Think Twice News: Piggy Patrol Bums Out Freedom Lovers

Posted on July 8th, 2009 by bile
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Think Twice News Producer gets hassled by the local Fuzz, in Defiance, Ohio.

Think Twice News hopes you enjoy our programs. We appreciate your participation, and encourage all to subscribe to our channel :

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Director: John Shaw
Producers: Jason Osborne and Edwin Mudge
Production Design and Interviews: Russ Van Ness

Why Chris Anderson has it wrong about scarcity and abundance

Posted on July 7th, 2009 by bile
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Rules Everything is forbidden unless it is permitted. Everything is permitted unless it is forbidden.
Social model Paternalism (“We know what’s best”) Egalitarianism (“You know what’s best”)
Profit plan Business model We’ll figure it out
Decision process Top-down Bottom-up
Organizational structure Command and control Out of control
  1. A reduction of scarcity in electrical energy would be far far more significant then storage capacity or computing power. Increased computing power may help lead to new inventions, new ways to grow crops, etc. but it does not provide the means to do those things. Even with a major reduction in the cost of electrical energy there would still be lots of other components in life which would be scarce. All things being equal… even if my energy costs were zero you’d still have the costs of labor, rent, etc. and those are of greater cost.
  2. Egalitarianism is “You know what’s best”? Since when? Every egalitarian philosophy and political theory is paternalistic in practice and often in theory. Egalitarianism is almost always collectivist and tends to remove responsibility from individuals for the supposed betterment of society.
  3. Ultimately, humans act because of scarcity. When combined with libertarian property rights you do have a “Everything is forbidden unless it is permitted” system, more or less. But that’s a good thing. History and analysis of human behavior shows that such a system leads to less conflict. Communistic, “Everything is permitted” as in “everything is everyones”,  systems almost always fail due to conflict of interest and asymmetric desires which ultimately lower productivity and therefore per capita wealth.
  4. Private property theory and the free market, which exist due to scarcity, is bottom-up. There can never be a post scarcity scenario as described… only greatly reduced scarcity in particular areas of the economy. So if you have a free market the decision process will always be bottom-up and ordered chaos. Only statism is “top-down” and “command and control”in any significant manner.
  5. Craigslist and Wikipedia are not gift economies any more then this blog is or any other not for profit. Craigslist and Wikipedia actively request donations which is contrary to the fundamentals of a gift economy. Besides… they aren’t closed loops and therefore not an isolated economy but part of the greater world economy which is fascistic.
  6. Mr. Anderson makes several references to “waste.” That nature is wasteful. It isn’t. That YouTube is filled with “waste.” It isn’t. Waste is a subjective evaluation. Animals of simpler structure and lesser ability to protect offspring naturally play the statistics game. Those fit enough, ie those who produced more offspring thereby providing a greater chance of survival, have survived. There is no waste… just a different yet equally sufficient method of continuing the species. It is completely different for YouTube. There is no waste because it is what the customers desire. Only from another’s perspective can one’s property be considered ill used. He even makes mention of this fact yet still calls them ‘crap” and “waste.” It seems to me that he’s just being contradictive in his language and not intent but it’s frustrating none the less.
  7. He makes reference to the prime-time broadcast schedule being a scarce resource. That’s only because of government intervention. The FCC has held back radio technology since it’s inception. Rather then allowing the industry to run it’s natural course, much like the digital tech industry he likes to use in comparison, the FCC has regulated the life out of the industries using the radio spectrum. The cost of running a transmitter and even getting the basic equipment to film a TV or radio show isn’t that expensive. (And it would have been less so if it wasn’t regulated.) If individuals were free to transmit content as they saw fit and the government just enforced property rights regarding the homesteading of the radio frequencies there would have been more content and far lower “real costs.”

Seems to me Chris Anderson needs a lesson in economic theory. Appears his book is available for free. Perhaps when I’m done with a few other audiobooks I’ll check out his.

Making it hard to even protest: healthcare bill would collect fines through IRS

Posted on July 3rd, 2009 by bile
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First you paid to insure your car. Soon you may have to add health insurance premiums to that stack of monthly bills as well.

In a revamped health care system envisioned by senators, people would be required to carry health insurance just like motorists must get auto coverage now. The government would provide subsidies for the poor and many middle-class families, but those who still refuse to sign up would face fines of more than $1,000.

The details were unveiled Thursday in a health care overhaul bill supported by key Senate Democrats looking to fulfill President Barack Obama’s top domestic priority.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated the fines would raise around $36 billion over 10 years. Senate aides said the penalties would be modeled on the approach taken by Massachusetts, which now imposes a fine of about $1,000 a year on individuals who refuse to get coverage. Under the federal legislation, families would pay higher penalties than individuals.

