Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Jackass Mainstream Media

On December 16th, 2007, the 234th anniversary of the Boston Tea Party, presidential candidate Ron Paul raised 6.04 million dollars in 24 hours. This is the largest single day donation for a presidential primary candidate in United States history, and the MSM is ignoring it. How much evidence do they need that Ron Paul is for real? What are they thinking, that we are still spammers?

How about this, MSM:
58,407 individual donors
24,915 first time donors
$102 average contribution

Okay, I wonder if any other candidate can inspire this sort of commitment? I mean, these contributors aren't big-wig corp execs who can drop 2300 bucks on a whim, these are people who are wondering if they can give $25 more and still feed their family from week to week.

Trust me, I know these people. We had around 1000 people out for a Tea Party on Ladybird Lake in Austin, TX that fabled Sunday afternoon. They come from all walks of life: young, old, African-American, white, Asian-American, Hispanic-American, high incomes, middle incomes, lower incomes - they are all there.

Why is this? Because freedom is popular. Because liberty brings dignity wherever you are in life. Because the message is universal.

So go jump, MSM. Get ready for some mega-blowback.

Ron Paul 2008 — Hope for America

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Better beer attributed to global warming...

As well as about 600 other things.

You would think this would get old after a while.

To set the record straight, I do think that global climate change is occurring, and I'm not talking about day-to-day variation. However, I do not think it is entirely certain that human activity is its cause, and I certainly do not think the alarmism of Al Gore and his ilk is worth the trouble.

I actually have recently written a paper that addresses this very topic from a libertarian perspective. I hope to publish it in the Quarterly Journal of Austrian Economics, and I will be presenting it at the Austrian Scholar's Conference next March.

And my reward in class? My professor is now effectively calling me an "interesting contrarian". In my opinion, that's a good thing.

Friday, December 07, 2007

Cory Doctorow on Facebook...

How Your Creepy Ex-Co-Workers Will Kill Facebook -- Facebook -- InformationWeek
In the real world, we don't articulate our social networks. Imagine how creepy it would be to wander into a co-worker's cubicle and discover the wall covered with tiny photos of everyone in the office, ranked by "friend" and "foe," with the top eight friends elevated to a small shrine decorated with Post-It roses and hearts. And yet, there's an undeniable attraction to corralling all your friends and friendly acquaintances, charting them and their relationship to you.

An interesting article from an interesting fellow...

Monday, December 03, 2007

The Ron Paul Blimp

Huckabee may have Chuck Norris, but Ron Paul has a Blimp! Eat it, Chucky.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

How to make a foot

This is a fascinating video about designing robotic feet using biologically inspired design. Great stuff!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Marc Whittemore has a change of heart...

Marc Whittemore, the guy who started ObamaLA.com, has thought a lot about the issues and thus has had a change of heart. He is now supporting none other than RON PAUL FOR PRESIDENT!!!

This is the effect Ron has on people. How can this not be an evidence that Paul is a uniter around the traditional principles of American governance?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Would the real Giuliani please stand up?

There are plenty of reasons not to support Rudy Giuliani. Check out
The REAL Rudy...

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The iphone: completely hackable

This has convinced me that buying a smart phone is NOT a good idea.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

BGG.Con 2007

This weekend, my wife and I are going to Dallas for BGG.Con 2007, hosted by www.boardgamegeek.com (hence, the BGG). BGG is a fantastic website for board game information, pictures, discussions, trading, sales, and pretty much anything else you can imagine relating to non-video gaming. I became familiar with the site as an undergraduate, but I didn't really get into it until my wife and I began attending our Friday night gaming group at Great Hall Games in Austin.

We are really excited about going for many, many reasons. First off, you get to basically spend three days gaming your heart out. You can play in tournaments (such as the Tigris and Euphrates tournament on Saturday), test out prototype games that aren't even on the shelf yet, or just try out stuff with your friends from the game library that has over 1000 titles. Second, you're doing all this with great people who love games. We are particularly looking forward to hanging out with our dear friend Mischa from New Orleans once again. (I am anticipating some late night Jungle Speed, Mischa!!!) I hope that our group from Austin gets to do some fine dining at least once together. Third, it's like taking a mini-vacation -- in the middle of the semester! Nothing like taking off for an excursion in the middle of school. I have rarely done this, either as an undergrad or a grad student, so this is pretty cool.

We are participating in the "math trade" as well. This is basically a very complicated multi-person trade. In other words, A sends game to B, B sends game to C, C sends game to A -- except there are over 85 people involved. Mischa is running this one. I'm getting some really cool stuff, like Battlelore, Attika, and Colossal Arena. I'm trading away some good games, but I think K and I were interested in some new acquisitions anyway. This is a great way to do it!

I'll blog about what happened next week...

Monday, November 12, 2007

We have just begun to fight.

All you skeptics out there who think Paul doesn't have a chance, start paying attention!

What Republican can raise 4.3 million bucks in 24 hours from 40,000 different donors?

Who else can claim first place for donation money from military men and women?

Who else has over 1000 meetup.com groups? Heck, who has over 100?

Who can claim strict constitutionalism as the hallmark of his campaign?

Who else can get 5000 people to come to a political rally these days?

Fred is dead. McCain is broke. Rudy and Mitt are not even conservative. And they're all statists.

There is only one: Ron Paul. It's not even worth telling you to get ready, because the rEVOLution is here. The message to you: get on board. Get involved. Get moving.

Ron Paul Philadelphia Veterans’ Rally Draws 5,000 - News - NBC13.com

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Green is universal?

I'm watching the pre-game show for the Cowboys-Eagles game that starts in 10 minutes. Amazingly, they are turning off the lights in the commentary studio in order to promote "being green" or something like that. Wow. Get real.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Mike isn't right...

Chuck Baldwin at www.NewsWithViews.com says that Christians need to beware of Mike Huckabee. I totally agree with him.

Mike Huckabee is a statist.
Mike Huckabee doesn't believe in the Constitution.
Mike Huckabee supports a police state.
Mike Huckabee is a big spender.

Waaiiiiit a second... Isn't that everybody on the Republican and Democrat ticket? Oh yeah, except for one - Ron Paul. Duh.

Monday, October 22, 2007

The Song That Is Irresistible

Robert Higgs' Schlarbaum Award Acceptance Speech (full text): The Song That Is Irresistible

This is arguably one of the best libertarian speeches/articles that I have ever read. Check it out when you have the time!

The poem cited is by Margaret Atwood, entitled "Siren Song" (1976).

This is the one song everyone
would like to learn: the song
that is irresistible:

The song that forces men
to leap overboard in squadrons
even though they see beached skulls

The song nobody knows
because anyone who had heard it
is dead, and the others can
’t remember.
Shall I tell you the secret
and if I do, will you get me
out of this bird suit?

I don’t enjoy it here
squatting on this island
looking picturesque and mythical
with these two feathery maniacs,
I don
’t enjoy singing
this trio, fatal and valuable.

I will tell the secret to you,
to you, only to you.

Come closer. This song
is a cry for help: Help me!
Only you, only you can,
you are unique

At last. Alas
it is a boring song
but it works every time.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ron Paul on Health Care

The reason I post this in full text is that the original page doesn't separate paragraphs very well. However, I give full attribution to A.S. Erickson and the Darthmouth Review for an excellent writeup.

The Dartmouth Review: Ron Paul, M.D. Speaks on Health Care
Ron Paul, M.D. Speaks on Health Care

Sunday, October 14, 2007

By A. S. Erickson

On September 29th Texas Congressman and Republican Presidential Candidate Dr. Ron Paul—the only candidate who is a doctor—spoke to students of Dartmouth Medical School about his health care platform. A palpable air of anticipation filled the room prior to Paul taking the lectern. The students in the room, predominately liberal, were actually excited to hear what this Republican had to say about health care. I’ve seen talking heads assign Paul’s popularity on college campuses to his stance on the Iraq War (decidedly non-interventionist), but in the auditorium students weren’t talking about foreign policy. Instead, praise for Paul abounded based on his honesty and integrity. Students knew that he said what he actually believed, and, if elected, he would act on what he has promised.

