Rad Geek People's Daily

official state media for a secessionist republic of one

Shameless Self-promotion Sunday #51

Here's a pretty old post from the blog archives of Geekery Today; it was written about 13 years ago, in 2009, on the World Wide Web.

Happy Sunday. Feeling Shameless?

What have you been up to this week? Write anything? Leave a link and a short description for your post in the comments. Or fire away about anything else you might want to talk about.

44 replies to Shameless Self-promotion Sunday #51 Use a feed to Follow replies to this article · TrackBack URI

  1. Aster

    Funny:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rixkck8QnjY

    “we never had to take any of this seriously.”

    Serious:

    http://lewrockwell.com/rockwell/end-of-immigration-issue.html

    I just wish that Lew Rockwell could apply precisely this admirably cosmopolitan political logic to cultural as well as to economic issues. A country usually loses its playwrights and philosophers before it loses its engineers and entrepeneurs, simply because oligarchs are more likely to tolerate the compartmentalised kinds of intelligence which provide a ready supply of bullets. But when a society’s cultural life stops- when you wake up and realise that nobody’s written a great novel for a generation which has received any significant attention- that’s when you know the decline has started.

    Dictators prey on the defenseless. The defenseless are those who do not read. The average person can more easily feel than identify the source of his oppression, and is easily led to believe that difference is diabolism, that creativity is a useless waste of resources and dangerous source of anti-social corruptions. But real scientists and inventors are psychically alike to poets and philosophers, and a people which will not permit such people to exist on the terms their nature requires will inevitably find itself mired in ignorance, poverty, and dictatorship. If you will not permit the extraordinary to preserve its independence you will soon find that the ordinary have lost all gaurantees to preserve its life.

    As Rad Geek once rightly pointed out, Lew Rockwell’s writings have become better with time. But it remains the case that the shift in the libertarian movement symbolised by the Rothbard-Rockwell report forcibly sundered any cooperation between the expressively creative and instrumentally productive wings of individualism.

    The cultural left has, unfortunately, done no better. The first mass outbreak of bohemia in the 60s and 70s continued the tired and ill-considered tradition of insulting the productive economy which made it possible, and never learned the difference between real creative businesspeople and the essentially pre-modern patriarchs which they rightly rebelled against. If the productive have continually refused due honour and recognition to the cultural entrepeneurship which granted beauty to human existence, then the creative have likewise ungraciously snubbed those who made their leisure possible and paid for the paint, vellum, and parchment. San Francisco and Silicon Valley needed each other and we should never have forgotten it.

    The result of this fratricide has been that each half of the human spirit has been forced into the position of doing violence to the other half, for the sake of maintaining alliances with the brand of authoritarians who are trying to destroy a different kind of individualists. The libertarian movement was supposed to be the answer to this problem (I am given to understand that in the early years the LP did provide some of this cultural infrastructure), but it quickly became a pawn and creature of the right-wing authoritarians. the left recently came close to making a truce with economic reality due to the obvious awfulness of Bush II. But since Obama many of them have reverted to a stance which ignores the evils of power when it’s in the hands of anything even vaguely suggesting leftists. On this point, the right-libertarian cynics proved correct.

    If the libertarian defenders of the productive and the left-radical defenders of the creative could have worked together, much would not have been lost. A great culture cannot survive when such alliances are not honoured. Reason without romanticism is dead, and vice versa.

    I think that in America’s case, the damage is likely irreparable, barring an immense shift of cultural consciousness of which there is currently no sign. The establishment has become so corrupt and closed that there simply aren’t enough honest people of any persuasion left who are likely to be able and willing to make a difference. The system actively punishes spiritual and intellectual honesty, increasingly by brute force. The most prominent and organised popular culture is even worse than the elite and has largely embraced a dark ages Christianity- and the economy is too stagnant to allow much opportunity for escape from the provinces.

    The economic system is converging on a third world two-tier model and is structurally dominated by what may as well be state-chartered monopolies. The currency is hanging far over a crumbling Weimar cliff. The democratic system is an unfunny joke. The police have armoured personnel carriers and beat down protests without meaningful public response. The prison system is a gulag where rape and torture is normalised. All that’s left is the formal invocation of an article 48, and the legal precedents for this have been more than set. It will be an interesting experiment in political science to see if that will prove necessary.

    And they did it all with minimal restrictions on freedom of speech. Yes, cultural authoritarianism is a deeper thing than state authoritarianism. Yes, even sans the state individualism can’t survive in an airtight collectivist web of families, churches, companies, etc. which monopolise the means to survive. But one would still think there was enough room to move for at least some Americans that the present catastrophe could have been avoided. Where was the revolution? Where are our Paines and Franklins, in this age where infinitely more people have access to an education? What single prominent voice has cherished and defended the individual? Other countries have headed off such trends in the past.

    I never liked Brave New World, but the last ten years do seem to have been proven that with enough control of popular media it is unnecessary to forcefully silence every dissident. In a way, that’s a worse statement about humanity that the routine inhumanity than happens in Iran and China. The American people may have been worked to triple-shift exhaustion and contained within a cocoon of lies, but other populaces have seen through much more elaborate and much more brutal shams. And this was a country founded by Lockeans, the only country which has ever fully comprehended (if not practiced) the notion of absolute individual rights. The First Amendment is the single most intact component of the original Republic. And yet it has all but happened here nonetheless.

