scratch-mark

Now Let the Ruination Continue Unabated

I laughed yesterday…

It’s rather gratifying when something happens that more than anything I write, has a far more profound effect in the same direction.

Congratulations.

  1. Either you spent a ton of your one and only life capital the last two years agitating over who was going to rule you next and after all of it, not a thing changed or,
  2. You got to continue to be part of the slightly bigger mob—after a similar expenditure of your life—so you can continue to dominate the slightly smaller mob. Your virtue is unbounded.

You wasted your time, monumentally so. All of you did. Hell, it wouldn’t have really mattered had Pepsi won over Coke, or if the Senate had changed hands, or the House. …At least it would have shaken the shit up a bit, leaving people to wonder.

Saw somewhere, yesterday:

I voted multiple times this morning. Jimmy Dean won. Sonic lost. Conoco won. Chevron lost. Folgers french vanilla won. Starbucks lost. All will be campaigning again tomorrow.

That’s me, too. I don’t have to worry about getting in the right line so I get to dominate others by force. I’ll buy my own phone and service plan…and, and, should I, out of some weird warp in the time-space continuum, choose Folgers, Starbucks doesn’t have to pay for it.

…For me, there’s nothing more to conclude about America than that it’s an explicitly majority socialist country, now, and that will only grow—everyone clamoring to live at the expense of everyone else. It has seen—without not 1 in 100 people having a clue as to what they were looking at—how the trillions upon trillions of dollars pumped into Western Europe from the Marshall Plan to NATO, US fighter and bomber bases, US Missile installations, massive troop numbers, etc, etc, for the general defense of Western Europe over 4 decades freed them up to build massive cradle-to-grave social systems, which they now rub in our faces. And America wants them all, but with American ingenuity. They want to be even more socialist.

Anything worth doing is worth doing right.

Yesterday convinces me that I’m right about dumping this place as soon as I can. I am embarrassed to be an American, and that’s the damn truth. While I know there are still better than 100 million people I’d love to death around here, most of them don’t vote anyway, and even if they did, there just aren’t enough good people, anymore.

I’m going to eventually move to a different form of socialism. That’s where fruit grows on trees, there’s sunshine year round, and you can spear fish right off the beach.

Richard Nikoley

I'm Richard Nikoley. Free The Animal began in 2003 and as of 2021, contains 5,000 posts. I blog what I wish...from health, diet, and food to travel and lifestyle; to politics, social antagonism, expat-living location and time independent—while you sleep—income. I celebrate the audacity and hubris to live by your own exclusive authority and take your own chances. Read More

79 Comments

  1. Paula on November 7, 2012 at 14:51

    I think you’d enjoy reading “So Much for That” by Lionel Shriver.

  2. BigRob on November 7, 2012 at 16:01

    Richard,

    I would love to see you write a post or series on places you are considering making your new home. I too am considering leaving the ship before the bilge chokes me to death on this sinking ship.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 7, 2012 at 16:09

      I have hope for America, still, stupid as that may sound. This is something I always wanted to do.

      I will eventually write about where I might head. It’s not going to happen for a few years, so there’s still time. Someone in comments turned me onto House Hunters International. I put that on DVR, to record all episodes and as of yesterday, had 25 episodes to watch. I caught 3 of them last night. At 30 minutes total and FFing past the breaks, you can get through in about 20 minutes. Quite educational.

      Ecuador seems cool.

      • Skyler Tanner on November 8, 2012 at 11:00

        Sarah lived in Ecuador for a year and I can tell you first hand it is beautiful. A few great places to live, too.



  3. rob on November 7, 2012 at 16:33

    There are still places you can spear fish right off the beach, when I go to the beach that I used to practically live on as a youth I see guys swimming off the beach to try to spear something. The only problem is they are loaded with $1,200 worth of gear when all you need is a $19.99 pole spear and a cheap mask, snorkel and flippers, lol.

    They swim right past the place where you can spear fish right off the beach.

    When we were young the economy was BAD and inflation was running wild, protein was expensive. I had a friend, Jim who I met in grad school who had gotten a full time job after getting his B.A. but it didn’t pay enough to buy him food so on weekends he would swim off the beach in Ft. Lauderdale and collect Conchs and that was what he would eat every day, Conch every day of the week, eating a steak was the impossible dream.

    Now I think it is illegal to take a Conch, they all come from the Bahamas and are frozen.

    If things get really bad the young are in for a rude awakening, there was a time when only 1 in 5 young people owned a car and when it came time to buy gas everyone would contribute the change in their pocket and you would buy 78 cents worth of gas, and if there was money left over you would buy a six-pack of Red White and Blue beer for $1.23 and have a party.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 7, 2012 at 16:41

      rob

      great comment. i wont comment further because I’m trying to stay out of too much trouble, for a while because I’m too busy elsewhere.

    • Erik on November 9, 2012 at 06:09

      Us young people who aren’t willing to take on the debt of inflated school costs have already noticed. Yeah, I patch my own clothes, grow/hunt/gather much of my food, take any extra odd jobs like splitting wood or digging holes, and don’t have a car. What’s the cost of a couple gallons of hooch? $1.25 for an airlock and a couple hours gathering fruit and herbs. In the meantime so many students around us in this little college town are conspicuously NOT worrying about money, and most of them have NO idea what they’re going to do about it when they actually have to make payments on their loans. Talk about a looming financial crisis…

  4. EatLessMoveMoore on November 7, 2012 at 16:37

    For someone who claims to have no dog in the fight, you seem awfully dejected about an Obama victory, Richard. Of course the United States is becoming more socialist – because it’s a more moral system than what we had and because it works (ask the Canadians about their health care, ask the Swedes about pretty much anything…). Laissez-faire capitalism brought us the Robber Barons and an even greater conglomeration of monied shitheads than we have now. I could be wrong, of course, but I highly doubt you’d be as sullen if the rich white guy won. Just sayin’.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 7, 2012 at 16:45

      “you seem awfully dejected about an Obama victory, Richard.”

      I’d be making huge ridicule had Romney won, predicting an awful failure.

      That’s what’s fun about being who I am. It’s a target rich environment.

      Now as to the Republicans. From 8 years ago, this blog’s very deep archives.

      https://freetheanimal.com/2004/02/fraud_or_dishon.html

    • Richard Nikoley on November 7, 2012 at 16:48

      “because it’s a more moral system”

      No, it’s a profoundly immoral system (for more than 100 years) that reflects the immorality of average people seeking to live at the expense of other average people, through an agent that does the forcing, so nobody has to get their hands dirty.

      Just like any other moron, you equate chopping off the legs of the tallest so they’re as short as the sortest with morality instead of what it is: equality.

