Taking the pledge...

Posted by $ Susanne 7 years, 7 months ago to Philosophy
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How many people out there are wiling to join in? If so, type it out (preferrably not Cut-n-paste)... Somehow, as fast as this thing (meaning society in general) is starting to unravel, I'm starting to think... seriously... time is approaching...

"I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another person, nor ask another to live their life for mine."


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  • Posted by $ kathywiso 7 years, 6 months ago
    "If you saw Atlas, the giant who holds the world on his shoulders, if you saw that he stood, blood running down his chest, his knees buckling, his arms trembling but still trying to hold the world aloft with the last of his strength, and the greater his effort the heavier the world bore down on his shoulders - what would you tell him to do?" "To Shrug."
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  • Posted by dataminor2 7 years, 6 months ago
    At 62, I've never seen this nation in worse shape but I didn't live the Depression, different time, different situation. We have a 2 party system that doesn't work. The Moochers for the poor and the Moochers for the rich. (Just for the record I've been a true blue R for over 50 years.)
    It's long past time for the Galt party, defenders of the common man, the future of a nation.
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  • Posted by net5000 7 years, 6 months ago
    I swear by my life, and my love of it that I, like the Producers in Atlas Shrugged, have the freedom to choose who and what I will work for. And that I will never accept the demand by another that I live for the sake of another against my will, nor will I ask another to live their life for me. The Moochers and Looters have no rightful claim on me, my ideas, property, time or work product. I will not be enslaved by any contrivance of the Moochers or Looters, especially their concern for my "safety" or the "common good". They are nothing more than common thieves and thugs.
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  • Posted by $ GMudd 7 years, 6 months ago
    I swear by my life, and my love of it, that i will never live for the sake of another person, nor ask another to live their life for mine.
    And I will add, they can have my gun when they pry it from my cold dead fingers. :)
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  • Posted by LionelHutz 7 years, 6 months ago
    So, let's talk about how such a pledge affects Social Security and Medicare. Does taking the pledge mean only taking out what you put in? Or what you put in, plus interest? And what is proper interest, if so? And...how practically do you really STOP taking beyond what you've put in, as once you start, they're just going to keep mailing (or direct depositing?) the money...

    From a taxing perspective, probably every day I've worked so far this year has been worked for the sake of another!
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    • Posted by CHETWEST18Z 7 years, 6 months ago
      The FICA taken out of your check was a TAX, not a premium on Old Age insurance. It went in the General Fund and Congress doles it out as they please. Social Security Administration is tasked with determining where that welfare goes. In other words they can give it to whoever meets their criteria. Get over it. Join the Resistance. Don't send another dime to the thieves in the Beltway
      .http://www.nontaxpayer.us/
      De Oppresso Libre!!
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    • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 7 years, 6 months ago
      The recipient of a public scholarship is morally justified only so long as he regards it as restitution and opposes all forms of welfare statism. Those who advocate public scholarships, have no right to them; those who oppose them, have. If this sounds like a paradox, the fault lies in the moral contradictions of welfare statism, not in its victims.
      Since there is no such thing as the right of some men to vote away the rights of others, and no such thing as the right of the government to seize the property of some men for the unearned benefit of others—the advocates and supporters of the welfare state are morally guilty of robbing their opponents, and the fact that the robbery is legalized makes it morally worse, not better. The victims do not have to add self-inflicted martyrdom to the injury done to them by others; they do not have to let the looters profit doubly, by letting them distribute the money exclusively to the parasites who clamored for it. Whenever the welfare-state laws offer them some small restitution, the victims should take it . . . .
      The same moral principles and considerations apply to the issue of accepting social security, unemployment insurance or other payments of that kind. It is obvious, in such cases, that a man receives his own money which was taken from him by force, directly and specifically, without his consent, against his own choice. Those who advocated such laws are morally guilty, since they assumed the “right” to force employers and unwilling co-workers. But the victims, who opposed such laws, have a clear right to any refund of their own money—and they would not advance the cause of freedom if they left their money, unclaimed, for the benefit of the welfare-state administration.
      The same moral principles and considerations apply to the issue of government research grants.

      http://aynrandlexicon.com/lexicon/govern...
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      • Posted by XenokRoy 7 years, 6 months ago
        Thanks for this article. I was struggling with this very concept this week and it was most helpful.
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        • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 7 years, 6 months ago
          Happy to help.
          Good to hear from you XenokRoy.
          Have you read any good Sowell articles lately?
          Regards,
          O.A.
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          • Posted by XenokRoy 7 years, 6 months ago
            I got wind of layoffs at the company I work for and if I was not working, I was looking for work, so my reading time has gone down. It just went up a great deal so you might see a few articles posted again soon.