    Let’s try to get the next round of the eternal for battle for civilisation off on the right foot, wherever and whenever we might discover a location for the next Holland, the site for the next Statue of Liberty.

    We need to create sustainable subcultures able to identify, nurture, and defend individualists- bohemias unafraid to say that they exist for their own unique needs and not to save the world (altho’ it is by such enclaves that worlds are saved).

    If we do nothing- and if the rest of the semi-free world follows today’s US and UK- then we will have lost everything since ’76 and ’89. We will lose the idea of social mobility. We will lose the idea of choosing one’s career, one’s beliefs, one’s location. We will lose marriage for love. The deep enemies of liberalism smell blood and see that our world is dying; the national anarchists are merely one rather eccentric foretaste of the kind of mass authoritarianism we should be prepared to survive. The supposed friends of liberalism are useless and largely corrupted by the establishment; they will always try not to understand the liberated spirit which they would have to defend if they wished to defend themselves. The pre-Rockwell libertarian culture is dead, and the dominant paleo faction does the work of our enemies.

    Who does want to stand for explicit, shameless, robust, individualism? Who desires to see liberal civilisation live? Who comprehends the precious things which the Greeks, the philosophes, the Romantics, discovered? Who is still a humanist? Who refuses to give up the notion that society exists solely for the flowering of the individual? Who wants to see that these things, at least, are preserved after the sinking of America, flagship of the Enlightenment?

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MDXLyczUMoE

  2. Aster

    Oh, and I got a new face this week. Don’t know what it looks like yet until the swelling’s gone down and my hormones rebalance (ick, i’m going to be lying around uselessly for months, so speaketh the doctor). The nose at least is cute, and I lost a few years from the forehead.

    I just got out of hospital, and celebrated with more ice cream than the human body can withstand. A diet of soup, vegetable juice, and medication gets old very quickly.

    The morphine wasn’t nearly as fun as last time (+), but it’s very interesting to experience your own visual, auditory, and tactile imaginings as palpable presences which feel as if they’re in the room with you.

    Oops… what I meant to say is that drugs are horrible, demonic, icky things of which we shall not speak, lest they consume us all in an abyss of madness. Obviously, the sensible thing to do when you’re pumped full of painkillers is to make certain not to get any pleasure out of the experience. At least that’s what the good and the just tell me. I think that maybe something is really, really wrong with what everyone names as the good and the just.

    Next week: I get to see and shop Bangkok! Aster meets up with her adopted mom (may all the goddesses bless her; I never thought I’d ever have a real family) and takes advantage of the cheap Thai baht to find two years’ supply of jewelry, and a suit of idiotically expensive tailored but low-cut corpwear. Plus I need a new statue and some gilded tableware (++). I wish some of you lived nearby, so I could shop for prezzies. Unfortunately the NZ customs goons won’t let me take any kewl weapons back with me. :( At least the American airport nazis let me keep the shuriken I found for my ex.

    (+) Speaking seriously, I do not recommend the causal use of opiates and actually think the morality police have a point on this one. I absolutely oppose all drug laws, but I’m rather glad that morphine is not practically available to me at present. But I won’t pretend that the experience wasn’t interesting, or that the morality police aren’t lying about practically everything else.

    (++) My concept of table manners is figuring out which spoon offers the best advantage in a food fight. Can any of you civilised people recommend a way to learn this stuff which is less dull reading than Emily Post? I tried, but the book’s too uncomfortable to serve as a pillow, and they put you in jail if you whack a pig over the head with it.

    Charles-

    Feel free to tell me to cut the fluff here if you want, but I personally prefer forums where people show their personalities. In any case, I want to launch my own blog soon.

    Nameless gentleman-

    Thank you for making this feel like my world again.

  3. Nick "Natasha" Manley

    You’re being incredibly shamelessly non-self promoting there, Black Bloke ( :

    Does anyone know of a way to tell if someone is monitoring your computer or net signal? I’ve recently received a threat pertaining to some random tech dude. I’d like to inform on them, if I discover something constituting a violation of my virtual privacy.

    Charles,

    Does a person track your IP address? Does it work when your ip address is dynamic and ever changing?

  4. Darian

    I posted a rough excerpt from my upcoming book Trade War, a story full of countereconomics and car chases.

    I made a new anarchist flyer and posted it on nj.libertarianleft.org.

    I also bashed ‘Practical’ Progressives and Chairman Ron Approved Steve Lonegan.

  5. Nick "Natasha" Manley

    Charles,

    Is there an extended version of that video somewhere on the web? I went to anarchistcafe.org but couldn’t find it.

    By the way, I am always struck at what a gentle persona you have. You do really live up to your feminist image.

    Passionate but courteous

    Tis a model for us other fire breathing radicals to emulate ( :

  6. Neverfox

    I decided to try my hand at defending Roderick Long’s praxeological Aristotelian/Wittgensteinian coherentist ethical kung-fu against Danny Shahar’s moral fictionalism (and further, moral nihilism).

