Save The Whales


Artist – Jimmy Margulies

In other news, this is why Sheldon Adelson can afford to dump tens of millions of dollars down the drain supporting Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney.

Las Vegas Sands Corp. (LVS), the casino company led by billionaire Sheldon Adelson, voted a special dividend that will pay its controlling shareholder about $1.2 billion before an expected increase in federal taxes. […]

With about 437 million shares of Las Vegas Sands, or around 52 percent of the stock, according to an April regulatory filing, Adelson, 79, and his wife, Miriam, will collect $1.2 billion from the special dividend and another $611 million annually. The special dividend takes effect before an expected increase in dividend taxes from the current 15 percent.

If he’s going to have his company vote to pay him $1.2 billion now before he can be taxed at a higher rate, I suppose there’s no need to renew tax cuts for the rich at the end of the year.

Thanks for letting us off the hook.

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  • Victor_the_Crab

    Save the Whales? Are they trying to get Paul Watson to come out of hiding?

  • agrazingmoose

    Nothing like being the majority shareholder. It’s mine, all mine!

    • BD

      Nothing like taking 15% of what someone owns. Keep supporting theft through agendas backed by envy.

      • muselet

        Taxation is “theft through agendas backed by envy”?

        –alopecia

        • Brutlyhonest

          Come on, everyone knows that the gubmint doesn’t provide an environment that allows these people to to make such huge sums. They built it all by themselves: everything from the infrastructure that everyone uses to get around to the military that protects them.

          • BD

            A monopoly of force over a region establishes monopoly power over roads, infrastructure and military and you claim that such things are the reason businesses are successful? This is ridiculous. It is a trap and a weak argument for the Statist position.
            The State forces individuals to have their property taken by the State.
            The State then uses such funds to finance above mentioned services without the possibility of competitive forces.
            It then proclaims that because of its all knowing and benevolent nature, that it is the government which allows for such things as commerce to be possible.
            Bullshit!
            They are thieves with the monopoly of force. And when you take anything from its rightful owner, that is theft. You can try to justify this theft and use euphemisms like “taxation”, “fair share” or the “greater good”, but this is just another deceptive lie.
            Government steal from its citizens to fund their mafia dominance.
            Wake up!

          • D_C_Wilson

            Yeah, we’d all be better off with no government taking 15% of what we earn and using it to provide services. We can build roads and bridges with magic libertarian pixie dust! It’ll be perfect.

            At least until someone with more guns than you decides he wants 100% of your shit.

          • BD

            Because private defense agencies couldn’t possibly exist in which the most moral, cost efficient and just compete for patronage. No, we need a monopoly to force our will upon the nations of the world, murder innocents across the globe and do so in the name of freedom.
            Individuals acting in voluntary exchange couldn’t possibly build roads because it takes the magic pixie dust of government. Well, actually it takes a group of thugs claiming to own everyone and their property.
            Sounds like you will always have an excuse for the governments violation of rights because you know nothing else.

          • Brutlyhonest

            Bullshit!

            Well, you nailed that part.

            I propose you put your bullshit faux intellectualism money where your mouth is: If you hate this system of government then renounce your citizenship and move to a libertarian paradise. Somalia should fit the bill nicely.

          • BD

            This is my birth place and it is sad that you wish to protect those which rob peaceful people. Your kind will always favor the enslavement of people because you will not accept that EVERYONE has the same rights, and there is no exception for elected criminals.

          • rob black

            Please start future comments with this sentence so I don’t waste any more time reading them….
            The following comment is “Bullshit!

          • Brutlyhonest

            Indeed. I’m done playing with this one.

          • D_C_Wilson

            We tried private defense agencies before. It was called feudalism. How’d that work out for the vast majority of people again?

            Look, I know you’re just posting here to reassure yourself that you’re smarter than us brainwashed fools, so let me help you out:

            You’re not.

            Here’s another free tip:

            Ron Paul is never going to be president. You’re welcome.

          • BD

            Feudalism:
            The dominant social system in medieval Europe, in which land granted by the Crown to the nobility was in turn held by vassals and worked…

            At what point does a State granting land to well positioned nobles represent “private defense” ? If people cannot own property, as in feudalism, then there can be no freedom or choice. The serfs on these lands did not get to choose their noble rulers, they were thrust upon them by an armed government.

