Nov 162013

I stumbled across a column in the November 14th issue of The Hooksett Banner by Amber Cushing, Director of the Allenstown Public Library.  The column does not seem to have been posted to the newspaper’s website, so I’m going to post it in its entirety before giving y’all my thoughts-

As I alluded to in the last piece in my column, I’d like to address the argument that “I don’t use the library, so it doesn’t need funding.”

Again, statistics alone disprove this argument.  At the Allenstown Public Library, 34 percent of the population has a library card, and circulation has increased every year for the past five years.  But as with my last column, I’d like to explre the roots of this claim.

When someone claims, “No one uses the library anymore, so we don’t need a library,” they most likely mean “I don’t use the library anymore, so it has no value for anyone else.”  This argument is akin to saying, “I don’t drive on Main Street, so it does not need to be paved.”  Just because one person chooses not to use a town service does not mean the town service ceases to have value for someone else.  A more accurate statement would be “I choose not to use some town services, so they have no value to me.”  OK.  Great.  You’re entitled to your choice.  However, when it comes to the library at least 34 percent of town residents do not agree with you.  And that’s OK, too, because they are entitled to their choices.

We get ourselves into a sticky situation when we assume that everyone should make the same choices we make.  The world doesn’t work that way.  Things get even stickier when we assume that everyone has the same financial means we do.  “I can afford to buy my own computer(s), books, DVDs, Internet access, etc., so no one else needs access to these things,” or “I don’t like to read, so no one else should be able to read,” don’t make for very effective arguments, either.

So when you think about your opinion regarding the necessity of the library, I challenge you to ask yourself: Am I trying to force my choices onto someone else?  Why?

There are a lot of problems with Ms. Cushing’s arguments, but I’m just going to address the most glaring. Continue reading »

Dec 222008
Part of the Ask An Anarchist Series -         Next in series

For some time now, I’ve been considering starting a series of posts answering questions that I’m often asked as an anarchist.  Kind of an Applied Anarchy FAQ, or a “How To Guide” for living free.  Tonight I got a phone call that lead directly into this series…

Q) Would you lie or cheat to get out of a parking ticket?

A) No.  Of course not because lieing and cheating are wrong, plain and simple.

The Situation-

My ex got a parking ticket at San Jose’s Christmas In The Park because her bumper was “several inches” into a loading zone.  A friend told her to back the car up so that it was legally parked, take a photo, and submit that as proof that she was, in fact, legally parked.  When she balked the friend suggested that I would do so (assuming the kids were not around to winess the poor life lesson) because as an anarchist I don’t respect the laws anyway.

He’s right that I think the laws are ridiculous, but I don’t believe any principled person should lie or cheat regardless of the situation.  As an anarchist I would have two choices: ignore the ticket completely or go to court and fight it on the basis that the law is unjust oppression of my rights as a sovereign human being.  I, most likely, would follow the former course, but I have promised Zaira that I would stay out of jail until she’s an adult, and, ultimately, ignoring the ticket would end with me in jail because violent kidnapping is the only option the government has to enforce its will on the populace.  Given my promise, I would pay the ticket.  However, in the past, prior to having a child to care for on a regular basis I not only would, but have merely refused to pay tickets and, when violently dragged into court, argued that the law was unjust.  Of course, that always ended in jail time.

Which is why I’m moving to New Hampshire where I will have fellow freedom lovers to stand alongside me when I refuse the tyrannical government’s edicts.  But that’s too much to go into in this post.

As an anarchist I believe that people are capable of governing themselves.  But with this freedom comes responsibility.  The only way a truly free society will ever prosper is if the people that populate it follow a moral/ethical code and take personal responsibility for their actions.  Lying, cheating, and faking evidence is not taking personal responsibility.  It is, as the friend readily acknowledged, weaseling out of ones responsibilities in order to save a few bucks.  That is not at all what anarchy is about.

