Was it ignorance or intent?

I went down the see Verlander pitch against the Tigers in early May. I luv the pitch clock, that game just flew by, but both pitchers, Verlander and Rodriguez for the Tigers were fast workers, and they were throwing strikes. MLB has actually made some positive changes to the game.

Traffic getting out of Detroit, on the other hand, what a mess.
It was a day game, couple everybody getting out of the ballpark with everybody getting out of work, and all of the highway construction, took us about 75 minutes to go 15 miles. Even tried getting off the highway and working our way around the construction, but that was just as bad.

Detroit sure looks like it’s thriving, glad to see it. I won’t be back until that construction is cleared up, though.

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It is going to be years before all the maintenance that had been put off for years gets caught up, and that is only if we don’t have “regime change” in Lansing. If we have “regime change”, then it will be back to the program of the last 40 years: give more to the “JCs”, and pay for it by defunding everything else.

I’m tickled because the Gov is phasing out the tax on pension and IRA income, that Snyder enacted to help pay for his two rounds of tax cuts for “JCs”.



What universe are you guys living in?

A bit of cognitive dissonance here as meritocracy inevitably leads to elites. And there were elites well before the Civil Rights movement. The Declaration of Independence and The U.S. Constitution were written by elites with the equivalent of Ivy League educations. You think the Joe six-pack of the time could have done it?

And the criticism of science is odd given that we are living in an age when scientific and technological advances are accelerating as never before. We can genetically modify organisms and see what the universe looked like shortly after the Big Bang for gosh sakes! Science has never been more successful.

There is far more meritocracy today in America than at any point in American history. You think a working class kid of any color, even a white male one, had much of a chance to go to Yale in 1950?


At first I was going to skip this reply as I don’t talk to extraterrestrials but I soldiered on, just in case there was something to it, I’m glad I did

Yes, there is something to it. Animals, humans included, live in hierarchies, some more tolerable than others.

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

June 23, 2007

Three Freedoms: Civil, Economic, and Political

In the preface to the 2002 edition of Capitalism and Freedom, Milton Friedman wrote:

A final personal note: it is a rare privilege for an author to be able to evaluate his own work forty years after it first appeared. I appreciate very much having the chance to do so. I am enormously gratified by how well the book has withstood time and how pertinent it remains to today’s problems. If there is one major change I would make, it would be to replace the dichotomy of economic freedom and political freedom with the trichotomy of economic freedom, civil freedom and political freedom. After I finished the book, Hong Kong, before it was returned to China, persuaded me that while economic freedom is a necessary condition for civil and political freedom, political freedom, desirable though it may be, is not a necessary condition for economic and civil freedom. Along these lines, the one major defect in the book seems to me an inadequate treatment of the role of political freedom, which under some circumstances promotes economic and civil freedom, and under others, inhibits economic and civil freedom.

o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o o

What has changed, why are humans living in a different universe? Technology! It was predicted by George Orwell 75 years ago in his book 1984.

In the old days one could hide from authority fairly easily, for example as outlaws in Sherwood Forest. With modern technology there is nowhere to hide. Our privacy as been stolen, cameras everywhere, IP tracking, government snooping (FBI, CIA, NSA, etc.), IoT chips in everything, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc., etc. Soon digital currency will replace cash. leaving even less space to hide.

Target finds out your teenage daughter is pregnant before daddy finds out.


2020 WOKE disclaimer

Simply put, the elites have too much effective power and want more by the day. Not just governments and bureaucracies, the Davos gang.

The Captain


Samuelson proved him wrong in everything.

Friedman’s idea of freedom was a lack of responsibility and then lying endlessly about how great everyone who followed him was.

All Friedman excused was not paying taxes legally and illegally. Undeclared illegally not paying taxes but that was a result.


Yep! Just two days ago a brave District Chair spoke truth to power - challenging that grant-captured science and Patriot Act buffoonery.


So what exactly are you against? Any merit based system will build an elite class. Take capitalism for example. Some people are better at making money than others. They become wealthy. With wealth inevitably comes power. With power, the wealthy can create an uneven playing field to become even wealthier. Then comes the revolution.

To avoid this outcome the only counterweight to the wealthy is government. The government protects the non-wealthy by regulating what the wealthy can do and to redistribute wealth.

So where do you think the problem lies? Are you against capitalism and meritocracy, two processes that create elites? Is government not doing enough to curb the power of the rich?


I’m an anarchist at heart, the original kind of anarchist that had a philosophy very much like Ayn Rand’s. Anarchism them moved to voluntary collectivism in places like Barcelona, Spain. It kept moving further left until it was effectively taken over by Karl Marx. A good idea gone to pot.

What am I exactly against? Command and control by unelected elites.

The Captain

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I hear ya. I’m not saying this to “argue” but just as a practical matter.
Your idea/Rand’s doesn’t work. It looks like it should but doesn’t

  1. – There’s money. 'Nuff said about that. Corrupt, gone to pot as you say
  2. – No elected official or group thereof will or can have all the knowledge and experience/expertise necessary to do whatever it is you would be OK with them doing. (That’s another roadblock. Other people will have other ideas) So, who ya gonna call? Like when you need a plumber you call a plumber. Because you can’t be a plumber AND a doctor AND a roofer AND a car mechanic AND a dentist… These unelected repositories of knowledge and expertise have power because they know you need what they have. They are thereby corrupt in some sense to some extent. But there is no other way to get things done collectively. You can have laws and inspectors/regulators (not elected but appointed BY the elected. Maybe that’s OK…?) And you can have moral codes. ie People don’t do corrupt things simply because they know it is wrong to do them. That is not Randian freedom. It is more like religion.