            yesterday was the first time I had even come out to the gulch in a few weeks, or done much of any reading other than going through job listings on web sites and talking with people from companies around the area.
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            • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 7 years, 6 months ago
              Best of luck on the job hunt. The recent job numbers aren't promising, but producers are always in demand, even when they aren't always appreciated. :)
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              • Posted by XenokRoy 7 years, 6 months ago
                Most the places I checked with were in a hiring freeze. They seem to be thawing a little this quarter but still a bit lean. I am confident I will find something, may take a while, but I am prepared for it, so not to worried yet. Also can use the time to get a lot done on my small farm that has been neglected for a while.
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      • Posted by LionelHutz 7 years, 6 months ago
        I agree with the reasoning expressed here. It was never even in my mind that one WOULDN'T be taking back what was robbed from them. The problem is determining when exactly you should stop taking because it has stopped being recovery of your own money, and has turned into robbery of others. There is also the practical question of if you even have the ability to make them stop.

        I also think you can't really take a pledge not to live your life for another when the very act of trying to live requires work and that work will be taxed and given to another.

        The pledge expresses a noble thought, but the fact of the matter is we are forced to act against it.
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        • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 7 years, 6 months ago
          Good morning LionelHutz,

          You are quite right in pointing out how impossible it is to live up to the ideal, but like so many things it is a matter of degrees. You do not alone posses the power to make them stop.

          I quite agree that we are forced to act in some ways contrary to the pledge. For me the essence of the pledge is not whether you can comply with the ideal but rather if you comply to the degree within your power. It is a matter of intent; not ability to comply. You are not responsible for deviance “Forced” upon you. As far as how much you should take. Certainly you are entitled to what you have put in. The next question is if you are to receive more than you put in, how much is appropriate. You must decide. For me there are also some questions in this regard. One question keeps occurring to me. How much money would or could you have earned with the money they took? You must weigh this objectively and morally.

          Because the government takes from you or gives to you “without your sanction” does not mean you have broken the pledge since the pledge is about your dedication to live for yourself and lack of demand on your fellow man. It is more about your ideals than the circumstances beyond your control. You would be in contradiction to the pledge if you intentionally, personally decided to give up your needs for another (altruism) or demanded altruism on the part of another in order for you to live.

          Ask yourself if YOU have determined to forgo your own desires and live for another’s sake, or if YOU have asked another to live for you. The answer is likely no because someone other than you has made these demands you live under.

          The long and short of it is your intent and desire, not your circumstances which you are forced to live under and your actions, not those beyond your control. You can hardly blame the guy run over by a bus that runs a light while he was crossing the street appropriately. It would be nice to live in a world where the pledge could be absolute, but I see no harm in trying to live up to it as far as one is able.

          Regards,
          O.A.
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          • Posted by LionelHutz 7 years, 6 months ago
            All good thoughts, of course. You'll get no argument from me.

            However, I want everyone to consider that this pledge is passive. I won't force you to live for me. I won't force myself to live for you. But that passivity is being met by people applying force. "We WILL force you to live for us." Who do you think wins that battle?

            I know people like to wrap themselves in the fictional world of Atlas Shrugged and imagine they are getting there by committing themselves to this pledge. But practically, we need an attitude that is not nearly as passive. We need to change the laws. We need to meet force with force.
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  • Posted by old_broad 7 years, 6 months ago
    I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another man, nor ask another man to live their life for mine. Lesson finally learned....
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  • Posted by highlander999 7 years, 6 months ago
    "I swear by my life, and my love of it, that I will never live fro the sake of another person, nor ask another to life their life for mine"

