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AgnostoLibertarianTechnoGeek

Sunday, October 31, 2004

Vote *and* Die

For the overwhelming majority of the population who are voting fetishists, who believe (erroneously) that "if you don't vote, you have no right to complain" (actually, quite the opposite is true), I offer the following articles on reasons to not vote:

Your Right to Not Vote
Exercise it while you still can
by Gene Calahan

Don't Vote
It's the patriotic thing to do
by Thomas DiLorenzo

Voting is Evil
Abstaining is good
by Brad Edmonds

Be Responsible: Don't Vote
Don't be a conformist
by Wendy McElroy

The Con Game Called Democracy
Voting is a public display of weak character and low intelligence
by Fred Reed

See LewRockwell.com for a full archive.

Friday, October 29, 2004

Article on Libertarian Party third most viewed on Yahoo

At the time of this writing, this article is the third most viewed article in Yahoo News:
WASHINGTON - He's on more ballots than Ralph Nader, but few people know him. Depending on how the presidential election goes this year, they might not even bother to learn Libertarian Michael Badnarik's name.

Instead some might just call him — "spoiler."

Because he's on nearly all the ballots — with the exceptions of Oklahoma and New Hampshire — Badnarik could siphon enough votes from either President Bush or Democrat John Kerry to shift the outcome in a swing state.

Tuesday, October 26, 2004

Other people are not your property, redux

I have been reading blogs over at BlogExplosion, and I just came across one in praise of taxes. How the poor have it rough and the rich can afford to stop whining and give to those who are more needy. I'll agree, that yes, the poor have it rough, and the rich can afford to stop whining and give. However, I've said it before, and I'll say it again, quoting from Roderick T. Long:
Other people are not your property.

In other words: They are not yours to boss around. Their lives are not yours to micromanage. The fruits of their labour are not yours to dispose of.

It doesn’t matter how wise or marvelous or useful it would be for other people to do whatever it is you’d like them to do. It is none of your business whether they wear their seatbelts, worship the right god, have sex with the wrong people, or engage in market transactions that irritate you. Their choices are not yours to direct. They are human beings like yourself, your equals under Natural Law. You possess no legitimate authority over them. As long as they do not themselves step over the line and start treating other people as their property, you have no moral basis for initiating violence against them – nor for authorising anyone else to do so on your behalf.

Someone else's money is not yours to take and do with what you like, no matter how just it would be. You do not own anyone else, nor do you own their property, nor does the government own anyone or their property, nor do the poor own the property of the rich.

You can be as generous as you like with your own money. You can not be "compassionate" or "generous" with someone else's property. That is not generosity. Taking someone else's property is generally called theft.

Monday, October 25, 2004

Mad King George

I've read Charley Reese a number of times on LewRockwell.com, and he appears to be pretty leftist-leaning, but I can't say that I disagree with his assessment of the current (horrible) state of things in Iraq and how we got there. Some excerpts:
In August 2001, he was warned that al-Qaida wanted to attack the United States in our own territory. He did nothing. His claim that he is excused since he did not know the time or place or manner of attack is bull. He should have alerted the airports and airlines, as well as the immigration people, to tighten up and keep a sharp watch. Instead, he thought about Iraq.

[...]

[H]e takes us to war, but how well did this commander in chief perform? Damned poorly. He disregarded advice that we needed more troops. He was confident, according to his big Christian buddy Pat Robertson, that the United States would suffer no casualties. They now stand at 1,103 dead and 8,000 wounded.

[...]

We publicly boasted that we would arrest or kill the firebrand cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Well, Muqtada al-Sadr is still alive and free. In a combat situation, when you say you are going to do something and then fail to do it, you send a message to the enemy that you are weak. A competent commander in chief would never do that.

[...]

Iraqi civilian deaths, that famous "collateral damage," are now estimated between 13,000 and 15,000 human beings, many of them women and children. In that culture, every death requires vengeance.

[...]

If George Bush is your idea of a competent commander in chief, then God help America.

For me, the worst "crime" of this war has been all the deaths of innocents. In my view, this is unpardonable, unforgiveable. If anything is sacred and worth protecting, it is human life. In discussions with others regarding the war, I have been told that the deaths of innocents is "the price of war". Ok, well, if something has a price, then we should be getting something for the price that "we" have paid (and consider that when you buy something, you don't make someone else pay for it... unless you're the government of course). What is it that we have gained for the price? Our safety and security? Has "freeing" the Iraqi people made the US any safer? Are we less likely to suffer attack? Are my children less likely to be called to fight in a war they don't believe in or to be killed by someone who didn't want to be liberated? I sure don't feel that way.

In this war, who has paid the price? Over 1000 US troops and over 10,000 Iraqi civilians. Who has gained the benefit? The American people? The Iraqi people? The new Iraqi government? The terrorists? The U.S. government contractors? The American consumer, who now pays well over $2 per gallon of gasoline? Seems to be there's been a whole lot of cost, and close to zero benefit. In other words, yet another government plan that has gone exactly the way that most other government plans go.