Part of the Ask An Anarchist Series -        Next in series
Sep 242008

Okay, not really, but I kinda feel like one.  And it’s all thanks to my post, I’m Now A Silver AMPlifier For Free Talk Live.  But wait, I’m getting ahead of myself…

Over the weekend I got curious how many people were actually using Google’s new web browser, Chrome.  So, I visited my stats program over at Clicky to see how many visitors were still using it.  There were only a small handful, but one of them had gone directly to my post linked above – no search engine, no stop by the home page.  Curious who even knew about the post, I checked their IP and discovered they were in Keene, NH. Clearly this was Ian from Free Talk Live, whom I’d emailed the link to when signing up as an AMPlifier for the show.  I did a little happy dance and then decided that there were neither enough, nor fewenough Chrome visitors to warrant a post or even a comment, and carried on with whatever the next project on my list was.

Imagine my surprise when yesterday evening I’m ‘spying’ on Philaahzophy’s visitors, via Clicky again, and notice that Ian has apparently returned to the post.  And during show time as well!  This could only mean one of two things-

  1. He was sharing my post with Mark or one of the other cohosts, or
  2. He was going to read it on the air.

Popping in to the live feed my “dream” came true and not only did Ian spend a little more than 5 minutes reading my full post on the air, but both he and Mark seemed genuinely impressed with it as well.  My little blog post had just been read to a live national audience over 20-something radio stations and who knows how many internet connections!  Woohoo!  They even pronounced the name of the blog correctly.  I really just wanted to share my personal excitement with all of you, but I figured I’d address a few of their comments as well…

Mark scoffed at the idea that I wasn’t influenced in my decision by Z’s seeming disapproval.  He may well be right, but it lead to a great comment from Ian: “I love this, people’s kids are guilt tripping them for us.”

Mark also asked how someone can be between the two of them on th epolitical spectrum, a statement I made in the post.  In fact, I phrased that poorly.  It’s more that I’m torn between the two of them.  My brain is firmly in Ian’s camp – freedom in our lifetimes is the top priority- while my heart tends to agree with Mark’s stance – some things are more important than freedom – in my case, that’s Z.

When Ian got to my Free State Project plug, he presumed that I’ve already signed up.  Actually, I haven’t, but not because I’m not a 100% supporter in what they’re doing.  It’s because I take my word very seriously (as I think most anarchists/freedom lovers do) and I can’t make the promise today that I will fulfill part of the pledge-

 Once 20,000 people have signed the Statement, participants in the FSP shall move to the state decided upon as expeditiously as possible and absolutely within five years of the crossing of the 20,000-signer threshold.

You see, I can’t promise to move to New Hampshire in five years.  When Z came back into my life three years ago I made her (and myself) a vow that I wouldn’t leave her until she turned 18 and headed out into the world on her own.  Since her mother (a nanny statist through and through) has primary physical custody I’m somewhat limited to where I can choose to reside.  With Z still a few months shy of her 13th birthday, my presence is already committed elsewhere for the next 5+ years.

Now, there are currently only 8,680 signers to the Free State Project, so it’s doubtful that they’ll be hitting the magic 20,000 mark that starts the 5 year clock before my current commitment has decreased to that length of time.  But, as I said above, I take my word very  seriously.  I fully intend to become a full member of the Free State Project on Z’s 13th birthday.  That will leave both commitments running concurrently and give me a bit of hedge room while the remaining FSP members sign up.

I have, however, become a Friend of the Free State Project, and am already working on plans for moving to New Hampshire, as a Free Stater, in the summer or fall of 2014, regardless of the number of existing Free State Project members.  So that’s my story, what’s yours?  Why haven’t you signed up yet, or why haven’t you moved? Or have you?  Leave a comment and let me know!

Sep 112008

september-11thYeah, you read that right.

Today is the seventh anniversary of the day that 300 Million Americans were responsible for the deaths of 3,000 Americans. At this point you’re either right there with me or are assuming that I’m insane.  Either way, I hope you’ll stick around a little longer to see what I have to say.  It just might change the way you think.