    "Contradictions do not exist. Whenever you think you are facing a contradiction, check your premises. You will find that one of them is wrong."
    Francisco D’Anconia Ayn Rand “Atlas Shrugged
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  • Posted by Ben_C 7 years, 6 months ago
    When I lecture I state: "there are three absolutes in life - death- taxes- and endodontic disease. Everything else is relative." That said, my take on the pledge is to be self reliant and this includes the family unit. I asked my dad how he survived the great depression. His answer: "the family banded together and did what we had to do to survive." It is the loss of the family unit that will be the demise of our country - nothing else. My understanding is that Ayn believes that no one should rely on another and should only rely on themselves. This I believe.
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    • Posted by khalling 7 years, 6 months ago
      a patriarchal society is not freedom
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      • Posted by Ben_C 7 years, 6 months ago
        Agreed. However I find it interesting that in Atlas Shrugged none of the central characters have children. Are you suggesting that "the pledge" does not apply to the family unit (mother/father/children)? That Ayn Rand promotes cohabitation and ignores procreation? I have a ten year old daughter and my responsibility as a father is to teach her self reliance to attain her goals in life. My take is that "the pledge" can apply to our country - ie rely on our energy sources, not foreign oil. But then, what do I know?
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        • Posted by khalling 7 years, 6 months ago
          first of all the pledge is not to your country, nor your daughter. it's to yourself.
          Many books don't include children in their stories because they do not advance the plot. it is important< of course< to have strong families
          but the mafia or cartels have strong families< so it is not sufficient in itself> you will have strong famililes as long as you protect property rights
          when we created a welfare state< we paid people to not be married
          (excuse my unhappy keyboard)
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          • Posted by Ben_C 7 years, 6 months ago
            Yes, the pledge is to myself but the principle must apply to society. Until society as a whole adoptes the pledge we will be hitting our heads against the proverbial brick wall. Detroit is the poster city for government dependence. I am sick and tired of supporting that looter city and its 48% illiterate population. The only other option is to find a Gulch somewhere on planet earth and leave this society behind. I'll meet you there!
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            • Posted by khalling 7 years, 6 months ago
              Well, I left a year ago, not to separate myself from societal problems, per se, but to maintain promises I had made to myself about this very "pledge." and another "pledge" of a sort-which included pursuit of happiness. One of the problems we have in this country is that our "pledge" is to a nation. Instead of learning to recite the Declaration of Independence, our children quickly are taught in school to pledge to a flag and country. Everyone stands and places their hand over their heart and recites outloud together, sometimes in a huge stadium, and the combined solemness and collective reverb of thousands of voices chanting together does give one little chills and their hearts soar with patriotism in many instances. No matter how that country changes or which country the flag has come to represent, millions of people are conditioned to want to protect it or in the name of the pledge, submit to its authority and not their own.
              When you say "principle must apply to society" we must reason from that point and quickly you will be hitting your head against the wall. This is something Rand talked about: anti-concept. A concept created to obliterate a rational concept. Arguing for the merits of a society to the detriment of the individual, in this case. It is the same argument you made about family, or the solidarity of any group against another. The principles can ONLY apply to the individual. A society is made up of individuals. Individuals acting in best self interest will live, for the most part, peacefully. Whenever we take the argument to a group, the self interest implies sacrifice.
              Of course, I overlooking the pragmatic issues of being a citizen. But if the change starts by altering or redirecting a group, you will not get the society you hope for. Voting for and influencing others to vote for removal of welfare state rules and subsidies will change the choices an individual faces. ex: if I no longer get a larger check if I am unwed and a mother-or heaven forbid! no check at all! very quickly the number of unwed mothers in a society will no longer be an institution. If choosing to keep one's baby and unwed with no income, the family unit strengthens over time. More babies born out of wedlock will be adopted. But the desired result is not due to focus on the group, unwed mothers. The focus remains with the individual.
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  • Posted by $ dballing 7 years, 6 months ago
    I want to take the pledge, but here's my challenge.

    It is impossible in society today to live without (accidentally) asking another to live their life for mine.

    - I cannot eat food that is completely free of gov't subsidies in its production line
    - I cannot drive on a road that has not, in some way, been funded by having had money taken from other people against their will

    The examples are numerous. I don't *want* society to work that way, but I have no way of asking for, say, a loaf of bread completely free of any gov't subsidies. Because there is not yet a Gulch that is isolated from such.

    And I'm not willing to swear the pledge, until I know I can *actually* live it, every minute of every day.

    Thoughts?
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    • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 7 years, 6 months ago
      Hello dballing,
      The pledge does not require you to abstain from using products that may have been produced by such means as you describe, only that you do not ask/demand it. You pay those taxes also. The workers that made those roads and the farmers that grew the food were compensated and you contributed. The subsidies are indicative of the government demands for you and all others who contribute to live for the sake of others. They are the common foe and they alone have the power to exercise force unchecked.
      Respectfully,
      O.A.
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      • Posted by $ dballing 7 years, 6 months ago
        But if the price of, say, corn, would be $5.00 an ear without subsidy, and $1.00 an ear with, aren't I *asking* for a price that requires someone else to live their life for mine by having subsidized that corn purchase.

        Those workers who built the roads were compensated, but they were compensated with money that was taken from other people against their will. By using those things, aren't I -- in effect -- asking for those taxpayers to pay for my use of their roads? (especially true if I'm driving in, say, a different state where none of "my" taxes were collected for the construction of that road).

