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NeoNote — There is no "Judeo-Christian faith."

There is no "Judeo-Christian faith."

You're talking about disparate groups that range from Orthodox Jews to Mormons to Christian Scientists and every possible variation in between.

Their arguments among each other lead to pluralism, the American religious virtue that no one wants to talk about. No, it's always how only their particular sect is enlightened and humble enough to show the way to peace and prosperity. Which is why they think they should be "in charge." Everyone else only exists on their sufferance. Well, that's not how it has worked.

The only thing that unites them is their willingness to live and let live so long as others let them do the same. And I have news for you, they didn't get that from their holy writings.



Case in point and an overlooked example in this day and age.

For centuries, Jews were only tolerated in "Christian" nations as long as they had something the rulers wanted.

Another case in point. How many Christian monarchs waged war on each other "officially" in the name of Christianity?

Before you tell me that doesn't matter, I'll remind you of all the Bible that you routinely ignore today, including the explicit and detailed instructions on slavery.

Trade did more for pluralism and religious freedom than anything else. In fact, I just read a piece that discussed using commerce as an alternative to outrage. No matter what the flowery words, no matter what the justification, practical economics does more than religion. If you're lucky, religion and faith may point the way. But real tolerance and freedom lies in trade.

If your faith works for you and makes you a better person, more power to you. If it inspires you, great. But raising one faith above all others and demanding that everyone else submit is not freedom.



No, but that isn't the point.

I believe that the measure of a man can be found in the lives he touches. Vice or virtue is not in the label, but in the words, actions, and choices of the individual.

If you are going to claim enlightenment in the name of your faith, you'd better damn well accept the sins as well.

Recently on another site, I was discussing the actions of Christians and the American government towards the Amerindians. From the late nineteenth century after the Civil War, the American government set out to eradicate various tribes and cultures. From the 1890s to the 1930s, if was Official Policy®. Some parts didn't change until well into the 1970s (Indian Self-Determination and Education Assistance Act of 1975), other parts didn't change until the 1990s.

The treatment of Hawaiian culture and language is another example. The push to suppress was led by Christian missionaries, something that still isn't widely acknowledged in this day and age.

I don't want to hear about the virtues of Christianity. Tell me about the good men and women who live their faith instead of spouting seldom-remembered verses from dusty books.



No, trade didn't do it all. But trade did do it better. And the great thing about it, over time trade improves things. Literally everything from technology to infrastructure to racial attitudes. Once you start making allowances for the other guy's thoughts and feelings, it's only a short step, hop, and skip to the ethic of reciprocity. The free market is still the only thing humanity has developed with a feedback loop and improvement bias built in.

I wouldn't write off China just yet. I still think that in the long run Hong Kong is going to be rightfully called The City That Ate A Country.



"Live and let live" didn't originate with Christianity and it certainly didn't originate with Judaism. More to the point (grins), Christians themselves didn't follow that idea consistently until the later half of the 20th. Even there, I have to credit trade more than faith.



Personally I prefer the original motto, E pluribus unum.

Where it originates isn't important unless you wish to establish the primacy of your faith over all others. It was Constantine's choice, to shift from one faith among many to one faith above all. The problem with making faith political is that it takes individual choice out of the equation. Faith becomes just another duty imposed by the state on it's subjects.

So for a moment, let me ask which is more important? To have "Judeo-Christianity" acknowledged as the paramount faith and The One True Way? Or just accept that how we treat each other surpasses the label?



But trade was the foundation of Greece and Rome. Trade is what turned the U.S. into a super-power.

You didn't answer the question though. Which is more important, the label or the deed? Which should be cherished?



See, this is the thing. Leaving aside the issue that not all (or even most) Jews agree with the premise "Judeo-Christian," if you claim morality and ethics set "Judeo-Christianity" apart, then you have to acknowledge all the bad and downright evil things that have been done. The Bible is not history, but history is full of terrible deeds done in the name of Christianity. I've pointed out some, such as the treatment of Amerindicans.