Despite (widely accepted) propaganda to the contrary, Islamic terrorists do not ‘hate America’ because we’re a free, Democratic society.  Leaving aside the lack of Democracy within the United States, this doesn’t explain why there has not been a major terrorist attack in Japan lately.  There are many, many countries that are more ‘free’ than the United States.  Hong Kong, Singapore, Ireland and Australia all rank higher on The Heritage Foundation’s Index jail-flag-7-20120826-8of Economic Freedom (and their tagline is “Leadership For America”, so they just might be bumping the U.S. numbers a bit).  We’re essentially tied with New Zealand and Canada on that list, but they haven’t been targeted.

Nor do they hate the United States because we’re a ‘Christian nation’.  Ignoring the fact that only roughly 80% of Americans self-identify as Christian, Lebanon is a whole lot closer to them and is not only 40% Christian, but is required by law to have a Christian president.  For that matter, why aren’t they bombing Mexico on a regular basis?  Mexico has one of the largest Christian populations in the world (95% at last count) and democratic elections.

SoldiersWhy, then are the terrorists targeting Americans and the United States?  Well, if you take a few minutes to listen to or read some of their propaganda you’ll see that they’re very straightforward about why.  They want us to get out of their territory!  The United States currently has military personnel deployed in 151 nations around the globe.  They only recognize 194 nations, so that means that the United States has a military presence in more than75% of the world!  Strange, I thought the purpose of the U.S. military was to defend the United States.

If you’re still reading this (and you weren’t cheering for me from the beginning) then you’re probably wondering howvotingquotes.jpg~original all of this makes you and 299,999,999 other Americans responsible for the tragic deaths on 9/11.  Well, that’s simple really.  The imperialistic power-mongers that have run this country for your entire lifetime were put there by you and your fellow Americans.  You either voted them in, supported them, or didn’t do nearly enough to keep them from wielding all of that power.  The United States was supposed to have “government of the people, by the people, for the people“.  if you believe that is true, then Americans are responsible for everything the United States government does and you need to take some personal responsibility for the repercussions of that government’s actions.

Free-Talk-Live-thumbnail I agree wholeheartedly that the events of September 11, 2001 were a tragedy. I also, however, take on my fair share of responsibility. I could have done more to avoid such a disaster. And I’m trying to do more now.  If you’re asking yourself what you can do then congratulations!  You’ve already taken the first step.  The next step is even easier – start listening to Free Talk Live.  They’re a liberty oriented radio show/podcast with two hosts dedicated to living their lives as freely as possible.  Then, if you’re really serious about achieving liberty in our lifetime, move to New Hampshire where thousands of freedom lovers are gathering to use the strength of numbers to fight the next American revolution.  Don’t worry.  It’s going to be a peaceful one this time…

Apr 082008

While catching up on my favorite talk radio show, Free Talk Live, via podcast I came across the story of David Krouse, liberty lover and Free State Project member. The most succinct retelling of his story can be found at the New Hampshire Free Press

David Krouse of Keene took a stand against theft by government and won. He refused to register his vehicle and refused to pay the ticket resulting from his stand. David came before the Keene District Court, told Justice Burke he was engaging in civil disobedience and that he would not pay any fines. Justice Burke found him guilty, gave him an $83.33 fine, and suspended the whole fine and let David go.

You can also find David’s statement of purpose at the link above the quote. I absolutely agree with its intent as well as the bulk of its content. I’m also exceedingly happy to see any victory for liberty. However, I’m not really sure that’s what this is.

Check out the following video of his courtroom appearance (from Free Keene)-

You should notice near the end that the judge asks the cop/prosecutor about David’s record. He has none. In my experience it’s not at all uncommon for fines or sentences to be suspended on a first offense. Regardless, it was great to hear someone actually call a judge out on the irrationality of his rule.

Still, this was a step that needed to be taken and it has been. While I believe things won’t go nearly as smoothly on David’s next court appearance, I do believe that his victory will make it that much easier for the next person to stand up and refuse to be the state’s piggy bank.