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?