Tuesday, October 1, 2013

There Is No Government Shutdown

A few morons within the USA are now claiming that the government has been "shut down" (because normal operations at a few state-run tourist traps have stopped).

Interestingly, if you simply attempt to enter these tourist traps, an armed government agent will tell you that you can't, and will threaten you with physical force if you decide to ignore him. That is, in fact, the normal operation of our unconstitutional, illegitimate, bloated, unsustainable, totalitarian-by-law government. That is government as usual. That is =/= to "government shutdown."

If the government operates as usual, then it is not "shut down."

When I first saw the news, I predicted that this was the case. (To do this, I simply needed to imagine that the government actually was shut down. Then, I needed to compare the past 11 years of my life ineffectually fighting the government to the government's response. The highly functional bullshit detector that I call my neo-cortex doesn't allow me to believe that all the sociopathic murdering, lying, stealing, and belligerence simply came to a halt because a few sociopaths in government are under the strain of their own reckless fiscal policies.)

Please follow along as I go through the logic of determining whether the government has "shut down."

First: Wow, that's great! I'm amazed it was so easy!

Next: So the government is shut down?! Great! I guess that means that the IRS and treasury stormtroopers won't be raiding and arresting innocent people anymore! I guess they can set free political prisoners like Irwin Schiff and Bernard von Nothaus, as well as the 1.44 million people now incarcerated for first-time, victimless "malum prohibitum" crime offenses! (Mostly state-escalated traffic offenses and nonviolent drug possession.) I guess the book-burning stormtroopers at the ONDCP and the FDA didn't show up to work, or were told to go home, without pay! Great! And the military has all been called back from the over-extended and belligerent United States empire! Amazing! The ATF is all on unpaid leave, right? So there won't be any more churches full of women and kids getting burned alive for the duration of the "shutdown." There won't be any more Idaho recluses whose nursing wives are shot in their necks by FBI snipers, after they refuse to become informants!

All of the prior would need to be true if the government, and not just a few government-run tourist traps, had actually been shut down.

Oh, no, wait, this is a fake shutdown that only temporarily interferes with tourist attractions and other noticeable "services." It's just an attempt to wreck a few vacations, as an "I told you so" to weak-willed government critics. It's just a "divide and conquer" tactic to pit the gullible ("Democrats" against democratic institutions) against the belligerent ("Republicans" against republican limits on government power).

...I THOUGHT SO.

To prove what I'm saying, libertarian entrepreneurs now have a huge opportunity: Go to the areas where the services are "shut down" and provide those services yourself as an unlicensed tour guide. If the government prevents you from providing those services on a voluntary basis, then there is no "shut down" and the government (organized crime) is alive and well. If the government allows you to provide those services, then those services didn't and don't need to be provided on a coercive basis by the government: they can be performed on a voluntary basis by private individuals who don't threaten to throw extorted "supporters" into the American gulag for nonpayment. Lysander Spooner operated "The American Letter Mail Company," an early competitor of the U. S. Post Office, in just this manner, ...until they threatened him with prison, thus "shutting him down."

Let's hope this failed constitutional republic truly "shuts down." The people can keep the courts (and morgues) open, for those murderers and thieves who truly need to be dealt with. The townspeople who want a such people off the streets can each pay a silver coin to pay the randomly-selected (no "voir dire") jurors, and the unlicensed lawyers. The responsible citizens can carry their firearms, and again, the communal silver can pay a retired man who is good with firearms to act as sheriff on an "as-needed" basis.

Since all drugs, firearms, and other "contraband" will then be legal, crime (initiated aggression) will drop by over 90%, as it did when alcohol was re-legalized by the 21st Amendment. Add to this the legalization of cryonics, brain preservation, assisted suicide, prostition, "unapproved" medical treatments, etc., and America could once again be the primary innovator, worldwide.

Perhaps most importantly, people will see first-hand what "the land of the free and the home of the brave" actually looks like, so they don't embarrass themselves when they sing the national anthem.

