Saturday, November 15, 2014

Obama's Latest Campaign Against Liberty: Net Neutrality is Back

The Los Angeles Times reports that following the elections, Obama has
"...called for "bright lines" to keep networks neutral: no blocking of legal services, no slowing of data speeds for certain users, no paid priority treatment and increased transparency." 
In other words, he wants to state to butt into the details of private business even further (because enough is never enough). He wants to take away choices for consumers and business; he doesn't want there to be the possibility for consumers to pay more for services they need more than other consumers.

Further down in the new article, we find these supportive comments from Netflix, one of the companies that would plainly benefit from "net neutrality" because, well, streaming movies costs more than most other online activities:
"We agree with President Barack Obama: Consumers should pick winners and losers on the Internet, not broadband gatekeepers," 
You'd think a company like Netflix would put more thought into their propaganda. Consumers pick all winners and losers, including internet companies. Degrading private property takes control out of the hands of consumers and puts it into the hands of the few: the state and special interest groups feeding off it's power.

The corporatist "mixed-economy" of modern America enables big business to capture more of the market than they otherwise would. If we're concerned about too few network providers, the solution is abolishing government regulations, not adding more.

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Why We Shouldn't Close the Gender Pay Gap

You Tube Channel "Learn Liberty" sometimes produces good videos, but unfortunately they put out some garbage too, like "How to Close the Gender Gap" wherein the speaker, Professor Lauren Hall, surrounds a valid point (the gap is largely created by the free choices of individuals) with some typical "leftist"/feminist nonsense.

The wage gap exists because the average woman has major career distractions: children. Average men have an edge because they are able to invest more time in improving their value to employers. The video's speaker seems to have a problem with this, and proposes that men should take on more household duties to balance things out so women can put more into their careers.

But why should "closing the gender gap" be a concern at all? I see no reason why the statistics must be  balanced. Indeed, it makes more sense to be unbalanced... it's called specialization- which increases our prosperity. Because women have the children and must be closely involved with them when they are first born, it's natural the women will specialize in running the home while men will specialize in bringing in the dough. 

None of this diminishes the value of women (or men) one iota. We are not valued by our income. Needless to say, women are and should be equally free (legally) to pursue careers as they wish, and misogyny should be eradicated (it is for the most part), but beyond that, this is a non-problem- it's often a good thing. Many families find it works best for them for the man to focus on supporting the household while the woman focuses on running the household.

Let's spend our energy focused on real problems. To bad "Learn Liberty" is getting distracted.

Friday, July 4, 2014

"My Breakup Letter to Hobby Lobby" Refuted Line by Line

Huffington Post can always be counted on to publish illogical, illiterate, and erroneous pieces. Today I came across one that makes the case against the Hobby Lobby decision and liberty in general. Let's examine the whole thing and see how it falls apart. The indented portions make up the complete letter, followed by my commentary.
Since corporations are people now, I thought this corporation deserved a human breakup letter.
"Corporations are people" is not a phrase I use; I prefer "corporations are private property". It's a lot more accurate and gets to the root of the issue, and it avoids sparking silly comments like this writer made.
Dear Hobby Lobby, 
I think it's time I see other craft stores. I used to really like you despite some of your quirks (like not being open for business on Sundays). I thought, "Well, nobody's perfect." But after recent events, I'm afraid I just can't do it anymore. It's time for us to part ways, and I want you to know:
Aren't free markets great! You're not forced to associate with this company, unlike the government.
It's not me. It's you. 
It's that you believe your rights as a for-profit corporation are more important than mine.
Dear author, you write as if our rights are in conflict. They are not. Your wish that Hobby Lobby offers a particular kind of compensation package for it's employees is not something you have a right to. It's a wish. And your wishes do not trump other's rights.
It's that you and I have very different beliefs, and while I've always respected your right to have those beliefs, I don't respect you forcing those beliefs on me.
Hobby Lobby isn't forcing a thing upon you. It is offering a compensation package that does not include certain kinds of birth control. You are free to refuse it. No one is forcing you to work for Hobby Lobby, give them money, or anything, you're just making up fantasies.
It's that you're kind of controlling. I mean, I used to think it was kind of cute -- like you were being protective. Now, I just see that you want to make all my decisions for me (and my uterus) without any concern for how it will impact me.
Again, no. You're free to buy your own birth control, that's your decision. It's also your decision to write a letter like this, announcing that you're exercising your freedom to not associate with the company. Hobby Lobby isn't deciding any of this. It's only deciding how it wants to pay it's workers.

