Thursday, July 30, 2009

The Real Thieves

I remember back when the entertainment industry was throwing hysterical fits and trying to get Congress to pass legislation to tax blank audio and video cassettes (with the generated revenue then being divided up between the big music and movie companies). The fear was of people making copies of their records and recording movies off television. Criminal Jack Valenti (he had worked for Lyndon Johnson, so what more could you expect of him) was a major propagandist for that kind of thing.

At the time I thought but what about all those people who record their own music or videos on those blank cassettes? They'll be forced to pay rich corporations for the privilege of using those items to record their own original material. Of course the issue went far beyond that, and it would still have been thievery even if people were using those cassettes only to record and copy existing music and films.

Now we are still dealing with this corporate/statist monster, especially with the internet. Big corporations care nothing of free markets or liberty, and they would willingly have draconian laws enacted to stifle the free flow of information online in order to have big government act on their illegitimate behalf.

For artists, of course, the whole thing is asinine and short-sighted. I saw a wonderful video on Leonardo da Vinci and his inventions on Youtube. It featured background music that fit it perfectly, but later the music was removed by the video creator due to a "copyright claim". The music I had not heard before, and I was immediately interested in finding it and hearing more from the artists. If I was producing music, I'd want it distributed and heard by as many people as possible, but the music industry prevents this through their alliance with the State. They are the true destroyers of creativity and artistic expression.

The real pirates and thieves are not ordinary people using and downloading already existing music. The thieves are the fascist corporate interests, whose whole enterprise would not exist in its present form without the backing of the oppressive and evil entity called the State.

click to enlarge

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Drink tea for anarchy?

I'm sitting here drinking a 20 oz of Lipton tea and just made an interesting discovery: towards the bottle of the container, under the nutrition facts, is a circle-A. It's not ink, but part on the container.

A tea toast to...anarchy!

Kidneys For Sale

Via The Agitator: Defending Organ Markets

Will vaccines and anti-viral drugs block or spawn a flu epidemic?

Disease researchers have begun modeling how a future H1N1-09 swine-flu outbreak would spread throughout the world and have come up with some troubling scenarios. Infectious disease experts are beginning to describe modern efforts to quell seasonal and epidemic influenza with vaccines and anti-viral drugs using wording like "potentially dangerous," "worrisome," and "may do more harm than good."

Overuse of Vaccines, Anti-Flu Drugs May Result in Human Calamity

Noam Chomsky: Notes on Anarchism

"No state, however democratic," Bakunin wrote, "not even the reddest republic---can ever give the people what they really want, i.e., the free self-organization and administration of their own affairs from the bottom upward, without any interference or violence from above, because every state, even the pseudo-People's State concocted by Mr. Marx, is in essence only a machine ruling the masses from above, from a privileged minority of conceited intellectuals, who imagine that they know what the people need and want better than do the people themselves...." "But the people will feel no better if the stick with which they are being beaten is labeled 'the people's stick' " (Statism and Anarchy [1873], in Dolgoff, Bakunin on Anarchy, p. 338)---"the people's stick" being the democratic Republic.

The consistent anarchist, then, should be a socialist, but a socialist of a particular sort. He will not only oppose alienated and specialized labor and look forward to the appropriation of capital by the whole body of workers, but he will also insist that this appropriation be direct, not exercised by some elite force acting in the name of the proletariat. He will, in short, oppose

the organization of production by the Government. It means State-socialism, the command of the State officials over production and the command of managers, scientists, shop-officials in the shop....The goal of the working class is liberation from exploitation. This goal is not reached and cannot be reached by a new directing and governing class substituting itself for the bourgeoisie. It is only realized by the workers themselves being master over production.

These remarks are taken from "Five Theses on the Class Struggle" by the left-wing Marxist Anton Pannekoek, one of the outstanding left theorists of the council communist movement. And in fact, radical Marxism merges with anarchist currents.

As a further illustration, consider the following characterization of "revolutionary Socialism":

The revolutionary Socialist denies that State ownership can end in anything other than a bureaucratic despotism. We have seen why the State cannot democratically control industry. Industry can only be democratically owned and controlled by the workers electing directly from their own ranks industrial administrative committees. Socialism will be fundamentally an industrial system; its constituencies will be of an industrial character. Thus those carrying on the social activities and industries of society will be directly represented in the local and central councils of social administration. In this way the powers of such delegates will flow upwards from those carrying on the work and conversant with the needs of the community. When the central administrative industrial committee meets it will represent every phase of social activity. Hence the capitalist political or geographical state will be replaced by the industrial administrative committee of Socialism. The transition from the one social system to the other will be the social revolution. The political State throughout history has meant the government of men by ruling classes; the Republic of Socialism will be the government of industry administered on behalf of the whole community. The former meant the economic and political subjection of the many; the latter will mean the economic freedom of all---it will be, therefore, a true democracy.

This programmatic statement appears in William Paul's The State, its Origins and Functions, written in early 1917---shortly before Lenin's State and Revolution, perhaps his most libertarian work. Paul was a member of the Marxist-De Leonist Socialist Labor Party and later one of the founders of the British Communist Party. His critique of state socialism resembles the libertarian doctrine of the anarchists in its principle that since state ownership and management will lead to bureaucratic despotism, the social revolution must replace it by the industrial organization of society with direct workers' control. Many similar statements can be cited.

-from Notes on Anarchism by Noam Chomsky

Walter Block On Anarchism

Walter Block Is an Anarchist (podcast)

Below are links to some of the articles referenced by Block and Rockwell during the podcast:

But Wouldn't Warlords Take Over?

Libertarian Anarchism: Responses to Ten Objections

The Anatomy of the State

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Why Are There More Atheists Than Anarchists?

Swine Flu Vaccine’s Dirty Little Secret?

Does it make any sense in terms of costs and risks to vaccinate tens of millions to possibly save 100 lives? I've had it with the state/media generated hysteria over a flu virus that appears no more threatening than ordinary flu. Stop using children as your guinea pigs (and as your always convenient excuse for more and bigger government-it's "for the children" you know), you lying statist shills!

Dr. Mercola writes:

According to Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, your children should be the first target for mass swine flu vaccinations when school starts this fall.

This is a ridiculous assumption for many reasons, not to mention extremely high risk.

In Australia, where the winter season has begun, Federal Health Minister Nicola Roxon is reassuring parents the swine flu is no more dangerous than regular seasonal flu. "Most people, including children, will experience very mild symptoms and recover without any medical intervention," she said.

Sydney-based immunization specialist Robert Booy predicts swine flu might be fatal to about twice as many children in the coming year as regular influenza. Booy estimates 10-12 children could die from the H1N1 virus, compared with the five or six regular flu deaths seen among children in an average year in Australia.

Less than 100 children in the U.S. die each year from seasonal flu viruses. If we use Australia’s math, a very rough estimate would be another 100 children could potentially die of swine flu in the United States in the coming year.

