Friday, December 17, 2010

The world's most important drum break

Here is a very interesting video about a 6 second drum break that has been sampled hundreds of times and used in many ways, by many creative people, and how this explosion of creative projects that utilized this sample was only made possible because the original copyright owner never pursued any kind of legal action towards those who used this sample. Copyright laws are out of control, and as a musician who uses samples as my main tool, I can tell you from personal experience that it sucks to always have to think about where your sample came from and if it is going to cause you trouble in the future (I don't believe in intellectual property, but it doesn't mean that someone cannot use the government against me in this regard).

Funny as I write this a song by M.I.A. came on and they are a sample heavy band that I hope understands the fallacy of copyright and how it destroys creativity instead of benefiting creative endeavors. Copyright is great for corporations, and terrible for artists.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

The government created wikileaks

“The way to make government responsible is to hold it accountable. And the way to make government accountable is make it transparent"- Barack Obama 1/21/09

The government created wikileaks. Not in the literal sense, but in the market sense. There is a need and desire for transparency. In the marketplace, whenever there is a need, there are going to be people to step in and fill that need. Wikileaks has stepped in to fill that void. If governments were not so secretive then there would be no need for wikileaks.

The US government claims it has to be “the worlds police”, if this is the case then they need to operate in the open and explain their actions. They may not like wikileaks since they cannot control what gets released, when it gets released, and how it is released (some have accused wikileaks of editing). But the government created the need for wikileaks by building an empire on secrets, violence and corruption. They have attacked other countries based on information that turned out to be falsified, they have misled the American people over and over again, and continually show themselves to not be worthy of trust.

Perfect decisions are only possible with perfect knowledge, and even though this is never really possible, it is made less possible the more information is kept secret from you, this holds true in all aspects of life. The less you know, the more likely you are to make bad decisions. Wikileaks is doing the world a favor by exposing more secrets and providing everyone with a greater level of information upon which they can make future decisions.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The green, the gold

I have been trying to write a song using these lyrics for a long time and have not been able to come up with vocals sounding how I want them to sound. So for now I am just publishing the lyrics. How often do you hear a song about fiat currency? I want to change that, I just wish I had a better singing voice.

The green
the Gold
the young
the Old

The green
The gold
The lies that have been told

One was created through nature
One was created through crime

One is just a baby
One has stood the test of time

The green
The Gold
The young
The Old

The green
The gold
The lies that have been told

Gold is a metal that remains true
Green is a paper that loses its hue

The green
The gold
The truth
The lies
One creates goodwill
One we should despise

The green
The gold
The lies that have been told

Friday, November 19, 2010

Republicans like to threaten to end NPR funding only when they know it will be vetoed

Two people have posted on my facebook about some bill that republicans are trying to push through to eliminate NPR funding. First it is an empty gesture by the republicans because they know that Obama would veto the bill, if they were serious they would have done this while Bush was in office and the congress and senate was majority republican. Secondly, why should taxes fund this one radio station? There is no reason for it and the funding should be eliminated. I don't want my tax money going to NPR any more than I want tax money going to Fox News. I wonder how these people who are so afraid of NPR not getting stolen money would feel about stolen money going to Fox. I have a FB policy of not discussing politics very often due to the pointlessness of it all, the limitations of facebook do not allow for any discussion more deep than “Friends post: I had a great time last night. My response: click the “like” button.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

TSA - perverts with perverse incentives

In the free market airlines have a financial incentive to offer safe and secure flights, they also have an incentive to make the travel experience as seamless as possible for its customers. Their job should be to find ways of providing security that is invisible to the average customer. This is how most businesses operate. However, airlines are an exception, they have government goons providing their security. These goons don't care if they inconvenience the airlines customers, because they are not paid by the airlines, they are paid by taxes unrelated to whether a person flies on an airline or not. Their goal is not to provide a pleasant flying experience, their goal is not even to provide airline security, they claim they are providing airline security, but the facts are (and they know it) that if the airlines suffer another terrorist attack it will be a boon for the TSA, they will see their funding increase, not decrease after they have been proven to be failures. So they operate on a perverse set of incentives, one to act like they are doing something by making their actions as visible as possible whether or not those actions have any real effect, this harms the consumers, the second incentive is to fail, this harms everyone.

So lately we have seen the kinds of abuses these perverse incentives lead to and expect to hear many more horror stories, and what can you do? Nothing really. You can complain but as long as they are not paid in direct relation to the service they provide there really is little anyone can do, except put some sort of political pressure on those claiming to run the show by exposing the abuses and the stupidity.

I wrote a punk rock song about the TSA, and all of my thoughtful criticism boiled down to the main line “I've got a shiny badge, now let me touch your vag, it doesn't matter what you say because I know that you will still PAY!”

TSA by Flag in Flames

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Music in an IP free world, my view

As some of you know I have been slacking on my blogging because I have been concentrating on making music (see http://flag-in-flames.blogspot.com). This has meant that music, the state of the industry and music related things have been on my mind extensively the last few months. I am against the idea of intellectual property, so how does this work when you are also a musician, and if all IP laws related to music were to go away tomorrow and suddenly all music was available for free download with no threat of violence against those who might partake in downloading, how would this effect the industry? I have been thinking about it and have been cruising around the Music site that hosts my songs, soundcloud, and I have come to the realization that there is about to be a new golden age in music and what is currently holding it back are IP laws. Contrary to the popular misconception that IP laws encourage the creative process, I believe they discourage it.

To illustrate this let's look at a popular rap artist, Tupac. He released only a couple of albums while he was alive, yet he recorded 10 songs for every one song that ever made it to the album, since his death those lost songs have been released by his family. Had he not died, it is likely that those unreleased songs would never have seen the light of day. They never would have passed the muster of the filter that is the big record companies who would have said these other songs were not of a high enough standard or would not have enough mass appeal to make them enough money, etc. He is a special case due to an early death all of his cutting room floor (so to speak) material has been released postmortem. However, his case does make you wonder what other musicians have stored away unreleased because the record companies didn't think they would be successful enough to make a profit on. Take the idea that recorded music can be seriously profitable out of the equation and you take away the incentive for musicians to not release all of the stuff they make, whether or not it passes muster from some record executive. In today's model musicians would be breaking their contracts with the record labels if they simply released the songs for free on the internet that the labels did not want to have on their newest albums.

Also as the barriers to entry get ever lower it allows more and more people to unleash their creative potential through music, video, etc. Currently IP just gets in the way, there are literally millions of ways any song or video could be mashed up, many of them may even be better than the originals, but IP law makes it much more difficult to pursue this line of creative endeavor. Get rid of IP and you get rid of the barriers that are preventing creative people from releasing their inner creativity on the public, much of it will be crap, but much of it will be amazing stuff. I see the advent of new technology as the ushering in of a new dawn for musical creativity, for the fan of music this will be a great thing. For musicians the lower costs of recording, production, release and distribution will be a great thing. The only ones who will be negatively effected will be record executives, and has-been musicians who thought that they would live off of royalties on a song they wrote while in high school all the way to retirement.

I see a day when all musicians release all of their recorded music for free on the internet, and if they desire to make a living doing music then they focus their efforts on live shows, using the internet and music downloads in the way that musicians in the past used the radio, as a way to promote their music so that people would come out to see them live. Let's face it, IP as it relates to music has only been a concept for the last 50-100 years since the record player was invented and records starting getting popular, before that people wrote songs and sang songs to entertain and they sang other peoples songs without any hesitation. They made a living, and so will musicians into the IP free future. The record executives will lose most of their power, but there will always be a need for some organization to help promote artists so the artist can be heard. This will be the new role for the recording industry, to market and promote bands. However, the roles will reverse. In the current structure a musician signs up with a record label and they end up essentially working for the label, the label dictates to them what songs go on the album, how much they will advertise the new album, who the band can tour with, and a host of other things, the musicians become the employees of the label. In the future as I envision it, the roles will reverse, a musician will hire a musical agent to promote their music and get it into the ears of the general public, but the musicians will dictate how this is done, they will decide on what songs they want to release, they will have the control. This will end stories like you would often hear in the 1980's where a label would sign a new band, give them 10 cents per album sold, promote the hell out of the first album and then on the second album when the band would get $1 per album sold the label would refuse to promote it. Giving the 1980's a glut of one hit wonders. Or situations like Prince ran into where the record label actually claimed to own his name, in my vision of the IP free future the label/promoter, or whatever their new title would be would work for Prince and not the other way around, much like a talent agent.

Friday, November 5, 2010

WTF do politicians know about Johnny Cash?