Go ahead, DC parasites, shut down the government. ...For real.

Saturday, March 2, 2013

Libertarian Party of Arkansas Ballot Access - 2014

Please contribute to the Libertarian Party of Arkansas 2014 Ballot Access Effort. This will allow us to run candidates for State Legislature, the highest office yet won by Libertarian Party candidates. This will allow us to pursue a grassroots strategy of State Nullification. In addition, it will allow us to perform jury rights activism outside of AR courthouses, encouraging jury nullification of law. Again, the contribution link to help finance this effort is: http://lpar.org/ballot2014/ Thank you!

A Reading List For Libertarian Activists

Essential Reading Regarding Jury Rights, Especially For Libertarian Activists:

Send In The Waco Killers
by Vin Suprynowicz

This book will help define the problem of tyranny, for those who think that America is still a free country, with equality under the law. It's an excellent overview of the largest and most important power-grabs made by government in the past 100 years. This book is well worth reading to get everyone on the same page about what the most important problems are, as far as American liberty is concerned. The freedom movement is useless, unless it has clear solutions for those problems that can be implemented, starting now. This book contains arguments in favor of "jury nullification of law," specific examples of it, and an accurately-prioritized description of how the current legal system has been corrupted by the unconstitutional courtroom procedure of "voir dire" (prosecutorial jury-selection).

Jury Nullification: The Evolution of a Doctrine
by Clay Conrad

This book will show you your full power as a member of the jury, and how to exercise that power. It's an excellent overview of the largest and most important power-grabs made by government in the past 100 years, with a clear and detailed insight as to how to reverse them. You hold the power as a member of the Jury, you just need to reach out and claim it.

Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice
by Paul Butler

Historically, juries exist to answer three questions: (1)Most importantly: Is the law in question legitimate? (2)Second most importantly: If legitimate, is it being fairly applied in this case? (3)Least important: Did the accused break the law? In addition to covering different areas of the topics covered in Conrad's book, this book argues for a compelling interpretation of point number two prior. This book makes a case for "political jury nullification," when justice systems refuse to apply legitimate laws evenly, against minorities. For example: In California at the turn of the century, there was a law that made it illegal for Chinese people to testify against white people in court, due to the prejudice whites had for the large numbers of Chinese railworker immigrants. So, civil rights activists encouraged white jurors not to convict chinese people of murder, until the situation changed (which it eventually did, due to the pressure put on the courts). Butler argues (with mountains of well-researched evidence) that the current war on drugs has always been racist, and seeks a similar solution. Well worth reading.


The Politics of Nonviolent Action, Volume II: The Methods of Nonviolent Action
by Gene Sharp

This book deals with eliminating the causes of tyranny by appealing to broad public opinion, using nonviolent tactics. This book will be especially useful for activists who are concerned with the problem that the freedom movement is seemingly "outgunned" by the government.


Works That Explain How Libertarian Movements Can and Have Succeeded:

Freedom for Alaskans
by Dick Randolph

A book about the prospect of electing libertarians to office in Alaska, the state with possibly the most inherently-libertarian demographics in the nation. In Alaska, from 1978-1982, there were more Libertarians elected (to offices capable of significantly expanding individual freedom) than there have been anywhere else, before or since. The result of this accomplishment (and the ballot access initiative promoted by Dick Randolph) is that it is illegal for Alaska to have a State income tax. If the Libertarian Party wants to replicate this accomplishment, then why don't they learn from the successes pioneered by Randolph? I understand why Libertarians place more emphasis on philosophy than strategy, but I strongly disagree with that emphasis. Both are essential to any legitimate freedom movement, as is this book.

