Friday, November 30, 2012
The United States Constitution is not a perfect document for a system of government. While it did seek to limit a central government’s control over the several States, which original were sovereign entities with compelling interests in unity, it has more than its fair share of contradictions within it. These contradictions are never really discussed, as most people, much like Jesus or the Bible, assume that the Constitution says one thing when really it says something else entirely. Here are just a few contradictions I’ve found (and I’m not even a lawyer or a constitutional scholar):
- Amendment 14 Section 4 and Amendment 1 – Basically, the 14th amendment has been held up as sacred, seeing as how it was one of the post-Secession War (or Civil War if you believe the propaganda) Amendments to be passed. In the fourth section it reads, “The validity of the public debt of the United States, authorized by law, including debts incurred for payment of pensions and bounties for services in suppressing insurrection or rebellion, shall not be questioned.” So much for freedom of speech, as outlined in the first one. Now technically, this is correct as this is an amendment, not a law, but still, pretty dick thing to put in an amendment. In a more modern context, this means that it is illegal for us to question the government when they provide grants to small towns in order to militarize their police against potential insurrections from Ron Paulers.
- Amendment 17 and Amendment 10 – The 10th amendment explicitly made sure that the States had sovereignty, save any powers specified in the United States Constitution. It explicitly states what was originally implied in the first draft of the Constitution. The 17th Amendment changed how Senators were selected, originally by State legislatures, now they were selected by popular vote of the people. While on its face it seems like the same thing, in practice it is not. The States cannot act with any kind of sovereignty without some kind of representation in the Federal government, it’s that simple. In practice, the will of the people and the will of the ruling class, at both local, state, and federal levels, has always been different. As such, these days many States are burdened with mandates from the Federal government of which there is little recourse. Yes, there is a Court system, but those justices are selected by the President and confirmed by a Senate now populated with some of the biggest political whores in the history of mankind.
- Amendment 18 and Amendment 21 – Amendment 18 outlawed alcohol. Amendment 21 repealed it. These are contradictions, but I think this is the only time where the contradiction was intentional.
- Amendment 11 and Article 6, Section 2 – While I am no expert, the 11th Amendment basically established that individual citizens could not use the Federal court systems to settle disagrees they had with States with which they were not residents of. However, Article 6, Section 2 of the Constitution is the Supremacy Clause, which states that the Constitution is the law of the land. These two contradict each other because one states that the Federal government is supreme and the other does not.
- Finally, we have the 16th Amendment and the 13th Amendment. Amendment 13 abolished slavery and involuntary servitude. Amendment 16 allows direct taxation in the form of income taxes. Income taxes are basically a way for the government to get first dibs on your money. In other words, you are working involuntarily for the Federal government and have a percentage of it taken involuntarily (and any asshole who says otherwise should try not paying taxes and seeing how many guns are at their heads later).
The Constitution as written was, overall, fairly decent a document for dictating a system of government. And while it does have many contradictions in print, the real problems with it don’t stem from the wording but the application of it by the people who are voted into political office. All systems of government are perfect until you add human nature into the mix.
Thursday, November 29, 2012
Seeing as how I am a Christian, with no apologies to anyone, I guess I have to talk about the recent celebrity uproar about Angus T. Jones’ comments about “Two and a Half Men” and his subsequent apology about it all. You know, because, like, I’m a Christian and am therefore responsible for the collective actions of all Christians past, present, and future.
One of the largest problems I have with Christianity in the West is their unwillingness to call out evil in this world. Now maybe you disagree with me and consider Christians to be stereotypically judgmental and narrow-minded, given that if you are reading this, you’ve likely watch more television and movies about Christians than actually sat down and talked with them about matters of faith and the supernatural. But I firmly believe that one of the reasons for societal decadence is largely because Christians have not acted like Christians out of either fear or apathy.
That being said, I am glad that Angus T. Jones first stood up and trashed the show that had been a big part of his own life for his more formative years. Whether you agree with him or not, it takes some courage to do this. He related his own spiritual experiences and came to the conclusion that “Two and a Half Men” was not exactly the kind of entertainment he wanted other people to enjoy. Perhaps he felt guilty for having participated in something that causes so many people to fall into sin. Food sacrificed to idols and all that. In any case, I know that child stars are often given a lesson in adult maturity at a much younger age than they are supposed to from many of their own accounts. In some cases, they are repeatedly molested by Hollywood big shots, if we are to believe Corey Feldman’s account. I doubt that Mr. Jones has endured all that though.
But then he had to go and issue an apology. I am not going to speculate as to why too much, but it was disappointing. To me, it smacks of someone trying to save their acting career as Hollywood is, by and large, the only game in town if you wish to make it big as an actor. I’ll grant that there are multiple competing studios, but at the same time, they are all seem to share the same beliefs and produce the same quality of entertainment. Mostly because that is what people want to see.
Really, I couldn’t care less what Mr. Jones thinks of the show he has acted in for so many years. I’ve never really watch “Two and a Half Men”, save a few scenes here and there. I have never found the show to be that funny because the jokes were predictable and the story was mostly bland. If you enjoyed the show, I don’t care.
What I do care about, however, is the fact that Mr. Jones has trouble standing on principle. I’ll cut him some slack since he’s only 19 and probably still confused about a lot of things in life, given the quality of education we’re all given and the lack of parental guidance that is socially acceptable these days. Still, I hope he have more conviction in the future.