I was watching this biography on the singer Johnny Cash last night on the bio channel. I like Johnny Cash and think he was one of the greatest American singers in recent history, his voice had the power to hit you on an emotional level and this is a rare feat. That is why I have many Johnny Cash albums, with my favorites being those he made during his waning years when he teamed up with Rick Rubin as his producer.

I liked the documentary alright, but one part really ate at my craw. They kept interviewing Al Gore and Lamar Alexander about Cash. I have to ask, what the fuck do those stupid fucking politicians know about Johnny Cash? They aren't musicians who worked with him, they are not family or friends. They aren't even musicians who never worked with him, but can relate on a professional level simply because they share the same career and many of the same trials and tribulations that come from that. They are just blowhards who don't know anymore about Johnny Cash or his life than the average Johnny Cash fan. In fact the average fan probably knows more about him as the average fan can relate to his life more than those stupid, rich, whores, whose main goal in life is to steal as much from productive people and direct it into the non-productive parasitic class in government.

To be a little more fair, I was more upset to see Al Gore interviewed than Lamar Alexander, who at least is known to be a decent amateur country western piano player. But if they wanted to find some average country piano player, there are plenty in every southern church playing gospel tracks, you don't need to go to the halls of corruption in Washington DC to find them.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Survivors

I just finished watching the British TV series Survivors. I had it recorded for several months and had not got around to watching it. I must say I thoroughly enjoyed the series and am sad that it has been canceled. If it is available through netflix or something and you lean libertarian then I would say get this series.
The premise is one where a deadly virus has wiped out 99% of the population. The remaining survivors have to fend for themselves in all ways. I felt that the show leaned a bit too hard on the idea that people would gravitate towards dog eat dog extremism instead of cooperation a bit too much, but then again if people cooperated without excessive conflict, then the show would lose most of its drama. The best parts were when the group that show followed had encounters with another group led by a former bureaucrat who was desperate to create a new government and in the creation of her new government she had to fully expose the violence that is all governments.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tis the season for crappy political ads

This is the season for horrid political ads. One thing I noticed is that the democrats are putting out commercials that say things like “my republican opponent wants to take away your birth control options”. Is this the best they have? The republicans of course are attacking the policies that Obama pushed through, so at least they are a bit more timely, but when GWB was president they were as worthless claiming their opponents were "big spenders" and not mentioning how much the government grew under GW.

Also have I ever told you how much I hate political signs? Yeah I hate them, not because they are political in nature, but even signs for Libertarian candidates don't tell you anything about the candidates themselves. I would prefer a bumper sticker slogan, then a candidates name something like “immigrants will cross the border over my cold dead body – Tom Tancredo” or “If its good enough for Obama, its good enough for me – Michael Bennett”, “I miss George Bush – Ken Buck” (okay I am in Colorado and so all of these are Colorado politicians, but I am sure you could just replace the names for politicians in your area).

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Biggest Loser continues to worship the state

I generally like the show “The Biggest Loser”, but so often anymore I get disgusted by its constant statist propaganda. I watched last nights show and they were basically in the process of doing tryouts for the show so they had went to various cities across the US to find candidates. In the episode however they kept saying things like “obesity will cost the state of Michigan 12 billion dollars in x amount of time”. How does obesity cost “the state”? It doesn't unless the politicians chose to let it cost taxpayers. If the politicians redirect tax money to pay for obesity related illness than that is their problem and not the fat persons. It also implies that somehow taxpayers should be, and are, responsible to pay for other peoples poor decisions. If you dislike the idea of tax money paying to treat fat people, don't blame the fat people, blame the politicians.

Next week is sure to be a statist filled episode as well, because the preview showed the contestants being trained by the marine corps. I am sure there will be a lot of bullshit about “their sacrifice for our freedoms”. If this were true then we should be getting ever freer as we have virtually been in a non-stop war somewhere in the world for at least the last 60 years. In cases where some level of additional freedoms have been achieved like civil rights for minorities and gays, it is hard to see how the constant military actions around the world have had any impact in helping gain these rights.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Fuck Dr. Ann de Wees Allen and her silly attempts to copyright her fucking name!

Fuck Dr. Ann de Wees Allen and her silly attempts to copyright her fucking name!
Fuck Dr. Ann de Wees Allen and her silly attempts to copyright her fucking name!
Fuck Dr. Ann de Wees Allen and her silly attempts to copyright her fucking name!
Fuck Dr. Ann de Wees Allen and her silly attempts to copyright her fucking name!
Fuck Dr. Ann de Wees Allen and her silly attempts to copyright her fucking name!
Fuck Dr. Ann de Wees Allen and her silly attempts to copyright her fucking name!
Fuck Dr. Ann de Wees Allen and her silly attempts to copyright her fucking name!

http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100915/00102711022.shtml

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

TLS picks up my blog post "Hoarders"

The Libertarian Standard Picked up my Hoarders post! It is great to see my little read blog got the attention of such a great site. In case you haven't read TLS before it seems to be a cross between Reason's hit and run and the Mises blog.

To see only my post go to:
http://www.libertarianstandard.com/2010/09/13/a-reprieve-from-bureaucrats/

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Hoarders

The other day a friend on facebook commented on the show “Hoarders”. In this show they have a psychologist and a junk clean up crew come into a house and clean it up. She was upset because she did not feel as if the crew helped the people they cleaned up because they only spend about a week at the house and she didn't feel like this was enough time to address the deep psychological issues these people have.

While I agree that these people probably have mental issues that are not being addressed by the show, if you watch the show you will notice that almost all of the people who ask to go on the show have a legal issue surrounding the hoarding. These people are being pursued by code enforcement officers, by child protective services, by fire marshals, etc. They may not be getting the psychological help they need, but they are getting a reprieve from the evil government officials who would kick these people out of their homes, or steal their children away from them, etc. It may only be temporary, but if it gives them another year of peace from the bureaucrats then the show is doing a good service to these people.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Uncle Sam Cracks me up



It's funny because its true.

Monday, August 30, 2010

More on the Mosque

Free Talk Live finally talked about this mosque in NYC, and I heard some callers arguments for why they oppose it. The main argument from many seemed to be that it is being built with “terrorist money”. I don't believe that this is true, however for discussions sake let's pretend that it is true. How much would a 13 story skyscraper in the heart of NYC cost to build? I am not sure, but I expect it is at least 20 million. If the “terrorists” funding this mosque are not allowed to build their mosque/community center with this money, what else could 20 million buy a “terrorist”? It could buy a couple of jet planes, it could buy many surface to air anti-aircraft launchers and missiles, it could hire dozens of professional killers, it could purchase the makings for millions of IED's, it could purchase millions of bullets, a million gallons of diesel to help start fires all over the US. So if you really think this is terrorist money, ask yourself, is building a mosque really what you don't want them doing to do with their money?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Denver Police beating videos, captured by the police's own cameras!

I haven't been posting much lately and in fact I haven't been watching or reading much news or reading many blogs, just a handful and skimming them at that. However there have been some interesting things happening. The most angering from my perspective has got to be the two police videos that recently emerged showing Denver cops beating people up. Copblock covers the story well and provides the two videos.

One of the most interesting facts about these two cases is that in both cases the damning video was actually filmed by the ubiquitous government cameras. Many of which were paid for by money the city got for hosting the democratic convention. At the time the police were claiming that they would help solve all kinds of crimes. I haven't heard much about the cameras and how helpful they have been in solving everyday crime, but they have been helpful in exposing the criminal behavior of the police themselves. I don't expect this is what the police thought would be the end result of all of these cameras, they may not have wanted the things in the first place had they known.

http://www.copblock.org/605/a-history-of-violence/

Monday, August 16, 2010

Obama needs to set NYC zoning rules?

I had the misfortune of flipping through the radio on my way home from work and happened upon a conservative radio host, who seems to have nothing positive to say about Obama and had nothing negative to say about Bush, ranting about Obama and some silly Mosque in NYC. He thought Obama should oppose the building of the thing. Even if you believe in government, doesn't it seem silly to think that the president of the USA should be involving himself in what amounts to a local zoning issue? Maybe he brought it upon himself, I don't keep up with the news very well these days, but it seems really silly to me that this issue has become an issue for the president.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Music, the long lasting way to transmit a message

I have been making music lately and not blogging. So now I am blogging about making music. My real goal with the music is to make good industrial music. Unique and catchy while pushing some boundaries all while remaining accessible to those who like the genre of dance industrial. So far I think I am accomplishing that goal. I am not happy with the lyrics on Empire, but I am generally happy with what I have made so far.