            If you believe that some, based on status, are allowed to rob from others, but that this is not allowed by everyone else then you have been brainwashed. You have been brainwashed to defend your slave master and your posts reassure my claim.

          • bphoon

            You’re trying to live in a fantasy world. Things just don’t work that way because, you know, humans!

            Try it sometime for real: “…Individuals acting in voluntary exchange…” Supposed to work beautifully. Until, as D_C_Wilson says, some motherfucker with more guns than you have decides he wants 100% of your shit.

            I used to think pacifism and communal living was the solution to all the world’s ills, too. Then I grew up…

          • BD

            No, I’m trying to live by principles and expose the cancer of this race known as STATISM. We will never progress unless we recognize free will and respect the free will of everyone.
            I do not advocate a utopian society where crime does not happen. I advocate a society that is based on voluntary exchange and the existence of property rights. This includes the right to defend (not a pacifist) ones property.
            Why is it that you can buy your groceries without a central planner telling you what to purchase, or making you purchase what they want? Why is it that you can choose the vehicle in which you wish to drive without a dictatorial force making this decision for you? Perhaps, just perhaps, those who feel they require protection beyond their ability will seek to purchase this VOLUNTARILY in the market. But, instead those of your mindset want armed revenue collectors and murderers to patrol the streets with the hopes of imprisoning or shooting those the state deems unwanted or inappropriate.
            Maybe you should go back to before you “grew up” and ask that five year old if its okay to steal that which is not yours, if it is okay to hit someone who does not threaten you? And then ask if you should make an exception for criminal thugs which perform the very acts they claim to protect against.

          • bphoon

            Why don’t you go somewhere and write some big-ass manifesto that nobody will read. Maybe make yourself feel better or something…

          • D_C_Wilson

            If you believe that some, based on status, are allowed to rob from others, but that this is not allowed by everyone else then you have been brainwashed.

            I always love it when idiots dictate to me what I believe and then tell me I am brainwashed for it.

            Feudalism is where every petty lord has his own private army and that’s exactly what you described. There’s actually a couple of places where “private security forces” are the only thing “protecting” the people. Once is Somalia and the other is Afghanistan.

            Maybe you could get a job as pirate or guarding some warlord’s poppy fields. Then you could see your utopia up close.

            What I always love about pseudo-libertarians when they talk about how private armies would perfectly protect their freedoms and not cost them a dime is the implicit assumption that they would be the ones at the top of the food chain. In their imagined utopia, their natural greatness will enable them to be the new lords, when it reality, they’d be the same nobodies they are in the real world, only their lifespans would be considerably shorter.

            Oh, and Ron Paul will still never be president.

          • BD

            Feudalism does not recognize the property rights of individuals. The Crown, or whatever form of State, gives these lord rule over a region. This is not private protection because when they come to your land they forcefully extract collections for their “protective services”. You must not understand private property rights otherwise you would not cite such a gross misrepresentation of private security.
            Once again, I do not claim a society based on voluntarism is a utopia. Rather a society based on these principles is a more free and just one.
            Please cite any of my claims or statements which make me a so-called “pseudo-libertarian”. You must be an expert in this philosophy, so please enlighten me to YOUR definition of a “libertarian”.

          • D_C_Wilson

            Feudalism does not recognize the property rights of individuals.

            And the end result of your fantasy world would be you being property. That’s the problem you always seem to miss. You think everyone would just happily sit behind their “private security forces” and never try to take your shit away from you. That’s what makes you an idiot.

            BTW, I never called you a libertarian. I called you a pseudo-libertarian.

        • BD

          Is taxation voluntary or is it a confiscation through threat of force (coercion)?

          • muselet

            First, your original premise is faulty. Taking 15% of what Sheldon and Miriam Adelson own would mean taking from them roughly 65.6 million shares in Las Vegas Sands Corp. Taxing what the Adelsons earn is not the same thing.

            Second, taxation is the price one pays to live in a civilized country. Don’t like taxation? Don’t like government? Find someplace more to your liking—I understand Somalia is lovely this time of year.

            –alopecia

          • Brutlyhonest

            HaHa at me. I was recommending Somalia before I read through and saw you beat me to it.

