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0 thoughts on “Freedom

  1. chops

    I couldn’t disagree more.

    Try telling a sea-turtle, or a bird, or the wind, or the moon that it is not free.

    Freedom is absolutely free. If you are paying for it, then you are fooling yourself, or trying to justify the cost of something else. We misunderstand the cost, and falsely associate it with freedom. It is only a notion, only in your mind, that the two are connected – that you can’t have one without the other. Me must shed that notion.

  2. Paul -V-

    @ Brian

    Ever notice that when freedom needs to be squashed, it done by the nation’s own military?

  3. @Paul

    I have noticed. In the words of Rothbard, “Only the government obtains its income by coercion and violence — i.e., by the direct threat of confiscation or imprisonment if payment is not forthcoming. This coerced levy is “taxation.” A second distinction is that, apart from criminal outlaws, only the government can use its funds to commit violence against its own or any other subjects; only the government can prohibit pornography, compel a religious observance, or put people in jail for selling goods at a higher price than the government deems fit. Both distinctions, of course, can be summed up as: only the government, in society, is empowered to aggress against the property rights of its subjects, whether to extract revenue, to impose its moral code, or to kill those with whom it disagrees. Furthermore, any and all governments, even the least despotic, have always obtained the bulk of their income from the coercive taxing power. And historically, by far the overwhelming portion of all enslavement and murder in the history of the world have come from the hands of government. “

  4. matt mercy

    I love it, this cartoonist just beggging for unconstitutional taxes like a good little slave.

  5. Susan

    What’s funny about this cartoon is the fact that the guy who is protesting being taxed was likely also gung-ho on promoting war and occupations, saying “freedom isn’t free” — meaning that we have to spend money to slaughter our fellow humans to keep our “way of life”….. without reflecting on whether those same humans are really any danger to us.

    I guess those people think that wars and occupations pay for themselves! And that foreigners don’t mind having their countries bombed, so there, there will no further pay-back down the road!

  6. Matt Mercy

    Some taxes are constitutional, some are not. Did you know, PFKaP, that there are different kinds of taxes? Did you know that sales tax and corporate taxes alone would more than cover all our government service needs? Have you ever heard of the Comprehensive Annual Financial Report? Most of our tax money is secretly invested in slush funds.

  7. No one I know “pays” taxes. I “pay” for hamburgers, beer and rent.

    Taxes are confiscated by force and rendered involuntarily to a coercive government. Government effectively steals money from an individual who has earned it and gives it to someone else to whom it does not belong.

  8. PossumEater

    It’s true, timpecked. The government acts like they have a country of 350 million people to manage or something. And the revenuers are always comin to ma house and taking ma likker money.

  9. Paul -V-

    @ Tim:

    In context of representative democracy, taxes are not theft. They are the price-tag that make our other freedoms possible. You consent to pay taxes when you made a choice to continue being a member our community.

  10. I have consented to no such thing.

    What I consent to is my delegating MY power to the government to protect my individual rights. I am the sovereign, the government is the servant; not the other way round. I have in no way consented to have my rights violated by the government; which is precisely what is in play.

    http://snipr.com/ltvby

  11. timpy

    [b]I have in no way consented to have my rights violated by the government; which is precisely what is in play.[/b]

    Which was why you were going to move to… Malasia, was it?

  12. Paul -V-

    @ timpeck

    I have in no way consented to have my rights violated by the government;

    You are coming from two false premises:

    1) You haven’t consented to pay taxes,
    2) Taxes are a form having your rights violated.

    Neither statement is true.

    1) Paying taxes is part of the social contract. You agreed to it because your parents contracted for you, exercising their power of custody.

    No further action is required on your part to continue the agreement, and you may end it at any time by departing and renouncing your citizenship.

    Frankly, if you really believed taxes were theft, and you were a reasonable person – then you should have left years ago to someplace where taxes are either non-existent or unenforceable.

    2) The government established by this representative democracy, which you have contracted with and are a part of, has the right to bill us for the services we use.

    It’s the price we pay for the benefits of civil society.

    You don’t have to like it, but don’t scream “taxes are theft”. It’s intellectually dishonest, and easily debunked.

  13. Piffy!

    screaming ‘taxes are theft’ allows guys like him to fantasize they are the dagny taggarts of the modern world, even thought they work the night shift at wendy’s.

  14. “Paying taxes is part of the social contract”

    1. And the government violates that social contract every time it confiscates wealth and spends an unconstitutional dollar. That unconstitutional spending figure is about 60% of budget.

