Is Edward Snowden a Lawbreaker?

Or did he simply act against unjust legislation?

(Page 2 of 2)

Nothing binding or obligatory can be found in those decrees as such, Spooner said. In other words, the obligations of natural law — essentially not to trespass on the person and property of others — preexist and are not the result of anything that legislators say.

And if perchance Congress should pass a law that coincides with the natural law?

If they command men to do justice, they add nothing to men’s obligation to do it, or to any man’s right to enforce it. They are therefore mere idle wind, such as would be commands to consider the day as day, and the night as night.

Statutes forbidding murder, rape, torture, and theft, then, are redundant, adding nothing to our natural obligations as human beings. But legislation consistent with justice is the exception, not the rule. What, then, is the status of “laws” that contravene the natural law? Spooner answered,

If they command or license any man to do injustice, they are criminal on their face. If they command any man to do anything which justice does not require him to do, they are simple, naked usurpations and tyrannies. If they forbid any man to do anything, which justice could permit him to do, they are criminal invasions of his natural and rightful liberty. In whatever light, therefore, they are viewed, they are utterly destitute of everything like authority or obligation. They are all necessarily either the impudent, fraudulent, and criminal usurpations of tyrants, robbers, and murderers, or the senseless work of ignorant or thoughtless men, who do not know, or certainly do not realize, what they are doing.…

It is intrinsically just as false, absurd, ludicrous, and ridiculous to say that lawmakers, so-called, can invent and make any laws, of their own, authoritatively fixing, or declaring, the rights of individuals, or that shall be in any manner authoritative or obligatory upon individuals, or that individuals may rightfully be compelled to obey, as it would be to say that they can invent and make such mathematics, chemistry, physiology, or other sciences, as they see fit, and rightfully compel individuals to conform all their actions to them, instead of conforming them to the mathematics, chemistry, physiology, or other sciences of nature.

The “laws” that prohibit Edward Snowden (or anyone else) from telling us that the NSA routinely collects our telephone data and has access to our Internet records are decrees of the kind that “forbid any man to do anything, which justice could permit him to do.” They are therefore “criminal invasions of his natural and rightful liberty.”

Snowden should be left free, and those responsible for the spy programs should face justice.

This column originally appeared at the Future of Freedom Foundation.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm sure the musings of Spooner will be of comfort to Snowden as he languishes in a prison cell and cause for anxiety for the administration and Congress as they pat each other on the back for having gotten away with it.

  • mistythomas221||

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  • ||

    At the end of the day, that's pretty much it. You can drag 100 volumes of natural law writing into your trial, but you're not going to win. The guys with the guns get to put you in a cell and you get to do what they say. Having natural law or morality on your side is cold comfort.

  • Gordilocks||

    Lysander Spooner, like many prescient thinkers before him and since, was sent to his grave on a rotisserie.

    Good luck to you, wherever you are, Mr. Snowden. These shitweasels are a bitch to deal with.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    It's a category error to relegate any aspect of morality to the sciences -- this includes natural law. A science is a set of testable predictions and explanations of the universe, whereas a system of morals is an aspirational set of ideals. Morality stands apart from the way nature would have us act and challenges us to do better.

    Conflating science and morality is an easy way to end up with a hellish belief system.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    A science is a set of testable predictions and explanations of the universe, whereas a system of morals is an aspirational set of ideals.

    Are you saying you cannot test morality according to its results?
    Certainly collectivism has not stood the test. Communism fails horribly wherever tried. Milder versions typically fail more slowly.

    Morality stands apart from the way nature would have us act and challenges us to do better.

    I disagree. Morality is the acknowledgement of our nature and, when when assessed correctly, is a guide to live most effectively. The problem as I see it is we live in an age when our moral scholarship resides at about the level of Johann Becher.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    Morality is the acknowledgement of our nature and, when when assessed correctly, is a guide to live most effectively.

    By that standard Genghis Khan was the most moral man evah.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Are you saying you cannot test morality according to its results?