If children are the first target group in the U.S. per Sebelius, that means we’re about to inject around 75 million children with a fast tracked vaccine containing novel adjuvants, including dangerous squalene, to prevent perhaps 100 deaths.

I’m not overlooking the tragedy of the loss of even one child to an illness like the H1N1 flu virus. But there can be no argument that unnecessary mass injection of millions of children with a vaccine containing an adjuvant known to cause a host of debilitating autoimmune diseases is a reckless, dangerous plan.

Squalene: The Swine Flu Vaccine’s Dirty Little Secret Exposed

Monday, July 27, 2009

Alex Jones Goes Super Saiyan

This made me laugh my ass off. (If you're not familiar with anime, it may go over your head.)

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Who Was the First Blogger?

via Banquet of Consequences

Enough is enough: we must have social control of the means of production

No longer can we have a small group of elites owning the means of production at the expense of the rest of the population.

Yes, my friends, the time has come to move to free market capitalism (did you think I was talking about socialism?).

As Ludwig von Mises reminded us many a time, the "means of production" are under total social control in a free market society:

When we call a capitalist society a consumers' democracy we mean that the power to dispose of the means of production, which belongs to the entrepreneurs and capitalists, can only be acquired by means of the consumers' ballot, held daily in the market-place. Every child who prefers one toy to another puts its voting paper in the ballot-box, which eventually decides who shall be elected captain of industry. True, there is no equality of vote in this democracy; some have plural votes. But the greater voting power which the disposal of a greater income implies can only be acquired and maintained by the test of election. That the consumption of the rich weighs more heavily in the balance than the consumption of the poor—though there is a strong tendency to overestimate considerably the amount consumed by the well-to-do classes in proportion to the consumption of the masses—is in itself an 'election result', since in a capitalist society wealth can be acquired and maintained only by a response corresponding to the consumers' requirements.

They aren't under social control when the state owns them and decides to...oh, I don't know...produce shitty "green" cars nobody wants.

So can we put the means of production back into the hands of the people and let society control them again?

Pretty please?

Friday, July 24, 2009

Begging For It

A co-worker has recently been fantasizing about quitting his job and becoming a panhandler. He dreams of easy money in Beverly Hills or Pacific Palisades, or at least of not having to drag his tired ass to work everyday and follow the orders of bosses who are dumber than he is. His fantasy is only a small symptom of the underlying hatred of going to a job that is shared by nearly all workers. Everyone lives for the weekend, and when Friday rolls around it's always "Thank God" time. It's a terrible way to live.

We've heard the stories of professional panhandlers making as much or more per day as wage earners, only all tax free (which is what justice requires for wage earners too, only there ain't no justice in this "land of the slaves, home of the cowardly").

Aren't beggars, though, some kind of parasite? No more so than everyone who receives a government check, in fact, beggars are much less parasites, as the transactions that occur between the givers and the receivers are voluntary. Plus, the beggars at least are telling those damn bosses to take those jobs and shove them. I wish I could do that!

So, though I usually refuse to give even a dime to panhandlers (figuring that they've actually got more money on them than I do) I may start contributing now and then. It's the anti-work thing to do.

Atheism Is Good For You

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Panhandling Basics

It is a beggar's pride that he is not a thief. - Japanese proverb

A panhandler is a person who depends on the spontaneous charity of strangers for their survival. In some parts of the world, begging is the only alternative to starvation, especially in the context of a poor economy or an oppressive government; in other parts of the world, panhandling is illegal because of its association with addiction and irresponsibility. You never know when you might have to ask strangers for help, whether you've been mugged in a foreign land, and need enough money to make it home; or life deals you a particularly harsh hand of cards (like abuse, disability, illness, war); or you become so dissatisfied with your existing options that begging seems like a better alternative.

How to Panhandle

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

A funny idea I just got

Don’t ask me why, but for whatever reason I ended up on some random Stormfront thread earlier this evening. I forget what I was Googling (something on libertarianism), but this silly hate site full of uneducated Christian-fascist retards just popped up as a result.

This got me thinking: since I’m .1% Native American, does that disqualify me from joining their little club? LOL. I think it could make for a hysterical Borat-type gag: join a white nationalist organization, then announce in the middle of dinner that one is actually only 99.9% white and conflicted over which race should earn his respect.

Not sure how they would respond, but it would be, like, the most hilarious prank ever if it was caught on videotape (at least if it plays out exactly like it is in my head).

Of course, I would never go anywhere near these idiots. Someone else who is a minority of some tiny percentage should do it, then put it on YouTube. Then it would be funny.

Or maybe I just think too much about pranks that could be pulled.

Ayn Rand On Charity

My views on charity are very simple. I do not consider it a major virtue and, above all, I do not consider it a moral duty. There is nothing wrong in helping other people, if and when they are worthy of the help and you can afford to help them. I regard charity as a marginal issue. What I am fighting is the idea that charity is a moral duty and a primary virtue.

“Playboy’s Interview with Ayn Rand,” March 1964

Ayn Rand On Charity


I found this column against charity, posted at LRC today, to be one of the most mean-spirited (bordering on disturbing) things I've ever read from that site.

But it goes far beyond that. Accumulation itself is benefaction. The accumulation of capital, no matter who owns it, adds to the demand for everyone's labor, and so enriches everyone who can get out of bed. Giving, on the other hand, is a tricky business. It can easily result in waste or in actual harm.

Yes, because no business investment ever ends up being a waste. (Insert eye rolling.)

In a rich country, why are poor people poor? Sometimes, it's true, bad luck can strike, and a person may need help. But that's what friends and neighbors are for. And if a person doesn't have any friends, and his neighbors won't help him, chances are he's not worthy of help. Over a lifetime, most people get what they deserve. The fact is that most people who experience perennial bad luck simply have bad habits. They drink too much, they don't care for themselves, they're ignorant, they're lazy, or they have other vices. In a free society, someone who's poor almost certainly deserves his fate. To hell with him. And to hell with charities that encourage him to stay that way.

Yup, if you're a child with leukemia then go whine about it to someone who cares. It's your fault, and you deserve what's coming to you.

Seriously, what an asshole column to write.

How TV news would cover the first lunar landing today

via MaxRedline



Bob Black's "The Abolition of Work"

No one should ever work.

Work is the source of nearly all the misery in the world. Almost any evil you’d care to name comes from working or from living in a world designed for work. In order to stop suffering, we have to stop working.

The Abolition of Work

Pelosi Propaganda, or the "Home Ownership Crisis"

I've been watching the cable government propaganda news channels a little today. This morning there was House Speaker Nancy Pelosi holding a socialized medicine sob story propaganda conference. Up to the mike came a dark-haired woman who told her cancer story.