        I think it's a fine line, and that by "partaking" of the benefit of those subsidies, even a couple "steps removed" from the actual subsidy, I feel like I *am* in fact, "asking" for that, even if I don't WANT to be asking for it.
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        • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 7 years, 6 months ago
          Understood. The key element is that you did not ask for it. Additionally you should feel no guilt, since you have no doubt, contributed more to those subsidies than the benefit you have received. Those other taxpayers aren't subsidizing those roads just for your benefit. They also benefit; do they not? There are some legitimate functions such as the military which we all contribute to for benefit of all, but you are included and contributing. Naturally the moral option would be for all other needs to be paid for on a by use basis. Tolls on roads etc.
          As far as the price of corn or any other commodity that is subsidized goes, it is also the government that regulates and drives up those prices. Yes, without subsidies you would perhaps pay more for a few items, but other products, perhaps even cheaper would perhaps be available if it were not for the unfair advantage given by subsidies. Market forces should set prices. Subsidies and all other interference in the market only serve special interests and generally increase overall costs to the consumer while limiting innovation, competition, and alternatives.
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          • Posted by $ 7 years, 6 months ago
            I wanted to comment on that really quickly... out here, our roads are paid for and maintained not by a general fund moocher tax, but by a fuel tax those who drive on the roads pay. While it is not necessarily a toll road system, it pretty effectively is a "use what you pay for, and pay for what you use" system. And those who use motor fuels for non-highway use (Diesel heaters, chainsaws, and the like), can actually buy non-tax fuel.

            On the other hand... look at Italy. It has a public highway system, and a 100% private toll highway (Autostrada) system. I tell you what - the roads that Benetton (the owner of Autostrada) builds and maintains are by far and away STELLAR compared to their state run counterparts... and if you ever watch them being maintained, you would be amazed at the beauty and efficiency of it. And knowing they have to return a profit - to themselves and their shareholders) you bet they're doing it and making money at it.
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            • Posted by Non_mooching_artist 7 years, 6 months ago
              They are a blast to drive on! And meticulously maintained. Vroom
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              • Posted by $ 7 years, 6 months ago
                AND - this is what I love - they turn a HUGE profit. Even in them forsaken Euros.

                I've taken cars over the 200 mark (which is what, about 125 or so) going north toward Firenzie (luckily, not getting caught by the Carbinieri!! ;) ) and it felt far more solid and secure than traveling 1/3 of that on a US interstate.

                Viva autostrade privati d'Italia!! Andiamo!
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            • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 7 years, 6 months ago
              We have the worst roads in the states. We have virtually no toll roads. I would happily pay tolls to have better roads if they reduced the gas road tax. That is not what our statist government wants though...
              http://www.detroitnews.com/article/20130...
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              • Posted by $ 7 years, 6 months ago
                If your DOT looked at its mission, not as a public feeding trough to get 8 hours pay for 0.8 hours work, but like it's private industry where you preform or get fired, maybe your roads would improve. I found... the closer ours gets to that objective, the better our roads get. And where we run our "company" like a company (mainly our rural areas), our highways are *stellar*. Where we have a leftist local govt (our major metro areas), our highways flat stink.
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                • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 7 years, 6 months ago
                  Quite right, there is little incentive to create sturdy roads and reduce job security. The bureaucracies have taken local control away to the point that event the dirt road grader drivers must follow a schedule rather than grade where needed within their territory. We have mud after the rain, and dust when we don't. The pavement is potholes, and the state tree should be orange barrels; all while they contemplate giving us the highest gas tax in the land...
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          • Posted by khalling 7 years, 6 months ago
            you did not ask for it, nor are you advocating for such after the fact.
            I think a key argument would be, I am not complicit even though a gun is pointed at my head. However, I am compliant
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            • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 7 years, 6 months ago
              Quite right. Thank you for the extrapolation/clarification.
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              • Posted by khalling 7 years, 6 months ago
                I'm giving you a point but I am wary...
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                • Posted by Non_mooching_artist 7 years, 6 months ago
                  Like my cat.
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                  • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 7 years, 6 months ago
                    Cat in a room full of rocking chairs...
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                    • Posted by Non_mooching_artist 7 years, 6 months ago
                      🙀
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                      • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 7 years, 6 months ago
                        Good morning NMA,

                        Here is something to start your day off right!
                        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ByQlozBT4...

                        O.A.
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                        • Posted by khalling 7 years, 6 months ago
                          AWESOME
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                          • Posted by $ ObjectiveAnalyst 7 years, 6 months ago
                            Good morning khalling,
                            This one's for you, if you can listen to the same song again by another artist. One of your favorites...
                            http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JWcUJxrih...

                            O.A.

