The Weekly Sedition

Sunday, 29 November 2020

Book Review — Faith Seeking Freedom: Libertarian Christian Answers to Tough Questions

Filed under: Media, Philosophy, Principles, Reading — Tags: , , — mikewb1971 @ 2:41 PM

BOOK REVIEW — Faith Seeking Freedom: Libertarian Christian Answers to Tough Questions

129 pages, by Dr. Norman Horn, Doug Stuart, Kerry Baldwin, and Dick Clark

FULL DISCLOSURES:

  • Kerry Baldwin has been a Facebook friend for several years now.
  • I don’t profess to be a Christian of any denomination or sect or whatever. Organized religion and I simply don’t do well together.

With those out of the way . . . .

Faith Seeking Freedom is easy reading, in that the authors don’t try to cram you chock-full of data and information and jargon, such that you would feel overwhelmed by it all.

When the authors cite Biblical content, they put the citation right there in the same paragraph as the point that they’re making, so you don’t have to keep flipping back and forth to the end of the chapter or the end of the book. This is probably for the best where electronic versions are concerned. Also, for those inclined to have a Bible nearby to check on the authors, it’s right there where you can compare and contrast the authors’ points against the Bible verse(s) itself.

The authors don’t attempt to take sides where the big divisions of libertarian thought occur, such as the minarchy vs. anarchy debate, or whether or not to be involved in the LP, with the exception of the abortion issue.

SPECIFIC POINTS

[Page numbers cited here are what listed is on the particular page. The actual pages on the PDF version that I used for this review will be that number, plus 10 pages.]

Chapter 2 (The Libertarian Basics, pp. 23-34) gives the reader a decent summary of the Non-Aggression Principle and how it applies to everyday life.

p. 26, part of the answer to Question #13 (How do libertarian Christians account for people who violate the non-aggression principle (NAP)?) takes on the minarchy vs. anarchy question rather well — the authors explain both sides without explicitly favoring one side or the other. (Disclosure: I personally lean towards the anarcho-capitalist side.)

p.39, Question #25 (Do libertarians believe any and every government is illegitimate?) also tackles the minarchy vs. anarchy adroitly, explaining both sides without favoring one or the other.

pp. 67-68 give a succinct and principled response to the “What about roads?” shibboleth.

OK, enough spoilers.

Do me a favor Do yourself a favor — Go and get a copy and read it for yourself.

SUMMARY

Faith Seeking Freedom is an easy-to-read, principled guide for Christians who are seeking to understand libertarianism, on par with Inclined to Liberty by Louis Carabini, The Law by Frederic Bastiat, or Down With Power by L. Neil Smith.

Go get a copy, read it, then tell your friends and family.


NOTES

  1. Published at The Libertarian Enterprise [TLE] — Number 1,096: 6 December 2020
  2. Reposted —
    1. Albuquerque Liberty Forum — Facebook page / Spreely page
    2. KCUF Media — Facebook page / Spreely page
    3. New Mexico Libertarians — Facebook group / Facebook page / Minds group / Spreely group / Spreely page / Wimkin group / Wimkin page
    4. The Old Drunken Old Irrvelivents — Facebook page / Spreely page

Copyright © 2020 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
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Tuesday, 9 July 2019

Who Truly Owns Your Property? Is It Really You?

Filed under: Humor, Philosophy, Principles — Tags: , , — mikewb1971 @ 11:18 PM

H/T Randy Langkraehr


Copyright © 2019 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
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Wednesday, 27 September 2017

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, by John Perry Barlow

Filed under: Philosophy, Politics, Principles, Technology — Tags: , — mikewb1971 @ 11:26 PM

A Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace

by John Perry Barlow <barlow@eff.org>

Governments of the Industrial World, you weary giants of flesh and steel, I come from Cyberspace, the new home of Mind. On behalf of the future, I ask you of the past to leave us alone. You are not welcome among us. You have no sovereignty where we gather.

We have no elected government, nor are we likely to have one, so I address you with no greater authority than that with which liberty itself always speaks. I declare the global social space we are building to be naturally independent of the tyrannies you seek to impose on us. You have no moral right to rule us nor do you possess any methods of enforcement we have true reason to fear.

Governments derive their just powers from the consent of the governed. You have neither solicited nor received ours. We did not invite you. You do not know us, nor do you know our world. Cyberspace does not lie within your borders. Do not think that you can build it, as though it were a public construction project. You cannot. It is an act of nature and it grows itself through our collective actions.

You have not engaged in our great and gathering conversation, nor did you create the wealth of our marketplaces. You do not know our culture, our ethics, or the unwritten codes that already provide our society more order than could be obtained by any of your impositions.

