Friday, August 4, 2017

The Name of the Cow

[This is a vlog post in which the words are transcribed from the video embedded below. ]

One of the early influences that may have led me to come up with Vacuum County, one that I've never thought of before, is this book from my childhood.

This is Vacuum County.

Buy it here!

And this is the book from my childhood.

Actually, this is the front of it.

It's one of those accordion books that have lots of pictures of animals. And I had it when I was a baby.

And so there would be a picture of a dog. And it would say כלב.

And there was a picture of a bunny. And it said שפן. Although a lot of people say you should say  ארנב instead of שפן. And there was a picture of turkey, and it said תרנגול הודו.

There was a picture of a cat, and it said  חתול. There was a picture of a rooster, and it said תרנגול.

And there was a picture of a duck and it said ברווז. And there was a picture of a horse, and it said סוס.

And then there was a picture of a cow, and it said פרה.

Well, my mother, when I was about eighteen months old, and this is not something that I personally remember, but it's something that my mother told me about, she was trying to see whether I could read or not at eighteen months.  So she pointed right here, and she said: "Aya, what does this say?" And I said: "פרח   ".פרח means flower.  And I thought that she was pointing to the flowers that are right here in the grass by the cow.

Okay. It just so happens that the word for פרח (flower) and the word פרה, which means cow, well, they have the first two letters in common. And the last letter, the  ה in פרה would be a ח in פרח. So my mother said: "Oh, wow, that's so close! You're almost reading."

Of course, I just thought that she was pointing at that flower. And then, of course, she realized that I was looking at the flower and not the word.

Anyway, this illustrates that cows have always played a part in my literacy, and that literacy has always played a part in my life, and that misunderstanding small things about words can have big consequences. So all of that may have been a subconscious influence on Vacuum County. 

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Constitutional Anarchy

I love the American constitution. I love the constitution and the law under it, just the way it was written, along with the first ten amendments, and before the Neutrality Act and the Logan Act were enacted. Believe it or not, the American constitution is the only document in the world that upholds a lawful, non-chaotic form of anarchy. But most people do not know that, and I did not know that, either, until I started researching Theodosia and the Pirates.

Anarchy in this sense does not mean chaos or lawlessness. It also does not mean no government. It means no government monopoly on force.

In today's debate between Anarchists and Minarchists in libertarian circles, the government monopoly on force is the real issue. Nobody argues that there should be no government. What they are really arguing about is whether the government should have the sole right to enforce the law -- whether through a police force, an army, a navy or a court system.

What should you do if you see a crime committed? Should you call the police and stand idly by? Or should you actively engage in fighting the criminal? What should you do if you see a bad cop beating up a fellow citizen? Should you assume that  because he works for the government, he has a monopoly on force? Or should you move in to help enforce real justice, just as you would with every other criminal?

What should you do if your country is invaded? Should you enlist in the Armed Forces, or could you also help out as a privateer? Should the government confiscate your arms and your private battle ships to its own use, or should you just be able to volunteer to help using your own means?

 What should you do if war seems imminent between the United States and another country, but you think it could all be avoided by proper diplomacy? Should you leave it up to the State Department, when you personally could go talk to the foreign representatives and suggest ways to avoid the war, even if your elected officials disagree? That's what Dr. Logan did. And people in the government did not like it. So they passed a law! Should a law like that be enforced? Why?

Dr. George Logan, Private Diplomat -- attribution

Power over life and death, war and peace, should reside in the people as individuals, and our government is only there to provide a friendly framework. The framework of laws should be something all of us actually agree to. If there is a law on the books that nobody obeys -- like the speed limit -- then it should be nullified. The government is there to serve us. We are not there to serve it.

That in a nutshell is constitutional anarchy. It is not chaos. It is not lawlessness. It is a framework of laws that work, because the people agree to them. It's what the founding fathers had in mind, or at least a majority of them did. It was the law of the land -- and it was that each man should do what was right in his own eyes. Not since the days of the Judges was there such an ideal form of government.