Paul began his remarks by telling students that, “the medical system is going well except for a few groups: the patients, the doctors, the hospitals, the labs, and the politicians. Everybody else is happy.”

Paul weaved commentary on the current health care situation into a short autobiographical speech. He spoke of getting drafted for the Vietnam War in 1962, fresh out of Duke Medical School. He commented that working for the Army wasn’t so bad as his pay went from $195 per month in residency to $700. While in the military he moonlighted three nights a month at the local hospital.

“The amazing thing was it was the city hospital and there was no government; there [was] very little insurance and nobody was turned away whether they were illegal or legal, and nobody, nobody was quizzed. If you didn’t have the money, you didn’t pay, and people came in, and it wasn’t that bad. People didn’t lay on the side walks. You’re more likely to hear stories today of people being neglected in emergency rooms…and dying on stretchers—because we have managed care.” Paul often came back to this point in referencing the health problems of today. He is certain that the problems with today’s health care stem from too much government involvement, not too little. “This whole idea that we need centralized economic planning in anything is a fallacy, and it’s a temptation to say, ‘Yes, we can’t have central economic planning for electronics, televisions, and cell phones because we want efficiency of delivery service, but medicine is different.’”

A major problem with today’s society, according to Paul, is the confusion of “needs” and “rights”: “We have rights to our lives and liberty and we have a right to pursue our happiness and we should have the right to keep the fruits of our labor. We have a moral obligation to help our fellow man.” That doesn’t mean, however, that we have a right to affordable health care.

Paul noted that because of all these governmental programs “charity work doesn’t seem to exist anymore; yet there was a time when there was substantial charity work….We’ve gotten this way because the government put us this way.”

Accordingly Paul warned strongly against socialized medicine, which he feels is just around the corner, i.e. the current push for universal health care. One aspect of medicine that disappears with increased government tinkering is “the doctor patient relationship. That’s about dead in this country, and that to me is the most important thing in medicine.” The more the government gets involved, Paul explained, the farther we get away from that ideal.

Paul was also highly critical of current insurance schemes, claiming that the only things that should be insured are surgeries and other high cost possibilities. Instead of insurance for things like a check-up, Paul favored a medical savings account. “We should allow every individual to take a $3,000 tax credit, and they can put that away and use it to go and pay for their doctor visits.”

“We as a people have really lost confidence in freedom.” He noted that this misplaced confidence made no sense, sighting cell phones as an area where, because of freedom, costs have gone down, and availability has gone up. On the other side of the spectrum is the Katrina/Rita disaster—which was spearheaded by the government.

Perhaps surprisingly for a doctor, Paul encourages more competition in the field of medicine. Noting that many alternative methods of care have sprouted up in recent years, Paul said the competition would be in the best interest of the patients. The only thing he cautioned against was fraud, i.e. registered nurses putting M.D. behind their names. Once more coming back to his core principle Paul stated, “Politically, I believe in freedom of choice.” When Paul’s time at Dartmouth Medical School came to a close, the students responded by giving him a standing ovation. His message was simple: “Under the Constitution, government shouldn’t be in medicine.”

Saturday, September 29, 2007

New Testament Theology of the State at LRC

Yesterday, I posted my first article ever on one of the leading libertarian websites in the world, www.lewrockwell.com. But it’s not really a “libertarian” article, rather, the paper is all about theology. It is entitled New Testament Theology of the State. If you have the RSS feed, the title Lew gave to the link is be The State is Not the Kingdom of God (to put it mildly). It has a nice ring to it…

The main point of the article is that one cannot use the famous “Render to Caesar” passages and Romans 13 as legitimate justifications for the actions of government. I’ll let you read on from there and see what you think. :-)

I’m thrilled to finally be counted among the ranks of the writers at LRC, and now that I have my “foot in the door” I hope to contribute more regularly. Many thanks to Lew Rockwell and to my professors at Austin Grad, they have all been excellent teachers.

If you would like a pdf copy of the article, let me know and I will gladly send one to you.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Sign the Ron Paul Registry

Ron Paul Registry

Please add your name to the list!

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

The Values Voters Debate

The so-called Values Voters Debate was held last night. Supposedly this was going to inform values voters on who would best represent them as President of the United States. But eerily consistent with the past six years, these Republicans have forgotten that aggressive war is not pro-life. If they understood this simple statement, they would see that Ron Paul is their only answer.

These Republicans have also forgotten that the freedom that we afford others to do what they will without aggression is the same freedom that protects our right to practice our religion without fear. When these voters come back to their roots, to true Christian values as they so often claim that they want, they will see. And eventually they will do so, it just takes time.

The results: Huckabee won with 219 votes, Ron Paul second with 44.

Here are some comments from the LewRockwell.com blog about the debate:
Chris Sinnard writes: "It's like comedic gold. It seems that Huckabee 'won' the debate according to the delegates, i.e. the religious right is ready to get behind Huck for VP and let him drag them kicking and screaming behind Frudy McRomney. The lady said it was a 'message from God' that the Huckster pulled through.

"The best part though had to be when the moderator asked them what Jesus would think of Ron invoking His name (i.e. calling him the Prince of Peace). The rabbi basically said that warmongering is ok because there is war in the Bible. They sat there and tried to justify their warmongering through religion; it was... interesting; and then the blonde from the panel claimed that Paul, and I quote, 'cherry picks' the Bible, you know, for the peacenik parts. Then more claiming that God wants Huckabee to run."

Anthony Gregory writes
: Brownback also seems to think Clinton "saved" Muslims by murdering Serbs (and Muslims). Better to have a cheating, dishonest, treasonous, lecherous Democrat in the White House bombing civilians, than a humble man heading a humble foreign policy, apparently...
Ron just gave a great statement of his faith in God as the Prince of Peace and the problem with killing innocents in an unjust war in the name of God over things like secular geographical boundaries. I hope the quote is online soon, since it's a truly beautiful statement.

Michael Wagner writes: "I was at the Value Voters Debate. It was a tough crowd for Ron. I was sitting in the delegate section and was able to vote, unlike most of the audience. Most of the people around me had absolutely no idea what Ron was talking about. When he he answered a question about 'the homosexual agenda' and started talking about how we get our rights from our Creator as individuals not groups a lady behind me (a inister's wife, I think) said, 'Does he mean that they have a right to be homosexual?' I felt like getting up, confronting the woman. and saying, 'Yeah, homosexuals have rights, get over it. If you think it's a sin, minister to them but don't try to use government to enforce your prejudice.' I didn't, but I sure was tempted.

YouTube - Ron Paul at the Value Voters Debate

Thursday, September 13, 2007

The Bush Speech...

President Bush's speech an hour ago reminded me and my wife of being on hold...

"Your call is important to us, please stay on the line while I attempt to convince you that to stick around in this quagmire..."

Saturday, September 01, 2007

Rick Perry is not a friend of Texans

Rick Perry did not show up to the Texas Straw Poll today. Apparently, he sent a video. But here's the kicker: in his pre-recorded speech, he claimed there were no Texans on the presidential ballot. Did he just conveniently forget about Ron Paul? What's his deal?

Oh, I get it. Ron Paul challenges establishment Republicans. Rick Perry is an establishment Republican - and quite a corrupt one to boot (c.f. the immunization scandal over the last two years). How long will it take Texans to realize that Rick Perry is not their friend?

The bad always tries to drive out the good. Now you know that Ron Paul is one of the good guys...

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Texas Pledge Dispute

Governments have a nasty habit of diverting people's attention from real issues to side problems. For example, the Cato Institute reports that an atheist couple wants the word "God" out of the revised Texas state pledge, which is now being recited daily by students (civil religion, anyone?) in many Texas public schools.

