If Only They Had Funding

I’m not sure Bill Gates realizes the sheer amount of idiocy he just spouted:

Bill Gates told an audience of energy entrepreneurs, scientists and investors at the ARPA-E energy conference on Tuesday that “It’s crazy how little we’re funding energy.” Energy research is underfunded by a factor of two, Gates said, referring to the amount of current U.S. government investment in energy research.

If only there was a source these energy companies could get funding from. What we really need is a multi-billionaire who is also an advocate of investing in energy companies. I wonder where we could find such a person?

Gates has expressed similar sentiments before. He is part of the American Energy Innovation Council, which about two years ago called for a government investment of $16 billion per year into basic research to deliver energy innovation. Since that foundation launched, he has said that he has been stunned that the government hasn’t been able to rise to the occasion.

$16 billion? It’s too bad we don’t know somebody who had an insane sum of money, say $59 billion, that could be invested into this market.

Without Rearview Cameras in Automobiles Everybody will Die

It’s a good thing we have the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) to keep a watchful eye on us. Without their great concern for our safety we may not have life saving rearview cameras mandatorily installed in our automobiles. Wait… haven’t we been getting along just fine since the invention of the Ford Model T without rearview cameras? I guess that fact is entirely irrelevant to NHTSA since they’ve now trying to make the installation of such cameras mandatory:

According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, 228 people die and around 17,000 people are injured annually in backover accidents involving cars, trucks and SUVs. What’s worse is that nearly half of the fatalities are children. In 2010, NHTSA proposed a rearview camera mandate for all passenger vehicles, and The New York Times is reporting that the agency will send a final version of the plan to Congress on Wednesday.

If passed, automakers would be required to put rearview cameras in all passenger vehicles by 2014. “Adoption of this proposal would significantly reduce fatalities and injuries caused by backover crashes involving children, persons with disabilities, the elderly and other pedestrians,” NHTSA said in its proposal.

Yup, yet another mandatory expense included in the cost of automobiles. I’m still waiting for the mandatory inclusion of a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking device in each automobile that can be activated whenever some punk law enforcement officers wants to know your location.

The United State’s Censorship Powers Extend Beyond Its Borders

After the failures of SOPA and PIPA I brought up the fact that both pieces of legislation were irrelevant because the government would just act as if the laws were passed. Merely taking down MegaUpload wasn’t enough to satisfy the United State government’s appetite for censorship and now they’ve started enlisting the help of private domain registrars to take down more “undesirable” websites:

Yesterday Forbes broke the news that Canadian Calvin Ayre and partners who operate the Bodog online gambling empire have been indicted in the U.S., and in a blog post Calvin Ayre confirmed that their bodog.com domain had been seized by homeland security.


But now, none of that matters, because in this case the State of Maryland simply issued a warrant to .com operator Verisign, (who is headquartered in California) who then duly updated the rootzone for .com with two new NS records for bodog.com which now redirect the domain to the takedown page.

Verisign is the ultimate authority in all .com domains. When you register a .com domain through other sites such as GoDaddy, eNom, or Hover they’re merely acting as resellers, middlemen, between you and Verisign. What this means is that Verisign can technically take down any .com domain, and the United States government used their authority to make Verisign take down a .com website even though the site was hosted outside of the government’s official reach.

This demonstrates quite succinctly that the government doesn’t actually need to pass any Internet censorship bills, such legislation would serve as a simple formality. What the government wants to do they do and anybody who attempts to stand in their way will find themselves crushed under the weight of the leviathan.

Does this mean everybody should rush out and register their sites with top-level domains controlled by organizations residing in foreign lands? You could attempt to do that although I highly doubt it would accomplish much. The United State’s government has a lot of pull and can likely get any domain they wish seized. It’s certainly a decent backup plan though, even if it is likely a temporary one. What we really need is a decentralized Dynamic Name System (DNS) that not central authority holds control over.

They Keystone Pipeline

A rather controversial topic I’ve not chimed in on so far is the construction of the Keystone Pipeline. For those unaware, the Keystone Pipeline is a large pipeline that would transport oil from the tar sands of Canada to refineries in the United States. The environmentalists oppose it and those hoping for cheaper case support it. Sadly a fact that seems to get less air time is the fact that this pipeline requires the theft of private property through eminent domain:

In 2007 TransCanada’s agents at Universal Field Services approached Randy Thompson, 64, of Martell, NE, asking to survey his farm land. Thompson assented at first, under the assumption that he’d have final say over whether a Canadian company would be allowed to build anything on his property.

