Anything peaceful and voluntary.

Archive for September, 2011

Dealing With Bureaucrats

I talk and write a lot about damage control, limiting the amount of damage bureaucrats intend on causing you.  It’s really the basis of everything I do professionally.  While it’s very satisfying helping people from North American, Europe, Australia and New Zealand, it also means I spend a good chunk of my day interacting with bureaucrats.  Mostly the worst of the worst: tax agents.   Today was no different and we started early.

Things didn’t start well at all, I didn’t think they would when the IRS agent’s pseudonym was “Mr. Johnson”.  At one point I did state that was “a real unfortunate pseudonym you picked for yourself.”  For those unaware, tax agents even lie about their names.  Everything is false with bureaucrats, except their willingness to use violence to get what they want.

What you’ll encounter with bureaucrats, is the attitude is usually the same, they dictate the terms of resolving problems.  They are very predictable, just fill out their forms and pay them.   Despite the fact I never argue tax law, I stick to questioning the evidence the IRS relies on, Mr. Johnson could not resist accusing me of arguing tax law.   After all, the previous agent made that notation on the account, it must be correct.

Mr. Johnson was bad enough, the next was even worse, Ms. Valenzuela.  This woman was even more robotic.  At one point I started talking to my client (it was a three-way call) about Ms. Valenzuela while she was ranting about filing a return; we were talking about how we were not going to accomplish anything when she was acting like a telemarketer reading from a script.  Valenzuela didn’t seem to notice we were talking.

The good news is  people who are very rigid in their behavior, are also  easily manipulated.  They’re predictable.  We know tax agents believe they are never wrong, any opposition is automatically deemed frivolous.  This rigidity can be used against them  to get to a resolution.

After all, if they’re never wrong, then what’s the point of office of appeals?


Marc Stevens  will be speaking at Libertopia Festival 2011 in San Diego
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Liberty, Really?

This past week has been particularly tough for me, I spoke about on this past week’s No State Project.  Ian Freeman, host of Free Talk Live, and a friend of mine, was arrested for standing in front of a police car for forty-five seconds.  He was convicted and given a sentence of one year in jail, all suspended except for ninety days.  This was done in the “Live free or die” state of New Hampshire.

I filed a petition for habeas corpus to challenge what I think is an injustice.  While I was challenged and eventually stricken as a party, the judge permitted no challenge to a lawyer named John Webb.  John was essentially given immunity from being challenged on his appearance in the proceedings.  You can hear how Philip Mangone, the lawyer with the robe, refused to permit challenge here.

They came after me, but I couldn’t question Webb’s appearance.   For those unaware, when people like Webb claim to represent the “STATE OF NEW HAMPSHIRE” or any other “state”, it is a fiction, there is no reality to it.  And they don’t like being questioned on it at all, as you can hear in the above link.

We all tend to carry fictions around with us, some more useful than others, others pretty harmful.  People like Webb and Mangone’s fictions are pretty harmful.  They labor under the fiction they are a state, they are not responsible for their actions, their crimes.

So it’s easy for Philip Magone to keep my friend Ian in shackles for the hearing last Friday, 23 September 2011.  As I pointed out in my recent motion to Philip, even OJ, accused of butchering two people, was in court in a suit and unshackled.  Ian, accused of standing in front of a police car for 45 seconds, is kept in shackles.

Why?  Not because Ian was any kind of violent threat to Mangone, no Ian and I represent a far worse threat.  We are a threat to their fictions.  They know they hide behind flimsy pseudonyms so questions are not permitted.

But more people are catching on.  It doesn’t require any violence or protests in the streets.  We just need to ask them questions.



Marc Stevens  will be speaking at Libertopia Festival 2011 in San Diego
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Left? Right? Both? Neither?

By Scott Bieser

I am a regular reader of the LewRockwell.Com daily e-zine, which almost always has something useful to say about the Empire and its Forever War,  and the state of the economy.  Also, Anthony Gregory and Will Grigg have been providing some outstanding news and commentary about our growing police-state.

But every now and then I come across an article that makes me sadly shake my head. And most of the time, it is an article commenting on what appears to be Rockwell’s favorite bête noir, the “left-libertarians.” Here’s a sample, written by Steven Greenhut back in 2003:

These days, the left-libertarians who have the loudest voice in our political movement can’t seem to make a simple distinction: just because a behavior should be legal doesn’t mean it’s good. While I would never use the government to promote morality or crack down on vice, as many conservatives would do, I have no interest in erasing the line between uplifting, civilization-building behavior and depravity.

