"Keep a Journal: How else are you going to get a good look at who you were?"

Saturday, February 16, 2002

Yes, but can Anarchy do THIS?...

1. Legalizing Prostitution will not make being a prostitute safe, or healthy.

2. Legalizing Marijuana will not make addiction go away. It will not reduce the traffic in harder drugs..

3. Taxing Cigarettes won't reduce deaths from lung cancer.

4. Barring Tobacco companies from hosting major entertainment events (or advertising at the ones they are permitted to host) won't stop people buying cigarettes, nor will it prevent kids from taking up smoking.

5. Allowing Tobacco companies to advertise in whatever media they want will not prevent people from quitting smoking. It might make it more difficult to quit for those who are trying, but it won't stop them...

6. Taking all handguns away will not eliminate violent crime.

7. Giving every citizen permission to carry a handgun won't eliminate violent crime, either; but, generally speaking, it will tend to put the victims and the perpetrators on a more-or-less even footing.

8. Eliminating taxes will not eliminate the need to pay for the services and infrastructure that support your family and your community. It will not guarantee prosperity; either.

9. Reducing taxes will not reduce the number of tax cheats; it will also not reduce the number of honest citizens.

10. Putting more and better computers in schools won't teach kids to read books.

11. Censoring books, movies, TV and videogames will not eliminate parent's responsibility for their children's ethical development and discipline.

12. Privatizing Healthcare won't convince more people to take better care of themselves.

13. Universal Healthcare programs...aren't.

14. Making Auto Insurance more affordable won't eliminate insurance fraud. It won't reduce the number of claims, either.

15. Sex Education and Condom Machines in Schools won't curb teenage promiscuity. They won't eliminate teenage pregnancy. They won't reduce the spread of STD's.

16. Government concessions to special interest groups won't redress the wrongs these groups are using as leverage. Settling Aboriginal claims will not bring back the buffalo, give aboriginal nations back their dignity, or take away the blight of the white man from 'their' land. Giving the Mentally Challenged the right to vote, to marry, or to reproduce will not eliminate the inequality under which they live due to their condition. Giving Homosexuals the right to marry for tax purposes will not make their union any more legitimate.

17. Unbiased and Objective Media Coverage -- usually isn't...

18. Bringing back Capital Punishment will not effectively deter violent criminals. It will, however, cut down the number of repeat offenders.

19. It is moral cowardice to support Capital Punishment unless YOU are prepared to be falsely accused, wrongfully arrested, tried without due process, unjustly convicted and summarily executed. If you can accept all of these as possible (however likely or unlikely they may be), then you accept the full moral implications of Capital Punishment.

20. Euthanasia has been offered as the compassionate solution to a Medical Science that has seemingly outstripped the Ethos of Society. We can now keep mindless bodies alive for months, even years, after life in the conscious sense has ceased. The only solution seems to be for each individual to make a conscious choice beforehand; "being in sound mind and body", and have that choice documented. Otherwise, someone else will have to decide for you, and what sane person wants that kind of burden? The other half of the equation is to have that documented preference honored by the Medical Profession.

21. Abortion is a really lousy method of birth control. There are far cheaper, and less traumatic, methods.

22. Abstinence is still the most effective means of birth control. It will likely remain the most effective method until the end of time.

23. A woman has a right to control her own reproductive system. She is also responsible for what she does with it.

24. A man who fathers a child with no ability to/intention of support(ing) the child and its mother; should NOT be castrated. He should be vasectomized.

25. In the era of shrinking budgets, bursting classrooms, and academic fads; we find that Universal Free Education...is not any of these.

26. War is never a good idea. It may sometimes SEEM necessary, but it is NEVER a good idea.

27. Appeasement is never a good idea. It may sometimes SEEM necessary, but it is NEVER a good idea.

28. Eating Meat is an acquired taste. Anyone who thinks that vegans are whacko should try being one for six weeks; then switch back. It's amazing what you can taste when you've lost your ability to filter out certain odors and flavors. For anyone without that filtering ability; meat really does stink.

29. The poor WILL always be with us...

30. It costs less to raise a child in poverty than it does to raise a child with wealth and privilege. In the past, poor families tended to be larger because of this fact. Now, raising a child in poverty means a visit from the "children's services" bureaucracy; so, not many people are raising large families.

31. Confiscating the wealth and property of the rich will not make everyone rich. Giving everyone an equal opportunity to become rich may not make everyone rich, either, but it's a more workable plan.

32. "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you" isn't just a moral homily - it's an observable and verifiable phenomenon.