Why is everyone an exhibitionist?

I went and joined BlogExplosion the other day, to try and generate a little bit of traffic to the site. If I can get a few people here, maybe I can earn a dollar or two through my Google ads, y'know? As part of the deal, you have to surf sites they direct you to, and in return, they direct visits to your site, at a two-to-one (in their favor) ratio. So I'm clicking through the blogs. I've only recently started becoming a bit of a blog reader, but it's generally been politically-themed blogs, e.g., LewRockwell.com, Reason, Wendy McElroy's, and so on. It seems like the majority of the blogs I've been directed to through this service are essentially people's diaries.

What I am first surprised by is how exhibitionist everyone is. Why do you care to post on a public web site the fact that you walked your dog today, and it was really cold out, and your dog's poop was a funny color (no, I didn't actually read that on any real blog, but the things I have read were about as mundane)? The things that I post on my site tend to be politically-themed, so that I can perhaps influence one or two people to my (right) way of thinking. I keep the site anonymous, because I don't need anyone holding my views against me personally, and, hey, this isn't how I make a living anyway.

The second thing that surprises me is how many people actually comment on these personal revelations about kids, home life, or how many beers the blogger drank before returning said beers to the ecosphere.

The other item, which didn't really surprise me, but is interesting, is how many blog entries are about BlogExplosion.

*** UPDATE ***

I've noticed that a few people listed at BlogExplosion are posting poetry. Interesting. I should start writing chapters of fiction and just posting them up here and seeing what people think. Maybe I could get off my fat ass and actually write that whatever-I've-been-telling-myself-I-would-write-forever. Or maybe not.

Sunday, October 24, 2004

Badnarik's book released

Michael Badnarik's book on the Constitution was released a few days ago. Pick up a copy from Amazon.com here.



For those who don't know, Michael Badnarik is the Libertarian Party's candidate for President of the United States. If you value Liberty and don't want to truly waste your vote on either of the two "major" party candidates, you would do well to read some of his positions.

Wednesday, October 20, 2004

Could presidential double-speak be any plainer?

Remarks by the President, taken directly from a government website:
I just want you to know that, when we talk about war, we're really talking about peace.

Monday, October 18, 2004

Give a man a fish...

The funniest quote I've read in a long time:
Light a man a fire and he'll be warm for a night. Light a man ON fire and he'll be warm the rest of his life.

Sunday, October 17, 2004

A new informational website

Jeremy Warach has revamped his website, turning it into a destination listing a variety of informational articles. Since he's also a technology guy (hey, like me!), the majority of his articles are on technology topics, especially the web. Go give it a look-see; it looks like he'll be updating it regularly.

Thursday, October 14, 2004

Say it loud and proud, Burt

Burt Rutan of Scaled Composites, winner of the XPrize for successfully launching a privately-financed manned craft into space twice within a week's time, on NASA:
“Look at the progress in 25 years of trying to replace the mistake of the shuttle. It's more expensive…not less…a horrible mistake,” Rutan said. “They knew it right away. And they've spent billions…arguably nearly $100 billion over all these years trying to sort out how to correct that mistake…trying to solve the problem of access to space. The problem is…it's the government trying to do it.”

Wednesday, October 13, 2004

Ignore the Campaign, Too

Russ Stein, writing at LewRockwell.com
Vote? Preposterous. Why would I voluntarily participate in a system in which, no matter what I do I can never gain any advantage over some half-crazed, drugged up senior in Florida who spent his life on welfare or "working" for some small time government bureau, and now votes for the express purpose of extracting additional medical or pension entitlements from his neighbors, paid for out of our income. What kind of scam is that? Sorry, but that’s a game I just don’t want to play.

Tuesday, October 12, 2004

South Park creators vs. activist actors

South Park's Trey Parker in an article on their forthoming movie "Team America: World Police"
'I just am sick of actors on CNN, parroting what they read in the paper,' Parker says. 'I keep expecting Larry King to say, 'And now for a word on Iraq, the Cookie Monster.'

George W. Bush taking Thomas Jefferson out of context

From Roderick T. Long at History News Network
No president, through all of American history, has ever ceded, and nor would I, the right to preempt in any way necessary to protect the United States of America. But if and when you do it, Jim, you've got to do in a way that passes the test -- that passes the global test -- where your countrymen, your people understand fully why you're doing what you're doing, and you can prove to the world that you did it for legitimate reasons.

-- John Kerry, 1 October 2004


He said that America has to pass a global test before we can use American troops to defend ourselves. That's what he said. Think about this. Sen. Kerry's approach to foreign policy would give foreign governments veto power over our national security decisions.

-- George W. Bush, 2 October 2004


When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation. ... The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

--Thomas Jefferson, 4 July 1776


He said that America has to pass a global test before we can use American troops to defend ourselves. That's what he said. Think about this. Mr. Jefferson's approach to foreign policy would give 'the opinions of mankind' and 'a candid world' veto power over our national security decisions.

-- George W. Bush, 5 July 1776 [alternate history timeline]