Mar 292015
 

This is a “Guest Post” of sorts.  Everything below this italicized paragraph was written by Daniel Bane Cooper.  He wanted to share his story and was having difficulty finding a venue to do so.  He finally posted it to Facebook only to have it deleted, so I volunteered to post it here.  I am doing so, completely unedited, without comment and haven’t even read the story myself at this point.  I take no sides, take no vouch for the tale’s truth, and have never even met Daniel or anyone else mentioned in the story itself.  I’m just providing a venue.  Comments of any sort are welcome and will not be moderated (beyond spam control).  I do not know if Daniel will choose to come to this post to answer any questions, but if any are left for him I’ll be sure to let him know.

This is not an easy story to tell. There are a lot of reasons I am telling it and a lot of why it has taken me so much time to decide to do it. I am very far from a perfect person. There is not one part of me that doesn’t recognize a big part of this whole thing could have been avoided had I made better decisions. Part of it was also inevitable. This is nowhere close to how I wanted my time in NH to be, but at the end of the day it is the truth and hopefully someone can not have to learn the lessons the way I did. People also have a right to know the people they are around, good and bad.

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Mar 192011
 
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Ask An Anarchist

Ask An Anarchist

Welcome back to Ask An Anarchist. The ongoing series where I respond to questions about anarchist philosophy.

Q) So some small town somewhere started to fine all of their prisoners to pay for the prisons instead of taxes. Say you make 8 dollars an hour at your job then you get put in jail and pay 16 to 20 dollars a day every day you are in jail.
I think this is good because the “criminal” pays for the jails instead of everyone paying for it.
It’s a bad idea for a lot of reasons though. For one, people can’t pay if they can’t work. Also it gives police a reason to put you in jail for 30 days instead of just a ticket. What do you think?

A) This is not nearly as unusual as you might think, and you quickly recognized the largest problems with it yourself. Continue reading »

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Jan 122009
 

Had he lived, Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. would have turned 80 years old this coming Thursday.

If you are called to be a street sweeper, sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, “Here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.”

That is, by far, my favorite Martin Luther King quote.  In fact, it’s one of my favorite quotes of all time, by anyone.  And it is that philosophy that I honor on the third Monday of January each year. Martin Luther King clearly inspired millions (of all backgrounds) and had a massive impact on not only the United States, but on the world.  But I’m left wondering what he would have to say about the America of today.  As I wrote in honor of MLK’s birthday last year, 40 years after his assassination, Americans are still slaves.  This year, I’d like to focus on the issues that made Martin Luther King famous: civil rights and the advancement of blacks in American culture.

In 1939 Martin Luther King was a 10 year old Atlanta resident who had already traveled to Europe and had sung with his church choir at the opening of Gone With The Wind.  Meanwhile, roughly 87 percent of blacks in America were living in poverty. By the time Measure of Man was published in 1959 (still years before the Albany movement, Birmingham, and the March on Washington), poverty amongst black families had dropped a full 40 points to 47 percent and the incomes of blacks relative to whites had more than doubled.

1963 brought the March on Washington and the famous “I Have A Dream speech which will be quoted with such abandon in the next couple of weeks, 1964 was, of course, the Civil Rights Act, 1965 saw “Bloody Sundy” in Montgomery, AL (often cited as the turning point for the civil rights movemement in the United States – King was notably absent, BTW), this was followed numerous failures and cancelled marches in Chicago and then, in March 1968, the assassination of Martin Luther King at the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, TN.  The following year the poverty rate amongst blacks in America had fallen to roughly 32 percent (where it remained well in to the 1990s).

Which all leads me to question just why there’s a national holiday for this man.  Of course, we have a strange way of celebrating it…

In 1990 President George Bush (the first) invaded Iraq on Martin Luther King’s birthday.The day after America observes MLK’s 80th birthday the first black President will be inaugurated. King would, no doubt, be proud. But let us not forget that Barack Obama will not only continue the current invasion of Iraq, but has also come out in support of National Slavery!

Is this what Martin Luther King was fighting for?  Is this what you are honoring on this national holiday devoted to him?  Honestly, I think next Monday will just be another day of my distancing myself from as much of the celebration as possible.

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Jan 092009
 
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Welcome back to Ask An Anarchist. The ongoing series where I respond to questions about anarchist philosophy. This is an easy edition for me to write as Michael Wiebe of Libertarian Anarchy has done all of the heavy lifting.

Q) Do you not care about poor people? Without government assistance and programs they wouldn’t be able to survive!

A) Of course I (and other anarchists) care about the poor. I, for one, am one of the poor.  But one of the reasons I’m an anarchist is because I know that, however well intentioned, government intervention does far more to hurt those in poverty than to help them.

Check out Micahel’s Government Against the Poor, for a better worded explanation of the above statement than I’m likely to write any time soon.  BTW, I discovered that post through the monthly Market Anarchist Blog Carnival which is well worth reading each month if you’re interested in attaining more personal freedom and better understanding the true problems of government.

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Jan 052009
 
Part of the Applied Anarchy Series - Previous in series         Next in series

As you probably already know, anarchists, libertarians, and freedom lovers are really big on books. In fact, the written word is still, by far, the greatest influence on the vast majority of converts. The problem with this is two-fold: 1) many of the books are dry and boring, and 2) the books aren’t exactly easy to “stumble across” if you’re not looking for them.  Freedom Book Club aims to solve both of these problems and you can help.

Each month four selections are posted at the Freedom Book Club home page.  All you need to do is swing by and vote for your favorite.   Then, during the first week of the next month, everyone interested will buy the selected book.  Voting for a selection does not obligate you to buy the book that is ultimately selected.

So, how does this help further the message of freedom?  It’s simple really.  Bestseller lists (New York Times, Amazon, etc) aren’t actually based on how many copies of a book get purchased.  rather, they’re based on how many books are purchased within a given time frame.  In other words, it’s velocity not volume.  By having hundreds (thousands?) of liberty lovers all purchase a specific book within the same week we can rocket these books up onto the best seller lists and get them much more attention from the general public.

Additionally, since each month’s book is selected by popular vote we can concentrate our efforts on works that are much more palatable to a general audience. For example…

Last month’s selection, Healing Our World in an Age of Aggression by Dr. Mary J. Ruwart, PhD sold out at Amazon.com not once, but twice. Of course, the Freedom Book Club has no way of knowing if they were the direct cause of such a rush on a 5 year old book, but their efforts certainly didn’t hurt! Healing Our World is, quite possibly, the ultimate primer on freedom. Written in an easygoing, friendly style it still manages to tear apart just about every possible reason one could have for remaining a statist despite government’s repeated failures. If you haven’t read it, I highly recommend that you not only put it on your reading list, but that you put it at the very top.

But I’m getting sidetracked again. Just take a few minutes to check out Freedom Book Club.  Not only will you help spread the message of liberty to the masses, but you just might find a few books to enjoy and enlighten at the same time.

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