A side effect of the music project however has been that it can help spread libertarian ideas. This is a minor goal, but it may prove to be one of the most effective forms of activism I have been a part of. I hadn't really thought much about it until the other day when I was at a friends party and I was discussing the political themes that have run through my music so far. While we were talking about this the Beach Boys came on. I asked him “how old is this?”, our best guess was 45+ years. I don't expect to ever have any hits or anything popular, but do to the nature of the internet it is possible that people will still be downloading my music in 100 years, even after I die it could live on. Granted less than one person a year may like the music, but unlike more transitory things like podcasts and blogs that focus so much on the here and now, music tends to be much longer lasting. It also tends to be something listened to over and over, making music with a message that much more powerful. The hard part is making music that people might like and carries a message. The majority of music you hear these days means nothing. Of course I have no idea if anyone will care in a few years, but if I continue to make interesting music, at some point somebody will take notice.

Maybe nobody will ever listen to my music, but very few read this blog or ever accepted libertarian ideas based on my outreach when I helped the LP, so even if it is in vain, it is no more in vain than other things I have done in the past. In the mean time I like my own music and listen to it myself.

Friday, July 23, 2010

Quick update and music blog

Sorry for not posting much lately, I have been working on my music project. I think my goals with it are coming along okay. Today a friend of my wife commented that her 12 year old son said of my new song "Human Farms" was funky. I consider that a win as that song conveys a message it is unlikely this boy would have ever encountered otherwise, both of his parents would consider themselves liberals and the father currently works for the government and the mother worked for the government prior to quiting to become a full time mother.

To keep up with the music stuff I am doing please visit:

http://flag-in-flames.blogspot.com

Monday, July 5, 2010

Flag in Flames

I am making some industrial style music and noise. If you like it, feel free to download it and feel free to pass it around. I am still new at it, but some of the stuff is coming along pretty well. All recorded in my home, so it is not all studio quality, more demo quality. Thanks. ~ Fester

Latest tracks by Flag in Flames

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Census and the “American Community Survey”

Okay so I told you that while I was at work the census people came to my house and my wife gave them the census information for the 2010 census. This was a short form. Well, after I threw away the original census form I received an even bigger version from the American community survey, that I also threw away. Now the community survey people have got my home phone number, and they keep calling. My wife answered the other day and told them only that she had already answered their questions, then they tried to explain that “no that was for this other census and not the one I am calling about” at that point my wife said “I gave you enough information last time” and hung up. I was so proud of her. She is turning into a little non-cooperative.

I guess they didn't like her response so they called again and this time I picked up the phone. The lady asked me if they had the right address and I answered that the phone was registered to that address but I couldn't say if they had reached that address with their call. Then she asked if I was the head of the household. I told her I would not answer any question from the government. Then she asked if I had received the American Community Survey in the mail. I repeated that I would not answer any questions from the government. She kept asking if I had received this survey in the mail, I kept answering that I would not answer any question from the government. On her third attempt to get me to answer she really pissed me off because she said “I'll take that as a yes”, to which I quickly responded “I didn't say that”, but she hung up on me at that point.

I bought a new phone a few months ago and this new phone does not have a function to use the answering machine as a recording device to record phone calls like all of my previous phones had. That sucks for calls like this.

Friday, June 11, 2010

If you see something, say something

When I was in New York I had a funny moment. We were going back to the hotel and it was fairly late at night. Riding on the New York subway, I was standing and there was a sign right in front of me, the sign said “If you see something, say something” and had a picture of a lone box tied up in twine.

On this subway car over in the corner was a person. I presume he was a homeless person, sitting in the corner of the subway car. This guy was wearing a thick winter coat with a hoodie over his head, it was freaking 90 degrees and I was in a tee shirt and shorts and was sweating bullets. You could not see him at all. The only thing I could make out was that he was a black person, he may not have even been a “he”, but I think it was a he. He had one of these stand up shopping carts with the large back wheels. On the cart there were two box shaped objects stacked upon each other, both box shaped objects were covered in black plastic bags so you could not see what was in them, and he kept reaching into the one on top. It appeared to me he kept pulling out a bottle of booze and adding it to a plastic cup he was carrying. However, it could have been anything.

I really thought it was funny that I was standing by a sign that wanted me to report some strange behavior, but nobody seemed to think this was at all unusual of a sight. A man wearing a thick winter coat in the middle of summer, pushing a cart containing two boxes that were wrapped in black plastic, that is perfectly normal, but someone forgetting their backpack on the train, that is unusual.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Addams Family Musical takes jab at homeschoolers

I have been out of town with no internet access in my hotel. I went to New York City. While there I went to see the Addams Family Musical on Broadway. I liked the show, but there were a few things I didn't like. There was one part when Wednesday's new boyfriend started dropping poetic references, and Wednesday exclaimed “I don't get your references, I was homeschooled”. The crowd laughed, but I couldn't help thinking that home schoolers would be more likely to get obscure poetic references like Ulysses by Lord Tennyson than your typical public school educated student, not that either is all that likely to get the reference.

Friday, May 28, 2010

If Unions help protect "workers" from those greedy capitalists, then who do unions protect government workers from?

Something that has always bothered me is the idea that government employees should have union representation. I grew up in a democratic household and was told that unions were good because they helped workers get more of the profit of the companies they worked for, so the rewards were not as top heavy in industries like the auto industry. Of course this view has a lot of problems with it, but let's go with this narrative for a minute.

If the point of unions is to prevent the capitalist owners of corporations from keeping all of the profits for themselves and not sharing enough with their employees then what is the point of government workers being union? How do these negotiations go? Do the union reps go to the government and say “you have stolen X amount of money from the citizens and we want a bigger cut”? It is different to say “this company made X amount of dollars last year because of our efforts, so we believe we deserve a pay raise”. The thing to me is that when a worker for a corporation contributes to the success of the corporation then it can be measured and judged by the amount of profit the corporation sees. The same cannot be said of a government employee. A teacher's salary for instance comes mostly from property taxes (in my area at least) how much I pay in property taxes has nothing to do with how good a teachers performs their job. If local property values increase is it because of a teacher, if they decrease is it because of a teacher, should their pay be dependent on property tax revenues? In a free market system parents who thought a teacher was doing a good job would reward the teacher by either being willing to pay more for their services or would at least help recommend the teacher or school to other parents. With a corporation when the profits drop in theory at least the corporation could lower the compensation rates for its union employees and then raise them back up when the profits recover. I know that in reality this rarely happens because of laws that favor the unions in negotiations over the companies, especially in the rust belt states.

What about the police? If they step up their revenue generation by setting up speed traps all over town or stealing peoples property when they have found tiny amounts of marijuana on the premise and generally pissing off the residents of an area, is this how they justify more pay? Do they point to lower crime rates and a higher percentage of solved crimes to justify their pay? Or do they simply point to an increase in sales tax revenue or something along those lines? Do firefighters point to an increase or a decrease in fires to try and justify a pay increase? In the newspaper it always seems like an increase in fires and fire damage is how the firefighters justify their pay, exactly the opposite of how the free market would work.

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Shooting at some food, when up from the ground came a bubbling crude

The oil leak in the Gulf coast is a big disaster, it is a lot of oil spilling at once in one place. It needs to be plugged up as soon as possible. However, I do not think it is the end of the world disaster that many of my liberal friends are making it out to be.

Remember the intro to the old television show the Beverly Hillbillies? In it Jed is hunting a rabbit and stumbles upon a pool of oil and the rest is history, he becomes very rich at the discovery of oil flowing out of the ground and onto his land. This is something that really does happen. In fact it happens all of the time, and it even happens on the ocean floor, letting that oil seep into the ocean. The ocean can handle some oil mixing with it. It can handle the amount of oil the BP leak is spitting out, and in fact the Gulf gets that much oil in natural oil seeps every year. The difference is that this is not as spread out, either by location or by time.

The point is that once the BP leak is plugged, the oil will mostly evaporate and the heavier parts of the oil will fall to the ocean floor as sediment. It is not the disaster of the century. It is a problem that needs to be addressed in a timely manner, but it is not worthy of the freakout some people are having.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Census

Even though I had refused to comply with the census this year, I guess my wife didn't have the same objections as I did. The census guy came to our house and she answered the questions he asked. Probably nothing bad will come out of it. At least we are not Middle Eastern or Japanese.

Don't download this song...



Funny and strikes a chord. I recently mentioned Tommy Chong, and here he is mentioned in this song.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Would you push the button? Apparently you would.