You claim there are problems among us that you need to solve. You use this claim as an excuse to invade our precincts. Many of these problems don’t exist. Where there are real conflicts, where there are wrongs, we will identify them and address them by our means. We are forming our own Social Contract. This governance will arise according to the conditions of our world, not yours. Our world is different.

Cyberspace consists of transactions, relationships, and thought itself, arrayed like a standing wave in the web of our communications. Ours is a world that is both everywhere and nowhere, but it is not where bodies live.

We are creating a world that all may enter without privilege or prejudice accorded by race, economic power, military force, or station of birth.

We are creating a world where anyone, anywhere may express his or her beliefs, no matter how singular, without fear of being coerced into silence or conformity.

Your legal concepts of property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us. They are all based on matter, and there is no matter here.

Our identities have no bodies, so, unlike you, we cannot obtain order by physical coercion. We believe that from ethics, enlightened self-interest, and the commonweal, our governance will emerge. Our identities may be distributed across many of your jurisdictions. The only law that all our constituent cultures would generally recognize is the Golden Rule. We hope we will be able to build our particular solutions on that basis. But we cannot accept the solutions you are attempting to impose.

In the United States, you have today created a law, the Telecommunications Reform Act, which repudiates your own Constitution and insults the dreams of Jefferson, Washington, Mill, Madison, DeToqueville, and Brandeis. These dreams must now be born anew in us.

You are terrified of your own children, since they are natives in a world where you will always be immigrants. Because you fear them, you entrust your bureaucracies with the parental responsibilities you are too cowardly to confront yourselves. In our world, all the sentiments and expressions of humanity, from the debasing to the angelic, are parts of a seamless whole, the global conversation of bits. We cannot separate the air that chokes from the air upon which wings beat.

In China, Germany, France, Russia, Singapore, Italy and the United States, you are trying to ward off the virus of liberty by erecting guard posts at the frontiers of Cyberspace. These may keep out the contagion for a small time, but they will not work in a world that will soon be blanketed in bit-bearing media.

Your increasingly obsolete information industries would perpetuate themselves by proposing laws, in America and elsewhere, that claim to own speech itself throughout the world. These laws would declare ideas to be another industrial product, no more noble than pig iron. In our world, whatever the human mind may create can be reproduced and distributed infinitely at no cost. The global conveyance of thought no longer requires your factories to accomplish.

These increasingly hostile and colonial measures place us in the same position as those previous lovers of freedom and self-determination who had to reject the authorities of distant, uninformed powers. We must declare our virtual selves immune to your sovereignty, even as we continue to consent to your rule over our bodies. We will spread ourselves across the Planet so that no one can arrest our thoughts.

We will create a civilization of the Mind in Cyberspace. May it be more humane and fair than the world your governments have made before.

Davos, Switzerland


NOTES

  1. Original article
  2. On Freenet

Monday, 20 June 2016

“No One Wants to Take Away Your Guns” [2]

Well, it’s Hoplophobia Season again, as your friendly (in appearance only) politicians scramble to stand atop the fifty-some bodies of those killed at Pulse Orlando. As usual, their media friends will say “no one wants to take your guns,” even as they say explicitly that they do want to disarm you. Here are some examples:

The first is an old one, from August of last year, from science fiction, fantasy and comic book writer Peter David, which is a shame, as David can be a good writer when he wants to be. Still, at least he’s honest and up-front about his desire to disarm America’s population, which is more than I can say for most hoplophobes and victim disarmers.

[Click on the pictures to go the article]

Amitai Etzioni, a current proponent of what’s called “communitarianism,” wrote the next piece in The Huffington Post yesterday, and suggests that they probably will need to be sneaky about disarming the American population:

[Click on the pictures to go the article]


FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

  1. Wikipedia page on Peter David
  2. Wikipedia page on Amitai Etzioni
  3. Wikipedia page on Communitarianism

NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 15.9
  2. Reposted –
    1. Extropy UnboundFacebook / WordPress.com
    2. Libertarian Party –
      1. New MexicoLPNM Blog / LPNM Official Facebook page / LPNM Official Facebook group
      2. Bernalillo County, New MexicoLPBC Blog / LPBCNM Official Facebook page / LPBCNM Official Facebook group

Copyright © 2016 Libertarian Party of New Mexico, Libertarian Party of Bernalillo County, New Mexico and Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
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Wednesday, 10 June 2015

Helloween — My God-Given Right (Official Video)