    2. Ours is not a representative democracy. It is a republic.

    3. The false premise that you labor under is believing all taxes to be the same. The government has no right to any portion of my income. It has no right to borrow foreign funds in my name and no right to debase my currency through inflation of the money supply.

    4. We do not live in a civil society. We live in an immoral interventionist society where the government willfully violates the rights of sovereign individuals.

    5. I will move if and when I chose to a place that is better if and when this one descends beneath contempt. We are now on the fast track.

    6. All involuntary taxation is theft. Claiming that it is not will not change the fundamental fact. Seizure by force of arms is the fact.

    “The principle of voluntary government financing rests on the following premises: that the government is not the owner of the citizens’ income and, therefore, cannot hold a blank check on that income — that the nature of the proper governmental services must be constitutionally defined and delimited, leaving the government no power to enlarge the scope of its services at its own arbitrary discretion. Consequently, the principle of voluntary government financing regards the government as the servant, not the ruler, of the citizens — as an agent who must be paid for his services, not as a benefactor whose services are gratuitous, who dispenses something for nothing.” -Ayn Rand

  15. Piffy!

    Timpecked-I’d be more inclined to hear what you have to say if you didnt think the Founding Fathers were Superheroes who could fly and didnt own slaves or limit their ‘democracy’ to wealthy, landed, whit men of a certain age.

  16. PFKaP – Perhaps you should re-examine our founding fathers and the circumstances surrounding the start of our country.

    “Politicians, news media, college professors and leftists of other stripes are selling us lies and propaganda. To lay the groundwork for their increasingly successful attack on our Constitution, they must demean and criticize its authors. As Senator Joe Biden demonstrated during the Clarence Thomas hearings, the framers’ ideas about natural law must be trivialized or they must be seen as racists.” – Walter Williams

    You are painting a false picture of the Founding Fathers and the issue of slavery. The historical fact is that slavery was not the product of, nor was it an evil introduced by the Founders; slavery was introduced in America nearly two centuries before the Founders.

    The American Revolution was a turning point in the national attitude against slavery and our Founding Fathers contributed greatly to that change. One of the reasons given by Thomas Jefferson for the separation from Great Britain was a desire to rid America of the evil of slavery imposed on them by the British.

    Benjamin Franklin explained that this separation from Britain was necessary since every attempt among the Colonies to end slavery had been thwarted or reversed by the British Crown. In fact, after the American Revolution, many of the Founding Fathers who had owned slaves released them including John Dickinson, Ceasar Rodney, William Livingston, George Washington, George Wythe, John Randolph, and more.

    However, not all of the Founders from the South opposed slavery. According to the testimony of Thomas Jefferson, John Rutledge, and James Madison, those from North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia favored slavery.

    Nevertheless, despite the support in those states for slavery, the clear majority of our Founding Fathers were opposed to this evil.

  17. Paul -V-

    @ Tim:

    And the government violates that social contract every time it confiscates wealth and spends an unconstitutional dollar. That unconstitutional spending figure is about 60% of budget.

    Taxation isn’t a violation of the social contract or the constitution. It is not “confiscation” – it is a legitimate function of the government.

    Spending is also a legitimate function.

    Ours is not a representative democracy. It is a republic.

    You really need to read a civics book one of these days.

    A “Representative Democracy” is a form of democratic government whereby citizens’ interests are represented by elected officials in open elections. Representatives act in the interests of their electors, either by martialing together electors’ views, or through personal initiative and independence between elections.

    Their are different flavors of representative democracy, just like their are different types of christianity.

    The terms “Representative democracy” and “Republic” are close synonyms of each other. But you can call it a “cheeseburger” – as long it’s representative and democratic it has the legitimacy to impose and collect taxes.

    The false premise that you labor under is believing all taxes to be the same. The government has no right to any portion of my income. It has no right to borrow foreign funds in my name and no right to debase my currency through inflation of the money supply.

    A Representative Democracy (Or Republic, if that’s what you want to call it.) has the right to tax, borrow, or debase as it sees fit.

    We probably agree that over-taxation, over-borrowing, and pumping too much money into the system are bad ideas – but it’s entirely within the right of the government to do it.

    That’s the beauty of representative democracy: If something isn’t working, we can change it.

    I will move if and when I chose to a place that is better if and when this one descends beneath contempt. We are now on the fast track.

    Fine. By staying you conceded my point that you consent to the social contract.

    Just like you have no right to claim a shop-keeper is robbing you for billing for services you’ve purchased – you no longer have a right to claim the government is robbing you.

    If you don’t trust the legitimacy of your own ideas to go build the kind of society you want – please don’t deny the legitimacy of the society we already have.