I remember watching this show years ago, it was the Twilight Zone. The story went like this:

A man shows up at a families house and offers them $200,000 dollars if they are willing to push a button. The catch is that if they push the button someone they do not know and will never meet will die. At the end they push the button, only they realize that after they did the button disappears and they are told “this button goes to someone they do not know and will never meet”. The implication is that if the next family pushes the button, they are the ones who will die.

The question is would you push the button? Yes you would, and you prove this everyday if you support government. This is the exact same deal government offers you, only on a slightly smaller scale.

A bureaucrat comes to a family and says “if you check this box, I will give your kids a free education”, the catch is that someone you do not know will lose their home and will be forced into a homeless shelter, an old person you don't know will lose their home and will be forced to live with their kids, a child you don't know will have to forgo braces because their family has to make a choice between paying property taxes and braces. So they check the box. This scenario plays out over and over, the rewards change, but the loss is always there and until the one who loses is you it seems like you are getting a good deal.

Would you check the box? Are government handouts worth the pain the government inflicts? Sadly for most the answer is yes.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

A/K/A Tommy Chong

I watched the documentary A/K/A Tommy Chong, and I have to say it was one of the best documentaries I have seen in a long time. It documented the arrest and imprisonment of Tommy Chong for selling bongs through the internet. The government spent 12 million dollars to take Chong down. It was a travesty of justice. It discusses the way the government set him up, then raided his house with a SWAT team. His 8+ months in prison. How they tried to make an example of him due to his fame. The good news is that Chong became an activist after going to prison, prior to that he had never really been an activist for marijuana legalization.

When this event happened I was disappointed with Tommy for taking the low road in my opinion and trying to make a deal and apologize, etc. I felt like he should have taken it to trial and made it known that selling a pipe is not a criminal act and he should not serve a day in prison and demanded a jury trial. Unlike many activists he had the money to take it all the way and get more attention to the issue than anyone else really could. However, watching this documentary gave me more appreciation for what he did do. Being more of an activist myself I would have handled it differently than he did, but I appreciate what he did. Now that I have seen this movie I can see that if nothing else making this movie is him making a serious statement against the insane war on drugs.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Dogs shot, kids terrorized, man arrested, over a bag of pot



Disgusting. The only criminals here are the police.

H/T

Friday, April 30, 2010

Should a person be able to live where they choose or not? That is the question.

Lately with the new law in Arizona, immigration has been on peoples minds. I have had several friends on facebook post something about it. People really try and make the issue far more complicated than it needs to be. They like to look at numbers, and at whether some paper was filled out properly, some fee paid on time, etc.

I don't give a crap about any of that. I look at it from a freedom perspective. If a person is truly free then they should be free to chose where they want to live. It seems simple to me if you cannot chose to live where you want to live then you are not free. Freedom is my objective, so I object to any law in any country that would try and tell a person where they may or may not live. As long as a person can find a house or apartment, etc., wherever they want to live I have no objections to them living there. I don't have the controlling mindset that wishes to control who moves to my city or even my neighborhood.

I emigrated from Oklahoma to Colorado 13 years ago. How much paperwork should I have had to fill out before being allowed to move? Should I have needed a lawyer to help me get through this paperwork? How many thousands of dollars should it have cost me, just in fees and lawyers, and how would this have benefited Colorado? At the time I moved I was a low skilled worker as this was prior to my education and my subsequent pursuit of an engineering field that I currently work in. If you look at Oklahoma and Colorado as countries instead of states, it is clear that Oklahoma is a far less prosperous than Colorado.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Capitalisms natural state is monopoly? What a crock

I turned on talk radio yesterday (not something I normally do as I am a podcast listener most of the time). I turned it to the “progressive” radio station. The host made this statement

“The natural state of unregulated capitalism is to foment monopolies, because as a company grows it buys up its competition and in cases where it can't, it will use tactics like predatory pricing and other tricks to drive its competition out of businesses. This is why we need government regulations to prevent this from happening”.

I was thinking about this all day and still cannot wrap my head around his statement. I understand his theory, but it seems to have no basis in reality. There are many businesses that do not have much in the way of government regulation and very few of them seem to even have as few as a few dozen major players in the field. The only exception I could think of was Microsoft and its desktop Operating Systems, and Microsoft seems to lose market share everyday. For the most part it seems that the industries that have a few dominant players are the most regulated industries, electricity, cable, telephone, banking, airlines, etc.

If the talk show hosts theory is correct, then wouldn't McDonald's have used its market share to kill off all other fast food restaurants? Wouldn't Comaq or HP have monopolized the computer industry, wouldn't KC Original Barbeque Sauce have eliminated all the other hundreds of BBQ sauce choices? Wal-Mart would have eliminated all other grocery, clothes, and drug stores.

His theory really falls apart when you look at reality, the problem is that there are too many people with too many different tastes all demanding different products and services and they place different amounts of preference on different things, some might prefer low prices to good customer service, others want more selection, others want high quality products, even if the price is higher and the selection is lower.

The other problem is with big business itself, as any business grows it becomes more slow to respond to the demands of its customers, it becomes more bureaucratic, this creates a downward spiral that is the reason that one time kings in their respective fields are now hardly even on the map, Sears, IBM, Woolworth's, and others. If the theory of capitalism's natural progression towards monopoly without government interference then you would expect these companies to still be king, because they would have continued to use their power to crush all the competition as it tried to rise up.

The exceptions you see are in fields like the cable company, the telephone company, the electric company, and the like. What these companies have in common is not their natural tendency towards monopoly, but rather the government's propping up of their monopolies. These companies have worked with government at various levels to use the force of government to keep competition out.

Some stifling of competition is more obvious than others, but is is almost always there when you see a few companies with a hold on the market share. It may be as obvious as the government contracts with the electricity providers, or as hidden as the regulations that have made it virtually impossible to open a new tire manufacturing plant, or as I mentioned in my post below about the high cost of a liquor license.

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Homer Simpson - Agorist bar owner

I was recently reminded of an episode of the Simpson's. It is the one where Homer opens a bar in his own garage.

One of my friends is trying to open a bar, the government is demanding over $30,000 to get a permission slip from them that allows him to legally sell drinks at his bar, he believes this is a good deal as some people have had to pay as much as $60,000. It makes me think that Homer was right to take the agorist approach.

The government is not offering him anything in return for this money, except to not throw him in jail for selling a product that his customers are demanding. This also means that he will have to raise his prices to cover his expenses, and these are not only the rent and obvious expenses, but also this license fee. If he wanted to open a bar that caters to a small sub-section of the population (like the goth crowd for instance), he would not be able to as there is no way the local goth crowd could afford to buy enough booze to even recover the cost of the liquor license. This limits the choices people have to not only create the kind of business they wish to create, but it also limits the choices consumers have. He is also prevented from catering to smokers by state law, he is prevented from catering to anyone under 21 by law, he has to find his niche in a very narrow space approved by the government.

I am not sure how a person can still believe that the United is the land of opportunity, when that opportunity is closed off to anyone who doesn't happen to have the money to pay the government copious amount of extortion money in order to live out their dream.

What would happen if everyone just told the government to piss off and started opening their businesses without first asking permission or getting licensed and then to not cooperate when the thugs in government came around demanding fees and fines for trying to live as a free person?

Monday, April 19, 2010

Is property theft?

I am the new king of the united states and so all of the land contained within the united states is now mine! Now, I am taking your house unless you pay me to NOT take it.

Sometimes you will hear someone say “property is theft”. This is a statement that can easily be misunderstood because it is makes people think that all property is theft and therefor a person should be against private property, this is wrong and is a misreading of the quote by Proudhon, who lived in a time when property could only be owned by the monarchy.

The first thing that needs to be understood is that there are two types of property law-made and labor-made property. Law-made property is theft, labor-made property is not theft.

Labor made property is what most people think of as property. It is your house, it is your car, it is all of the things you have. You accumulated these things through your labor, you either built or created these things yourself, or more likely you put your labor into whatever you are good at and traded that labor for the labor of someone good at building a house or car, etc, using money as the medium of exchange. Libertarians believe this kind of property is sacrosanct and should be respected and is the foundation for a civilized society. It is natural for people to want to improve their lifestyle through the accumulation of things that make life more comfortable. The ability to have possessions of your own is what motivates some people to invent and innovate in the hopes of becoming wealthy.

