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Author Topic: An Onion in the Free State  (Read 23084 times)

joe_m

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #30 on: October 24, 2003, 09:08:01 pm »

D'OH! Should have said "eating dessert"! (Damn that spell check and its inability to determine context).  

Well, I guess eating desert, could be another way of supporting the dirty, smelly sand-monkeys, unless, of course, its one of our domestic American deserts (e.g. The Great Basin Desert or The Mojave Desert).
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Karl

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #31 on: October 24, 2003, 09:19:00 pm »

D'OH! Should have said "eating dessert"! (Damn that spell check and its inability to determine context).  

You can fix it by clicking on the "modify" button above your post.
« Last Edit: October 24, 2003, 09:19:14 pm by Karl Beisel »
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joe_m

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #32 on: October 24, 2003, 09:47:23 pm »

Thanks Carl!

I decided not to modify the "desert/dessert" mistake, since my follow-up post, and your follow-up to that wouldn't make sense to new readers, but I did change "Doug Bennett" to "Bill Bennett" (Doug Bennett was a dude I went to high school with, don't know WTF I was thinking when I mistook him for our former high-rolling Drug Commissar!)
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alecmuller

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #33 on: October 27, 2003, 02:19:53 pm »

Local Employee Bargains with Boss for Economic Hardship Package

Laconia, NH – Roy Ferland, an attendant at a local Texaco station, held an open hearing with Frank Jeffers (his manager) this Tuesday to make his case for an economic hardship package.

“Revenue has remained stagnant the last several years,” he lamented, “while expenditures are up 8% per annum.  Unforeseen circumstances (including some rust work for my Pinto and rate hike on the credit card I used for my spending spree last Christmas) have resulted in unavoidable cost increases.  While my investments in off-track gambling have yet to pay off, I’m confident that a modest funding increase will allow me to reap a windfall.  In addition to these expenses I have my regular rent and bar tabs to pay, so you can see why you and I must come to an agreement on this package or face cutbacks in essential services.”

Ferland went on to propose two alternatives.  â€œFirst, we could agree to a modest rate increase of say 50 cents an hour.  Alternatively, you could expand my personal line of credit (say, from zero to $500), thereby increasing my debt ceiling.  While I personally find the first option more attractive, I would be perfectly satisfied with the second and am also willing to entertain alternatives.  Working together, I'm confident that you and I can get through these financially difficult times.”

Jeffers reportedly smiled, gave Ferland a pink slip, and cautioned him not to let the door hit his ass on the way out.
« Last Edit: October 27, 2003, 02:25:29 pm by alecmuller »
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joe_m

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #34 on: October 27, 2003, 06:10:01 pm »

Alec:

The "Local Employee Bargains with Boss …" article was an excellent depiction of the contrast between the government and the average working stiff, until the last sentence.  Had Jeffers merely laughed at and ridiculed Ferland, Ferland would have learned the bitter truth that, unlike Master Government, he cannot have more money simply because he thinks he needs it. However, by _firing_ Ferland, Jeffers completely reversed the situation.

Now, with the help of any lawyer who advertises on daytime TV, or the back of the phone book, Ferland can have as much of Jeffers' money as he wants. Jeffers, by issuing the pink slip, discriminated against whatever protected group Ferland is a member of (assuming Ferland is a white, heterosexual male under 40, he _must_ have _some_ condition that a good psychologist or psychiatrist could classify as a disability).  Besides, Jeffers sexually harassed Ferland with his comments about the door hitting him in the ass (any references to the posterior are sexual in the eyes of the courts).

Joe.
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alecmuller

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #35 on: October 27, 2003, 07:04:50 pm »

Alec:

The "Local Employee Bargains with Boss …" article was an excellent depiction of the contrast between the government and the average working stiff, until the last sentence.  Had Jeffers merely laughed at and ridiculed Ferland, Ferland would have learned the bitter truth that, unlike Master Government, he cannot have more money simply because he thinks he needs it. However, by _firing_ Ferland, Jeffers completely reversed the situation.