      Equality is not a moral principle.

    • Joshua on November 7, 2012 at 21:45

      “…Laissez-faire capitalism..”

      BWAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!! These words. I do not think they mean what you think they mean.

    • Dave Mc on November 9, 2012 at 09:04

      “ask the Canadians about their health care”

      As a Canadian, perhaps you should take the Supreme Court’s word for it:

      “[T]here is unchallenged evidence that in some serious cases, patients die as a result of waiting lists for public health care.”

      http://www.hg.org/articles/article_698.html

      Don’t believe the hype.

    • daddynuke on March 13, 2013 at 05:40

      Capitalism is one thing…what exists in the US is neither laissez faire nor capitalism. Nothing is too big to fail in laissez-faire and the consumers ultimately decide the success or failure of your model. What ruined America was the merging of government and corporations to an extent that makes true capitalism impossible. What killed socialism is killing America…the lack of a feedback from the bottom to determine what needs to be in the system and what doesn’t. Pepsi vs. Coke is dead accurate as both are poison and taken to be something else by the vast majority of sheeple. I’m not certain laissez faire capitalism would actually work…but it really never had a shot. From the Rockefellers and Standard Oil forward the system has been rigged against the one segment of America that could keep it great…the middle class.

  5. EatLessMoveMoore on November 7, 2012 at 17:04

    Access to affordable healthcare sure is.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 7, 2012 at 17:12

      “affordable healthcare”

      Euphemism: something for nothing. This is what I loath about commies above all else: lies via euphemism.

      • Joshua on November 7, 2012 at 21:49

        But it’s even worse than that. For most people it’s surrendering the right to decide how to spend your own money. They give their money to the government and then act GRATEFUL when the government decides to toss them a bone.

        Due to many (mostly statist) reasons, American doctors make more than twice what most doctors in the rest of the world make. That’s the biggest reason our health care is so much more expensive. Add in government restrictions on who can provide insurance and in what manner, and you have the rest of the answer.



      • Rick on November 8, 2012 at 14:33

        ” That’s the biggest reason our health care is so much more expensive. ”

        Bullshit! Doctors take a tiny fraction of our total healthcare bill. Why do you think they tell their children not to go into medcine?



      • Joshua on November 8, 2012 at 16:00

        A quick googling indicates that physicans account for 20% of medical expenses. I admit that is less than I thought, so I was obviously wrong, but I would not call that a tiny fraction. I’ve heard a lot of theories about why doctors would not encourage others to go into medicine. The most popular I’ve heard is frustration with “the system”, but maybe it’s because I share that frustration.



    • daddynuke on March 13, 2013 at 05:52

      Libertarianism is about accepting the consequences of the choices you make. It’s such a foreign concept that when we teach it to children they learn that hot things burn and sharp things cut. They learn that when you don’t need to cook or cut something hot and sharp things are to be avoided.
      For some strange reason we’ve taken to the belief that we are entitled to live to a ripe old age regardless of what we choose to do with our bodies. This is neither responsible nor sustainable. The money to perform such a miracle has to come from someone’s pocket and selling me accountability for the actions of others is a tough sell. Canada’s health care system is imploding right now. It’s richest province, Alberta, has made draconian cuts to the health care budget because even with its wealth of oil it can’t afford to keep up. Britain is doing the same. Show me a county of reasonable size that isn’t rotten with natural resources able to sustain health care for all and I will shut my stupid cakehole.

  6. EatLessMoveMoore on November 7, 2012 at 17:12

    “Equality is not a moral principle.” Randian nonsense. Equality per se may not be a moral principle, but permitting a family to get into debt they can never, ever get out of over an illness is profoundly IMmoral.

    All an Obama victory really shows is that the United States is getting less white – more Latino, more African-American, more female, more immigrant. And from where I sit that’s a positive thing – unless, of course, you’re a rich white guy with binders full of women.

    • Remnant on November 7, 2012 at 18:02

      If it is a positive thing, why do we not see, and have never seen, immigration into brown and black countries to benefit from such richness? If you want to see what a largely brown or black country will be like … look at a predominantly brown or black country.

      • Richard Nikoley on November 7, 2012 at 20:31

        The world is going to end up pretty much light to dark brown.

        Simple fact and there is no force of nature short massive war or clatachism that’s going to stop it.



      • Bernardo on November 8, 2012 at 12:41

        I’d like someone to explain to me why people are so racist in the US. And when I I say racist, I don’t mean white (which seems to be = racist lately), I mean obsessed with race. I consider someone a racist or a sexist if that person is always worried about those things. I was born in Brazil, and although most blacks are poor and most poor are black, we just don’t make every little issue a matter of male/female black/white gay/straight. People can’t even tell what color they are down there due to all the mix. And it doesn’t matter.

        Here Mr. Richard was talking about socialism and freedom but suddenly it’s all about blacks and women? How so?

        By the way, in Brazil we have one of the biggest social differences in the world and, trust me, it’s not a good way to go, for anyone. But I still think everyone would be richer and have those minimum conditions to live without people sucking riches from others everywhere, and most of those are rich and work for the government. In other words, I think big government produces more social differences than what we’d have without it.



      • Richard Nikoley on November 9, 2012 at 07:54

        “I mean obsessed with race.”

        It’s only one aspect of a far broader thing, which is to keep the political antagonism going between as many self-selected identity groups as possible.

        It’s good for the middle men (politicians, pundits, media, etc.)



      • Joseph on November 9, 2012 at 11:49

        Living abroad was really nice for me, in this respect. I met people from all over, including many with histories of oppression (that I have read about: some of them could even tell me horror stories from their personal experience). They did not care about race. They treated me with respect as another human being, and I naturally did the same for them. That difference seemed so superficial as not to matter; then I came back to America, and immediately there appeared the invisible wall separating me from the Other. I resent that wall. It does not have to be there. I know. I lived in places where it did not (not that the people where I lived abroad weren’t into tribal stereotypes at all, but they knew better than to make those stereotypes a function of simple characteristics like skin color, which tell you nothing about the moral habits of a person).



      • Joshua on November 7, 2012 at 22:00

        So… you really think that a melanin deficiency gives a man a greater appreciation for freedom? Go back before 1400 – were light-skinned folk really better off than dark-skinned folk?



    • Joshua on November 7, 2012 at 21:51

      So why don’t you just give them YOUR money instead of using deadly force to take my money and give it to them?

      Taking person A’s money by force and giving it to person C is not moral. Politicians piss me off when they beat their chests claiming how generous they are (with my money).

    • Rob on November 7, 2012 at 22:27

      Fuck, you have all the DNC talking points at hand. Plus the Race Card.