Wednesday, November 28, 2012
Tuesday, November 27, 2012
"Producing laws is not an easier problem than producing cars or food," says David Friedman, author, philosopher, and professor at Santa Clara University. "So if the government's incompetent to produce cars or food, why do you expect it to do a good job producing the legal system within which you are then going to produce the cars and the food?"-http://youtu.be/S4CcannofnY
Reference and original, including an explanation about each character in this video: http://blog.ninapaley.com/2012/10/01/this-land-is-mine/
"This Land is Mine" is a video from Nina Paley, originally posted on Vimeo.
In the end of this video appear the text "Copying is an Act of Love, please copy and share. copyheart.org". So, here it is.
People need a leader. I wish it were not true, that people would be able to think for themselves, but as the feminist movement, the progressive movement, the conservative movement, and the neoconservative movements have all proven, people want more government, not less. They want to defer their leadership to someone else because it is the easiest way to absolve themselves of the responsibility for their actions. Like Pilot washing his hands in front of mob while ordering the execution of Jesus, for the crime of free speech no less, everyone wants to blame the other guy and clear their own guilt in the matter.
For the Ron Paul movement, this is sadly no exception. While Ron Paul himself stood for freedom, individualism, and a world where people are self-determinant and instead adhere to the non-aggression principle. He knew his run in Congress would be a Hail Mary play in politics. To be the one man who stood against the growing tide of Statism and tyranny. It was very admirable and I doubt this generation or the next will see another man like him. It is very rare for men who think like him to risk politics. Rarer still that they come out of it largely untouched by its corrupting influence.
So it is no wonder that already many in the liberty movement are wondering who the next man in Congress will be their man. Already Senator Rand Paul has proven to be wanting in many cases, although he done more than most other “Tea Party” candidates have done for the cause of liberty. In any case, it is clear that there was only one Ron Paul, just like there was only one Ronald Reagan for the conservative movement and only one Bill Clinton for the, um, blowjob movement.
What if the real answer is simply that there should be no one to lead. What if the real answer is for people to start living outside of the government and to practice the non-aggression principle at all times. To ignore all the regulations, mandates, and laws that choke the average man and only serve to empower a select few while scraps are handed out to the other parasites who are glad to get their “Obamaphones”.
Perhaps we should focus inwardly, perfect the art of liberty, and pass on that knowledge to our descendants. In Italy, for example, there is a large black market, which is widely considered to be socially acceptable as they rightly view all politicians and government agents as corrupt parasites. Maybe here in the United States, we could build something like this here.
We won’t achieve liberty through political means. If anything, Ron Paul has proven that in his decades of service within Congress. The common mentality of those who desire power through political means is one of selfish ambition and greed, not altruism nor benevolence. Hell, it wouldn’t surprise if Ron Paul had a few skeletons in his own Congressional closet. I certainly didn’t agree with his own pork barrel legislative measures.
The main point is that Ron Paul was the king of the liberty movement and while he still has life and has plans to continue it, he is no longer at the level of power he once had. His congressional district is gone (probably on purpose by Republican operatives). His run in Congress is done. And while he may still have influence, there is a limit as he will die eventually.
So put not your faith in kings of this world, but work for your own life. The best thing you can do for liberty is to live it and defy the tyrannous yahoos who presume to be gods among men when they are really just children in adult clothing.
The individual is sovereign. The individual is the king of himself.
Inspired from a couple years back when Ian Freeman of Free Talk Live and FreeKeene.com paid his Cheshire County property tax bill in $1 bills, I decided to pay a vehicle property tax extortion bill in pennies in Winston-Salem/Forsyth County, NC.-http://youtu.be/QBLgcj_v4ToNotice how the tax-eating government parasite doesn't want to be recorded.
Monday, November 26, 2012
Sunday, November 25, 2012
Canola stands for “Canadian oil low acid.” It’s (sadly) a Canadian invention and subsidized by the government. The subsidies make it very cheap to use, so almost all processed or packaged foods contain canola oil. Be sure to read the ingredients. Here’s why you should: Canola oil is developed from the rapeseed plant, which is part of the mustard family of plants. These oils have long been used for industrial purposes (in candles, lipsticks, soaps, inks, lubricants, and biofuels). It’s an industrial oil, not a food. Rapeseed oil is the source behind mustard gas, and on its own it causes emphysema, respiratory distress, anemia, constipation, irritability, and blindness. But through the beauty of genetic modification, we now sell it as an edible oil.-GMOs and why you should never use Canola oil.
Saturday, November 24, 2012
Friday, November 23, 2012
The Obamas spent Thanksgiving with friends, family and staff and served lots of pie: Banana, pumpkin, apple, sweet potato, huckleberry, and cherry, according to the press pool report.-The Obamas’ Thanksgiving FeastNow that's "healthy" eating, right, Michelle?
Thursday, November 22, 2012
The assassination and subsequent slaying of shooter Lee Harvey Oswald shocked the country. In the five decades since, the assassination continues to capture the imagination of authors, filmmakers and the public. It has sparked hundreds of conspiracy theories and studies into who — if not Oswald — was behind Kennedy’s slaying. Robert Blakey, an attorney who served in the Justice Department in the 1960s and worked on drafting the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations act, served on the House Select Committee on Assassinations that was established in 1976 to investigate the assassinations of both Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr.
Wednesday, November 21, 2012
Throughout his tenure, Paul has inspired a loyal legion of supporters that extends well beyond the boundaries of his district. Thrice a presidential candidate and never shy about his views, Paul’s libertarian-leaning brand of politics left its mark on Congress and the broader political landscape. We look back below at the most memorable moments in his career.