Now, with the help of any lawyer who advertises on daytime TV, or the back of the phone book, Ferland can have as much of Jeffers' money as he wants. Jeffers, by issuing the pink slip, discriminated against whatever protected group Ferland is a member of (assuming Ferland is a white, heterosexual male under 40, he _must_ have _some_ condition that a good psychologist or psychiatrist could classify as a disability).  Besides, Jeffers sexually harassed Ferland with his comments about the door hitting him in the ass (any references to the posterior are sexual in the eyes of the courts).

Joe.


Ha!  Thanks for the comments Joe.  I've realized after a few articles that I'd like to focus on the irrefutable hypocracies in our culture that are glaring to us but aren't necessarily apparent to fence-sitters.  Any suggestions that will help my articles do a better job of driving these views home are welcome.

Here's an alternate ending:

Jeffers reportedly declined Ferland's proposals but did suggest an alternative.  "I offered you extra shifts just last week but you turned them down," he deadpanned.  "If you want more money, work harder and make yourself useful to the business.  If you think you can make more money at Irving or Cumbie's, go for it, because we'll get along here just fine without you."
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joe_m

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #36 on: October 28, 2003, 07:15:04 am »


Here's an alternate ending:

Jeffers reportedly declined Ferland's proposals but did suggest an alternative.  "I offered you extra shifts just last week but you turned them down," he deadpanned.  "If you want more money, work harder and make yourself useful to the business.  If you think you can make more money at Irving or Cumbie's, go for it, because we'll get along here just fine without you."

I like it!

Joe.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2003, 07:17:06 am by joe_m »
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alecmuller

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #37 on: October 28, 2003, 11:12:14 am »

Mainers to Choose How to Fund Public Schools

Augusta, ME – The off-year election is just a week away, and Mainers will vote on a number of ballot issues.  While the possibility of an Indian Casino has drawn the most attention, proponents of two competing tax measures are vying to change how Maine public schools are funded.

Question 1 gives three alternatives.  The first increases the fraction of public school funding that comes from the state to 55% (up from 43%), the second does the same thing but phased in over a five year period, and the third is simply “no” to the first two.

Proponents of the first two measures are selling them as tax reforms.  Art Mayo, a spokesperson for 1A, contends that shifting money from the property-tax pocket (local funding) to the income-tax pocket (state funding) will reduce Maine’s high tax burden.  â€œI’m confident that we’ll see real tax reform with the passage of 1A.  Towns will be flush with cash once they’re relieved of a portion of school funding, and I’m certain that they’ll use that money to lower taxes and not just spend it on something else.  In addition, I’m sure the state will have no problem absorbing the added cost without raising income taxes.  Finally, I’m confident that these funds will come without strings attached, and that the state won’t demand additional control over schools just because they’re footing the bill.”

Godfrey Wood, head of the campaign for 1B, partially disagrees.  â€œ1A will actually increase our tax burden, because it will change funding sources too quickly.  The true road to tax reform is to do this same thing only more slowly, and without the frills.  You can’t trust politicians to lower taxes or reduce spending when you change their funding levels all at once, but if you do it slowly, then yeah, they’re honest and do the right thing.”  Wood was also confident that towns would not be giving up control over their schools.

Bob Stone, the one man foolish enough to campaign for 1C, contends that 1A and 1B will hurt both education and the state’s overall tax burden.  â€œNeither of these proposals offers real reform.  How is transferring the funding source of education away from the town level and toward the state level going to increase accountability in our public schools?  How is moving money from one tax source to another going to reduce our tax burden?  Maine needs both education and tax reform, but that doesn’t change the fact that 1A and 1B are both BAD ideas.”
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Rearden

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #38 on: October 28, 2003, 03:48:52 pm »

Congress Admits Existence of Giant Warehouse of Health, Socialists Rejoice

Senator Paul Sarbanes (D-MD) announced at a press conference today that Congress does indeed possess a large warehouse full of health.  This amazing fact directly contradicts the repeated denials of various members of Congress of the existence of such a stockpile.  Supporters of socialized healthcare rejoiced at the news.  

“I knew they were lying!  I knew they were holding back the people’s health from them!” shouted a jubilant Robert McCloskey, of Eugene, Oregon,“Finally, our right to health will be acknowledged.”  â€œNo more going to Canada and Britain for high-quality healthcare,” agreed Joanne Martin, of Silver Spring, Maryland, “Now I’ll be able to get my needed treatments right here in the USA, the way God intended.”