      Try thinking for yourself, for once, stop listening to MSNBC.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 8, 2012 at 08:26

      I said:

      “Equality is not a moral principle.”

      You say:

      A: “nonsense.”

      B: “Equality per se may not be a moral principle”

      Thank you. I’ll go with B.

  7. MC on November 7, 2012 at 17:32

    Socialism is not a more moral system. Socialism is why your dollar is worth less today then it was worth 50 years ago. Had America maintained a free market system, everybody would be wealthier because of it. Socialism has a lot of unattended consequences that people seem not to notice.

    Just look at how college tuition continues to rise in price, as the degrees lessen in value. What would happen if government stopped ensuring student loans? Less people would be able to afford to go to college. You know what that means? It means colleges either decide to have a lot of empty seats in their classrooms, or they lower prices so more people can actually afford to go.

    Turn up the socialism, you also turn up the cost of everything, including health care.

    I’m Canadian Richard. Care to ask me about our health care? 😉

    • marie on November 7, 2012 at 20:17

      MC, socialism may have unintended consequences alright, but not the ones you imply.
      Tuition in the States has gone stratospheric NOT because of Government backed student loans, those cover a piddly amount, but private ones (the credit nation in all its glory) AND…foreign students.
      So all that would happen in your scenario is less of the students who can’t qualify for private loans will go to school and more of the students from Asian tigers and the middle east, to name just two heavily represented regions. Yes, I work in a college (after 12 years in industry).
      As for health care, do tell?
      I’m Canadian too, I have what’s considered top of the line private/employer group insurance here in the states where I live part time, but I maintain my residence in Canada too Expressly to maintain access to our health care system.
      You would too if your family was adventurous and therefore accident prone, especially after the first ‘drive-by’ surgery that you had to nurse yourself when they sent home your spouse with a head wrapped in bandages and a drainage tube attached, filling with blood regularly. Compare this to the to last time I was in hospital in Montreal and they kept me in recovery until I didn’t need round-the-clock nursing? No comparison.
      So yes, tell me about the Canadian health system, which at a Fraction of the American cost supplies More care and greater access (ever wait 3 months for a nerve connection specialist?…in Rochester, NY, no less, a location with more than the American regional average of health practitioners…while my cousin in Toronto was seen just one week after dropping a pencil….carpal tunnel of course).
      Whether going by anecdotal or statistical information, I feel much safer in the Canadian health system.
      .
      Though don’t get me wrong, I don’t care for socialism or in fact Any government. Period. Just not for the examples you cite. 🙂

      • MC on November 7, 2012 at 22:05

        That credit nation you’re talking about, where do those banks get their money from? The central bank (federal reserve) prints money out of nothing and hands it over to banks, who lend it out to students. Central banks = socialism. When a country has a central bank and it’s illegal to have any money other then what they say is money, and they can print it without it being backed by anything, that is what allows them to give out all that credit.

        So every loan is backed by government.



      • marie on November 8, 2012 at 05:29

        MC, unsuspected depths, very nice! But why do you call it socialism, isn’t what you are describing the same for most governments, that is, it’s a function of modern Government itself?



      • MC on November 8, 2012 at 16:22

        Yes Marie, it is a function of modern government, but modern government is not free market capitalism. Call it socialism, fascism, corporatism, I don’t know, but I know it is definitely not capitalism. Competing currencies within our borders would be a step toward capitalism.

        Canada didn’t have a central bank until 1934. America 1913.

        “Centralisation of credit in the hands of the state, by means of a national bank with State capital and an exclusive monopoly” is straight out of the communist manifesto.



    • Richard Nikoley on November 7, 2012 at 20:25

      MC

      From where I’m sitting, right by a fire outside with my iPad, I see a heart and a mind.

      So feel free to say all you wish about anything you wish.

      • marie on November 7, 2012 at 20:35

        Dammit Richard, a fire outside? It’s raining here and its cold and its eerily windy again and….why do you want to leave California??
        Though, as long as you still want an octopus spear-hunter to drop by your eventual sea-side place, I’ll be cheering you on :).



      • MC on November 7, 2012 at 22:44

        Well I’ll say my piece about health care then, but neither what America has or Canada has is ideal. Canada can get away with it’s health care system for now, but really, the cost of Canadian health care is a lot more then what gets taken out of your cheque.

        Canada’s health care system is immoral because it forces people to pay into a system whether they need it or not. Right now you have government involved in providing that care. If government stayed out of it, and doctors could compete like in any other business, you would have lower prices through competition, as well as better quality services.

        Doctors in a truly free system are not going to charge prices that nobody could afford, otherwise they wouldn’t be in business very long. Those that still couldn’t afford it, can be given charity care. Though I suspect when people no longer have a safety net, they try harder to take care of themselves, and save money as well.

        There’s no reason to turn doctors into government employees. We need less government employees. I suspect the wait times you mentioned have to do with the 10X greater population of America. Not to mention Canadians frequently hop the border to get treated in NY instead of Canada. America might also be unhealthier as a whole, or get into more accidents.

        If you compare the same type of illness, and/or accident, and account for the population in comparison to number of medical practitionars for the respective countries, I’m pretty sure Canada has longer wait times. That’s precisely why my friend’s mother had to hop the border in order to see if she had a tumor or not. Our wait times suck.



      • marie on November 8, 2012 at 05:51

        MC, I’m just not sure the ‘free market’ system works when it comes to health care because people don’t have a Choice of whether or not to seek care when they are sick and because unlike food, another ‘necessity’, the supply is specialized and more importantly the care you get can kill you instantly….at which point its a little late to be selecting another provider. Sure, that bad doctor’s reputation can suffer and other’s won’t choose him, but in a mobile and large society, he can move, and kills off more.
        So I just don’t see black-and-white free market on this one.
        As for access and anecdotes regarding Canada and the States health care, theres more doctors per capita here than Canada and for every ‘friend’s mother’ that came this way there’s someone else who went the other -case in point our two experiences. But a tumor, really? Not even bunions? When my uncle’s doctor suspected a tumor in Toronto (despite it’s being very densely populated, supply-demand skewed) he had a n MRI 10 days later. In fact , I don’t have a single example out of an extensive group of family and friends in two Canadian cities where access has ever a been a problem. In Montreal, and Quebec in general, there’s also the walk-in clinics. And the quality and extent/duration of care is better.
        I suspect that the costs being so high here has more to do with doctors paying high liability insurance premiums and with Several layers of administration both at the supply points (doctors, hospitals) and at the Health insurance companies themselves, due to….anyone’s guess so take your pick, but perhaps due to a bewildering array of Health insurance plans.



