Thursday, June 11, 2009

Over at Skeptical Eye

I encourage all my readers to read Skeptical Eye, where SE and I are bringin' down the house. I'm too lazy to cross-post everything back here (at least at the moment).

Monday, June 8, 2009

I think I'm going to scream...

The Obombya administration's latest gut-wrenchingly insane idea: force EVERYONE to buy health insurance, whether they want it or not. Those who thumb their noses at his reckless, bizarre decree will pay a brutal "financial penalty."

I try not to use excessive profanity on my blog, but...

WHAT THE FUCK!? Could there be a more ludicrous or whacked-out idea? Is the Obama administration run by four-year-olds? Calling them morons is an insult to actual morons. Even statists can't possibly be this stupid.

As one HuffPo comment puts it:

Frakking brilliant. I guess their answer to homelessness is to require the homeless to buy homes?

Be careful what you wish for...

Sunday, June 7, 2009

It's gonna be a long night

Sometimes I think I have some kind of insomnia. I often can't fall asleep even when I'm exhausted.

On weekends, it doesn't matter. But on nights like tonight, where I have to get up early the next morning for work...cripes. It's tempting to down a couple Tylenol PM tablets, but I don't really want to get in the habit.

Does anyone have any advice on how to fall asleep or something?

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Bad Ilana, Bad!

I like Ilana Mercer. She speaks out against horrific war crimes, unlike Jon Stewart. And she's kinda cute. But her recent column is silly. She thinks the stance anarcho-libertarians take on the border is unwarranted. And she thinks there's something wrong with us, just because we enjoyed this hysterical (and apt) Absolut ad:

Well Ilana, the ad is funny for a reason. Americans, especially Southerners, obsess over "the border" without realizing that we stole all that land in the first place! It doesn't even belong to us, for cryin' out loud! Such is the lunacy of "borders," imaginary lines drawn by ruthless conquerors and criminals.
And god, Blogger is retarded for shoving random words to the right of the picture when they're supposed to be underneath it.

The Alternet liberals are upset..

..at the idea of libertarians starting our own semi-country. They hate the idea because it means less people for them to control and push around.

It is interesting how liberals believe Tibet should be free to secede from China, but don't think the rest of us should be allowed to secede from the US. What in the world is the difference? I mean, aside from the fact that the US is worse on human rights?

The problem I have with Fox's "Freedom Watch"

It's a good show, but seriously, it's the biggest echo chamber I've ever seen.

Andrew Nopalitano: Breaking news! The government just did something that violated our rights.

Guest #1: It sure did, Andrew. The government sucks.

Guest #2: Agreed. The government is very irresponsible.

Andrew Nopalitano: Now, Guest #1, you said the government sucks. Does it suck just a little bit, or a ton?

Guest #1: I think we're now at the stage where it's sucking a ton. A crap-load, in fact.

Guest #2: The government violates the Constitution.

Andrew Nopalitano: What does that mean for the future of the US?

Guest #1: My guess is that it's going to suck, Andrew. And suck it shall.

As much as I hate statists, things can get a little stale without them there to fight over things..

The "no alternatives" argument: why it's terrible

A common argument that leftists use to herd the rest of us into their labor camps is that workers "have no alternative" but to work for wages. In the still-continuing comments to SE's post mocking Franc, poster named littlehorn gives us the standard argument:

I would first ask if there are cooperatives in his line of work. Or such other arrangements where labor reaps its fruit, instead of something like 7% of it. (But let's not call that exploitation.)

If there aren't, then pointing to the 'voluntary' 'agreement', the one that occurred in the absence of any meaningful alternative to the system that he repudiates, is a pretty shallow point to make. You agreed to what you had no choice to refuse, so duh, that's not exploitation. It's only exploitation if no choice at all is involved.


A couple of comments:

1) Cooperatives do exist

Cooperatives (or at least quasi-cooperatves) do exist in his line of work. So the entire premise has already come crashing down.

However, even if no cooperatives existed in his line of work, Franc still has the option of buying stock in his company. Thus, he is already free to have his labor "reap" it's fruit, and "have a say." Why won't he do so? I'll tell you why: because he wants the profits without any of the risk. He wants to bag the profits when the company succeeds, but not bear the losses when it fails. Sorry, but reality doesn't work that way, regardless of how many "syndicalists" would like it to be so.

2) Why coops are rare

Our leftie comrade is right about one thing: coops are rare. But he fails to ask the question: why are they so rare? Left-libertarians claim it's due to state intervention, but that's a pretty dubious conclusion. State intervention seems to be the only reason they even *exist* in so many parts of the world.

According to the co-op supporters themselves:

Cooperatives have developed more extensively in areas with some history of
operating cooperative structures and/or a cooperative or socialist ideology. Government
support -- in the form of grants, favorable terms for borrowing capital, favorable taxation
policies, preferential treatment in awarding government contracts, and establishment of
barriers to outside investment and trade -- has been important in sheltering the development
of cooperatives in an otherwise hostile environment.


This is the case all across the globe.

Canada:

From September 2000 to 2003, the Worker Co-operative Fund Pilot Project, a $1.5 million investment fund funded by the Government of Canada and implemented by the Canadian Worker Co-operative Federation (CWCF), successfully created new, and expanded existing, worker co-operatives in all regions of Canada by assisting in their capitalization.

Spain:

Significant growth in this area has been attributed to supportive state policies and programs. For example, the Spanish constitution requires that public authorities encourage co-operatives and promote them via local legislation and local provisions. Furthermore, worker co-operatives benefit from a preferential tax rate of 20% as opposed to the generally available 35%.

Venezuela:

Chavez is spending hundreds of millions of dollars in oil and tax revenue on the cooperatives. Although there have been allegations of gross inefficiency and graft, cooperatives have become a powerful part of the economy and society.

More than 700,000 impoverished workers across the nation have suddenly become stakeholders, such as the 200 families in Bolivar state that were recently given the right to operate a toll road connecting state capital Ciudad Bolivar and Puerto Ordaz. Poor workers are now operating steel and textile factories, fisheries and dairy farms across Venezuela with the prospect of sharing in whatever profits the enterprises turn.


Meanwhile, capitalist enterprise remains strong virtually everywhere, despite being regulated nearly to death. I wonder why that it is? Could it be that it's just a superior business model much of the time? Perish the thought.

3) The fallacy of "perfect circumstances"

This argument assumes that in order to be free, one must have a 100% perfect set of circumstances in every imaginable situation. But this is absolutely impossible. There is no such thing as a life that has a flawless package of options for you at every given moment. To enforce this absurd entitlement would be to end the freedom of everyone else!

If you want to work in a cooperative, you are not "unfree" because it doesn't instantly materialize in front of your eyes. You are going to have to *shock* *gasp* save your own money for the project instead of enslaving others to do your bidding.

The left-libertarians will of course respond that they have no money to form their co-ops. Well, life is a bitch sometimes, isn't it? Again, there are no "perfect circumstances." We are confined by the laws of nature and reality. A co-op is not going to magically spring up from the damn ground the second you desire it. There are *no* businesses that have that kind of advantage.

Contrary to LL claims, it IS possible to save money and "own the workplace." In The Machinery of Freedom, David Friedman spends an entire chapter explaining how easily it could be done. He points out that if you take away taxes and examine the income of workers, all of them could buy their own workplaces (or at least the majority of onwership) tomorrow if they wanted.

Easier than a violent revolution, right? That certainly sounds like an "alternative" to me! Strange, then, that none of them are doing it.

My coughed-up conclusion

The "no alternatives" argument is terrible. First, because there are alternatives. Second, because any lack of "alternatives" is generally due to their inefficiency or lack of state protection. Third, because it's impossible to have a perfect set of "alternatives" at any moment. So the "no alternatives" argument is an epic fail.

Friday, June 5, 2009

The environmentalists are going to be angry

People are going Green without any "help" from the useless State.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Radical leftists against abortion?

Is 'pro-life' actually a radical leftist position? An anonymous comment left on Rall's Search and Destroy blog (which is on my blog roll):

It saddens me that conservatives somehow co-opted the whole pro-life position.

One of the core concepts that drew me to progressive and liberal politics was the idea of protecting the rights of the "little guy," standing up for the individual against the oppressive momentum of the wealthy elite and corporate interestes.