It was all about how the thing she kept thinking was "I can't afford this", yet later she talked of her house and how she always made her mortgage payments on time. She must have bought a house she couldn't really afford, because as soon as she had medical bills her house payment wasn't easy to make every month. Did she buy during the height of the housing get-rich-quick in real estate phony boom? If so, then she was just a greedy opportunist that I won't shed any tears for, especially since there are others who rent tiny rooms in someone else's house to keep a roof over their heads. Or they have a small studio apartment or live in a dump in a bad part of town where the rents are cheaper. Those people should be taxed to pay for this irresponsible woman's heath care?

Irresponsible did I say? She says she was/is self-employed. There are private health insurance plans available for the self-employed, and in any event, there are high-deducible plans available as well that won't pay for your office visits every time you get the sniffles, but will pay for treatment of major illnesses. And did this woman have the means to buy such insurance but instead decide she was healthy and young enough not to worry about getting sick (she admits she was "healthy" and didn't think she would become ill). We don't know, because such questions never come up in these propaganda sessions. We do know that she had enough money to buy a house and make the payments, as she says, "on time" every month.

So, while we're nationalizing health care, maybe we should also provide all those renters out there with homes of their very own, so they can have the same "access" to housing as this foolish woman.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Mike Gogulski Burns His Socialist Insecurity Card


About Mike Gogulski

Apparently, Mike wasn't the first to think of burning his slavery card:

What is your security number? Under the Department of Homeland Security's police state (DHS) the security number that is used to dictate social control is your social security number. Because of Social Security, every American is born into slavery, with numbers assigned to infants. It is an impoverishing scheme that tracks your home, workplace, income, finances, etc., for life and steals all the way, in the "SS" scheme (socialist slavery). Social Security was imposed at the height of the power of the National Socialist German Workers' Party. It was designed for a police state system of social security for the government by tracking every American's movements, residence, employment, jobs, income, and eventually all purchases and activities, including travel. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) imposes social security controls in the USSA through the Nazi numbering system today.

Host your own burn party

George Carlin on UFO vs God Belief


The following is just a quick throwaway I found in one of my old notebooks. It was inspired by an acquaintance and the supposed fact that most women are repulsed by men with "excessive" hair on their hands. I also considered what such a hairy man would say if he were a public spokesman for creationism. I mean, imagine being interviewed on television and denouncing evolution while looking like the missing link.

Ape, ape, ape, ape, man and monkey are alike!

Heavy hair on hands distresses, for it labels humans furry too.

Women are "turned off" by men with hirsute hands

But truth is truth, and we as animals die like dogs

And lose our gift of life.

The Bible toters places are filled with prejudice,

The stares are just as great there,

In spite of hearts transformed by holy love.

Perhaps the chimpanzee connection is too extreme

For their Genesis drenched minds to bear.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

The Bankster System

click image to enlarge

Born Again Preemie

via Berto: Philosophy Monkey

Questions about Capitalism

Question: You say you are in favor of the free market—but can't big corporations interfere with free competition? Can't they force employees, distributors, and suppliers to accept their terms? So isn't government force, such as antitrust prosecution, necessary to protect individuals from this "economic force"?

Answer: As private corporations, business has no power to force anyone. The entire claim that businessmen can coercive their customers (and, indeed, the entire case for the antitrust laws) is based on equation between economic power and political power. The difference between these two forms of power must be kept strictly in mind—for it is a difference with life-and-death consequences.

In "The Dollar and the Gun" (The Objectivist Forum, June 1983), philosopher Harry Binswanger defines the difference between these two forms of power:

"'Political power' refers to the power of the government. The special nature of that power is what differentiates government from all other social institutions. That which makes government government, its essential attribute, is its monopoly on the use of physical force. Only a government can make laws—i.e., rules of social conduct backed up by physical force. ...The penalty for breaking the law is fines, imprisonment, and ultimately, death. The symbol of political power is a gun.

"Economic power, on the other hand, is the ability to produce material values and offer them for sale. E.g., the power of Big Oil is the power to discover, drill, and bring to market a large amount of oil. Economic power lies in assets—i.e., the factors of production, the inventory, and the cash possessed by businesses. The symbol of economic power is the dollar.

"A business can only make you an offer, thereby expanding the possibilities open to you. The alternative a business presents you with in a free market is: 'increase your well-being by trading with us, or go your own way.' The alternative a government, or any force-user, presents you with is: 'do as we order, or forfeit your liberty, property, or life.'"

The only power a business has to induce customers to give it money is the value of its products. If a business started to produce an inferior product, it would eventually lose its customers. By contrast, the only power that the government has to offer is a threat: "We'll dictate what businessmen can and cannot do—and businessmen better toe the line or we'll throw them in jail."

From: Frequently Asked Questions about Capitalism

The Naked Bernanke and Biden

Like the Emperor in his new "clothes", our ruling elite are naked in their lies and shilling for the system that keeps them in power. This includes the New half-white/half-black Messiah, a savior who cannot save, who does not know how to save, who in spite of this lack has millions falling before him in worshipful adoration, willing to accept his offered slavery in place of salvation.

If the American people get the leaders they deserve, they've really got 'em now.


and Biden...

“We’re going to go bankrupt as a nation,” Biden said. “Now, people when I say that look at me and say, ‘What are you talking about, Joe? You’re telling me we have to go spend money to keep from going bankrupt?’” Biden said. “The answer is yes, that's what I’m telling you.” -source

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Left-wing anarchists weren't always dumb

Most left-wing "anarchists" these days call for total government control over everything and denounce all private organizations as inherently evil. Peter Kropotkin, one of the best known thinkers in the anarcho-communist tradition, rejected this simplistic position.

If you were to show this passage to the average leftist, he or she would most likely denounce it as a bunch of greedy right-wing claptrap, probably written by Ronald Reagan or Milton Friedman. In fact, it was written by a radical communist. Just goes to show how statist, authoritarian, and vacuous modern lefties are when compared to their big thinkers.

Another striking feature of our century tells in favor of the same no-government tendency. It is the steady enlargement of the field covered by private initiative, and the recent growth of large organizations resulting merely and simply from free agreement. The railway net of Europe-a confederation of so many scores of separate societies-and the direct transport of passengers and merchandise over so many lines which were built independently and federated together, without even so much as a Central Board of European Railways, is a most striking instance of what is already done by mere agreement. If fifty years ago somebody had predicted that railways built by so many separate companies finally would constitute so perfect a net as they do today, he surely would have been treated as a fool. It would have been urged that so many companies, prosecuting their own interests, would never agree without an International Board of Railways, supported by an International Convention of the European States, and endowed with governmental powers. But no such board was resorted to, and the agreement came nevertheless. The Dutch associations of ship and boat owners are now extending their organizations over the rivers of Germany and even to the shipping trade of the Baltic. The numberless amalgamated manufacturers' associations, and the syndicates of France, are so many instances in point. If it be argued that many of these organizations are organizations for exploitation, that proves nothing, because, if men pursuing their own egotistic, often very narrow, interests can agree together, better inspired men, compelled to be more closely connected with other groups, will necessarily agree still more easily and still better.