      • MC on November 8, 2012 at 16:43

        Marie, I personally don’t know how a doctor working for a government hospital, would be any more responsible then a doctor working for a private hospital.

        I’ve never heard of American’s coming here for health care, but I would have thought, without citizenship, and a health card, they could not afford to pay for Canadian health care. Our health care is “free” when we have health cards, but I’m not sure how foreigners pay and how much.



      • Dave Mc on November 9, 2012 at 09:14

        “I’m not sure how foreigners pay and how much”
        I just had my sister-in-law visit from Texas with her 10-week old son, who got a fever on a Sunday night.

        Called the nurse helpline, who told her to take her to the hospital. After waiting an hour, a doc spent less than a minute with her, confirmed the baby’s fever, and had the nurse administer Tylenol.

        The bill – $825.00



      • MC on November 9, 2012 at 16:38

        As I suspected. I didn’t know exactly, but I had a feeling it was a high amount. The actual costs of our health care is hidden from the public, and we claim it’s free. I can only imagine what a major surgery would cost.

        That’s why I have no idea why someone from the states would hop the border to come here.



    • daddynuke on March 13, 2013 at 06:03

      I love that comment…
      “You would too if your family was adventurous and therefore accident prone”.
      Here’s what a libertarian (also Canadian from good old Alberta) reads into that. You make choices for how you live your life. If you want to sky dive, there are increased risks. If you lie to base jump, there are increased risks. Skateboarding? Risk. None of these are things you are forced to do, but they are choices you choose to make. Guess what? If you get hurt being adventurous I don’t want to spend a single tax dollar on putting your humpty dumpty rumpty back together, nor do I think the Canadians still paying premium dollar for your heavily subsidized provincial premiums while you live in the US should be spending their dollars for the cost of the adventure.
      Of course you feel safer in the Canadian system…you are working its monkey ass to DEATH. Remotely, to boot.

    • marie on March 13, 2013 at 09:56

      Exactly, risks we pay for by paying taxes in a second country in order to have access to the better health system.
      That’s how good the Canadian system is, that we would take such a financial hit to do this.
      You made assumptions, wrong ones – happens often with assumptions, you really should try to avoid, but that’s the argument you Wanted to make, so that’s the one you did. Bully for you, arguing by yourself.
      .
      I’m one of those Canadians paying premium dollar and I’m willing to pay through the nose (try paying taxes in two countries, then talk) exactly because it’s the better system and it won’t suddenly drop me for reaching a limit or deny care or do drive-by surgery sending my husband home after a hum-drum car accident just to land back in the hospital a few days later again (it’s a minority to who that happens, so it remains profitable to do it that way rather than take appropriate nursing care for everyone in order to avoid the known dangers of rupturing and/or infection).
      Look, I don’t want to pay for your diabetes, heart problems and obesity when you get sick sitting on the couch either, but that’s how shared risk works, whether in Canada or anywhere where the system isn’t corrupt and rigged – it’s Still a heck of a lot cheaper than the impossible to name system (rigged-market profiteering system maybe?) south of the border. All that will happen, has to happen, in Canada is increase the insurance premiums, taxes, as the population ages and still it will be many times cheaper and more efficient than the states – you would have to QUADRUPLE prices before you approach the travesty that is health insurance south of the border – so no comparison, again.
      .
      Oh, wait, you’re not a couch potato, that was an assumption was it? We don’t go skydiving either. I’m talking about what used to be Normal childhood activities, swinging over creeks, climbing trees, etc – they’ve been called adventurous for the last 10 years since most kids are indoors with a wii or xbox or just numbly staring at a tv.
      Grow up you mollycoddled Albertan, you’re paying Bottom dollar for Premium health care – adjust your taxes, aka premiums for the current population distribution, aka insurance pool, and live long and prosper.

    • daddynuke on March 13, 2013 at 11:45

      Well said. Let’s go through this in a civil but point-wise manner.
      1) I didn’t actually assume you were a skydiver, a base jumper or a skateboarder, those were what we in the biz call “examples” of higher than usual adventurous risk-based activities to establish a position. I did assume you were paying subsidized health care costs in Canada because I believe that is the only option you have to maintain healthcare in Canada. If you have a province with a multi-tiered health care system that allows you to pay the full, unsubsidized amount I will gladly stand corrected.
      2) You assume I haven’t paid taxes in Canada and the USA, which is an incorrect assumption, as I spent the back half of the ’90s doing just that. Then, just as now, there is no dual taxation unless you completely cock up your returns, so that is a bit of a red herring. You would FILE in both but the worst case would be the higher of the two countries…usually Canada.
      3) We are in agreement on the travesty that is healthcare in the US, but the belief that Canada’s health system is not in a crisis state that can’t easily be rectified with minor tax increases is a common but false one. The accounting isn’t honest, so the people don’t know just how far from self-supporting the system really is. If you choose to believe that it is so, I can accept that but will respectfully ask for evidence should you wish me to “believe along” with you.
      4) Swinging over creeks and climbing trees are indeed the good old activities we all grew up with…but the good old days had limbs that weren’t set properly and deaths as a result of those risks not being covered by anyone but the local doc who would often do the house call on his own nickel. It wasn’t that the collective might of the people was such that he was guaranteed a rock-star wage he had to spend half of on malpractice insurance, it was a time when the choice to help was selected rather than the current sense of entitlement that we deserve societal altruism for pennies on the dollar.
      5) You assume I pay taxes in Alberta. I left the Great White North for a different form of Socialism in Central America years ago to pay my own way and chip in locally to fill needs the government could never even see, let alone address. I’m no hero,I just like the old ways where we choose our lifestyle and reap the benefits or pay the consequences of it until we die. Maybe on a couch eating a potato. Who knows.
      This was enjoyable, take it easy and all the best to you.

    • marie on March 13, 2013 at 14:16

      O.k., now that was a lot more interesting than earlier, but…you are behind when it comes to the tax laws for dual residents (and don’t’ forget state and local taxes as well) or maybe you were thinking of the more common situation of people working in the other country on a work visa or under NAFTA agreement.
      Meanwhile, “…a civil but point-wise manner” – in that respect, once a Canadian, always a Canadian, it never fails…:)
      Cheers.

  8. Dane Miller on November 7, 2012 at 17:58

    Geographical locations are all very similar. Terrible politics, good and bad people and shitty and cool stuff to do. I never was into the, “I am moving elsewhere.” Seems like a high school type thing to do. Every town I have lived in is quite similar to my hometown but just in a different place. I will admit my only experience is living in two towns in PA and a city in British Columbia for a year.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 7, 2012 at 20:28

      Well Dane, all I can say is that I have already lived outside the US for 8 years, and travelled and visited a few dozen countries in all.