Ironically, it's you that is trying to force and make decisions for others. You want to force the company to pay for your birth control. What gives you that right to make their decision for them? Where is your concern about the impact this will have on the people who own the company?
It's that you think women take Plan B as a means to an abortion rather than as a means to prevent a pregnancy that has not yet occurred. 
It's that you're a corporation run by men making decisions for a constituency of women.
There it is again, making decision for others. That's you. They are making decisions for themselves (what they are willing to offer in trade for labor).
So, we're over. Done. Finished. I'm changing my relationship status. I'm not going to be one of those people who keeps doing something just because it's comfortable. I'll get my puff paint and poster boards somewhere else -- even if it's further away or more expensive. I need a corporation who will treat me right. You know, like a person... with rights.
Ok, you're free to do so. It's your property, do as you please. All we ask is the same respect in return, but your letter is a call to violate our rights. And you have the gall to say we're not treating you as a person with rights.
And I know the proper thing to say here is that I'll still be there for you no matter what happens, that we can stay friends. But I don't want to stay friends, Hobby Lobby. The fact is, I don't understand you, I don't respect you and I certainly don't like you anymore. I promise you, this is the last you'll be seeing of me.
Go away already. You're embarrassing yourself.
I know what you're probably thinking -- "I'm better off without you, anyway." But, the truth is, you're really not. A large percentage of your employees are women, and I'd bet an even higher percentage of your shoppers are. Sure, they won't all be turned off by what you've done -- some girls like a bad corporation. But a lot of them will be. And those who are will tell their friends (just like I have). Pretty soon, you might start to notice you have a certain reputation and that your "type" (crafters, scrapbookers and DIYers) isn't going to be interested anymore. They say you don't know what you've got until it's gone. By then, it will be too late.
Maybe, maybe not. It's a price the owners seem happy to pay, however small it ends up being. Remember Chick-fil-A?
I'd like to end by saying no hard feelings, but that would just be a lie. So, I'll just say that I'm sure you're going to make somebody very happy someday -- probably not any women who want control over their reproductive health, but somebody nonetheless. I'm sorry it had to end this way. I hope you understand.
I also have hard feelings for those who want to trample our liberty. You are sorry people. Shut up, go away, and stay away, until you are educated and decent enough to respect others.
Forever (not) yours, 
A former customer 
PS: I have some of your stuff. I'll be setting it out on the curb -- I don't have a use for it anymore.
LOL. Whatever makes you happy. I doubt you're actually going to take things that far- it's only going to cost you, not the rest of us.

Good riddance!

Monday, June 30, 2014

Imagine That! A Business is Private Property!

Left-leaning statists are freaking out following today's SCOTUS opinion on the Hobby Lobby case, wherein the company's owners want to... wait for it... run their own business consistent with their religious beliefs. Imagine that, a business is private property. What a scary thought, eh?

"Not my Boss's Business" they cry, about which birth control their employer wants to pay for. But the business is paying for it, so of course it is their business. Maybe you should be asking why they are paying for healthcare in the first place? We don't want them to buy our food or housing or much anything else, but healthcare? It doesn't make any sense, until you notice the one incentive for this: the tax code.  Change that- and our rights and your desires will no longer be in conflict on this issue.

Back to the bigger picture, though. In dissent, "Justice" Ginsberg wrote:
"In a decision of startling breadth, the Court holds that commercial enterprises, including corporations, along with partnerships and sole proprietorships, can opt out of any law (saving only tax laws) they judge incompatible with their sincerely held religious beliefs"
Indeed, the implications of treating a business as private property are very startling to the statist. She is correct to see this could, if applied consistently, undermine any of the countless government regulations of business. It's sad to see her and so many others so in love with slavery and so afraid of freedom. If you own a business, it's your property, and you should be able to do anything you want with it. If others dislike it, they are free to not associate with you. It's real simple.

Fortunately, the advance of statism is not without setbacks. We welcome today's good news, while keeping in mind that overall, the political momentum continues to run in the wrong direction. We're working to change that.

Monday, March 31, 2014

Good or Bad? College Students Don't Know American Government

Mixed feelings, that's what I have regarding videos like this. On the one hand, it suggests a failure in government education (big surprise) and an ignorance that will probably not help any political cause except allow the status quo to continue. On the other hand, it's encouraging how little many Americans think of the government; they are much more concerned with their own lives and interests. Such persons are much more open to libertarianism, and that's why education, particularly of the younger generations, has always been the key to changing politics.

For better or for worse, I can name a lot of sitting Senators, from memory: Rand Paul, Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, John McCain, Harry Reid, Barbara Boxer, Dianne Feinstein, Orrin Hatch, Patty Murray, Mitch McConnell, Lindsey Graham, Lisa Murkowski, Chris Murphy, Kristen Gillibrand, and uhhh... that's all for now. Two years ago when I followed politics much more closely and might have named over 50. Thankfully, I have better things to do these days.