The Triumph of Liberty: A 2,000 Year History Told Through the Lives of Freedom's Greatest Champions
by Jim Powell

A book precisely described by its subtitle. This book is a broad and general high-hierarchical level overview that allows people to see many avenues toward effectively advancing individual freedom. Most chapters are no more than 5 to 10 pages, but they are information-packed pages. "Triumph" introduces the reader to the people who advanced freedom the most rapidly, and briefly explores the strategies they used. This book serves as an excellent "starting point" for those who want to get a handle on how quickly the cause of individual liberty can be advanced, and what strategies are most likely to rapidly advance the cause of liberty. Some of the movements and individuals outlined in this book served to keep the ideas of liberty alive, others organized mass movements that directly reduced state interference with people's lives. Well worth reading for those who want to understand, historically, the answers to the questions, "What has expanded individual freedom the most?" and "What tactics work best to expand liberty?"

Top Futurist Works on Life Extension:
Fantastic Voyage
by Ray Kurzweil and Terry Grossman

Perhaps the best book on extending healthspan that currently exists. Contains the best up-to-date health information available, as well as information about how one can stay on top of emerging life-extension technology. This is the information and cellular-reprogramming approach to diet and health, par excellence. Contains a lot of information that is immediately useful, as well as a look at what is likely to come in both the short and long term. "Reprogramming Our Biochemistry for Immortality" Interview with Ray Kurzweil

Ending Aging
by Aubrey de Grey

The book "Ending Aging" deals with eliminating the causes of aging, beyond heart attack, cancer, and stroke (the big 3). Going far beyond extending healthspan, de Grey's book focuses on eliminating the buildup of cellular garbage that contributes to age-related decline in biological functioning. If you want to know whether this book contains information of interest to you, you should read de Grey's "Bootstrapping Our Way to an Ageless Future" (free online copy).

World Without Cancer
by G. Edward Griffin

In the age of Obama, we all need to individualize our personal approach to medicine, or allow the socialized government medical cartels to pump us full of patented pills. This phenomenal book explains how individuals can best prevent and possibly defeat cancer, using a simple, natural preventative diet, commonly found. The second half of the book is a fascinating look into how the private sector of chemical processing industry merged with government allowing legal monopolies to defeat medical freedom in the USA, in the early 1900s.
Please contribute to the Libertarian Party of Arkansas 2014 Ballot Access Effort. This will allow us to run candidates for State Legislature, the highest office yet won by Libertarian Party candidates. This will allow us to pursue a grassroots strategy of State Nullification. In addition, it will allow us to perform jury rights activism outside of AR courthouses, encouraging jury nullification of law. Again, the contribution link to help finance this effort is: http://lpar.org/ballot2014/ Thank you!

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Stolen Money is the Root of All Evil; Earned Money is the Root of All Good

In thinking about the term "moochandise" (below) to describe election campaign schwag (prompted by the "O" logo used by the Obama campaign), I reread a few quotes from Ayn Rand about "moochers" and "looters."  I came across the following brilliant quote:
"Run for your life from any man who tells you that money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter."Atlas Shrugged, page 410-413
— Francisco d'Anconia, Atlas Shrugged
As great as the quote is, it and others like it have confused generations of dim-witted U.S. voters, even those who have read "Atlas Shrugged."  I have a better, clearer, more obvious formulation of the quote, with the addition of a few essential words.  Here it is: "Run for your life from any man who tells you that earned money is evil. That sentence is the leper's bell of an approaching looter."

There are people who consider themselves liberals who are essentially liberals in the tradition of Hayek.  Such people, at the rare higher intelligence levels, often note that they don't have a problem with money and trade, that they have a problem with stolen money and unfree trade that is protected by force from competition.  These are not problems with earned money.  ...They are problems with central bank war profiteers who print money from nothing, and use coercive legal tender laws to force individuals to accept it.  That isn't earning money, it's stealing it.

Stolen money is the root of all evil.  The theft of money allows for the product of theft to be accepted as a representation of labor.  The use of money to represent labor (voluntary manual labor or voluntary intellectual labor) is almost universally accepted.  However, when money is stolen, it allows value to be claimed by the valueless.  Something that is normally acceptable to all (money earned by free trade, and free trade itself: the exchange of labor for a representation of labor) is then often reinvested in the marketplace of theft, the political marketplace.