Called “shared responsibility payments,” the fines would offset at least half the cost of basic medical coverage, according to the legislation. The goal is to nudge people to sign up for coverage when they are healthy, not wait until they get sick.

In 2008, employer-provided coverage averaged $12,680 a year for a family plan, and $4,704 for individual coverage, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation’s annual survey. Senate aides, who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly, said the cost of the federal plan would be lower but declined to provide specifics.

The legislation would exempt certain hardship cases from fines, which would be collected through the income tax system.

Tying it into the income tax is really really sneaky. It makes it very difficult to protest against. If the federal government wanted to fine me for not participating in the census they’d have to bring me to court. If this bill is passed the IRS handles the fine. It’s tied into your income taxes. If you don’t pay you don’t go to a normal court… but likely a tax court. You won’t be able to seperate the fine from the rest of their bill. It makes it easier for them to catch and easier to collect.

If they passed a bill requiring healthcare without this IRS enforcement of the fine I would seriously consider canceling my health insurance just to incure a fine and test the system. If it passes as currently is however only those who don’t pay income tax could really get out of this demand and if they ever got caught the fine would be the least of their problems.

Love how they talk about how much the fines will make them too. Scumbags.

Michael Moore’s eco-fascism

Posted on June 2nd, 2009 by bile
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Goodbye, GM …by Michael Moore

1. Just as President Roosevelt did after the attack on Pearl Harbor, the President must tell the nation that we are at war and we must immediately convert our auto factories to factories that build mass transit vehicles and alternative energy devices. Within months in Flint in 1942, GM halted all car production and immediately used the assembly lines to build planes, tanks and machine guns. The conversion took no time at all. Everyone pitched in. The fascists were defeated.

We are now in a different kind of war — a war that we have conducted against the ecosystem and has been conducted by our very own corporate leaders. This current war has two fronts. One is headquartered in Detroit. The products built in the factories of GM, Ford and Chrysler are some of the greatest weapons of mass destruction responsible for global warming and the melting of our polar icecaps. The things we call “cars” may have been fun to drive, but they are like a million daggers into the heart of Mother Nature. To continue to build them would only lead to the ruin of our species and much of the planet.

The other front in this war is being waged by the oil companies against you and me. They are committed to fleecing us whenever they can, and they have been reckless stewards of the finite amount of oil that is located under the surface of the earth. They know they are sucking it bone dry. And like the lumber tycoons of the early 20th century who didn’t give a damn about future generations as they tore down every forest they could get their hands on, these oil barons are not telling the public what they know to be true — that there are only a few more decades of useable oil on this planet. And as the end days of oil approach us, get ready for some very desperate people willing to kill and be killed just to get their hands on a gallon can of gasoline.

President Obama, now that he has taken control of GM, needs to convert the factories to new and needed uses immediately.

Read More…

Anarcho-capitalism vs. Agorism?

Posted on May 25th, 2009 by bile
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A couple of people have asked me:

FSK frequently criticizes anarcho-capitalists as pro-State trolls. Aren’t anarcho-capitalism and agorism the same thing?

I consider “agorism” and “free market anarchism” to be equivalent. Agorism and real free markets are the “One True Version of Anarchy”.

The fallacy of “anarcho-capitalists” is that they fail to answer “How will the State be eliminated?” They assume that the State will gradually shrink and then voluntarily shut itself down. This will occur by voting, which is the usual (L)libertarian fantasy.

How is a failure to answer “How will the State be eliminated?” make it fallacious? There is no assumption, just no explicit component to the philosophy. Perhaps because to claim any one method is the surest or only way is highly suspect and limiting. Agorism provides a set of steps which if carried out could bring about a the State’s destruction. Little more than libertarian black market, Fabian strategy style. Agorism is more then anything a tactic. One of many theoretical means to ending the State. An explicit means to an preexisting end.

And to lump Libertarianism and libertarianism into a single basket is just as fallacious as claiming the “usual” fantasy of those isms is to vote away the State. Lowercase ‘l’ libertarianism applies to a rather large range of philosophies. Both anarchist and not. Propertarian and not. Besides a belief in the non-aggression principle (ignoring consequentialist vs. deontological differences) there is nothing more to libertarianism.

Anarcho-capitalists sometimes defend large corporations as a natural free market occurrence. Large corporations cannot exist without State subsidies.

How can the author possibly know that? We can say they won’t have the State subsidies to make them that big, we can say that they won’t be corporations in the way they are now due to state intervention but how can anyone claim to know to what size a business can or can not get to in a freemarket? How can one claim that a business would be unable to provide for their customers so well, through efficiencies of scale and division of labor, as to be as large as some businesses now? They obviously wouldn’t exist in the same capacity or for the same reasons.