There's already situational ethics and multiple quagmires. Number three of the Decalogue prohibits graven images. That pretty much eliminates all crucifixes, Ten Commandment monuments, and by a strict interpretation any physical crosses entirely. And that greatest hits list puts that above honoring your parents.

Even sticking to the NT is problematical. Whole libraries have been published to deal with some of the issues. For example, if one questions if Paul is really a true apostle, doesn't that raise serious questions about his (supposed) writings? And then you have the interpretations and translations of the interpretations.

Christianity has done some magnificent things, but it has also done some draconian things. There's nothing to raise Christianity's history over a dozen other faiths except it's tolerance. And that came despite the intramural conflicts. If you look closely (and with the single exception of ending the slave trade), the good things that Christianity has done have had their roots in trade. Religion is the justification after the fact.



We do disagree. I don't think "Judeo-Christian" or "Judeo-Christianity" is a thing. If it had been Western Civilization, I probably wouldn't have said anything.



Ah, this is going to be one of those.

Yes, I picked two "extreme" versions of Christianity. I could have just as easily picked the Catholics and the Methodists. My point from the first is that there isn't a "pure" form of "Judeo-Christianity" and that label draws false equivalences between sects that have very little to do with each other.

Even if you eliminate the Essenes, sectarianism predates the "historical Jesus." There is no one thread that links Judaism and Christianity. Christianity picks and chooses which parts of Judaism it uses and leaves the rest in the trash bin. From the very beginning, Christianity has also been marked by sectarianism. Christian rulers have also ruthlessly suppressed the sects they could not control.

But let's return to the assumption that Christianity is THE successor to Judaism and is therefore entitled to proclaim what is true.

For our purposes here, there are three significant differences between Christianity and Judaism. First are the textual differences. There are books in the Torah that are not part of Christian canon, and of course the entire New Testament (any version) is not found in Jewish law. Second is the Christian assertion of Jesus as the Messiah (leaving aside the question of if he existed). And finally the Christian announcement there is a new covenant that replaces Jews as G*D's chosen people.

Taken together, these differences reduce Judaism from a living faith to a curious relic that exists only because Christians sometimes find it interesting. Why in the World would devout Jews be part of that?

Of course there are many more differences than those I listed. But the underlying assumption of "Judeo-Christian" thought is that men and women have moved on from Judaism because it is less important than Christianity. "Judeo-Christianity" claims to honor Judaism all while diminishing it's contributions. "Judeo-Christianity" is a one-sided exchange that treats Judaism as a second class source, occasionally tolerated but seldom valued on it's own merits.



Well, this is embarrassing. It's not very often I make two mistakes in row. It's my own fault for not double checking my memory. I forgot that The Twelve are broken into separate books in the Christian OT.

Still, the order and emphasis changes the meaning. So there are textual differences beyond the NT.

If the Christian view of the new covenant includes all peoples including the ones who didn't choose it, then yeah, everyone got shoehorned in there. This assumption is one thing that really annoys non-Christians, not only are Christians presuming to speak for us but we get no choice in the matter.

Bible verses don't impress me.

“If that "Living Word" exists, it has to be in the hearts and souls of those people who have really embraced it. It's not in a dusty book. The verses don't matter except to show you the way. Tell me what lives behind those printed words. Tell me how you turned your sacrifice into a blessing.”
NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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❝All religions are not equal…❞

All religions are not equal, not because of their doctrine or sacred writings but because individuals chose to make it better. For example, for centuries the Bible was literally considered the how-to guide for making slavery practical. And not just among Christians.

The writings didn't change.

As a libertarian, I oppose government sponsored foreign aid. For what it's worth, I oppose government sponsored domestic aid for obvious reasons.
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from crux № 5 - making mistakes

Freedom means making mistakes and learning to deal with the consequences

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Freedom of the press

CNN sues President Trump and White House for banning reporter Jim Acosta

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Creating protected classes

…it represents yet another example of the government creating protected classes in order to advance political agendas, and gifting them special rights and privileges which result in ludicrous yet predictable outcomes bringing misery to ordinary people.
— Tim Newman, Playing with fire

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NeoNote — Using the law to compel belief

Anytime you see "thou shalt not dissent," it should be a flashing red strobe and a triple siren.