    All involuntary taxation is theft. Claiming that it is not will not change the fundamental fact. Seizure by force of arms is the fact.

    Taxes in context of a representative democracy are not involuntary. You’ve already conceded the legitimacy of the socail contract by agreeing to stay in our community.

    Claiming the opposite will not change that fact.

    This is not initiation of force. It is enforcement of contract, in this case an explicit social contract. Libertarians make a big deal of “men with guns” enforcing laws, yet try to overlook the fact that “men with guns” are the basis of enforcement of any complete social system. Even if libertarians reduced all law to “don’t commit fraud or initiate force”, they would still enforce with guns.

    A quote from Ayn Rand

    You’ll have to wait for another thread if you want me to debunk Rand as thoroughly as I just did to you.

  18. Paul, it’s clear from your comments that you support and advocate unlimited and unconstitutional government. I do not. I, on the other hand, share the vision of our founding fathers.

    http://snipr.com/ltvby

    By the way, making a series of unsubstantiated assertions is not quite the same thing as debunking. But I suspect you knew that.

  19. who

    Haiti might be a nice place to live. I don’t think they pay taxes there. And what wonderfull infrastructure. And the joy of walking long distances with water on your head. Mudpie for lunch anyone?

  20. “Ayn Rand said it. Tim Peck believes it. That settles it.”

    Did you want to include an actual argument? -or is simple ridicule your method of choice?

  21. Ken Hanke

    Did you want to include an actual argument? -or is simple ridicule your method of choice?

    No, I’m just belaboring the obvious.

  22. “No, I’m just belaboring the obvious.”

    Oh god. Truly juvenile.

    Why don’t you help the rest of us and elaborate?

    Unless, of course, you’ve shot your wad.

  23. brebro

    Freedom may be free, but asphalt and bridges cost a lot of damn money. Don’t even get me started on all those $12.00 checks they have to hand out for jury duty…

  24. Paul -V-

    @ Timpeck

    “Paul, it’s clear from your comments that you support and advocate unlimited and unconstitutional government.”

    No, I don’t.

    What is clear is that you know you’ve lost this argument, and are now trying to change the subject.

    To review: You claimed that taxes are theft. In response, I got you to admit that you consented to the social contract – so you can’t claim theft.

    “I, on the other hand, share the vision of our founding fathers.”

    No, you don’t. Unless you also share the vision of black people counting as 3/5th of a person.

    Besides, the FF did not consider taxes, in the context of representative democracy, a form of theft.

  25. “asphalt and bridges cost a lot of damn money.”

    1. I don’t have a problem with fees for services. (Although, the private sector provides these services better. http://snipr.com/n85ng ) Redistribution of private wealth by means of corrupt political calculation is theft.

    2. The proper role of government is the protection of individual rights. Providing for police and courts is consonant with that role. Interfering in the economy is not.

    http://snipr.com/n85p9

  26. Ken Hanke

    Why don’t you help the rest of us and elaborate?

    So are you saying you don’t adhere to Ayn Rand’s philosophy? You always seem to be citing it as if it proves something.

  27. “I got you to admit that you consented to the social contract”

    I consent to a constitutional republic; which is what the founders created. It’s in writing.

    That does not allow for government interference in the economy or any form of welfare state.

  28. So are you saying you don’t adhere to Ayn Rand’s philosophy?

    Why don’t you help the rest of us and elaborate?

  29. Ken Hanke

    Why don’t you help the rest of us and elaborate?

    Why don’t you answer a perfectly simple question?

  30. Paul V – You are correct in your assertion about a representative democracy and a constitutional republic. However, just as all squares are rectangles, not all rectangles are squares. (If you would like me to use the cheeseburger/hamburger analogy I will) The same is true about a constitutional republic and a representative democracy.

    “The United States relies on representative democracy, but its system of government is much more complex than that. It is not a simple representative democracy, but a constitutional republic in which majority rule is tempered by minority rights protected by law.” – John Scheb, An Introduction to the American Legal System

    A representative democracy can take many forms, however to better represent our form of government the term constitutional republic should be used. Perhaps you are the one who should open a civics book.

    A Representative Democracy (Or Republic, if that’s what you want to call it.) has the right to tax, borrow, or debase as it sees fit.

    We probably agree that over-taxation, over-borrowing, and pumping too much money into the system are bad ideas – but it’s entirely within the right of the government to do it.

    That’s the beauty of representative democracy: If something isn’t working, we can change it.

