in the past 28 years since the USSR failed. Yet being a reasonable actor on the world stage has not defused the West’s antagonism, which is strongly rooted in the economic and political gains of making Russia into an enemy.
The ideology of being anti-Russia has now taken over the minds of many of those within the West’s political system and its national security and military-industrial complex. Anti-Russianism is now habitual and near-automatic. Many in the West believe in the anti-Russia symbols and exaggerations to the point that they wish to alter Russia fundamentally. Beneath anti-Russianism has grown a desire to tame and control Russia, somehow causing a regime change that will replace the existing leadership with Western toadies and puppets.10:01 am on March 17, 2018 Email Michael S. Rozeff