Comparing the effects of sanctions vs nuclear bombs. Contrasting the fatalities of the atomic bombing of Hiroshima to those of the sanctions imposed on Iraq in the 1990s. "Genocide masquerading as policy" as one congressman put it.-http://youtu.be/_EfuiYpr840InceptionHouse Madeleine Albright, that stinking, statist, warmongering bitch, and criminal Clinton's Secretary of State, said the price of a million children DEAD was "worth it". Mitt Romney is in love with war crimes too. But it's Ron Paul (who opposes sanctions) who gets the wrath of non-thinking "conservatives" and Obama "liberals". He even gets more hate directed at him by Bret Alan types! Amazing!
Unlike the shock and horror that accompanied the atomic bombs dropped on Japan, there were no images of the 500,000 Iraqi children whose lives were cut short by sanctions to jolt the world into reality. Not only has America taken pride in the mass killing of innocent children, but encouraged by silence and the surrender to its weapon of choice, it has turned diplomacy’s weapon of mass murder on another country: Iran. There has been little resistance to sanctions in the false belief that sanctions are a tool of diplomacy and preferable to war. Enforcement of this belief has been a major victory for American public diplomacy. The reality is otherwise. Sanctions kill indiscriminately — they are far deadlier than “Fat Man” and “Little Boy” — the two atomic bombs that took the lives of over 200,000 people. In the case of Iraq, the United Nations estimated 1,700,000 Iraqi civilians died as a result of sanctions, 1.5 million more victims than the horrific atomic bombs dropped on Japan. Diplomacy’s finest hour.-Sanctions: Diplomacy’s Weapon of Mass MurderToday as the United States continues to intensify its international economic sanctions programme against Iran, it is worth revisiting the catastrophic harm which a previous sanctions campaign against Saddam Hussein's Iraq had upon that country. While the sanctions failed to remove Saddam from power and by many accounts helped him solidify his grip on the country by keeping the overwhelming majority of the population focused purely on subsistence, they took a calculatedly devastating toll on Iraqi civilians.-Sanctioning society: From Iraq to Iran
Tuesday, November 20, 2012
Why, the government did, of course, largely due to special interests:
What this video fails to mention is that the Corn industry is also heavily subsidized as well and since it is domestically produced, it was a more viable solution once corn syrup was developed.
With new research indicating that high fructose corn syrup causes obesity and that GMO corn causes cancer, it is a good idea to avoid corn syrup products as much as possible. Now, I’m not saying that GMO corn does cause cancer, it may very well not, but you have to at least consider it because nobody really thought that smoking cigarettes caused cancer. It wasn’t even scientifically proven until the mid-1990s, even though we pretty much had accepted that simple fact long beforehand.
Basically, this serves as an example of how government officials are not only corrupt, but demonstrate that they are too incompetent to rule over us as their policies cause more harm than good. It also explains why total democracy is a bad idea all around because in practice, the majority only cares about a few key issues and lets the elected officials do what they want otherwise. In democracy, the greatest ally of the Statist is the apathy of the voter.
Monday, November 19, 2012
Sunday, November 18, 2012
Saturday, November 17, 2012
The history of perpetual motion machines dates back to the Middle Ages. For millennia, it was not clear whether perpetual motion devices were possible or not, but the development of modern theories of thermodynamics has indicated that they are impossible. Despite this, many attempts have been made to construct such machines, continuing into modern times. Modern designers and proponents often use other terms, such as "over-unity", to describe their inventions.History of perpetual motion machines
This museum is a celebration of fascinating devices that don't work. It houses diverse examples of the perverse genius of inventors who refused to let their thinking be intimidated by the laws of nature, remaining optimistic in the face of repeated failures. Watch and be amazed as we bring to life eccentric and even intricate perpetual motion machines that have remained steadfastly unmoving since their inception. Marvel at the ingenuity of the human mind, as it reinvents the square wheel in all of its possible variations. Exercise your mind to puzzle out exactly why they don't work as the inventors intended.
First of all, to start with Shapiro’s argument on the alienation of shares in a cooperative: As a matter of purely technical nitpicking, a worker cooperative can be set up with bylaws that prohibit demutualization, and simply require worker buyins as a condition of membership without creating marketable shares.
But second, Shapiro seems to be assuming without warrant that a very high proportion of the characteristics of our reality under state capitalism would be conserved in a freed market, aside from the narrowest consideration of the specific changes he wants to address. It reminds me of Ralph Kramden’s boast to Norton, in anticipating the outcome of one of his get-rich-quick schemes: “Norton, when I’m a rich man, I’ll have a telephone installed out here on the fire escape, so I can discuss my big business deals when I have to sleep out here in the summer.” Ralph was imagining his reality as it would be with the one specific change he was considering, in isolation from everything else and neglecting the likelihood of other associated changes or ripple effects. And that’s what Shapiro’s doing.
Shapiro seems to assume an economic model in which ownership is expressed through marketable shares, the economy tends to be organized around large market areas with mostly anonymous economic transactions occurring mainly through the cash nexus, etc.
And he explicitly assumes (point three) that current firm size and market structure represents economies of scale that are inherent in production technology.
All the secondary assumptions he makes about the kinds of specialized knowledge a boss must have about consumer demand and the marketplace, it seems, reflect the primary assumptions above about the continuity of the hypothetical economy with the conditions of the one we live in.
None of these assumptions is warranted, in my opinion.
First of all, economies of scale would probably be achieved at a fairly modest size. Given advances in small-scale manufacturing technology like desktop machine tools, permaculture, and the like, and given the economies of localized, lean, demand-pull distribution systems over the old supply-push mass production model, it seems likely a large share of present consumption needs would be met by garage factories serving small town or urban neighborhood-sized markets. In this case the typical production unit would not be something even as large and formal as the Northwestern plywood cooperatives, but rather small artisan shops.