With that in mind, who among is us more helpless, more in need of an advocate, than an unborn child? An unborn child is so weak and needy that it literally cannot live without the biological support of the mother. It has no way to speak on its behalf, little way to even show the outside world that it exists.

To me, supporting pro-choice policies is absolutely incompatible with the idea that we should be protecting and standing up for the weak among us. The hungry and homeless need our help, but they can also get up, move around, and act on their own behalf to some degree. An unborn child has none of these abilities, and completely relies on others to protect it..

..I often find myself in a lonely, lonely world as a pro-life progressive liberal. However, in my heart, I know this is the just cause, and I will continue to fight to give voice to those without one of their own.


There are radical leftists who take the same stance (see here and here).

I guess my own approach to the issue is kind of similar to Anthony Gregory's.

Sometimes it's ok to hate the wealthy

To blindly hate all wealthy people is just vacuous and silly. But there are a number of wealthy people who we just can't hate enough:

-Politicians
-War profiteers
-Bankers
-Crony capitalists/plutocrats
-Government bureaucrats & technocrats
-Lobbyists
-Media talking heads (the state's propaganda dispensers)

This merry band of obscenely wealthy parasites exists for no purpose other than to plunder the living hell out of the rest of us.

So if you're looking for wealthy people who actually are to blame for the world's problems, feel free to direct your anger at them.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Libertarians proven right, yet again...

...not that anyone will notice.

In case you haven't heard yet, GM has gone bankrupt, as has Chrysler. Remember back when the idiotic sheep demanded that we "do something?" Turns out they were completely dead wrong about everything. What a shocker...not.

Billions of dollars that could have been saved or spent to create genuine jobs have been flushed down the toilet.

But I'm sure the "investments" in the "stimulus" package will be far more wise and successful, right? That's why nobody was willing to lend their money or support to any of them without state coercion.

Right?

Will statists and statist economists ever apologize for how wrong they constantly are? Or do they secretly enjoy destroying the country?

The strange "evolution" of Francois

Once upon a time, there was a guy named Francois. If you were into libertarianism, you had heard of him. He had an excellent show about atheism that I listened to all the time. He was also a hard-core market anarchist, and helped write an absolutely splendid blog called The Radical Libertarian (which is still around).

Today, he sucks. Ok, so that's narrowing it down pretty far. LOL. But as one looks at the Francois disaster from afar, one must ask: how did it all happen? How did an Objectivist-turned-market-anarchist (who should know better) reach this horrid state?

This is difficult, because Franc just doesn't talk about it. His ideological "evolution" (more accurately called devolving) remains a mystery. Like the Christians who just "felt the hand of god" (or whatever gibberish), Franc apparently just "felt the hand of Marx." He just woke up one morning and realized that our standards of living were too high, and that he wanted to brutally control other people. At least that's one theory.

A more realistic theory has to do with the seductive lure of leftism. Psychologist John Ray believes leftism is driven by intense ego needs more than anything else, believing this explains their hypersensitivity and abusive tendencies. It sounds like a plausible explanation. How else to explain Francois' recent eruption at SE's blog?

There, he writes,

Get my blogs off your blogroll, if your friends are as retarded as you are, I don't want them on my blog.

And that goes double for you Cork. I am tired of you fucking ancap anklebiters. Go back to Austria.

..From now on, all ancap comments will be banned on sight, so don't expect to have your say on this.


As you wish, Franc. I guess that if I was writing inane ultra-leftoid screeds, I wouldn't want people to visit my blog either. And if my ideology was so fragile that it could be broken by a handful of blog comments, I would be scared of letting critics on my blog too.

Franc calls himself a "mutualist," but it would be extremely unfair to lump other mutualists in the same boat. Few mutualists are as sensitive or "wishy washy" on their own doctrine as Franc is. Few of them have the same communistic or primitivist tendencies. And I've never met a mutualist (a real one, that is) who was actively terrified of competing ideas or viewpoints.

So what can the rest of us learn from Franc's intellectual decline?

The answer is: don't take up an ideology if you can't adequately defend it. And don't switch to an ideology just because you think you'll look hip or smart. You'll inevitably be asked questions about it. If that freaks you out, then your foundation is a house of cards.

Perhaps the ultimate lesson is that people who don't want to be mocked for their beliefs shouldn't make it so damn easy and fun.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Ding dong, the baby killer's dead!

Note: I may have over hyped this post in my previous entry. Nonetheless, here it is.

So George Tiller was recently murdered, and we're all supposed to condemn it and talk about how it's horrible and blah, blah, blah. While I don't endorse or applaud the killing of anyone, I'm afraid I won't be taking part in the feigned orgy of sadness and chronic whimpering.

Frankly, I don't care that the scumbag is dead. I have more sympathy for all the babies he murdered to line his own greedy-ass pockets.

Before the mob calls for my head, I'd like to remind everyone that I'm fine with legalized abortion at the beginning of a pregnancy. I think it's ludicrous to give a fertilized egg the same legal rights as a full grown human being, for instance. And the people who oppose birth control are simply idiots. In addition, I'm not religious, or anything close to a social conservative.

But what Tiller was practicing was infanticide, pure and simple. This was a guy who had admitted to performing abortions the day before birth in some instances. If you can rationalize that, then you're participating in the same mental gymnastics as those who are able to rationalize torture, imperialism, fascism, a million dead Iraqis, Hiroshima, and so on.

Tiller's defenders claim his abortions were "medically necessary," or that all of them were necessary to save the mother's life. While I'm not in the mood to drop links, a few minutes on Google puts a swift end to that myth.

So spare me the crying over Tiller. People like him are the reason why the Born-Alive Infants Protection Act was passed. It is pretty sad that a bill to ban post-birth 'abortions' would even have to be passed; surely it's not controversial to believe that killing born people is wrong? As Tiller put it, it's "sloppy medicine" when the business isn't finished in the womb. Cute.

Monday, June 1, 2009

Decisions, decisions

So, I just finished typing up a post.

Then I gave it a good hard look and said, "Wow, holy shit. If I publish this, it's going to be the single most controversial post to ever appear on this blog. It could really, really piss a lot of people off. Even my regular readers might be outraged. And that would suck."

So what do you guys think? Should I just post it anyway?

Sunday, May 31, 2009

An interesting observation

Has anyone else noted the surprisingly--perhaps disproportionately--high number of libertarian thinkers (including the big names) that are/were Jewish?

Just thought it was kind of interesting.

Oh noez! PDAs will battle!

Michael Savage recently decided to sue a British politian for banning him from Britain.

If you're a minarchist, you're probably amazed to hear that the US and Britain aren't duking it out in a horrible war. After all, there is no world government, meaning there is no "final arbiter" (or whatever they keep babbling about). So there should be total chaos, according to the minarchists. Yet there isn't any.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Introducing...a blogroll!

Well, it's pretty incredible that it took me nearly a year to get to it (which says a lot about my laziness), but I finally added a blogroll. It consists of:

-friends
-readers
-blogs I read

I threw this together really quick and am probably forgetting more than a few people. If I forgot you or you want me to add you, please tell me in the comments! Just keep in mind that I have as many readers as Obama has principles.

UPDATE:

A funny comment left at SE's blog, in response to my memorial day post:

Wow....how "heroic" of you to honor those as you say...and quite frankly, I am being sarcastic! My Grandfather, and Great Uncles fought and lost their innocence in a war that if not had happened, your way of thinking would not be happening right now! You would be speaking German or quite possibly not be a part of this earth as we speak if you were not of the "true" race since that was what Hilter was aiming for in his quest to rid the world of those he hated. I, frankly am insulted at your words and feel that you owe my relatives an apology! I feel you need a good day in the local Veteran's Hospital cleaning up bed pans and speaking with those who have given up their independence in order for you to write such hatred. If you do not like this holiday, or the fact that we even have a military, then I suggest your move your sorry self to a country that fits your views!

Could there be a single cliche this putz forgot? LOL.

Fisking FSK

In a somewhat recent FSK post, he made the flat-out ludicrous claim that:

In a real free market, there is no way to enforce limited liability contracturally. Therefore, limited liability incorporation cannot occur in a real free market. Only a State can force a business' customers and creditors to accept limited liability provisions.

I responded:

Do you seriously believe this?! This is downright crazy.

To which he responded:

Since we're already name calling, I claim that you are the one with stupid beliefs. This is a common mistake by pro-State (L)libertarians.

Why are idiots so eager to defend corporations?


