Oh Five Oh Five Oh Five

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Thu, 05 May 2005 12:00:00 GMT
# I don't remember noticing this the last three years, but we're in a string of twelve years all of which will have a day with the last two digits of the year repeated three times in mm/dd/yy form (or dd/mm/yy or yy/mm/dd). So June 6, 2006 will be 06/06/06, July 7, 2007 will be 07/07/07, etc. So what's going to happen on December 12, 2012?

# After over four years of constant carry in my back pocket, the clip on my Steve Ryan Model Seven knife broke off a little while back. I was considering buying a new knife, when I happened on CRKT's Parts Order Form. I filled out the form, giving them my shipping information and requesting a new clip and screws. At no time was I asked for a credit card or told a price. I think this means that they're going to ship the replacement parts to me for free. Wow!

# Columbia River Knife & Tool - Slide Sharp - looks like a great idea. Better than the cheap sharpener (similar to the linked one) I've got that the knife slides through, and easily useable by fumble-fingered geeks like me. Think I'll order one after my next paycheck arrives. Available from Chesapeake Knife & Tool for $35.

Slide Sharp knife sharpener

# Canon USA - Canon PowerShot A95 5-megapixel digital camera. Last summer I won an office drawing for 50,000 American Express Membership Reward points. I've been sitting on them since then, since my wife and I couldn't agree on what to get. Well, we finally decided. I received this camera yesterday. Very nice. Compact Flash storage. Unfortunately, it didn't come with an AC adapter ($65, maybe I'll look at Radio Shack, or forget it and just get a Compact Flash reader) or rechargeable AA batteries, so I'll have to spend some money on those. And, of course, a case ($9.00) would be nice. It's been a long time since my Fuji 1.2 megapixel camera broke. Nice to have a new one.

# Allman Brothers Band - Hittin' the Note - I was planning to buy Stevie Wonder's new album with my Pepsi iTunes credits. Now that it won't be released until June, I can't do that since they expire in May. So I bought all but the long instrumental number (only available with album purchase, drat) of this, the Allman Brothers most recent studio album. Damn fine music. I don't miss Dicky Betts at all. D. West posted the following review at Amazon. I don't like it this much, but I do like it:

In my humble opinion this album is far and away the most incredible musical achievement of the last 5 years. The only other album close to "Hittin the Note" was the 99 release "Supernatural" by Carlos Santana. I go back to the 60's and of all the musicians that were "hot" at that time, including ABB to my knowledge, have not even come close to approaching the apex of this album. Fleetwood Mac did "Say you Will" not close to HTN. I don't know, I could be wrong but there is nothing that compares to this album. From the opening note to the last note it just doesn't get any better. Enough,get this and the DVD.

# Claire Wolfe - "Unintended consequences" of the Real ID Act - the new National ID mandates machine-readable information in a common format on all state driving licenses. This will allow anyone with a reader to grab all your data whenever you let them swipe your license. And you can bet that will become a requirement for lots of things that don't really require it. Time for some brave states to step up to the plate and tell the feds to get lost. I'd love to see multiple states eliminate the very concept of a driving license, but I won't hold my breath. Nazi fucks. [claire]

# Carl Watner at voluntaryist.com - The Voluntaryist Spirit - I've been saving this link for a few days, and finally found time to read it. Glad I did. I've always had a place in my heart for voluntaryism, but I sometimes forget that the state cannot be eliminated or reformed from inside. It has to be ignored. Yes, it's OK to defend yourself from aggression from its agents, but violent revolution isn't necessary if enough people want true peace. And there will never be peace under an organization with violence at its base. Every government "law" points a gun at somebody's head. [root]

The voluntaryist spirit is thus an attitude of mind or a sense of life, if you will, which animates those engaged in the struggle for the recognition of self-ownership rights and the demise of the State. It is the passionate disinterested love of justice for its own sake, regardless of the consequences which the struggle brings to one personally. It is a knowledge that if one takes care of the means that the end will take care of itself. It is an understanding that the morality and principles of voluntary interaction with other self-owners is the only practical manner of living life upon this earth. It is an epistemological rejection of violence, a knowledge that coercion can never rationally convince. Come what will, wherever the chips may fall, voluntaryism seeks the perfect way but it differs from other philosophies of life in seeking it with utter disinterestedness. Right means are an end in themselves, their own reward.