In this case it seems a major share of production would take place in family-owned firms or small partnerships. And in a left-libertarian version of the free market, there’s no inherent reason even larger worker-owned firms would organized along the lines of what we consider the conventional shareholder model. They might well be incorporated under bylaws with inalienable residual claimancy (with prorated pension rights on retirement) vested in the current workforce. There’s no obvious reason a libertarian law code, based on the precedents of free juries of a vicinage, would not recognize this as the basis of ownership. This is especially true, given the larger emphasis given to occupancy as the basis of property under both mutualistic and radical Lockean variants of left-libertarianism.
Under these conditions, most of the skills associated with marketing under the present model of capitalism would probably be obsolete. In most cases, the artisan machinists in a small town or neighborhood factory would have the same first-hand knowledge of the markets they serve as artisans did before the rise of the factory system.
And the incentives to what we think of as conventional marketing rules would be far weaker under this model. Most of them currently stem from the nature of mass-production technology and the enormous capital outlays it requires for machinery. Because of these huge capital outlays, it’s necessary to maximize capacity utilization to minimize unit costs — and therefore to find ways of creating demand to guarantee the wheels keep turning. The history of 20th century mass-production capitalism was one of finding expedients to guarantee absorption of output — if necessary, by the state either destroying it or buying it up via the permanent war economy and the automobile-highway complex.
But in an economy where production machinery is cheap and general purpose, and can quickly switch between short batches of a variety of products in response to shifts in demand, these pressures do not exist. When capital outlays and overhead costs are low, the minimum revenue stream required to avoid going further in the hole is much smaller. And at the same time, the distinctions between “winners” and “losers,” between being “in business” and “out of business,” are also much lower.
Since the currently prevailing firm size and model of production and distribution is a suboptimal way of doing things, subsidized and protected by the state, it follows that bossism is — in the words of Peter Drucker — a way of doing as efficiently as possible something that ought not to be done at all. We start out with the structural assumptions of an economy in which wealth was concentrated in the hands of a small plutocratic class of investors through a long series of robberies (aka “primitive accumulation“), and the state’s economic policy was aimed at guaranteeing the profits of this investor-robber class and enabling it to extract maximum rents from the productive elements of society.
Given the fact of an economy organized into a relatively small number of large, hierarchical firms, authoritarianism may well be the most efficient means for overcoming the inefficiencies of a system that was authoritarian to start with. In like manner, Soviet economic reformers under Brezhnev sought the most efficient way of running an economy organized around industrial ministries and central planning by Gosplan.
Adam Smith, in The Wealth of Nations, detailed a long series of models for land tenure, in which landlords allowed peasants various shares of their total product in order to maximize production — and hence the rents they were able to extract from that production. But all these forms of tenure were limited by one overriding concern: the need of the landed classes to extract rents. Absent these considerations, the most efficient expedient would have been simply to vest full ownership of all land in the people working it and abolish manorial land titles and rents altogether. No doubt a slave cotton plantation in the Old South would have had drastically increased output had the land been given to the cultivators and had they been given full rights to their product. But from the perspective of a plantation owner, the only form of production less efficient than slavery is having to do an honest day’s work himself.
Corporate capitalism is organized around the imperatives, not of maximizing efficiency, but of maximizing the extraction of rents. When maximum extraction of rents requires artificial imposition of inefficiency, the capitalists’ state is ready and willing.
If we start from the assumption of a system organized around absentee investors and self-aggrandizing managers, the most efficient model for organizing production may be very inefficient indeed for extracting rent from those who produce value. The divorce of ownership and control from both effort and situational knowledge creates enormous knowledge and incentive problems, in which those doing the work and who know best how to do the job have no rational interest in maximizing their own output. Whatever human capital they contribute to increased productivity will simply be expropriated in the form of management salary increases, bonuses and stock options. Under these conditions, a hierarchy is necessary to extract effort from those whose rational interest lies in minimizing effort and hoarding private knowledge.
Shapiro makes the unwarranted assumption — essentially the legitimizing ideology of the Michael Jensen model of capitalism — that shareholder value is the chief motivator in conventional corporate capitalism. It’s more likely in my opinion that this is nothing but a legitimizing myth to justify the power of management — the real interest being served in managerial capitalism. Management under corporate capitalism justifies its power in the name of the shareholder, in the same way that management under Soviet state socialism justified its power in the name of the people or the working class. In both cases, the reality was a self-perpetuating oligarchy in control of a large mass of theoretically absentee-owned — but de facto owned by them — capital, and maximizing their own interests while claiming to serve some mythical outside constituency.
Shareholder capitalism is, pure and simple, a fairy tale. The “market for corporate control” was a reality for a relatively brief time after the introduction of junk bonds, but corporate management — with its insider control of the rules — quickly gamed corporate bylaws to avert the threat of hostile takeover. Since then corporate takeovers have in fact been friendly takeovers, acts of collusion between managements of the acquiring and acquired firms.
Corporate management’s maximization of quarterly earnings figures — what it calls “shareholder value” — is real. But it’s motivated entirely by corporate management’s desire to game its own bonuses, not by external pressure. And it actually involves the long-term destruction of shareholder value to achieve illusory short-term returns — much like eating seed corn, or burning every stick of furniture in your house in order to minimizing this month’s heating bill. And management uses the legitimizing myth of shareholder ownership as a way of protecting itself against genuine stakeholder ownership, which would maximize output for everyone.