    Only to a certain degree, and certainly not to the level of rigor or in ways comparable to mathematics or the physical sciences. Telling the truth may yield results that you or I think are positive most of the time, but you'd be mendacious to say that such a statement would hold true in the same way that, say, E=MC^2 would.

    Morality is the acknowledgement of our nature and, when when assessed correctly, is a guide to live most effectively.

    Nature requires no acknowledgement or affirmation -- it merely is. Morality does not concern itself with what is; it concerns itself with what should be. A moral system made for humans will necessarily correspond to human experience, but isn't a product of nature or science.

    Nature dictates that a biological organism will seek to reproduce -- most mammals do so by forcing themselves onto an unwilling sexual partner. This has been confirmed through observation and testing.

    Morality dictates that such practices are to be avoided, regardless of their efficacy as a strategy for reproduction.

  • Killazontherun||

    The worst part of arguing with Warty is the makeup rape, it may be the natural order and law of things but I still don't like it.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Ain't that always the way...

  • ||

    Only to a certain degree, and certainly not to the level of rigor or in ways comparable to mathematics or the physical sciences.

    Mathematics is separate from physical sciences, and for good reason to: it's purely abstract, and it doesn't make " testable predictions and explanations of the universe".

    Does this imply that mathematics is not useful? Does it imply that mathematical statements have no truth value?

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    Applied mathematics is certainly testable in the real world to a degree that isn't the case with applied morality.

    Would that that were the case, but unfortunately, something like solving an optimization problem using mathematics yields to far more consistent real world results than, say, deciding not to lie or steal. There are ways to falsify a mathematical theory through evidence. There is no way to effectively falsify morality.

    If something can't be perpetually subject to falsification through evidence, it ain't a science. Natural law has, at its maximum, as much in common with science as any well-defined philosophy. In that sense, natural law is a science comparable to the 'soft' sciences.

    At worst, natural law is a pseudo-science like the various socialist sciences.

    There is overlap between science and morality, as there is between science and philosophy, but they are not equivalent.

  • ||

    Applied mathematics is certainly testable in the real world to a degree that isn't the case with applied morality....There are ways to falsify a mathematical theory through evidence.

    I would disagree: I could, if I wanted, decide to live my life under certain moral assumptions for a year, see how it worked out, and then live my life under different moral assumptions for another year, and compare results. The success of applied mathematics relates to its usefulness, but not it's correctness.

    For example: if you ask a good mathematician how we know that 2 + 2 = 4, he doesn't cite applied mathematics. He doesn't refer to experiments in counting. He cites the definition of numbers and the definition of the addition operation. If someone asserts that 2 + 2 = 5, it is disproven in the same way. The successful application of counting has nothing to do with it.

    Or, with optimization: the validity of linear optimization techniques and nonlinear optimization techniques are derived from the properties of the problem and solution. One can apply linear optimization techniques to nonlinear problems and get very poor results. This does not reflect upon the validity of the solutions, but the usefulness of their application in different contexts. It's still true, even if it doesn't work in real life.

  • ||

    (cont'd)

    If something can't be perpetually subject to falsification through evidence

    I think I can disprove this by counter-example:
    1. All moral statements are objective; they are either true or false.
    2. All actions are either bad or not bad. No action is both bad and not bad.
    3. Jumping is always bad.
    4. Jumping is always not bad.
    5. Statements 1-5 are correct.

    Statement 5 cannot be correct. It is falsifiable. Since statements 1-4 relate to morality, it is a falsifiable statement about morality.

    While some things may not be falsifiable in morality, everything in mathematics isn't falsifiable, either.

    So, is pure mathematics a science? By this criteria, I would have to conclude that it isn't.

  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I think I see where the confusion lies.

    Strictly speaking, mathematics is one of the humanities. As someone who graduated with a BA in Math back in the day, I can say that even though math is often associated with the sciences (due to its sheer utility in that field), and though applied mathematics can arguably be considered a science, "pure" math is like logic: immensely useful to the sciences, but not a science itself, since "pure" mathematics is not subject to the sort of empirical testing as applied mathematics. (Historically, this is why math was included as one of the humanities in a classical education and why a BS in math is a fairly recent innovation.)