Law-made property is what I would consider theft. Law made property is when a government/king/bureaucrat or other despot claims a massive land mass. The king cannot homestead that much land, in almost every circumstance in history the land that has been claimed is already being used by individuals who do have claim to the property as labor-made property. The only legitimate claim to property has to be based on labor, it cannot be based on law or force, if it is based on force than it is stolen land. However, this is the basis for all government land, it is also the basis for property taxes. The claim is that the ultimate owner of all property is the government, therefor you have to pay the masters their tribute.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Police encounter story on MP3

I called into Free talk Live to share my police encounter story. If you are interested the archieve can be found here, I was the first caller so the first 15-20 minutes or so are me. Some people get more from audio than the written story.

Download here or go to freetalklive.com and download the episode for April 16th:
http://media.libsyn.com/media/ftl/FTL2010-04-16.mp3

Friday, April 16, 2010

Crazy People and silver Bracelets

Last night I was placed in metal bracelets for a short amount of time. I had went over to a friends house to help her (I will call her flash to help keep her identity secret) clean up after her roommate had went on a violent rampage and had trashed the house. Earlier in the day she had called the police because she was worried about her roommate (he will be known as *******). Calling the police is not anything I would ever recommend doing as nothing good will come from that, but alas she is not a libertarian and it wasn't any of my business to tell her what to do. So 12 hours after she had called the police we had went back to the house and were cleaning up when they had decided they would “check in” to make sure everything was alright. It was just Barb, Flash and me and all we were doing is cleaning the house up a bit when they came. I don't talk to police officers voluntarily so I stayed cleaning in the kitchen while Flash talked to the police in the living room. One of the cops, the younger one started nosing around the bedrooms, so I stopped and kept an eye on him, cops are not to be trusted and nobody had said he could walk around the house. It was obvious nothing was going on at that point in time and that the person they wanted to talk to was not home. I guess this cop did not like me eying him so he approached me and said “can I see your identification?” in the way cops do where they phrase it as a question but intone it as an order. I told him no as he had no reason to need to see my ID. Then he made up some horseshit about how “this is a dangerous job and we need to know who we are dealing with, cops gets killed all of the time”, I responded that he is full of shit and knows it and when he becomes a fisherman, then he can talk to me about how dangerous his job is. Then they tried another tactic on me and that was to say “for all we know you are ******* (flash's roommate) and these girls just didn't tell us you were him because they were scared”, I responded that there are plenty of pictures of ******* around and it is obvious I am not him, and even if I were him, there is no evidence ******** has committed any crime. They came back with “destroying property is a crime”, of course that led me to tell them “no it isn't if the property you destroy is your own property”. Then they asked me again for my ID, I asked them what is their reasonable and articulatable suspicion that I have been involved in a crime and would be the basis for me having to provide them with identification? They had no answer except to say “it is the law in Colorado if a police officer asked you to identify yourself then you must identify yourself”. Notice the wording of the cops, I have to identify myself, but rookie cop had said I had to show him my identification, these are two separate things. I may be required by law to state my name, but I am not required to show identification on a terry stop. Then they asked me again if I would show them my identification and once again I said no. Then they handcuffed me and pulled out my wallet the older cop was the first one to look in my wallet, he saw my insurance card and stuff and didn't find my ID and put it back, having been satisfied that I was not *******. The rookie was not satisfied with this and asked where my ID was, I told him it is in my wallet but the other guy didn't look in the right place. So rookie cop, pulled out my wallet with one hand and tried to hold onto my arm with the other hand and went through my wallet, spilling out my money and finally finding my ID. Finding out I wasn't ***** was not enough for rookie, he asked the other cop “aren't you going to run that?”, then the other cop felt like he had to run my name. After that we all sat there for 20 minutes looking at each other and I was in handcuffs as well as being held by the rookie cop. Finally my name came back clear and they left.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Boulder's marijuana protest vs. Keene's 4/20 events

The other day on Free Talk Live, Ian poo-pooed the yearly marijuana legalization rally in Boulder that takes place on April 20th each year (4/20). He made a statement like “that's nice, but we do ours everyday here in Keene”. I am not sure he is comparing apples to apples. Although it is true that they have 5-25 people in the park smoking pot every day, the Boulder event attracted 10,000 people last year and is expected to be as large this year even though it is on a weekday, you can't expect to have a protest of 10,000 people happen everyday. Marijuana protests seem to have been more effective here as well, Colorado's marijuana laws are already far more lax than those of New Hampshire, the police here are far less likely to ticket or imprison you for marijuana here than in New Hampshire. I am not trying to dismiss what they are doing in New Hampshire, but I think some perspective is needed.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Do I want heathcare reform? Sure just not the way Obama wants it

If you want to stir the ire of statists when discussing healthcare and the reform you would like to see, just mention that you would like to see the requirements to become a doctor eliminated or at the minimum reduced. This will get you all kinds of snide remarks about community college educated doctors and such, presented as if this is obviously a bad idea. It is not. I have a vasectomy, it took my doctor about 15 minutes to do the procedure. He did a great job, but I expect that the skills needed to do this procedure took far less than the 12 years of education he had. I might not want to go to someone for a diagnosis that is not fully educated in the field, but for a routine procedure like a vasectomy I might consider going to a person who only does the one procedure and has limited amount of education. If they do 100 vasectomies every week and nothing but vasectomies then they may actually be better at that one procedure than my doctor is, because my doctor only does vasectomies on Friday afternoons and thus does not do many of them, preferring to concentrate on other issues people go to a urologist for the rest of the week.

I have two Japanese friends, both are doctors. They went college for only 6 years total, entering medical school right out of high school. Are you going to tell me that the skill level of Japanese doctors is significantly less than that of American doctors who spend 12 years or more training to become doctors? There are other models that could be just as effective as the model the government and the AMA are shoving down our throats, but with government it is one size fits all and anyone who doesn't like it can go to hell. In a free market I would expect to see a tiered system of doctors education, where basic procedures are done by less educated and the greater educated doctors would focus more on diagnostics which is a much more difficult skill than procedures are.

Also we should end this insane war on some drugs, part of that is eliminating the prescription requirements. This one step would save hundreds of millions of dollars in medical costs each year. Many countries have less strict prescription requirements and it is not creating many issues, if you can find a study that indicates that over the counter antibiotics in Germany are causing all kinds of problems, I would like to see it. Many drugs that are over the counter in the US were by prescription only previously, and yet it hasn't led to problems with over medicating or over dosing or any of the the other dire problems that the statists worry about. Most drugs in Mexico are over the counter and I don't know of many problems it causes. When I lived in Oklahoma I had a friend who drove to Mexico every year for a short vacation and to buy a years worth of birth control pills for his wife. He did this because the over-the-counter birth control pills in Mexico were so inexpensive for the exact same thing you would get in the US that this savings would pay for a mini-vacation for him and his wife.

Census has no consensus

I am not filling out the census form. I have never filled out the census form, but I have answered questions when they came around asking them, I am not sure if I will this time. It is harder to refuse to answer questions in person than it is to just ignore a form addressed to “current resident” which I do not have any obligation to self identify as, nor do I feel as if I have any obligation to respond when addressed as such.

It seems like such a petty act of resistance to the state. One that comes with almost zero risk, and yet not filling it out has generated the ire of other libertarians towards me. They ask what do I plan to accomplish, why raise red flags for seemingly no purpose, and do I want to go to jail? The answers are simple. First off I don't think it is something I am likely to go to jail for, I would probably give up my information before it came to that point. Secondly, I don't know that it generates anymore red flags than other things I do while just living my life, like writing this blog. Lastly, what I plan to accomplish is getting into the habit of ignoring the government and their silly little forms. I think the best route to change the policies imposed by the tyrannical thugs in government is not open resistance to them, but rather simply ignoring them and living your life as if they do not exist, and do this to whatever extent you feel comfortable with. Mass non-compliance will have more effect than anything else and at this point it seems that I am in the majority of people who are not filling out the census. Non-compliance might not accomplish much if it is just you, but together with a large percentage of people it can create change, or at least send a message. Even a small vocal group of people can create change if a majority are sympathetic to their cause. The census serves no useful purpose, except to bloat the government more. The only benefits from it accrues to the government and their minions and there is no reason for it. Resisting it will not accomplish anything, neither will complying with it, neither are all that risky activities and I say make it as hard as possible for the government to get any information out of you.

Thursday, April 1, 2010

We don't need no stink'n warrant

I think copblock is my new favorite blog.



