A Truth About Olive Oil We Should All Know

Our family uses olive oil to cook EVERY DAY – sounds like we need to change our habits!  What oils do you use in the kitchen?  Check out this article by Collective-Evolution.com!olive-300x199

Olive oil has been around for thousands of years, in fact, olives are one of the oldest known foods. While there is a lot of information on the subject, it is no doubt that the oil extracted from olives is an extremely healthy oil. In fact it is safe to say that it is one of the healthiest oils that is available to us today. With its array of benefits including: anti-inflammatory properties, cardiovascular, digestive health, bone health, eyesight, anti cancer and many more benefits, olive oil truly is an incredible super food!

Most people are aware of the amazing benefits that olive oil provides, but the majority of people are not aware of the adverse properties that the olive oil contains when it is heated. When heated, even at extremely low temperatures all the amazing enzymes and health benefits that the oil contains are destroyed, and in turn the oil itself transforms into a trans fat. This is of the worst types of fats to consume including animal fats. Man made trans fats can increase your ‘bad’ cholesterol and decrease your ‘good’ cholesterol.

Even heating olive oil at a very low temperature causes this oil to transform into this unhealthy, rancid state. Olive oil is better left alone, the way it is, at room temperature. Olive oil is excellent for making salad dressings, using as a dip for bread, and you can even drizzle it over your favorite cooked dishes for that divine, distinctive flavor.

Read the full article here!  (it goes on to suggest coconut oil as a replacement for olive oil in the kitchen!)

The Science of Attachment Parenting by Gwen Dewar, Ph.D.

I was introduced to Attachment Parenting (AP) while pregnant with Aliana (my 18 month old daughter). This is the reason we decided to co-sleep, got a wrap to “baby wear” and decided to breastfeed as long as possible.

Their arguments for each of these behaviors made sense to me on an emotional level as well as a logical level, but I had never seen any “science” to back it up.  Here is an article by a PhD named  Gwen Dewarr that discusses the “science” behind Attachment Parenting.

Below I have pasted what I found to be the most relevant information to me as a parent, the effects of  AP on kids.  If you enjoy this highlight, please follow the link at the bottom of the page to read the full article!

How secure attachments and attachment parenting practices benefit kids

Attachment parenting promotes independence

As noted above, securely-attached children are more likely to explore on their own (Mercer 2006).

Secure attachments promotes emotional availability

Researchers at Tufts University followed 45 mother-child pairs from infancy to age 7. They found that infants who were securely-attached during infancy were more likely to demonstrate emotional availability at age 7 (Easterbrooks et al 2000).

Attachment parenting promotes better moods and better emotional coping

A study of American kids—-aged 9-11 years-—evaluated their ability to cope with their emotions in school and at home. Kids with secure attachment relationships-—and greater levels of maternal support—-showed “higher levels of positive mood, more constructive coping, and better regulation of emotion in the classroom.” (Kerns et al 2007).

Another study found that parents who were responsive to their children’s distress had kids who were better at regulating their own, negative emotions (Davidov and Grusec 1996). The same study found that maternal warmth was associated with better regulation of positive emotions.

Attachment parenting contributes to a child’s moral development

Researchers report that kids who engaged in mutually responsive, positive interactions with their mothers during the toddler and preschool years had more developed consciences when they reach school age (Kochanska and Murray 2000). These kids were also more likely to comply with adult instructions.

Another study found that kids with more responsive mothers exhibited more empathy and prosocial behavior (Davidov and Grusec 1996).

Attachment parenting practices reduce stress

Research suggests that a variety of attachment parenting practices reduce child distress.

One study reports that infants of more sensitive mothers had lower baseline levels of the stress hormone cortisol (Blair et al 2006).

Other research suggests that skin-to skin contact boosts levels of oxytocin (the “cuddle hormone”) and reduces signs of physiological stress in infants (Uvnas Moberg 2003).

Co-sleeping may be a stress-reducer as well. A British study reports that children (aged 3-8) who slept in their parents’ rooms showed lower daily levels of the stress hormone cortisol (Waynforth 2007).

And positive discipline may help kids cope better with stress. One study of kids living in highly-stressed urban settings found that parents who identified themselves as practitioners of positive discipline were more likely to have children who were stress-resilient (Wyman et al 1991).

Attachment parenting is associated with fewer behavior problems

A study of French-Canadian children (aged 5-9 years) found that kids who were securely-attached showed fewer internalizing and externalizing behavior problems (Moss et al 1998).

Another, experimental study reports that children living in stressed families (characterized by marital conflict and frequent daily hassles) showed fewer overactive problem behaviors if their parents had been trained in positive parenting and sensitive discipline techniques (van Zeijl et al 2006).