      • Joshua on November 7, 2012 at 21:55

        I don’t begrudge a man for wanting a different flavor of bullshit, but I think that at the end of the day you’re going to find bullshit wherever you go. I wish you well wherever it is that you end up.



    • ladysadie1 on November 8, 2012 at 05:45

      “I never was into the, “I am moving elsewhere.” Seems like a high school type thing to do. Every town I have lived in is quite similar to my hometown but just in a different place.”

      Dane, I sincerely hope that is the dumbest thing I read or hear all day long. There are vast differences between my hometown and the town 5 miles down the road, though an outsider would never see it. You think “the, “I am moving elsewhere.” Seems like a high school type thing to do” but even my second grader knows there are BIG differences.

  9. Richard Nikoley on November 8, 2012 at 09:42

    Pretty decent recap by Stefan Molyneux

  10. Elenor on November 8, 2012 at 06:20

    My wistful decision that I can’t leave the U.S. is pretty much entirely gun related. I will not live where I cannot go armed. (No, I’m not paranoid or crazy — I’m educated and aware! I’m also a widow living and traveling around by myself.) I absolutely want to leave the South. (The weather here SUCKS for half the year, and the other half-year does not make up for it!) But a major determining factor for where I go (probably WA or ORE: the future/hoped-for “white homeland”) is their attitude and laws relating to guns.

    I’m struggling under $8,000+ debt to my local hospital ER for an unplanned and expected kidney stone. (Wasn’t it idiot-Romney who said we uninsured could get our medical care at the local ER “for a couple hundred bucks”!??!)(I WISH!) As one of the uninsured (who will NOT be able to pay for health insurance, and thus will instead be socked with Obama’s “penalty tax”), the hospital automatically bumps up my bill 40% (they admit to it! we uninsured are paying part of the insureds’ bills, cause the insurance co’s negotiate for cheap!). And then the hospital “magnanimously” offers me a 40% cut if I pay it off in 90 days. (Funny, how the illegals are never offered that option — they just get to WALK!) And the govt sure taxes the shit out of me to pay for the medical care of the poor — but can *I* get any help?! Hell no, I’m a white house owner, trying to keep my late husband’s business afloat… I don’t qualify for anything except skating a knife’s edge trying to keep myself and my biz going!

    (That’s not entirely true: I WAS able, after applying and then appealing their denial, to get accepted into the VA Health care system — I am a veteran who served on active duty for eight years — but they only let me in as a “class 8D veteran” — which means “no soup for me”! (And, seemingly, no health care services either.) So, that’s my reward for not being a deadbeat. Oh yay for me. And folks wonder why I don’t bother to vote?! As (the comic) swamai beyondanada wrote: Oh, I never vote. It only encourages them!”

    One of my neighbors, having brought a Romney sign for another neighbor, said she was going to bring me one of each: I could have a sign for both candidates for my lawn. I said I’d add a top-sign on one that said: “Neither” and on the other that said “Nor.” She didn’t get it. {sigh}

    • Elenor on November 8, 2012 at 06:23

      “unplanned and UNexpected kidney stone” …. apparently, if I’d EXPECTED it, and gotten treatment in the previous 90 days at a VA facility, where they wouldn’t have treated me because I’m an 8D veteran, then the VA might have helped pay the ridiculous bill in the local ER because there’s no VA facility near me.

      • Joseph on November 8, 2012 at 07:15

        Welcome to the world of the unrepresented! The people at once too rich and too poor to live in the modern USA, where you only have two classes represented: (1) the insanely rich, who run Wall Street; and (2) the insanely poor, who want Wall Street to give them free stuff. Hospitals serve the millionaires and the beggars, and screw the middle class.



    • Joseph on November 8, 2012 at 14:19

      The people running the game are like, “Rich person not rich enough to have a private army of lawyers and bodyguards! Your money or your life!” The people in the middle are the cattle (whose wealth can be easily commandeered and used to prop up social programs, even when these don’t have a workable agenda: “free healthcare for everybody” is not a workable agenda).

      The best solution might just be to stay home and die (of a kidney stone, if that is what it takes: ouch). I am not sure what I would do, honestly.

    • Richard Nikoley on November 8, 2012 at 14:19

      Shorter Wooo: If nobody was stealing for you, you’d be fucked.

      • Joseph on November 8, 2012 at 14:27

        In an urban, specialized environment, I think Woo’s ideology makes more sense. People do “steal” more in situations where they are in no position to know the people they are stealing from. In a small town, you cannot steal without outing yourself as a thief. In a big city, thieves look just like everybody else, and people are always using other people’s stuff, willy-nilly (when you park on your neighbor’s curb, when his party keeps you up all night, when you forget to buy something at the story and ask him for some, etc.). Police are more necessary in a large city than a small one (which does a better job of policing itself naturally). Hospitals and faceless doctors who answer to panels are more necessary in a city, too (where we don’t have time or resources to treat individual cases with the kind of dignity that old-school home-physicians used). More and more, I am wondering whether much of the ideological discontinuity in modern American life doesn’t come from geography–with city folk failing to understand what life in the country looks like, and vice versa? It seems like there ought to be a way for both worlds to exist “anarchically” (in a way that Richard would like), but it is still true that all the strongest arguments for legalized theft apply most in urban contexts (where a premise of the situation seems to be that we are fucked, as a country-boy would see it, though happy urbanites might object to the metaphor or at least insist that the experience is more pleasant than not).



      • Richard Nikoley on November 9, 2012 at 08:33

        “….without society life would blow and my opportunities would be non-existent.”

        It’s not the issue here, or anywhere else on this blog. But I understand that you’re not really equipped to deal with the _history_ of the development of an increasingly civil society, but only what you see before you now.

        There are many good references, but here’s a decent one on the history of insurance in general, that touches also on health care insurance.

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_insurance

        All forms of risk spreading insurance were created and instituted by private concerns to either protect physical, financial, or human capital. Employer sponsored health care really got off the ground during WWII when prices and wages were frozen so attract and keep good employees, employers began offering more in the way of benefits, like health insurance.

        What the State does, simply, is to wait until something that was innovated by the private sector becomes popular, then it comes in and pretends it was their idea.

        “Shitting in the forest and huddling in some dingy hut around a campfire and hoping I don’t get an infection doesn’t sound like my idea of a good time.”

        Yep, to you, it’s either life in the wild or the bounty afforded by organized theft and maneuvering to be on the right side of the equation as much as possible.

        I’m going to place a bet. I’ll bet you never in your life heard of the Great Northern Railway, how it was developed and built, how it opened trade to Japan, etc. etc.