All those things sort of squelch the Randian concept of freedom. If we all go single-o or tribal, we are back to the jungle. No progress. No modern life. And what would there be to celebrate? The idea of “society” and indeed the very idea of civilization is based on the premise “We all give up our natural free agency and submit to a collective idea in order to gain more than we give up.”

Now, we can do this for better or for worse and that is the never ending story. There is no “One Way.” Even if we achieved perfection it would be gone in 24 hours as soon as somebody changes their mind. Why people keep embracing ideas like Rand, or Marx or Friedman, or pick your half-baked, not-very-well-thought-out snake oil and jojoba dealer as if they knew anything, has always been a mystery to me.

That Randian stuff / anarcho capitalism, and Marxism are of the same genetic material and are equally wrong. They both require human perfection. They insist that all the people coming and going as they please will always do the right thing and the world will be perfect. That kind of freedom and that kind of perfection have never existed. I mostly hear uninformed and laughably idealistic “Hippie types” and disgruntled old people talk about things with that kind of certainty. But hey, Rand and Friedman and Sowell, and Marx, and Chomsky are considered “Elites.” They will (or would if they were still alive) deny it but they would fool NO-ONE. They would just lie.


Then there is the Robert Welch plan: no elections at all. Rule by a self-appointed elite, because, if the people are allowed to vote, they will elect Communists.



So you just go along with the flow? I try to minimize the damage. Of course one can’t have one’s way all the time so I look for the least bad. One way is to remain as independent as possible. For 20 years I coexisted with Chavismo in Venezuela, in effect Venezuela had become a client state of China and Cuba. Venezuela went from the in place to go to to the place to avoid. I took my precautions, In 1985 I put my finances off shore. In 2005 I got a German passport. In 2019 I made use of it. It’s a question of navigating a sea of troubles. That’s ‘practical.’

Ignoring the noise makers (not you, I’m talking to you) is also a part of the game.

The Captain

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If one looks at the great achievements of human civilization, from the eradication of small pox to the substantial reduction of global poverty, none were achieved by anarchy.

World Poverty Rate 1981-2023 | MacroTrends.


In fact, they were achieved by way of the the ongoing and quite natural tendency of humans to attempt to avoid anarchy

I was just thinking. Where are the anarchists on the issue of copyrights and patents? Naturally they’d have to be against them but then again you can’t get rich by doing something once. You have to force people to pay you an infinite amount of times for what you’ve already done. I know anarcho-capitalists are really big on that. How would a system like that even exist if not for The Collective? The heat. Power. Force. All working on behalf of some and concomitantly against all the others?

How would property even exist since the idea is created en toto out of a hat? Simply define property as… whatever you want it to be. Or not. Or something else. And whose power makes it so? And who the hell is he anyway? Who would write and enforce that rule? Certainly not the people who don’t agree with it. Complete Freedom is slavery. Like government and fire. A fearful master and a dangerous servant.

There was a history prof who had a show on PBS in the late 80’s. You could get college credit for following along. (The Western Tradition" I think) In one episode he said “Throughout human history, whenever you find people who claim to be fighting for their freedom, the first thing they do after winning it is start looking for someone to tell them what to do.” With or without government or The Collective (organized society/civilization) you can bet somebody will be telling you what to do. If they’re nice they’ll tell you it’s good for you too.


Does that mean people shoot at you? Or try and run you over in your driveway? Or take your house away from you?

What is an anarchist?

Do not point at Ayn Rand all she did was write screenplays. She knew absolutely nothing about life at all. Claiming you know something when you clearly don’t means you might get a movie deal in Hollywood. She never owned a company. She never managed anything. She was a pretty broke writer. She contributed nothing to this world. She confused the hell out of a lot of guys who do not want to pay taxes. She came up with labels like anarchist which just mean “drop out”.


I keep it simpler. I refuse to take advice on organizing the US from someone who - as a non citizen - took advantage of what the US had to offer, then left the country.



You need to know the difference between the philosophy of Anarchism and anarchy as a form of behavior. As with the appellative ‘Atheist’ ‘Anarchist’ was not a good word choice. Just as Christianity could fall into Inquisition so the original Anarchism morphed into Marxism. I would recommend reading No Gods No Masters: An Anthology of Anarchism. My initial picture of an Anarchist was a bomb throwing terrorist. While researching Atheism I stumbled on this title (the ‘No Gods’ part) which piqued my curiosity and I learned something new.

The Captain

You are making up irrelevant scenarios. Anarchism was about the form of government, Anarchism was against organized government and in favor communal living, a bit like the Kibbutz in Israel which also failed.

The problem is that beyond a very small number of people there needs to be a better organized structure which is why humanity went from groups of hunters gatherers to tribes, to clans, to city states, to nations, to empires. That is the reason America is a Republic instead of a Democracy. Clearly these organizations can achieve more than tribes of hunters gatherers but at the cost of individual liberty, we become cogs in a large machine. Anarchism was a counterpoint to organization.

The Captain

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Mumbo Jumbo and total confusion for anyone trying to buy into it.

I snapped out of the Rand stuff like the majority of young guys who have read it.