    First off, a representative democracy may have the ability to tax, borrow… and so forth, but not necessarily. In our constitutional republic the ability of the government to perform any action is limited by those allowed to by the people, through the constitution. I don’t remember any article or amendment that states that the government has the ability to over-tax, borrow, or de-base our currency as it sees fit.

    Secondly, you state “It is entirely within the right of the government to do so” Please tell me since when does the government have rights? It doesn’t. Our government is granted the authority to perform certain functions as specified by the constitution and that alone.

    You are right though, the beauty of our form of government is that it can be changed. However, to change it requires an amendment to the constitution.

  31. Dionysis

    Mr. Peck,

    As the (apparent) resident expert on all things Ayn Rand-y, why don’t you expound upon why it is that this self-centered Russian emigre’s pseudo-philosophy should be embraced as sacrosanct?

    Oh, and you sure seem to be thin-skinned. Ken Hanke simply made the statement that if Ayn Rand said it, you believe it. There’s nothing in that statement that “ridicules” you or anyone else, considering it is a factual observation (or at least appears to be factual based upon your apparent devotion to ‘objectivism’).

  32. Dionysis & Mr. Hanke – If Mr. Peck chooses to utilize Ayn Rand teachings, quotations, or philosophy to form an argument, does it have any bearing on the validity of the argument itself? Let me answer for you. It does not.

    Therefore. if you choose to back up the implications that the ideas presented by Ayn Rand contain fallacies please do so by backing up your statement with logical reasoning.

    The childish ad hominem tactics, to which you resort, prove absolutely nothing.

  33. Paul -V-

    @ unbarger

    The problem is that Tim uses Rand as an appeal to authority. He doesn’t refute anything.

    For example …

    Tim: Taxes are theft!

    Paul: No, they are not. (Followed by logical argument.)

    Tim: You’re wrong b/c Ayn Rand said _____. Also, here is a link to my rant during the Teabag protest.

  34. Dionysis

    umbarger,

    Ad hominem attacks are attacks on one’s character. Point out where you see that having been done, if you will.

    As for “Ayn Rand fallacies…” how about the whole concept of ‘objectivism’?

    As Rand herself defined it:

    “the concept of man as a heroic being, with his own happiness as the moral purpose of his life, with productive achievement as his noblest activity, and reason as his only absolute.”

    To elevate one’s own “happiness as the moral purpose of…life” is not something that everyone buys, of course. Being part of a social unit, be it community, town, city or country requires something more than self-aggrandizement and disdain for altruism, as Rand believed. And who defines ‘reason’? Ayn Rand?

    If there was any real substance to her philosophy, it would be widely taught in schools of higher education as a viable economic and social construct. It is not. And that is hardly because the universities are held hostage by a bunch of Marxist professors, as some maintain.

  35. Piffy!

    @umberger-[b]You are painting a false picture of the Founding Fathers and the issue of slavery. The historical fact is that slavery was not the product of, nor was it an evil introduced by the Founders; slavery was introduced in America nearly two centuries before the Founders.[/b]

    No, my point is that people like to quite the founding fathers when they speak of freedom and liberty without acknowledging that these guys had no intention of giving ‘freedom’ or ‘liberty’ to the majority of the population-including all blacks, women, and poor people.

    but i am impressed at how far out of context you took my statement to imply that i somehow claimed they actually [i]invented[/] slavery. that was slick.

    Oh, and i like how you claim it is the ‘intellectual left’ that is “destroying the constitution”, too. I guess illegal wiretaps and the patriot act were all liberal policies initiated at MIT?

  36. Piffy!

    “quote”, not “quit” and those itals shouldnt be there. sorry.

  37. Piffy!

    @underberger

    [b]Nevertheless, despite the support in those states for slavery, the clear majority of our Founding Fathers were opposed to this evil. [/b]

    “opposed to it” as an institution, while they partook in it. way to avoid that sticky truth.

  38. Ken Hanke

    The childish ad hominem tactics, to which you resort, prove absolutely nothing

    If, as seems evident, Mr. Peck subscribes to Ayn Rand’s so-called philosophy, how is it an attack on his character to say that he does? Now, if he does not buy into her writings and finds them offensive, ill-considered and odious, then stating that he does buy her philosophy would, I suppose, be an attack on his character.

    Quoting Ayn Rand as a way of proving a point only works on those who find her profound. It’s like someone trying to settle a point on the validity of Christianity with an agnostic or atheist by citing the Bible. It doesn’t fly.

  39. shadmarsh

    I am still waiting for Mr. Peck to explain to me, as he said on these very boards, how it is I am, in his words, “an anonymous coward.”

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