    So you are correct: pure mathematics is not a science, and it is arguable whether or not applied mathematics is itself a science. It has only been considered such since the broadening of the term to include "social sciences" and other subjects traditionally considered to be within the sphere of the humanities (and rightly so).

  • ||

    We can find references to mathematics as a science, going back at least as far as the 1800's.

    I'm just always surprised that people reject ethics for qualities that it shares with mathematics and science. "It's abstract, man! That makes it imaginary!" Just like mathematics.

    "It makes assumptions without proof!" Just like mathematics, which assumes the validity of logic and objective truth, as well as sciences that apply mathematics. Also, physics, chemistry, etc, assume that the laws of nature are universal and consistent, etc.

    "People disagree!" Well, if I take an average person on the street and ask them about physics, I'll probably get some strange, incorrect answers. Experts also disagree about certain topics.

    "Some statements are not falsifiable!" Just like mathematics and physics.

    If we apply this consistently, we reject more than ethics. We reject a lot of useful subjects of study. I'm not sure that's wise. Also, if we say that these reasons make ethics irrational, then this implies that we prefer rationality. How, then, do we justify not rejecting mathematics and physics as irrational, since it satisfies the same criteria?

  • Anonymous Coward||

    Morality is the acknowledgement of our nature and, when when assessed correctly, is a guide to live most effectively.

    A very Rousseauian sentiment.

  • np||

    It is a "science" in the way described:

    (F.A. Hayek drew the distinction, obviously, in Law, Legislation, and Liberty, volume 1: “Unlike law itself, which has never been ‘invented’ in the same sense, the invention of legislation came relatively late in the history of mankind.”)
    [ . . . ]

    (Spooner)
    Let me then remind you that justice is an immutable, natural principle; and not anything that can be made, unmade, or altered by any human power.

    but is ultimately tested and proven not in the same way as empirical sciences are, but in the same way computer science and mathematical theorems are. By starting with apodictic, fundamental first principles, by which it can be logically shown there can be no other possibility, namely that of self-ownership, then you can derive the set of non-positive laws that are universally applicable.

    I do agree there is problem with conflating this principle with "morality" simply because it depends on how you define it (yes, it is relative in that sense). This is the way I personally approach it: the highest morality that can be logically shown to be universally applicable, immutable, regardless of entity, culture, time and place, itself necessarily becomes amoral.

  • np||

    Various other people have discussed the same idea, like Bastiat in "The Law" in which he too emphasizes a critical distinction between natural law (notice the *singular* The Law) and man made legislation.

    There are however some flaws--some logical inconsistencies--in the Lockean conception of natural law. Rothbard rigorously formalized the apodictic or axiomatic foundation of self-ownership, but there was still an issue in the derivation of property via homesteading. The mechanics were ok, but the Lockean reasoning was still lacking, amorphous with vague metaphysical implications. Hans Hoppe was able to resolve all of that using argumentation theory, that results in

    a priori, value-free praxeological argument for deontological libertarian ethics"

    It formalizes and unifies all of what Bastiat, Spooner, Hayek, et. al. were attempting to elucidate, and with regards to your issue regarding morality, and what you think of as descriptive rules vs prescriptive rules:

    Some of them accepted his argument, among them attorney Kinsella[8] and economists Walter Block and Murray Rothbard,[9] who called it "a dazzling breakthrough for political philosophy in general and for libertarianism in particular," adding "he has managed to transcend the famous is/ought, fact/value dichotomy that has plagued philosophy since the days of the Scholastics..."
  • The Immaculate Trouser||

    I've read Hoppe's argumentation, and it is also... lacking though better than Locke's argument for property rights.

    At any rate, one can always start with a different set of premises, refuse to acknowledge that the question is valid ("what is morality?"), or point out the mismatches between morals and outcomes. A science needs to be able to forecast or explain something about the world in order to work properly; a moral system does not have such a thing as its goal.