If people truly wanted to reduce school conflicts, the solution isn't to enforce more government controls upon educational efforts. Rather, the government must exit education once for all.

Neal McCluskey has written an excellent policy analysis called "Why We Fight" explaining this position.
Throughout American history, public schooling
has produced political disputes, animosity, and
sometimes even bloodshed between diverse people.
Such clashes are inevitable in government-run
schooling because all Americans are required to
support the public schools, but only those with
the most political power control them. Political—
and sometimes even physical—conflict has thus
been an inescapable public schooling reality.

To end the fighting caused by state-run schooling,
we should transform our system from one in
which government establishes and controls
schools, to one in which individual parents are
empowered to select schools that share their moral
values and educational goals for their children.

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Why You Need Hard Money

Chris Brunner makes some fantastic points regarding Ron Paul's monetary policy and why it is good for everyone. Here's the #1 reason...
1. The Fed would not be causing artificial booms, inevitably followed by a busts Ever wonder where economic bubbles come from? The bubbles of modern times like the Great Depression of the 1930's, Dot-com boom of the late 90's, or the boom that's coming to an end now in the real estate market occur when central banks expand the money supply and dump new money into various sectors of the economy, often in the form of cheap credit. Banks loan the new money to consumers and entrepreneurs, including those who aren't credit worthy. In turn, they spend it or invest it, which causes prices to rise. As people see prices rise, they are drawn to invest, causing prices to rise further. Meanwhile, the Fed continues to inject new money. We've seen this lately in the form of house flipping. Eventually, the market begins to correct itself, and whoever owns the inflated property when the correction begins to occur gets stuck holding the bag. People all over the country are finding themselves in Adjustable Rate Mortgages they cannot afford. Many times this results in a foreclosure, which in turn causes problems for the fractional-reserve banks, who then begin to face insolvency. Insolvency manifests itself in the form of bank runs, and if it gets bad enough, leads to economic collapse. There is much to be explained here, but for now suffice to say that inflation from the Fed creates booms that are inevitably followed by busts.
LewRockwell.com Blog: Top 8 Ways Hard Money Would Change Your Life

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Global Warming

The Acton Institute is a Christian organization dedicated to promoting a free and virtuous society characterized by individual liberty and sustained by religious principles. In the following linked article, they weigh in on global warming yet again.

The Global Warming Debate: Yada, Yada, Yada - Acton Institute PowerBlog

The problem, argues Samuelson and others like him (include me in their number), is quite simple. What really causes global warming and what can we do about it? What troubles me deeply is the way many evangelicals, to cite just one segment of the Church, want us to buy into the global warming theories and solutions as a matter of faith and morals. Here are the facts that make this approach pious nonsense:

1. Almost everyone who is sane about this issue knows that we can only cut emissions incrementally and that China and India will more than offset the small gains we can make in the US and Europe. But the blame America cry heard in all of this smacks of politics more than of real science and pragmatic workable solutions.

2. No single theory is the accepted scientific model that has been approved, or universally accepted. We are working off of various theories and hunches and the debate needs much more light and less heat, no pun intended.

3. What we can do is more research and development. We need to do this and we need to resist avoidance of the serious aspects of this matter.

4. We can find better ways to dispose of waste material than into the environment. Some of these are both safer and more cost effective. Real solutions will be found by those grapple with both sides of this equation.

5. Samuelson gets it right when he concludes: “The overriding reality seems almost un-American: we simply don’t have a solution for this problem.” This is hard for us to admit. We are so convinced that we can solve anything and everything, especially if we created the problem in the first place (as is assumed in this debate).

This is why Samuelson suggests that we steadfastly refuse to address this issue as “a morality tale.” Amen! Someone please tell this to Richard Cizik of NAE, or to Jim Wallis of Sojourners, or to Tony Campolo the prophetic screamer, and to all the others who have made this into one of the biggest moral issues of the day for Christians. We can all do a lot better in addressing this complex and real concern if we keep this type of rhetoric and silliness out of the picture. All it does is assign categories, or labels, and then we all know who the “good guys” really are. Game, set, match!

Absolutely nothing is resolved in this kind of zero-sum game of cheap moralizing.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Ron Paul Dominates YouTube

What's the #1 most viewed, top rated, most discussed, and top favorite News and Politics video on YouTube? Yeah, it's Ron Paul at Ames...

LewRockwell.com Blog: Ron Paul Wins Iowa Straw Poll on YouTube

Monday, August 13, 2007


In the September 2007 issue of Tabletalk, there’s an article by R.C. Sproul called “Duty and Honor” with a great paragraph:

Now, these definitions [of integrity] describe persons who are almost as rare as the use of the term honor. In the first instance, integrity would describe someone whom we might call “a person of principle.” The person who is a person of principle is one, as the dictionary defines, who is uncompromising. The person is not uncompromising in every negotiation or discussion of important issues, but is uncompromising with respect to moral and ethical principles. This is a person who puts principle ahead of personal gain. The art of compromise is a virtue in a politically correct culture, which political correctness itself is modified by the adjectival qualifier political. To be political is often to be a person who compromises everything, including principle.

Good stuff.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

More Ron Paul goodness...

I follow the LRC blog closely, especially when GOP debates are happening and, of course, during the Ames Straw Poll.

Ron Paul placed 5th amongst Republicans yesterday. Sure, we could have hoped for better, but in reality this is quite good. Here's some comments from LRC...

Jay Roberts thinks that 5th place was a "stellar" result. I would tend to agree. All things considered, we must have shocked the establishment media by doing this well. Even as recently as six days ago Paul was predicted by the media to be no-show blip on the radar. Well, folks, we are here to stay. Get ready, because we're going to have a lot of fun doing good for this country.

Of course, there's always the jerks who intentionally exclude him from their reporting. If you weren't ticked off at Faux News before, now is the time.

On a side note, have you seen the new Bourne movie yet? I saw it on opening night (I'm a fan) and let me tell you -- it was awesome. Best of the series. Here's what Mark Thornton had to say about comparing the series to the Paul campaign.

Cross posted at Libertarian Longhorns.

Homeland Stupidity...

Not to be confused with the libertarian blog of the same name...

Some recent blog posts have caught my eye...

Apparently, catching a baseball can be counted as taxable income by the IRS. That's right, the college student who caught Barry Bonds's 756th home run is going to get taxed in the highest bracket for the simple fact that he now owns the ball. What's particularly sad about this is that the receiving individual doesn't even get the choice to keep it without getting taxed. If he does so, how could one even place a value on it? You could estimate, but without actually making a sale one has no blinking idea what it actually would be sold at! He is now effectively forced to make a sale just to cover his expense of catching a !@%(#@^ ball.

In other sports news, did you know that money you pay to rent a car is used to finance stadiums? This always blows my mind, how is it that these people can afford to pay baseball players millions of dollars but cannot afford a stadium without taxing people? Does this make any sense to anybody?

Ethanol is such a scam.

Cross-posted at the new Libertarian Longhorns blog.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Bible and Government

I have had some interesting "coincidences" occur recently. I was asked a while back to help lead a Bible study for the graduate engineering students on Romans 13:1-7, which are the verses on "submission to civil government." This Bible study kept getting pushed back due to travel conflicts and missed meetings. On the day of the study, it just so happened that our main leader, John, had some extra meetings that came up suddenly and I had the opportunity to lead the whole study instead of just half. We had a great time of learning and I think people went away with as many new questions as answers to old questions.

As this was developing, I had been taking a course at the Austin Graduate School of Theology in New Testament Theology with Dr. Thomas Olbricht, who happens to be a good friend of my grandfather's and a former teacher of my mother at ACU. I decided that I would capitalize on preparing this study and write a paper on Jesus' theology about civil government and what Paul and Peter do to expand upon this teaching. It is currently a work in progress.