Most people only see the evil of that reinvestment (lobbying, campaign contributions that go to the biggest looter and wealth redistributor, payment of political favors, payment to coercive government institutions, payment to social engineering government programs, payment to world-government projects of the central bankers, payment to set up schemes that loot the productive --such as carbon credit trading).  This gives rise to narrow-minded socialist liberals rejecting the concept of money, when what they should be doing is pointing out the massiveness of the theft involved in fiat money. 

Rand never fully opposed fiat currency.  She viewed it as less immoral and wrong than outright obvious government coercion, or as a "stopgap measure."  Her institute eventually took a strong stance against fiat currency manipulators.  Prior to that, the greatest opponents to fiat currency were more mainstream libertarian philosophers such as Murray N. Rothbard, G. Edward Griffin, and Harry Browne.  Of course, Ron Paul has been consistently against the immoral manipulation of the currency supply by the powerful few.

In a way, fiat currency is the laundering of labor.  Imagine that the central bank prints a billion dollars and uses that freshly printed money to pay armed DEA stormtroopers to raid an apartment full of hippies who were growing marijuana in their apartment.  The marijuana was a good and the sale of that marijuana was a service.  That good and that service are taken off the market, by force.  The lives of the marijuana growers are then violated, as are all their freedoms under the now defunct and legally non-existent "Bill of Rights."  The apartment is now vacant, and perhaps months of rent is not paid.  Nobody wins from this naked aggression.

But when the agents who were paid for the raid are paid, they receive something that falsely appears to be a "representation of labor."

There would be very few people saying "money is the root of all evil," if there was a free market in money.

So, how is there not a free market in money?  Can't an individual still buy gold and silver coins?

Well, yes and no.  The government doesn't like it when you're very successful at buying gold and silver coins, which is why they created the "legal tender laws."  If your gold and silver coins become very popular, you will be raided by government stormtroopers, and they will confiscate your belongings.  They will confiscate your computers, your gold and silver, your customer records, and your entire physical plant, including the real-estate your business occupies.  That is precisely what happened to Bernard von Nothaus, the originator of the Liberty Dollar.

The federal tax code, as enforced by the IRS and U.S. Treasury, is unconstitutional and "null and void" and only enforceable via criminal action by a criminal government ("All laws which are repugnant to the Constitution, are null and void." Chief Justice Marshall, Marbury v. Madison, 5, U.S. (Cranch) 137, 174,176.). you will be targeted for arrest and put in prison, like Irwin Schiff was. Irwin's crime was speech, which makes him a political prisoner whose only crime was civil disobedience to illegitimate and unconstitutional "laws."

The AOCS (American Open Currency Standard) has not yet been raided, but they are not yet as large and successful as the Liberty Dollar was.  Since the AOCS also represent a means of U.S. citizens escaping the loss of their life-savings via inflation, it is likely they too will eventually be targeted by government aggression, once they have enough money to make it worth stealing. By this coercion and theft, the government generates stolen money, not earned money.  It is "stolen" because it is an inferior product, competitors are not allowed to compete with it, and all people in the U.S. and world economy are forced to transact business with it.  U.S. citizens (more properly termed "submitizens" since a citizen has a say in the form of law and government he lives within, whereas a "submitizen" lives under the laws of the central bank --as all residents of the USA currently do) are forced to use the U.S. dollar as a representation of their labor.

 By forcing someone to represent their labor with low-cost pieces of paper that only one small group of people (central bankers) has control over, everyone is stolen from to the extent that the bankers mint excess currency, and divert it to programs that are not voluntarily purchased on the free market.  I didn't voluntarily pay stormtroopers to raid and imprison Irwin Schiff --the treasury printed money to do that.  I didn't pay stormtroopers to raid peaceful marijuana growers, forcing the trade of marijuana into a violent black market, --the treasury printed money to do that.  I didn't pay stormtroopers to raid Bernard von Nothaus's "Liberty Dollar," or federal prosecutors to overstep their bounds, persecute, and imprison him with a prosecution-rigged jury --the treasury printed money to do that. So, the people who print the money can use that money to redirect labor, even though their act of printing the money via a government-enforced monopoly is actually subtractive to the representation of labor. This is true both because government enforcement interferes with all other forms of labor, and because the act of printing the money inflates the currency (at zero labor cost to the printer).