          • BD

            Why is it that liberals/progressives supposedly advocate civil rights, equality in the workspace, etc. but they don’t believe that one owns the fruits of their labor.
            I find this quite despicable.
            Rather than making excuses and trying to claim that the government can steal this and that from someone, ask if anyone else would have the right to claim your earnings and leave you with what they believe is fair. To me that is theft, whether done by your loving public officials or by a highway robber.
            As for the typical Somalia remark. At what point do you feel that a country bombed into obliteration and then turned into tribal anarchy is an appropriate example of a anarchy. It’s a poor argument and I have heard arguments stating that they are actually better off then many of their surrounding regions of similar cultural beliefs and systems.
            No, taxation is not the price I must pay for the sin of being born into existence. What a disgusting position to hold, that we must be enslaved and like it or leave. This is my native land and the criminals hold no claim to me or this land.

          • bphoon

            but they don’t believe that one owns the fruits of their labor.

            Particularly in the case of the Adelsons and others in their income bracket, they live off the fruits of other people’s labor. You think Adleson “labors”?

            Please…

          • BD

            @bphoon
            “but they don’t believe that one owns the fruits of their labor.
            Particularly in the case of the Adelsons and others in their income bracket, they live off the fruits of other people’s labor. You think Adleson “labors”?

            Please…”

            Same Marxist argument.
            These business owners do not live off the fruits of other people’s labor anymore than these people live off the land and capital of the entrepreneur. This is an exchange of voluntary nature. No one forces these employees to work for these employers and vice versa. Adleson has established the luxury to not “labor” although managing his investments is as much a labor as digging a ditch. One just may prefer the former over the latter. What you seem to NOT recognize is that without the land and capital provided by these entrepreneurs, these people would not be as productive as they are and would therefore make much less then they do. Your Marxist rhetoric will essentially send the masses back to subsistence levels of living.

          • muselet

            Name one nation* which has successfully** implemented a libertarian/anarchist/whatever*** social order.****

            Do that and I’ll take your arguments seriously. I may even force myself to care what you do or do not find despicable (though I make no promises on that count).

            * Not a commune or some ragtag band livin’ off the land. I’ll be generous and allow any nation with either a population over 1 million or a total land area over 750 square kilometers.
            ** Success in this context means not being overrun by another nation or suffering internal collapse for an extended period of time. Again, I’ll be generous and set a minimum time of 10 years.
            *** I’m not being offensive, I really don’t know how to characterize your political philosophy (without being offensive, that is).
            **** Cites or it didn’t happen, as the kids say.

            –alopecia

          • BD

            @muselet
            “Name one nation* which has successfully** implemented a libertarian/anarchist/whatever*** social order.****

            Do that and I’ll take your arguments seriously. I may even force myself to care what you do or do not find despicable (though I make no promises on that count).

            * Not a commune or some ragtag band livin’ off the land. I’ll be generous and allow any nation with either a population over 1 million or a total land area over 750 square kilometers.
            ** Success in this context means not being overrun by another nation or suffering internal collapse for an extended period of time. Again, I’ll be generous and set a minimum time of 10 years.
            *** I’m not being offensive, I really don’t know how to characterize your political philosophy (without being offensive, that is).
            **** Cites or it didn’t happen, as the kids say.”

            And if I cannot find anything within your parameters, then theft is justified? Murder is right if by your elected deities? Impoverishing people in servitude is the true civilized way?
            One must envision the wheel before it is produced, and the thousands of civilizations that have existed on this planet have risen and fallen under STATISM. America has been the closest nation to freedom, but as soon as it became established it was high jacked by elites which continue to eat away at the freedoms of the men and women here today. Choose your blind allegiance to theft, murder and pieces of paper which proclaim you are “free”. I will choose to associate with whom ever wishes to on a voluntary basis without advocating someone be robbed to benefit another.

          • muselet

            No, if you can’t find a nation that has successfully fashioned itself upon a voluntarist (your word) model, then voluntarism is just another utopian fantasy which can safely be dismissed by those of us who choose to live in the real world.

            But thanks for playing.

            –alopecia

          • muselet

            DELETED (wrong place in the thread)

          • Victor_the_Crab

            You’re a fucking retard!

          • BD

            “No, if you can’t find a nation that has successfully fashioned itself upon a voluntarist (your word) model, then voluntarism is just another utopian fantasy which can safely be dismissed by those of us who choose to live in the real world.

            But thanks for playing.”