Strangely enough, our campus ministry, Longhorns for Christ, recently decided that they wanted to have a study on the Bible and civil government. Guess who they wanted to ask lead it? Right. So now, this upcoming Wednesday I will be leading a discussion group in this topic.

I had been thinking about offering to teach on a Sunday night for University Avenue Church of Christ, my home congregation. But Jack, one of our elders, preempted me and asked me first. No kidding, he had no idea that I was interested in doing some more teaching. I told him I had a few ideas, and that I was currently working on a Bible and government paper. He thought it was great and so I'll be teaching again on Bible and government for the church.

Funny how all these things come together at once. I'd like to thank John Cobin for his wonderful books on the subject, may he live long and prosper!

Thursday, August 02, 2007

Shame on you, HSLDA!

For shame, for shame, Homeschool Legal Defense Association, for shame!

You have endorsed pro-war, pro-police state, pro-welfare, and pro-Bush Mike Huckabee because you think he's principled, but have ignored the most principled Congressman in the race with the record to back it up - Ron Paul. You seem to think Governors make good candidates, but can you honestly say this considering the last two debacle governor-presidents? Come on, get a grip. Endorse Ron Paul while you still can and save face. I'm ashamed that my fellow homeschoolers would do such a thing as endorse a man who only wants the status quo. Pick someone who actually will do the thing that homeschoolers want most - work to get rid of state hegemony over education.

Townhall.com - One Mom - HSLDA Supports Mike Huckabee

Covenant - Why Ron Paul is the Ultimate Friend of Homeschoolers

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Ron Paul can WIN

Ron Paul could easily take on the Democrats, what's going to keep him from becoming our next president is the simple fact that he must make it through the primary. Which means, my friends, we must do everything we can in order to promote ideas of liberty now - this is more important than ever before. Time to get to work...

Todd Seavey on Ron Paul on National Review Online: "But if we want a radically smaller government — precisely that thing that a Republican Congress neglected to do for the last twelve years, which has created the current mood of conservative frustration — we must support Ron Paul. Remember how small government was at the nation’s founding and consider how perhaps even conservatives have since then become de facto socialists, accepting the leviathan state as inevitable. But it’s not inevitable if they vote against it when history hands them that chance."

Monday, July 30, 2007

Libertarian Longhorns

One of the very few student groups I have chosen to associate with is the Libertarian Longhorns. Very, very recently we have started a blog which I will assist in contributing to. This probably means that there will be fewer posts of a libertarian nature in my personal blog. We'll just have to see, perhaps I'll cross-post everything I write...

In the meantime, add the RSS feed for the Libertarian Longhorns blog to your feed reader and keep up with what's going on!

Saturday, July 28, 2007

How the Death Star Works...

The Galactic Empire tells all in a HowStuffWorks Exclusive!!!

But Timothy McSweeney is still skeptical about the trash compactor.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Ron Paul loves homeschoolers...

"Dr. Ron Paul has been a consistent supporter of home schooling and
educational freedom while serving in Congress. He has introduced
several pieces of legislation which would return to parents the freedom
to teach their children at home and in the manner they think best.
Additionally, he has introduced bills that would provide tax credits
for American families to help pay for education expenses. As President,
Ron Paul will continue to fight for the rights of parents to provide
their children with the knowledge and values they believe are most

Congressman Ron Paul on Home Schooling

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

This is HUGE

This is a major breakthrough, although I doubt we will see any commercial items using this technology for a number of years. Wireless power would have a MAJOR effect upon electronics as we know it.

The Power of Induction: Science News Online, July 21, 2007
When Soljacic first presented the principle, it was unproved. All he could show were his calculations. "I expected that some people would think I was a crackpot," says Soljacic, a physicist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). "This was pretty far out."

Perhaps it also didn't help that the participants at the symposium—a celebration of the 90th birthday of Charles Townes, who pioneered the laser in the 1950s—included 18 Nobel prize winners and dozens of other luminaries. Much to Soljacic's relief, he sold the scientists on his presentation.

A year and a half later, a bulb lit up in an MIT lab—unplugged. Soljacic and his collaborators had demonstrated a new way of coaxing magnetic fields into transferring power over a distance of several meters without dispersing as electromagnetic waves. The demonstration ushered in a technology that might eventually become as pervasive as the gadgets it could power. Laptops, cell phones, iPods, and digital cameras might someday recharge without power cords. With the proliferation of wireless electronics, perhaps it was just a matter of time before power transmission would go wireless, too.

The device that Soljacic and his collaborators put together had a disarming simplicity. On one side of the room, hanging from the ceiling, was a ring-shaped electrical circuit, about half a meter across, plugged into the wall. Hanging adjacent to the circuit, but with no physical connection to it, was a slightly larger copper coil looking like an oversize mattress spring. A few meters away hung a similar system with an ordinary lightbulb attached to the circuit. When the physicists sent power through the first circuit, the bulb lit up.

As expected, some energy was lost on its way to the lightbulb. However, a surprising amount reached its destination, the team reports in the July 6 Science. "The efficiency was 40 percent at the biggest distance we probed [more than 2 meters]," Soljacic says. At shorter distances, the efficiency was much higher.

The coils of this demonstration device would be too big to fit inside a laptop, let alone a cell phone. But this was only the first and simplest of several prototypes that the physicists have in mind. More tests are to come. The MIT team and other physicists say that in principle they see no obstacle to making such devices more compact and more efficient.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Farscape is back?

Is Farscape on another ticket to comeback? Maybe there is hope...

JUL. 23, 2007 | News | SCI FI Weekly
Farscape Revived On SCIFI.COM

SCI FI Channel will revive its popular original show Farscape as a Web-based series of short films on SCIFI.COM's SCI FI Pulse broadband network, part of a slate of new original online programming.

SCI FI has ordered 10 webisodes of Farscape, to be produced by Brian Henson and Robert Halmi Jr. and produced by The Jim Henson Co., in association with RHI Entertainment.

The series will expand the Farscape universe, but the network had no announcements on casting or premiere dates.

Other new online series include SCI FI Tech, a companion to SCIFI.COM's SCI FI Tech blog, and Invent This!, which sets out to find the world's quirkiest inventions and get into the minds of the inventors behind each creation.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Recent news on Battlestar Galactica

From Scifi.com:

JUL. 16, 2007 | News | SCI FI Weekly
Battlestar Cylons May Surprise

Cast members of SCI FI Channel's original series Battlestar Galactica told reporters that they weren't happy at first to discover that their characters were Cylons, but they have come to terms with the revelation in their own ways—and hinted the Cylons may not be what they appear.

"I've always thought to myself—I don't know if I said it out loud, I must have—that I sure am glad I'm not playing a Cylon," said Michael Hogan, who plays Col. Tigh, in a news conference in Vancouver, Canada. "I'm not happy about being a Cylon at all. But I don't imagine any of us who are being picked to be Cylons are happy about it. But the scripts and what we've been doing so far are great, and the only way that I can deal with it is as a human being. So far, that's all I've had to do. And I'm not sure what's going on."

Hogan added that the new information about his character has added a level of complexity to his performance and challenged him as an actor. "For Tigh so far, it is like a mental illness," he said. "It's like the ringing in the years and visions and constantly wondering what's going on. So [in] almost ... every scene we do now, it's that thing where you're thinking, ... if you've had a personal tragedy happen to you, then you've got to carry on with life: You kind of realize, 'Isn't this amazing that I'm actually talking to people?' But this is all going on inside."

Aaron Douglas, who plays Chief Tyrol, said at the same press conference that he came across the information by chance early on and has had a little more time to process the notion. "I found out months in advance, accidentally," he said. "I found a piece of paper lying around that I wasn't supposed to read, but I read it anyways. And I said, 'What the ... is this?' And [director Michael] Rymer went, 'Oh, you're not supposed to read that.' ... So I kept my mouth shut until it officially came out, and then I phoned [executive producer Ron Moore]. 'What the hell is this?'"