There’s a wide body of literature (see especially the work of Sanford, Hart and Grossman) arguing that efficiency and output are maximized when ownership rights in the firm are vested in those who create its value. In an age of declining costs of means of production and increasingly skilled labor, an ever-growing share of the book value of the firm reflects not the investment of capital by absentee owners, but the human capital — tacit, job-related, distributed knowledge of the kind Hayek wrote about. But workers will not contribute this knowledge, or contribute to productivity, under the Cowboy-CEO model of capitalism, because they know that any contribution will be expropriated by management in the form of downsizings, speedups and bonuses. So a class of parasitic managerial bureaucrats operates corporations with the short-term mentality of an Ottoman tax farmer, in order to maximize its short-term interests, but justifies it in terms of “shareholder value.” Shareholder ownership — the myth that they work for the shareholders rather than being de facto residual claimants themselves — is the legitimizing ideology that corporate management uses as a defense against more efficient distribution of control rights among stakeholders within the firm.
Under a genuinely freed market in which the ownership of land and capital reflected rules of just acquisition and the cost of inefficiency were not subsidized, most bosses would find themselves faced with the imperative of doing a productive days’ work.
Steve Horwitz (“On the Edge of Utopianism,” Nov. 12), after some kind words for the left-libertarian project and stating his areas of commonality with us, continues:
I think it’s more accurate to say our state capitalist economy possesses enormous continuities from the feudal-manorial system, and that it differs from a freed market to almost the same extent the Soviet economy did. Whatever market elements there are exist only within the interstices defined almost entirely by structural privilege, artificial scarcity, and artificial property rights.
To take Walmart in particular, consider all the structural presuppositions behind it. First, it presupposes the creation of a continental-scale corporate economy, largely through the efforts of the state (like the railroad land grants, the use of patents as a tool for market cartelization, etc.). Second, it presupposes the use of patents and trademarks by corporate headquarters to control outsourced production by sweatshops around the world. The Walmart model is only relevant when the main model of production is sweatshops on the other side of the world exporting their output to the U.S. via container ship, and “warehouses on wheels” distributing that output via a nationwide wholesale model that presupposes a high-volume national highway system.
Imagine a counter-example: An economy in which neighborhood garage shops — organized on essentially the same micromanufacturing model as the job shops in Shenzhen — are able to produce identical industrial goods, or generic spare parts, free from corporate “intellectual property” restrictions, for sale in retail outlets on Main Street in the same town. Just about everything Horwitz presupposes in his statement about the benefits of Walmart would be completely irrelevant. John Womack, one of the early celebrants of lean production, argued that trans-oceanic supply chains were incompatible with the lean model. The same is true of “warehouses on wheels.” These distribution models simply shift mass production’s enormous warehouses full of inventory to the supply and distributino chains. Walmart is, essentially, the leanest possible way of organizing distribution in an economy that is organized on completely contrary principles.
So I think left-libertarians’ fundamental area of disagreement with Shapiro and Horwitz is that our model of freed markets isn’t a slightly tweaked, somewhat more leftish variant on the existing model of corporate capitalism. It implies a revolution in the basic structure of our economy.
Kevin Carson is a senior fellow of the Center for a Stateless Society (c4ss.org) and holds the Center's Karl Hess Chair in Social Theory. He is a mutualist and individualist anarchist whose written work includes Studies in Mutualist Political Economy, Organization Theory: A Libertarian Perspective, and The Homebrew Industrial Revolution: A Low-Overhead Manifesto, all of which are freely available online. Carson has also written for such print publications as The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty and a variety of internet-based journals and blogs, including Just Things, The Art of the Possible, the P2P Foundation, and his own Mutualist Blog.
http://c4ss.org/content/14459 posted under http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/
...there is a man whose messianic narcissism and hubristic naivety threaten the immediate safety of the entire world, who enjoys the company of terrorists and bigots, whose foreign policy has already cost the avoidable ending of thousands of innocent lives while he makes excuses for the actual murderers, qualifying their culpability, lying about their motives to make them seem more sympathetic and downplaying the imminent danger they pose, whose idea of gun control is to give thousands of deadly weapons free to Mexican gangsters and then do nothing while they slaughter each other, who spits on his friends and grovels to his enemies, and who is unquestionably the most clueless ass to have ever taken high office in his country's history. I'm not much of an economist, but I understand he's a bit shaky there, too.-Venerable Beads: Binders or Blinders?
Friday, November 16, 2012
Thursday, November 15, 2012
Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Republicans are starting off stronger in 2016 than they were when 2012 began. Obama had no need to campaign for his party’s nomination, and it’s arguable that the Republican primaries are where Romney’s run at the presidency really broke down (though I would argue he was doomed long before the Iowa Caucus).
When you have to campaign for your party’s nomination, you inevitably have some sore losers in your party who won’t support you. You have inner-party mudslinging that taints your image. You have to spend some of your money just getting to the big game, whereas an incumbent can just quietly watch from the sidelines, biding their time, watching you take cheap shot after cheap shot.
So yes, the old myth is true: an incumbent is harder to beat.
I think Republicans also have to get the nod when it comes to viable candidates. I don’t know who Republicans will nominate for 2016, but I would be willing to bet that it won’t be anyone who ran in 2012. Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Mitch Daniels… there’s a lot of potential candidates who never threw their hats into the ring for 2012.
Contrast this with the Democrats, where the most likely early lead will be Joe Biden (though I don’t think he’ll get the nomination). “But what about Hillary Clinton?” Well, it’s possible. She is stepping down from her position as Secretary of State, and it certainly takes four years these days to campaign for the presidency. However, she has stated and restated that she won’t be running in 2016. I know… never trust a politician… except, I think she’s genuinely uninterested. I think it’s more likely we’ll see her run for Senate or simply retire from politics.