So what about all the constructive goods and services the dollar pays for?

...I did buy groceries with money that the treasury also printed, (because I was afraid of being raided by government stormtroopers for "violating the legal tender laws" if I used an alternate currency).  So, if I said to the grocery store owner, "Money is the root of all evil" he would rightfully look at me as if I was, myself, evil (unless he fully comprehends the nature of fiat currency, and its full propensity for government manipulation.  At which point, he still would not know how I was interpreting the term.  Possibly, I have a stupid socialist conception of money, or possibly I have a high-level comprehension of money, or a mix of both.  In short, language doesn't serve to make us political allies in this situation. ...Simply qualifying the statement as "Stolen money is the root of all evil" quickly clears up this source of frequent and great misunderstanding.). After all, the money I gave to him paid for the producers of tomatoes, canned beans, foreign luxuries like dark chocolate, etc...  That money also paid him to feed, clothe, house, and school his family.  So, when the money is used to represent labor such as that, as well as my labor which paid for the groceries, it is the root of all good.  It is the root of "finding ways in which we can voluntarily interact with each other," as well as voluntarily distribute goods and services.  Earned money is the mechanism that allows pricing to work.

When central bankers print money, they are not earning it.  They are using positions of privilege to extort the ability to create "money" out of thin air.  After the money (representation of labor) is stolen this way, it then goes into the economy and is earned, but at a lower economic hierarchical level than the purpose it was printed for.  So, the greatest masses of money (previously possessed only by the most productive members of society,, before the Federal Reserve Act and later, when there was a perception that the dollar was at least marginally-related to gold) are now increasingly possessed by the least productive, most-thieving members of society.  As the Federal Reserve tries to bail out failing institutions, their immense but unearned responsibility (irresponsibility) for stabilizing the market via harsh decisions will more obviously fail.

Since the general public doesn't understand this, and incorrectly blames the central planners (laughably) for "creating laissez-faire economic policies," let's go back to the individual's perspective:

Without the legal tender laws, I would have traded a gold or silver coin to the grocer, because that currency would be in common circulation, since it always outperforms the dollar, long-term.  The value of that coin would have fluctuated in terms of foreign fiat currencies, or even the government's own quasi-governmental fiat currency.  But it would be easy for the same computerized apparatus that lists price changes in terms of dollars in the grocery store to list price fluctuations in terms of weights of gold, silver, and copper.  (A one ounce silver coin is now worth approximately $30 in Federal Reserve Notes, and pre-1965 U.S. quarters and dimes are approximately 71% silver, and can easily be used as silver money.)  One gram pieces of gold are already sold in foreign airports, bonded to plastic cards from which they can be easily collected at a later date, if need be.  Therefore, as a representation of labor, gold and silver are very good, because they can never lose their core values, as scarce industrial metals or jewelry metals.

The great hope of the future is in the use of bitcoins, or an even more advanced future form of digital currency, whose value is measured in terms of network connectivity or computer power (perhaps calculations-per-second), or via evolving parallel institutions that make the enforcement of the legal tender laws impossible.  The discussion of "countereconomics" in Samuel Konkin III's "The New Libertarian Manifesto," explores options for increasing individual liberty that do not involve electoral participation (he was morally opposed to voting).  The following books also reveal further options for increasing individual freedom, (typically without Konkin's opposition to effective pro-freedom electoral participation, and sometimes exploiting synergy with it): Let's Get Free: A Hip-Hop Theory of Justice, We, The Jury, Jury Nullification: The Evolution of a Doctrine, An Essay on the Trial By Jury, The Freedom Outlaw's Handbook.