    Charles, since you are probably just as much an expert on this topic as Roderick, I would really appreciate getting a “grade” from you. How did I do with the relevant concepts? Do you think I misapplied or misunderstood anything fundamental? Do you have anything to add to my analysis?

    And, Roderick, if you are reading this, how royally did I muck it up?

  7. John Kindley

    A few weeks ago I started a blog at http://www.peoplevstate.com. Focus is on criminal defense lawyering from the background of a philosophical anarchist.

    Great interview with the Motorhome Diary folks about agorism. Does Rad Geek People’s Daily have an RSS subscription available?

  8. Roderick T. Long

    The morphine wasn’t nearly as fun as last time

    When I was in the hospital after I broke four ribs in a car wreck a few years back, I had a morphine drip, but it had zero effect. Zip. Nada. After they moved me from the ICU to a regular room they changed it to a system where I could push a button to get morphine if I wanted it. The doctor chewed me out for not pushing it more often; he accused me (me!) of trying to be “macho.” I told him that a) I wasn’t in nearly as much pain as he seemed to think I was, and b) whatever pain I was in, the morphine had zero effect on anyway. But he didn’t believe me. (My experience in general in the hospital was that all information passing from patient to doctor/nurse is automatically ignored.)

    I’m also “immune” to caffeine, in that drinking it never makes me less sleepy — it’s of no benefit if I want to stay awake, but it’s also no problem if I want to get to sleep.

  9. Soviet Onion

    he accused me (me!) of trying to be “macho.” I told him that a) I wasn’t in nearly as much pain as he seemed to think I was, and b) whatever pain I was in, the morphine had zero effect on anyway.

    I’m also “immune” to caffeine, in that drinking it never makes me less sleepy — it’s of no benefit if I want to stay awake, but it’s also no problem if I want to get to sleep.

    This reminds me a little bit of the description of Socrates’ superhuman tolerance in Plato’s Symposium. Now tell us the one about how you fended off pursuing Corinthian hoplites in ‘nam.

  10. Roderick T. Long

    Does Rad Geek People’s Daily have an RSS subscription available?

    At first I thought that was an odd question, since the RSS link used to be prominent here. But it does indeed seem to be gone now. Charles, what up?

  11. Rad Geek

    John, Roderick,

    The feed (Atom, not RSS, if that means anything to you; it should make basically no practical difference) is still there, at http://radgeek.com/feed/

    I cut out the link from the sidebar because I was trimming fat out of the sidebar at the time, and most browsers will pick up on a meta-data element in the web page to display a feed icon up in your location bar (e.g. recent versions of Firefox, IE, and Safari all display the feed subscription icon). There’s also a link in the Site Map. I’ll think about possible ways to re-add the feed icon to the side bar when I get back from Minnesota and have a moment to sit down.

  12. Kelly W. Patterson

    I finally am starting to make some headway in editing all the pics I took the past two weeks, so I’m now busy trying to catch up on all the stuff I’ve been bookmarking for the blog during that time. In the meantime, I had my review of LV Pride Week published as a feature story on Meefers.com, as well as a second Pride review by another writer that I did the photography for. Then I blogged about an earlier article I wrote about the NV Domestic Partnership bill and some of the ways that same sex marriage opponents may actually be shooting themselves in the foot with the tactics they are using to oppose the D.P. bill and then posted several of the pics I took at U.C.I.R.’s May Day March for Immigrant Rights.

  13. Aster

    Roderick-

    I’m so sorry that maratre(#) Nature’s so unfair to you in the mind-altering substances department. I have the opposite problem- I’m immune to nothing, ubersensitive to everything. Things start getting very religious after a second cup of tea, which is why one always deals with necessities before the second cup of tea. I’ve had to swear off caffeine except for special occasions because a few cups of coffee at midday keeps me from sleeping that night even with the aid of amitryptyline. There went my fallback option for keeping awake through 6-hour RPG sessions. Darn.

    I love the idea of the morphine button. I want one. Er… no, I don’t want one. In reality the result would be 15 minutes of fame in the psych 101 textbooks next to that rat with the cocaine habit.

    (#) (#) (#)

    American hospitals treat patients like spoiled children whose selfish requests for health and relief from pain must be dutifully resisted for thear pwn good. The problem clearly isn’t statism as such- the rest of the industrialised world uses out-and-out socialism and still does a much better job. I think it’s a combination of puritanism and America’s specific corrupt-corporate-state-without-meaningful-bennies-for-the-poor style of statism. Patriarchy and replication of parentialism and sexual dualism in the doctor-patient relationship don’t help. In my experience, nurses are the only people with the respect and knowledge to actually help you and getting medical care mainly means pressuring male doctors to sign off on what the nurses figured out last month and you figured out last year.

