an American author and historian of libertarian studies, and a voluntaryist. He has written articles for Reason magazine, the Libertarian Forum, Mises Institute and the Journal of Libertarian Studies. Although use of the label “voluntaryist” waned after the death of Auberon Herbert in 1906, its use was renewed in 1982, when George H. Smith, Wendy McElroy, and Carl Watner began publishing The Voluntaryist magazine.
That newsletter, The Voluntaryist, was published continuously since October 1982. For almost four decades Watner, a family man who ran a business in South Carolina, made time to share ideas he believed would foster human flourishing. He also wrote and edited a bevy of books, and is credited with tracking-down and making again accessible the seminal essay by Lysander Spooner, Vices Are Not Crimes.
Watner excelled at communicating a clear, consistent, strike-the-root message. Indeed, in no uncertain terms, Wendy McElroy wrote on her blog that Watner “was the primary hand in founding the modern Voluntaryist movement in the early 1980s.” She continues:
We figure you were about sixteen-and-a-half when you passed away on Monday. I don’t need to tell you about the immense number of people whose lives you touched over those years. You were there and you had that experience, conscious for every moment, until your final day. What you may not know, is the impact you had on the world – because you were good. I wanted to tell you why you were so special.
Did you know we may never have met if it weren’t for the sad death of a puppy? My partner Jackie and I adopted a very young Pit Bull mix puppy from the Humane Society in Florida, where you’re from as well. She was only a couple of weeks old and surely she’d have been as sweet as you, as being a Pit Bull doesn’t mean she’d have been a bad dog. But tragically she died within a couple of weeks. Turns out her whole litter was missing organs, purportedly due to inbreeding, and she was the last of them to die. It was sad, but that door closing quickly led to you being brought into my life.
I’m not a dog expert. Maybe some dogs are really born bad, but I’d be willing to be that a bad dog is usually thanks to a bad owner. Not necessarily that the owner is purposefully abusive, but perhaps just ignorant, not realizing the consequences their actions or inaction might have on their dog. Perhaps they also underestimate animal intelligence. I always presumed you understood me and that you were smart. You never disappointed me.
Photo from September 2004 – you were about six months old.
When I got you in 2004 I did some research into dog training methods. I came across the “no free lunch” method and it felt right. Dogs need to be in a hierarchy – they are a pack animal. The “no free lunch” method is all about establishing the dog’s position as beneath the humans and rewarding it with love for its good behavior. Unlike independent-minded humans, a dog needs to be able to find its place and be comfortable there. In your case, you were directly beneath humans and on top of the pack of dogs, ever the alpha.
“No Free Lunch” is simple and effective. Anytime you wanted something, you had to give me something first. When you sat, I said “good sit”, and praised you. I gave you love and attention – not food, as some do when attempting to train their dog. So, any opportunity I had, I’d employ “no free lunch”. If you wanted to go outside, I’d ask you to sit first. Same thing when we’d come back inside the house. If we were playing with a toy or something, I might ask you to sit before giving it back to you. We quickly expanded to a multitude of things you could do in order to get what you wanted.
I figured you were smart, so anything you did that I named with “good” in front of it, I presumed you remembered the word and its associated act the very first time I spoke it. I don’t think you ever disappointed that expectation. Of course, just because I said “no free lunch” is simple doesn’t mean its always easy. You definitely pushed the envelope to see what you could get away with. You’d act like you didn’t know what I’d said, doing the wrong thing, on purpose. I remember the times when I’d already successfully taught you several commands and you’d run through your whole inventory of tricks – EXCEPT the one I asked you to do, expecting I was going to give you what you wanted. You were frequently testing me. Training a dog with the “no free lunch” method, in my experience, requires significant discipline on the part of the trainer. You were trying to beat me at the game and I had to hold firm on not giving you the thing you wanted, no matter how adorable you were.
Eventually, you were performing multiple tricks on command in order to do special things, like receive a meal. You could sit, stand, roll over, wait, come, lay down, roll over, bow, give kisses, speak, shake right, shake left, look, back up, and probably some more I don’t recall off the top of my head. At some point, you realized that you were well fed and you weren’t going to run out of food, so we moved to an open bowl where we just kept adding to it daily and you decided how much to eat and when.
Renee Spinella and Jazzy on the UCC Rainbow Bench!