If Greenhut wants to believe that left-libertarians are depraved civilization-destroyers, that’s his right, of course. (more…)

Property and Its Productive Administration: Servant of the Creative Spirit in Man

The last time my grandfather, Spencer Heath, spoke publicly before his death in 1963, he gave five extemporaneous talks at Chapman College, in Orange, California, on what he called “The Christian Doctrine of Man.” This is a subject on which he had never published. Although I couldn’t be present, I arranged for the talks to be recorded and afterwards transcribed them. Now, fifty years later, Emalie and I are preparing to e-publish them, tentatively under the title, God and Market Reconciled: A Christian Celebration of Voluntary Exchange. The second of the talks is reproduced here (the prefatory bit about capital is from a penciled note found in the Spencer Heath Archive, described earlier). We’re not at all sure yet what our audience will be or how to publicize it. It will certainly be a niche all its own. If you find it interesting, please give us some feed-back!PROPERTY AND ITS PRODUCTIVE ADMINISTRATION
Servant of the Creative Spirit in ManWhat is CAPITAL?
Spiritual — creative — self-developing — organic
Property can be consumed, destroyed, and (more…)

Walking the Walk: Private Libertarian Social Service Alternatives

Sharon Presley

Many libertarians have talked and written about how in theory a truly free society would provide for the public works and social services any civilized society needs: police, defense, settlement of disputes, etc. But theory is not enough. The average person is not convinced by theory; people are far more likely to be convinced by practice, that is, actual examples of working solutions. Years of dependency on the State have shriveled most people’s imaginations. They can’t imagine how private alternatives could possibly provide enough of the needed services. The problem of defense, police protection, and providing for the poor and needy just seem too overwhelming. They can only imagine a strong central authority solving such problems.

Libertarian Michael Shermer has argued in several of his books that humans evolved in simpler times when there were relatively simple solutions to community living. Our brains, he asserts, are just not wired to understand the complexities, let alone the efficacy, of what libertarians and economists call the “invisible hand.” That is, many individuals, working cooperatively and noncoercively, peacefully trading for mutual benefit, helping others and finding solutions to social issues on the community level. That such complexity on a micro level (more…)

Untitled Item from the Spencer Heath Archive

When my grandfather, Spencer Heath, died in 1963, now almost fifty years ago, I had the good sense to gather up all of his writings, a good bushel basket full of mostly penciled notes, jottings in lined tablets and on the back of envelopes. Gradually over a period of months I transcribed them uniformly by typewriter, in no particular order, numbering each as I went. The final tally was just over 2,000 items, now called the Spencer Heath Archive.

Subsequently, at the suggestion of Donald H. Allen (a long-time colleague of Galambos), Alvin Lowi studied and annotated several hundred items. These he pulled more or less randomly since there was no organization to the cartons of typed sheets, looking for ones relating to the philosophy of science. For although Heath had never published on that subject, he valued his discoveries in that area more highly, even, than his contributions to voluntaryist social organization. Years later, in 1998, Lowi authored “The Legacy of Spencer Heath,” intended as a forward for a contemplated new edition of Heath’s Citadel, Market and Altar. In the Summary of that essay, he wrote, (more…)

Unschooling: The Summer Attitude of Learning

When I was a kid, I looked forward to summer.  Summer meant colorful flowers, warm weather and swimming.  But most of all, summer meant no school.  I was more relaxed.  I felt less pressure.  I felt free.

When I first began homeschooling, I looked forward to summer.  Summer meant colorful flowers, warm weather and swimming.  But most of all, summer meant no school.  I was more relaxed.  I felt less pressure.  I felt free.

Then gradually, as our family moved towards unschooling, I realized I didn’t feel the same way about summer.  I wasn’t more relaxed.  I didn’t feel less pressure.  I didn’t feel a change in my sense of freedom.

Our homeschool had become relaxed the entire year.

As I watched my kids, my attitude changed.  I saw that during the summer months, my kids did not stop learning and exploring.  As a matter of fact, they seemed to learn better when I relaxed and got out of the way.

I stopped thinking about whether it was “school” time or summertime.  I held on to the attitude of summer the whole year.  I let my kids have more freedom to explore their interests, just like they did during the summer.  We simply lived the pattern of our life, learning naturally.

Some schools are making the change to school year-round.  Our family decided to make the change to no-school year-round.  You can too.  It’s all about keeping that summer ‘tude.

Debbie Harbeson will be speaking at Libertopia Festival 2011 in San Diego
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