First, it is plainly obvious that there was no "name calling" in my comment. I said his statement was crazy--because it is. In fact, it's so breath takingly idiotic that I suspect even opponents of corporations would be embarrassed by it.

For those interested in reading a libertarian argument for corporations (or de facto corporations, at least), I strongly recommend Lee McCracken's Corporations in a Free Society.

FSK goes on:

In a true free market, no reasonable person would agree to a limited liability clause. Under certain circumstances, I might rule such an clause irrelevant, if I were judge in a free market court.

For example, suppose I walk into a restaurant as a customer. Before being served, the waiter makes me sign a "limited liability agreement". In the event I receive food poisoning, I agree that damages are limited to the assets of the restaurant. You certainly would view the waiter and restaurant with suspicion, wouldn't you? I can't imagine such a practice being commonplace in a real free market.

This is interesting, because the last time I had an operation done at the hospital, I could have sworn that I signed a form promising not to blame them if something went wrong during the procedure. Everyone else in the waiting room had clearly signed the form as well, and done so voluntarily. Dying is certainly a bigger risk than food poisoning. How do these things happen?

But let's be clear: even if you agree with FSK on the tort issue (and believe that shareholders are automatically liable for all torts, along with a laundry list of other dubious assertions), his stance goes far beyond that. He doesn't even believe that creditors (!?) would agree to limited liability without state intervention! No matter how good the investment looks! Sheer madness. Even the most ardent libertarian critics of corporations (such as Kevin Carson) have conceded that point.

Now before anyone jumps on me, let me say that I'm not denying limited liability would operate differently in ancapistan than it does now. Nor do I claim to be an expert on the intricacies of tort law. Perhaps some aspects of modern tort law do unfairly limit liability. I don't know--I'm not a lawyer. But does anyone seriously agree with FSK's original statement that "Only a State can force a business' customers and creditors to accept limited liability provisions"? It's nuckin' futs!

An online book to read if you haven't

Against Authority, by Hogeye Bill

The chapter on the history of anarchist thought (from an ancap perspective) is especially worth reading.

For those who thought my "memorial day" post went too far...

Cram it. (H/t to Mike)

Every time I think these sickening animals couldn't sink any lower, they do. If there was any deceny in the world, we would have a series of buses transport people from the VA hospitals to maximum security prisons, where they belong.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Health Care Myths

I hate arguing against socialist medicine, because it's difficult to do so without sounding like I'm defending the current statist system (which I have no interest in preserving).

Nonetheless, I am SO sick and tired of the left's "47 million uninsured" and other heavily misleading statistics that I had to dedicate a post to it.

The Top Ten Myths of American Health Care: A Citizen's Guide
, by Sally C. Pipes (special emphasis on myth 10)
Beyond Those Health Care Numbers
, by Greg Mankiw
The Problems with Socialized Health Care
The Myths of Single-Payer Health Care, by David Hogberg
A Little Healthcare History, by Lee (Note: this is one small post out of an extensive archive at Moorewatch, which has refuted nearly every healthcare myth in the book.)
Why the U.S. Ranks Low on WHO's Health-Care Study, by John Stossel
Another Bogus Report Card for U.S. Medical Care, by John Stossel
Uncovering Some Really Bad Science
and...this fantastic Cato article

I could drop links all day, but this will suffice for the moment. I'm just sick of hearing these faulty claims being regurgitated all day long.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Rothbard: "Listen, YAF!"

An excellent article. And one in which it often seems as if Rothbard is warning us to stay away from Hoppeans:

This open letter is addressed to the libertarians attending the YAF national convention in St. Louis this Labor Day weekend. Notice I said the libertarians in YAF; I have nothing to say to the so-called "traditionalists" (a misnomer, by the way, for we libertarians have our traditions too, and they are glorious ones. It all depends on which traditions: the libertarian ones of Paine and Price, of Cobden and Thoreau, or the authoritarian ones of Torquemada and Burke and Metternich.) Let us leave the authoritarians to their Edmund Burkes and their Crowns of St. Something-or-other...

How come I am an exile from the Right-wing, while the conservative movement is being run by a gaggle of ex-Communists and monarchists? What kind of a conservative movement is this? This kind: one that you have no business being in...

You can see for yourselves that you have nothing in common with the frank theocrats, the worshippers of monarchy, the hawkers after a New Inquisition, the Bozells and the Wilhelmsens. Yet you continue in harness with them. Why? Because of the siren songs of the so-called "fusionists" — the Meyers and Buckleys and Evanses — who claim to be integrating and synthesizing the best of "tradition" and liberty...


His comments on torture are just as relevant today:

The cops, with their monopoly of coercion and their overwhelming superiority of arms, tend to brutalize, club, and torture confessions from people who are either innocent or have not been proven guilty. What has been the attitude of the Right-wing, and your fusionist leaders, toward this systematic brutality, or toward the libertarian decisions of the Warren Court that have put up protections for the individual rights of the accused? You know very well. They hate the Warren Court almost as much as they do Reds, for "coddling criminals," and the cry goes up everywhere for all power to the police. What can be more profoundly statist, despotic, and anti-libertarian than that?

Read the whole thing, it's brilliant.

A great quote..

..from Murray Bookchin:

"People who resist authority, who defend the rights of the individual, who try in a period of increasing totalitarianism and centralization to reclaim these rights -- this is the true left in the United States. Whether they are anarcho-communists, anarcho-syndicalists, or libertarians who believe in free enterprise...I feel much closer, ideologically, to such individuals than I do to the totalitarian liberals and Marxist-Leninists of today."

Classic O'Reilly pwnage



Can you imagine what it would be like if one of us was given a chance to appear on O'Reilly's show? I think his head would literally explode.

WOOHOO!

Finally, I'm employed somewhere! I start Monday!

Hells yeah!

I'm going to celebrate by going to Jamba Juice. God I love that place.

Question for metalhead readers

Does anyone here have the new Meshuggah album? Or the new Manson album?

Are they worth buying? Or should I play it safe and wait until there are a bunch of cheap, previously owned copies?

Mucho thanks.

And just for kicks, here's my favorite Meshuggah song:

Monday, May 25, 2009

The Keith Preston Dustup

Most of us who have spent time in the anarcho-libertarian quarters of the net are familiar with the work of Keith Preston. The man is a great libertarian-anarchist thinker, and I've linked others to his work many a time. His essay Beyond Conservatism is especially worth reading, as are his many criticisms of the anarcho-commies.

Unfortunately, I have to agree with Mike and Kevin that his crusade against political correctness has crossed the line into bigotry.

There are other libertarian bloggers who devote nearly all their time to "culture war" issues. I'm not one of them, because it just doesn't interest me much. Admittedly, this might be because I'm not a member of any minority group.

But I've always viewed "cultural conservatism" as little else than a cheap excuse to blindly hate all minorities. Is it really all that gutsy to rip on a small group of people who are already treated with contempt every day of their lives? Can't we just leave them alone, or--god forbid--try to lift them up instead of tear them down further? No, that would be "PC."

Further, Keith has some views I've always seen as at odds with libertarian anarchism, such as his opposition to open borders. Sorry, but anyone who believes in state control over the "borders" (imaginary lines drawn by plutocrats) is in minarchist, not anarchist territory (pun intended)? This of course conflicts with the silly "populist right," but it's the anarchist position nonetheless.

The whole thing a damn shame, because so many of Preston's non-culture-war articles are a blast to read. But now he's gone out and pissed everyone off--alienated friggin' everyone--just to throw some red meat to the Neo-Nazi wolves. Ick.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

A memorial day we can all get behind

Mass murderers day...er...Memorial day, as we're all aware, is tomorrow. It's a disgrace of a holiday where we "honor" those who have murdered, raped, pillaged, nuked, and tortured for the state.

The state's (I refuse to call them "our") veterans deserve a lot of things--such as being spit on, or locked up for crimes against humanity--but respect is hardly one of them.

Some anarchists will tell you that the troops died for nothing. But that's not exactly true.

They died to butcher women and children. They died to make life miserable and unbearable for people all across the globe. They died to strengthen the police state. They died to take away our liberties. They died to enrich the military industrial complex. They died to make the world safe for US-style corporatist capitalism. They died to strengthen dictators and tyrants. They died to ensure US hegemony over the entire world, and to enslave the innocent. They died to destroy and steal from foreign countries. They died to worsen the economy and harm the poor. They died to end habeas corpus and protect torture.