    I’m beginning to think that the only responsible way to keep maximally healthy is to study the medicine yourself and find a good drug dealer (it’s absolutely amazing how much knowledge of biochemistry the average Kiwi possesses). Actually, my understanding is that a great deal of the black drug market consists of trafficking in legal prescription drugs, as a way to get around onerous and costly regulation by the state-medical complex. Much like the charcoal market cigarette trade in prisons or across the U.S. borders. I wonder when we’ll get to the point of black market food.

    (#) way kewl word. thanx!

  14. Nick "Natasha" Manley

    “Sir. Sir. Sir! Now that you have, I dare say, made your opinion on this matter more than abundantly clear, might I finally be afforded the opportunity to respond? Thank you. You have spoken eloquently, and I do appreciate your directness and candor. However, after due consideration of your most adamant proposal, I regret to inform you that I will neither be going nor fucking myself, not now and not in the foreseeable future.”

    http://www.theonion.com/content/node/62442

    I am not no fancy Phd’d philosopher like Roderick Long, but I do read The Onion ( :

    I interrupt this intellectual discourse to bring you further comedy.

  15. John Kindley

    Rad Geek,

    Thanks for pointing out that there is typically a feed icon in the location bar in my own browser. I’d never noticed that before. It’s allowed me to not only subscribe to your feed but also another blog I’ve wanted to subscribe to but which didn’t seem to have a feed link on the blog itself.

  16. Nick "Natasha" Manley

    Ok. This story is too interesting to not post. I don’t want only my comments to dominate the sidebar, but there should still be room left after this.

    Here’s a Taliban commander who sort of doesn’t fit the mold:

    “For a man in the heart of enemy territory, Qadir was in jovial form. The Taliban commander’s eyes creased up with laughter as he explained that he had bought the military-style jacket he was wearing – olive green, complete with epaulettes and cuffs – to woo Kabul’s female population.

    “There were two girls looking at me as I was shopping,” he said from the back of a taxi in the Afghan capital. “They should have been wearing tighter T-shirts,” he chuckled, cupping his hands in front of his chest suggestively and exhorting: “Tighter! Tighter!”

    Hah; he might not win feminist of the year award, but the overt sexualism is certainly not characteristic of what we think of as Taliban related.

  17. Nick "Natasha" Manley

    Ok. This story is too interesting to not post. I don’t want only my comments to dominate the sidebar, but there should still be room left after this.

    Here’s a Taliban commander who sort of doesn’t fit the mold:

    “For a man in the heart of enemy territory, Qadir was in jovial form. The Taliban commander’s eyes creased up with laughter as he explained that he had bought the military-style jacket he was wearing – olive green, complete with epaulettes and cuffs – to woo Kabul’s female population.

    “There were two girls looking at me as I was shopping,” he said from the back of a taxi in the Afghan capital. “They should have been wearing tighter T-shirts,” he chuckled, cupping his hands in front of his chest suggestively and exhorting: “Tighter! Tighter!”

    Hah; he might not win feminist of the year award, but the overt sexualism is certainly not characteristic of what we think of as Taliban related.

    http://www.rawa.org/temp/runews/2008/12/16/meet-the-taliban-commander-who-likes-girls-and-shopping.html

  18. Soviet Onion

    I know it’s not Sunday, but I just have to vent.

    I picked up a pack a cigarettes for a friend earlier. Chicago price: $10.47. Like 8 dollars of that was tax. Un-fucking believable.

    Alright, get back to your regularly scheduled program.

  19. Nick "Natasha" Manley

    Excuse me y’all.

    Would any of you know where “The Black Market Response to Rationing During World War II” can be found on the net? I am researching examples of counter-economics.

  20. Black Bloke

    Hmm… I hear anecdotal references to widespread black market responses to state enforced rationing during the war, from both American and English folks. I believe that Thomas Sowell gives an example of butchers and bakers in his “Basic Economics” and Rothbard gives examples of tailors evading the NIRA in his analysis of the recovery act.

    Keep googling around, I’m sure you’ll find something.

  21. Black Bloke

    Only now, upon reading again, do I see that you were referring to a specific title. Well Roderick said that he’d gotten permission from Royce to reprint the piece. I suppose he’s just gotten too bogged down over the years to get around to doing it.

  22. Aster

    “I picked up a pack a cigarettes for a friend earlier. Chicago price: $10.47. Like 8 dollars of that was tax. Un-fucking believable.”

    That kinda sounds like a nice $8.00 Misesian price signal for anyone with the time and capital and to plant, harvest, cultivate, package, and distrubute tobacco. Agorists unite! You have nothing to lose but… wait, screw ‘losing’. I hear happy sounds!

    I’ve smoked 14 cigarettes in my life: the first 2 just to see what they were like (uni, yuck, felt sick for an hour.), three special strawberry blends that were the gift of a sister in Nevada, and the other 9 as courtesy sharing with clients. Otherwise, tobacco never seemed worth the expense or health problems. Rand had a point that tobacco (slightly and briefly) enhances clarity of thinking, but I personally don’t find it worth it, not even counting the absurd sin taxes.

    Praise for Soviet. Smoking’s more socially acceptable in NZ than in California or Maryland, and many bohemians do cancers and pot instead of acting like they’re better than working chumps because their drug of choice is classier and lazier, or something. I keep a firm policy of acquiring cigarretes for those subject to age-status-offense sumptuary laws. I’ve been thrown out of a supermarket once for it, but I was doing it wrong.