33. Give a man a fish, and you have fed him a meal - TEACH a man to fish, and you'd better be prepared to re-stock the lake.

34. Solidarity is wonderful, there is real strength and security in numbers; there is also inconvenience, compromise, groupthink, and the herd mentality.

35. Leading a disciplined, rational, moral, and even pious life is NOT some sort of mental abberation. Being considered 'normal' in an insane society is NOT an honor to be sought after.

36. Given absolute freedom to do whatever they want, most people will do what their neighbors are doing.

37. Assuming there is a God, He is probably quite insulted by all the debate over His existence. After all, if you were God, would you want YOUR kids debating your existence? You would probably think that they were not quite right.

38. Ron Jeremy: (well known male porn star) "Anyone who thinks pornography exploits only women should look at the books". Salary-wise, male porn stars are getting 'shafted' too.

39. Child pornography is NOT about love. It is not even about tittilation. It is about the despoilation of innocence - the ultimate triumph for those who have lost their souls. It is evil.

40. You can live free and die free, or you can live as a slave and die as a slave. As you're going to die anyway; you may as well live on your own terms.

41. Suicide is a final escape for the slave.

42. Samuel Clemens: (Mark Twain) "Never let what you learn in school interfere with your education".

43. Freedom is the ability to go where you will, do what you will, say what you wish and choose your associations without interference. The scope of this ability increases with the amount of preparation done. This is the essence of self-reliance: the more you can do for yourself, the better prepared you will be; the better prepared you are, the more able you are to exercise, and defend, your freedom.

44. To be free and not fear is the goal of every man who loves liberty. To be free FROM fear is the illusion of the cowardly.

45. Separation of church and state works: suppression of one for the benefit of the other, does not work.

46. Just Drive, ok?

47. Morality is the learned ability to exercise restraint over your own impulses for the benefit of others; even though they may not appreciate it, or even be aware of it. It requires an acute awareness of what is right and what is wrong.

48a. Larry Niven: "There exist minds that think as well as you do, but differently."

48b. Corrolary: "The gene-tampered Turkey you're talking to isn't necessarily one of them."

49. All crimes against an individual can be reduced to property crimes: Murder is theft of Life. Slander is theft of a good reputation. Rape is theft of Innocence. Fraud is theft of Trust.

50. The Scientific Method is a Fraud.

51. ALWAYS use the right tool for the job.

52. A little knowledge IS a dangerous thing. Any less can get you killed.

53. Women give sex to get love. Men give love to get sex. Unfortunately, both are able to 'fake it'.

54. Friends will help you move. REAL friends will help you move a body.

55. Never elect a popular political candidate and then expect him to follow through on unpopular promises. An easygoing candidate does not, generally speaking, have the cohones to make the hard decisions that must occasionally be made.

56. Government is not the problem. People who make their living off the Government (in whatever manner or capacity) are the problem. Your average elected representative is just as frustrated as you are by burgeoning bureaucracy.

57. Some people will never be satisfied until they have EVERYTHING their neighbors have. This is why Hawaii has an interstate highway.

58. Aids is not a punishment from God. It IS proof that God knew what he was talking about.

59. Ferris Beuller: "Life goes by pretty fast, if you don't stop once in a while and look around, you could miss it."

60. People are better at policing themselves than they are at being policed...as long as there is an incentive to do so.

61. Abortion on demand makes about as much sense as Euthanasia on demand; especially as the ones most affected don't have any say in the matter.

62. L. Ron Hubbard: "Good art displays a level of technical expertise sufficient to evoke an emotional response."

63. Wherever you find a vehemently argued and passionately defended viewpoint in conflict with its polar opposite, the truth of whichever principle or event that is being debated will usually be found somewhere between the two extreme views. This observation does not apply to matters of Life and Death.

64. Socrates: "By this you may know a wise man: that all the fools are in league against him."

65. You should love people and use things; it just doesn't work the other way 'round.

66. Buckley's Mixture will not cure your cold; merely throttle it into submission.

67. History NEVER repeats itself. Human nature constantly repeats itself. Those who do not learn the lessons of the past, can look forward to making the same mistakes in the future.

68. Mankind cannot destroy the earth. Even if we reduced this planet to a radioactive cinder, some sort of life would come along eventually and take hold. We cannot save the earth, either; but we MAY be able to save ourselves.