Douglas said he didn't like the news at first. "Because I thought you're taking a fan favorite, a character that's very identifiable, very human, that the fans really, really like, and you're really marginalizing him," he said. "So Ron spoke to me for, like, an hour and a half on the phone, and he explained the whys and the wherefores, and I was convinced at the end. Now I've embraced it, more than Michael has, I believe. And I don't mind going down in history as one of the Cylon gods and one of the 12 Cylon human forms."

Douglas also revealed a detail about the final five Cylons that had previously been kept under wraps. "The differentiation between the seven and the final five will become more clear," he said. "We're not like them. In all seriousness. We're Cylon, but we're not connected to these guys at all." —Cindy White
SCI FI Execs Talk Battlestar's End

Bonnie Hammer, president of USA Network and SCI FI Channel, said that it was the decision of executive producers Ronald D. Moore and David Eick, not the network's, to end the original series Battlestar Galactica in the fourth season and that the producers made the decision for creative reasons.

"There's been some stuff online where they're saying that it was really the network decision to go in this direction and that it's been coded by a certain level of appropriate politics by Ron and David, and that's not really the case," Hammer said in a press conference during SCI FI Channel's digital press tour in Vancouver, Canada. "These are people who are passionate about what they do, and they didn't want to be in a position where they were writing beyond where they believed they had true stories and true character arcs where they could take it without diminishing the quality of the writing and the quality of the show, and that really is rare. And this is definitely a decision that they believe in wholeheartedly, as opposed to something that was fed to them for any other reasons, from ratings or finance or anything else."

Battlestar Galactica is currently filming its fourth and final season, which kicks off in November with a special two-hour event entitled "Razor." The show's additional 20 episodes will return in early 2008.

A special sneak preview of "Razor" will air on July 10 during the second-season premiere of SCI FI's original series Eureka at 9 p.m. ET/PT.

At the same press conference, SCI FI Channel's executive vice president Mark Stern echoed the assertion that Moore and Eick were not influenced by any outside sources. "Anyone who knows Ron and David knows they are anything but network lapdogs," he said. "We only wish that they would do what we ask them to do, but that's never going to happen."

As for the future of the franchise once the fourth and final season comes to a close, Stern said that it remains unclear and that everyone involved in the production is more concerned about the present and giving the show a proper sendoff. "We are as sad as everybody else is to see season four coming," he said. "As for what follows, Caprica, the prequel, is out there. We haven't really decided what we're going to do with that yet. And there's always the theme-park ride." —Cindy White

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Ron Paul: For Good or for Awesome?

YouTube interviews Ron Paul. Great answer to the abortion issue question and of course, he is both good and AWESOME.

Conical hat tip to Nick.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Battlestar Galactica - Razor

Here's a fresh preview of the Battlestar Galactica TV-movie-to-be, Razor. Not much is in it, but it may tide you over for a little while until more substantive previews are available. What you do get a flavor for, however, are some of the new characters, although you only get one name...

Razor | Videos | SCI FI Pulse

Friday, June 29, 2007

Surface Computing

A fascinating new paradigm in computing... follow the link...

Microsoft Surface: Hands-on First Look

Monday, June 25, 2007

Possible News on Star Trek 11

This just in from SciFi.com...

JUN. 25, 2007 | News | SCI FI Weekly

Trek Script Done, Shoots In Fall

Roberto Orci, who with writing partner Alex Kurtzman is scripting the new Star Trek movie, told SCI FI Wire that they have finished the script are in preproduction on the movie, which will go into production in November under director J.J. Abrams. "We're still casting," Orci said while promoting his next film, Michael Bay's Transformers. "We're in preproduction, actually, this month."

While revealing little about the 11th Trek film's top-secret plot, Orci offered a few tidbits. "Kirk is in the movie," he said. "Some kind of Kirk. ... We literally haven't cast them yet. It's actually one of the challenges, and so we're hoping to have something by Comic-Con [in San Diego in July], but we'll see."

Orci added that producers are wrestling with whom to cast. "That's one of the debates, you know?" he said. "Like, how much does a familiar face hurt or not?" As for rumors that Matt Damon is in line for Kirk or Adrien Brody for Spock, Orci would only smile. "I've read all those rumors, too."

Is the Trek movie being eyed as the kickoff of a possible TV series? "I'm sure CBS is thinking about that," he said. "That's not [something] we're thinking about. We're just thinking about the movie. Certainly, I don't know how they could not think about that." —Patrick Lee, News Editor

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Remarkable technology

This is an amazing video of new software that will undoubtedly transform the way we think and use digital images... Frankly, I'm stunned.

TED | Talks | Blaise Aguera y Arcas: Jaw-dropping Photosynth demo (video)

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Best Rocketboom Ever

... on Chaos Theory...

Rocketboom - 6/12/07

Monday, June 11, 2007

Ron Moore on the end of Battlestar Galactica

This just in from SciFi.com:

JUN. 11, 2007 | News | SCI FI Weekly

Ron Moore, executive producer of SCI FI Channel's Battlestar Galactica, said that he and fellow executive producer David Eick are planning to send the series off on a note of finality at the end of the coming fourth season. "The plan is to end the show," Moore said in a conference call on June 1. "The plan is to bring us to a definitive conclusion. There's no plans or thoughts in our heads, really, of then doing a follow-up feature or any series or anything beyond that."

Moore and Eick announced on May 31 that they would wrap the acclaimed series at the end of the upcoming fourth season and elaborated on their decision in a call with journalists a day later.

Moore said that he and the writers have been thinking about how they wanted to end the series since the middle of the second season and began talking seriously about the conclusion toward the end of the third.

"Those ideas about where we were headed and what it all meant started to really sort of coalesce over the course of the third season," Moore said. "And in between seasons four and three is when we started talking in earnest about 'OK, if we do end it next year, what would it really be?' And it just felt like, yeah, this is the right time to do it. ... We're really sort of taking our cues from the story itself, and it just feels like the story has moved forward aggressively."

Moore said that he's proud that the show has been unafraid to take risks. "And it's been unafraid to move strongly forward instead of trying to sort of tread water," he said. "And it just feels like the momentum of the series is moving towards a conclusion."

Moore and Eick have not yet begun writing the script for the finale, but they have had some discussions about how they will wrap up the story. One thing that has been talked about is leaving some of the relationships open to interpretation.

"The intention is to certainly concentrate on the characters and their relationships and sort of bring them all to an end point," Moore said. "I don't know if we'll resolve every single thing about every relationship, and I think there's value in leaving some things open to the imagination and having some things that are sort of tantalizingly unresolved. But the intention is to move towards what is the final chapter." In November, a special two-hour Battlestar episode, "Razor," will air. The fourth season kicks off in early 2008. —Cindy White

Alabama declares most libertarians to be terrorists

Watch out libertarians, because by the standards of Alabama's Homeland Security office, you might be a terrorist! After this information was digged all over the planet, Alabama decided it would be best to remove that page. Here's the latest from the Birmingham news...

State Web site prompts complaints- al.com

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

See Paul run. Run, Paul, run!

As you may know, I attended the Ron Paul fundraiser dinner at the Texas History museum last Saturday night. It was pretty exciting, and I'll let you in on what happened...

I showed up early at the request of a friend of mine to help out checking people in. Turns out that was a good idea, they needed about one more volunteer to make the check-in as smooth as silk. After working for a pretty good while, I ate some Rudy's barbecue and got a nice, professional pic with the Ron. I also convinced him to sign my copy of his book, A Foreign Policy of Freedom.

I managed to get into a conversation with Mrs. Paul about their granddaughter Laura. It was hilarious, she wanted to introduce me to Laura's sisters and started pulling out pictures to show off from her purse! She was definitely a proud grandmother!

Jimmie Vaughan provided some pretty awesome blues music as the entertainment of the night. It was totally sweet. And of course, Ron Paul gave a fantastic speech, which you can find on Youtube! (Part 1, Part 2)

Here are a few cool pictures from the evening that I took...