And at this point, I’m at a loss for what Democrats will do. I have heard silly suggestions ranging from Andrew Cuomo or Michael Bloomberg to Elizabeth Warren or Tammy Duckworth… but I don’t see that happening, at all. I like Elizabeth Warren in particular… which is sort of my first clue that she won’t be the nominee, though I suppose it’s possible she will run. I don’t think so, though.
So, Democrats are either stuck with Joe Biden, or they need to groom someone during these four years. Meanwhile, the Republicans have an impressive stable of candidates who have broad national appeal.
What we can’t know, however, is how Obama’s presidency will go. If I had to guess, I would imagine his second term will be as mediocre as his first term, which isn’t going to help Democrats.
Then again, how Republicans in the House act during the next four years will also have a strong effect on how the party is perceived. If congressional Republicans continue to cause legislative deadlock, it’s not going to bode well for their presidential candidate. Remember, many (if not most) people vote for the party, not the person, especially at the Federal level.
In fact, the entire tone of the 2016 race will likely be altered by the 2014 races, which are much too far off to predict. I mean honestly… you would have had to have been psychic to know that Tea Baggers would influence the 2010 elections, or that Republicans would be courting the rapist vote in 2012. Who knows what will be said in 2014 and 2016? Hell, I don’t even know who will be saying it, let alone what will be said.
But that doesn’t mean the entire election is a toss-up. While it’s embarrassingly early to make predictions, I think it’s clear that Republicans are in a good position for 2016.
One final note on why Republicans have an advantage in 2016: Republicans picked up a fair number of governors and state legislatures in 2012. When you have Republicans controlling a large number of states, you can expect a greater proportion of gerrymandering to go in favor of Republicans.
It’s not so much an issue of whether Republicans are “worse” about how much they gerrymander, but rather, just that they control so many states. Many of these states are low-population and therefore over-represented in both the House and the Senate. Even in 2012, it was not difficult for Republicans to maintain more seats in the House, despite getting less total votes for House members.
If Democrats want to regain the House, it will be crucial that they become active at the state level. It won’t be enough to simply break Republican majorities in most of these states; Democrats would need to gain control enough to redraw the districts in their favor. I don’t think Democrats have the will to do this in the places where it needs to happen. It would take some sort of strange, spontaneous migration from urban coastal centers to the less populated, inland states.
Basically, what I’m saying is… the best hope Democrats have is for global warming to devastate the coasts and cause more liberal citizens to move to the Midwest and Mountain states. I don’t think that will happen in four years. The oceans are rising… but not that fast. It’s appropriate, then, that progress will probably continue to move at a glacial pace… even if the glaciers won’t be here by the time progress arrives.
Tuesday, November 13, 2012
This is no time to engage in the luxury of cooling off or to take the tranquilizing drug of gradualism. – Martin Luther King Jr.There are those who think that society must be gently goaded along through history. They see people as soft, weak, and unable to cope with change. I am not one of those people.
When it comes to righting an injustice, there is no room for compromise. To negotiate with those who defend injustice is to ensure that future generations will need to finish the job we should have done. If we are confronted with problems of vast importance, we cannot settle for half-vast solutions.
So it is with the Affordable Healthcare Act, also known as “Obamacare.” I was more than a little let down that the Supreme Court didn’t overturn the mandate, and I wish the whole thing has simply been struck down all together. But why would a liberal ever oppose Obamacare?
Because Obamacare is not liberal. It’s not a solution to the problem we face, it is a hand-out to private insurers and a slap in the face to poor Americans. Even when every facet of the AFA is enacted, there will be millions of Americans uninsured.
Just to put that into perspective, this means millions of poor Americans, the vast majority of whom work one or more jobs to try to support themselves and their families, will not have access to the same quality of healthcare that is available to convicted murderers and rapists in prison.
But most people won’t care, because the poor are disposable in our culture. A few middle class assholes won’t be dropped from their insurance anymore when they get sick, so just enough “success” stories will trickle in to make Democrats feel all warm and fuzzy, meanwhile the truly poor will go on dying from treatable illnesses.
That’s the reality of Obamacare. It’s a sedative designed to calm people down and make them forget that America is the only developed country without a national healthcare plan… and coincidentally, we also have some of the worst healthcare in the first-world (assuming you’re generous enough to even consider us first-world anymore).
It’s nothing new, either. Johnson and FDR are both notable for having pacified the masses with just enough to quiet them down, while still ensuring we would be exploited for decades to come. If you feed people just enough scraps, they won’t try too hard to get a place at the table, even if they deserve it.
It doesn’t even take an act of congress; sometimes blind luck has slowed liberal progress in America. Imperialist exploitation of other nations by corporations has also served to quell the cries in America for a legitimate worker movement. Even going back further, Karl Marx himself noted in the 19th century that the California gold rush would stunt worker’s rights movements in America for decades, as a sudden influx of wealth was liable to delay the inevitable.
And socialism is inevitable, just as capitalist markets are inevitable. Europe has steadily moved towards a more equal distribution of wealth among its citizens, while countries like China on the other end of the political spectrum have moved away from command economies towards that of capitalist markets. The ideal system is no longer a theory, it’s a proven fact.
The map to success is already drawn up, and America appears to be the last one on the road. There’s nothing revolutionary to try anymore; both extremes have failed miserably, and the way to peaceful prosperity is no longer a lofty goal, but is instead an oft-travelled path.