  23. Roderick T. Long

    Black Bloke,

    Thanks for reminding me! I’d completely forgotten about that one.

  24. Soviet Onion

    Aster,

    Yeah, when you combine the Federal, state, county and city excise taxes, Chicago has the highest in the nation. New York briefly shot up ahead of us late last year, but we just couldn’t let those chestnut-eaters outdo us.

    The state is also considering phasing in another dollar over the next two years in order to pay off its Medicaid debts.

    Add to that the sales tax of 10.25%, also highest in the nation, and which in some business districts is as high as 11.5%. This is most directly the handiwork of super corrupt and nepotistic Cook Co. Board President Todd Stroger, who got the job when the predecessor, his DAD, resigned for health reasons. His family has loads of parasitic relatives and friends on the county payroll doing absolutely nothing, including one with an extensive felony record who still manages to make $60,00 a year. He also forced all county employees to sign a confidentiality agreement promising never to reveal anything he deems “confidential” that they “learned, disclosed, or observed” on the job.

    The board just recently got together and voted that the sales tax was utterly insane, so it’ll come down a point in January unless Stroger vetos, which he promises to do.

    Welcome to Illinois politics, and please, help yourself to a Senate seat. There’s a reason they film the Batman movies in Chicago, and it’s not just because of the architecture. Even our real villains fit the theme. I guess of you want to get technical, Commissioner Gordon wasn’t making $300,000 a year, and the Gotham PD didn’t didn’t seem to torture so many people.

    Anyway . . .

    Since you were so kind as to say what we’re all secretly thinking, I’ll offer up a little market research:

    Indiana state has the same tax rate as Illinois. It used to be lower, and smuggling from that side was exceedingly common. Now anyplace bordering Cook Co. is the same.

    A high volume of cigarette sales are coming from outside, or through internet dealers based in other states. I can’t remember the exact place this was quoted, but I believe that in the months after they raised the county tax to $2, 40% of our cigarette sales disappeared off the radar. Prohibitionists, being the oblivious idiots that they are, touted this as a success, even though anyone who knows a smoker knows how they work around the law.

    Another practice I’ve observed become more common is for smokers to roll their own cigarettes. They buy paper, filters, tobacco by the bag and sometimes a little hand-held roller, sit at a table and roll them, either one or several at a time, just like people did in the old days. The libertarian in me hates the tax, but the part that loves a 19th century aesthetic can’t help but smile (nor can the agorist in me).

    Of course, the component parts are still taxed, but not to anywhere near the same insane extent as pre-manufactured packs or cartons. A former coworker’s boyfriend once quoted a figure of something like ten times the product for the same price. It’s not a totally “pure” example of counter-economics, but it does illustrate a massive number of people making small lifestyle changes in that general direction once the State gave them an incentive.

    On that same note, no one who lives or ventures outside the county hesitates to do their shopping there to avoid the sales tax. People with cars are driving out of their way to do that. In fact, when I used to work just across the border in Lake Co . . . wait, never mind.

    In fact, the northern border suburb of Palatine was considering seceding the county and joining either joining Lake Co. or forming its own, but the rest of the county’s populace would have to approve.

    I haven’t heard much about Missouri, but they actually have the second lowest rate in the nation after South Carolina: 14 cents, not counting Federal. St. Louis and Kansas City both add an extra 7 cents to pay for something related to children; I think it’s schools or hospitals or some bullshit. St. Louis is only six hours away on I-95. I may or may not know a trucker who makes a point to load up whenever her/his route takes him/her through. S/he may have done the same in Indiana when the tax there was much lower.

    Coming home from the recent May Day parade on the train, I got a chance to talk to a street vendor who was selling deodorant sticks. After I opened my coat to prove that I wasn’t a cop, we talked about his work, what else he sells, the economy, racism and profiling by the cops (he was black). Apparently cigarettes are one of the hottest sells.

    Here’s a video from the Center for Public Integrity(sic) that I posted to the Agorism group on Bureaucrash Social a while back detailing tobacco smuggling in NYC.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5e9ZBcSexyw&feature=player_embedded

    The best part was when the reporter mentioned New York state’s debt of about $110 billion. Our’s is only up to $54 billion, bah! You better watch your back, New York. We’ll get you some day.

    I used to buy cigarettes in highschool for friends who were a year or two behind me. I didn’t smoke myself, I just had the good fortune to cross the border ahead of them.

    There was a brief period afterwords when I smoked Djarums (Indonesian clove and tobacco cigarettes) very sparingly, on the order of one every 1-2 days. They have a much better aroma than regular cigarettes, which I couldn’t stand having on my clothes all day. The eugenol in the cloves also numbs the throat and lungs, so the smoke doesn’t irritate as much.