This lady asked these cops who forced their way into her house "where's your warrant?" and their response was "we don't need a warrant". They also seemed to be embarrassed of their actions (and they should be) as evidenced by their refusal to identify themselves.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Pete holds his ground and is victorious

Here are two interesting videos from activist Pete E of the motor home diaries. The first shows an encounter he had with police in New Mexico over an open carry issue. Pete stood his ground and ended up leaving the scene unmolested by the cops who seemed very concerned that someone without a badge would have the gall to open carry a firearm and then not feel compelled to prove that they are not a felon as if felons typically walk around open carrying firearms and confronting police with video cameras. What kind of cop honestly believes this is the method of operation for a criminal trying to get away with some sort of crime?

The second video shows an exercise in futility as Pete attempts to get status on a fellow activist who was arrested while protesting for marijuana legalization.





Thanks Pete for your efforts.

Friday, March 19, 2010

Sorry for lack of posts

Sorry I have not been posting lately. I tend to go through times where I simply do not care about politics. Then something happens to pull me back in. One problem with being a voluntaryist is that one dream I have is for a world where all interactions are consensual, this rules out any human-government action. Sometimes I ignore the vast machine of coercive action, it doesn't make it go away, but I have other shit I would rather be paying attention to instead of concerning myself with what the slave masters are up to this week.

I enjoy libertarian activism almost more as a hobby than anything else. I don't expect to change the world. Lately I have been seriously pondering if the government removes the barriers from marijuana and legalizes it in the way likely (with high taxes) if in 20 years will it be looked upon as a great stride towards freedom or the beginning of a new tyrannical age. It is hard for me to look at the repeal of alcohol prohibition in 1933 as a new age of tolerance and freedom. Instead the government took the new revenue streams from the taxes they collected on alcohol to create more tyranny. On the whole I see it as a loss for libertarianism. That was the beginning of the massive federal government and the war on drugs, etc.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Age of consent should be determined by emancipation

Lately I have been reminiscing about my high school days. I went to high school in several places, but Wooster High in Reno Nevada is where I consider my real high school experience to have taken place.

I was reunited with a friend from that time period who I was a roommate of. When I lived with her, I was 18, she reminded me that she was 16 at that time (she had left home at 14). I had forgotten how young she was. I had lived on my own at 16 as well. Looking back on it, we really were young adults and not kids, however there are some 14-18 year olds that are still kids. Also I have been listening to an ongoing debate on Free Talk Live about the age of consent and when should this occur.

My take on it is that the dividing line should be emancipation. Once a person has left home, no matter what the age they should be considered an adult and able to make adult choices. This might mean that a person who is mentally challenged is never considered a full fledged adult and some exceptional kids may be considered adults at young ages, but in the end I believe this is the most logical way to determine who is an “adult” and who is not, base it on the amount of responsibility and independence the young person has exhibited. However, the caveat here is also that parents have no right to hold a child against his or her will if the child desire to emancipate themselves. This should just be a natural consequence of leaving home and fending for yourself, no judge or government needed.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Joe Stack proves the TSA should be shut down



The last time I flew on an airplane the TSA took my sunblock away from me, presumably to prevent me from somehow using it to overwhelm the pilot with its gentle eye sting. So that I would be unable to fly that plane into a building a la 9/11. For the service of them taking people's sunblock and water, torturing crippled kids, and taking naked pictures of famous Baliwood stars, it costs something like 6 billion a year. Then some guy flies a private airplane into a building anyway and never even passes by a TSA checkpoint. The TSA might say this is some sort of gap in their security, but the fact is that destruction is much easier than construction and there will always be opportunity for those bent on destruction.

We as a population may not ever prevent all of the Joe Stacks in the world from going crazy and doing something destructive and harmful to innocent people as these are random unpredictable events, but we could force the government to quit their systematic victimization of us all through taxation, regulation, micromanaging of our lives, and simply shut the government down. Choosing instead to pursue voluntary replacements for the coercive “services” the government currently provides.

H/T for picture

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Cop turns off camera, beats up woman, gets fired, but no charges



Don't watch if you get think all cops are heroes, it may force you to re-evaluate your belief system.

There is not enough evidence to pursue criminal action against this cop? I call bullshit on this. If I were to beat my wife like that and a cop came by later, I would be in jail even if I claimed she fell. If she said I beat her, that would be all it would need. Her injuries are not consistent with somebody falling down and that would be obvious to anyone. If this were anyone except a cop accused of beating a HANDCUFFED woman like that, this would lead to prison time. Also I would like to see the part in the procedures where it says to turn off the camera as long as the detainee is still in the room.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

New penny makes me want to barf



It is bad enough that a tyrant responsible for killing 600,000 Americans is on the front of the retched miserable penny that costs more than it is worth (literally). Now they have changed the back.

This from the US mint website:

The 13 vertical stripes of the shield represent the states joined in one compact union to support the federal government, represented by the horizontal bar above. The horizontal bar features the inscription E PLURIBUS UNUM—"out of many, one"—while the inscription UNITED STATES OF AMERICA is depicted along the upper rim of the coin. The union shield, which dates back to the 1780s, was used widely during the Civil War.

A union shield that was used during the civil war to represent the north in the same way the stars and bars represented the south. It was hardly used before or since, it represents a union of the unwilling at any cost. It is disgusting. This comes at a time when the right for states to secede is actually a popular topic of conversation. The federal government has proven its worthlessness so many times that the people of North America should be advocating the removal of themselves from that disaster. A worthless union bound by the threat of violence against its own citizens being glorified by an even more worthless piece of tin that is supposed to be “money” but would not even be accepted as such if it were not for the government forcing people to accept US dollar denominated bills and coins as “legal tender” not backed by anything except a violent state willing to murder anyone who stands up against this counterfeit currency.

It is almost as if the federal government is taunting us by tying the worthless idea of an undivided union with a worthless coin, and leaving Lincoln on the front as an unspoken threat to the states that they better keep in line or else they will go all "Abe Lincoln on your ass".

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Stossel on the Road to Serfdom

I never wrote a post on last week's Stossel about the food police, but it was really fun.

This weeks show was “the road to serfdom”. It was a good episode that focused on the disparity between the government and everyone else as far as pay and benefits (hint: the government parasites have now overwhelmed their host and now make more money and get better benefits, have more job security, all at the expense of those actually producing goods and services that people want so much they are willing to VOLUNTARILY pay for, unlike their counterparts in the government).

It was good to hear them mention Austrian Economics, even though they focused on Hayek, I would have preferred they focused on the ideas of Rothbard, but if it prompts someone to look up Austrian economics it is unlikely that that person would stop at Hayek and not find Mises, Rothbard and other more modern greats like Walter Block. I really like John Stossels show, even though I know he is for some government when it comes to the topics he focuses on I agree with him. He has never done a show talking about whatever he thinks government is good for.

The best part of the show was when Stossel really made government intrusions hit home by showing a nice lady who sells hotdogs in LA, but was thrown in jail because she had the audacity to sell hotdogs wrapped in bacon. Even though she had been selling them this way for 26 years without complaints, some bureaucrat decided that bacon is a health risk if it is sold from a street vendor.

He also talked about San Tan Flat Saloon and their issues with the “authorities” over a local law that banned outdoor dancing. Libertarians and voluntaryists are not the best at spreading our ideas, but these kinds of stories spread the message of liberty far better than most libertarians do. Stories like this show the masses the injustice that comes with government. Then all we have to do as supporters of people living free is to use the injustices to show that the more government you have the more injustice you have.

Government interfering with the market place causes distortions that hurt small business when those distortions are removed

Currently in the land mass I live on called Colorado, there is a bill moving through the legislator to allow grocery stores and convenience stores to sell full strength beer (six point as the kids call it). Right now only liquor stores are allowed to sell it and now the convenience stores are upset because they have seen a dramatic decrease in beer sales since the liquor stores were legally allowed to open on Sundays. So the main opposition to this is the liquor stores, they are up in arms and claim it will mean that they will not be able to stay open.

I feel sorry for everyone involved because they designed their business models based on the reality of an unnaturally distorted market place. However, the government has no role in distorting the market place through protectionist measures. They should have never interfered in the first place. To remove the barriers is to normalize conditions to the most desired outcome based on the needs of the consumer. The reason the liquor store owners do not want this bill is that they know that most consumers would prefer the convenience of being able to buy the beer they want along with other items they are already buying. I understand this, however I also understand that the government used threats to prevent other store owners from selling the products their consumers are demanding.