            Strawman argument if I ever heard one.
            At some point in history every civilization may not have imagined the ability to own other people (slavery) but we have move past this (kind of).
            You refuse to live by principle and make excuses for the ill acts and nature of your rulers. It is the saddest thing to see someone defend the one which keeps them suppressed. You are a statist shill. You will always excuse their acts of violence because you can not look past the statist mentality. At no point do you address my ethical stances or principles. Rather than outright saying that you believe that a chosen few have the right the violate people, you make arguments that a world could not possibly exist with voluntary association. In your world association MUST be forced by some entity in order to create “order”. Very fucked up.

          • muselet

            Strawman argument if I ever heard one.

            Then you’ve never heard one. I have not attacked a distorted version of your position.

            What I have done is point out a quite fundamental fallacy in your reasoning, explain in short the social contract and ask you for an example of a large-scale proof of concept of your sociopolitical ideals. In response, I got waffle mixed with name-calling. I’m happy to debate—I’m happy to argue—with someone who has an opinion different from mine and is even borderline articulate, but I weary of this back-and-forth with someone who has nothing even vaguely original or interesting to offer.

            When you have something more to say than your carefully-memorized talking points, feel free to stop by again.

            –alopecia

            MOVED to the correct spot in the thread.

          • BD

            @muselet
            You created an argument with arbitrary parameters and established a default conclusion if such a society does not exist within your outlined requirements.
            Yes, it is frustrating that that there is not large scale example of a voluntary society but there are microcosms throughout the world. The so-called Wild West was actually not the society depicted in mainstream sources and local regions had private judiciary systems, established property rights to claims, etc. this is all before being consumed by an umbrella government.
            What is the fallacy in my reasoning? Is it fallacious to hold the position that EVERYONE must respect the rights and property of others?
            Please present to me the moral or ethical principle which you feel is universal among civilized societies. What are its parameters of application and for what legitimate reason do you exempt others from these principles?

          • Victor_the_Crab

            You’re living proof an abortion can fail!

          • mrbrink

            Bwhahahahahahahahaha!!!!

            You must be a joy at Thanksgiving.

            Article 1 Section 8.

            Taxation is voluntary. You can leave whenever you like.

          • Brutlyhonest

            Hell, if it promises to renounce its citizenship and go to the libertarian paradise of Somalia – never to return – I’ll reimburse its travel costs if it can get the bill to me without any delivery service using anything provided by the US Government.

          • BD

            Just to be brutlyhonest, you should consider that the USPS has a state enforced monopoly on mail services, roads are monopolized under the guise of needing the latter monopoly and so on. You make my argument for me with your statement. “I will pay for him to leave this STATE occupied region if he can somehow contradict the very existence of such an entity”. What a joke!

          • BD

            Then why are IRS agents armed? You quote a piece of paper signed by supposed representatives of continued generations of serfs. The income tax came into existence in 1913 and is enforced by the threat of guns. So, it doesn’t really matter what the laws criminals make when they have the guns to make us pay for our existence. And the leave whenever you like position is tiresome. Where does one go in this world of Statism? You support servitude and will endlessly excuse your master for the crimes they commit. You are the rapist blaming the victim. Disgusting!

          • bphoon

            The income tax came into existence in 1913 and is enforced by the threat of guns.

            No. The income tax is enforced by the threat of interest and penalties and they’ll take your shit if you don’t pay them and, in the extreme, prison. The sales taxes are enforced by threat of you don’t get what you want to buy unless you pay them. Social Security and Medicare taxes are enforced by threat of they take them out of your paycheck before you ever see it–to help the elderly stay out of poverty and get adequate health care, by the way.

            Where does one go in this world of Statism?

            Try Antarctica.

          • BD

            @bphoon
            “The income tax came into existence in 1913 and is enforced by the threat of guns.
            No. The income tax is enforced by the threat of interest and penalties and they’ll take your shit if you don’t pay them and, in the extreme, prison. The sales taxes are enforced by threat of you don’t get what you want to buy unless you pay them. Social Security and Medicare taxes are enforced by threat of they take them out of your paycheck before you ever see it–to help the elderly stay out of poverty and get adequate health care, by the way.

            Where does one go in this world of Statism?
            Try Antarctica.”