Breastfeeding is associated with fewer infections and allergies

Breastfeeding, particularly long-term or extended breastfeeding, appears to protect children from infections and the development of allergies. A recent study of Qatari children reports that children breastfed for more than 6 months had a reduced risk of allergic diseases and ear infections than kids who were breastfed for less than 6 months (Bener et al 2007).

Similar results have been reported in a variety of international studies of breastfeeding (Kramer and Kakuma 2006).

Attachment parenting practices are associated with higher IQ and academic performance

You might have heard that breastfeeding boosts a child’s IQ-—if, like 90% of the population, he carries the FADS2 gene (Caspi et al 2007). But breastfeeding isn’t the only attachment parenting parenting practice linked with higher IQ.

A British study of 36 middle-class mothers and their three-year-olds found that securely-attached children scored 12 points higher on the Stanford-Binet intelligence test than did insecurely attached children (Crandell and Hobson 1999).

Another study tracking 108 French-Canadian children found that kids who were securely-attached at age 6 scored higher on communication, cognitive engagement, and motivation to master new skills at age 8 (Moss et al 1998).

Of course, correlation doesn’t prove causation. It might be that smarter kids have an easier time forming secure attachments.

But there are also experimental studies reporting a link between responsive parenting and cognitive development. In these experiments, some mothers were randomly assigned to receive training in responsive parenting techniques. The infants of trained mothers showed greater growth in cognitive skills than did the infants of control moms (Landry et al 2003; 2006).

Read the full article here.

No 'Poo Update: Seven+ Months

Today is April 6th, I started my No ‘Poo experience on August 25th of last year and am pleased to report fantastic success!

At first I experienced many obstacles.  I had trouble getting my hair to feel clean, and experienced the usual “grease” factor that comes during the initial month of No ‘Poo.

I found that sprinkling the baking soda straight on my hair while it was dry really helped me to get the areas that we staying perpetually greasy – the roots and the back of my head. I’d then mix baking soda and water and use that as my wash, followed by diluted apple cider vinegar.

The truth is, I found that using way more baking soda in the initial months was helpful in getting a good clean.  I have since reduced the amount I use.

Now that I’m so far along in the process I only wash my hair 1-2 times per week.  Now I just sprinkle it on dry, rub it in with a little water when I get in the shower, rinse, then add diluted ACV as a conditioner.  About one a week I skip the baking soda and only use ACV.

My hair has been washed three times in the past 7.5 months.  Once when I got it cut (the following cuts I told the hair dresser about my No ‘Poo experiment and she said it was going really well and didn’t wash it for me!).  Once when I did a float in an isolation tank before a massage, they have you wash your body and hair with baby shampoo.  Then again right before I gave a speech and was out of BS and ACV (I used baby shampoo again).   I did not find these washes hinder my experiment.

Update: found a better pic – from just a week or so before the birth! You can see its shiny and healthy!!! The next two aren’t that great- one is wind blown the other is pulled up!


Below is a pic from our maternity photo shoot in February (Thanks to www.knotsandtotsphotography.com)



Below is a photo from this week at our newborn session (by www.knotsandtotsphotography.com).  My hair is up, so the above pic is a better representation 😀


Othere posts about my No ‘Poo Experience here:

Going No ‘Poo, http://www.sovereignliving.tv/going-no-poo/

Update on my No’Poo Experience, http://www.sovereignliving.tv/update-on-my-no-poo-experience/

Announcing the Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum by Tom Woods

Sovereign Living is excited about this amazing new cirruculum for home school families.   We are strong supporters of taking your education into your own hands!

Here is an excerpt from Tom Woods about the new courses:

Announcing the Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum

Over the past several weeks I have mentioned that I’ve been at work on a K-12 homeschool curriculum. That wasn’t the whole story. Today I can tell you the whole story: it is the Ron Paul Homeschool Curriculum.

There is nothing like this curriculum anywhere. Here are just a few of the factors that set it apart.

(1) Grades K-5 will be available for free. You have six years to try out the program without having to spend a dime.

(2) Students will learn the origins and travails of liberty in the Western world and in the United States in particular.

(3) Students will learn the economics of the Austrian School.

(4) Students can learn at their own pace. If they’re advanced and move more quickly, they can quiz out of the first two years of college and enter college as juniors.

(5) The emphasis in this program is not simply on teaching from a different point of view, or teaching material that no other school or curriculum offers, although the Ron Paul Curriculum does both of these things. But it also emphasizes oral and written communication, so that students will be able to spread and defend their ideas effectively. Students will have their own blogs, start YouTube channels, and even learn the basics of video production, website design, and Internet marketing.

(6) It’s cheap. For access to the forums, it’s $250 per year, per family. (If you have ten children, it’s still just $250 for you.) Each course is just $50. No textbooks — they’re awful, and we use pdfs and primary documents to teach students — so you’ll save hundreds of dollars that way as well.