    Second time referencing Kant, but I think he's an honest broker as far as deontological ethics go; I'd highly suggest reading him.

  • ||

    At any rate, one can always start with a different set of premises,

    One can do this in science, too.

    I assert that 5 is the natural number following 3, and that 4 is the natural number following the new 5, and before 6. This implies that 2 + 2 = 5.

    Does this mean that mathematics is not a science?

  • Redmanfms||

    Does this mean that mathematics is not a science?

    Yes.

    And, oddly, you adequately illustrated why above.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    The Anonbot is learning.

  • Sevo||

    Turing is testing.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    While in one sense the statement “Snowden broke the law” may be trivially true, writes Sheldon Richman, in another, deeper sense it is untrue.

    This line and this article are too clever by five halfs.

    The heart of the matter is that he broke several laws and that many of those laws are evil.

    In an ideal world he could have acted in the tradition of civil disobedience - released the information, stood trial and been acquitted by a jury. However, that idealized approach is untenable in dealing with a police state.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    He would have been tried in secret by a secret court, convicted according to secret laws, with secret evidence and sentenced to a secret prison.

    This is generally known as democracy.

  • VG Zaytsev||

  • Almanian!||

    Head for the mountains...of BOOOOOOOOOOOOSH

  • Heroic Mulatto||

    It must really eat the guts of most Leftists to realize that, by all metrics, G. W. Bush was better in immigration policy than Obama, not to mention that Bush was closer to the Latino community than Obama, and that, unlike Obama, Bush is conversant in Spanish.

    What am I talking about? To realize the above would require the intellectual curiosity and unbiased commitment to truth that is an anathema to the Left.

  • Killazontherun||

    That's gotta kill them. It should kill them. When their brains wrap around the truth that their ideal and idolized leader is worse than the mediocre when not entirely terrible predecessor they hated beyond hate the resulting storm of neurons rushing through their brains like chain lightening should produce fatal meltdowns. Perhaps, their denial is like a breaker to prevent that from happening.

  • VG Zaytsev||

    When their brains wrap around the truth that their ideal and idolized leader is worse than the mediocre when not entirely terrible predecessor they hated beyond hate ...

    Is there any way that Obama's better than Booosh from a lefty point of view? I seriously can't think of any. Even his supposed illegal torturing has been surpassed by Obama's murder droning, continuing rendition and unconstitutional wiretapping every person in the world.

  • CatoTheElder||

    ObamaCare.
    Gun control.
    Guantanamo.
    Iraq.
    Afghanistan.
    Voting rights.
    Increasing numbers food stamps, unemployment, and disability benefits.
    The egalitarian ideal.
    And, immigration.

    Remember, with the Left, it's all about good intentions.

    The words on Obama's teleprompter seem to express good intentions. The words on Bush's teleprompter, not so much.

  • Tony||

    And Bush got a respectable amount of the Latino vote. As we're constantly reminded, Bush is not on any more ballots, and it is the current crop of Republicans they must consider. Those would be the people who think self-deportation is the humane alternative.

  • Acosmist||

    Better if you like amnesty; i.e., you think the Confederacy had a point and, after all, slave labor is a good way to do agricultural work.

  • Redmanfms||

    Better if you like amnesty; i.e., you think the Confederacy had a point and, after all, slave labor is a good way to do agricultural work.

    Bullshit.

    If anything, amnesty would be the exact opposite because migrant farmers would have legal standing to demand minimum wage, whereas now they would be promptly deported for making a complaint.

  • ||

    Lovely comment from an NYTimes article on the FISC:

    PSimonUSA
    Non-wordy overview (in no particular order):
    1. Snowden is a criminal - breach of contract at a minimum.
    2. An accurate assessment will be nearly impossible due to security concerns. Its a bit oxymoronic.
    3. I discount criticisms from people living outside of prime targets (i.e. New York and Washington, DC). We walk around with a "bullseye on our forehead." Sorry, but you don't get it.
    4. Government surveillance is a necessary evil. The balancing act will, hopefully, be a more fluid process.