The concept of robust social programs and well regulated industries is no longer a controversial or radical idea, it’s just the only way that clearly works. America has been deteriorating the past few decades because we have lowered our taxes to the point of embarrassment, cut funding to necessary social programs, reduced funding for scientific innovation, and lowered our educational standards, all the while piling more and more debt on future generations who we have ensured will be ill-equipped to deal with the problems bequeathed to them by the self-centered Yuppies and Gen Xers,
But that isn’t the worst of our problems. No, the real problem we face is the fact that neither political party in this country wants to do anything about it. We have one party full of conservatives who want nothing to change and are beholden to corporate interests, and then we have the Republicans… who I have come to believe are syphilitic time-travelers from the 1800s.
Democrats propose no real solutions to our problems, while Republicans demand we make our problems worse. At this point, even the Libertarian Party has more to offer in the way of real answers than the Democrats, which would be fine… if the majority of the Libertarian platform wasn’t such a farce.
Personally, I blame the fact that America hasn’t had a war on our soil in a long time. We haven’t had to actually pull together, and it’s been too long since we let large populations of angry American morons kill each other. Europe and Japan got their shit together after their wars, but America didn’t. We just coasted on the fact that we didn’t have to rebuild, and once everyone caught back up with us and our backward ways, then surpassed us again, we just continued to sit around for decades with our thumb up our ass.
It’s time to wake the fuck up and realize America fell behind for a reason, and that reason is that real liberalism has been drowned in a pit of corporate money, then buried in a shallow grave by a complacent population.
If America can get used to being strip-searched every time they board a plane, America can get used to joining the rest of civilization. Then, when we aren’t uneducated, frightened fools, we can reclaim our civil liberties and go about achieving real progress.
The first was the resignation of General David Petraeus as the Director of the CIA. Now, the real story here is that the guy is responsible for countless innocent people being killed overseas for… whatever the fuck it is we’re supposedly doing with our military in the Middle East. I wish I could say it was for oil, but gas is not less expensive. At this point, I have to assume it’s just because America likes killing Muslims.
In any case, which of his many heinous crimes forced him to leave in disgrace? Infidelity… because no one cares that he has blood on his hands, unless you count the time he fingered his mistress when she was on her period.
But that isn’t the really biased part. It’s the saddest part, but not the biased part.
No, the bias comes in with the over-analysis of how it impacts Obama… because everything that ever happens, ever, has to be blamed on Obama. I’m not a huge Obama fan myself, but I prefer to blame him for things he actually did, as opposed to just making shit up on a constant basis.
And that’s what the media did. “How long has Obama known about this and kept it quiet in order to not look bad before the election?” Well, it’s looking like he didn’t know, and strangely enough, Republicans like Eric Cantor did. But frankly, I don’t care that Republicans knew about some juicy gossip before the rest of us. It is irrelevant.
Well then, clearly Petraeus stepping down is a conspiracy to keep him from testifying over Benghazi… right? Except not. Petraeus will still testify, so again, more blatantly ignorant conspiracy theories coming from the right-wing media.
The real story here is… why does it matter if the Director of the CIA fucks someone who isn’t his wife? The only people who should be upset over it are Petraeus’ family, who I genuinely feel bad for at the moment. These are the sort of things the media has no business reporting, because a person’s private sexual life has nothing to do with how they perform on the job.
But the American news media isn’t really about news, it’s about turning everything into 24/7/365 reality TV, where frivolous personal drama trumps meaningful public debate, and Americans are intellectually lazy dipshits for buying into it.
This wasn’t the only story this week that exposed the embarrassingly right-leaning nature of American media. You also have the over-hyped coverage of “secession” petitions.
Let me get this straight… a few thousand morons went to the trouble of signing some online petition to do something incredibly dumb… and that gets more coverage than the entire Jill Stein campaign, which received several times more votes than these petitions are gaining signatures? Jill Stein got real votes, not online signatures which can be, and frequently are, easily forged. Hell, it’s getting more coverage than Gary Johnson’s campaign, too, just in case you’re the sort of prick who is incapable of supporting someone who wants to actually solve problems.
Since it’s another opportunity to showcase dramatic whiners throwing a hissy fit, the media has been all over this story, even though it amounts to fewer people than would fill my old high school’s bleachers for a basketball game proposing an idea that was dumb the first in it was suggested in the 19th century.
But honestly, who can be surprised by this? The media has no interest in helping this country, because a fully-functional society makes for bad ratings. The media wants a never-ending series of train-wrecks to point their cameras at, and if they have to derail a few trains… so be it.
Monday, November 12, 2012
This Veteran’s Day, let us remember that the United States government’s soldiers have gone to war for no good reason. For the past century, the United States government has engaged in wars where soldiers have been traumatized, mutilated, and killed for no good reason. From World War I (the war to end all wars) to the Iraq War, the US government has made it clear that it will waste as many young men as it can in order to achieve obscure goals like democracy for all or freedom for all.
I do not hate veterans. In many cases I pity them. But I do not regard their sacrifices as honorable or meaningful because the reasons for it were not honorable at all. From fighting a war with Germans in order to protect the interests of J.P. Morgan (know your history) during President Wilson’s reign to occupying Afghanistan in order to secure their heroin fields (illegal drugs is good business), our leaders have done horrendous things and inflicted so much pain and suffering on naïve young men. Young men whose only desire is to simply protect their country.
Our leaders took advantage of this again and again, all the while telling the rest of us civilians that these men died for our freedom. The sad truth is: they died for nothing. They served in these wars for no good reason. There was no meaning to any of it, just pointless slaughter and death. It is a harsh reality and a difficult concept to accept, I know. To tell a man that all the people he’s killed were for nothing or that all the dead soldiers died for no good reason.