There should be no restrictions on what products stores are allowed to sell. Would this mean fewer liquor stores if other types of stores were allowed to sell full strength beer and liquor? Probably. I used to live in Nevada where liquor and beer was sold everywhere, there were still liquor stores, but fewer of them than we have in Colorado where they are given a government enforced monopoly on the sale of full strength beer and liquor. This may even mean fewer jobs in the liquor business, but all sales of consumable goods should be about the consumer and not those selling those goods. In the long run the consumer should come first. The competition is likely to lead to lower prices, more selection and more convenience for the consumer. The consumer benefits the most at the place where price, convenience and customer service merge. This place can never be reached if the government interferes in the marketplace.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Just for LOL's I filled out a survey for people running for political office

I am not running for any political office, but I saw this survey on http://www.freecolorado.com/ and decided to fill it out. After reading my answers it will become clear why I won't run for office. You can hear the slave speak even in the wording of the questions. So it was difficult to answer a few of these questions as the question itself assumed a statist structure. The author of the questions, Ari Armstrong, is a fairly liberty oriented objectivist most of the time, but his statist colors come out sometimes.

SUMMARY

In a Twitter-length reply (140 characters maximum), please state why you are running for political office.


I am not running, but if I were it would be to spread the message that people don't need the state and that voluntary action is always better than coercive action.

ECONOMIC ISSUES

* Should the federal or state government spend money in an attempt to "stimulate" the economy? If so, on what sorts of projects?


NO, all money spent by the government was taken from people who would have used that same money in a more appropriate fashion in an effort to improve their lives, which is a more effective use of that money than the choices some bureaucrat would make.

* Should tax dollars be directed toward energy projects, tourism, or any other form of business subsidies?

No

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights be kept completely intact? If not, how should it be altered?

If it were to be altered it should be to make it stronger and eliminate the ability for the government to raise taxes and call them “fees” like the recent car registration fee hike.

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should Amendment 23 be repealed, maintained, or modified?

Repealed. It forces the state to pay ever more for public schools, when there should not even be any public schools.

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should any particular state taxes or fees (such as the state corporate income tax or the subjects of the tax-cutting initiatives) be repealed or reduced? Should any be added or increased?

They should all be repealed. Taxation is theft and is never justified, no matter what altruistic ends some bureaucrat has designed.

* Should state or federal spending (depending on which office you seek) be higher or lower than it is currently?

Lower, much much lower, like at 0%

* Should the state or federal minimum wage (depending on which office you seek) be repealed, maintained, or increased?

Repealed, the minimum wage is evil and forces people who cannot prove a productive value above the minimum wage to into a life of welfare, it targets the mentally and physically challenged as well as youth.

* Should college education be subsidized by tax dollars?

No

* Should antitrust law or its enforcement be changed?

Yes all antitrust laws should be repealed, and all government enforced monopolies should be eliminated.

* (Federal-level candidates:) Should Sarbanes-Oxley be repealed?

Yes

SOCIAL AND CHURCH/STATE ISSUES

* What do you believe is meant by the "separation of church and state," and do you endorse it?


I don't believe there should be a state so if you eliminate the state then this would not be an issue.

* Should religious institutions receive tax dollars for providing welfare or other faith-based services?

No. Stealing from people is not the basis for charity.

Should the teaching of creationism or Intelligent Design be subsidized by tax dollars

NO

* Should tax-funded schools establish a period of permitted or required prayer?

NO, there should not be any tax funded schools so this should not be a question. People should be free to pay for the kind of education they desire for their kids. Religious or otherwise.

* Should government officials promote religiously oriented displays and comments on government property and at government events?

No

* Do you support gay marriage?

I don't believe the government has any place in a marriage contract. Therefore if two adults consent to a marriage contract drawn up privately, I do no care what sex they are.

* If you answered no to the question above, do you support domestic partnerships, civil unions, or comparable legal recognition of gay couples?

N/A

* Should gay couples be allowed to adopt children by the same standards as heterosexual couples?

Yes, but it should be up to the private adoption services to decide who they wish to allow to adopt their children and what criteria they follow.

* Should government never, always, or sometimes mandate parental notification and consent before a minor may legally obtain an abortion, and, if sometimes, under what conditions?

Never

* Should government mandate waiting periods or ultrasounds before a woman may legally obtain an abortion?

No

* Do you endorse the "personhood" measure that may appear on the 2010 ballot?

No

* Should abortion be legal in cases of fetal deformity?

Yes

* Should abortion be legal in cases of rape or incest?

Yes

* Should abortion be legal in cases of risk to the woman's life, as determined by the health professional selected by that woman?

Yes

* Should elective abortion be legal?

Yes

* If you believe that abortion should be legally restricted, what criminal penalties do you advocate for a woman and her doctor for obtaining or facilitating an illegal abortion?

N/A

* Would execution ever be an appropriate penalty for obtaining or facilitating illegal abortions?

No

* Should types of birth control be legal that may prevent a fertilized egg or zygote from implanting in the uterus?

YES

* Should fertility treatments be legal that may result in the freezing or destruction of a fertilized egg or zygote?

Yes

* Should research involving the use of embryonic stem cells be legal?

Yes, but tax money should not go towards such things.

* Should abortions or embryonic stem cell research be subsidized by tax dollars?

No


IMMIGRATION

* (Federal-level candidates:) Should the U.S. expand a legal guest-worker program or legal immigration, and, if so, by how much?

Yes, but I believe free people should be able to travel freely so I reject this idea of legal and illegal crossing of arbitrary lines in the sand that represent government borders. If the land they cross was privately owned then that owner should decide if they are allowed onto his/her land.


* (State-Level Candidates:) Should Colorado government force employers to verify with the federal government the legal status of potential employees, and, if so, what penalties should apply for failure to do so?

No

* Should federal or state tax-funded benefits (depending on which office you seek), including K-12 education, be extended only to U.S. citizens, to legal immigrants and guest workers, or to everyone in the U.S. including illegal immigrants?

No welfare should be extended to anyone no matter what plot of land they happened to be born on. We need to eliminate government schools.


PROPERTY RIGHTS

* What restrictions, if any, should be placed on the use of eminent domain?

There should be no such a thing as eminent domain.

* Do you endorse the use of eminent domain in the case of the Pinon Canyon military expansion? Do you support the military expansion if it does not involve eminent domain?

No

* Should the Endangered Species Act be altered or differently enforced?

Yes, it should be abolished and private individuals who care about these creatures should work in private ways to try and save them.

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should the smoking ban be maintained, expanded, or repealed? Should it apply to on-stage performances?

Repealed


BILL OF RIGHTS

* Should McCain-Feingold and state campaign finance restrictions be repealed, maintained, or expanded?


repealed

* Should the federal government control what radio or television stations may broadcast?

NO

* Should the FTC's rules regarding blogger endorsements be rescinded?

Yes

* Should students with licenses be legally permitted to carry concealed handguns on the property of tax-subsidized colleges?

First off there should be no need for a concealed carry license and secondly there should be no tax subsidized colleges, private colleges could set their own gun rules.

* Should additional restrictions be added (or repealed) on gun ownership? Please specify.

The right to protect yourself should be obvious, so all restrictions on gun ownership are invalid and should be repealed.

* Do you believe that desecration of the U.S. flag should be outlawed by Constitutional amendment?

No

* Do you believe that pornography or obscene materials involving consenting adults should be legally restricted?

No


OTHER

* Should state or federal laws (depending on which office you seek) pertaining to marijuana be altered, and, if so, how?

All drug laws should be repealed. A person has a right to put into their body anything they choose.

* (State-Level Candidates:) Should rules pertaining to petitioners be altered, and, if so, how?

The state should be abolished, therefor no petitions would be needed.

* If there is any important issue that you believe we have missed, please state what it is and state your position on it.

We need to end the monopoly on the printing of money.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Tom Tancredo says some stupid crap at the "Tea Party"

Tea party? I was not a big supporter of these so called Tea parties. I thought they were a bit too republican. So I was watching the local news last night and they showed part of Tom Tancredo's speech at this “tea party” convention. He made the claim that illegal immigrants who can't even say “vote” in English were responsible for electing Barack Hussein Obama. This is a ridiculous statement. The idea that the majority of registered democrats who went to the primaries and the caucus's were mostly non English speakers is so absurd on its face to make everything he says not taken seriously. George Bush was so hated that whoever was the democrats nominee was going to win over the republican nominee. Statements like the one by Tancredo are the reason I would not want to be associated with the tea party people. I know that in some earlier incarnations there really were small government types making up the tea parties, but the movement was quickly hijacked by the GOP. I don't know what to think of these tea party events now, but I know that I am embarrassed for people who really are mostly about small government who have now been lumped into a group with the likes of Tom Tancredo.