In a nutshell: they died to make the world a far worse, far more despicable, and far more dangerous place. And they did so knowing exactly what they were doing.

Rather than show any respect for veterans, we should use this day to remember those who do deserve to be remembered: those who have been slaughtered by the troops, those whose lives have been permanently destroyed by the troops, those who refused to serve, those who deserted the troops in times of battle, and those who betrayed their own country in times of war.

Now that's a memorial day I could get behind.

Just got back from the new Terminator movie

My friend liked it, but I thought it was pretty weak. Mindless Hollywood action at its most mindless. Not a hair of character development anywhere. Forgettable as ever. It has some cool special effects, but it's not even as good as the third one. Avoid it, unless you have the attention span of a gnat.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

It's official

Tom Tancredo is more libertarian than Bob Barr.

Kind of sad, huh?

Which is better?

The Democratic Socialists of America, or the anarcho-communists?

Personally, I'm leaning toward the Democratic Socialists of America. From their website:

Democratic Socialists have long rejected the belief that the whole economy should be centrally planned. While we believe that democratic planning can shape major social investments like mass transit, housing, and energy, market mechanisms are needed to determine the demand for many consumer goods.

So they're willing to allow some degree of free enterprise, unlike the anarcho-communists. And while they advocate harsh control over everything else, their overall program isn't much more statist than so-called "libertarian socialism" would be in practice.

Sadly, the Democratic Socialists of America may be preferable to the anarcho-communists.

One syllabus for all schools?!

A recent "column" at Common Dreams calls for the United States to move toward Democratic Socialism. The comments left in response are pretty nauseating.

From a poster named Lefty:

Given the current collapse of our economy, it is now time to fully break the grip that our corporate fascist political and business leaders now have on this country. This list should include:
1. Nationalize the banking system.
2. Nationalize the insurance industry.
3. Nationalize or regulate the petroleum industry much like the electric and natural gas industries are regulated.
4. Single payer health insurance.
5. A robust higher education system in this country. Interest free students loans. $1000 a year tuition and room board at all state universities.
6. Campaign election reform. If you can't vote in an election you can't contribute to a campaign.
7. Nationalize any industry that does not follow the laws of supply and demand. [Wtf? -Cork]


Other posters clearly agree:

I agree with many of the comments by Lefty. There should be nationalisation of the essential utilities - gas, electric, water, banks (lending for mortgages, national savings, one set of interest rates), insurance. There should be one syllabus for all schools..

Multiple syllabi would be a threat to the regime's indoctrination, I'm guessing. Lovely. Keep in mind that this is from a fairly mainstream left-progressive site.

Good god these people are frightening.

Thursday, May 21, 2009

The absurdity of anti-capitalism

In order to be an anti-capitalist, you would have to believe that

1) Entrepreneurs and inventors make the world poorer and worse off with each one of their new ideas.
2) The capitalists who provide the money for their innovations are also increasing poverty and harming the world.
3) The resulting new job opportunities impoverish the masses even further.

Could there be a set of views more self-evidently false and insane? I can't think of a better way to capture the pure absurdity of their beliefs in such a brief post.

The utilitarian case for radical market anarchism

Since a lot of people are (often understandably) not convinced by normative arguments based on "rights," I wanted to make the utilitarian case for free market/individualist anarchism...in a single post.

Why should a utilitarian be radically anti-state? The answer is laid out so well in this essay, it’s not even worth trying to rephrase it:

Anarchists oppose the state (defined as an organization with a monopoly on the legitimate use of physical force in a given country) because the state exists for the sole purpose of limiting human freedom and imposing the will of a certain group of people (usually a tiny minority) on the rest of a nation’s citizens. Because of the state, millions of people are incarcerated—mostly for nonviolent and “victimless” offenses—and forced to live in totalitarian conditions in which they have absolutely no control over their own situations. Because of the state, untold multitudes are forced to alter their behavior for fear of enduring punishment and incarceration if they act autonomously. Because of the state, millions of people die in wars and genocides, and millions of others are forced to live under foreign occupation in which their liberty is severely restricted. It is obvious that, so long as the state exists, human beings can never attain maximum freedom or maximum happiness, and so, utilitarians and anarchists should oppose the state.
http://www.anarkismo.net/newswire.php?story_id=4486

It doesn’t get much more succinct than that! Governments killed something like 262 million people in the last century. Governments are the most brutal, unaccountable organizations in the history of mankind. They’ve brought tyranny, oppression, slavery, and poverty wherever they’ve been allowed to exist. They benefit a small but powerful elite at the expense of everyone else. Governments have brought us unspeakable horrors: gas chambers, torture dungeons, gulags, mass executions, human ovens, large-scale starvation, ethnic cleansing, Hiroshima, Nagasaki, Newt Gingrich, you name it. And there’s no end in sight! There’s only one remedy: abolish the state immediately, completely, and unapologetically, piss on its ashes, and then put its “leaders” on trial for crimes against humanity.

The utilitarian case for the total free market also simple to make. Market anarchism would allow for unrestrained competition, capital accumulation, and innovation like we’ve never seen before. People would be rewarded, not punished (as they are in the current system) for creating wealth and raising the standard of living. People would be punished, not subsidized (as they are in the current system) for failing to raise the standard of living. The rewards and punishments in both departments would be far, far greater, which is a good thing. The poor would easily benefit the most from all of this. (See George Reisman’s article Anti-Obamanomics for a more extensive discussion of this.)

Money would no longer be diverted to wealthy government bureaucrats and their cronies, nor would it be spent on their trillion-dollar wars or boondoggles. The Federal Reserve would no longer transfer wealth from the poor to the ultra-rich. The countless monopolists, price gougers, illegitimate landholders, and authoritarian employers propped up by the government would be put out of business. The minimum wage would no longer trap people in grinding poverty to make billionaire leftists feel good. Regressive taxes (social security, sales taxes, etc) would no longer exist. People trying to start their own businesses or become self-employed would no longer be stopped or punished by government regulators

Market anarchism would mean complete freedom and autonomy for all individuals. Instead of living as serfs on the land of a feudal government, every single person would have absolute control over their lives and the decisions they make. Everyone would be free to keep every last penny (would pennies even exist?) they make, and free to spend it however they want. Instead of a one-size-fits-all, poorly run government education system, they would be able to choose whatever school they want, with whatever values they want, at whatever price they want. The same goes for health care, garbage collection, firefighters, postal service, and everything else. There would be far more choices than with a government monopoly (or a heavily cartelized economy). And when people are free to choose from a number of options, they are usually more happy than when they are coerced into one.

People could choose for themselves what drugs (including prescription drugs) they want to use, what guns they want to buy, who they want to marry, who they wish to associate with, and which charities they want to donate to, without government idiots interfering. What does that sound like? Freedom!

No more FCC telling us what we can and can’t watch. No more “selective service.” No more Department of Homeland Stupidity with its absurd color warnings. No more restrictions on freedom of speech. No more Rick Santorums using legislation to ram their insane religious beliefs down our throats. No more laughably ineffective government police, who crack down on petty “crimes” while leaving violent wackjobs free to terrorize us. No more military industrial complex, medical industrial complex, or security industrial complex. Bill O’Reilly and Sean Hannity would likely have to sell themselves into prostitution (which would also be legal). What does all of this add up to? Greatly enhanced autonomy, extreme freedom, and more happiness.

When should we want all of this? Now!! As quickly as possible! Radical abolitionism is the only way we’ll ever get anywhere. Gradual and “pragmatic” reforms will never achieve anything.

So whether you're a Stirnerite egoist looking to promote his own interests, a Kropotkinite do-gooder who wants to help society as a whole, or someone else skeptical of arguments from "rights," you should consider market anarchism.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Missing the point

As I watch pundits bicker back and forth about torture on TV shows, I continue to be baffled that opponents of torture never bring up the most vital point:

NOBODY KNOWS WHETHER THE VICTIMS ARE EVEN TERRORISTS.

How in the world could anyone arguing against torture actually fail to make this point? Opponents of torture are reduced to arguing that it "doesn't work." Weak, man.

Here's Jesse Ventura debating some monster on Fox News (h/t to LRC).





Although Ventura did his best taking on three hard-core fascists, he seems to just assume, along with the hosts, that the victims of torture are "terrorists." He had several perfect opportunities to correct the stupid neocon jackass, but never did.