The singularity or economic catastrophe will ultimately kill the enslaving institution of central banking, if it hasn't already been killed by those who love individual freedom.  Hopefully, us human-level intelligences will get to enjoy some time free from fiat currency for some simple mammalian pleasures.  A positive first step would be to demand passage of Ron Paul's Free Competition in Currency Act.  If this act is not passed, you will continue to be looted, and your life savings redirected to socialist boondoggles and active violence against the innocent.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Moochandise"

To give credit where it's due, the USA Today article by Greg Korte, "Obama has edge in political merchandise," that prompted me to coint the term "moochandise."

mooch·an·dise/ˈmo͞oCHənˌdīz/

Noun:
Campaign merchandise (t-shirts, drink holders, other novelty items) bearing the Obama or Romney logos, or some other form of socialist collectivism, to be bought and sold.

Verb:
Promoting the philosophy of mooching, esp. by the presentation of collectivist election goods for sale in public venues.

Synonyms:
nouncampaign goods, campaign materials, election schwag
verb.  suckering, schmoozing (when used to refer to selling campaign goods)

--At the Democratic National Convention, the Obama campaign raises money from official political merchandise [moochandise]: T-shirts, buttons, hats - you name it. Evan Eile, USA TODAY

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Stephen King Can Pay My "Fair Share" of Civic Duty. (And by "Civic Duty" I mean Warmongering, Property Theft and Destruction, Prohibition, Mass Murder, Civil Liberties Violation, and Economic Destruction...)

Stephen King claims that because he's rich, he should be taxed more.  So, politically and economically, he's uneducated.  Here's the link: http://www.thedailybeast.com/articles/2012/04/30/stephen-king-tax-me-for-f-s-sake.html
 
King, I bought and read most of your books when I was in 6th grade, and I enjoyed them.  ...But you don't know dick about politics, the Federal Reserve, or the way what's left of "America" really works.  Have some respect for Henry David Thoreau, Lysander Spooner, Frederick Douglass, and the long tradition of political nonaggression that came before you.  Crack a book, read some Hayek, read some Harry Browne.  Re-read Thoreau's "Resistance to Civil Government."  The opening paragraph could just as well be about the Mexican DRUG War, as the Mexican War Thoreau was discussing.

When it comes to government, you don't get to decide how your tax dollars are spent.

When it comes to the private sector, you can always "opt out."

You acknowledge that the last 4 administrations have been "anti-business."  Then, you bitch about there not being enough "regulation."  LOL!  Regulation sidesteps that core foundation of American jurisprudence, THE JURY.  We, the jury, to be precise.  We, the randomly-selected (in rare instances when a proper jury is called and seated, without prosecutorial stacking in "voir dire") people, who comprise the 4th branch of government.

So, what does the government do for me, that the private sector cannot?  NOTHING.  I am poor, and I don't want to give one red cent to the government.  It is insulting to you to assume that because you're so dumb you think you're getting a great deal from the government that someone who is less well off can't be better-informed about the value they're getting from their dollar in government services.  If you want to pay more, YOU CAN.

And what will your tax dollar buy?  It will firstly,. buy things you cannot choose NOT to buy.  The government is not Burger King, and you don't get to pick and choose what you want.  My tax dollar will go to put my friends in jail, for victimless crimes. It will go to enforce the drug and gun laws on a horribly racist and classist basis.  It will go for foreign wars of aggression that do nothing to keep me safe, and everything to piss off insane theocrats on the other side of the globe.  It will go to crappy government schools that do a far worse job of educating our young than WIKIpedia does --to the extent that not one person in 1,000 can tell me how the Federal Reserve functions, or how jury trials are supposed to function.  My tax dollars will deny gays equal marriage rights, and will put sex stores out of business.  My tax dollars will harass comic book artists like Mike Diana, and musicians like the Dead Kennedys, in the name of christian theocratic values that directly contradic the First Amendment to the US Constitution.  My tax dollars will be pissed away on pork-barrel projects in every state, all of which are less efficient than any private-sector provision of services that comes with a price tag, and the option of voiding contract for nonproduction.  In short, because government is coercion, and this nation walked away from the idea of "a government by consent" when it passed the Federal Reserve Act into law, government services do not need to be competitive in any way with private sector services.