    Emphasis mine. It's kind of like the cops who whine that "civilians" just don't get it.

  • Metazoan||

    That's insane (number 3 is a particularly strange argument). And anyway, that ass needs to speak for himself. I live in New York City, and I don't walk around with a bullseye on my forehead (or anywhere else, for that matter).

  • Killazontherun||

    3. I discount criticisms from people living outside of prime targets (i.e. New York and Washington, DC). We walk around with a "bullseye on our forehead." Sorry, but you don't get it.

    Truly, as you stated here loud and clear, you are the enemy of the People. You have usurped the instrument of the People to make war on us. You are right to be paranoid, as it is your guilt that has fed it in the first place.

  • Ted S.||

    New Yorkers are arrogant SOBs who think they're the center of the universe. Just ask them, and they'll tell you.

  • Metazoan||

    Why am I not surprised that this led to another yokeltarian attack on New Yorkers?

  • Ted S.||

    I live up in the Catskills. I know from first-hand experience what NYC people are like.

    They say things that are just as bad as anything John Rocker ever said about NYC, but their bigotries are virtuous.

  • Metazoan||

    Well I live in NYC so I also know, and most people here are not that bad. I don't deny that there are idiots here; but where aren't there idiots?

  • Ayn Random Variation||

    Sorry, but I lived most of my life in the city and now live in jersey, and a majority of people here are that bad.
    That's why I use this site as a refuge.

  • ||

    Dude, you guys elected Michael Bloomberg. More than once. Michael fucking Bloomberg. And most people here are not that bad?

  • crashland||

    Exactly. The only good new yorker is a dead new yorker. Sorry, but anybody who chooses to live in that cesspool is well... a piece of shit. That's what's in cesspools.

  • Killazontherun||

    I'd rather not engage in the yokel/cosmo fight, and my comments concerned the apparatchiks of the federal system and those that support it. However, you could ask your local leaders like Cuomo and Bloomberg to tone down their rhetoric which is extreme as any used by Mussolini to bully the Vatican and sounds like open warfare on states that have more liberal laws on gun purchases. That really feeds into the animosity a great deal. They behave like they live in a vacuum meant for only local voters, I can assure you, they don't.

  • Killazontherun||

    Along those lines, NYPD officers do not belong in the rural parts of either my state or Virginia. They are going to get their asses very much dead if these cute stunts of purchasing guns at shows continues. You don't know those people. They are every bit as hostile to non local authority as the Taliban is to the US Army.

  • Killazontherun||

    Some more advice, and this is coming from a guy who loves Philly and Boston as hangouts in my youth, if you have a strong regional accent, would like to do some hiking in the back country here, do not where a cop crew cut, or look or act anything remotely like one. It will draw suspicion and interest.

  • General Butt Naked||

    Along those lines, NYPD officers do not belong in the rural parts of either my state or Virginia.

    They went to mom and pop guns stores in NE PA and bought weapons then sued the stores*. Some of the shops didn't have the funds to fight it and settled. Part of the settlement was turning over their records to NYC.

    So, if you live in the country in PA your info will be sent to NYPD if you buy a gun at certain stores. It's therefore kind of difficult for some to have anything but contempt for the citizens of the People's Democratic Republic of New York City. A collectivist notion, for sure, but understandable.

    *They'd send a guy and a girl in and the guy would show interest in the firearm and the girl would put it in her name. This is clearly a straw sale to any psychic-American.

  • Ted S.||

    Do you really think Cuomo would listne to me? :-)

    We've got an electorate stupid enough to elect one of the most evil AGs ever to the Governor's mansion (AG Client Nine), and seeing how disastrously that turned out, decided to elect another AG to the Governor's mansion.

  • Killazontherun||

    We elected Helms and even worse, Edwards, so I'm not going to call you stupid on that score. Bloomberg and Cuomo probably have no idea of how antagonistic they sound. When they were grabbing a lot of Drudge Report headlines in the mid oughts there were a lot of people here as mad as hornets at the vile language they used to justify their extrajudicial crusades.