The neocon asks whether Abraham Lincoln, Harry Truman, and FDR should have been prosecuted. Well, duh. But the neocon has a point: civil libertarians would support the prosecution of those dead criminals and tyrants if they were consistent. A shame that they aren't.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Heading to the land of our ancestors

Sorry for the lack of posting lately. I'll be in Europe for a week (starting tomorrow), and have several job interviews right when I get back. So I'm kind of busy, and probably won't post again for a little over a week. Not sure how all of you will get along without my brilliant commentary [/sarcasm].

If you need a few chuckles, check out Ron Paul's latest "opponent." This doofus is even less impressive than Paul's previous opponent, Chris Peden. Not an easy feat!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Is anyone else...

...enjoying the total collapse of the Republican Party? I cackle with sadistic glee every time I see what new hole these clowns have dug themselves into, and laugh even harder when I hear about each new harebrained "plan" they've come up with to con people into voting for their godawful party. Funny stuff!

David Frum is worried about the dwindling number of college educated voters in the GOP. Well Frum boy, when your party appeals only to anti-intellectual morons and dumbasses, shouldn't that tell you something? The GOP ain't exactly MENSA central. While the left's intellectuals (Chomsky et all) have plenty of silly beliefs, they at least qualify as intellectuals. The Republican right has no actual intellectuals at all.

Unless this guy is your idea of an intellectual:

Obama "regrets" slaughtering Afghans for the rich

Well, isn't that just dandy? He orders the murder of children, but oh, he regrets it afterwards!

Tell that to some kid with his limbs blown off, you fool. I'm sure that'll make him feel much better.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Jon Stewart defends mass murder



This guy has to be the single biggest pussy on the planet. Not a drop of integrity anywhere in his body. Sad.

UPDATE: The idiot neocons are also outraged, but for the opposite reason, of course. I couldn't resist fisking this one comment by a hysterical neocon at NewsBusters.

I want this coward, Jon Stewart, to talk to any surviving WWII veterans or their families. I want him to tell them that Truman is a war criminal.

There's some truth here: Stewart would be too big of a coward to do this. But I certainly wouldn't. I would be more than happy to politely, calmly explain to a vet that Truman was a cold-blooded murderer, a ruthless genocidal butcher, and a savage war criminal. If religion wasn't a hoax, Truman would be rotting in hell as we speak, probably in the same pit as Adolf Hitler.

Would the vet object? Who cares?

These heroes [sic] and their children will tell this idiot that Truman's actions saved millions of American lives (and in reality, hundreds of thousands of Japanese).

ROFL. Of course! The best way to save lives is to go around nuking people.

Jon Stewart is a person who is lucky enough that he has never had to sacrafice a damned thing in his privledged little life.

I don't know about Stewart, but I'm certainly not dumb enough to make any "sacrafice" for the state or its corporate cronies. Anyone who is simply gets what's coming to him.



He should be grateful!

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Radical libertarian PWNS conservatives

In the comments to this post, some dude named SethF is really taking out the trash!

Friday, May 1, 2009

My life is a wreck, but I'm taking it rather it well

Welp, I'm about to graduate from college and go into the real world. Thank god!

The downside? Despite months and months of downright ruthless hunting, I haven't locked up a job or even an internship. So I'm going to graduate as a freakin' bum: a nightmare I tried to avoid by starting my job search early.

These are not the words of some stoner slacker dickweed, folks: I have a high GPA and a fairly decent resume. In fact, I have plenty of employers interested in talking to me about sales positions. The problem is, while I have some experience in that area (and even enjoy it to a large extent), I'm not sure it's what I want to do for a living. I want a job in the field I majored in, dammit! I know the economy sucks, but seriously..can't a man get a break?

On the up-side, I'll be taking a nice, relaxing vacation in Europe not too long from now. And it looks like I might be moving to the East Coast (the Big Apple) with my friend by the end of the summer. What are my plans for once I get there? I have none. I'm wingin' it like mad, people.

So if I'm going to be a bum, at least I'll be a bum living out his dreams! ;D

Hierarchy and usury, once again

As I've stated numerous times, my principal objection to left-libertarianism is not cultural, but economic and scientific. A real-life economy simply could not function on left-libertarian principles. This is because the simplistic rule of "no hierarchy" essentially means "no division of labor."

The entrepreneurs, inventors, innovators, and "men of the mind" (as Rand called them) will always be the leaders, the risk-takers, and the project managers. Everyone else will always be (voluntary) followers, for their own benefit. As Tom Woods put it:

Leaving aside the odd view that only manual laborers engage in “work,” all the brawn in the world could never have produced a steam engine or a Pentium processor. Only when informed by the knowledge of inventors and supplied with the capital saved by capitalists can the average laborer produce the tiniest fraction of what he is today accustomed to producing.

So the left-libertarian desire to "smash hierarchy" amounts to "smash the brains of the operation" and "smash the division of labor." Let the workers democratically replace the mind of the person in charge! (And let's allow hospital janitors to "vote" on the decisions of surgeons while we're at it.)

A comment on Rad Geek's blog also discusses the inescapability of the division of labor:

Well, let’s set this straight: the difference of talents and character will certainly produce labor contracts wherein the capitalist assumes the (entrepreneurial) risk-taking weight and the wage-earners obtain a fixed income where there was none in a self-“employment” setting. This vertical division of labor is far superior (as the horizontal or trade type) to independent laboring. The fact that you find it forming over and over, spontaneously (see Menger-Hayek-Leoni) in small populations, deserted areas and anarchic settings (no black flags or blogs, just the lack of any State presence suffices) must tell you something about its validity as an institution.

When I bring these types of arguments up to left-libertarians, they get angry very quickly and claim (unconvincingly) that they aren't against the division of labor. But it has to be one or the other--either no hierarchy or no division of labor. Take your pick.

Other left-libertarians realize how weak their position is after you explain it to them. Some will gradually concede, "Fine, there has to be some hierarchy and a division of labor. It's the autonomy of teh workers I'm concerned about."

Fine. I'm concerned about that too. Focus on autonomy, then. But I won't be satisfied until all of them confront these problems head-on instead of evading them (before going on to ramble about "hierarchy" again, as if they have some keen insight the rest of us are unaware of).

Another dilemma left-libertarians refuse to confront is that of "usury." Few of them will give a straight answer on whether they think it's ok to make profits off a firm one doesn't work in. IMO, anyone not opposed to that is not a leftist or left-libertarian, but some breed of capitalist.

So ends another post on a subject that's getting tiresome. But I had to get my thoughts out there.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Protesting Obama's Imperialism

Glad to see that at least some folks are doing it.

And check out this great release by World Can't Wait.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Counterpunch smears the Free State Project

Here. In the tradition of Bill O'Reilly and Sean Hannity, the author cherry-picks "extreme" statements ("cannibalism should be legal"), and libertarians are presumably supposed to "denounce" them. What if we just applaud them instead? The heads of soccer mom Democrats across the country would explode.

To see how badly I can horrify the sheep, I thought I'd make some "extreme" statements of my own:

Cannibalism and necrophilia should be legal, so long as the person consents before death.

It should be legal to broadcast hardcore pornography on Saturday morning television.

It should be legal to buy and sell meth, heroin, cocaine, ecstacy, shrooms, and every other nasty drug you can possibly think of.

Animals have no rights.

There should be zero restrictions on gun ownership or immigration.

People should be allowed to discriminate against any race or gender they don't like.

Teachers having sex with students really isn't much of a crime, when you think about it.

Corporations should be allowed to grow as big as they please, and charge prices as high as they feel like.

Polygamy and incest should be legalized. As Harry Browne put it, "I should be able to marry my cat if I want to."

Cops and soldiers are trash.

The Emperor has no clothes.

Oops, sorry. Did I say something "extreme?" Perhaps the shrill goo-goo leftists at Counterpunch will demand I "retract" these statements. Unfortunately for them, I have no intention of doing so. In fact, I'm proud of them.

I've got your "retraction" right here, Counterpunch:

Sunday, April 26, 2009

Spanish unemployment through the roof

Socialism is becoming less and less popular there. But in the US, it's as popular as ever!

UPDATE: Brits are going Galt.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Torturers? Prosecute the living shit out of them.

So now that the depraved fucks got caught torturing, they're suddenly claiming they were "assured" it was legal.