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The more control they have…

For any serious student of history, one of the great realisations that occurs at some point is that governments are inherently controlling by nature. The more control they have, the more they desire and the more they pursue. After all, governments actually produce nothing. They exist solely upon what they can extract from the people they rule over. Therefore, their personal success is not measured by how well they serve their people, it’s measured by how much they can extract from the people.

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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Tax complexity

Tax complexity is a breeding ground for government corruption. It's much easier to add new corporate handouts to a tax code that's already overrun with favoritism, and it's simpler for politicians to justify adding narrowly targeted benefits when the practice is already common. Businesses, in turn, have an incentive to spend more time and resources lobbying the government than satisfying customers.
     — Veronique de Rugy, Extending the Electric Vehicle Tax Credit Undermines Tax Reform

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Nine percent

Years ago I came up with a crazy tax scheme that was so nutty it might work. Here's the revised version.

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NeoNote — The nature of politcs

Ever notice when someone picks a scapegoat, it's because they think the scapegoat can't fight back?

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NeoNote — No sane reason

People can do most things on their own without government help, direction, or control.

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NeoNote — Online monopolies

Facebook, Twitter, Google, Apple, all got big by offering something the competition did not have. No one was forced.

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Weighing benefits against costs

Weighing benefits against costs is the way most people make decisions – and the way most businesses make decisions, if they want to stay in business. Only in government is any benefit, however small, considered to be worth any cost, however large.
     — Thomas Sowell
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What they want

It is amazing how many people think that the government's role is to give them what they want by overriding what other people want.
     — Thomas Sowell
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“American Independence”

Samuel Adams delivered this speech from the steps of the State House in Philadelphia on August 1, 1776. This was the day before the famous parchment copy of the Declaration of Independence was signed.

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NeoNote — What conservatives see

Because for them, it’s not about skin color. It’s about merit.

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Obliged

So if elected officials no longer honor the Constitution and rig the game so it isn't possible to elect anyone not approved by national party leadership, what obligations do citizens have to honor and respect the government?
     — NeoWayland
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Better government

We've not had a "better" government in decades. Good government is not measured by how much government controls, but by how much it doesn't. It's no accident that America's greatest advances come from places that government doesn't regulate.
     — NeoWayland
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When you go down that road

What is ominous is the ease with which some people go from saying that they don't like something to saying that the government should forbid it. When you go down that road, don't expect freedom to survive very long.
— Thomas Sowell
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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Government WILL abuse power

Government WILL abuse power. The only long term answer is reducing the power that government has.
     — NeoWayland
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Abortion & contraception

I have mixed feelings on abortion. The one thing I am sure about is that it should not be paid for by government. There are many reasons, but the main one is that it's always easier to spend someone else's money.

Contraception is less complicated. Sex is (or should be) a voluntary act. You choose to have sex. Your neighbors should no more pay for your contraception than they should pay for your designer shoes. This is an example of what I was talking about. If government gives you benefits at the expense of others, it's privilege.
     — NeoWayland
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Gun control

“Is that what they are saying? Is that right?”

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Chief meaning of freedom

I want the people of America to be able to work less for the government and more for themselves. I want them to have the rewards of their own industry. This is the chief meaning of freedom. Until we can reestablish a condition under which the earnings of the people can be kept by the people, we are bound to suffer a very severe and distinct curtailment of our liberty.
     — Calvin Coolidge
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16th Amendment

\s\ In a TOTALLY unrelated fact that has nothing to do with government abuse of power, including weakening 4th & 5th Amendment protections to the point of uselessness, today is the anniversary of the 16th Amendment and the modern American income tax.

Your government needs to know what you are doing so it can protect you. No need to worry, Citizen, government knows what is best for you at all times. \s\
     — NeoWayland
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from crux № 12 — climate change

Climate change" is losing it's credibility with the public, and it's dragging the environmental movement down with it.

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Monday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNote — Achievement

The FedGovs have deliberately kept "the Rez" Amerindians out of the American Dream.

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“Stossel: The Fight Against Food Trucks”

“Protectionism at play? Politicians say food trucks are "unfair competition" for restaurants.”