    You’re right that they do increase your mental metabolism, but in my experience the effect was very short-lived, and left me with with nothing but a feeling of poor circulation to my fingertips. I decided that the expense and long-term health consequences just aren’t worth it, plus the fact that I don’t want my face to look like an old leather shoe by the time I’m thirty. I also have genetic disposition to elevated levels of serum homocysteine that increases my risk for a heart attack, and smoking aggravates it. Altogether I would say I’ve smoked about sixty cigarettes in my life, the equivalent of three days in the life of a “normal” smoker.

    I’ve actually never tried pot. I hope this doesn’t hurt my agorist cred ;)

    I am a caffeine addict; I will admit that. I’ve been drinking coffee regularly since I was fourteen, and by now it no longer has a stimulating effect. But I don’t really feel “normal” unless I’ve had at least one cup of coffee a day, and I usually drink 2-4. I would stop if there was any serious health risk, but the only long-term effect of caffeine is to lower your risk of Parkinson’s disease and slightly increase urinary calcium loss. I also drink it in the form of green tea, the Japanese secret to immortality. I would say the only harm is to my self-esteem, since I do sometimes view this as a personal weakness.

  25. Gabriel

    He also forced all county employees to sign a confidentiality agreement promising never to reveal anything he deems “confidential” that they “learned, disclosed, or observed” on the job.

    Don’t corporations make employees sign something like that already?

  26. Nick "Natasha" Manley

    Hey y’all,

    I just let the world know I hate the U.S. government again…

    But in really hip passionate terms ( :

    “I am personally hence forth NOT contributing to the maintancence of the U.S. government in any voluntary way possible. I used to believe in trying to change the world through the system. The system cannot be changed. It’s unalterably corrupt and not consistently opposed by practically anyone.

    This band of criminal thugs has brutalized practically everyone I know in some way or another. It’s high time that they paid for it. The only solution is revolution.”

    By which I mean something along the lines of what Aster is talking about ~ not some gorefest.

  27. Soviet Onion

    Gabriel,

    Yep. In neither case does it preclude things covered under “whistleblower” status, just mundane knowledge that makes up day-to-day operations, internal documents, patents and other “trade secrets”.

    Secrecy of that kind makes me queasy no matter what kind of entity does it, but it’s especially vexing when it’s local government body. Given that they’re supposed to be a our democratically elected representatives, we should be able to know exactly what they’re thinking, doing and talking about. We should be able to read every document they do, listen in on every conversation they have. They shouldn’t have anything to conceal. It’s not like they’re planning a military operation. The thought of hiding their day-to-day operations from us shouldn’t be something that even occurs to them, and it’s presumptuous of them to even think they have the right.

    When I become Emperor, I’m going to personally see that every member of the government has device implanted in their head that will transmit whatever they say or write to an online encyclopedia that all citizens will be able to see. The device will also emit a deafening screech if they ever say or write the words “tax”, “regulation”, “children”, “public good”, “public safety”, “control”, “morality”, “decency”, “terrorism”, “family values”, “schools” and last but not least, “hope” and “change”.

    Failure to cease within ten seconds will result in this.

    As for me, I shall be located in my palace on a space station orbiting the Earth, my own responsibility being control over the nuke button. Men and women will be brought to me if I desire them.

  28. Marja Erwin

    Sovyet Onion:

    Men and women will be brought to me if I desire them.

    I don’t care if you desire me, you won’t have me, you filthy man!

  29. Soviet Onion

    I don’t care if you desire me, you won’t have me, you filthy man!

    I hope that’s a joke, because my original statement obviously was.

    Except for the nuke button. That was totally serious.

  30. Soviet Onion

    I basically lifted it from something the Ron Swanson character said on an episode of Parks and Recreation (which if you haven’t seen, you should).

    No, I didn’t do it for Leslie. I did it because I hate bureaucracy. My idea of a perfect government is one guy who sits in small room at a desk. And the only thing he’s allowed to decide is who to nuke. The man is chosen based on some kind of IQ test and maybe also a physical tournament like a decathlon. And women are brought to him, maybe, when he desires them.

  31. Aster

    “Since you were so kind as to say what we’re all secretly thinking, I’ll offer up a little market research….”

    I merely do my duty. But if what is revealed is that you all keep such thoughts…!

    Magna mater! Have I fallen into company with rogues and scoundrels?

    . . . .

    Seriously, thank you. Open source= everyone their own boss= good.

  32. Nick "Natasha" Manley

    Marja’s exchange with Soviet reminded me of my own “crusade” to understand sexuality. I hereby propose the creation of an agorist sex network. In the meantime, does anyone know of any sexuality networking sites not charging you?

    I’ve amusingly garnered like a billion responses with literally no profile information or picture ~ being a young guy must be enough lol. Unfortunately, these sites tend to demand payment to be able to respond to emails.

    Counter-economists: this is our chance to liberate sex networking!

  33. Aster

    Nick-

    I’m never dealt with non-BDSM sex-networking sites which aren’t actually prostitution under another name, so I can’t say much. My impression’s not good, but I’m very happy for you if you are having luck. And all power to you if you wish to do create an onlint agorist sex network. Please forgive me if I’m more Rothbardian here than Tolstoyan here, and it isn’t my own project.