But there also is no lack of free organizations for nobler pursuits. One of the noblest achievements of our century is undoubtedly the Lifeboat Association. Since its first humble start, it has saved no less than thirty-two thousand human lives. It makes appeal to the noblest instincts of man; its activity is entirely dependent upon devotion to the common cause, while its internal organization is entirely based upon the independence of the local committees. The Hospitals Association and hundreds of like organizations, operating on a large scale and covering each a wide field, may also be mentioned under this head. But, while we know everything about governments and their deeds, what do we know about the results achieved by free cooperation? Thousands of volume' have been written to record the acts of governments; the most trifling amelioration due to law has been recorded; it' good effects have been exaggerated, its bad effects passed by in silence. But where is the book recording what has been achieved by free cooperation of well-inspired men? At the same time, hundreds of societies are constituted every day for the satisfaction of some of the infinitely varied needs of civilized man. We have societies for all possible kinds of studies-some of them embracing the whole field of natural science, others limited to a small special branch; societies for gymnastics, for shorthand-writing, for the study of a separate author, for games and all kinds of sports, for forwarding the science of maintaining life, and for favoring the art of destroying it; philosophical and industrial, artistic and anti-artistic; for serious work and for mere amusement-in short, there is not a single direction in which men exercise their faculties without combining together for the accomplishment of some common aim. Every day new societies are formed, while every year the old ones aggregate together into larger units, federate across the national frontiers, and cooperate in some common work.

The most striking feature of these numberless free growths is that they continually encroach on what was formerly the domain of the State or the Municipality. A householder in a Swiss village on the banks of Lake Leman belongs now to at least a dozen different societies which supply him with what is considered elsewhere as a function of the municipal government. Free federation of independent communes for temporary or permanent purposes lies at the very bottom of Swiss life, and to these federations many a part of Switzerland is indebted for its roads and fountains, its rich vineyards, well-kept forests, and meadows which the foreigner admires. And besides these small societies, substituting themselves for the State within some limited sphere, do we not see other societies doing the same on a much wider scale?

One of the most remarkable societies which has recently arisen is undoubtedly the Red Cross Society. To slaughter men on the battle-fields, that remains the duty of the State; but these very States recognize their inability to take care of their own wounded: they abandon the task, to a great extent, to private initiative. What a deluge of mockeries would not have been cast over the poor "Utopist" who should have dared to say twenty-five years ago that the care of the wounded might be left to private societies! "Nobody would go into the dangerous places! Hospitals would all gather where there was no need of them! National rivalries would result in the poor soldiers dying without any help, and so on,"--such would have been the outcry. The war of I87I has shown how perspicacious those prophets are who never believe in human intelligence, devotion, and good sense.

These facts--so numerous and so customary that we pass by without even noticing them--are in our opinion one of the most prominent features of the second half of the nineteenth century. The just-mentioned organisms grew up so naturally, they so rapidly extended and so easily aggregated together, they are such unavoidable outgrowths of the multiplication of needs of the civilized man, and they so well replace State interference, that we must recognize in them a growing factor of our life. Modern progress is really towards the free aggregation of free individuals so as to supplant government in all those functions which formerly were entrusted to it, and which it mostly performed so badly.


Friday, July 17, 2009

A case for health care?

In this article the writer is trying to make a case for socialized medicine. He makes a pretty good case about the flaws in the medical insurance rackets but he misses the point about national health care altogether.

He shoots himself in the foot with the following quote:

"When I was in the Army and known to my friends as "Combat Cohen," I could not get over the fact that the American public supported high Pentagon spending despite firsthand knowledge of astounding waste and theft. I cite, for instance, the well-known and frequently witnessed pillaging of food by mess sergeants. From tasting their stuff, I can say that theft is what they did best."

He in one breath points out that the government can't stop corruption, theft, and terrible quality in what is essentially cafeteria work, then goes on to try and say they will do a good job with medical care. Seems the guy is a little on the stupid side. His points about the problems with insurance company practices being unethical are pretty good and well taken but he fails miserably to make a case that the Fed could do it better. In fact it seems he reinforces what I've been saying all along, that they will do much, much, worse.

My review of Bruno

Ok, so I'm a hypocrite. Not long ago, I said that I thought Bruno looked dumb. I gave into peer pressure and went to see it anyway.

I was wrong--it's pretty damn funny. There were a number of scenes in it that had me howling with laughter. And maybe I'm just hard to shock, but I didn't find it nearly as gross or graphic as I'd heard. It's not for kids (or conservative adults) obviously, but I disagree with all the critics who claimed it's in NC-17 territory.

While I can understand gay rights groups being upset at some of Bruno's behavior, I thought the movie ridiculed homophobes more than it pandered to them. They end up looking like complete morons by the end of the movie.

Is it as good as Borat? No, but Borat is pretty hard to top. The dialogue was hysterical and his victims were caught completely off guard. There's some of that in Bruno, but not as much. Admittedly, it must be harder to do after the last movie, since so many people know who he is.

The movie does have its downsides. A number of sequences fall flat or are only mildly amusing (eg, the swinger party). It also feels short, disjointed, and somewhat incomplete. Borat, despite being a series of sketches at its core, at least felt like a full-length movie with some semblance of a plot. Bruno, not so much.

The "ethical" debate is also there--is it really fair to trick so many people through lying? Probably not, though some of it is pretty funny (how can you not laugh at Bruno telling a terrorist that bin Laden looks like a homeless Santa Claus?). How much of this was real vs. staged? I have no idea.

Overall, Bruno certainly has its moments (at least if your taste is as outrageously bad as mine), but I recommend catching it on video instead of seeing it at the theater.


David Nolan on the LP nightmare

David Nolan, the founder of the Libertarian Party, is understandably frustrated with its total lack of balls:

...there is an important lesson to be learned from the success of the Paul campaign and the C4L. That lesson is that it pays to be bold. Notice that the grassroots uprising sparked by the Ron Paul campaign calls itself the Ron Paul REVOLUTION. Not the "Ron Paul gradual reform movement." They're calling for ending the Federal personal income tax, not just mouthing empty platitudes about "lower taxes" or "more freedom." (Compared to what? What we have now? Obama's proposals?) And they are gaining adherents far more rapidly than the Libertarian Party is; the C4L currently has five to ten times as many members as we do!

As I see it, the Libertarian Party has gone far astray from its original mission. Somewhere along the way, our commitment to being The Party of Principle was replaced by a shallow, opportunistic goal of "winning elections now" -- any election, anywhere. Principles be damned, according to the proponents of this vision. We should back off from "scary" positions, tone down our rhetoric, find out "what voters want," and tailor our message to what they want to hear.