Voluntaryism relies heavily on the means-end insight to justify its own position. Indeed, without any formal guidelines as to the shape that an all-voluntary society will take, voluntaryism necessarily concentrates exclusively on the means. Voluntaryism is means-oriented, not goal-oriented because all it objects to is the initiation of coercion against the non-invasive person. So long as the means are peaceful, respectful of self-ownership and property titles, the ends cannot be criticized from the voluntaryist perspective. This is not to imply that the only standard of judging human behavior is whether or not it is voluntary. Certainly some behavior may be irrational, vicious, immoral, religious, irreligious, (etc., etc.) but the first question the voluntaryist asks is: "Is it truly voluntary?" The voluntaryist spirit attacks the State on precisely this basis: although certain government goods or services may be essential, it is not essential that they be provided by government. Whether we object to what governments do (i. e., the provision of whatever product or public service, whether it be public schools, the post office, etc.) is beside the point. Voluntaryists oppose the State because it relies on force for its very existence. We oppose the State because of its means, regardless of its ends.


The voluntaryist holds that "the only way to freedom is 'by' freedom." This path does not dictate what specific form the economic system of voluntaryism will take. Its only guidelines are that the resultant system be voluntary, which already implies a respect for self-ownership and just property titles. A regime of proprietary justice allows all economic systems to compete on a voluntary basis and there is no reason why voluntary cooperatives could not exist side by side with voluntary communes or voluntary capitalist companies. How people choose to conduct their voluntary affairs in the absence of the State is up to them.


Voluntaryist arguments proceed against State coercion by criticizing the means, regardless of the ends. Health care or vaccination may be important, but if they are to be achieved by force (the means) they "ipso facto" become tainted. If those who advocate compulsory vaccination or State health care must rely on force to accomplish their goals, then there is something drastically wrong with their ends. Vaccination or health care is either good or bad. Its goodness removes the need for compulsion and its badness destroys the right to coerce those who oppose it. Coercion never convinces, never brings about a change of mind.

Similar arguments may be applied against the State itself. Either it is good or bad. Its goodness should avoid the need to apply invasive force (for it should be possible to persuade people of its goodness) and its badness already speaks for itself. If a government cannot rely wholly on voluntary support, then it deserves not to exist. Statists, in their anxiety to coerce others, already demonstrate their own lack of faith in the prescription they suggest.


Austrian economics, bolstered by the arguments developed by Ludwig von Mises, has long argued that economic calculation under central government planning is impossible. Since profit and loss serve as the central guide for directing the flow of resources, the government of a centrally planned economy has no rational way of calculating because it has sabotaged or destroyed the market pricing system. This inability to make rational economic decisions saps the vitality of any economic system and is inherent in all forms of government intervention. Despite their seeming ability to "direct" and "fine-tune" the economy, government employees and politicians have no special means of obtaining knowledge, any different from those of others. No one has a monopoly of knowledge and no single group or person has a monopoly on the truth, honesty, or fair play. As we have seen of government itself, the very fact that a centrally planned economy needs to initiate force to sustain itself indicates that it is not the most efficient method of social and economic organization. As Murray Rothbard has asked, "if central planning is more efficient, why has it never voluntarily come about through the creation of one big firm?"

Voluntaryists, seeing all forms of government as invasive 'per se', nonetheless realize that the State is just one form of coercive monopoly which sustains itself by the use of force, albeit legitimized in the eyes of many. An examination of how to attack coercive monopoly on the market should shed light on how to undermine State power. After all, the problem with government is exactly the same problem as with any other coercive monopoly. The voluntaryist insight points out that all businesses depend on the cooperation, support, and patronage of their customers. The ultimate weapon of both consumers and producers on the market is the option of expressing their indignation by not purchasing from or selling to, boycotting, ostracizing, and non-cooperating with the would-be or actual monopolist. In fact, all market activity on the free market can be interpreted as a variety of nonviolent resistance against those whom one does not wish to deal with. An understanding of monopoly theory applies not only to private monopolies but to any situation where one group has acquired control over the means of production over a large area.

The voluntaryist spirit attacks government and coercive monopolies where it hurts them the most: it destroys whatever legitimacy they lay claim to and urges the withdrawal of the consent and cooperation on which all organizations depend. The "popular health movement" of the 1830's and 1840's in the United States illustrates this attitude at work in two distinct ways. First, it shows what incredible diversity can come about when a government does not attempt to monopolize knowledge and coerce people into accepting its authority. Second, it demonstrates the integral nature of freedom. As one medical historian has explained: "A people accustomed to govern themselves . . . want no protection but freedom of inquiry and freedom of action. It was the spirit of the times to throw all fields of business and professional endeavors open to unrestricted competition -- why not medicine among the rest? ... Hence medicine, with all other human activities, must take its chances in the grand competitive scramble characteristic of the age." If Americans were entitled to religious freedom, why not medical freedom as well?

# Chris at The Claire Files Forum - Making your AR run..., ...and keeping it running. - haven't tried these three suggestions for working around the drawbacks in the AR design, but they make sense. Put in a stronger extractor spring and neoprene donuts, modify your mags with Magpul Industries self-leveling followers and ISMI 40-round chrome silicon mag springs, and grease the bolt carrier and bolt so it doesn't dry out when it gets hot. [clairefiles]

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