Excuse me while I clean this place up. Give me a few days.
For the record, though I don’t believe it will affect bidding, the Unofficial Tattoo Fund have bid collectively at $80.
These funds will be forwarded to the appropriate organizations when it is confirmed that Meg has received payment of the winning bid. Look for a new set of Chip In funds for Megs next tattoo sale!
Cross Posted at FreeKeene.
You may have read that Meg McLain is selling off her body. No, not for that. She’s selling a 2″x2″ tattoo. To help out I’m collecting donations to buy either a Free Keene, Free Talk Live, Freedomain Radio, or Center for a Stateless Society logo tattooed on Meg.
Donations can be made via ChipIn. If no one organization has the winning bid, the bids will be pooled, and whichever organizations ChipIn was the largest will be the logo used in the tatoo. If that doesn’t win a tattoo, all funds raised will be sent to their respective organizations.
There was a time in my life, not that long ago, that I thought the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were just. There was a time I got angry at the government for its impositions on people. There was a time that I hated the politicians for not following their oaths. There was a time I thought that the only way to remove the horrible corruption of government was violent revolution, and I waited for the first shot. I’ve come to realize that the wars, both in Iraq and Afghanistan, and quite likely every war the US has engaged in since 1776 has been unjust, aggressive, and wrong. I no longer get angry at the government, I laugh at it. I can no more hate politicians for lying than I can hate a snake for biting, it is their nature. I’ve learned the hard lesson that violence against the government won’t get rid of the violence that IS government.
In September of 2001 the towers of the World Trade Center were brought down and over 3000 people died. In response the US Government demanded that the Taliban, then the de facto government of Afghanistan, turn over the person of Osama Bin Laden. When the Taliban refused, stating that the US Government had not presented any evidence that Bin Laden was responsible for the collapse of the WTC, the US Government invaded Afghanistan and removed the Taliban from power. At that time, I fully supported the war, and the attack on the Afghan nation. I was, at the time, angry and hateful enough to think that the use of nuclear weapons, or at least the threat of them, was justified to bring those responsible to justice. I am proud to be a different person today. If Bin Laden was responsible for the collapse of the WTC towers, as the US Government said, and he admitted on video, it is possible that he did so for the reasons he stated in the same video. It is a fact that the US Government has kept troops in various Middle Eastern countries and propped up various governments in that area. It is a fact that Osama Bin Laden has a stated desire to be the king of Saudi Arabia, and the US Government support for the current king prevents that. It is a fact that the US Government provides military and financial aid to the State of Israel, which angers people in the region. It is very possible that the events of September 11, 2001 were a direct result of the resentment caused in the middle east by these actions of the US Government. If that is the case, then the events of September 11 could be viewed as a desperate act of self-defense, and the continuing war in Afghanistan as nothing more than continued aggression against a group of people who were only trying to protect themselves. I cannot support that. I cannot support aggression any longer. I cannot support war. I must support peace.
Before I found liberty, true liberty, I wondered how government could grow so bloated, and impose itself in so many areas of our lives. I ranted at each new regulation. I cursed each new law. It accomplished nothing. My anger was a pitiful and useless thing against the giant behemoth of the state. Now, I find the state has no power over me. It’s not that the state is gone, just that I no longer accept it, and the premises that make it work. I laugh at its pitiful and useless attempts to control me. There is nothing that the state can do that stops me from being free. They have no power over me. All they have is kidnappers and killers. All they can offer is threats. All they can do is lock me in a cage. They cannot elicit from me any action to which I do not consent, though that consent may be gained under duress. If they force me, I may give in, or not, as I chose. I may pay their extortion, or not.I may obey their statutes, or not. I may comply with their orders, or not. All the guns in the world cannot make me. They take themselves so seriously, and see themselves as so untouchable, and feel so powerful, all the while they can’t make one free man do anything he doesn’t choose to do. They are a joke gone to far. I laugh at their effort to control other people, for no man has that ability. I am free, not because of what they do, or don’t do, but because I know that only I can make myself do anything.
I used to hate politicians. They lied to get their job, took a solemn oath to uphold the US Constitution, and then set about breaking it. I wanted to get the tar and the feathers and ride them out of town on a rail. I repeated things like “Rope, Tree, Politician, Some Assembly required.” I no longer care about politicians. Of course they lie, it’s what they do. Birds fly, chickens fry, politicians lie. Some in the liberty movement have said that the way to deal with politicians is through love, but I can’t muster that much feeling for them. They don’t have that much impact on my life. I’m a free man, free from them, free from hatred, free to not care what they do.