            Holy shit. You have got to be one of the most apologetic statists I have read lately. Do you understand what a “threat” is? Coercion? Penalties? Does this sound voluntary to you?
            “They’ll take your shit if you don’t pay them”. Does this sound like a mafia to you. Are you fucking insane?
            If you don’t pay they will come with armed agents to confiscate your property. If you decide to protect your property they will shoot you. Hence they hold claim to you and all property. They only allow you to keep what feel you deserve

            Antarctic? You truly are a bphoon!

          • mrbrink

            Hyperbole is adorable.

            Why do you hate the U.S. Constitution?

            Article 1 Section 8

            “Promote” and “Provide”= $$$

            Let it all out, man. The thrashing only tightens the knots.

          • BD

            @mrbrink
            “Why do you hate the U.S. Constitution?”

            Because I am not bound by a contract which I did not sign, nor has been signed by anyone living today.
            “But whether the Constitution really be one thing, or another, this much is certain – that it has either authorized such a government as we have had, or has been powerless to prevent it. In either case, it is unfit to exist.” Lysander Spooner

          • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

            You really have no idea what you’re talking about. I do because I used to be in law enforcement and my ex is still in federal law enforcement. So here is the truth–see if you can comprehend this.

            Revenue Officers and Revenue Agents are not permitted to carry firearms. Special Agents, regardless of what agency they work for DO carry weapons. These Special Agents work for these types of agencies (e.g., HUD, VA, SSA, IRS) within the agency’s OIG (Office of Inspector General). These agents are charged with investigating internal crimes (like nurses stealing money from VA patients under their care) AND with investigating the criminal violation of the specific laws and regulations related to that agency’s purpose (FHA loan fraud by a real estate agents). 99.9% of their cases are “white collar” cases. Everyone is civil and non-violent. These agents can go their entire career and never, ever have to take their weapon out of their holster. However, they do on occasion encounter the suspect who is also into other things, like drugs, gangs, etc. In those rare cases, they need protection plain and simple. In addition, while these agents do NOT have general investigatory or arrest powers in the case of a national emergency they can be granted such. In my ex’s approx 20 years on the job these were only used in one instance, after 9/11 where he and many other OIG special agents worked almost 24/7 to investigate the many leads in AZ (of which there were more than the average person knows about).

            So, do IRS collection agents threaten citizens with guns or even carry guns? No. Do other IRS agents with limited power and scope? Yes.

            All laws are enforced with the “threat of force” by the state. Has been this way since the beginning of time and will always be this way (did I mention I have a Masters in Criminal Justice?). America’s voting and election system combined with the rule of law is what makes this “force” morally acceptable. WE the people vote for who we want to enforce the laws (the executive branch). WE have rule of law that if the state oversteps its bounds they can also be criminally and civilly prosecuted. WE have the recourse of voting the executive branch out of office.

            THIS is the American Social Contract created very specifically by our Founding Fathers and THIS is what makes such collection moral. To reject this social contract, which is your right BTW, is to reject the U.S. Constitution and the Founding Fathers. You are just plain wrong and it’s because you don’t understand how this country works and you are truly ignorant of how it all fits together. Go live in a third world country for a while and then come back to the U.S. Then maybe you’ll get it.

          • BD

            @irishgrrrl
            Thank you for revealing that you worked for the criminal gang which you defend.
            What a convoluted explanation to the threat of violence for confiscations. Not all IRS agents are armed but the threat of confiscation is there nonetheless because they have armed agents to assist in their dirty work.
            Since you claim to know law, answer this: can one be bound to a contract which has not been presented to them or is such contract legitimate if entered under duress?
            Please define the STATE in legal terms.
            If you feel that the state and individuals do have a legitimate contract, is there a reciprocal responsibility?
            If I am obligated to fund the government, are they obligated to provide my protection? The answer should be yes, but Warren v. D.C put in their decision that official police personnel and the government employing them owe no duty to victims of criminal acts…
            I am so glad that people of your mindset “enforce” the laws which a majority get to impose upon the minority. You worked for a gang. Admit it. It just happened to be the most powerful gang.
            So as upheld court decisions have made clear, we live in a society where we as citizens have a duty to the government but they have no duty to its citizens.
            There is hardly a chance that you will come to the side of peaceful relations because as your background indicates you wish to rule over others. You support a system which locks people in cages for substances which they put in their body, illegally invade private property often killing individuals including children because they have a hint of drug activity, federal agents writing their own search warrants thanks to the Patriot Act (because if you don’t support it your not patriotic), bombing innocent civilians in half a dozen countries so we can do the bidding of Israel and our energy and military industrial complex. You support this system blindly and your token effort to bad mouth the team you don’t support, as if there is a difference, only shows how deceived you are and the sick and twisted world which you promote, loyaly.