69. Never trust an altruist, he'll sell you out for the sake of a 'higher purpose'.

70. Anyone who says "it's easy as taking candy from a baby", never tried taking candy from a baby.

71. Making money successfully in the markets is not a game, it is not a hobby, it is not even a career...It's a lifestyle. Look at those who are most successful at it: they have committed their lives to it, almost to the exclusion of all other pursuits. There is an almost religious devotion evident.

72. Learn to play chess. You don't have to become a Grand Master, or even a good player; just learn to play.

73. One year from now, you will essentially be the same person you are at this moment. Two factors may make a difference: the books you read, and the people you meet.

74. Amateur Astronomy is a worthy pursuit. If the Solar System is our neighborhood, most people don't know enough about it to find the nearest corner store.

75. Keep a journal. How else are you going to get a good look at who you were?

76. Always pay cash. Credit debt can literally stress you to death.

77. The Great Secret of Wealth: own few things, control many things.

78. An easy way to become a millionaire is to teach 10 people to become millionaires, in return for a 10% cut.

79. Three Unbreakable Rules of The Road: 1. Always stop at a blind corner. 2. Never back up in traffic. 3. Always LOOK before you change direction.

80. Character is what you are in the dark.

81. Youth violence stems partially from the fact that we are counting on the state to raise our children as good little citizens. We should instead be raising them ourselves to be honorable Men and Women. This is difficult when: 1. You don't know what honor is, 2. You wouldn't know how to teach it even if you did, 3. You can't be bothered to teach even if you knew how...

82. Frugality is a way of life.

83. Always expect an unpopular (elected!) politician to propose unpopular policies...and follow through on them -- after all, he's got nothing to lose until re-election time.

84. Learn to do as much for yourself as you can. Become a Generalist. After all, "specialization is for insects" (Robert Heinlein).

85. "Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door" -- Unless the mousetrap industry has a powerful government lobby, or the environmental movement determines that your invention threatens the mice's right to exist.

86. Philosophy is the opiate of the intelligentsia.

87. It is statistically impossible for everyone and everything about a particular subject to be wrong. Truth exists. It can always be found somewhere and it is always known by someone. The difficulty lies in determining which person or source has the truth you are seeking.

88. Often the most elegant solution to a problem is the one that requires the most preparation.

89. In a world where complete honesty is a dream and an ideal, only dreamers and idealists are being completely honest.

90. The Gospel of Jesus Christ was given to comfort the afflicted -- and afflict the comfortable.

91. It's not Paranoia if 'They' really ARE out to get you...

92. A thing is worth only what someone will pay for it.

93. Ayn Rand was right about one thing: the only moral basis human beings have for dealing with each other is free and equal exchange: value freely given for value received.

94. Sir Richard Francis Burton: "The fortune of a man who sits, sits also."

95. When taxes are revolting, so should citizens be...

96. Pornography is Prostitution as a spectator sport.

97. Voyeurism is Sex as a spectator sport.

98. Sex can be beautiful, sacred, and profoundly touching. It can also be common, absurd, and pointless. The same goes for religious belief. It all depends whether or not you wish to savor, or ridicule...Those who ridicule have missed the point entirely.

99. A Free Press is a wonderful thing...especially where 'free' is defined as 'responsible' and managing editors (and the politicians they enjoy a symbiotic relationship with) determine what is and is not 'responsible'.

100. Clean Fuels, Free Energy, cures for Cancer and other deadly diseases...NONE of these things are going to be handed to you. You and I will just have to work for them and struggle against the status quo the same way our forbears did for the Automobile, Electricity, and the Telephone.

I began writing the above partially to answer some of the claims made by the more strident elements in the Libertarian Movement. There seems to be a lot of call for 'simple solutions' to be enacted to solve one or more of society's ongoing ills. There is a general feeling that those in power should DO something. Of course, the proposed solutions seldom address the REAL issues, which I tried to point out here.
Some of the wisdom collected here came from my two year stint as a Missionary for the LDS Church (you'll know 'em when you see 'em). A few come from my parents (you might be surprised if you knew which!), and, of course, the rest gather from my own experience.
I am in the unenviable position of having to stand by these statements. Some are a little vague; perhaps too open to interpretation, but I stand by them just the same. Your interpretations are your own business, I know what I meant...I think.
You may agree or disagree with some or all of what I have to say here...quite frankly, I might be wrong in one or two (or more) instances...that is to say, I don't think I'm wrong -- but I would not be too surprised to find out that I was wrong. As to the quotes I picked up from various people and sources along the way; well, make of them what you will. I have no doubt that there are other nuggets of wisdom voiced by the great and near-great that deserve to be here...but I don't know about them. Pardon my ignorance, and enjoy...