(7) Parents who wish they’d had the chance for this kind of education can listen to the lectures their children are hearing. We’ve made them of a length that works well with the average commute.

By September 2, we expect to have the material for grades 6-10 available. We’ll continue to add grades until December 2015 — our target date — when we expect to have the entire K-12 curriculum finished.

My own role will be to teach high school courses in Western civilization, the U.S. Constitution, government, and the history of American wars. All the courses on the site are available as part of the overall curriculum or a la carte, for those who would like individual courses.

These courses are centered around a 36-week schedule, five lessons (25 minutes each) per week per course. This means that for each course I will need to record 180 lessons. If you are wondering why I have not found the time to answer your email lately, I hope you will understand now. I have dropped not quite everything, but quite a bit in order to focus on this.

Here’s my three-minute pitch:

Read More: http://www.tomwoods.com/blog/announcing-the-ron-paul-homeschool-curriculum/

Polycentric Legal Order: Overcoming limitations of state-monopolized power structures by Daniel Patrick

Polycentric Legal Order: Overcoming limitations of state-monopolized power structures

Daniel Patrick

Auburn University

Polycentric Legal Order

Polycentric Legal Order: Overcoming limitations of state-monopolized power structures


The purpose of government can perhaps most simply be defined as the maintenance of

social order through the administration of public law. It is the purpose of public administration

to carry out the required functions to bring into being the dictates of such law, and thus social

order, so that they are representative of more than merely words on paper. While it is not

controversial to hold that social cooperation is dependent upon recognition of and adherence to

some commonly agreed upon rules of conduct, rarely is the fundamental mode of the

administration and enforcement of societal rules questioned. In fact, this questioning is so rare

that certain deficiencies, inefficiencies, and outright failures in public administration are

accepted as necessary evils which can, at best, be minimized through ever-increasing reforms,

regulations and attempts at transparency. It is accepted as a forgone conclusion that these

problems are inevitable and intrinsic to the modern implementation of public policy through

bureaucracy and one of the challenges of modern public administration science is overcoming

these limitations. And while it certainly may be the case that these problems are unavoidable

given a particular policymaking and administration paradigm, we would do well to avoid the

fatal conceit of assuming that the current approach to public administration is the peak of human

development in the realm of political science. In fact, there is ample evidence to indicate that

these difficulties are not somehow peculiar to public administration per se, but are the result of a

“one-size-fits-all” monopolistic legal system.

This paper will investigate the theoretical structures intended to avoid these pitfalls by

presenting an alternative viewpoint of policy and public law administration drawing upon

Polycentric Legal Order

various disciplines of the social sciences including economics and legal theory. Namely, the

topic of polycentric legal order and its relevant criticism will be presented in the following

sections (Barnett, 1998).

Polycentrism: An alternative approach to overcoming monopolistic pitfalls

The primary trait of a monopoly legal system is that there is a single entity authorizing

the use of force or power in a given locality which must be protected by the use of force or

power. In contrast to a market monopoly in which a firm gains a dominate market share through

voluntary market transactions, this is a coercive monopoly. That is, a monopoly which exists by

violence or by threat of violence. It is a necessary quality of this structure that these powers

must be granted to some members of society and excluded from others. An example of this is

that monocentric courts have the power to order arrest, imprisonment, search & seizure, etc that

non-court members of society do not have. (Tannehill & Tannehill, 1984).

Barnett (1998) identified several problems which arise from this coercive monopoly.

The first of these problems are the selection problem, the capture problem and corruption

problem. Respectively, these problems are those of determining who gets the power, preventing

bad people from gaining the power and preventing the corrupting influence of these powers

themselves. One way of lessening these problems is through the project of liberal democracy.

Electoral politics grants a measure of reciprocity to the subjects of the system by allowing them

to decide which members of society are granted the powers and by allowing any qualifying

members of society to be elected and gain that power for themselves. While this is certainly a

way of hedging the potential harm of these problems there are certain ways in which this attempt

in itself falls short. One way is the problem of knowledge which is that those making democratic

decisions have a limited amount of information available to them about candidates prior to

election as well as about their performance after election. The other side of the knowledge

problem is that distant elected representatives lack local information about the people and places

which they rule. Another problem is that the power to choose rulers itself can be corrupting and

abused. For example, when a majority of voters choose rulers with agendas for personal gain

at the expense of the minority group. Finally, there is the problem of exit which is the limit of

subjects of monopolistic legal powers in opting-out, that is, in no longer being subject to these

powers of coercion.