Ron Paul...

Jimmie Vaughan totally wailing on the guitar....

Here's another pic which almost looks surreal... but no, it's just not that good of a picture...

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Cows with Guns

I seem to remember that the Clouds first informed me of this silly little song years and years ago... Very funny...

Well, that was interesting...

I just did something unprecedented in history. I, yes indeed it was me, watched the American Idol finale. It just finished. And I think I actually have something interesting to comment on. Every time I have watched this show, I have agreed with Simon. You see, I've done a lot of singing in my time, I've performed with many groups and sung in almost every style imaginable besides rap and Britney-style trash.

Simon has a really good ear for music. I think he hears things very similar to the way I hear them as well, and maybe that's why we agree. When I look at a singer, I can almost always discern through their voice where there breathing is off, what kind of ear they have, and what range they will sound best in.

I also have a very good feel for performers. This is mainly a function of doing all different sorts of performing, from staged musicals to madrigals. I've seen the technique, and I know the signs of nervousness or just flat lack of talent.

That being said, here's my assessment of tonight. Blake's rendition of that Bon Jovi song was fantastic. The beat-box stuff he does is great. But even then, I can hear that his voice just isn't that strong. Since this was the first time I heard him, I don't know if it's a bad day or typical, but I wanted to hear him again. Trouble was, the next two songs were just poor. In the second song he was constantly going flat and trying to sustain notes with poor breath support. The third song - yeah, it just wasn't him.

Blake is a great performer, and although he shouldn't be a pop star, I think he would do well in a good rock band because he can sure sell a good song.

Jordin Sparks, on the other hand, is the exact opposite of Blake. Her voice is

HUGE, and you can tell that she actually knows how to breathe to support her voice. This gives her an automatic, distinct advantage over Blake. Trouble is, she doesn't move like a great performer, she's just too static. Fortunately, that is the sort of problem you can correct with some good constructive criticism.

American Idol is ultimately a singing competition. Hence, Jordin wins hands down. If she doesn't, that's too bad, because she is by far the superior singer.

Monday, May 21, 2007


There's a flurry of activity focused around Ron Paul of late... I'm sure you're catching wind of it. If you didn't watch the debate, you can, of course, get the highlights on Youtube. Here are some articles about what happened between Rudy and Ron.

Ron Paul Rocks! by Karen Kwiatkowski

Giuliani Is Right To Be Outraged by Thomas Eddlem

But Who Was Right – Rudy or Ron? by Patrick J. Buchanan

By the way, many people have asked me whether or not Ron Paul is a
Christian. I said I wasn't exactly sure, but I figured that he was
considering what his granddaughter has said about him to me in the past
and his general rhetoric. Note at the beginning of the Youtube video
that he is a "Protestant."

Finally, I will write about the RP fundraiserOnce I get all the photos on my computer. I hope to do so tonight.

Saturday, May 19, 2007

Ron Paul Fundraiser Tonight - I'm going!!!

I pulled off at the last minute getting a ticket to the fundraiser dinner for Ron Paul tonight! I am really excited, I'll have photos afterwards!

In the meantime, visit http://www.ronpaul2008.com/

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

What would Thomas Jefferson do?

Environmentalist Zen

Let me be clear, I did not write this, but it is short so I am posting it in it's entirety. Thank you, Dr. Reisman for saying what needs to be said!

George Reisman's Blog on Economics, Politics, Society, and Culture: Environmentalist Zen

If you’d prefer to be cool rather than suffer in the heat, what you need to do, according to the environmental movement, is smash your air conditioner, refrigerator, and freezer. That will help to cool the planet—someday. If you want to be secure from hurricanes, floods, tornadoes, and other natural (according to it, manmade) disasters, what you need to do is destroy the energy base required to produce and operate modern construction equipment and means of transportation. In that case you may end up living in a thatched hut and have only a donkey to go from one place to another, but the absence of man-made power and its carbon emissions will make the world such a tame and happy place that you won’t need anything more. After all, natural disasters are not caused by nature, which is wonderful, pure, and benign, but by us! Remember that as you listen to the sound of one hand clapping.

Copyright © 2007, by George Reisman.

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The "Ron Paul Effect"

ABC News: The Ron Paul Effect: Boomlet or Savvy Supporters?

After the GOP presidential candidate debate two Thursday's back, the internet was aflame with Ron Paul. Seriously, the online polls, search polls, and more all indicated that it was indeed Ron Paul vs. fifteen GWB-look-alikes, and Ron Paul won. But ABC News thinks not. Without any evidence, they say in this article that Ron Paul really lost because it must have been some libertarian in his underwear click-forging his way to a Ron Paul victory.

At least they are admitting that Ron Paul "won". Maybe now he'll get the mainstream media attention he deserves for being the only GOP candidate with enough guts to stand up for principle and oppose the Federal Warfare and Welfare Leviathan.

Free Market News Network responds to ABC News

And here's the press release from Ron Paul's page:

Press Release

Ron Paul Builds Momentum


May 8, 2007

ARLINGTON, VA – Congressman Ron Paul's support has soared since the first Republican presidential debate. Conservative commentator John McLaughlin, host of “The McLaughlin Group," cited Ron Paul as having given "the best performance of the debate." In fact, the Paul campaign's apparent strength has many other pundits scrambling to explain it. Paul campaign officials offer the following examples of the candidate's rising success.

Since the debate on May 3, Ron Paul:

* Handily won two post-debate polls posted by event sponsor MSNBC

* Placed a close third (18%) in a post-debate poll on the conservative Drudge Report

* Won an ABCNews.com online debate poll with 84%

* Won a C-SPAN online GOP candidate poll with 69%

* Became the third most-mentioned person in the blogosphere, beating out Paris Hilton, according to the reputable Technorati.com

* Produced a YouTube.com video that was ranked the 8th most popular overall video, and the most-viewed political video

* Was featured, by popular demand, on the front of Digg.com

* Generated so many bulletin posts on MySpace.com that the site owner News Corp. blocked all additional posts about Dr. Paul

* Became a "most searched" term on Google and Yahoo!

* Saw a quadrupling of daily visitors to RonPaul2008.com

"These figures speak for themselves," said campaign chairman Kent Snyder. "Ron Paul has quickly become a strong contender for the GOP nomination because of his powerful message of freedom and limited government."


Friday, May 11, 2007

Informal Hiatus

I've been extraordinarily busy these last few weeks with my graduate research and classes, and as a result I have hardly been able to post anything to my blog. Sorry about that, but I promise this summer will be better!

In the meantime, watch Pierre Bensusan play the piece that I am working on right now...

Monday, April 16, 2007

REAL Tax Reform... Accept no substitute...

Click the link, read the article. Go on. You know you want to...

Real Tax Reform - The Mises Institute

Sunday, April 15, 2007

An SNL Digital Short

We laughed our heads off at this... Ooooooh the drama! Apparently, it's an O.C. reference, a show I most definitely do not watch...

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Rothbard as a Govern*mental* Detox

You know, reading Murray Rothbard is like getting a detox. He says things that shatter your mind with truth so profoundly, you just want to puke. I dare you to read the following essay and see what I mean:

Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature, The Anatomy of the State

To try and get you to do so, here's a quote from the first paragraph:

"With the rise of democracy, the identification of the State with society has been redoubled, until it is common to hear sentiments expressed which violate virtually every tenet of reason and common sense such as, "we are the government." The useful collective term "we" has enabled an ideological camouflage to be thrown over the reality of political life. If "we are the government," then anything a government does to an individual is not only just and untyrannical but also "voluntary" on the part of the individual concerned. If the government has incurred a huge public debt which must be paid by taxing one group for the benefit of another, this reality of burden is obscured by saying that "we owe it to ourselves"; if the government conscripts a man, or throws him into jail for dissident opinion, then he is "doing it to himself" and, therefore, nothing untoward has occurred. Under this reasoning, any Jews murdered by the Nazi government were not murdered; instead, they must have "committed suicide," since they were the government (which was democratically chosen), and, therefore, anything the government did to them was voluntary on their part. One would not think it necessary to belabor this point, and yet the overwhelming bulk of the people hold this fallacy to a greater or lesser degree."