In a solemn tone, Senator Sarbanes admitted what American socialists have suspected all along.  â€œYes,” he said, “we have been stockpiling health for over four decades, just for ourselves.”  As everyone knows, health grows on the magic Healthber tree, native to the Cypress Swamps of Louisiana and long thought extinct in the US.  When asked why Congress has kept the warehouse full of Healthber trees and their fruit a secret, Sarbanes responded, “To be frank, we’ve been so busy hiding our nuclear waste in Yucca Mountain and building the new Paisley line of the DC Metro that we plum forgot about it.  Hell, we hardly ever read the bills anyway – most of Congress probably never knew it was there.”  

The 100 million units of health will be disbursed starting on the first of the year, according to Sarbanes.  Those seeking the share of health to which they are entitled must fill out two sets of forms in triplicate, have them countersigned by a doctor and their senator, and then appear at the warehouse of health in Topeka, Kansas on the third Tuesday of each month between the hours of 2:30 pm and 3:00 pm.  The warehouse will be closed for inventorying the health from June through September.  
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Government can do only one thing: It can break your legs, hand you a crutch, and say, "See?  If not for the government you couldn't walk."

alecmuller

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #39 on: October 31, 2003, 12:49:19 pm »

Naïve Local Man Confused By Permitting Laws

Burlington, VT – Local property owner Andrew Borrett just didn’t understand the law.

Last week the unlucky man decided to cut down a tree he thought was his.  â€œI’ve wanted more sun on my front lawn for years, so I finally got around to cutting that big shade tree down.”

Little did he know, however, that the tree actually belonged to Society.

It wasn’t long before a neighbor noticed the missing tree and reported it to city code enforcement officer Frank Coderre.  â€œThe city law is very clear on this,” Coderre maintained, “trees inside the city within sight of a public road can only be cut down with a permission slip from the city.  This way the city maintains control over the appearance of its properties.”

But Borrett didn’t seem to understand.  â€œI thought I owned my house and yard and the trees in it.  I have a deed that says so, and I pay taxes on them.  Don’t property rights mean that you control what you own?  Did that tree belong to me or someone else?”

Coderre was happy to enlighten him.  â€œYour confusion is understandable – we actually get this all the time.  When a deed says you own a piece of land, that’s really more of a property privilege than a property right.  Property rights do determine who controls a piece of land, but individual people don’t have them – Society does.  Society decides who can use properties by giving deeds to people, and it decides how they may use them by passing laws.  These laws are privileges, and the privilege to cut down a tree in your front yard is a perfect example.”

Borrett, unfortunately, was unable to hide his disgust.  â€œYou mean to tell me that we live in the freest country in the world and we’re not even allowed to own private property?  Is this some kind of a joke?”

“No, no, not at all,” Coderre replied.  â€œYou’re perfectly welcome believe that you ‘own’ your land if it makes you happy – that’s one of your privileges.”
« Last Edit: November 04, 2003, 08:48:34 pm by alecmuller »
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alecmuller

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #40 on: October 31, 2003, 01:57:34 pm »

Hey web-savvy people!  I've got an idea and I'd like feedback on how much work/money it will take to set it up:

The Onion does not accept submissions from readers, so I'd like to start up a site that does.  On top of that, readers will be free to choose between a variety of different editors.

We'll have one web site where we post all of the articles.  Anyone who wants to (free stater or not) can post an article as long as they've either written it themselves or gotten permission from the author.  All restrictions on use of the article (such as which editors can use it and whether they can make changes) must be made at the time of posting.

Anyone who wants to be an editor can sign up for an account.  Editors get their own page and complete control over it.  They decide which articles to use and can edit them (subject to the restrictions made by the posters) as they see fit.

The main page will be nothing more than an explanation, a link to the forum where articles are posted, links to the pages for individual editors, and advertisements.  We'll also have ads on each of the editor's pages.

In the beginning, I'll pay all the monthly costs and collect all (if any) advertising dollars.  If it stays small-scale we'll leave it at that.  If it catches on then we'll figure out how to allocate ad dollars (maybe I'll give editors money to keep them on the site and editors will give authors money to let them use their articles? who knows, we'll see).