The polycentric legal order offers a solution to these problems and more by allowing for

multiple centers of power within a legal order. Barnett (1998) cites two simple changes which

can be made to the existing legal order to achieve this end. These are the non-confiscation

principle and the competition principle. The non-confiscation principle is that law enforcement

and adjudicative agencies must not confiscate their income by force, but by contract with the

parties that they serve. The competition principle is that law enforcement and adjudicative

agencies cannot put their competitors out of business by force. This allows for the possibility

of the existence of firms which provide services through voluntary contract that were previously

monopolized (Benson, 2011). This provision addresses the problem of knowledge in which

subscribers to a particular legal center transmit the information about their preferences in the

same way in which other market transactions do (i.e. through profit and loss). This also corrects

the problem of corruption and exit. Because service providers cannot force others to contract

with them they must uphold higher standards of conduct in order to retain competitive market

position. Additionally, service consumers cannot take advantage of other subscribers to the

provider in the way of pursuing their interests at the expense of the minority. This is not merely

theoretical speculation, however. Currently, any number of services outside of the realm of

monopolistic law exist based on these principles (Stringham, 1999). Insurance providers are

one example with private arbitration services being another. In fact, many businesses which

would be forced into never ending litigation in monopoly court systems are only able to continue

operating by their reliance on private arbitration services (Stringham, 2007).

Polycentrism: An experiment in chaos

One obvious criticism of this approach is that a competitive system of law enforcement

and adjudication would result in gang warfare. Such conflicts could be supposed to arise in the

following manner: Customer A (CA) has his property stolen by Customer B (CB). CA contacts

his private protection agency to report the offense. Agency A dispatches to the residence of CB

to reclaim the stolen property or collect for damages. Upon arrival, CB refuses too cooperate

and contacts her private protection agency to report that they are being accosted. CB’s protection

agency arrives to defend their client and conflict ensues between the two respective protection

agencies resulting in a type of turf war. Clearly, this is not a situation conducive to social order.

Another criticism is that in a pay-for-law scenario only those that can afford legal protection can

attain it, resulting in the impoverished being defenseless and victimized by those that can afford

protection (Stringham, 2007).

The polycentric solution also falls short in its lack of explanation of how the competitive

principle alone can prevent a single firm from gaining a monopoly by forcing competitors out of

the market, essentially resulting in the original problem which it attempts to resolve. Related

to this idea is the issue that results from taking rule-setting powers away from the general public

through the democratic process and putting it into the hands of private protection agencies.

Additionally, the case for polycentric legal order fails to address the threat of foreign invasion

from outside monocentric forces. If we are to assume that private protection agencies would

have to rely on weapons of mass destruction for large-scale defense, wouldn’t the result be a

that a dominant private firm could use force to acquire other areas to gain additional customers?

Although the potential problems of monocentrism are acknowledged, the polycentric model does

not adequately explain how those problems can be avoided and could perhaps lead to a worse

scenario in which the existing hedges of monocentrism are abolished (Palchak & Leung, 2011).

Analysis and Rebuttal

The case for polycentric legal order correctly identifies serious limitations of a

monopolistic system and offers some compelling arguments for its adoption. While the

objections to its enactment are valid criticisms there are reasons to believe that the concerns are

unfounded given certain facts about the economics of a market-based system. The first objection

of devolution into gang warfare ignores the costs of violence between competitors. There is

initially the cost of losing property and employee capital to acts of aggression. Secondly, there is

the cost of resolving damages through the litigation process. It is not in the interest of any profit-

making firm to incur preventable costs. Quite simply, negotiation and mediation are far cheaper

than violence. In contrast, the monocentric system which relies upon confiscation by coercion

for its revenue does not incur any of these costs as they are passed on to the consumers, even if

the increased costs are against their will. Essentially, the monocentrists have free reign to pursue

all the benefits of violence without the drawback of paying the price. This means that

monopolistic systems have an inherent incentive to engage in violence while polycentric systems

have an inherent incentive to avoid the high costs of violence (Stringham, 2007).

The second criticism which does not seem to withstand scrutiny is that under a

polycentric legal system a dominant private protection agency could gain monopoly position and

either become a monopolistic system in itself or take advantage of its customers. The first

scenario is impossible because the a firm may only gain market dominance through the

satisfaction of its customers. Stripped of the ability to use coercion to maintain that monopoly a

firm must compete fairly in order to retain market dominance. In fact, natural monopolies do not

exist outside of theory for this very reason. The only monopolies which can exist currently are

those which are based on the monocentric-granted privilege of exclusivity. This fact also makes

the second scenario impossible. For if a market-dominant firm began abusing customers, say

through exorbitant prices, breaches of contract or poor service, a competing provider would have

an opportunity to satisfy those unmet desires (Benson 2011).