Saturday, February 6, 2010

Voluntaryism is the only path to harmony

On occasion I read a blog or something that tries to explain why the author is not a libertarian/voluntaryist. They normally all break down the same way.

The main objection always seems to be that they have a perceived problem or a lifeboat scenario that they can come up with to try and justify the need for a coercive monopoly on force rather than a voluntary interaction between two parties. The causes change, the stories change, but the final conclusion is always the same, they believe it points out a need for governmental aggression.

The problem is that what one person considers a pressing problem is different from what another person considers a pressing issue, and the issues are never clear cut. The methods always have negative side effects, and the benefits of government force are rarely as great as promised. For instance let's say that I determine that a road needs to be built between town A and town B and that this justifies me taking the land in-between by force to accommodate my new road. I will also need tax money to pay for the new road. This is a pretty simple example and one based on real events that occur all of the time, not just some made up lifeboat setup. Still it is one that the majority of people probably believe justifies the use of force.

Let's think about this for a second. First let's say I am right and that road would be a boon for society and would make everyone in these towns much happier wealthier and wiser. If the consensus is 100% in the area that the road would be a great thing, then I should have no problem buying the land from the current owners as they know that the road will improve the value of their remaining land that abuts against the new road. If they are unwilling to sell then there really isn't a consensus that the new road is such a good idea. Also it is unlikely that there would be universal agreement that the path I laid out for the new road is the best path for the road to take, maybe my path bypasses a town that really wants the new road to pass by them. Then let's say that I am going to demand a tax of $1000 per person that lives in towns A and B because they are the ones who will benefit from this new road. Then I have detractors who say that the road could be built for half the amount I am looking to spend. I have other detractors who say that even if the average benefit to town A and B is going to be the dollar equivalent of $1000 per person that the benefit is not equally distributed and that a few people will benefit by many thousands of dollars while other benefit very little and so an equal tax on everybody to pay for my road is really a wealth transfer from the many to the few. Suddenly the justification for the use of force to build my road is much less clear, and the most moral solution is to build my road from private funds put up by those who stand to profit the most from it and to create a path where I have the cooperation of the land holders along that path. Does this mean that my road will be perfectly straight? Maybe not, but because it was built and funded through voluntary means will ensure that it does not create a huge controversy in the community about the cost, the path, who benefits, and where the road should go. Voluntary action creates harmony, force creates disharmony. Does that mean everyone will be happy with the end result? No, but those who are unhappy with it probably were not the people who put up their land and money to see the road created so they can complain, but they really have very little say in the situation and if they had really wanted more say they could have put up their own money and land before the road was built. In the current paradigm of government force, everyone thinks they have an equal say because everyone was forced to pay for these kinds of projects.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

TSA trouble, OTN's Sam encounters the TSA in Detroit



If you haven't seen this yet, it is great. Sam "balls of steel" Dotson, confronts TSA agents on their own turf. There were a couple of moments when I felt like he went a little too far, but sometimes you have to go that extra step in order to get people thinking. My favorite part was in the second or third video when he told one TSA agent that another agent had been acting suspiciously because she stood in line at the chicken place and then never ordered chicken and he should investigate.

Update:
The local Detroit news ran a story about this video series. It is ridiculous. They open with there is a group of “vigilante journalists who go to airports” then they continually repeat the idea that Sam is a group of people instead of just one person who happened to have a layover in Detroit while traveling for the Christmas Holiday. I have never heard the term “vigilante journalist” before in my life so I have to assume that this is just some bullshit made up be these fake journalists who dominate the TV news industry.

This video really shows how slipshod “professional” journalists can be and why more and more people are turning to blogs and independent journalists for their news. Even in this case, the only real investigation done was them watching Sam's video, no other footage was used except fake TV journalist guy holding a video camera up and babbling some bullshit that has no basis in fact. These "reporters" did not interview either Sam or any of the TSA agents, they didn't check to find out if he was alone or with a group, they didn't bother to see if he is even part of a group that calls themselves "vigilante journalists" which is just something they made up.

http://www.clickondetroit.com/news/22368244/detail.html#video

Monday, February 1, 2010

Colorado Spring Police lie about blood-alcohol level results on massive scale, ruining hundreds of peoples lives

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- The number of flawed Colorado Springs police DUI tests has doubled to 167 since a crime lab audit last year discovered that some blood-alcohol results were inflated, the Colorado Springs Gazette reported.

http://www.thedenverchannel.com/news/22400202/detail.html


How many people have been effected by this apparently systematic deception over the years? Getting busted for DUI can ruin a persons life, but in Colorado Springs the police made a habit out of ruining peoples lives based on falsified data. The Colorado Springs government is having to cut their budget, but they are not really looking very hard at cutting back on the police even though they have proven themselves to be as or more harmful to the population than the criminals they are supposedly “protecting” people from. Instead of firing these criminals, the city government people are claiming that they don't have enough money to have trash cans in the parks!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

No small breasted porn in Australia

Australia's government is "banning" adult publications and films featuring women with "small breasts," says Aussie activist Fiona Patten, on the grounds that such images encourage pedophilia.

http://www.theweek.com/article/index/105766/Australias_small_breast_ban


How stupid are things going to get? I guess the next step will be to prevent porn actresses from shaving their privates (or is it publics in this instance?). It is pretty bad when the government perverts think they should be able to dictate the body style of actresses in porno films. When this kind of stupidity hits the US how will it look? “Obama only like big butts, so now it is a law that all porn stars have major booty!”. What about Asian porn? Most of those chicks have tiny titties, is Asian porn now illegal in Australia? It is funny and frustrating at the same time. It is funny because the new “law” is so ridiculous, but frustrating because of how it proves that bureaucrats will try and get away with all kinds of asinine crap and they will probably suffer no consequences and the rest of us will suffer from less freedom and fewer choices and it will continually build upon itself until a breaking point, and the tide will roll back somewhat, but this ebb and flow between those who want to control others and those who do not wish to be controlled has no winners in the long run. The best course of action is to not try and micro manage human behavior.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Emission testing scam

I really hate being a slave, but today I had to be a good little slave because I fear the whip of the government masters. I had a good day at work (work is where I voluntarily exchange my mind and labor in return for financial compensation). Then I decided to ruin a perfectly good day by going to get my car emissions tested. Where I live this is a requirement for everyone to do every two years. It took about 45 minutes and cost $25 dollars. I would have rather spent the time doing other things and I have better things to do with my money.

Emission testing is a rip off and is unnecessary, hardly anyone needs the test as modern vehicles are efficient and low polluting, and people like me who want to be able to maintain the value and reliability of their vehicles keep them well maintained. I don't keep my truck in good running order so it can pass emissions, but so I can depend on it to get me to work and I am not unique in this way.

Here is a good article written several years ago about some of the reasons to hate the Denver emissions program.
http://www.westword.com/1995-01-25/news/blowing-smoke/1

Monday, January 25, 2010

Stossel on Energy Independence, subsidized trains, and more

Last weeks episode of Stossel was a very packed episode with several topics covered very quickly.

The first topic was “energy independence”. He had T. Boone Pickens on and it was not too friendly of a conversation, Stossel tried to be cordial, but members of the audience keep yelling out insults. The real problem with Pickens is that he seems like a guy who has just accepted the way things are and so tries to capitalize on the current environment for personal gain. He has no moral qualms about having the government steal money from average citizens and then funnel that money to him because he feels like that the money would be stolen from you anyways so why not get in on the action? He pretty much said as much because he kept telling Stossel that “you won't be paying any more in taxes if my plan goes through” and “what I am asking for is just a drop in the bucket”. However at the end he was cut short by time and left looking a little bit silly because his final statement was that he would not risk his own money on his schemes because they are a bad deal, but he has no qualms having tax payers “invest” in his schemes that he admits are economically unsound.

Then the subject moved onto trains. Trains may be a good investment for private industry but not for government. They brought Randal O'Toole on. I met him once when he was in Denver educating us on talking points against the light rail expansion that was being proposed. The fact is that if a city wants to encourage public transit, they should focus on buses and passenger vans. They are cheaper and more flexible and they you can add and subtract routes easily as demand dictates. The reality is that government should not be involved in public transportation but if they are going to force the issue at the very least those of us footing the bill should be getting the best possible value for our tax dollars, instead the government seems determined to find the most expensive, least practical option available.

Other topics mixed in to the show were the broken window fallacy, the X prize, and fungible commodities. It was a fast paced show. Even though Stossel may not have got people to fully understand the broken window fallacy just the mention of it on TV may entice people to look it up.

Another good show.