Wow, what a stellar defense! I guess I can just go out and butcher a family, then claim Lionel Hutz "assured" me I wouldn't get in trouble (let alone the implications of moral law). See how well that holds up in court. If you're one of the state's autocrats, the answer is, "very well."

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Market anarchism and monetary economics

Since I've been discussing monetary policy with others on the Mises forums lately, I thought this would be a great time to discuss Steve Kangas' widely linked article on the gold standard.

Full disclosure: I am not an economist or economic historian, nor am I an expert on the subject (though I strongly doubt Kangas was either). Nonetheless, his problematic arguments leap off the page. I should also add that I am not necessarily for gold (especially not a state-run gold standard), but an advocate of competing currencies. So let's go through Kangas' smug article and see where he goes astray.

The reason why the far right opposes the current money system is because it allows the government to control the size of the money supply. They argue that an unscrupulous government might pay its bills by printing more money, which would cause inflation...

And we know that's never happened in history before! Obviously a ridiculous idea.

Mainstream economists, however, have a powerful counter-argument.

Uh oh, whenever you see the word "mainstream" you know an appeal to authority or bandwagon fallacy is coming..

(BTW, most "mainstream" economists take stances on free trade, minimum wage, etc, that Kangas and his leftist ilk would never accept. So his appeal to "mainstream"--statist--economists is highly selective.)

Suppose that a village is using gold for money, but unfortunately there is only one gold nugget. Whoever possesses that nugget will be able to buy literally anything in the village -- but only once. After surrendering the nugget for an item, that person will then have to turn around and offer literally anything to get it back. Because the village has numerous people waiting in line to use the nugget for money, economic activity will slow down to a crawl, unemployment will rise, and the result is a recession. This example highlights another principle: money needs to be divisible. The village's economic activity would be doubled just by cutting the gold nugget in half. Of course, dividing money is the same thing as expanding the money supply.

This section is where Steve makes most of the errors that he discusses for the rest of the article.

Steve has a valid point about an economy not being able to function properly with an inadequate money supply. A shame it has already been addressed. In a nutshell, it is the market that decides which currency/currencies will be used. If a certain medium of exchange is far too scarce or abundant (which will send its purchasing power up or down), people will simply switch to something else.

When you really think about it, the money supply (in a market anarchist society) is basically unlimited. Everyone can choose to convert their gold or silver into rocks, plants, precious metals, abundant paper money or anything, and use that as a currency instead. Or a mix of them, or whatever. The difference is that the value is never robbed, as it is under central banking.

Kangas makes a completely fallacious claim: "Of course, dividing money is the same thing as expanding the money supply." Why he starts his sentence with "of course" is a mystery, because his statement is a complete non sequitur. There is a big difference between turning a dollar into ten dimes and printing more dollars. In the first case, I'm simply dividing the value I already have. In the second scenario, I'm creating more of it at the expense of others.

Kangas leaps from these faulty arguments to his conclusion that a secretive Federal Reserve, operated by and for the corporate elite, must constantly manipulate the money supply. Hardly a "progressive" stance, but progressivism has long been a philosophy for the rich and powerful.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Secede NOW

Ron Paul recently suggested we should take another look at secession. The Left is infuriated. "That's craaaaaaaaaaazy talk!" "What a loon!" "I used to like this guy, but now I see that blah blah blah."

Some great comments from statists:

Mr. Paul, are you really comparing the former USSR with America under Obama?

Of course not; it would be a ridiculous comparison. The Soviet Union was more free.

And we all know how well that (secession) worked out last time in the 1860s…

We certainly do!

I used to respect Ron Paul until this came out. Even talking about seceding is un-American.

You say that as if it's a bad thing.

I think Texas should secede. They can even take Oklahoma with them, and all the right wing freaks from across the country can move down their. They can have their own government based on no taxes and no spending, and see how far they get.

If only!

Libertarians are more dangerous than conservatives. They cling to this crazy "don't tread on me" ideology. It's more destructive.

LO-freaking-L! This stuff parodies itself.

Consistent secessionists are, of course, anarchists. And it's about time we get the secession ball rolling. As one comment put it,

Secession leads to banana republics, anarchy and dictatorship.

One out of three ain't bad.

Left-wingers are turning into brownshirts

I've been posting on the total hypocrisy of the mainstream American Right recently, but the Left is even worse. At least the Right's hypocrisy is going in a positive (if unbelievable) direction. Liberal Democrats are finally letting their authoritarian sides of the bag...and it's ugly.

Leftists have always been gullible, easily led saps who fall prey to charismatic "leaders." It should not be a surprise that Obama is continuing this historical tradition. What is surprising is just how authoritarian the Left has become in only a matter of months. They have set their sights set on "secessionists" (please god, let it be true), "wing-nuts," "rightwing domestic terrorists" (anyone who fails to submit to O's subjugration), "rightwing extremists," "anarchists" (which they define as anyone with even a slight free-market bent to their thinking), and so on.

When I speak of leftists being easily exploited pawns, I'm talking about the wimp left--the HuffPo, Crooks & Liars, DailyKos crowd. The Democrat soccer mom crowd. Some on the hard/intellectual left are staying consistent, but sadly such figures are rare.

We need more radical opposition, and we need it now.

Where I fall on the political spectrum quiz



Take the test for yourself here. Hat tip to anarcho-mercantilist.

Conservatives act stupid...yet again

Now the conservatives are outraged at Obama for doing what should have been done long ago...making at least a feeble attempt to get along with (some) other countries.

Yes, Chavez and Obama are fascist tyrants, but that's not why conservatives are mad. The conservatives are pissed off because they want war with Venezuela, along with the rest of the world.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Analyze Your Handwriting

Try it, but keep in mind that it's totally non-scientific.

My results:

You plan ahead, and are interested in beauty, design, outward appearance, and symmetry.
You are a social person who likes to talk and meet others.
You are affectionate, passionate, expressive, and future-oriented.
You are a talkative person, maybe even a busybody!
You enjoy life in your own way and do not depend on the opinions of others.

Free trade is progressive

Even the extreme statist Joe Lieberman admits it.

Don't be fooled by conservatives

The conservative "movement" has been very fired up as of late, hosting "tea parties" and such. While it's refreshing to see some actual signs of life from the conservative Right, and perhaps a good opportunity to see how many conservatives we can turn into market anarchists (I'm living proof it's possible), we should take their newly discovered "anti-statism" with a grain..no..bucket of salt.

For one thing, the situation we're in right now is entirely the fault of conservatives. Bush set the precedent for Obama's policies (bail-outs, "stimulus" packages, insane deficit spending, etc), allowing the Democrats to move far, far, far more in that direction. Conservatives cheered Bush's policies and wars every step of the way. Bush's unpopularity, along with the pathetic bumbling campaign of war criminal McCain, handed the election to the Democrats on a silver platter. Now that they've put Obama in power and encouraged all of his policies, conservatives are outraged and throwing everything they've got at the opposition.

Sorry guys, but:
1) All of this is completely your fault.
2) The Democrats have only been in charge for a couple of months. (I'm not suggesting we "give them a chance," but that conservatives share most of the blame.)
3) You wouldn't be making a peep if McCain was doing the exact same thing. (if not worse).
4) You only oppose government spending when it's on something less crazy than what you want it spent on.

Obviously, I do not support Obama's spending spree. But it's not the worst thing in the world. I would rather have the government spend its stolen loot on pork-barrel projects and ACORN than on the military and its pointless wars.

So if anything positive can be said about the "stimulus" and out-of-control spending, it's that it may hamper the state's ability to spend money on even more destructive things that conservatives support.

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Monday, April 13, 2009

Sorry for the lack of posting

I'm still alive, just stuck in a busy week (with many a job interview).

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Jon Stewart: Property of the State

In this clip, Jon Stewart informs his audience that nobody should be concerned about the State teaming up with powerful corporations, or the gutting of our liberties, or Obama's national service programs.

Why? Because we're in a democracy, which supposedly means it isn't tyranny. What a relief!

Oh yeah, and the conservatives have no credibility, which apparently makes all criticism of Obama wrong.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Sad News

Lee, the head libertarian-conservative blogger at Right-Thinking, has apparently passed away.

Like Harry Browne's death, this is sad news for all lovers of liberty. Right-Thinking was literally the first blog I ever read, and it was the blog that initially got me into politics. It was not only persuasive, but extremely entertaining and funny. Lee had an outrageously crude sense of humor, along with a passion for profanity that can hardly be matched.