Filed under: Entertainment, Media, Music, Philosophy, Principles, Self-Defense, Viewing — Tags: , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 1:46 AM

Why should I wait, what is left there for me?
I come to claim
To win the game
Why should I plea for my fair and right move?
I come to play
I come to stay

I don’t wanna bitch around no more
I don’t wanna stand back anymore

It’s my god-given right
To stand and fight
For what I like
It’s my god-given brain
That cried in pain
Would I resign
There’s nothing to gain
If I would restrain
There’s nothing to find
If I stay behind
It’s my right
My god-given right

Why should I lose if I am meant to win?
I know I can
I’ve got a plan
All that they told me is right and so wrong
I went through schools
Found my own rules

I don’t wanna bitch around no more
I don’t wanna stand back anymore

It’s my god-given right
To stand and fight
For what I like
It’s my god-given brain
That cried in pain
Would I resign
There’s nothing to gain
If I would restrain
There’s nothing to find
If I stay behind
It’s my right

My god-given right
It’s my god-given right
My god-given right
It’s my god-given right

It’s my god-given right
To stand and fight
For what I like
It’s my god-given brain
That cried in pain
Would I resign
There’s nothing to gain
If I would restrain
There’s nothing to find
If I stay behind
It’s my right
My god-given right


The site blabbermouth.net[1] quotes Oliver Sommer, who directed the video for the title track:

“The story tells itself with the first look on the artwork: it seems to be a film still and you only have to press the ‘play’ button. So the female protagonist flees – reminiscences to different (post)apocalyptic films and stories are deliberated – from an army of robotic pumpkin soldiers through an empty world. On the other side, the band performs in frightfully beautiful, rocked out ambience. When the tough girl realizes that she won’t escape, she turns around and kills her chasers with a grenade which looks like the torch from the Statue of Liberty . . . It is immersed in snow on the cover artwork and in sand in the clip.”

I’m wondering if I’m the only one who notices that the “pumpkin soldiers” bear a slight resemblance to Imperial Stormtroopers from the Star Wars franchise . . . ?

And don’t get on my case about the tactical idiocies (cover and concealment? what’s that?) in this one — it’s a music video made by Europeans, fer Chrissakes.


FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

  1. DuckDuckGo search — HELLOWEEN – My God-Given Right lyrics
  2. Wikipedia page for Helloween
  3. Wikipedia page for My God-Given Right

NOTES

  1. HELLOWEEN: First Part Of ‘My God-Given Right’ Track-By-Track Breakdown
  2. Approximate reading level – 11.4

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Tuesday, 5 May 2015

Havok — Give Me Liberty . . . Or Give Me Death

Filed under: Entertainment, Media, Music, Philosophy, Principles, Viewing — Tags: , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 1:23 AM

Cut the rotting branches of Government that stop the people from having meaning today
Stay out of my business and keep to yourself
Got to do things my own way
Minimizing freedom with your rules and regulations
A never-ending hunger to control
Choking out the life of your own population
Abusing the power you hold

Power
Control
For the Power
Control

Give me Liberty . . . or Give me Death
Give me Liberty . . . or Give me Death to our Independence

Death to those who fight
Death to our Constitution and the Bill of Rights
Showing no regard for the way things ought to be
Stripping away rights from you and me

The Founding Fathers would be rollling in their graves
If they could see what you are doing to this place
The next thing to go is our Freedom of Speech
So I’ll speak up while I still can and maximize my reach

Power
Control
For the Power
Control

Power
Control
For the Power
Control

Give me Liberty . . . or Give me Death
Give me Liberty . . . or Give me Death

I find it hard to believe
Some things are better left unsaid
Is this the land of the free?
Democracy is Dead

Cut the rotting branches of Government that stop the people from having meaning today
Stay out of my business and keep to yourself
Got to do things my own way
Minimizing freedom with your rules and regulations
A never-ending hunger to control
Choking out the life of your own population
Abusing the power you hold

Power
Control
For the Power
Control

Power
Control
For the Power
Control

Give me liberty or Death

“When the people fear the government there is tyranny,
when the government fears the people there is liberty”
– Thomas Jefferson

http://www.darklyrics.com/lyrics/havok/unnaturalselection.html#2


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Friday, 10 April 2015

A Question for Judge Malott (Letter to the Editor)

Filed under: Media, Philosophy, Politics, Principles — Tags: , , , , , , , — mikewb1971 @ 5:03 PM

From: Mike Blessing
To: Editorial Page Editor, Albuquerque Journal
Date: Friday, 3 April 2015
Subject: A Question for Judge Malott

In today’s op-ed piece about discrimination, Judge Malott states that as the trial judge in Elane Photography v. Willock[1], he ruled that it’s illegal for people to discriminate against others on the basis of sexual orientation, and that Elaine Hugenin was wrong to refuse service to Vanessa Willock on that basis.