Our overlords view the soldiers as nothing more than disposable heroes. Just look at what they did to Brandon Raub, whose only crime was committing an egregious act of freedom of speech. The State will continue to treat veterans like garbage and the rest of the Americans will be told to honor them. It is a sick group of people who inhabit the top ranks of our country and they need to be stopped.
But I digress. To all those veterans out there who are not Chris Kyle or like him, I am sorry for my honesty. I view you as victims of the same people who wish to enslave people like me (they’re halfway there) and so I view you with pity. To those veterans and soldiers who contributed heavily to Ron Paul, I’m sorry that the bankster overlords who you are in service to managed to out-donate you and got Romney the nomination.
And for those who are still deployed in warzones, remember that you have to do what you have to survive, but don’t be afraid to defy or disobey orders, especially immoral ones. When you commit evil acts, you are guilty and saying that you were just following orders is not an excuse, as the Nuremburg Trials demonstrated. I know it takes a lot of courage to stand up to your superiors and stand your ground on moral issues, especially you are in the middle of nowhere, but you must. What does it profit a man to gain the whole world and lose his soul?
Sunday, November 11, 2012
Thousands of police in riot gear had earlier lined the streets of Warsaw to try to stop right-wing nationalists and radical left-wing groups from using the independence day holiday as an opportunity to fight each other. It was the second year the celebrations have degenerated into violence, underlining the deep gulf between those who want a conservative, religious society that rejects foreign influence and those who want Poland to join the European mainstream.-http://youtu.be/1zPMz2g_fuQ
The US continues to suffer economic difficulties stemming from the federal government’s neglect to reform domestic and foreign spending. The citizens of the US suffer from blatant abuses of their rights such as the NDAA, the TSA, etc. Given that the state of Texas maintains a balanced budget and is the 15th largest economy in the world, it is practically feasible for Texas to withdraw from the union, and to do so would protect it’s citizens’ standard of living and re-secure their rights and liberties in accordance with the original ideas and beliefs of our founding fathers which are no longer being reflected by the federal government.-15 States including Texas have filed a petition to secede from the United StatesAnd just why are those beliefs of the Founders no longer reflected in Washington, D.C.? Because America has been flooded with people from other cultures with no such foundational belief in limited government. Of course, it started long before that with Lincoln, Wilson, the destruction of the dollar, the creation of the Federal Reserve, giving women the vote in 1920 (yes, the female brain gravitates to big government for illogical reasons) the FDR and LBJ expansions of Federal power over the economy and the states, and the final nails in the coffin of liberty in the US of LBJ's immigration "reform" act and Nixon's final removal of the dollar with any link to gold. It took forty or fifty years, but the chickens came home to roost. If I were a traditionalist conservative I'd be crying. As an anarchist who doesn't believe in any states or borders, I'm ecstatic at the possibilities about to unfold before us. Hang on folks, it's gonna be a bumpy ride!
There’s lots of uninformed buzz on Twitter today about a report purporting to show 141 percent voter turnout in St. Lucie County, Florida-Voter fraud rumor of the day: 141% voter turnout in St. Lucie County, Fla.However, it appears the numbers are based on "cards cast", not total voters, so if the ballot is multiple pages, you'll have a higher number of "cards".
Everyone agrees that his "jokes" making fun of two kidnapped girls crossed the line. Matthew Woods swiftly became an object of contempt after he posted the crude and offensive comments on his Facebook page. But did he deserve to be locked up for them? A judge thought so, and ordered the 19-year-old to spend 12 weeks in jail, essentially for overstepping the bounds of good taste. Woods now sits behind bars — and also in the middle of a growing clash in Britain between freedom of expression, societal mores and the digital revolution.-Britain's crackdown on Web comments sparks free-speech debate
Rep. Ron Paul, whose maverick presidential bids shook the GOP, said in the wake of this week's elections that the country has already veered over the fiscal cliff and he sees no chance of righting ship in a country where too many people are dependent on government. "We're so far gone. We're over the cliff," the Texas Republican told Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop" program. "We cannot get enough people in Congress in the next 5-10 years who will do wise things." Read more: Ron Paul: Election shows U.S. 'far gone' - Washington Times http://www.washingtontimes.com/blog/inside-politics/2012/nov/8/ron-paul-election-shows-us-far-gone/#ixzz2BtdnGBdh Follow us: @washtimes on Twitter
Saturday, November 10, 2012
Nevertheless if you’re asking your’self, “WTF has Obama done for me lately.” You may enjoy this interactive site. Though I don’t promise you will agree with many of his decisions. Like if you oppose civil rights for all or think children w/ preexisting conditions shouldn’t have access to healthcare… you might not enjoy this link.-What the fuck has Obama done so far?To which I replied with the comment below: Well, lets see. He signed the NDAA, which, says the ACLU, resulted in "codifying indefinite military detention without charge or trial into law for the first time in American history". He supported reauthorizing the PATRIOT Act, supports the evil war on drugs (Obama has had more medical marijuana dispensary raids and federal marijuana prosecutions than George W. Bush), killed a 16 year old American citizen in a drone raid, killed innocent men, women and children around the world with numerous drone strikes, kept hero and whistleblower Bradley Manning rotting in prison, and has prosecuted more whistle blowers than all previous administrations combined. And that's just for starters. Of course, if you hate civil liberties, love war and the murder of civilians, and don't care that he's throwing people into prison for supplying marijuana to people with illnesses, you might not enjoy my comment. Oh, and the loser's blog where I left my reply is called "Topic Spill", but I misread it as "Toxic Swill". Well, I guess when something stinks, it names itself most appropriately in one's mind
via The Center for the Study of Innovative Freedom