The man was an atheist who constantly blasted creationists, Christians, Muslims, and just about every other religious group--usually in a hilarious, scathing fashion. He despised the Bible-thumping wing of the Republican Party, but also the political correctness of the Left. While he was not a Rothbardian in any sense of the word, he had a heavy libertarian bent to his thinking. His stances on just about everything (the war on drugs, gay marriage, assisted suicide, economic policy, etc) showed profound respect for individual liberty. He was an independent thinker (not a kool-aid drinker) who didn't have an ounce of respect for the Ann Coulters or Rick Santorums of the world.

After I converted to libertarianism, and then to radical libertarianism, I stopped reading Right-Thinking for quite a while. This was mostly due to the neoconservative stances on foreign policy. I felt Lee had a serious blind spot when it came to militarism, and that he was often very stubborn about it.

However, although it took him longer than me, Lee eventually became extremely critical of the Bush administration and the neocon establishment. He switched from the GOP to the Libertarian Party. He started to oppose the war in Iraq and the Bush administration's dangerous assault on our civil liberties. He gave the strongest arguments against torture that I've ever read, and lost a significant portion of his readers for it. In short, he became increasingly libertarian and radical as time went on.

Recently, he had been posting less and less at Right-Thinking, leaving it mostly to a handful of others with similar views (Hal_10000 and West Virginia Rebel). He began investing more time in his (non-political) blog about living in China--where he was transferred for work stuff. I never registered or posted any comments on his blogs, but was always happy to lurk.

None of this is meant to imply that Lee would approve of everything on this blog. But he was a wonderful human being and his death really, really sucks. An extremely sad day.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Watching Woods

So I went to see Tom Woods speak tonight, about the economic meltdown. It was a great presentation (Woods was very humorous), but for whatever reason I felt like an outsider being there. I got strange looks, and have the feeling a lot of people there suspected I was a left-liberal. In other words, I fit in with the Ayers-Churchill crowd fine, but not with one that shares my philosophy...LOL.

The audience was mostly a conservative/libertarian hybrid, with a handful of intelligent liberals. One badass standing in the back had a Murray Rothbard "Enemy of the State" shirt on. Rock on, bro!

It's funny to say this, considering my previous post, but I was actually quite relieved to see some left-libertarians there---one of whom politely handed me an A-L-L pamphlet. While I've been critical of the excesses of some left-libertarians, it was a joy to see them. And it was hilarious watching them hand anarchist pamphlets (each with a big circle-A on the front) to a relatively conservative audience.

Market anarchism (or whatever the F you want to call it) is really spreading!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Left-libertarian Messiah Goes Corporatist

Dean Baker author of the online book, The Conservative Nanny State (frequently cited by left-libertarians), is just another apologist for corporatism.


*This post has been rewritten, because it was written badly.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Allow Me To Proclaim Myself a Genius in Advance

Everybody, apparently, predicted our current economic situation. (No disrespect to Kubby, who was probably the LP's best candidate last year.)

Well damn it, I want in.

I predict the economy will recover at some point.

I predict it will then get crappy again, some time later.

Finally, I predict....*drum roll* a GREAT DEPRESSION that will last a hundred years! When will it come? No idea. Might not be for a while. But when it comes, don't say I didn't warn you in a highly sensationalist fashion.

If it never comes, it's because you didn't wait long enough.

I'm definitely saving this post, so that I can later show how f-ing right I was. I should be the new host of Mad Money.

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Myth: Steve Kangas' FAQ is a good source of information

Fact: Steve Kangas' FAQ is loaded with terrible arguments and logical fallacies

Myth: No one has a right to my property. Fact: Our property rights are defined by democratic government, which is the sovereign owner of the nation's territory.

Circular argument

Myth: Tax cuts spur economic growth. Fact: High tax rates are correlated with economic growth.

Cum hoc ergo propter hoc

The Austrian School of Economics is a tiny group of libertarians at war with mainstream economics...Academia has generally ignored the Austrian School

Argument ad populum

Myth: A capital gains tax cut will spur the economy. Fact: Historically, economic slumps and unemployment have followed capital gains tax cuts.

Post hoc ergo propter hoc

It would, of course, take a lifetime to go through Kangas' FAQ and point out all the fallacies and weak arguments. But these are just a handful off the top of head--I'm sick of people citing him as if he's gospel.

UPDATE: Back before he went nuts, Francois wrote a number of good responses to Kangas. Worth reading.

Socialism As Conscription

As a young man who deplores militarism and the State, the idea of conscription has always horrified me. I view it as the most cruel, despicable form of slavery on the face of the planet. The idea of someone else having that sort of control over me, and not being able to opt out of it, is horrifying. It is pure slavery and nothing more.

When you think about it, socialism itself is a form of conscription. You're conscripted into the central planner's economic battalion at gun-point, and then instructed on what to do. For the "good of the nation" or "good of the people," of course.

Something to consider as the US state continues to move in that direction...

Sunday, March 29, 2009

As Much As I Hate To Say It...

I think action is my least favorite genre when it comes to movies. I loved action when I was younger, but now it just bores the crap out of me. There's always a bunch of bad guys dealing drugs or hijacking a plane or something, then some hero with an ass-load of guns who beats the snot out of a bunch of guys for "information," some double-crossing here and there, a handful of car chases, and a bunch of pointless shooting scenes.

I like thrillers, dramas, horror movies, bizarre movies, and (non-romantic) comedies. Action doesn't do much for me these days.

Brainpolice: Friend of Corktageous

Yes I have - I've elaborated on it a lot over the course of this very blog you are now commenting on. I'm not going to regurgitate old posts.

I don't like the attitude assuming that anything to "the left" of Benjamin Tucker is Stalinism and mobocracy in disguise. I've already been familiar with your attitudes in this regard from your earlier comments left on my blogposts at the Mises Institute, in which you generally devil's advocated against my pleas for anarchist pluralism by proclaiming the sins of "the left".
Sorry, that's simply a strawman of my position. You'll have to do better than that.

You're also making the faulty normative assumption that corporations and vertical integration is necessary for the growth of the economy. That's just your vulgar bias.

Again, here it seems like Cork is being rhetorical and misrepresentative...This is basically just off-the-cuff mockery and misrepresentation. Clearly, this is a jab at anarchist book fairs, implying that they are merely a conglomeration of factions of state-socialism and the serious anarchists are some sort of tiny minority at an "anarchist meetup".

In case you haven't noticed, the alliance of the libertarian left is trying to reach out to, ally with and educate some of these people (as in the fringes of the anti-authoritarian left). And yet the attitude I've encountered from you has generally been that they are a total lost cause with inherently diametrically opposed views to "us".

This is rank nonsense. There is no way to *externalize* limited liability without the state. Stop conflating internal agreements with *external* limited liability in the attempt to justify authoritarian econmic models.

All of this makes me a sad panda.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Friday, March 27, 2009

Clarifications On My Rejection of the "Anarchist" Label

I recently wrote about why I reject the "anarchist" label. Basically, the vast majority of anarchists are hard-core communists, and anarchism is commonly associated with opposition to the free market.

Individualist anarchism has always been the exception to the rule. While anarcho-capitalism is an offshoot of individualist anarchism, it has its roots more in classical liberalism and the Old Right than in the movement of Proudhon and Co. When I do use "anarchism" to describe my beliefs, it will always have "market" or "(neo?) individualist" or something else before it. But to use the word by itself, without any further clarification, is misleading.

"Anarchist" these days is seen as one of 20 leftist sects handing out pamphlets at the Socialist Workers of Eurasia (or whatever) book fair, perhaps at a table next to the Maoists. No thanks.

People would be free to set up "voluntary socialist" institutions in an ancap world, so long as they are voluntary, non-coercive, and based on private property. People would be free to set up capitalistic businesses as well, and those who don't like it can form their syndicates, communes, nudist colonies or whatever. (I don't predict success for any of this leftist quackery, but they're free to give it all a shot.)

The thing is, all these institutions would still have to exist within the general framework of a market economy. Even socialist states have to trade with the outside world and thus deal with markets to some degree. The market can never be abolished entirely. Anarchists--in the common sense of the term-- refuse to understand this, which is why I'm not one.

Thoughts On Ward Churchill

Reason recently mentioned the Ward Churchill brouhaha, so I thought I'd comment on it.