While it is acknowledged that the case for polycentrism is not free of potential

drawbacks, it is an important contribution to the area of law and public administration. It

correctly identifies and attempts to addresses many of the current limitations of monocentric

legal systems, particularly problems of corruption, legitimacy, and knowledge. Detractors to the

theory are correct in pointing out that it is not a perfect system. However, it is not intended to be

any more than the status quo is intended to be utopian. What it does do successfully is question

the current paradigm and show that attempts at reform are hamstrung by inherent problems of

the system itself. Just as we have seen the vast benefits that can be derived from allowing

voluntary interaction to satisfy innumerable other human needs so can we benefit from allowing

the same processes to improve law and order. Although the idea of polycentric legal order may

seem shocking or impossible by today’s standards so it must have been for those under feudal

rule to imagine a world in which individuals could function without the rule of that power



Barnett, R. E. (1998). The structure of liberty: justice and the rule of law. New York: Oxford

University Press.

Benson, B. (2011). The enterprise of law : justice without the state. Oakland, CA: The Independent


Palchak, J. K., & Leung, S. T. (2002). No state required – a critical review of the polycentric legal

order. Gonzaga Law Review, 38, 289.

Stringham, E. (1999). Market chosen law. Journal of Libertarian Studies, 14(1; SEAS WIN), 53-78.

Stringham, E. (2007). Anarchy and the law, the political economy of choice. Oakland, CA:

Transaction Publications

Tannehill, M., & Tannehill, L. (1984). The market for liberty: Is government really necessary? ; is

government our protector … or our destroyer? New York: Laissez Faire Books.

The Importance of Preserving our Elders’ Teachings

Mamaw and Pa Frank

By Kevin and Katie Arp

Growing up, I remember spending summers in the small Texas town of Llano, with my grandparents. (Like many kids from the south, my little brother, cousins and myself all called them “Mamaw” and “Papaw”) Some of my best memories revolve around my time with them, there, in their little house on East Wallace Street. Papaw worked at the local Exxon filling station, and Mamaw ran the household, just as she did their entire married life. Every day at noon, Papaw would drive his old green pick-up truck back to the house, (some days, he would walk), and have lunch with Mamaw and us kids.

Lunch, (they called it Dinner; Supper was in the evening), was a big affair, and was the largest meal of the day, in their household. I remember all of the tempting aromas that would spill out of that kitchen, through the screen: black-eyed peas and cornbread, fried venison and mashed potatoes, or Mamaw’s exquisite chicken and dumplings. We also learned to use our ears: Mamaw would not miss any of Paul Harvey’s mid-day radio broadcasts, so we listened for the harmonic tones and famous inflections that accompanied his now-famous radio spots, The Rest of the Story. Lunch was always fresh, and every aspect of the meal came from their gardens, their chicken yard, or from wild game. I have yet to have a fruit or vegetable from any store, (yes, even Austin’s precious Whole Foods), that can even come close to replicating the freshness and flavor of something from their gardens. With the anemic, tasteless produce sitting on most stores’ shelves, it is little wonder a lot of children turn their noses up at things like tomatoes and green beans.

Those summers were quite some time ago. Mamaw passed away in 1996, and Papaw followed her less than two years later, in 1998. Thinking back to those summers always makes me smile, and I feel very fortunate to have had such wonderful people in my life to nurture and teach me through my childhood. Now that I am older and my wife and I strive to be more and more self-reliant, I consider myself even luckier that I remember a lot of what I saw and what was taught to me through action or words, at the feet of my grandparents. Papaw taught me many things, such as how to dress and skin a deer and a hog, and he gave me vast knowledge on raising chickens for eggs and meat. Mamaw taught me much, too, like when it was best to plant certain vegetables, or, how to make plum jelly and how to get rid of ants with cucumber peels! What I remember comes with a certain amount of regret, however. I regret that I did not listen to everything that they tried to teach me; I regret that I was too busy, too young or too self-centered to really listen and retain it all.

As the Earth and its inhabitants hurtle towards a future that is more and more technology-driven, the skills and wisdom of our elders are dying away. Most people feel that they have no time for such things, and they are content with viewing the supermarkets as their “gardens”. Our grandparents, who come from a deep oral tradition, everything learned through demonstration and word of mouth, are taking this knowledge with them when they pass away because they feel we do not care. In many cases, sadly, they are quite right.
If you were to enter my house, you would see many, many books and printed articles laying around about self-reliance; our library runs the gamut from raising crops and animal husbandry to composting toilets and bee keeping. Knowledge is power, and we would not trade any of this printed information for anything. Anything, that is, except more time at my grandparents’ side, learning. We cannot hope to maintain a future for the next generation(s) if we do nothing to preserve our past. There is hope, however. We can utilize this same technology, that is dulling minds and endangering our ancestral knowledge, to inform and share; technology would effectively help to spread that which we should hold dear: our very roots. Organizations and websites such as Blush Family Farms are great allies to the self-reliance community and to the preservation of teachings that are slowly fading away. Our greatest hope for the future, however, lies within the minds of our elderly. If an elder offers you even a small amount of his or her attainments, listen close and learn, so you can pass it on, as well. Knowledge is a living thing; kept alive only through grateful reception and enthusiastic tutelage.