    As far as that other matter, I'm speaking from experience of seeing an obvious plainclothes man sent down attract the attention of every gun seller at a local show. He was lucky to get out of there alive.

  • Killazontherun||

    extrajurisdictional -- a pity, the other way scans more prettily.

  • Xenocles||

    All you people living outside the Capitol don't understand how boring it is all the time. We need the Hunger Games to give meaning to our lives. Sorry, but you don't get it.

  • Anonymous Coward||

    3. I discount criticisms from people living outside of prime targets (i.e. New York and Washington, DC).

    And what evil feudal overlord has bound you to the lands of NYC or D.C. in the chains of serfdom? Point him out to me and I will gladly oppose him.

  • mad libertarian guy||

    I discount criticisms from people living outside of prime targets (i.e. New York and Washington, DC). We walk around with a "bullseye on our forehead." Sorry, but you don't get it.

    Discount away. But I discount the notion that you can tap my fucking phone lines in order to deal with a problem that doesn't occur in flyover country.

    What is it with city folk constantly maintaining that I need to do something drastic about their fucking problems?

  • Xenocles||

    Snowden took an oath to support the Constitution well before he signed any of the non-disclosure agreements to receive access to classified information. Since the NDA is only valid legally to the extent it conforms to Constitutional requirements, he cannot have broken the law by revealing programs that violate the Constitution. A hierarchy of loyalties is clearly implied in this process, and loyalty to the Constitution is at the top of it.

  • Whahappan?||

    Too bad the powers that be have open contempt for the Constitution.

  • The Late P Brooks||

    I discount criticisms from people living outside of prime targets (i.e. New York and Washington, DC). We walk around with a "bullseye on our forehead." Sorry, but you don't get it.

    I discount hysterical paranoid sobbing from "sophisticated urbanites" with grossly overinflated notions of their importance socially, economically, or strategically.

  • Mark22||

    The problem with "natural law" is that everybody has their own view of what it is. The natural law of the Catholic church is entirely different than the natural law of a behavioral biologist or libertarian. Furthermore, the "natural law" you come up with depends on your values, or even on having values. For example, if your primary value is to maximize life expectancy and minimize risk, you come up with different "natural law" than if your primary value is maximizing honesty, liberty, or fun.

    So, Snowden may have acted according to some natural law (and possibly even one that I agree with), defining "law" in that way just isn't very useful for talking about what he did. Ultimately, the questions are whether what he did is having a positive effect on society, and whether he broke the law as it is on the books.

  • Concerned Citizen||

    Try Commin Law, it's in the Constitution.

  • Mark22||

    Common law is a matter of record, decided by the courts, and is not based on beliefs about the natural world.

  • rkd80||

    Common law, as it is in the United States is based on a foundation of Natural Law.

    This is precisely why common law is so badly distorted as evidenced by the history of our country.

    You cannot distort natural law, but you can build a foundation on top of it (common law) and go nuts with it.

  • Knarf Yenrab (prev. An0nB0t)||

    The problem with "natural law" is that everybody has their own view of what it is.

    As it turns out, that's also the problem with pen-and-paper law. See the elastic clause and the past 150 years of American history.

    There is no means of escape from the language trap: words/signs have subjective--not objective--meaning, and authorial intent will never constrain future rulers when they circumvent the "clear" meaning of binding laws. The young Jefferson was right: every generation needs to write its own Constitution, because the meaning and value of a past Constitution will quickly be lost after its authors die.

  • Mark22||

    So you're saying that because a common cold and cholera are both diseases, it doesn't matter which one you get.

  • rkd80||

    Sorry, Mark, but you are completely wrong here.

    natural law is universal and is not subject to interpretations.

    What you are referring to is actually Common Law.

    I understand the terminology can get confusing and some folks have different understanding of the words, but there is only ONE natural law.

  • Mark22||

    "I discount criticisms from people living outside of prime targets (i.e. New York and Washington, DC). We walk around with a "bullseye on our forehead." Sorry, but you don't get it."