If it is true that the Campaign for Liberty has over five times the members of the LP, then as much as I hate to say it, you may be better off trying to reform the Republican party. And trust me, it's not easy to admit that. But when you consider that today's LP is just GOP lite, and the C4L is more libertarian than the LP anyway, it's less hard to swallow.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the LP could learn a lot from the Green Party. The Green Party is radical as fuck and makes no apologies for it. That would be the entire purpose of having a third party: sticking to principle over measly reforms and the a toothless everything-to-everyone philosophy.

Minarchists obviously have to be welcome in the LP, but most of the LP "moderates" and "reformers" are not even minarchists. Minarchists want a radically, radically tiny government, and many of them reject taxation altogether (wanting user fees, lotteries, voluntary donations, fines paid by criminals, etc to finance a bare-bones government). That is obviously not enough for the "reformers."

The LP needs to grow a pair. Unfortunately, it probably won't.

Walmart Loves You

Walmart "loves" you, this I know, for the Supercenters tell me so.

Whenever I enter through those automatic sliding glass doors I'm feeling pretty darn good. Almost happy sometimes just to be there and see all that abundance. It's an abundance that you'll never find under any form of real socialism (socialism, that is, that does not act parasitically on free markets to "spread the wealth", as in some so-called "socialist" countries in Western Europe) and that can only exist under what I'm still going to call capitalism.

I don't have a "Supercenter" (a giant Walmart that sells a full line of groceries as well as the usual general merchandise you find at all Walmarts) near the home where I spend most of the week, so I only get to visit a super Walmart about once a week. This week I could only purchase a few items (but then, due to my previous Walmart excursions, I currently have enough of all the other things I need) and one of those on my list was soda. It's very hot right now, and I don't have air conditioning at one home and we only use it in a limited fashion at the other home, so I have to have some cold soda pop in the fridge (mostly various diet sodas) at all times. I know water is better for you, and I do drink a lot of it when the weather is this warm and, yes, I drink it in bottled form ("Horrors!" I can hear the enviro-nuts scream) but I also still want something sweet and bubbling to cool me down too. Thus my constant quest these past few weeks to seek out and acquire the best tasting, most flavorful and positively thirst-quenching carbonated drinks on the market.

One of the first displays I saw was for Walmart's house brand Sam's Choice soda. They were selling six packs for one dollar (and no additional CRV fee like in Commie Califorina!) and even though I don't drink many regular sodas containing the dreaded HFCS, I put a couple in my cart. A heavyset gentleman came up with his own cart and asked me if they were really selling these for just a buck and I said yes. He started loading up with one of each variety offered. He couldn't find any root beer though, and boy, did he want root beer. He circled the display several times, lifting six packs right and left in his vain search, but no root beer was to be found. "Need some root beer too," he said.

He headed off in the same direction I did, to the soda and water aisle. He actually did find the Sam's Choice Root Beer in six packs there, also of course for only a dollar. I myself added a root beer to my cart, but also several 12 packs of diet soda.

The thing about Walmart is, you can have pretty much everything you see that you want on a given trip because things are at prices you can actually afford. This is why I have no Supercenters near my other home, the unions and the big supermarket chains have kept them out through local government rules on "big box" stores and laws limiting how many square feet can be devoted to food in a store that sells more than just groceries.

I had a short discussion the other day with a black woman from North Carolina who started in on Walmart. "I hates the Waltons!" she proclaimed loudly. "I hates Walmart and how they treat people. I from Detroit where they make the cars, and thanks to the unions people make decent money working, not like at Walmart." Yes, and look what happened to the American auto companies.

Forget all that nonsense about Walmart being evil. The truth is Walmart "loves" you. They love your business, sure, but they also love you inadvertently, by giving you what you want at prices you can pay. I know the difference every time I enter a regular supermarket and find myself unable to add some things to the old grocery cart that I want because the prices are so high.

The heavyset guy passed me a bit later, his cart full, and said to me with a big grin on his face, "Take care, have a good day!" He was happy and obviously was returning the love to Walmart and its other beneficiaries.

So thank you, Walmart. I love you too!

Blog of the Moment: Anarchy In Your Head

A socialist will justify aggression on the basis of need. Food, shelter, and medical care are all essential needs and a socialist feels justified in using aggressive violence to satisfy those needs. On that same basis, a socialist will also absolve individuals of responsibility and pass that responsibility onto “society” which is a very abstract and subjective thing, a calamity of collectivism, which of course is why it’s such a disaster in implementation. It’s why individuals fail to develop a sense of their own responsibility and become incredibly dependent on their governments, remaining in a childlike state with governments assuming the role of their parents.

So now let’s compare minarchists to socialists. A minarchist loves liberty a lot. A minarchist also believes aggressive violence against innocent people is justified due to a critical need, but only for that which suits their personal preference, i.e. providing for the protection of liberty. This is commonly defended in the same manner that socialists use for justifying aggressive violence, i.e. on the basis of need*. The minarchist claim is that we are responsible for providing for all of our own needs whether it be food, shelter, health care, or educating our children, but when it comes to the most crucial thing that’s at the foundation of all the others, they absolve the individual of responsibility and pass that crucial task on to a murky subjective thing, that calamity of collectivism known as “society”.

Anarchy In Your Head

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Is what millions have voluntarily created on the Net socialism?

Words have meaning. We don't get to choose their meaning. If you call something "X" people will hear the equation. They won't read the fine-print which says ("By X, I mean really not-X).

[Kevin] Kelly says:

When masses of people who own the means of production work toward a common goal and share their products in common, when they contribute labor without wages and enjoy the fruits free of charge, it's not unreasonable to call that socialism.

That statement is flatly wrong. It is completely unreasonable to call that "socialism" -- at least when the behavior described is purely voluntary. It's like saying "Because Stalin set up a competition between different collective farms, it's not unreasonable to call that free market capitalism." Both statements are wrong because they point to a feature that is common, and ignore the feature that is distinctive. At the core of socialism is coercion (justified or not is a separate question). At the core of the behavior Kelly celebrates is freedom.

Kelly's argument is like so many today that has implicitly embraced the view that free market, libertarian sorts believe that the only thing in the world is competition, or people working to non-common goals. It is the idea that we are free only if we are antagonistic, and that free market theorists have been working to create a world where individuals struggle against, not with. A world that aspires to dog-eat-dog as its central value.

But that conception of capitalism/free-market/libertarianism has no basis in fact.

No, Kevin, this is not "socialism"

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Third time's the charm?

We've already had two so-called "stimulus" bills, and nothing is working. So what we need now is a...third one? Good grief!

Hanlon gets pwned by Greenhut

Conservative Chip Hanlon gives a silly anti-libertarian rant, saying we're out of touch with the "mainstream." Greenhut's response is pwnage.

