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Government authority

By the democratic principles we espouse, government cannot have a right that citizens do not grant it. There are certain things that a person has no right to do. A person has no right to murder or rape another. Therefore, people cannot grant government authority to murder and rape. Similarly, no person has the right to forcibly take the property of one person in order to give it to another. Therefore, people cannot grant government authority to do the same thing. If I forcibly took property from one person, for any reason, most people would condemn it as theft, an immoral act. Theft or any other immoral act does not become moral because it is done by government acting on behalf of a consensus or majority vote just as murder or rape does not become a moral act simply because of a consensus or majority vote.
— Walter E. Williams

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Blind spots and authority

I know that expertise does more to define blind spots than establish authority.
— NeoWayland
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Thermosecurity

The first law is that the desire of authorities in charge of security for information will continue in a straight line with no limits in time and space short of the heat death of the universe. The second law is that the willingness of their authorities to supply them with the budget they need to do that has very definite limits, both in time and space. Hence the third law, which is the one we are now operating under. The information assembled by security authorities invariably overwhelms their ability to analyze the information. They are, in effect, suffocated by their own insecurity.
— David Weber, Cauldron of Ghosts

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Expertise and understanding

Language is defined by usage, not expert decision and proclamation. It's why there are new words like smartphone and LOL. It's why there are obscure words like gelogenic and aretaics that most people don't know.

Now, do I know science? Yep, I know the scientific method. I know that science works by explaining past phenomena and accurately predicting future change. I know that there is a difference between physics and chemistry, although hardcore physicists will insist that every thing in chemistry is only a subsection of physics. I know that expertise does more to define blind spots than establish authority.

And I know that insight and understanding is not defined by degrees and publication, but by who can explain and predict. I also know that disparaging the source without considering the argument moves from scholarship to dogma. I know that the institution doesn't have value except in that it can produce results.
— NeoWayland
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Tuesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Underground computer gaming and freedom

A new category and a story about defying government authority with the internet

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NeoNote — SPLC

No one person and no one group has all the answers. No one group should be vested with THE moral authority to decide who is and is not a hate group.

The SPLC needs competition.

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Wednesday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Authority banner

Authority progresses and freedom regresses
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Societies work best

Societies work best when the moral and legal authorities are separate.
     — NeoWayland
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The message was clear

The message was clear. There are problems but your Government Is Taking Care Of It. You don't have to worry. It's Somebody Else's Problem. You don't have to be responsible. Just put the right people in charge. Give more money. Give more authority. Sacrifice more rights. Repeat until we get it right. And don't ask too many questions.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — ban it

But you can't ban it because you dislike it. You can't outlaw it because if offends you. You can't lock it away and hope no one finds the key.

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Authority

Government authority tends to be used against those least likely to resist.
     — NeoWayland

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Friday roundup

Headlines that don't merit their own entry

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Progresses

Authority progresses and freedom regresses.
     — NeoWayland
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NeoNotes — Taking over the world

The only point in taking over the world is to make sure people make their own choices

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Expanding civilizations, religions, and faith

It's not how it appears

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