I can get your password...

One Man’s Blog » How I’d Hack Your Weak Passwords

Well, maybe I can't, but this guy might. One Man's Blog explains how important a good password really is. This is really good stuff!

Monday, March 26, 2007

"Natural Law always buries its undertakers..."

Quoted from Murray Rothbard's Ethics of Liberty. It's a very cool book, and I'm looking forward to getting it soon.

I will be receiving a copy of Ron Paul's new book, A Foreign Policy of Freedom, very soon from the SOURCE. Paul's grand-daughter is a friend of mine and will be getting a copy for me. I'm hoping it will be signed! (Please oh please oh please!!!)

The Mises Institute is having a 25% off sale this month on all items they publish with the LvMI imprint. That's huge. Take advantage of it while you can!

I recently read the V for Vendetta graphic novel. It ROCKS. There are certain things I like better than the movie, and certain parts I think the movie does better. All in all, the movie may be different but they both ROCK.

Also, my few, precious, loyal readers, I will be posting soon about the season 3 finale to Battlestar Galactica, aired just yesterday on the SciFi Channel. Much has happened that has yet to be explained, but fear not, for I have a theory. Could it relate to Murray Rothbard? Of course it can...

Monday, February 19, 2007

Oh happy President's Day...

Presidential Repression by Thomas DiLorenzo

For your President's Day bliss...

Go celebrate by supporting free markets and buying something... :-)

UPDATE: On the other hand, you can also support free markets by just saving money... The point is - your money is yours, not the state's.

Here's another cool article...

No More Great Presidents - Mises Institute

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Star Wars and Corporatism

This is a very interesting article by Rod Long, one of my favorite philosophers of libertarianism.

Austro-Athenian Empire » Remembering Corporate Liberalism

How Many Legislators Does it Take to Change a Light Bulb

In more ridiculous news of the week, a California legislator is proposing to "outlaw" incandescent light bulbs by the year 2012. Besides the practical problems of both the conversion and the enforcement of the law, why in the sammy-heck does the government think it has the right to tell people what sort of light bulb they can and cannot have? Seriously, what is California anyway, a dictatorship? May the Guv'nuh Ah-nuld see through this charade of government stupidity and ban congressman Levine from attempting to cause any more damage.

Levine Legislation to Make California First State in the Nation to Ban Incandescent Light Bulbs

Saturday, February 03, 2007

How to Be a Good Citizen

This message brought to you by the Department of Homeland Propaganda -

"Because we're the government, and you're not!"

"Every man deserves liberty because no man is good enough to take it away from him."


Thursday, February 01, 2007

The Declaration of Independence 2007 by Gen LaGreca

I saw this on George Reisman's Blog this morning and thought it was worth posting...


With a new Congress convening, it’s time to recall the ideals of America as expressed by Thomas Jefferson in our Declaration of Independence. The following is a new version of the Declaration, updated to reflect the current usurpations and threats we face. It is an urgent call for our newly elected representatives to fulfill the promise of America envisioned by our Founders and for We, The People, to insist that they do.

When in the course of human events, a people find it necessary to rid themselves of a government that has abandoned the sound principles upon which it was founded and that increasingly threatens their lives and liberties, reason requires them to declare the causes of their discontent.

We hold these truths to be certain and immutable, that all men by their nature possess unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty, property, and the pursuit of happiness; that to protect these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just and limited powers from the consent of the governed; that individuals show respect for each other’s rights by associating with one another through voluntary consent; that an act of force against a person violates his rights; and that it is the sole, legitimate purpose of government to ban the initiation of force in society by retaliating with force against it—through the police and courts to apprehend and punish domestic criminals, the military to defend against foreign invaders, and the civil courts to settle disputes among men—thereby insuring the peace and safety of a free and civilized people.

That whenever a government becomes destructive of these ends, when it becomes the very instrument of coercion it is supposed to protect against, it is the right and duty of the people to alter it and institute new government that will protect their safety and freedom. The history of the present government of the United States—with state and local governments following suit—is one of a dangerous, unchecked growth of powers leading to the ultimate perversion in which it is the government that holds the reins and the citizens that are saddled, bridled, and spurred to do its bidding. To prove this, let facts be submitted to reasonable minds.

The government has violated our right to property and seized our wealth through onerous taxation that totals over 40 percent of the national income, taxing our salaries, investments, homes, businesses, purchases, etc., so that we cannot even buy a toothbrush without paying a tribute.

It has transformed a nation of self-reliant, self-supporting individuals into a swarm of special interest groups—workers, farmers, seniors, unions, corporations, etc.—each clamoring for favors and handouts at the expense of others, so that the young are taxed to support the old, the rich to support the poor, the people in the mountains to support flood victims at the shores; and the louder the demands, the more a group receives.

It has made us dependent on its largess for our vital needs, such as our retirement income and medical care, which no longer depend on our individual choices and actions but on the promises of politicians whose costly, ill-conceived programs are fast approaching bankruptcy.

It has appointed itself as the supreme master who decides for all what foods, medicines, products are safe to use—even mandating how our televisions must be made, our cereal boxes labeled, our toilets flushed—bombarding us with countless agencies that misuse our money, harass us, fine us, and violate our freedom to control our own lives.

It has, in order to gain votes and power bases, usurped the role of private charity, giving food, housing, and other provisions to special groups, removing incentives for them to improve their own lives, and creating an uncharitable, unchosen, and unjust financial burden on others to support them.

It has vilified our industries, seized their profits, hampered free trade, prevented mergers, dictated every detail of employment and operation—controlling pay, hours, benefits, prices, hiring, firing, production, profits—even setting safety standards for swivel chairs in the workplace—thereby violating the rights of employers, employees, and customers to deal with each other on their own terms.

It has created endless ways to cripple businesses, so that if a company is deemed too large, anti-trust laws force it to divide; if it is deemed to pay wages that are too low, labor laws force it to offer more; all at the whim of public officials who create no wealth and live off money extorted from taxpayers, yet issue televised tongue-lashings and punishments to businesspeople for not running their enterprises to better suit the politicians’ favored groups.

It has, for political advantage, doled out subsidies, invoked protective tariffs, created monopolies, bestowed grants and privileges—including paying farmers not to produce any crops—giving unfair advantage to some businesses at the expense of others and creating chaos in the marketplace.

It has failed to protect the people’s rights, but instead protects snail darters, caribou, and the wilderness, in order to pander to aberrant environmentalists who use energy in every aspect of their lives—in their cars, planes, computers, lawn mowers, toasters, microphones—while instigating laws to severely hamper energy production.

It has stifled domestic exploration for oil with onerous regulation, which has made oil scarcer and more expensive and thus enriched foreign oil-producing countries such as Iran, whose revenues support the brainwashing schools, training camps, and militias of ruthless savages who plot to annihilate us.

It has imposed oppressive taxes, yet the huge sums it extracts still cannot quench its thirst for more reckless spending, plunging the country deeper into debt and, if unchecked, into bankruptcy.

It has seized so much power that kickbacks from contractors, bribes from lobbyists, favors exchanged for votes, and other scandals in its ranks are rampant.

It has corrupted the morals of the people, who see that they can vote themselves the taxpayers’ money, so they abandon personal responsibility and self-reliance to clamor for more handouts, perpetuating their own dependence and their representatives’ corruption.

It has created a welfare state not only within our borders, but throughout the world, squandering huge sums on foreign aid that bails out the failing regimes of despotic rulers, feeds the very enemies who arm to destroy us—such as North Korea and many others over the years—and creates a global entitlement mentality that demands a bite of the already ravaged carcass of the American taxpayer.