So what did I miss?  Oh yeah, the FDA claims the right to actively deny me life-saving treatments, so innocent people can die young and in terrible pain while moronic fucks like you complain that you --and everyone else-- are not being forcible deprived of enough of their income.  Watch a youtube video where Stephen Badylak shows that his lab can regrow every human organ, and replace it surgically with adult stem cells, then listen to him talk about how the life-saving procedures are being held up by the FDA, which may or may not give us slaves PERMISSION to save our own lives with his procedures.  ...Since when did a free people need permission to engage in risking their own lives in order to save them?  Since when were manufacturers not allowed --by the First Amendment-- to print "sweetened with stevia" on food products? (1986, when Donald Rumsfeld's "Searle & Associates" successfully lobbied the FDA to destroy natural competitors to Nutrasweet, that's when!  Result: 150,000 type II diabetics per year dead from bad diet and a scientifically incorrect food pyramid taught to them in gradeschool.)  Since when did the FDA get the right to hold up AIDS research and development for years while Big Pharma milked the gay and African communities for their patented "slow death" drugs?  They never had any right to do any of this.

If you pay one dollar extra in taxes, not only will I not commend you for your "civic duty," I'll spit on your good name for being a naive, willing dupe of powerful, sociopathic prohibitionists.

America is a nation where the collective isn't supposed to steal from the individual, nor bar the individualist from following his dreams.  But that's what the U.S. government does.  Then, it tries, in a half-assed manner to undo some small amount of the damage it itself caused, and its lapdog liberal "popular intellectuals" come to its defense like whipped dogs.

Go back to writing books about rabid dogs that just want to be obedient, it seems you know a lot more about that than what it means to hold an American ideology.

And while you're at it, don't bother taking out your checkbook to end the drug war, or the foreign wars, or to pay an insignificant amount of the $16T Federal Debt (not including untenable outstanding liabilities of over $58T).  You're right: that won't solve the problem --just like even taxing 100% of your income wouldn't solve the problem.  The only thing that would solve the problem would be you coming to your senses, and being one more voice of truth, telling the young to drop out of the system, withold their support, and begin building the parallel institutions that will leave the American Police State in the dustbin of history, where it belongs.

Until then,  ...we ask not your counsel, nor your arms.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Nerf Libertarians - Fairweather Friends of Freedom