    I do get it. Big cities are dangerous, crime ridden, disease ridden, inefficient places to live. Don't force other people to subsidize your choice. If you don't like it, move. I did.

  • Tony||

    Unfortunately the concept of justice trumping authority rests on tautology, like all natural law concepts. Did he break the law? and Is the law unjust? are two separate questions, and justice is an abstraction, which can be defined only incompletely.

  • Xenocles||

    Naming any authority as supreme relies on tautology. So does all deductive logic; axioms are never proven but accepted as true from the start.

    So we're left with the question of whether we should obey the state or our conscience when those two entities are in conflict. There is no logical argument that can be made to definitively support the supremacy of either of those authorities that does not depend on either fallacy (the government can kill you, the government is popular) or axiom.

  • Hash Brown||

    You mean logic isn't self-proving?! Say it ain't so!

  • Mark22||

    You can obey whatever you like and you have to deal with the consequences.

    But if you're telling people that you "obeyed the law" because in your mind, you obeyed natural law, you're trying to mislead the people you're telling that.

  • ||

    Yeah, an abstraction. and that makes it like a crazy religion. You know: just like mathematics. And the physics described by mathematics.

    I mean, what authority makes it such that 2 + 2 = 4? Where did that come from? Some god? If you don't have an answer that's suitable to me, then it's all just meaningless assertion. Fuck your Church of Mathentology.

    /Tony

  • vbond||

    wowsa, you genuises are so connected viscerally to the plight of Mr. Snowden.the situation really remains abstract to you all, huh?...just somethin' happening to some other poor smuck. what's it to you? just more news.. ho hum.
    meanwhile, what is going on with the waste of the education that went into the brains that you all are so damn proud of? I don't see any involved activism, response, outrage, solutions, uproar, plans, actions over the recent, and not-so, revelations, or even a symbolic helping hand to Mr. Snowden. Kudos to you! you should all be very proud of your Reason!
    And these pathetic comments are what you have to show for knowing what is happening to your Rights? yawn...

    @ Mark 22: um, big cities are hyper-organized, and btw, it is where the productivity and tax dollars come from that support the middle of the country.

    To Ed Snowden; If you are reading this journal,because you are bored and there is not all that much written about you:
    Lincoln came into D.C. for his Inaugural in a certain sartorial garb. Suggest you do the same, and avoid US Air space. Go the land route. love u, thank u

  • Killazontherun||

    Yeah, and what's the deal with that Leonardo Da Vinci guy? If he had just stopped squiggling lines in his little notebooks and organized a protest or two, or at least just got involved, he might have made something of his life.

  • ||

    Why should we do any of that when you're out there doing yeoman's work on Snowden's behalf? Keep it up brosef!

  • General Butt Naked||

    Your ideas: I'm intrigued.

    Your newsletter: Where do I mail a check for my subscription?

  • Mark22||

    @vbond As a place for individuals to live, big cities are inefficient: you consume far more resources than you would if you lived elsewhere. Big cities have historically been necessary to produce certain high-value outputs due to fast communications and network effects, but it is increasingly doubtful that they are still needed for that.

    We should have a market solution for the problem of cities and security in cities. That is, rather than have the world change itself to accommodate and subsidize city dwellers, cities should have to pay for their security themselves.

  • Stephan Kinsella||

    Yes, legislation has nothing to do with law. http://archive.mises.org/10838.....eld-codes/

  • rkd80||

    Wait a second, this article seriously misses a vital point. We all adhere to natural rights, Spooner himself sounds very deontological and probably fits into the natural rights-libertarianism mold of Rothbard.

    If so, then theft is criminal. Whether you find legitimacy in the creation of NSA is a different matter entirely, but Snowden still stole private data.

    One can argue that there is a conflict of rules here. We may find stealing objectionable, but stealing for the sake of exposing something more heinous may be acceptable. However that is a very slippery slope.

    I find this article to be terribly unconvincing.

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