Just Some Stuff 6

via 1 2 3 Religious Comics

Ten Truths About Obama

1. Every now and then, Obama opens his eyes and the world springs into existence.

2. When a tree falls in the forest, Obama hears it.

3. Obama can clap with one hand.

4. Prometheus was punished for plagiarizing Obama.

5. Obama can make a journey of a thousand miles without a single step.

6. Socks worn by Obama are used for climbing walls in Spiderman movies.

7. Hillary Clinton dropped out of the race when she learned Obama's true name.

8. "Obama" is the very first word in the English language to be a verb, adjective, noun, pronoun, adverb, interjection, superlative and pronad. (Pronad is a new category made specifically for the word "Obama" so its power can be fully realized).

9. When Obama squints dreamily into the distance, he can see next week's lottery winning numbers. But he never plays because that would mean poverty of ambition.

10. Obama can calculate your guilt just by looking at the numbers in your checkbook.

There's More

Historically, every financial and economic crisis has been used to further centralize power and concentrate wealth. This one is no different, and in fact the moves being promoted by the Obama administration and the central banks of the Western powers will take the whole world to the pinnacle of financial despotism -- unless enough people wake up and claim their own "money power.”-How Bad Will the Economy Get? Really, Really Bad

The Observable Universe, Top to Bottom (via)

click to enlarge

click to enlarge

Free for Free

FREE (full book) by Chris Anderson

Why We Believe in Gods

Are You a Socialist? The Top 10 Signs

By Randy Herrera

After extensive research we’ve concluded that these are the Top 10 Signs you just might be a Socialist:

1. You advocate for equality for all and yet you want to raise taxes on certain social classes.

2. You support the troops but do not support the war and you did not support the war in Iraq but now you support the war in Afghanistan. So… do you want war or not?

3. You believe in bigger Government and yet you advocate for the government not to run your life.

4. You think that we shouldn’t outsource labor and yet you complain about the rising cost of consumer goods.

5. You want the Government to take control and regulate all private businesses and yet you work for or own a privately owned business.

6. You want to get paid the same as everybody else, but the average income in the US is probably less than what you are making.

7. You think that the Government should spend more money to stimulate the economy when the Government has no money.

8. You think that the tax increase will not affect you.

9. You sit around and wait for the Government to “help” you.

10. You blame the economy for putting you in the situation that you are in even though you’ve been in the same situation for years.

About the author: Randy is a business consultant for an economics research firm. He has a Business Degree with a concentration in Finance from Washington State University.

The "Are YOU a Socialist?" Flow Chart

The World's Fastest Everything

In case you were wondering.

It's too bad the World's Fastest Undresser couldn't have been one of those women watching the fastest undresser undress.

Fastest Rubik's Cube solving? I can beat that, though in the other direction; I've got a Rubik's Cube from the 90s that I'm STILL solving.

No, the world's fastest pizza is still Little Caesars $5.00 Hot-N-Ready cheese or pepperoni.

I first discovered the diversion of the Windows version of the game minesweeper while working in sales. A homeless co-worker showed me how to expand the playing field and I got quite good at solving it fast. Oddly, there were people around me who had never seen or heard of the game. "What's that you're doing?" they would ask. They seemed fascinated by my minesweeping abilities, perhaps because when they tried it themselves they were unable to complete even the easy stage.

Monday, July 13, 2009

How to (Cheaply) Make Your Own Beer

With Obama and his gang of liars and thieves in charge, the total collapse of our economy is potentially closer than ever. Learning as many DIY skills as possible is therefore important, and for many, I'm sure beer will be priority one.

A Step-By-Step Guide

More on health care

Ron Paul on health care:

As a medical doctor, I’ve seen first-hand how bureaucratic red tape interferes with the doctor-patient relationship and drives costs higher. The current system of third-party payers takes decision-making away from doctors, leaving patients feeling rushed and worsening the quality of care. Yet health insurance premiums and drug costs keep rising. Clearly a new approach is needed. Congress needs to craft innovative legislation that makes health care more affordable without raising taxes or increasing the deficit. It also needs to repeal bad laws that keep health care costs higher than necessary.

We should remember that HMOs did not arise because of free-market demand, but rather because of government mandates. The HMO Act of 1973 requires all but the smallest employers to offer their employees HMO coverage, and the tax code allows businesses – but not individuals – to deduct the cost of health insurance premiums. The result is the illogical coupling of employment and health insurance...

Our health care system needs reform, no doubt about.

Nonetheless, I still recommend everyone read this Cato report on the many areas where the US outperforms many other countries. Or, if you're too lazy to read the whole thing, at least scroll through it and check out the graphs and facts written in big bold letters. Me likey.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Burger Queen

My mom stayed with my sister for a week or so recently. It had something to do with workmen being there while my sister was at work, and her not wanting to leave them to their devices unsupervised. My mom doesn't really like staying at my sister's very much. That might have something to do with the two Chihuahuas that have the run of the place. One of the dogs is named Gracie, and she is quite sweet and is now, after several years, finally housebroken. She is a golden colored long-haired Chihuahua and is of the larger variety. The other dog is a new addition, and she's a pipsqueak.

The pipsqueak is tiny and ugly as hell, a short-haired little nightmare of mottled horror, like something out of that old TV movie Trilogy of Terror. After about a week Mom had had enough. Since she didn't have her car with her, I was assigned to drive her the 200 miles back to her house.

After I picked her up I told her I'd have to stop for gas. I pulled into a station with a fast food burger place attached. After pumping my tank full, my mom announced she need an iced coffee. I left the pumps behind and drove straight into the burger drive-thru lane. After ordering the large iced coffee for Mom, I pulled around to the pick-up window. As I was getting ready to pay the two dollars plus government extortion fee, Mom made another request. "Get me one of those little hamburgers too, I'm hungry."

"Mom, there are cars behind us, and they don't have the burgers made up, they make them to order. Why didn't you mention this when I was ordering?"

Mom's expression was suddenly the epitome of pitiful. "I guess I can wait if I have to," she said quietly.

Naturally when we pulled away from the drive-thru with only the iced coffee, I had a cloud of guilt hanging over my head. But a sudden inspiration struck me. On the other side of the highway was a Burger King! I detoured over to the King, pulled up to the order menu and Mom was happy to ask for just the dollar Whopper jr. I was ready to open my mouth and tell the faceless speaker this when Mom spoke again.

"Tell them lots of extra onions, lettuce, and tomatoes!"

"Mom, it's a one dollar burger. You can't expect them to load it up with a bunch of extras."

"Then I don't want it. It's no good without all that and besides I like to make it nutritious."

"That doesn't make it nutritious!"

"Well, I like to feel that it does," said Mom.

For Mom it's always about how something feels rather than how something actually is.

Well, when Mom finally pulled that special order burger out of the bag as we drove off I was surprised to see it was piled high with several tomatoes and tons of lettuce. And also relieved that I wasn't charged extra for all that added rabbit food. It was a hamburger that really looked like the ones in the advertisements.

"Well, how is it?" I asked her as I got on the on ramp and accelerated onto the freeway.