What do you all think?  Does this exist somewhere else?  Would you read, write/edit-for something like this?
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alecmuller

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #41 on: November 03, 2003, 02:01:21 pm »

Respectful Man Would Rather Live in Grinding Poverty than Break Canada’s Laws

St. Albans, VT – Earnest Smith may be poor, but at least he’s a law abiding citizen.

Like many Vermonters, he works 12 hours a day, six days a week in a machiadora just south of the border for about fifty dollars a month.  Smith and his wife and oldest son have worked there for 6, 5 and 2 years respectively.  While the pay is pitiful by Canadian standards, it’s a princely wage in this impoverished region, and they hope to soon find a position for their younger son.  The wages and conditions in non-Canadian-run factories are even worse.

In their city, crime runs rampant and everyone is poor.  The judges and the police are owned by the mafia, and entrepreneurs must make a series of bribes before starting their businesses.  Unemployment is widespread, and many young people are turning to drugs and prostitution.

Conditions are so desperate, in fact, that some even pay ‘coyotes’ to smuggle them across the border into Canada where they hope to make a better life.  Experts estimate that as many as 5 million Americans are living and working in Canada illegally.

“The come here only for jobs,” decries Jacques Lafayette, spokesperson for the Canadian Alliance Against Immigration.  â€œAnd many of them never leave Ontario and don’t even want to learn French.  They come and they make use of our social welfare and are off the books so they don’t pay taxes.  And to top it all off, they have no respect for our laws because they begin breaking them immediately just by crossing the border.”

Some Americans cross the border illegally, but most, like Smith, have principles and stick to them.  While he would like nothing more than to work in Canada, he is insistent about going through the proper channels.  â€œI’m going to take the official route,” he told us in English.  â€œno matter how long it takes.”

“When I get there and I’m looking for work, I’m going to turn down everything that’s less than going rate for native Canadians, even if it means turning down a job that pays 5 times what I earn now and not being able to find anything.  It’s very important to me that I don’t drive down wages for native Canadians, after all.  I’ll also learn French and try to adopt the French way of life even though there are plenty of opportunities in English-speaking Canadian communities where I would feel much more at home.”

“Because I’ll be there legally,” he continued, “I’ll be paying taxes to help support their social welfare system.  But I’m also proud, so I won’t accept handouts from that system, even from the people whose job it is to sign me up for handouts.  I know they’ll hound me like they hound everyone else because they need people to sign up in order to keep their jobs, but I’ll turn them down just because I don’t want to be a burden to society.”

Finally, Smith was adamant about going through the proper channels.  â€œI have a great deal of respect for Canada’s laws, so I’m determined to go through the official immigration process even if it takes 10 years longer or never happens at all.   My family will remain living in grinding poverty for that time, but hey, it’s either take care of them or obey Canada’s restrictive and bureaucratic immigration laws, and my family just isn’t as important to me.”
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Kyle

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Re:An Onion in the Free State
« Reply #42 on: November 03, 2003, 05:50:30 pm »

Man Confused by Liberty

Keene, NH - Life has been difficult for local resident Gary Bulgar lately.  It seems that he doesn't know how to live his life following the new changes brought about by the Free State Project.

"I mean, what am I supposed to do?", he wondered aloud.  "Should I wear my seatbelt or not?  Should I smoke marijuana?  Should I own a gun?  These are decisions the government used to make for me and having to make them myself has been very difficult."

Gary is not alone.  Many New Hampshire residents have expressed difficulty making decisions that were formerly made for them by the government.  The Free State Project brought over 20,000 liberty-minded individuals to New Hampshire, which was shortly followed by a reduction in size and scope of the government on both the local and state level.  Free State Project Members defend their goal, suggesting that New Hampshire residents now have a greater degree of flexibility in their lives.

"People are now free to do as they please in New Hampshire", said Free State Project member Harold Schultz.  "A person can do anything he likes, so long as he doesn't infringe on the rights of others."

Bulgar says that he isn't sure how much longer he can cope with this new development.  "Its just so hard", he said.  "Maybe I'll move to Massachussetts.  I hear they just passed some massive taxes on tobacco and alcohol."
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