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They say

Conservatives say the government can't end poverty by force, but they believe it can use force to make people moral. Liberals say government can't make people be moral, but they believe it can end poverty. Neither group attempts to explain why government is so clumsy and destructive in one area but a paragon of efficiency and benevolence in the other.
     — Harry Browne
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Nature of government

Government gets bigger and more oppressive, that is the nature of government.
     — NeoWayland
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Distrust government

I distrust the very notion of government. Especially an ever expanding government with no apparent restraints where the only real concern is when “your guys” aren't in charge.
     — NeoWayland
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Tragedy of the “American Century”

That is the tragedy of the “American Century.” We forgot that liberty can't be imposed by the top down, it has to be seized from the bottom up.

As long as our government plays the games of international brinkmanship and global politics, we lose.

We're best when we protect our own freedom and inspire others though our example. People in other nations have to crave freedom and demand their own rights. It's the only way it will take root.

As a nation, we can't take out another government except by invading. Historically, that has not worked out well for America. It certainly destroyed our prestige.

But building trade, private investment in local economies, that delivered wonders.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — Lower the cost of medical care

Government has shielded the medical industry and the medical insurance markets from the very things that would make medicine better.

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Less government

Always, always, always less government than absolutely necessary.
     — NeoWayland
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Strong women

The really strong women don't depend on government to do it for them.

They don't need to.
     — NeoWayland
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On public statues

Why should a city, state, or federal government put statues in public parks? Doing so addresses no plausible market failure, while using taxpayers funds and, as demonstrated tragically over the past few weeks, generates controversy, polarization, and violence. Thus governments should take down all statues, regardless of their political implications.

This is not “erasing” history but instead leaving it where it belongs, in the hands of private actors and mechanisms. Historians, textbook authors, universities, learned societies, the History Channel, and many other individuals and organizations can all present their own views of history and battle for the hearts and minds of the public. Government statues are government putting its thumb on the scale, which is one step down the slippery slope of thought control.
     — Jeffrey Miron, Statues

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Without government

Asking “without government, who will build the roads?” is like asking, “without slavery, who will pick the cotton?”
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Governments make lousy banks

Governments make lousy banks. Politicos want re-election and technocrats are unaccountable. Both measure their success by spending taxpayer's money. There's no incentive to contain costs or make a profit.
     — NeoWayland
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Thursday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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NeoNotes — the Johnson amendment

As I said, the tax exempt status is a "devil's trade" intended in large part to silence churches.

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The message was clear

The message was clear. There are problems but your Government Is Taking Care Of It. You don't have to worry. It's Somebody Else's Problem. You don't have to be responsible. Just put the right people in charge. Give more money. Give more authority. Sacrifice more rights. Repeat until we get it right. And don't ask too many questions.
     — NeoWayland
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from crux № 13 — Competiton

Competition drives the free market…

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Reaction

Government is reactive. What individuals choose is much more important than the credit that politicos claim. Lasting change only happens when enough people got angry enough to demand change.
     — NeoWayland
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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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“The War On Cars”

“There is a war against cars in America. Regulators want Americans out of cars and onto trains, buses, and bicycles. Why? Because of what cars represent -- freedom. Automotive expert Lauren Fix ("The Car Coach") explains.”

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NeoNotes — ban it

But you can't ban it because you dislike it. You can't outlaw it because if offends you. You can't lock it away and hope no one finds the key.

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NeoNotes — enabling racism

My mom's family is Louisiana farming stock. My natural father was not around long enough for me to know his family. I was born in Ganado, one of the few bilagáana born on the Navajo reservation. I've lived my entire life in the four state region, and I've lived with casual racism from the very first.

Without exception, the worst racism I've seen has been enabled by government. It could be keeping inner city mothers pregnant and unmarried. It could be hiring "tokens" when they weren't qualified. It could be stealing mineral rights while keeping tribal governments from hiring capable attorneys. But mostly it's keeping certain groups of people dependent on government daily. Always, they're told how they are victims. Always, they are told that only government can give them a fair shake. Always, they are told that Nasty People want to keep them down. And as long as they stay dependent, things never get better for them.