          • Victor_the_Crab

            You’re Exibit A as to why sibilings shouldn’t mate!

        • rob black

          Yes and FDR started a run on the banks by..stopping a run on the banks…and extended the depression by “decades”..and there is apparently global warming on Pluto…or some such shit.
          This guy (BD?) is pushing to win an award for the stupidest troll on the whole Internets. Worse yet.. he is of the particular tin foil hat variety that thinks he is being clever and cryptic.
          I wish Disqus would invent a “sweep comment section of troll” button.

          • BD

            A run on the banks happens when the recognition that fractional reserve banks can not meet obligations for demand deposits and when the word gets out the people “run” to get their cash. It was Roosevelt which assisted the banking cartel in not meeting their legal obligations by declaring a “bank holiday”. If you wish to debate the persistence of the Great Depression and its relevance to FDR, then do so. But, you are much better at ad hominum arguments aren’t you?
            You can continue to believe the lies of such scientific minds as Al Gore and his “hockeystick” graph or you could take into account that the solar system might be experiencing not only a solar change (seeing as we share this enormous star) but also galactic changes. But it’s probably more favorable for you to accept the story governments tell you so that they can further tax and punish our very existence wish carbon taxes and the likes. Because carbon dioxide is evil and not used by anything…except…plant life.

          • Victor_the_Crab

            You have serious mental issues, assmunch. I suggest you fucking deal with them before you take it out on someone.

          • BD

            I am a voluntarist, in case you haven’t been reading, and therefore practice the axiom of non-aggression.
            As for your ad hominem attack, please cite what statement(s) are evidence of “serious mental issues”.
            Furthermore, you contribute nothing and it would be much more honest of you to refute my claims and positions then to claim a mental disorder.

          • Victor_the_Crab

            Dear Big Douchetard,

            The fact that you feel the need to respond to every single criticism of your yargle bargling on this thread is proof positive that you are an unstable being.

            And as for what I contribute, it’s making fun of your loser diaper baby attitude. You don’t like it? I don’t care. Suck it, fuckface!

      • Victor_the_Crab

        Awwww, someone has a sad. Tissue?

      • i_a_c

        The only question I have is whether this is anarchy or merely Paultroonery.

    • incredulous72

      Yeah, like Daffy Duck in ‘Ali Baba Bunny’.

      “Consequences, Shmonsequences, as long as I’m rich.”

  • Nefercat

    Why is this person with their in-your-face-finger-on-your-chest Ihavemyworldviewthatnootherperspectivecanpenetrate yapping away here?

    • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

      We made mistake of feeding him. Mea culpa. I just can’t resist poking and schooling a Paulite. They’re so predictably wrong.

      • Nefercat

        Oh, I would most likely have fed him too, had I not come late to the party!

  • http://www.politicalruminations.com/ nicole

    ohmygod, I missed the best most ignorant troll EVER on this site!

    Nice ass-kicking, Cescans!

    • MrDHalen

      I know right…I missed the live stomping as well!!! :-(

    • Victor_the_Crab

      The troll hasn’t left. It’s still hanging on to dear life. Don’t be afraid to gang up on the pathetic loser.

  • trgahan

    Why does BS like this reaction show up every time a news article is posted showing another whiny billionaire cashing out in order to avoid taxation? Amazing how some people will so strongly defend is stuff.

    If you honestly don’t see that the Las Vegas Sands Corp would not be what it is today without the billions of taxpayer money the state of Nevada and the federal government has invested in the city of Las Vegas and surrounding southern Nevada, you’re clueless.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    Looks like I missed this as well.

    BD reminds me of a student I had once, a 10th or 11th-grade girl who may have been one of the most despicable kids I ever ran across. I had a policy in my class that if I saw your cell phone — which is not allowed in school per NYC Chancellor’s Regulations — you had a choice to either place it in a box for the rest of the period and pick it up after class, with no questions asked and no further action taken, or be referred to the Dean for escalated disciplinary action. She went 15 rounds with me once about how she doesn’t have to obey any school rules, or for that matter any laws, because she had no part in making them (“some person just made it up”) and neither I nor anyone else had any right or authority to require her to do, or not do, anything. (I blogged about it at the time; I can’t provide a link, though, because that would reveal my identity and ruin my Secret Evil Master Plan. Mwahahaha!)