First, there's Churchill's original essay that started the whole controversy. I actually think it's a well-written, provocative essay in many respects. It's rare that someone is able to convey the true brutality of US foreign policy in such a brief and effective manner.

Unfortunately, his over-the-top comment about "little Eichmanns" kind of spoiled it for me. "If there was a better, more effective, or in fact any other way of visiting some penalty befitting their participation upon the little Eichmanns inhabiting the sterile sanctuary of the twin towers, I'd really be interested in hearing about it," Churchill wrote. As much as I hate to sound like a conservative, this is pretty close to cheering on the deaths of the 9/11 victims, is it not? The 9/11 victims were just as big of victims of US imperialism as those in the Middle East. Churchill's moronic "little Eichmanns" comment was a huge stain on what could have been an excellent essay.

After Churchill came under public scrutiny for his "little Eichmanns" comment, it was found that he had made some academic boo-boos (plagiarism/fabrication and whatnot) in other areas, so he was fired. Churchill is now suing to get his job back, using the "free speech" schtick.

Of course, the problem with this is that Churchill's "free speech" rights have not been violated in any way, shape, or form. The government has not arrested or punished him for his speech. Churchill was fired for academic misconduct. But even if there was no academic misconduct, the university should have the right to fire him anyway.

Churchill and his lawyer do not understand the meaning of freedom of speech. Freedom of speech simply means freedom to speak without being persecuted by the state. It doesn't mean freedom to have someone else provide a forum for you to speak in, or freedom to keep a job after pissing off your employer.

This applies equally to everyone across the political spectrum: whether it's Ward Churchill, Don Imus, or Rush Limbaugh. Freedom of speech does not mean freedom from getting fired after your speech hurts your employer's reputation. If I'm a secretary who greets every caller with "go fuck yourself," and my boss decides to fire me as a result, he's not violating my "free speech" rights.

So hopefully Churchill will lose.

UPDATE: WC interview on anarchism here, for anyone interested.

The Suicide Machines--War Profiteering Is Killing Us All

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Left-Libertarians Take On Obama's Corporatism

The left-libertarians recently released a scathing critique of Barack Obama's corporatism.

Hooray!

I'll be going to see Tom Woods speak next week about his Meltdown book. The timing is such that the audience will probably consist of me and a small handful of other geeks interested in the esoteric subject matter (everyone else will be out partying--presumably with fiat money).

Are there any particular questions I should ask him?

More Paleocon Idiocy

In an address to the H.L. Mencken club, Paul Gottfried said:

...the dream of living outside of the state in a society of self-actualizing individuals, opening themselves up to being physically displaced by the entire Third World, if its population chooses to settle on this continent, is not a rightist alternative to anything. It is a failed leftist utopia. It is one thing to deplore the modern welfare state as a vehicle of grotesque social change or for its violations of the U.S. Constitution. It is another matter to believe that all authority structures can be reduced to insurance companies formed to protect the property and lives of anarcho-capitalists. Such a belief goes counter to everything we know about human Nature, and even such an embattled anti-welfare- statist as H.L. Mencken never hoped to destroy all government.

O Rly? Was this the same guy who said, "I believe that all government is evil, in that all government must necessarily make war upon liberty, and that the democratic form is as bad as any of the other forms.."? The guy who said, "I am an extreme libertarian, and believe in absolute free speech. . . . I am against jailing men for their opinions, or, for that matter, for anything else.."? He sure sounded like a radical anti-statist to me.

And note how we get the standard racist paleocon drivel about scary brown people immigrating from the "Third World" to destroy our culture and employment opportunities. Waaaahh! Opposing anti-immigrant fascism means you believe in a "leftist utopia."

I would complain about paleocons more, but others have done the work for me.

Interesting

Even the extreme anti-capitalist anarchist Bob Black (the furthest thing from a Rothbardian) isn't sold on the idea that left-anarchists oppose the state:

The trouble with anarchists is that they think they have agreed on what they all oppose -- the state -- whereas all they have agreed on is what to call it. You could make a good case that the greatest anarchists were nothing of the sort. Godwin wanted the state to wither away, but gradually, and not before the progress of enlightenment prepared people to do without it. Which seems to legitimate really existing statism and culminate in the banality that if things were different they would not be the same. Proudhon, who served in the French national legislature, in the end arrived at a theory of "federalism" which is nothing but the devolution of most state power on local governments. Kropotkin's free communes may not be nation-states but they sure sound like city-states. Certainly no historian would regard as anything but ludicrous Kropotkin's claim that medieval cities were anarchist.

If some of the greatest anarchists, upon inspection, appear to fall somewhat short of consistency on even the defining principle of anarchism itself -- the abolition of the state -- it is not too surprising if some of the lesser lights are likewise dim bulbs. The One Big Union of the syndicalists, who also uphold the duty to work, is one big state to everybody else, and totalitarian to boot. Some "anarcha"-feminists are book-burners. Dean Murray Bookchin espouses third-party politics and municipal statism, eerily parallel to the borderline fascist militia/Posse Comitatus movement which would abolish all government above the county level. And Bakunin's "invisible government" of anarchist militants is, at best, a poor choice of words, especially on the lips of a Freemason.


If Black can see the statism hiding behind the curtain, why can't Brainpolice and the other apologists for these ideologies?

Nopalitano's Slip

Who can blame him?

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

LeFevre on Rejecting the "Anarchist" Label

Excerpt:

As I saw it then, and as I still see it, the anarchist philosophy is internally contradictory. It professes a sparkling and shining individualism, at which point I warm to the arguments. Then it advocates some kind of procedure to interfere with the processes of a free market, e.g., elimination of interest and rents; denial of the right of a man to own land, or to own land beyond some stated amount; abolition of profits; placement of management control in the hands of workers through democratic processes conducted within factories, and so on.

I myself went through an extended period of interest in social anarchism at one point. There's no denying the "let's all cooperate together" thing has a sort aesthetic appeal.

The more I looked into it, the more disgusted I became. They believe literally all capitalists and entrepreneurs are pure evil, the greatest evil on the entire planet, and that none of them do anything productive at all. Ever. Every last capitalist and entrepreneur is simply a worthless exploiter parasite who harms the workers. The market is useless too, without a single redeeming quality, and every nook and cranny of it is to be immediately abolished. All businesses are equally evil and exploitative, just by being businesses. In addition, being an employee is far, far worse than being tortured or executed by Mao or Stalin. State-socialism (and perhaps even Naziism) is a lesser evil than commercialism. Social anarchists devote most of their time to these ideas.

In my view, all of these arguments are fanatically dogmatic and one-sided, and there are more than a couple babies being cavalierly thrown out with the bathwater. Needless to say, social anarchists don't have much of an alternative to the market--they're more interested in demonizing anyone who defends it. The best they've come up with so far is some vague "workers' councils will plan the economy through a bunch of meetings" bullshit that has little historical or economic reasoning behind it.

Like it or not, this is anarchism. And it's why I'm now rejecting the label. All this "anti-capitalist" stuff is just too much. Maybe I'm just a moron for not seeing the (apparently self-evident) brilliance in all this simplistic twaddle. Or maybe, just maybe, war, slavery, genocide, nuclear weapons, racism and totalitarianism are slightly worse than Starbucks selling me a Frappucino. I dunno.

Update: I decided to make that last sentence into a motivational poster. Great stuff!





Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Are the Chomskoids Right?

Franc has this asinine video posted on his blog:



Now, our standards of living are undoubtedly always going to improve over time. This is because as time goes on, we develop new ideas, new technology, and better ways of doing things. So sure, standards of living probably increased during slavery. Similarly, our standards of living have been increasing under the horrific statism that Chomsky supports.

So Chomsky is right that rising standards of living didn't justify slavery. What he fails to understand is that free-market capitalism (to the degree that it exists) directly causes and encourages our present level of innovation in a way that no other economic system ever possibly could. It's not merely incidental or correlational. When people are forced into cut-throat competition to please consumers and constantly improve/invent better and cheaper products, it inevitably raises our standards of living. The people who have benefitted the most from this are the poor, who have access to things that would have been unthinkable for the historical elite.

The pampered anarcho-socialist on YouTube typically sits in a big, comfy room with a high-quality lap-top, web cam, head phones, decent clothing, and a fridge nearby--telling us how vicious capitalism is. How hard life must be for them!