That's the tyranny that is rooted in progressivism and other forms of statism.

NeoNotes are the selected comments that I made on other boards, in email, or in response to articles where I could not respond directly.

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NeoNotes — public accommodation law is wrong - updated

You can't grant equal rights to all citizens and have "protected groups." Beware the exceptions.

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Cash means freedom

“The End of Cash; The End of Freedom”

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Monday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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from crux № 19 — Free market

It constantly amazes me that the defenders of the free market are expected to offer certainty and perfection while government has only to make promises and express good intentions.
     — Lawrence W. Reed

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Supervillian territory

George Soros wants to disrupt society so government steps in and he can profit. The man is a secret lair away from supervillian territory.
     — NeoWayland

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Thursday roundup 20Jul2017

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Itemized deductions

Itemized deductions are extortion. Government takes your money. You beg for it back. Government might give it to you.

If you are especially nice and if you do as you are told.
     — NeoWayland

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Monday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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from crux № 11 — Ultimate truth

I've seen the arguments in enough other contexts to distrust anyone who claims rationality prevents any opposing view. Even more so when they dismiss any other possibility unheard because they have the Ultimate Truth That Must Not Be Questioned.
     — NeoWayland
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Language of force

“Tear Gas, Guns and Riot Squads: The Police State’s Answer to Free Speech Is Brute Force”

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NeoNotes — government requires

If you didn't choose your morality and if you do not commit to your morality, is it really yours?

Or did it just get sacrificed for the greater good?
     — NeoWayland
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from crux № 16 — My beliefs

I believe that people are perfectly capable of making their own choices and that society is the better if people do exactly that.

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Worthless

Government is the only institution that can take a valuable commodity like paper, and make it worthless by applying ink.
     — Ludwig von Mises

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Wisdom of government

I do not trust in the wisdom of government.
     — NeoWayland
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Trust you

If government doesn’t trust you, why should you trust government?
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — Health care funding

Which raises the question why should care be publicly funded?

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Authority

Government authority tends to be used against those least likely to resist.
     — NeoWayland

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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Not your friend

Government is not your friend. Even when the "right" people are in charge.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — Deserved to be heroes

For length reasons, this entry appears on it's own page.

“We let generations be victims when they deserved to be heroes.”

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Greatest crimes of our times

Most people are still unwilling to face the most alarming lesson of modern history: that the greatest crimes of our time have been committed by governments that had the enthusiastic support of millions of people who were guided by moral impulses.
     — F.A. Hayek, The Mirage of Social Justice

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from crux № 10 — the system

We've been taught that government is supposed to govern and control the other guy.

That's the guy who is the problem.

Not us. Never us. It's not our fault.

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Government shutdown

And this would be a bad thing how?

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Official Solution®

Once there is an Official Solution® even if it's a really really bad one, government will resist any attempt to make it better.
     — NeoWayland

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“Resistance to Civil Government”
(“Civil Disobedience”)

Thoreau wrote in protest of slavery and the Mexican-American War to reveal great truths. He places the individual over the state.

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I agree

Anything government touches turns to crap. Good thing government won't touch liberty with a 10-foot pole!
     — Kent McManigal, "Diversity"

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NeoNotes — The screws

Almost nobody bothers to ask if the screws should exist in the first place.

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NeoNotes — Make Your Choice

Are people better if they are more free or more controlled?

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NeoNotes — Free markets mean liberty

With government interference, one side exploits the others.

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NeoNotes — Government doesn't compete

There's no incentive to make it better

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Undocumented means illegal

We can argue whether the law is morally right or not.

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Tiny houses banned

“Tiny Homes Banned in U.S. at Increasing Rate as Govt Criminalizes Sustainable Living”

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Government & religion

Religion cannot be allowed the coercive power of government. Government cannot be allowed the moral justification of religion.
     — NeoWayland, United We Stand

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Ideas

The kind of man who demands that government enforce his ideas is always the kind whose ideas are idiotic.
     — H.L. Mencken, A Mencken Chrestomathy

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