"No onions," she replied.

Here are the words to that classic Burger King jingle:

Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce. Special orders don't upset us. All we ask is that you let us serve it your way! Have it your way! Have it your way! Have it your way at Burger King!

I guess it's still true! Well, except for those missing onions.

"Bruno" looks lame

I'll be the first to admit that I got quite a few cheap laughs out of Borat. And I'm far from a puritan: I laughed myself to tears during the jackass movies, love most of Trey Parker and Kevin Smith's work, and own the entire John Waters collection (Pink Flamingos is one of my favorite comedies of all time).

But this new "Bruno" movie just looks like another 90 minutes of tiresome dick jokes. And while I realize it's just for laughs, it will continue to promote the anti-gay stereotypes that have done enough damage to our society (GLAAD has already condemned the film). In addition, it takes zero skill to go out and aggravate people. If I was on the receiving end of one of Cohen's pranks, I'd be pissed...I don't blame the one guy who simply punched him in the face. As a comment at Reason put it, It's frankly sickening how much in the way of accolades Cohen and friends get for these adolescent excursions into testing the limits of people's patience and politeness.

The folks at Alternet are rolling their eyes, too.

Hells yeah

I just bought my tickets to Mayhem Fest to see Slayer -- one of my favorite bands of all time. I'll be arriving early and staying there all day (12+ bands are playing, I believe). I'll also be bringing $200 to spend on T-shirts, beer, and junk food.

And if I run into wacky religious protestors like this schmuck or this wacko, I'll take a pic with my digital camera so we can all point and laugh. Some people just have no sense of fun.

National health care.. Britain and Canada may not be quite the panacea that Michael Moore would have us believe.

Craig Bodeker's Conversation About Race

I don't necessarily agree with everything the filmmaker says, but I found this interesting.

via Iliocentrism

Parts 2 through 6 can be found at YouTube.

Good for laughs.

Sometimes Christians make me laugh.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Obama does something right

Checks out some hot gals at the G8. Who can blame him? If only he would spend more time doing that and less time waging wars across the world...

The Evil or Not So Powerful God

God is all-powerful, so it can do anything. God is also all-good, so it also won't do anything evil or that leads to evil. God knows everything, so it is also aware of what the consequences of anything it does will be, down to the last detail.

But much evil exists in the world as we find it. But to God, it takes absolutely no effort to eliminate any evil it wants to, and God, being perfectly good, would want to get rid of evil. So, either God is not all of those things described above, or there is no God at all.

Now, there are "sophisticated" attempts by various theologians to overcome the problem and make such a God compatible with the existence of evil. There is the "free will" defense of God, and there are many others, but they all amount to saying simply that God has some sort of plan that makes all the suffering and horror in the world necessary somehow (even if we can't know all the reasons completely).

But all of the supposed reasons suggested by religious apologists are irrelevant. They say that God has a plan, but so what? That only makes it a god who has a plan, but it doesn't make that god any less responsible for evil, seeing how it could prevent all evil if it desired to to so.

We can therefore safely conclude that any God who governs this universe is not good, or if it is, it is not all-powerful or all-knowing. What we can't conclude is that somehow, through the use of extreme mental gymnastics, we can show that God has all three of those attributes. It is impossible, regardless of the flimsy arguments those theologians would try to bamboozle us with.

The Catchers in the Fog

Rain rarely falls on these dry hills. The annual precipitation in Lima is about half an inch (1.5 centimeters), and the city gets its water from far-off Andean lakes.

But every winter, from June to November, dense fog sweeps in from the Pacific Ocean.

With a few thousand dollars and some volunteer labor, a village can set up fog-collecting nets that gather hundreds of gallons of water a day—without a single drop of rain falling.

Fog Catchers Bring Water to Parched Villages

Barack Almighty

The next movie in the Almighty series?

If you listened carefully to his campaign promises, or if you pay attention to his economic recovery plan, you will see that Barack Obama is in grave spritual danger of replacing the One Lord and God of Christians, Jews and Muslims with another lord, British Lord John Maynard Keynes, as the One he follows. If he does, he will not lead America out of the current recession, rather he will lead us into the perdition of another GREAT DEPRESSION.

If you believe, as Barack Obama manifestly does believe, that government can create jobs (or anything else), or that the Obama administration will invest in renewable energy, "green" technology, health care or education (or anything else for that matter), you are not only a damn fool, but you are also in violation of the First Commandment of the Decalogue. Find out why. Read BARACK ALMIGHTY. (pdf)

-By Ned Netterville

Of immigrants and anarchists

Vin Suprynowicz writes about some feedback he got from a group of young anarchists, who apparently think that a Libertarian has no right to complain about illegal immigrants, for a variety of "anarchistic" reasons. Vin goes on to eviscerate these silly little boys and point out the many ways in which border enforcement is essential to our liberty and security.

Personally I think in a proper economic system, immigration would be a non issue. There would be no incentives to come here and not work. No free health care or subsidies for example. Those who really wanted to work would be no problem and if there was work for them they would be welcome.

However border enforcement is on the list of things I feel is a legitimate function of government. There are not many things on that list, but protecting the security of the nation from invasion is one of them. Of course as with most things the power of the Federal government should be limited and executed primarily through the actions of the states.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

The Truth About Big Government

Triple Collectivist

I celebrated the free market today by having breakfast out. I enjoyed watching the efficiently run restaurant prepare the food fresh and fast. I had scrambled eggs, sausage, fried potatoes and toast. A middle-aged manager, dressed neatly in black slacks and white shirt, supervised the whole operation.

Everything about the place and its happy customers was an in your face repudiation of socialism. Could it all have been done without the profit motive? No! Was there any exploitation involved? None whatsoever! If capitalism is so evil and it's exploiting ordinary people, why was I able to purchase my breakfast for only a few bucks?

I remember reading somewhere once, back before the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics crumbled, about some idealistic young people from the United States who went to the bastion of Marxism and were appalled at the lousy service in their hotel restaurant, with waiters just standing around without any motivation to do their jobs. The young and naive visitors (victims of collectivist propaganda and government schooling, one can only assume) declared themselves "born again capitalists" upon their return. They'd witnessed up close how socialism works (actually, how it doesn't work) and made a reasonable conclusion about how incentives are necessary to any economy.

Out in the parking lot, however, I saw a late model sedan parked in a "handicapped" spot. The vehicle's license plate celebrated the owner's military "service", while inside the car I spotted the handicapped placard hanging from the rear view mirror, and over that a dangling white rosary. What we had here appeared to be a career military taxpayer parasite, who also felt no qualms about participating in another system in violation of private property rights, the handicapped parking rules all businesses are forced to follow (not to even mention the draconian regulations of the evil Americans with Disabilities Act-signed into law, let's not forget, by evil Republican George Herbert Walker Bush). And the pièce de résistance was that rosary with its tiny white crucifix, the whiteness not disguising in the slightest the evil it represents, the evil of sacrificing yourself to a god, whether that god be the State or a religion that claims God as its author.