    Children and teenagers don’t understand how authority works or where it comes from; they simply see it as arbitrary and persecutional. I’d be rich if I had a dime for every instance where a student accused me of sanctioning him or her, quote, “for no reason.” Kids don’t like being told what to do; they view adults as cartoon villains wielding arbitrary and unjustified power over them to wrongfully and “for no reason” limit their autonomy, they regard any undesired outcomes or undesirable consequences of their own actions as unfair and deliberate persecution, and/or as a violation of their “rights.”

    One thing that certainly helped me my last few years teaching was studying the law at the same time. Studying the law makes the world a whole lot easier to sort out. It enables one to explain exactly why one is required to follow rules and laws, and why such a requirement is not only fair and just but enhances, rather than diminishes, freedom (so long as one is able to distinguish freedom from autonomy). Why do I get to make the rules in my classroom, you ask? Because I can be held liable for anything that happens to you. If I can be sued after the desk you were not supposed to be standing on collapses, I get to decide whether or not you can stand on the desk.

    I guess my point is that society can never be so simple as to consist only of personal autonomy and property rights. Children and teenagers may think that way, but (most) adults know better.

    • bphoon

      Whattya wanna bet ol’ BD here is a second- or third-year law student or some such shit? He obviously thinks he’s got pretty much everything figured out.

      My considerable experience has shown that such fools always demonstrate in the clearest terms that: They. Don’t. Know. Shit.

      • GrafZeppelin127

        I doubt he’s a law student. I would think taking Torts and Contracts would disabuse people of most of this nonsense. The kind of dogmatic rhetoric I’m reading here can only be the result of some serious, intense programming.

  • JMAshby

    So I guess some libertarian wunderkind trolled hard here last night.

    • rob black

      Yep, he actually crept in a couple of days ago with a series of comments taking the positions that: FDR was a tyrant, because of actions he took to stop the depression, and that global warming is being caused by some sort of alignment shift in the entire solar system.
      The FDR thing being what I think would commonly be referred to as “The Booth Argument”, mostly now only heard in mental institutions, and the climate change theory some combination of Aztec apocalypse buffoonery and a history channel addicts misinterpretation of the way gravity actually works.
      In any case, I only poked him in an attempt to get him “swing himself out” as it were, and hopefully go bother some other blog….or get back on his meds.
      He does seem to share a world view, and level of self-absorption with, as you pointed out, either children or mental patients. It is kind of a waste of time to point by point refute his nonsense, because he is of the opinion that he “knows” things, and we are all just dupes who need enlightening…again; teenager or nut job, you make the call.

      oops…actually replying to Mr. Zep up there…

      • MrDHalen

        I would have liked to ask “voluntarist” how they come to own the property in which he claims he is going to use to sustain his life. If it is handed down to them from their parents, how did they come to own it? Where is the start of this “free” world? Do we start by purchasing property from god? How do you come to own property if we are born with nothing?

  • http://drangedinaz.wordpress.com/ IrishGrrrl

    BD, you said “Because I am not bound by a contract which I did not sign, nor has been signed by anyone living today. ”

    WTF are you talking about? It’s called the Social Fucking Contract….your ancestors decided to settle here and make this place home but of course they didn’t SIGN anything (Only authoritarian type governments force people to sign contracts to “obey” their rulers). Your family decided to stay here and accept this country’s laws by simply living and participating in society. You decide each and every day if you will accept the social contract. You can decide at any point to violate that Social Contract….people do every day. Many get caught, get prosecuted and go to jail/prison. Others don’t get caught. Others leave.

    But most Americans simply just accept and do nothing in regards to their end of the Social Contract except to obey the laws. Some others work within our representative government to bring about a more perfect union. There are so many ways to support and reject the Social Contract–some legitimate and some illegitimate. But these ARE YOUR ONLY CHOICES here in the U.S. 1. Work within the system, non-violently–it’s a great system and works pretty damn well. 2. Break the contract and suffer the moral consequences (yes it’s moral, that enforcement, see my other long post above) or 3. Leave.