        .)

        “The Great Northern was the only privately funded, and successfully built, transcontinental railroad in United States history. No federal land grants were used during its construction, unlike every other transcontinental railroad; according to Hill, his railway was built “without any government aid, even the right of way, through hundreds of miles of public lands, being paid for in cash”.[1] Consequently, it was one of the few transcontinental railroads to avoid receivership following the Panic of 1893.”

        Far cry from shitting in the forrest.

        Start applying your obvious intelligence to swaths of history you’re obviously totally ignorant of.



      • Joseph on November 9, 2012 at 11:43

        If you read Berndt Heinrich, you might come away thinking that there are worse things than shitting in the forest. Shitting in the forest can actually be a really pleasant experience: it depends on the mindset of the person shitting.



      • Richard Nikoley on November 10, 2012 at 08:39

        “Some people building a railroad w/o taxes is hardly evidence that much more efficient social systems and rail and roads can be accomplished with money allocated to government from citizens in the form of taxation.”

        Again, you’re just exposing your ignorance. Hill’s 8,000 miles of rail wasn’t only built without tax money, government workers, etc., it was built without the use of Eminent Domain. It actually made a profit, large swaths didn’t have to be rebuilt and over time, as more deals with landowners were negotiated, routs were shortened, improved. It survived the Depression, escaped the receivership of most of the publicly financed RRs and, it made Seattle what it is today, at one point the second largest trade port in the US. The Great Northern opened up trade with Asia unlike anything ever before.

        This is of course, but one example. I could have cited dozens of shipping companies. I can cite airlines, automobiles. The point is that all this falsifies your contention that without the theft you euphemistically refer to as “taxes,” everyone would be up shit creek, living in huts, crapping in the woods, etc.

        The property I grew up on was a network of all private roads and streets, built, maintained and later paved all at the doing and expense of my grandfather and other local landowners.

        The thought of stealing dollars and the use of other’s property through Eminent Domain never occurred to any of them.



      • Richard Nikoley on November 11, 2012 at 13:27

        “One example of a railroad…”

        How many examples do you want? Ever heard of Robert Fuller, the fist guy to operate a steamboat upstream in New York waters, 1807? What grade school kids are never taught, however, is the State of New York gave Fulton a 30-YEAR MONOPOLY ON ALL STEAMBOAT TRAFFIC in or out of NY. Now, take that “Robber Baron” Vanderbilt:

        “Vanderbilt was a classic market entrepreneur, and he was intrigued by the challenge of breaking the Fulton monopoly. On the mast of Gibbon’s ship Vanderbilt hoisted a flag that read: “New Jersey must be free.” For sixty days in 1817, Vanderbilt defied capture as he raced passengers cheaply from Elizabeth, New Jersey, to New York City. He became a popular figure on the Atlantic as he lowered the fares and eluded the law. Finally, in 1824, in the landmark case of Gibbons v. Ogden,the Supreme Court struck down the Fulton monopoly. Chief Justice John Marshall ruled that only the federal government, not the states, could regulate interstate commerce. This extremely popular decision opened the waters of America to complete competition. A jubilant Vanderbilt was greeted in New Brunswick, New Jersey, by cannon salutes fired by “citizens desirous of testifying in a public manner their good will.” Ecstatic New Yorkers immediately launched two steamboats named for John Marshall. On the Ohio River, steamboat traffic doubled in the first year after Gibbons v. Ogden and quadrupled after the second year.6 […]

        “With such an open environment for market entrepreneurs, Vanderbilt decided to quit his pleasant association with Gibbons, buy two steamboats, and go into business for himself. During the 1830s, Vanderbilt would establish trade routes all over the northeast. He offered fast and reliable service at low rates. He first tried the New York to Philadelphia route and forced the “standard” three-dollar fare down to one dollar. On the New Brunswick to New York City run, Vanderbilt charged six cents a trip and provided free meals. As Niles’ Register said, the “times must be hard indeed when a traveller who wishes to save money cannot afford to walk.”9

        “Moving to New York, Vanderbilt decided to compete against the Hudson River Steamboat Association, whose ten ships probably made it the largest steamboat line in America in 1830. It tried to informally fix prices to guarantee regular profits. Vanderbilt challenged it with two boats (which he called the “People’s Line”) and cut the standard New York to Albany fare from three dollars to one dollar, then to ten cents, and finally to nothing. He figured it cost him $200 per day to operate his boats; if he could fill them with 100 passengers, he could take them free if they would each eat and drink two dollars worth of food (Vanderbilt later helped to invent the potato chip).”

        Folsom, Burt (2010-07-01). The Myth of the Robber Barons



      • Richard Nikoley on November 13, 2012 at 13:10

        Wooo says:

        “I pay a lot of taxes and feel rather good about it”

        and in another comment:

        “Taxes are great. Keeps my roads in order, cops at the end of 911, firemen coming to my house when it’s on fire, etc.”

        Well, then perhaps you ought to send San Bernardino a check:

        “Little by little, over many years, the salaries and retirement benefits of San Bernardino’s city workers — and especially its police and firemen — grew richer and richer, even as the city lost its major employers and gradually got poorer and poorer.

        “Unions poured money into city council elections, and the city council poured money into union pay and pensions. The California Public Employees’ Retirement System (Calpers), which manages pension plans for San Bernardino and many other cities, encouraged ever-sweeter benefits. Investment bankers sold clever bond deals to pay for them. Meanwhile, state law made it impossible to raise local property taxes and difficult to boost any other kind.

        “No single deal or decision involving benefits and wages over the years killed the city. But cumulatively, they built a pension-fueled financial time-bomb that finally exploded.

        “In bankrupt San Bernardino, a third of the city’s 210,000 people live below the poverty line, making it the poorest city of its size in California. But a police lieutenant can retire in his 50s and take home $230,000 in one-time payouts on his last day, before settling in with a guaranteed $128,000-a-year pension. Forty-six retired city employees receive over $100,000 a year in pensions.

        “Almost 75 percent of the city’s general fund is now spent solely on the police and fire departments, according to a Reuters analysis of city bankruptcy documents – most of that on wages and pension costs.

        Laf laf laf. Can’t wait until thos pension checks start bouncing, and I mean that in utmost sincerity. Funny thing is, I could do this literally ALL DAY LONG. But I don’t really want to make Wooo look too ridiculous.



    • Joshua on November 8, 2012 at 16:25

      I don’t think you understood her story – the VA did not offer her much in the way of services.