    The current online sexual auction is run by scam artists, in colloboration with a tiny percentage of very young, white, and blonde sex workers. The situation precisely paralells that of the big recording labels and the Britney Spears pop stars (name of the rose, gentlemen). Anything different, intelligent, challenging, or radical is tossed out to stratch for gigs and dodge the cops or do quarry work… until that magic moment comes when some Big Guy offers to cut you in in exchange for selling out your sisters and your principles. Meet the new boss, except now the Man has visible genital warts and demands his women service him without protection. Go on escortblogs.net and read discussion of something called The Erotic Review. Believe me, I wish I were making this up. Getting wise to this, and one unfortunate incident I’ve discussed with you, is what made me respect Charles’s Dworkinite take on radical feminism, even if I can’t agree with it.

    As for ‘a crusade to understand sexuality’: sigh. Don’t go there unless you really want to. Don’t go there unless you really want to. I told you: really, really DON’T GO THERE unless you really want to.

    Or, then, if you really insist on going there: do as you will, but don’t say you weren’t warned. Reality is reality, and if you just might find you get what you wish, you can’t always get what you hope. But there is nothing else to worship outside reality, and those who still wish to worship must surrender to the icy truth and worship. And, contra a dexter-supremacist Elmer Gantry like Gus diZerega, there is still a way to the light through all that deception and injustice. But philosophy stops being useful here, and the Necronomicon is NOT airplane reading. Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, dar@@c3;bc;ber muss man schweigen.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=asE3hIAxhQ0

    C’est la vie. I am so sorry.

  34. Gabriel

    Go on escortblogs.net and read discussion of something called The Erotic Review.

    Yeah I checked it out. Elms is certainly a scumbag, and deserves the penalties attempted murder should receieve. However, the main beef people on that site seem to have with him is attempted blackmail – and whether you like Walter Block or not, I think he’s right that the “crime” of blackmail would not be a crime in a free society. Of course, one might want to discourage it on thickness grounds.

  35. Marja Erwin

    On blackmail:

    I can’t have an obligation to report something. It’s debatable whether I can have an obligation not to report something. I certainly don’t want to endanger anybody, and particularly don’t want to expose people to aggression by revealing their involvement in non-aggressive actions. I don’t plan to read the discussions.

    On sexuality:

    It is nice to have a working sexuality. I’m waiting and nervous and have not taken it out for a spin.

    I used to dismiss it as mere animal desire, a mere organic accident. It is those things, but it can be beautiful too.

    I am discovering some seemingly unanarchistic fantasies (e.g. submissive ones) and some disturbing nightmares (e.g. male zombies and/or male demons trying to get in my bed) and I’m not sure how to handle all of these. Monday night’s dream is still screwing with my head…

    It feels like I’m betraying myself by fearing too much understanding of my sexuality, and by longing for a mistress.

    Gah, I’m too seepie and headaxie to sleep…

  36. Marja Erwin

    I mean, I can’t have an obligation to report something unless it relates to an agreement I have with the person I’m reporting it to… headache I can’t have an obligation to be an informess/snitch or other collaboratrix with the plunderers, regardless of issues of honesty in my own dealings…

  37. Aster

    “…and some disturbing nightmares (e.g. male zombies and/or male demons trying to get in my bed) and I’m not sure how to handle all of these.”

    Send ’em over here. I caught a dead white guy kink from a snotty upbringing, and it has to be good for something, right? And that pendant I ordered from Mark deFrates had BETTER actually command the undead considering the humilating price tag(+)!

    It could work. Those dead people should have a couple of oboli on ’em, right? Price is I have to take a vacation ’round those parts anyway around June or so, so hopefully I can work something out. Charon might get a little stiffed.

    As for ‘demons’… um, I’m not sure that’s very politically correct language. There’s patriarchal monotheism’s legacy of anti-demonism for you. The preferred term is ‘daimon’ or perhaps, in this case, ‘Incuban-American’. And please, don’t take your bad experiences as a reflection on all fiendfolk. I kinda liked Clem from Buffy; ZOMG was he such an obvious pothead.

    (+) Why’d I finally have to get my hands on a decent holy symbol ’round the same time I finally outgrew illetrary Paganism? ‘Snot fair.

    ~~~~~

    Serious:

    I stopped having dreams of Hell and concentration camps after I got to courage to live my own life, by my own convictions, and as the person I was. I honestly believe that this is the best medicine against nightmares. Of course, this only works if you have the freedom to do those things, which most in the world do not. That’s what oppression does- it gets inside you, changes who you are against your will, steals your own passions and dreams and makes them belong to people you hate. Of course, the oppressors tell you the problem is your attitude.

    If oppression’s birdcage prevents you from fully doing this and denies you your human birthright, then you at least have a right by breach of contract to guiltless social irresponsibility. You owe nothing to a world which will not allow you your participation in its common good. In liberal civilisation there aren’t first and second class spirits. All alike who are denied this are entitled to a healthy and righteous anger. Personally, I wouldn’t blame you for wanting to strangle every bourgeois prick who walks blindly around, owning everything and having nothing.

    But that’s protest. Going on strike. Perpetual adolescence. It’s an acceptable answer, but not truly a good and certainly not the best answer. And the sad reality is that most people on the planet are denied a realistic chance of either the good or the best, because of that hasty thing called oppression.