    Your problem is that you think we have an authoritarian government because the government uses implied force. Every government uses implied force. What makes us free is the WAY in which that force is implied AND used. Why Libertarians cannot understand this is beyond me.

    • i_a_c

      It’s pretty clear that this one is some kind of anarcho-libertarian fringe extremist. His posts indicate not only does he refuse to recognize the government as an enforcer of laws, by extension he rejects the concept of national sovereignty. In this country, sovereignty is derived from the consent of the governed, through electing representatives who create laws and the executive who enforces laws. In some countries, the sovereignty rests in the hands of a monarch. Simply by being present puts you in the country’s sovereign jurisdiction, and you are subject to that nation’s laws. This concept has grown out of common law for millenia. States are sovereign essentially by mutual agreement between the world’s governments and their people. To deny this is to live in a fantasy world.

  • GrafZeppelin127

    I’ve had another thought about this.

    BD seems to be suggesting that in a society based on two things and two things only, (1) individual autonomy and (2) property rights, there would be no need for any laws and no threat or use of deadly force to compel behavior, meaning no one would ever have to live in fear of or under the threat of deadly force. Set aside for the moment all the other things there would ostensibly be no need for, such as public services and public infrastructure; BD’s core complaint seems to be that both (1) and (2) are violated by the fact that we require everyone by law to contribute to public services and infrastructure, and that law is inherently backed by the threat and/or use of deadly force. (Meaning, if you don’t obey the law, eventually [in most cases far, far, far down the line after lots and lots of other things have happened] there will be someone with a gun to make you comply.)

    OK, so take these two core concepts: (1) individual autonomy; (2) property rights. What happens when they conflict with one another? An obvious example is if I exercise my individual autonomy to (A) paint a happy face on your front door, or (B) take your lawnmower and mow my lawn with it, or (C) take your lawnmower, mow my lawn with it, decide that it’s mine and keep it.

    In each scenario, what are you going to do about it?

    Take (A), for example. Are you just going to buy the sandpaper, paint, brushes, drop cloth &c., repaint it yourself and forget about it, without trying to get your money back from me or compensation for the effort? If so, what’s to stop me from doing it again? Are you going to hire your own private police force to prevent me from doing it again? If so, what’s to stop me from going to their houses and painting happy faces on their doors while they’re patrolling your yard? Do they also need to hire private police forces to protect their homes while they’re out protecting yours? And who will protect the homes of the private police hired by your private police?

    How about (B). If I take your mower and mow my own lawn, without your permission, then bring the mower back, are you OK with that? If not, what do you do? Do you just lock it up from now on so I can’t take it again? Do you retaliate by taking and using something of mine? Or do you try to get compensation from me, and if so, how? How are you going to make me pay you for renting your lawnmower? What are you going to do if I refuse?

    Then there’s (C). I take your mower and I decide that it’s mine; that I am its “rightful owner.” What do you do? Do you simply accept that you made a mistake by leaving it out and buy yourself a new one? Do you try to get it back from me, and if so, how? Do you try to make me pay you for it, and if so, how? You say it’s yours, I say it’s mine; I have it, you don’t. What are you going to do?

    Now, in normal society, the answers to these questions are fairly obvious: You call the cops and/or take me to court. But in doing so, you’re invoking the very threat of deadly force that you so despise, a force wielded not by you but by those dreaded “elected deities,” who also have to wield it against everyone else in order to “steal” their money through taxes so they can be paid for their services (cops and courts cost money). So since they can only be created and maintained through “theft,” we can’t have cops or courts. So, if there are no cops and no courts, and no one in your community volunteers to act as cops or courts (even assuming I would ever be inclined to abide by the orders of volunteer, self-appointed policemen or judges), your only recourse is to threaten and/or use deadly force against me yourself.

    No matter how you slice it, no matter what your answers to all these questions are, eventually you reach the point where either you or someone else has to use deadly force. The only alternative is to allow me to do (A) (B) or (C) at my own pleasure, and leave you to your own devices to try and prevent or avoid it.

    • MrDHalen

      You can keep his lawnmower Graf, he was killed by a mountain lion roaming the neighborhood. Nobody volunteered to do animal control.

      • GrafZeppelin127

        LOL. Good one.

  • ranger11

    How the hell did this thread get so big?!