      In my alternate reality, Elenor would have been able to buy health insurance from an interstate free market, and she would have chosen the catastrophic plan where she pays cash up to… say… 3 grand and then insurances picks up 75% of the rest for the subset of items that Elenor is willing to insure against. Hopefully she checked off kidney stones. Unfortunately, such a plan would be illegal in most states.

    • EatLessMoveMoore on November 8, 2012 at 17:28

      Woo is too smart for this blog.

      • Richard Nikoley on November 8, 2012 at 20:57

        Yea, stealing and clamoring to live at the expense of eveyone else is just so complex, complicated, nuanced.



      • Richard Nikoley on November 9, 2012 at 09:14

        “what a joke.”

        No, no joke. You’re not going to argue that a massive aspect of the “social net” in America increasingly relies upon government force via taxation and buying votes with promised entitlements.

        As per usual, you don’t really care to deal with the actual arguments, but merely the “shitting in the woods” straw men you erect in order to easily ridicule.

        “If I’m a thief so are cops and firemen.”

        We’re all thieves, now. Have been for a long time. The difference is I hate it and you love it.



      • Joseph on November 9, 2012 at 11:39

        Richard, this comment really resonates with me. I have always felt bad about taking things. Temperamentally, I don’t have the character (good or bad) to tell other people that I deserve to live while they suffer. People tell me that I am stupid, and part of me agrees (the part that recognizes my historical stupidity). They tell me I deserve my bad luck (and part of me agrees: being alive means “deserving” whatever nature provides, no? and I have made some bets with nature that in retrospect were not the best). People tell me that I am a drain on them, a pimple on the collective face, and I agree with that, too. I feel bad for living in a society where my bare existence puts so many others out necessarily (because laws require them to be nice to me in ways that they find disgusting). As a kid, I sometimes thought I should retire to the woods (seriously) and just die. I didn’t have the guts to do it, of course, and in retrospect I have come to learn (as you point out) that anarchic communities muddle through, even when the law fails. People are happy right now in Mexico, in Syria, in places around the world where the rule of law has collapsed into a caricature of itself manifestly worse than what most of us experience in the modern US. That gives me hope.

        I feel like I can only really belong to a society where people don’t have to like me (or put up with me: if I am obnoxious to everyone, I would rather be kicked out than spend time trying to fit in against the grain–laws don’t make people like me or look after me, really, any more than buying a prostitute would make her love me, for reals). I want to know people who really care about me: if nobody loves me, I would rather know that than have a hired friend (who pays my way because the law demands it but couldn’t care less about me as a human being). Part of the problem I have with identifying simply as an American (‘Murkin!) is that this means nothing, in practical terms. Practically, I am my wife’s husband, my kids’ dad, my parents’ son, my siblings’ brother, my friends’ friend, my employer’s employee. I care about the people I live with, the people I work with, and the people I work for. I see them. I am sad when they are sad. When they are glad, I am happy. America is too big to be sad and happy at the same time: indeed, what makes one American happy is guaranteed to make another one miserable, and there is no law that we all regard the same way, no relationship that contains us all in a dance that makes sense. Law does not bring us together: it keeps us from ripping one another apart. We do it wrong when we take it as a positive instrument (for intervening in lives that are not in immediate danger of ending unnecessarily). The law can tear people apart who should not be together; it cannot bring together people who exist apart (in my experience, which is limited: I am not as unequivocal a voice for anarchy as you, though I am sympathetic to your position as I see it).

        The only part of the American identity that makes sense to me is a negative: as an American, I believe in leaving the neighbor I do not know alone as much as possible. I am willing to offer some help to him, even substantial help (if I can see how it is helping, because I offer it myself when the need is obvious to me). I am not willing to let someone else use me as a human resource to help his friends (who are not mine: not that they are not good people; not that they are not worth saving; but for me being an American means looking after the peopel in my life, not those in some stranger’s–lest you take this the wrong way, my acquaintance includes many poor people, many people with real needs).

        When people talk about leveraging the power of America to help me, I am afraid. America is this giant machine for smashing people (when they fight): it has a way of smashing those it claims to help, since smashing is what it does best, historically. It was invented to smash things (get the bad guy and make him suffer before hanging him by the neck until dead), to keep the negative side of anarchy in check; it cannot do the work of anarchy’s positive side without destroying it. It makes education (schole, leisure, scholarship) a chore that teaches nothing except how to shut up and waste time (at least 12 years). It makes healthcare a long line that costs a lot (and then you die anyway). It makes war a business that never ends (until you run out of other people’s money to spend on drones in Pakistan). It makes banking outright robbery (in which we the people are forced to sell ourselves and our children to pay the salaries of public and private bureaucrats manning corrupt institutions deemed too important to admit their own mortality: they are too big to fail, so we necessarily become too insignificant to be saved; certainly we are not qualified to make an attempt to save ourselves, with our own resources).

        I went to a government school for 3 years and then dropped out. When I returned, it was to a state university, where my parents paid tuition (refusing the scholarship because my mom thought the lottery that funded it was immoral, an unfair tax on people too dumb to do basic math). I left after a year, lived abroad for 2 years, and ended up getting degrees from private schools (which I paid for mostly with scholarships that were not publicly funded). I work at a private school now (for the moment). I don’t feel any allegiance to American government as a positive force in my life. I am willing to like it as a negative force. Unlike some, I appreciate some of the services it offers (e.g. in the form of police and especially courts), though I recognize that it might not offer the best service available even in these fields (I like having alternatives, at least in theory). In my time, I have seen people helped and hurt by America, at home and abroad, and the help just isn’t worth the hurt, from what I can see. I think America is too big not to fail, too big not to be unnecessarily fragile, too big not to get whatever good it offers through an unacceptable risk of harm. When we act as America, instead of as local communities, we necessarily expose ourselves to big Black Swans to get whatever goods we get: we bet dollars to make pennies, setting ourselves up for catastrophic failure when nature calls our bluff, as she always will, sooner or later. I am open to being wrong, of course, but I cannot pretend like I don’t feel this way.



      • Richard Nikoley on November 9, 2012 at 11:56

        Joseph:

        Virtually nobody has that sense of self reflection in America, anymore. Here’s the extreme. And they vote.

        http://youtu.be/tpAOwJvTOio



      • Joseph on November 9, 2012 at 14:36

        Ouch. It occurs to me that a lot of the negative stuff I had to deal with abroad as an American come from this. Some people saw me and automatically I was like the dumbest American they had ever seen or heard of (and that I was somehow responsible for everything bad in the world associated with my birthplace).



      • Joseph on November 9, 2012 at 14:38

        Some people saw me and automatically assumed I was like the dumbest American they had ever seen or heard of.