When I supported war, when I was angry, when I was full of hate, I waited for the day the revolution would come. I planed how I would set about bringing violence to those who had harmed me. I knew the day was coming and I wanted to be there, on the front lines. Down that road lies madness. Down that road lie the battered and broken bodies of those who took the false path. Down that road lies Joe Stack, Timothy McVeigh, Lee Harvey Oswald, and every other damned fool who thought that by killing somebody, things would get better. Joe Stack didn’t get rid of the IRS, Timothy McVeigh didn’t get the federal government out of Oklahoma, and Lee Harvey Oswald didn’t get rid of the presidency. All that happened is these men became viewed as crazy, lone wackos who think the government is out to get them. All that happened is that the government reached its tentacles deeper into the lives of everybody. The problem only got worse. I now follow the path of Dr. Martin Luther King, the path of Gandhi, the path of peace. Peace works. Dr. King spoke of peace as the way to make equality for all. Kids today generally find racism to be funny. They laugh at the idea that a person is less than them because of the color of their skin. Gandhi used peaceful non-cooperation and freed India from British rule. Through the path of peace, the government will itself become a joke, and all nations will be free of this Bronze Age idea that one man can rule another.
It’s been a long journey. It has been a hard journey. It has cost me things I valued, and turned many of my heroes to villains. It has taken me from my family, and may have cost me my wife. The road is hard, and fraught with peril. The trip will cost much, but the freedom at the end is beyond price. I don’t regret the path I’ve taken, though the price was high. I’ve found peace, laughter, friends and freedom, things I didn’t have when I set out. A wise man once said, there is no way to peace, peace is the way. To that I would say, there is no way to liberty, liberty is the way.
Sovereign Curtis has been released. Curtis was arrested Tuesday during a 420 celebration in Nashua, and was the 4th activist arrested this week by the Nashua PD. He has a hearing in Nashua on Monday, March 29. If you find yourself in the Nashua area, come out and show your support.
One of the best parts of activism in New Hampshire is the incredible variety of media being created. When an event happens, there are usually videos streaming live to the internet via Qik.com. Up next comes the Ridley Report, and the LCL Report both of which present a compilation of activist video, audio, and photographs to get the story out, often on the same day. Usually the last to post, and the video I anticipate most, is the work of the Obscured Truth Network. Sam Dodson and the rest of the OTN team always present an incredible, high quality product, and a professional news documentary style that the other activists, because of their valuable focus on rapid communication, cannot match. Today, 4 days after the 420 celebration and arrests in Nashua OTN has uploaded their video of the event.
The work Sam does gives the liberty movement a high quality professionalism, that I feel is essential to spreading the idea of liberty, and demonstrates that this is not a movement of a bunch of kids playing at activism.
New Hampshire activist and Free State Project member Mike Barskey was pulled over today just outside of Topeka Kansas. He had been pulled because he did not get out of the passing lane fast enough after a toll booth. After waiting for a K9 unit to sniff his motor-home he was given a warning and sent on his way.
On its own, this event isn’t that interesting. What is interesting is that it is now approximately 1 hour after Mike was pulled over and there are already 2 videos and 7 audio recordings available online of the relatively minor bit of harassment.
In addition I have just learned that area activist Sovereign Curtis has been arrested in Nashua through the same information channels. The speed that activists can spread information is nothing short of amazing, and this is just one more example. Every time the state tries to crack down on peaceful people, their violence is visible to all in mere minutes, not hours, day, or never as it had been in the past.
Barskey’s harassment and audio from Curtis’ arrest is at nh.porcupine411.com
Mike was pulled over again in Kansas, cited for not having insurance, even though it’s not required in the state issuing his license and registration (New Hampshire, yet one more reason to move). Another drug dog sniff, this time it triggered, so his motor-home was searched, nothing found and he was sent on his way.
As of 1:30am Curtis is still in Nashua PD custody, has been fingerprinted, but no info on when he might be released.
Via Porc411 there is news that the Nashua PD was waiting for the repeat 420 event today in Nashua and has arrested local activist Curtis. Activists are converging on the Nashua police station.
It has been requested that people call Nashua PD at 603 594-3500 to seek information.