Command and Control Resistance

Command and Control Resistance by Justin Frost 3/31/2013

“There was of course no way of knowing whether you were being watched at any given moment. How often, or on what system, the Thought Police plugged in on any individual wire was guesswork. It was even conceivable that they watched everybody all the time. But at any rate they could plug in your wire whenever they wanted to. You had to live—did live, from habit that became instinct—in the assumption that every sound you made was overheard, and, except in darkness, every movement scrutinized.” – George Orwell’s Nineteen Eighty-four.

Oppression is a dilemma brought about by the existence of a hierarchical state that uses force, coercion, and manipulation to limit the free action of individuals. Historically revolutions have resulted in temporary defeat of oppressors only to have those revolutionaries who take power become the new oppressors. The subjects of the statist religion cannot see past their limited programming to envision an alternative means of organizing society without the state. The widely held belief that the state is necessary for the peaceful operation of society is an irrational fear generated by oppressors to keep a populous subdued enough to allow for the persistence of despotic rule.

Transformation occurs when an individual overcomes a dilemma by evolving beyond their previous paradigm. Transformation is more than just learning new information or becoming aware of a dilemma. One transforms perception by questioning the principles used to make sense of the world and reprioritizing one’s values and directives. Transformation results in strategically changing one’s intentions and perceived purpose to address the conditions of a dilemma.

As an activist, journalist, and scientist I am constantly engaged in the process of cultural action. “Cultural action refers to any type of project which attempts to transform relations prior to the taking of power…. The aim of these projects is to enable people to develop a critical perception of their oppression and as far as possible prior to the revolution, to prepare themselves for full active engagement in cultural revolution. Cultural revolution is a permanent process in which conscientized people engage in the continuous creation and recreation of their society.” (Darder, 429)

No small task, the goal is to free civilization by abolishing the state and with it an entrenched system of slavery. “When a relation is antagonistic, producing domination and subordination, and so on the idea for the radical activist is to abolish or radically transform the relation…” (Darder, 427) There is no new form of government that can successfully transplant the old way. The goal is to achieve autonomy by bringing forth a renaissance of technological advancement. A free market of productive peaceful individuals armed with 21st century technology creates better solutions to problems than the government sector can. The government attempts to monopolize media, education, arbitration, security, food, and medicine. The goal is to out-compete the hierarchical centralized command and control system with parallel systems that render the state obsolete.

The municipal courthouse serves a corrupt tyrannical system that exploits the most vulnerable members of society in the name of protecting them. The agents of the court derive their authority over their subjects by claiming to act on behalf of the corporation known as the state. The corporation asserts a monopoly over the exercise of force in a geographic region. The subjects in a fiefdom are not permitted the same rights as the agents of the state. Members of peaceful society do not have the right to impose their will on others. Those who participate in voluntary peaceful production and exchange are merely peasants at the bottom of parasitic feudal system that depends on coercive threats and violence to fleece members of productive society in order to sustain its despotic reign.

I recently went to observe a court room along with several liberty activists and was surprised by the number of school kids that were being slapped with multiple $300 fines for “disrupting class”. In a matter of hours the court reaped thousands of dollars from families struggling with poverty. The students were before a judge to compensate the state for the crime of dissent.

I was appalled by the way the students were treated. One after another, teenagers were brought to stand trial for the crime of disrupting class; a minor offense that would have in a previous era been dealt with by a trip to the principal’s office. Instead these kids were labeled as criminals and not allowed to even discuss what they did wrong or why it was a crime. The judge simply told them to be obedient in school and get a job to pay the fines. “Childhood is a sacred state, one that society demands be protected by public institutions, until the “children” become “criminals,” at which point they are tossed into a moral abyss, perceived as somehow less than human but increasingly held accountable as adults.” (Darder, 129)

The servants of the state dare not allow themselves to ponder the possibility that school is not preparing these kids with useful skills to prosper in the real world. The state can see no blame in its actions since it is the ultimate arbiter of all conflicts, even conflicts involving its self. In matters involving its actions the state always rules itself to be just. This arrogance is the hallmark of tyranny. This command and control system’s one objective is totalitarianism, absolute authority over the individual, and domination of humanity under the state.