You were indeed quite beautiful. You regularly received compliments from total strangers who frequently commented that you had an unusually expressive face and raved about how pretty you were. You had collected a large number of fans including neighbors, libertarian activists, people in the area lucky enough to encounter you, and even people on the internet who watched you on the Free Talk Live Jazzycam during our nightly radio shows. You mostly slept through the shows, but hey, talk radio’s not for everyone. Free Keene blogger Garret Ean even named you Keene’s #1 Dog Activist and you deserved it. You were regularly my secret weapon to get hundreds of Keene State College students every year to accept CopBlock know-your-rights flyers. You participated in and helped bring attention the United Church of Christ’s rainbow bench situation, were a regular attendee of the Porcupine Freedom Festival and Forkfest, the official greeter at Keenevention, and of course were at my side through countless instances of freedom activism and beyond.
Even more impressive was that bulk of your amazing activism & outreach career came in your senior years, since you didn’t move back in with me until you were 10. When Jackie and I broke up in 2006, after being with you and training you for those first two years, I chose to let you go. They say if you love something, let it go. I love you and I loved her, and I’d always rather a breakup go as smoothly as as possible, so I made the choice to let Jackie have you. As it turned out, she was unable to take care of you immediately, so we got to spend another six months together, until Jackie was finally ready, then I sadly gave you to her. That happened to be right around the time when I moved to New Hampshire as part of the NH Freedom Migration. (more…)
David Lheureux wasn’t expecting to be a protest leader, however he couldn’t ignore our freedoms slipping away and decided he was going to do something about it. This Spring, the self-described “gearhead” created “8.3L”, or “Eight Point Three Leader”, named after a six-wheel military truck used to pull big trailers. I spoke with Lheureux by phone this morning and asked him about the vehicular mascot. He told me, “Engine heart of vehicle, we need to think about our hearts and what’s driving us.”
As he created the group, the medical authoritarian state began to rise and along with it came mask mandates being passed across the country and now beginning to crop up even in supposed “live free or die” New Hampshire. This week, Keene’s city gang bosses are expected to vote Thursday night on a proposed mask mandate targeting business owners with fines.
It’s also a symbol of obedience and fear.
Lheureux’s event, set for Central Square 11a-4p on Saturday August 15th, will be going on regardless of the Keene council’s vote on the issue. We know from the BEARCAT debacle that they don’t actually care about rights or what people want. Expected speakers at the event include the two gubernatorial candidates who are taking on tyrant-king Chris Sununu in the primary, Karen Testerman, and Keene’s own “Nobody“!
While positioned by its proponents as pro-health, the face mask is actually anti-human. Combined with so-called “social distancing” – which is anything but social – the masks prevent people from making the most human of connections with others – being able to see facial expressions.
Sadly, large numbers of Americans have fallen right in line and begun wearing them as their corporate overlords have been demanding. Most aren’t willing to lose a job in a protest over a work uniform, understandably. However, because the corporations are working hand-in-hand with the state to propagate obedience, the seeming ubiquity of the masks leads more people to comply, if not for fear of receiving a threat from a uniformed government gang member, then certainly because of the immense societal pressure from fearful peers and neighbors. Some of whom are so scared of COVID – which has killed a very small percentage of people – they will yell at or even physically attack non-mask-wearing free people.
We need more businesses like this.
Worse, some have even politicized the issue and conveniently ignore that the mandates and lockdowns come from both Democrat and Republican government goons. I don’t care what politicians and their pet doctors say – they are liars and they are always seeking more power. 2020 has been a banner year for the power-seekers thus far. They’ve successfully locked down swaths of the population, deployed checkpoints and armed, masked gangsters in the streets, destroyed countless businesses with their insane restrictions, and are now telling people what they have to wear. It’s tragic.
Eight years after I was released from jail, my record now shows no arrests, no charges, no jail time. Just a regular guy who has had zero problems with the law. All wiped away. I am so relieved. Thanks for following along with this story. It is now officially over. NO CRIMINAL RECORD. The End!
The nice woman on the phone was very polite and respectful. She let me know that she looked into my records and found the judge’s order saying they were supposed to expunge my entire record, and they must have made a mistake and missed some.
(An honest mistake, they took care of 5 arrests and 16 charges with a single $100 fee. It’s reasonable to have missed a couple pages in the huge stack of paperwork they had to sift through.)
She took care of it and asked me to re-apply for a criminal history check — with no fee for that — just a note saying the fee had been waived. So I sent that in.
What happens next? Will my record finally be cleared after all these years?