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                            • Posted by khalling 7 years, 6 months ago
                              thanks OA. This is the version I own.
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                              • Posted by $ 7 years, 6 months ago
                                I agree entirely. For the first half of my life, I wither (a) went to school (Hey, I *did* have a childhood, ya know!!), or (b) worked 2, sometimes 3, jobs to be non-reliant on others. I never once took a dime of welfare, and the one time I *did* rely on a hospital to care for me because I was deathly ill, I told them flat out that I considered it a loan and would make good on it... and I did. They were *very* surprised, telling me each time I made a payment, "You really don't have to do this, it's paid for by the government" which made me want to do so even harder.

                                The second half, I worked (still do, actually) for the state DOT out here. One of my WORST moments was being told by my field supervisor, about a week into my new job (25 years back), I had to "pace myself" else others would look bad. I told him (and his boss) "I am pacing myself - I'm working at the pace that I'm used to, and that lets me know I'm earning my pay, and if that's not how we do business, then I'll need to work elsewhere." I have had superiors actually try to fire me later on for that dynamo mentality over the years; fortunately, I now work for real jewels who understand, endorse, and promote objectivism rather than collectivism. I may get my primary paycheck *from* the state treasury, but I damn well guarantee they get their moneys worth... Also... when you use the roads, etc., you *are* paying for your use of them, (through various taxes) to keep them well and properly maintained and operational. I know - I watch our dovgov politicos cut our budget, and tell us to get more done... Most of the looters whine, snivel, and naysay about it... the producers see the BUSINESS logic of it (While I've ALWAYS lamented we can't run this ship like a for profit business, we do so anyway - at least in our purveyance), and grit our teeth, buckle down, and earn our pay.

                                BTW - We don't give - nor get - subsidies. We may have looter-laws that have language that require us to consider the entitlement-class category businesses (minority, "disadvantaged", women owned, etc...), but nothing says we have to give them the business unless they are the best qualified, lowest bid, capable company. My favorite, actually, was a woman owned and operated company that successfully bid on a number of contracts... tho ono one knew they were "woman owned" because they refused to classify themselves as one. Why? Because, as Doris, the owner, told me, "We're not going to be the best "woman-owned" company out there... we ARE the BEST damned company out there, and we don't NEED some government stooge to give us some unfair advantage to do our job, do it right, and do it tight."
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  • Posted by iroseland 7 years, 6 months ago
    I have for all practical purposes lived by the oath my whole life. Yes, there were times when I was younger that I tried to get away with not living by it. But those always turned out poorly.
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  • Posted by CHETWEST18Z 7 years, 6 months ago
    "I swear by my life and my love of it, that I will never live for the sake of another person, nor ask another to live their life for me." In this dark day of the former republic, I stand in Resistance to the premier means of acquisition by the State, the Income Tax. Face to face, I have asked Criminal Investigators of the IRS to articulate the attributes of the class or classes of persons on which Congress has laid the Income Tax. They could not, would not, and did not answer me. Thus, without this basis, they could not illustrate the events which brought me into any of those classes. Therefore, I have dismissed their pleadings and request for my property. I live my life in freedom. I use the liberty of contract to trade my skills for money and other valuable consideration, no withholding allowed. I protect my assets with the lawful means of free entities, that operate as Nontaxpayers, being wholly protected by the jurisdiction of their origin. It is a fine place to be. Will you join the me? www . nontaxpayer . us
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    • Posted by hezekiahshmuel 7 years, 6 months ago
      It is not our obligation to ask permission to live by our agreed upon constitutional freedoms; rather, it is our responsibility to demand it, even as it is our obligation to refuse to submit to infringement. Our constitutional rights were not created by the Constitution, to be taken away by the men that created it, it's a documentation of those rights bestowed upon us by our Creator, therefor inalienable other than by God himself.
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  • Posted by Rick1217 7 years, 6 months ago
    I took the pledge in 1967; I have left 5 companies usually saying, I am going to Henry Reardon. You would not believe the dumb looks I got. I started a consulting company just because I wanted to and I loved teaching and solving problems. I chose or chose not to accept a client based on just one face to face to ask 3 questions as to why is he is business, for whom is he in business, and what he thought of his employees (I would only talk with the top management team). The answers had to be along the belief that: 1. because I wanted to or I just love what we do; 2. profit, 3. comes first. Of course had fewer clients than others but had much more fun for almost 15 years. Retired now and re-reading AS and comparing it to today's newspapers. A few of my former clients simply and happily walked away during the collapse. They would not be bribed; they would not compromise. One client was privately held; he gave it to his employees and hasn't been seen since--in person; by email he is being seen all over the world as he enjoys his freedom.
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