There is no contemplation on the court’s part that the school system’s methods might be to blame for a court packed full of young poor minorities. The court claims to be protecting the children by removing these disruptive elements from the classroom and applying zero tolerance policies to any behavior that attempts to disturb the status quo, when in reality it is exploiting children and society by serving the interests of the corporations it has allegiance to. “Public education depends on victims and criminals, potential or actual, to justify its risk management functions, which enmesh industry interests and police actions with educational institutions.” (Darder, 129)

The hypocrisy in this oppressive process is blatant. The double standard and unequal application of the rules highlights the stark difference between the oppressors and the oppressed. The authority figures of the court sit several feet higher than the common citizens and armed guards stand like sentinels at the entrances so the threat of force is ever present. The court room is filled with surveillance cameras embedded in the ceiling. The citizens have no way of knowing who may be watching. There is no accountability of the abuses of the state but every action of the lowly citizen is held to the harshest scrutiny with severe punishment for any misbehavior.
As the conveyor belt of disruptive kids was harvested by the judge, one activist attempted to exercise his right to film this unprecedented process of criminalizing children’s behavior. Without warning, the judge confiscated the camera and forced the activist to erase the video or be charged with contempt of court. The judge treated the adult activist just like a child in trouble at the principles office. There was no regard to the citizen media’s right to film. When the audience in the courtroom protested the judge said that no one could film because minors were present. One activist responded by questioning the judge about the cameras positioned in the ceiling. Indeed the state’s claim is that when a citizen films it is a form of intrusion, but the state records it is a form of protection. As if confiscating the citizen media’s camera wasn’t enough of an outrage, the judge then cleared the courtroom when she realized that dozens of activists were present. The judge allowed main stream media outlets to remain and film, specifically ordering only the citizen media to be cleared from the court. She then threatened criminal trespass to all the activists and ordered police to force everyone to leave the building at threat of arrest.

The audacity of the surveillance state originates in its perverse scopophilia and the distance it creates between those who command and those who are controlled. “Surveillance systems may not directly create prejudice or fear, but they tend to cultivate extreme voyeuristic impulses that enforce divisions between subjects and objects and amplify the base qualities of those doing the watching.” (Darder, 128) The oppressors use video recording to suit their ends and use force to limit being scrutinized themselves. The rules are not applied evenly and equally. The state will use law and reason yet equally resorts to dispatching its opposition with brute force when it suits its ends. Any attempt to hold the police-state accountable will be met with retaliatory force. Fear of retaliation compels people to submit to the state’s beastly authority. Fear fuels the bullying powers of agents of the state. Brave people need only rise up in opposition and the machine of the state will come to a grinding halt. The next phase of human evolution will begin within a stateless society based on voluntary interaction.

The surveillance state is part of a cancer that has metastasized into every aspect of human existence. The totalitarian state is the antithesis of humanity. To be more human and evolve each individual must shed his dependence on the state in whatever way possible. The abolition of the state requires bold individuals to live independent of socialist systems and strive to outcompete and undermine command and control architecture in every aspect of life.

Works Cited:
Darder, A., Baltodano, M., & Torres, R. D. (2009). The critical pedagogy reader. (2nd ed.). New York: Routledge.
Orwell, G. (2004). Nineteen eighty-four. London: Penguin Books.

Dog Gone It: An Exploration In Stateless Conflict Resolution

By: Catherine Bleish of SovereignLiving.tv


This is Liberty, a dog rescued from a neglectful situation across the street from our home.   She is living proof that shaking hands with your neighbors instead of calling the state on them will bring about the best possible solution for everyone involved.

Our dog related conflicts began with the people across the street in late November when a black and white puppy began hanging around their front yard.  My first interaction with the dog was catching her eating out of our cat food bowl on the front porch.  I shooed her off and tried to find a higher place to put the cat bowl (I like attracting barn cats to chase off mice and rabbits!).

A few days later I caught her in our back yard chasing our chickens, so I carried her over to their house and knocked on the door.  When I handed her over I asked their young daughter to translate for me and to let her mom know the dog was chasing our chickens.  The mother denied that the dog was theirs and said it was hanging around because they were feeding their new German Shepherd in the backyard (it was chained up).  She said the black and white dog belonged to the people down the street and she would talk to them.

One yet another occasion, I heard a commotion out front, I went to the window to see the mother from across the street standing halfway down our driveway quietly calling for the dog.  I ran into our back yard to find her chasing our chickens again!  Thankfully she was too small to do much damage at this point and I was able to quickly catch her.  When I handed her back I told her with some anger that this had to stop.

By December we had talked to the neighbors down the road and they told us they had given the dog to the mother across the street as a gift (the one denying it was hers while simultaneously taking it every time I brought it over).  The chicken chasing and food raiding had continued, my frustrated door knocking had escalated, and we began experiencing the additional problem of the German Shepherd getting loose and coming onto our property and barking at our house guests.

In January, just as my second trimester of pregnancy ended I heard a loud squawking noise out front. I called for John and ran full steam at the German Shepherd holding one of my chickens in his mouth.  Screaming at the top of my lungs I chased him toward his property, tripping and falling in the middle of the street.  From my hands and knees in the middle of the road I screamed as loud as I could, somehow scaring the German Shepherd into dropping the bird.