P.S. How did I forget Ted Cruz... oh well, he's just another scumbag.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Environmentalist Professor Attacks Free Speech

Lawrence Torcello recently penned a controversial article for, titled "Is misinformation about the climate criminally negligent?" He argues yes, and I was curious to see how he would justify what seemed like a attack on freedom of speech. Here it goes:
"We have good reason to consider the funding of climate denial to be criminally and morally negligent. The charge of criminal and moral negligence ought to extend to all activities of the climate deniers who receive funding as part of a sustained campaign to undermine the public’s understanding of scientific consensus.  
Criminal negligence is normally understood to result from failures to avoid reasonably foreseeable harms, or the threat of harms to public safety, consequent of certain activities. Those funding climate denial campaigns can reasonably predict the public’s diminished ability to respond to climate change as a result of their behaviour. Indeed, public uncertainty regarding climate science, and the resulting failure to respond to climate change, is the intentional aim of politically and financially motivated denialists."
In other words, Torcello wants to criminalize certain speech that he believes is influencing people to make bad choices. This is a complete rejection of free speech: the same charge can be levied against a million other ideas, some of which are undoubtedly causing much greater harm.

Perhaps ironically, Torcello denies that he is discarding free speech:
My argument probably raises an understandable, if misguided, concern regarding free speech. We must make the critical distinction between the protected voicing of one’s unpopular beliefs, and the funding of a strategically organised campaign to undermine the public’s ability to develop and voice informed opinions. Protecting the latter as a form of free speech stretches the definition of free speech to a degree that undermines the very concept.
"Beliefs" and "opinions" are synonyms, so it's impossible to see a distinction here. His same arguments can be used against all other "unpopular", "uniformed", or "controversial" speech; what he advocates, then, undermines and abolishes the very concept of free speech.

Fortunately, Torcello is not going to get anywhere with his bizarre attack on free speech, which will probably do nothing but give fodder to the very people he wants to shut up. If we are going to start criminalizing speech, how about we start with Torcello and his statist allies. I jest; free speech extends even to those foolish enough to call for its end.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

USA no more: Welcome to the United Provinces of America

It occurred to me recently that the left and right wing nationalists, which is pretty much everyone, whether they realize it or not (just ask who their favorite President is; Lincoln will come up quickly), cede too much ground to their Constitutionalist, historically enlightened foes. So I am going to help them out a bit: you need to give up on the name United States of America, and go with something like United Provinces of America.

Why? Because you deny the 50 states their statehood, which in case we forgot, means:
a politically organized body of people usually occupying a definite territory; especially :  one that is sovereign 
Meanwhile, province seems much more accurate for the nationalist's view of the Constitution:
any one of the large parts that some countries are divided into 
an administrative district or division of a country 
And that's exactly how nationalists view the states: the federal government is the only sovereign in their minds, with all 50 states making up one nation ruled by Washington D.C., which both retains the sole power of defining the Constitution and also forbids secession. That this came about illegally and through violence doesn't seem to bother them, but that's beside the point.

Nationalists are a bit late fixing this oversight, but better late than never, right? And you're welcome.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

It's Never too Late to Repeal Obamacare, Or Anything Else

Government legislation and programs become entrenched with the passage of time. It is far easier to nip it in the bud rather than come back at a later time to dismantle it. Some are starting to argue this time is coming, and may already be here, for the monstrosity called Obamacare. But it's never too late, though, and Dom Armentano reminds us of one such occasion, when the SCOTUS struck down the National Industrial Recovery Act (NRA).

His point is valid, though I think a better historical comparison would be the abolition of chattel slavery- a long standing institution that, over a period of time, was undermined and entirely abolished through a lengthy education process that eventually enlightened the whole population.

If you want to see Obamacare gone- as well as a host of other burdensome government interventions and programs, from Social Security to the minimum wage, or perhaps militarism or the drug war, or all of it- it's not going to come by petitioning Congress or getting the right politicians or party elected. (Should Republicans actually repeal it- which I don't believe they ever will, they will replace it with something similarly bad.) It's going to come by changing the minds of the people. And it's never to late to do that. Rest assured we're going to get rid of Obamacare, Medicare, Social Security, and the rest of the drags on society, and sooner the more people focus their efforts toward proper education of the masses.

Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Is There Such a Thing as a Good Cop?

Perhaps relative to other cops, yes, but in general there are no "good cops", as Eric Peters explains. They all violate the non-aggression principle when they enforce unlibertarian laws, which is most of the time they are on the beat.