      • Joseph on November 10, 2012 at 06:14

        You might find this interesting (or not): http://libertylawsite.org/2012/11/07/a-constitutional-moment-sometime/#.UJ0i0EoDvOY.email.

        As for solutions, mine would be to end the Fed (central banking causes more pain than gain) and end government monopoly on money, allowing private currencies to exist in competition with the dollar (which would hurt short-term but end up making things a lot better for little guys, I think). In terms of day-to-day government, I think things would generally work better if the national political scene became a lot less important. I would end all subsidies to farmers (especially those paying them to stop growing food so that they can make ethanol or corn that cannot be eaten until it has been chemically rendered into mush). I would not necessarily cut welfare, since I agree that that is small potatoes. I would end the mandate forcing people who don’t want schooling to get it (and encourage those people to look for apprenticeships).

        The shift away from big agriculture would entail more focus on local food production, which might provide many people with something useful to do (rather than sitting in a classroom pretending to learn reading, writing, and arithmetic so that they can have non-existent desk jobs paid for by Santa Claus).

        There is no guarantee that this kind of thing wouldn’t lead to bad results (for individuals, certainly). But we are headed off a cliff anyway (it seems to me). Ideally, society would offer people as many options for reacting independently to its sinking ship as possible (rather than chaining us all to the deck while we sing the national anthem with tears in our eyes). But I am just a moron. If they come to chain me up, I will probably go quietly.



      • Joseph on November 10, 2012 at 06:24

        I confess I am not interested in staging a modern French Revolution in which the poor, unwashed masses storm Versailles and turn it into a pigsty. I like beautiful things. Even if Mitt Romney and his ilk are assholes, I don’t want their stuff. I respect myself too much to take the wealth that Madame Fortune has given them: if you tempt her, she will ruin you, too. Robbing the rich to feed the poor sounds good, but remember that Robin Hood dies at the end of the story, leaving behind not a communist utopia but a bunch of clothed apes squabbling over piles of hoarded wealth. From my perspective, the enemy is not really the top of Fortune’s wheel (where people like Romney and Obama live), but the fact that we keep expecting the wheel to be more predictable than it is. We have all these schemes for making sure that the wheel never crushes anyone, and they don’t work. They never have. They never will. Life requires life. I have to give my life so that somebody can live. The question is, to whom do I give my life? Who decides how I offer it? Who appoints my beneficiaries? I confess, I want that job for myself. I don’t care if someone else has a better plan, honestly. I am willing to hear it. But I am not willing to give over my right to die in a way that matters to me. That is freedom, in my book. That is the only damn thing that matters in all this crap, the only thing to which I can be honestly said to have any kind of right (and even then, my right is only to make a bet, a bet that Fortune might not honor: some people think she cares more about those who happen to be well off at the moment; I confess I think she couldn’t care less about any of us).



      • Richard Nikoley on November 10, 2012 at 08:17

        “That doesn’t mean society in general is “theft” that taxation is “theft””

        It actually does mean that. Taxation, in legal terms, is “a lawful taking.” In other words, it’s only not theft when the State does it.

        “These evil gluttons who siphon the wealth of workers and horde it, store it, use it to rule over the population, manipulate elected officials in government and thus laws to further augment their own cartoon villian power and control over humanity.”

        And so to solve the problem of manipulating elected officials in government, the solution is to further regulate business activity? News flash: virtually all regulations already in existence were lobbied for, in oder to have barriers to entry, favored status, etc. It is precisely the State that creates these problems.

        “Let them die in the street?”

        If you want to help them, nobody is going to stop you. See, you don’t _really_ care to help these people, because then you’d be out actually doing something, drumming up help and support from others of similar values (as charitable organizations do now). You really only care to the extent you can rally to force others to help via a centralized racket in theft with plenty going to the middleman.

        “Taxes are great.”

        Then I encourage you to pay a lot more.

        “Keeps my roads in order”

        Mostly obtained through Eminent Domain actions: theft. Roads were invented prior to taxation.

        “cops at the end of 911”

        Because when seconds count, the cops are only minutes away. Security forces existed prior to taxation.

        “firemen coming to my house when it’s on fire”

        Fighting fire existed prior to taxation.

        Again, the only “argument” you are making is that you find a centralized scheme to take stuff from some, give it to others, provide for some measure of general services convenient.

        “I’m just curious how you would propose we orchestrate a functional basic framework of a society without taxes….”

        I don’t propose how others ought to run their lives and I certainly don’t orchestrate. I have no idea how people might organize and orchestrate their lives short of having their own personal Guido out busting kneecaps in order to collect the protection money.

        Just stop stealing. It’s easy and if everybody did it, it would make a huge difference. Of course, I recognize that that level of Enlightenment is likely centuries away.



  11. Bill Strahan on November 8, 2012 at 09:02

    I remember when i was much younger (and all that implies) thinking it was the end of the world when Clinton got elected. Heh. My most rapid personal and financial progress occurred during those 8 years.

    But I really quit worrying about ANY of it when I read The Next 100 Years. Some people trash the book, but I came away from it with one major idea: It just doesn’t matter who’s president. Much of The Next 100 Years reads like sci-fi. That’s fine, I enjoy that too. But it was also liberating.

    Somehow, we will all be saddled with some rules. Life’s a game, and all games have to have rules. You can spend your time maximizing what you can get out of those rules, and figuring out which ones to strategically break while weighing the consequences, or you can whine and bitch that you’re a victim.

    Strange, when playing poker no one whines and bitches that a 2-4-7-8-9 hand should be the winning hand damnit! Instead they just play within the rules and try to win. Good stuff happens when you realize the rules are all made up anyway, and play the best game you can.

    So some guy will preside over the rule-making process here for another 4 years. Big deal. Nothing’s changed for me. Unless they suddenly make it illegal to be smart, I’ll be okay. Heck, even if they do the smart ones will just find a way around it. 🙂

    • Joseph on November 8, 2012 at 09:23

      Word.

  12. Gordon on November 8, 2012 at 09:48

    The USA might emigrate out from under you by the time you’re ready to leave.

  13. Paul on November 8, 2012 at 11:02

    And blindly follow the masses?

    • Richard Nikoley on November 8, 2012 at 11:04

      Well, see, when you read something like that from a commenter it’s basically like your run of mill religious person who calls your atheism a religion.

      • Joshua on November 8, 2012 at 16:18

        But there are some atheists who proselytize and make themselves as annoying as a lot of religious people.



  14. Contemplationist on November 9, 2012 at 12:06

    Voting is truly the communion of the Democratic religion. Note the widespread ecstasy produced by voting, with ‘I Voted!’ signs plastered all over facebook and the facades of houses.

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