This begs the question of why it was so important for Willock to force herself upon Hugenin, but I digress.

The question then for Judge Malott is this: is it against the law for a gay-owned business to refuse service to straight people simply because they’re straight?

If the answer is “yes,” then the Judge is saying that people should be forced to associate with others that they would prefer not to, and freedom of association goes down the toilet.

If “no,” then the judge is saying that politically-protected segments of society get to lord it over to those deemed unworthy of such protection, and the question isn’t about the offending conduct, but “who” does to “whom.”

I’m having trouble deciding which answer to this is worse. In the end, I’d prefer that individuals be free to associate with others of their own choice, period.

To the LGBT folks — If you want someone to take pictures or video of or bake a cake for your commitment ceremony, why would you force yourself upon those who don’t want your business when some of their competitors will happily do business with you?


FOR FURTHER REFERENCE

  1. Elane Photography v. WillockBing / DuckDuckGo / Google

NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 13.8

Copyright © 2015 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
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Thursday, 27 January 2011

Tom Blanton on Anarchism

Filed under: Philosophy, Politics — Tags: , , , — weeklysedition @ 4:34 AM

Current mood: ecstatic

I know this may seem anti-intellectual and very simplistic, but I often wonder why so many folks who embrace the concept of self-rule and massive decentralization spend so much time and energy constructing systems, rules, and theories regarding widespread social organization.

How a stateless society would look is limited only be the imagination and in reality, would probably look much different than anyone can imagine as it would be created by much smaller groups of individuals with various needs and desires than any groups currently defined by government imposed political jurisdictions.

As for the real world of anarchist activism in Richmond, all I can say is that whenever two or more people gather to engage in victimless illegal conduct, a successful anarchist meeting has occurred. This could be three guitar players splitting a bag of weed, a homeowner hiring a couple of unlicensed contractors to build a deck (conspiring to do so without a building permit) for cash, or having a mechanic with no business license fix your car at his shop that has no certificate of occupancy due to improper zoning.

Fortunately, this type of agorist activity that circumvents the state is common, but Rand and Rothbard are never mentioned. The word anarchist isn’t used to describe the meetings. This is basic survival in the city for many low-income people and quite a few middle-income people who are clinging to a lifestyle that is increasingly becoming more and more elusive, thanks to the state in large part. Here we have an actual living and breathing free market – hindered only by the state. This isn’t a political theory in action – it is a state of mind that informs actions based on survival and self-determination.

Tom Blanton, commenting on The Thin Black Line


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Wednesday, 11 November 2009

You (We) are the Collateral

Filed under: Economics, Media, Philosophy, Politics, Viewing — Tags: , , , — weeklysedition @ 5:24 PM

Current mood: bored

I’ve been wondering if there’s a way to rig a desktop printer to fit Federal Reserve Notes — I’d like to add the following disclaimer to as many FRNs as possible:

This note is redeemable upon State demand from your life, liberty, property and pursuit of happiness.


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Saturday, 28 February 2009

Book Review — Inclined to Liberty, by Louis E. Carabini

Filed under: Philosophy, Politics — Tags: , , , , , — weeklysedition @ 10:37 PM

Inclined to Liberty – The Futile Attempt to Suppress the Human Spirit, by Louis E. Carabini

Inclined to Liberty is an easy-to-read book that presents the case for liberty over the State in a consistent, principled manner — I’d give it SIX stars (on Shelfari) if the option were available.

Carabini thoroughly makes his case in 112 pages, touching upon quite a few issues that you wouldn’t think of as being related to economics (drug usage, same-sex relationships). He manages to do so without loading the reader down with too much in the way of statistics and charts, yet those are available, listed as footnotes.

Carabini also shows how to be an anarcho-capitalist while sounding somewhat like a minarchist-leaning Ron Paul Republican. I’m referring in particular here to Chapter 32, titled “The Viability of the Nation-State.”

My advice? Send a copy to your friends and family who say they support unfettered liberty with exceptions. Maybe this will wake them up a bit.

See the book’s official site.

Inclined to Liberty is available from either Amazon or the Ludwig von Mises Institute Online Store —

Available at Amazon and the Ludwig von Mises Institute


NOTES

  1. Approximate reading level – 15
  2. Current mood: ecstatic

Copyright © 2008 Mike Blessing. All rights reserved.
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