It has been brought to my attention that Curtis has a back problem and it has been requested that Nashua PD be mad aware of this fact.
Having discussed the form of money, I feel I should go into some detail on its function. As I said before, I’m not an economist, I just play one on teh interwebz. Money serves three major rolls in the market. First, it acts as a medium of exchange, allowing people to trade with anyone in the market without having the specific good their trading partner wants. Money also serves as a measure of a market actors desire for a particular good. The last function I want to discuss is that of information, allowing an individual to make the best decision in any given market situation
A medium of exchange is perhaps the most basic of the functions of money. Without money the fisherman who wants a chair has to hope that the furniture maker wants fish, whereas if money is around, he can trade his fish to anybody who wants fish, weather or not they have a chair. He can then take the money he received for his fish, and trade that to the furniture maker, even if the furniture maker has no desire for fish. This facilitates trade among individuals whom recognize a particular form of money. Without recognition as money, even gold cannot purchase things, except from people who want gold. It is this widespread recognition by multiple individuals that gives gold, silver, or paper its power as money.
Most people don’t think of money as a measure of an individuals desire for a good, but it does serve this purpose. Let us suppose that Alice has $50 and wants an MP3 player. At the store she sees they have 2 models on sale, A)a 2GB for $25 and B)a 8GB for$50. In simple terms of price per gigabyte B is the better deal, and the better apparent value. The question is whether or not Alice values the extra storage at $25, the difference in cost. If Alice values the storage at $20, she won’t buy player B unless the price comes down, and will take player A instead. If Alice valued the extra storage at $30, then she would see the price on player B as a great deal, and buy it.
To see the use of money as information, we need only look at the other side of Alice’s MP3 player purchase. Let us suppose first, that Alice purchased player A. This tells Bob, the store owner, that a customer values $25 more than they value 6GB of storage space in an MP3 Player. If enough customers send this information by purchasing player A, Bob would likely react by either 1) lowering the price of player B until it reached a point where player B was purchased more, and A less, or 2) raising the price of A, thus reducing the cost of the 6GB of storage, and perhaps encouraging purchase of player B. Bob could also choose to do nothing. All three of these possible actions come with risks to take and rewards to gain, and any one of them will give Bob more information to make a better decision. If Bob takes action 1, he runs the risk of lowering the price to a point below his cost, thus taking a loss on the 8GB MP3 players. It gives him some information on what his customers are willing to pay for MP3 players, and encourages him to find a better price for his supply. Option 2 runs risks, in that he may raise the price of player A to the point that his customers aren’t willing to buy that player either, and in addition, rising prices tend to drive customers to competitors. Bob would gain information on how high he could raise the price of player A without losing customers, though this can be difficult to measure, as you can’t count customers who don’t exist because they did go to the competitor. Doing nothing may seem like a good idea, but soon enough Bob will find himself holding on to those MP3 players that are unwanted, and as technology advances, he may soon be able to profitably sell new 8GB MP3 players for $25, and is likely to take a loss on the ones he purchased first and couldn’t sell at a profit.
Now let us suppose that Alice purchased Player B. Bob now receives an entirely different set of information, and would need to take different action to maintain profitability. Bob now knows that a 2GB MP3 player is valued at less than $25, when an 8GB player is available at $50. Again assuming this is a general trend, Bob has a few options, 1) reduce the price of player A, 2) Raise the price of player B, or 3) do nothing. Option 1 runs the same risk in this situation as previously, and offers the same information and encouragements. Option 2 is even more risky now, as he may end up stopping his sales of MP3 players completely. Again, by doing nothing Bob may find himself holding a lot of obsolete merchandise that he can only ever sell at a loss. Without money to serve its vital function of sending the profit/loss signals any market actor would be hard pressed to accurately determine what his customers want, and what they are willing to give up to get it.
Clearly by acting as a medium of exchange, both in goods, and in information, money is a vital tool to the conduct of business in any market. A pure barter system with no money to serve as an exchange medium results in wasted time and resources as each market actor must find a person whom both has what they want, and wants what they have. By helping to quantify desires money enables the customer to make the best decision for how to spend, and it’s importance as information in profit/loss signals is the driving force that allows markets to be self-correcting. Money is the heart and soul of any economy, and well worth understanding.
Over at FreeKeene is a video by Nick Ryder and links to mainstream media articles on the 420 events.