The message sent is that we must honor without question the hired murderers who wear their government issued uniforms proudly; believe that love requires violating the most basic rights of human beings in the name of "compassion" for the supposed less fortunate; and that the whole justification is "God", the ultimate dictator and destroyer of human freedom. It is all in the name, though, of what a dishonest fool like the owner of that car considers morality, though in fact what he advocates is a false and fraudulent "morality" having no connection to any objective values.

Standing up to the state

Gerald Celente On Obamageddon

The GOP and Libertarians

At this juncture, make no mistake that the GOP is fractured and aimless. The party suffers from internecine squabbling, even to the point of debating who its "leader" is, as if such debate doesn't prove there isn't one. History shows that such dysfunctional behavior is normal for a political party that suffers electoral defeat, and in fact can set the foundation for resurgence. Like the "creative destruction" of capitalism, this period of electoral eclipse provides the GOP with an opportunity to discard outmoded tactics and to consider ideas that were previously unacceptable. As Rahm Emanuel might say, the GOP should not allow this crisis to go to waste.

As part of its reexamination and restructuring, the GOP must reconsider the means and manner by which it assembles its constituency. Right now, there is a lot of churn and tussle going on within the party and among the pundits about how this should best be done. Many have their often conflicting ideas and opinions. However, hidden in the debate, one fact presents itself clearly: The GOP must figure out how it can have and keep its Libertarians.

Libertarians and the GOP majority

Chesterton On Government and the Rights of Man

I could never see why a man who is not free to open his mouth to drink should be free to open it to talk. Talking does far more direct harm to other people. The village suffers less directly from the village drunkard than it might from the village tale bearer, or the village tub-thumper, or the village villain who seduces the village maiden. These and twenty other types of evil are done simply by talking; it is certain that a vast amount of evil would be prevented if we all wore gags. And the answer is not to deny that slander is a social poison, or seduction a spiritual murder. The answer is that, unless a man is allowed to talk, he might as well be a chimpanzee who is only able to chatter. In other words, if a man loses the responsibility for these rudimentary functions and forms of freedom, he loses not only his citizenship, but his manhood.

Government and the Rights of Man

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Just Some Stuff 5

video via Detained In Camp Miserable

Shark meat is not Kosher, or at least it falls under forbidden food according to Jewish dietary law, even though fish with fins and scales is allowed. Sharks DO have scales, though they're hard to see. God must have missed that fact when Leviticus was written.

"I can't stand the silence." This is what my mom said to my dad the other morning when she discovered the coffee was made but the TV was off. She likes to hear the news in the morning, of course, but it isn't only that that compels her. As far back as I can remember she has used television as background noise, as an electronic companion; a true idiot box that chatters incessantly but that can be shut up at the push of a button (though she rarely wants it to be quiet).

Whenever she finds dad doing nothing (as when he just sits alone in silence) she says she finds it "scary and weird". I actually find it a good thing to just be with nothing but your own thoughts, but thinking about it I began to wonder if I ever really practice it. I come home from work and usually turn the TV on right away. I also distract myself with the internet and sometimes the radio (though not music, but talk) and I do tend to get bored without any intellectual stimulation, which is why books are my most constant companions.

I often drive for two or more hours at a time, and that seems to be the one exception, for I can get along fine with only my thoughts and the highway. Perhaps it's because I enjoy driving and don't need anything else to hold off boredom. I wonder about people who constantly have to have music blaring from their car stereo. The one time I do enjoy listening to music is when I'm driving, but I don't feel an absolute need to have it, and I don't enjoy listening to the ear-destroying cacophony blasting from some moron's car when they pull up next to me at a light.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Milton Friedman vs. Phil Donahue on the drug war

I love digging through all these old 80's videos :)

An improved Fable.

I always liked Jonathan Livingston Seagull as a kid. Even though it was sappy as hell. However I like this version much better.

I really wasn't going to mention Michael Jackson.

I had promised myself no blog posts, references, tributes, jokes or whatever but this was just too funny. Technically it is about religion not Michael so I am sort of keeping my promise but , well you'll see.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Ted Rall: "I miss Bush"

From one of the few lefties who hasn't fallen for the Obama cult:

I miss Bush.

Stop the presses and shut off the RSS feeds: the bashiest of the Bush-bashers is starting to appreciate the Exile of Crawford.

I haven't forgiven George W. Bush for stealing two elections, starting two wars, bankrupting the treasury and doing his damnedest to turn the U.S. into a fascist state. He deserves one of hell's hottest picnic spots for refusing to lift a finger to bring the 9/11 murderers to justice. Bush was stupid. He was vicious. He should be in prison.

He was the worst president the U.S. had ever had. Until this one.

Read the rest here.

More stupid teabagging.

The whole Tea Party thing apparently was happening again. Not that any one cares, I wrote about this last time and it hasn't got any better yet.

Getting together which a bunch of other Republican sheeple and spouting right wing talking points is nothing like the Boston Tea Party you fucking useless dicks.

If these people were forming a big mob to go up against big government and do some property damage, identifying an enemy that is supporting this policy and trashing their stuff, then they could compare themselves to the Sons of Liberty. As it stands they are just Republican pawns making themselves look like irrelevant assholes.

Tom Woods on the "progressives"

The George W. Bush years were such an ordeal that I actually remember thinking that the left wasn’t all bad. With a few honorable exceptions, though, they are what they have always been: anti-intellectual apologists for the status quo masquerading as “agents of change.” They claim to be antiwar but make excuses for people who vote the funds for war. They claim to oppose the neoconservatives but happily applaud when their cult leader surrounds himself with them, and seem untroubled when Weekly Standard editor Bill Kristol declares, in response to the president’s policy on Afghanistan, “All hail Obama!” And they’re all tears and pity for average Americans, while at the same time demonizing people who think there might be something a teensy weensy bit not-progressive about creating trillions of dollars and throwing it at the financial elite.

-Establishment Chic

Michael Jackson News Coverage: Two Libertarian Views

Roderick Long didn't like it, Lew Rockwell did.

Cop Killa, Not necessarily safe for work, especially if you are a cop.

According to this A jackbooted thug tasered a young girl who had committed no crime and was not under arrest, for walking out of the police station, which she had every legal right to do. Her "crime" was that she committed a "delinquent act"(which wasn't illegal) then jaywalked which is technically illegal and can get a small fine or something. So pig justice shot her in the head and electrocuted her skull, one of the darts penetrated her skull and stuck in her fucking brain.

Considering how this would make me feel had it happened to my daughter made me think of this

Disclaimer for Big Bro. I am not advocating anyone going out and capping this brutal asshole anymore than Ice T was. It's a song man, 1st amendment and all that shit America used to stand for.
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