    I don’t know how to end oppression. But I think that’s what smart people who understand what the big problems are try to work at… like, for instance, here.

    I’ve felt a bit better about myself since I started believing intellectual activism was worth something. I started remembering that IRL most of those dead white guys were, in their own time, looked upon as useless basement dwellers, irrelevant subculturalists, unpopular nerds who couldn’t get a date. And those would be the good times, when they didn’t get the engraved dinner invitations to hang out for awhile at Golgotha, light up the outdoor barbecue at aRenn. Fair, or toss back a glass of hemlock at public expense.

    I used to often feel terribly about myself, awake and asleep. It’s really hard not to do that when the world tells you you’re worth less than a sludge puddle and gives you the treatment to match. I got better. Pride helps. Pride as in ‘regarding your value in its actual rather than vonventional proportion’. Pride as in ‘Gay Pride’, ‘Black is Beautiful’, etc. Or, for a more general application, pride as in ‘megalopsuchia’, ‘blessed selfishness’.

    I know, you’re a Christian and can’t pull a Rand and be loudly selfish, but Christ and Howard Roark were dealing with the same problem- definitions and mechanics aside, the great gap is that the best within us and what their world treats decently have a pretty lousy degree of correlation. And- maybe egoists and altruists can agree here, too- living according to what’s really important instead of what people think of you doesn’t just make your life better- it’s powerful. I’ll even say Powerful, if someone will pass the second cup of tea.

    Choose your poison- Socrates, Galileo, Voltaire, WL Garrison, Ibsen, Redstockings, Martin and Malcolm: these people could do a thousand times more with the world around them than the mostly brainless high-ups ever did. Apologies to Neitzsche, but whose the elite now? Who’d you rather be?

    So what’s the equivalent today? It’s hard to tell wihout a century’s hindsight, but people like Charles and Kevin- the people we have the privilege of talking to firsthand– are pretty reasonable bets. And since you and I are People With Brains, maybe we could do the same, or at least actually help. And you know what that makes us?: ‘big damn heroes’. Glass cannons, sure, but I reckon the little I’ve already done in my life counts as a couple of epic fireballs. And you do it while keeping the unsullied alignment. I mean, really, who has something to be happy about? Think of that when you look in a spiritual mirror. When I do that before curling up in the Warm, sleep is good.

    I still have nightmares, occasionally, but not the kind where you feel helpless. Be proud of yourself. You are doing it right, even if the idiots who keep score and award the trophies get it bass-ackwards most of the time. The power of the Enemy is still less than fear makes it.

  38. Nick "Natasha" Manley

    Aster,

    I am not as well read on evolutionary biology as I’d like to be, but I have noticed what looks or perceived looks can do for you. I don’t know what physical specifics I have that invoke animal attraction from women, but it’s clearly there. It would be nice to know more about these dynamics ~ despite any smashing of hopes that may occur.

  39. Nick "Natasha" Manley

    There is a new controversy afoot in libertas. Kevin has made a rare deviance from his pattern of staying out of these cultural wars to write an open letter to Keith Preston.

    http://mutualist.blogspot.com/2009/05/open-letter-to-keith-preston.httml

    Kevin’s concerns and sentiments are my own. We must not allow this to go unremarked upon.

  40. Marja Erwin

    Mike Gogulski has also responded:

    http://www.nostate.com/2036/taking-sides-on-the-right-to-be-a-complete-jackass/

    I’ve been biting my tongue, but it’s hard. Keith Preston’s words are enough:

    “I say it’s time for a purge, if not an outright pogrom.”

    I say Keith Preston has no place among us. “But it was not always as it now is… Give him a horse and let him go at once, wherever he chooses. By his choice shall you judge him.”

  41. Mike Gogulski

    Had to be done. Kevin’s piece is stronger, perhaps; I react from my own perspective rather than any sort of strategy positioning.

    Darian Worden just posted: Perverts versus Preston.

  42. Nick "Natasha" Manley

    Arthur just said he didn’t support the troops! An even more fiery claim than his previous one of wanting the U.S. to lose ~ although; I suppose they are equally treasonous in the eyes of the robotic defenders of all things U.S. military.

    http://powerofnarrative.blogspot.com/2009/05/no-i-do-not-support-troops.html

    “The truth is that people who pull triggers are ultimately responsible, whether they’re following orders or not. An army of people making individual moral choices may be inefficient, but an army of people ignoring their morality is horrifying. …”

    He’s quoting leftist Joel Stein above. Look at what one of the establishment “liberal-progressive” bloggers had to say:

    “Wanker of the Day

    Joel Stein

    Bring on the parades. If our military rank and file have been betrayed by their civilian leadership they deserve our respect doubly.”

    Reminds me why I don’t read the Daily Kos sphere…

  43. Nick "Natasha" Manley

    I like to share stuff with people. Charles and others may find this documentary interesting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=S5IGqkDQHoI

    The part at the end is revealing ~ Iraqis viewing resistance fighters as freedom fighters instead of terrorists.

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