I then ran to their front door pounding and screaming like a mad woman, with bleeding knees, hands and feet, and chasing the dog every time it tried to go after the bird again until they finally answered.  I was sobbing and furious and spent the next 45 minutes in a “come to Jesus” meeting in their living room.

One of their housemates, the owner of the German Shepherd, speaks English and he translated between myself and the family.  He expressed great remorse and agreed to keep better watch of his dog, the mother and father of the house reluctantly agreed to take responsibility for the black and white dog (liberty) because their young daughter wanted to keep her.

It broke my heart to see both dogs chained in the front yard after that.  Rain, freeze or shine, those dogs were there.  They would cry out at night and my daughter would sign “hurt” and point to the front window when she heard them cry out.  I could not stand to have her see dogs treated like this as we are huge animal lovers and did not want her to think this was okay.

Then a second family with four more children moved in.  This is when the especially cruel treatment began.  The neglect turned in to abuse and included spraying the black and white dog (Liberty) in the face with a hose while she was tied to the end of her chain and unable to get away, throwing objects at the dogs and our chickens, and even hitting the dog.  Every time I saw such an injustice I would shout for them to stop.  If it was directed at our animals I would march over and tell their parents to deal with the situation.

Then things took a turn for the worse.  The owner of the German Shepherd, the mother and father who had taken responsibility for the black and white dog (Liberty), and two of their children left for a week. While they were out of town the father of the newest set of four kids was left at the house with six children.

He did not feed or water the dogs the first four days they were left there.  When a wind storm hit with 45 mph winds, they were both left cowering as debris and branches blasted them.  By the end of the storm the German Shepherd’s chain was wrapped around a large toy car, leaving him no more than a foot of space to move (thankfully the toy hit the tree and not the dog!).  The temperature dropped below forty and the poor doggies were left right there, totally exposed.

When the black and white dog (Liberty) got off her chain and began hunting squirrels to eat, I got on facebook and had a friend translate a letter to the dad asking him to please feed the dogs and provide them shelter from the elements.  I delivered the letter and he tried to explain their housing situation to me in very broken English.  He did not go feed the dogs or do anything to wrangle the loose one.

The next day John arrived home from his trip to Liberty Forum in New Hampshire.  He knocked on the door across the street and told the man watching all the kids that needs had to take care of the dogs.  The man told John he did not own the dogs and John asked him to please help the dogs and to please help us by feeding and watering them.  In addition to our concern for the dog’s well being, we did not want a hungry dog and known chicken chasers loose near our property.

Now, bare in mind we had both posted on FaceBook asking for advice on how to deal with this situation.  Calling animal control, calling the police and shooting the dogs when they come on our property were all suggested solutions.  We didn’t want to hurt the dogs and we certainly did not want to entangle ourselves or our neighbors with the state, so we decided to wait until the owners came home and deal with them face to face.

John wrote a very strong letter (attached) demanding they care for the dogs or relinquish them to us to find better housing.  The letter said in part, “the next time your dog comes on our property we will take it and find it a better home.”  Two days after the letter was left on the front porch after repeated knocking to no avail, John went across the street to speak to the “man of the house”.  In his best broken spanish, he convinced the mother and father, who had previously agreed to take are of the black and white dog (Liberty) and neglected to do so, to let us find her a better home.  Thankfully our friend Caitlyn was willing and able to help in this process.

dog rescue

One week after their return from the week of neglect, Caitlyn arrived to pick up Liberty.  Thank goodness, too, because John had to stop the kids from each individually hitting her one after the other in the driveway.  When one girl tried to defend the dog, they started hitting the girl.

Since her rescue, the German Shepherd was caught loose once, chasing our beautiful peacock.  This was days before my due date and I shouted at him from our drive.  John went to talk to him and he apologized greatly and said he had to run inside to deal with a situation and left the dog off-leash.  He has been spending more time with the German Shepherd and the dog now lives in their chicken coop with access to shelter, food and water.

I want the readers to hear this story in its entirety to understand that dealing with our neighbors instead of calling the state is a long and tedious process.  Despite the stress and the months of anguish over the situation, we managed to find the dogs better treatment, build a stronger bond with our neighbors, and prevented anyone from entanglement with a violent institution.

Moving forward John and I plan to take our community relationships to the next level.  Not only do we intend to resolve our conflicts face to face, but we plan to open part of our yard as a community garden to teach our neighbors the joy of growing their own food.  This will help make our neighborhood more resilient as the dollar slowly collapses.  Hopefully, one day, we’ll be bartering with our neighbors as well!

PS: if you’re interested in adopting Liberty, please shoot me an email at Cat.Bleish@gmail.com and I will get you in touch with Caitlyn.  She is now potty trained, fully fed and looking for a forever home!  Yaye for community solutions!

letter to neighbor english