Anarcho-capitalists defend the current State. They say “We should obey State regulations for now. In the present, the State has legitimacy. The State is evil, but we need it right now.” Anarcho-capitalism is a pro-State philosophy of anarchy.

I’m glad the author know what all ancaps everywhere think and defend. As an ancap and a friend of ancaps… I have never made such statements or hear such statements as above. Anyone who would is not a libertarian ancap.

An agorist says “The State has zero legitimacy *STARTING NOW*.

As mentioned before an proclaimed ancap isn’t an ancap if they claim the State has legitimacy.

We will ignore all the stupid taxes and laws that restrict our productivity. We will boycott the State as much as possible, but a perfect 100% boycott is not feasible in the present.”

All? Doubtful. It is improbable to get 100% outside the taxation of the state. The second sentence admits as such and therefore the first sentence is negated by it. And what does “as much as possible” mean? A rugged individualist anarcho-primitivist is likely to tell the agorist that using State built and controlled roads is completely avoidable.

An agorist wants the State to get bigger and more inefficient and then collapse, instead of gradually shrinking and disappearing.

I’ve never read that as the explicit goal of agorism. The point of grey and black market agorist action is multifacited. To undermine the state’s “business” by providing alternatives (leading to shrinkage of the State hopefully) and grow successful enough as to provide free market defense against those who would  still call themselves the State. It would seem that wanting the State to grow before collapsing is akin to desiring people to get harmed. You can say that such a situation would work in favor of free market anarchism but to want it is anti-libertarian if we agree that the growing of the State would lead to more infringement of liberties.

If you call yourself an anarcho-capitalist and aren’t a fool, your beliefs will be similar to those of agorists. However, the people who call themselves anarcho-capitalists tend to fall into the usual (L)libertarian intellectual trap.

If you advocate the State you aren’t an ancap. If you are an ancap then of course your beliefs are similar to an agorist. Many, including Konkin, consider agorism to be an evolution of Rothbardian anarcho-capitalist philosophy. Konkin describes agorists as “strict Rothbardians… and even more Rothbardian than Rothbard [himself].”1

This is the problem with using labels over descriptions. I prefer to substitute definitions for what they actually mean, especially when there could be confusion.

While I don’t completely disagree… labels exist for a reason. They are a shortcut to having to explain everything every time you discuss a topic. When diving deeper into a topic one must always lay down specific definitions otherewise you end up arguing semantics endlessly.

If you aren’t an idiot, when you refer to “anarchy” or “market anarchism”, you mean what I call “agorism” or “really free markets”. I frequently see people calling themselves anarcho-capitalists with pro-State troll false beliefs. Whenever possible, substitute labels for what you actually mean, to avoid confusing.

If you call yourself an anarcho-capitalist and you aren’t an idiot, you’re beliefs will be the same as what I call “agorism”. However, I see a lot of pro-State trolls calling themselves anarcho-capitalists.

Gets a little ad hominem and repetitive here.

Agorism is the only philosophy that answers “How can the State be eliminated?” and “What will the replacement look like?”

I doubt that’s true. I’m sure some Fabian socialists were anarchists. However, even if true I fail to see why a means should to be married to the end or what benefit it provides. It is difficult enough to maintain an idea of an end with changing understandings of life and economy (mutualism for example). Adding to that the need to justify a means seems excessive and unnecessary.

If lots of pro-State trolls start calling themselves agorists, then do I have to find a new name for my philosophy?

If you want to dilute the waters I suppose. Those who wish to minimize your impact and undermine your message will attempt to steal words and redefine them. It’s a great tactics that has been use for hundreds of years if not longer. It is a way to keep you on the run. To make you waste your time with semantics and definitions. There is little that can be done about this tactic but running away from definitions does not seem to me a reasonable attempt at a solution. If a word is misused then make a point to correct that person who does so. I have found it far easier to point out the true meaning of a word and explain that it has been usurped by those who either don’t understand it or are out to discredit it rather then dispel the misunderstanding and introduce a new work in addition to describing it.

It could be funny if they had a clue what they were talking about…

Posted on May 10th, 2009 by bile
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Yes… because the government protects us from cholera or Somalia is free from aggression or even  international intervention. Perhaps the video could have gone into how the standard of living has risen faster than just about all other African nations in the mentioned time period? Or how the expectation they imply that a third world nation without any capital infrastructure would suddenly advance in 15 years beyond what is economically possible? Especially given the fact that the UN continuously fucks with the country? As does the Ethiopian government and others.

A 15 minute lesson in capital theory would go a real long way for state worshipers.

And as if Beck was a libertarian… even a consequentalist libertarian.