It has financed and supported the corrupt United Nations, an organization allegedly dedicated to world peace that grants the worst tyrannies equal moral standing with free countries and provides a forum for the bloodiest dictatorships to condemn us.

It has shamefully failed in its constitutional duty to protect us from deadly threats abroad, allowing repeated attacks on us to go unpunished and emboldening our enemies to wreak unprecedented death and destruction on our own soil.

It has left us vulnerable to a ruthless enemy because of its endless appeasement, its perverse desire not to offend anyone, its need for approval from hostile countries, its concern for our decorum over our victory—in short, its moral cowardice in defending America.

These and other usurpations and failings now weigh heavily on us.

By the laws of nature and our Constitution, we declare ourselves a free people with sovereignty over ourselves. We demand an end to the creeping tyranny that strangles us. We demand the dismantling of government in all areas of usurped powers never granted it by the Constitution. We demand that our elected representatives act on the ideals of liberty to reverse our self-destructive course.

We will never forget that we are Americans. We forged a continent not with public aid but with the shining vision of a better life and the self-reliance to attain it. We created wealth, progress, and achievement on an unprecedented scale. No government fed our pioneers, inspected their wagons for safety, certified their chickens, subjected their homes to endless building permits, meddled in their businesses, looted their wealth. No government built the breathtaking skylines of our majestic cities, the proud monuments to free minds and free commerce. The government’s fingerprints are found only on the shattered shells of public housing that wound our cities, a grim reminder of the failed welfare state. The time has come to reclaim our country from the meddlers, do-gooders, and would-be dictators seeking to nourish their craving for power with our lifeblood. We will restore America as the proud haven of liberty. To this we pledge our sacred honor.

If you agree with this declaration, send it to your representatives. Tell them that you intend to support people who offer a return to limited government and the freedoms guaranteed us by the Constitution.

Genevieve (Gen) LaGreca is the author of
“Noble Vision” a novel about liberty and a ForeWord magazine Book of the Year Award winner. She may be contacted at glagreca@wingedvictorypress.com.

Copyright © 2007 by Genevieve LaGreca

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Saturday, January 20, 2007

Plastic Bags and the "Environment"

I watch a v-blog on a fairly regular basis called Rocketboom, and today’s installment is stranger than normal. It’s on plastic bags, of all things. The producers highlight how plastic bags are supposedly destroying the earth, killing marine life, etc. Then they talk about how governments can reduce this so-called damage, by putting a tax on plastic bags. Fortunately, the US has not adopted such measures.

A “plastic bag” tax (or any restriction on these products) is just one more way that governments wage war on the poor, despite insistent pleas to the contrary. A tax on plastic bags is nothing more than a cost that gets passed on to the consumer of the plastic bags through higher grocery prices, and the poor will certainly be burdened the most in the end. Furthermore, the argument about reusing the bags rings hollow. The poor don’t have the luxury of specialized storage containers, buying “high quality” garbage bags, or whatnot. Instead, we who don’t make much money reuse plastic bags all the time for all sorts of various things, from garbage bags, to packing materials, to long term storage. I wouldn’t consider myself poor by any means, and even I reuse plastic bags as much as I can.

With which should a government be more concerned: making groceries cost less so the poor can get by, or the state of the environment? The answer, truthfully, is neither. The government has no right to dictate how people trade groceries; the market will work to their advantage! As long as individuals are producing things that others value, they will have the means to trade for their survival. Nor does government have the right to force people at the point of a gun to give them money for ridiculous environmental protection measures. It’s immoral for individuals to steal, and just because the government calls that money “taxes”, the action is no more moral – it still is theft.

Scientists and engineers make products that people desire to accomplish useful purposes – ultimately these products are both for survival and enjoyment. Allowing the free market to work, and hence allowing we producers to make things that people want, promotes nothing less than the continuation of the human species. These measures of restricting trade, though perhaps well intentioned, are ultimately detrimental. In fact, I am convinced that environmentalists do not value humans much at all, as they are often more concerned with the well-being of non-sentient animals and the non-living “climate” than the well-being and preservation of human life. To make matters worse, they always endorse theft from others as the means of accomplishing their convoluted goals. Now that’s what I call a waste!

Thursday, January 18, 2007

One more on the minimum wage

This just came up in the last few days on www.lewrockwell.com. Ron Getty argues that the minimum wage is really about the new tax revenues that the government would get from it. Hmm, it sort of makes sense, but I'm not willing right now to run the numbers to estimate whether this really is the case or not. Regardless, the minimum wage is still a bad idea. You can see for yourself...

Speaker Pelosi – Minimum Wage Queen by Ron Getty

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Snow doesn't stop the civil religion, nor taxes...

Austin, being in Texas, doesn't tend to get much snow or ice. This year, however, was that rare exception to the rule. We had snow; we had ice. Correction: we HAVE snow and ice. People here don't really know how to cope with all of it, and of course the government hasn't a clue either. So everything shuts down! The first two days of classes have been canceled! It's been pretty fun here - playing games, reading books, watching the governor's inauguration, and doing taxes.

Speaking of the glorious governor - he was inducted into office yesterday, despite most of the city taking a day off. I guess he just couldn't wait to get back into power. I am becoming more aware of how the "state" is only a few steps away from being an actual religion. Perry and Dewhurst took credit for an outright MIRACLE during their speeches: that they now have a grand budget surplus despite the fact that Perry presided over the largest spending increase in Texas history and he cut everybody's taxes! Look at the budget numbers, people, they are all up online! How do you compute your numbers sir, because they don't add up.

So while the governor continues his hollow rhetoric, let me run a few other numbers for you. I'm going to do this with round numbers off the top of my head and a calculator, so I'm sure that I will be off but at least in the ballpark.

Ever wondered how much time and money are lost through federal tax returns? Consider that I, a fairly low-income citizen, have spent nearly 8 hours thus far on my taxes. This includes going to the store to buy Turbotax, organizing all my stuff, making calculations, typing, figuring out where things go - and I'm not even done yet.

Let's estimate that of the roughly 250 million people in the USA, about half of them work and do tax returns, roughly 125 million.

Consider, then, that almost 125 million work or free days have been lost due to tax preparation. If the average person's time is worth $10 per hour, or $80 per day, that's roughly $12 billion in lost productivity.

That's a pretty large number, but in reality I'm just scratching the surface. I can't even begin to imagine how the number increases when you add in purchases of tax software, purchases of tax services, and the expenditures of the IRS in processing and auditing. I think it's probably safe to say that we are talking about a 10's-of-billions-of-dollars industry of nothing but waste. Of course, that's the function of the "state" in a nutshell - plus injustice, rights abuse, death, and destruction of private property.

Note: I'm not saying you shouldn't do your taxes, because any money the Federal government doesn't get is great and you don't want to go to jail. I just want to point out that taxes are disastrous to prosperity in a multitude of ways...

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Raising the Minimum Wage???

The House recently passed a bill that will raise the minimum wage from $5.15 to $7.25, proving once again that at least 315 representatives aggregated knowledge of economics barely surpasses that of a dead parrot. The ridiculous notion that a minimum wage actually helps individuals, much less an entire economy, has been documented and debunked so thoroughly by free-market economists that there is no point whatsoever in trying to rehash all of it, but here are some links for your edification...

Minimum wage hike passes House - Homeland Stupidity

Cato Daily Dispatch: House Poised to Raise Minimum Wage

Making Economic Sense

Mythology of the Minimum Wage - Mises Institute

Repeal the Minimum Wage - Mises Institute

Friday, January 05, 2007

Public Schooling - A Pernicious Poison

Check out this fascinating piece (with over 100 comments) by a victim of the system. It's very disheartening to hear of this sort of personal experience, but truly reinforces the fact that government schools are not a "public good" that everyone deserves, but a destructive force that programs state-servants.

How the Public School System Crushes Souls | steve-olson.com