In every case where the Libertarian Party (allegedly Whole Foods CEO John Mackey's political preference) fails to achieve ballot access, it was because the state raised the cost of communicating with the general public to a level the LP could not afford. Certain variables increase or decrease this cost associated with ballot access petitioning. (Number of signatures required, time limit for gathering signatures, availability of public places with the high foot traffic necessary to circulate petitions, weather, etc...) One such deleterious variable is the absence of businesses that have high foot traffic, and which simultaneously tolerate free interpersonal communication with their customers. Whole Foods, even where they exist, does not tolerate speech on their property. (I just confirmed this with the manager of the store nearest Birmingham, Alabama. He stated that Whole Foods would not tolerate petitioners' presence in Alabama, where the LP is currently gathering petition signatures, under a tight deadline.) ..Such speech is not even tolerated in Whole Foods' parking lots, or with the normal "common sense" stipulation that such speech be out of the way of the doors, etc. Now, it's true, no business should be forced to allow such communication on their own property: but that Whole Foods does not allow such communication, even as the Libertarian Party is deprived of ballot access (in OK, PA, and elsewhere) and pays scarce campaign resources to ballot access petitioners, is unconscienable. The hippocratic oath is a good philosophical reminder, here: "First, do no harm." If Mackey wants Libertarian candidates to be on the ballot, why does he allow his stores' security to remove the petitioners who place them on the ballot from his storefronts? Secondly, a quote from Gandhi applies: "Be the change you wish to see." Would it really be that difficult for Mackey to convince his coporate board to tolerate speech? I doubt it. Omar Gaye is apparently the guy who refuses to tolerate such speech in the region encompassing Alabama. Is he personally so averse to choices being on the ballot that he's willing to veto John Mackey's insistent urgings to the contrary? I doubt it. In front of "Giant" Food Store in New England (even in states like MD, where the courts have ruled that stores need not tolerate speech), petitioners are allowed. The CEO of Giant Foods respects free speech, and understands that if certain of their customers were not allowed to ask other customers to sign a nominating petition, then there would be absolutely no choice on the ballot in Maryland. In effect, Maryland's system of government would become undemocratic. Undemocratic systems have no incentive to avoid falling towards totalitarianism, (demonstrated by Professor R. J. Rummel's research at the University of Hawaii, which is freely available online). I find it surprising that John Mackey defends the concept of libertarian corporate responsibility (in his Reason Magazine debate with T. J. Rodgers), and then abnegates his responsibility in the one area where he has larger-than-normal influence. He claims that it would be tyrannical of him to suggest that he override his corporate board's decision to disallow speech. (Funny, this excludes the idea that he could exercise influence with them in any other way than "overriding" them. How about just _asking_them_ to allow speech?) In contrast with Whole Foods, CEO T. J. Rodgers (of Cypress Semiconductor) claims that corporations have a duty only to their shareholders --but he believes in the Hayekian concept of free expression so much that he spent a great deal of his personal time infiltrating the board of directors at Dartmouth University, and forcing them to repeal their limitations --in the form of a "free speech zone"-- on public speech on campus. His case was that "all of America is a free speech zone!" Just like John Mackey, the board opposed his position --until he insisted on doing what was right. It's now a lot easier for the LP to get on the ballot in New Hampshire: petitions can be circulated at Dartmouth. Likewise, Libertarian petitioners just finished petitioning for ballot access at Giant Foodstores in Maryland, resulting in ballot access for Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson. I wish John Mackey felt the same as TJ Rodgers. Or even K-Mart, or Giant Foods, or the few other corporations that either tolerate speech, or allow their managers to "look the other way." The biggest improvement would be for him to adopt Giant Foods' policy of allowing all store managers to decide for themselves whether a certain form of free speech interferes with customer purchases or not, and to err on the side of speech. Giant solidly errs on the side of tolerating free speech --meaning that even when their few totalitarian customers (or perversely-incentivized state employees) complain about the speech, they tolerate it, because they comprehend that a few fascists should not be able to deprive the larger community of a choice at the ballot box. (Even better, Giant does not try to claim that they allow free speech, while bureaucratically obstructing it: they do not require weeks of advance notice, or other undue bureaucratic hurdles and permissions.) Hopefully, one day, John Mackey will come around to that level of respect for free speech. Until then, I'll shop there only grudgingly, when they are the sole supplier of a product I desire. Too bad Cypress Semiconductor doesn't sell healthfood. In the past, John Mackey has responded to my criticisms of his store's policy by claiming that petitioners have a right to be on the sidewalk nearby his stores. (I suppose so they can watch people exiting their cars and entering the store from a distance.) Oddly, this is the same thing that the Bush and Obama administrations both claim when their Departments of Justice further restricted public expression in public venues: you can speak --so long as you're doing so in a location with too few people to hear what you're saying. With friends like these, it's no wonder the Libertarian Party no longer has even a single elected State legislator. They spend all their time jumping through hoops which could easily be made dramatically less costly with John Mackey's help. ...Too bad he can't be bothered. That's all for now. --Jake Witmer PS: There is some discrepancy as to whether Mackey makes the decision, or his regional corporate boards make the decisions. The number given out for Omar Gaye was sent to a voicemail for Mike Howard (678-638-5885), so perhaps that name needs to be substituted for Omar's name above. PPS: Nothing would make me happier than being wrong in my criticism of John Mackey. If his company reverses course on its current opposition to free interpersonal speech, and the circulation of nominating petitions in front of his stores, then I'll be happy to reverse my public criticism of his intellectual position.

Thursday, May 24, 2012