“Once I found out a little bit more about what was going on, I rescinded that permission,” Thompson told TPM by phone on Sunday. “[W]e did meet with them once, maybe a couple times. We told them, you don’t have a permit yet, so we absolutely do not want this thing on our property. So until you actually get a permit we have no reason to have any further discussion about this. They continually called me, like once a month or whenever they felt like it. Kept the pressure on us. Made us an offer, $9000. Whatever the offer was, we just don’t want the damn thing on our property.”

That’s when TransCanada really stepped up the pressure.

“In July 2010, we got a written letter from TransCanada, they told us if you don’t accept this within 30 days, we’re going to immediately start eminent domain proceedings against you,” Thompson said. “They didn’t say anything about a permit. I tried to contact the Governor’s office. All I got back was a form letter talking about the pipeline.”

And there lies to true problem with this pipeline, as currently planned it can only be built by using the government’s gun to forcefully steal land from rightful property owners. Eminent domain is a terrible concept that states nobody within the United States (or any of the other nations that have the same laws, which is most of them) can actually own property, instead you may only lease it from the state for as much time as they deem appropriate.

When I bring this up people will often state that eminent domain is OK because the state is required to pay you “just compensation” for any seized property. This argument forgets the fact that value is a subjective term. While a piece of property may only be valued at $100,000 by surveyors it may command a far higher value to a person whose family has been in possession of the property for multiple generations. Determination of value requires two parties: one who is attempting to buy the property and one who is selling the property. The value of the property is that which is agreeable to both parties. This is true of any voluntary transaction, but the state doesn’t deal in voluntary transactions.

If the state wants your land they declare a value, cut you a check for the value they determine, and forcefully remove you from the property if you don’t agree with the states assessment. Eminent domain is theft, period. TransCanada has no right to use the state to forcefully take what isn’t theirs, they need to either give the current owner what is being demanded or go with another plan.

Sadly the state is all too happy to loan it’s capacity for violence to a high bidder like TransCanada and that fact demonstrates the lack of property rights in this country. Without absolute property rights no true freedom can exist.

This pipeline should be condemned to the depths of Hel.

Happy Birthday Murray Rothbard

Today, March 2nd woud be Murray Rothbard’s birthday, were he not dead and all. Rothbard was the man when it came to both austrian economics and libertarian philosophy. The man’s works speak for themselves and I want to take a few seconds to recommend some of his best works (in my opinion).

Man, Economy, and State was his treatise on economics. Originally intended to be a study companion for Ludwig von Mises’s Human Action, it ended up being a full blown economics book where Rothbard even managed to correct some of Mises discoveries. If you want a deep understanding of economics this is the book to read.

On the topic money Rothbard wrong the excellent What Has Government Done to Our Money? In it Rothbard explains monetary theory (in other words how money is nothing more than a commodity to facilitate trade) including how money came into use, why commodity based money is the only valid monetary system, and how the government fucked us all over by forcing us to use their fiat currency that they manipulate in such a fashion as to steal our purchasing power.

Speaking of fiat money we should look into the Federal Reserve and its origins, which Rothbard did in The Origins of the Federal Reserve. In it he explains the history of the Federal Reserve from the fateful meeting of bankers at Jekyll Island to its actual establishment.

When it comes to libertarian philosophy Rothbard had two excellent titles. The first was For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto and the second was The Ethics of Liberty. For a New Liberty looks at libertarianism as an escape from our current state of tyranny and gives justification. In The Ethics of Liberty Rothbard explained the ethics behind libertarianism. Both books are excellent reads.

Rothbard made great contributions to the libertarian movement and it’s sad that he’s not more well known, even in libertarian circles. I would argue that he was one of the greatest minds to ever contribute to libertarian philosophy and economics. All the material I mentioned is freely available at the links I provided. You would be doing yourself a great service to checking out at least one or two of his books, especially if you consider yourself a libertarian or are curious about libertarians and their beliefs.

Oderus Urungus’s Presidential Endorsement

While I don’t give two shits about presidential endorsements I have to hand it to Oderus Urungus, he based his endorsement on his beliefs, not on who is or isn’t “electable”:

Do not vote for them, gather in mobs and attack them in their homes — drag them into the streets and impale them upon a gigantic wheel of over-sized knives, and this goes for Obama too!

I’d say he should watch out for the Department of Motherland Homeland Security (DHS) but I’m doubting they have what it takes to abduct Oderus.

The State’s Solution to Everything

The state has a hammer so it sees every problem as a nail. For example if they state is trying to prevent the demise of a species of bird they inevitably look for something that can be killed and label it as the problem:

To save the imperiled spotted owl, the Obama administration is moving forward with a controversial plan to shoot barred owls, a rival bird that has shoved its smaller cousin aside.


The plan to kill barred owls would not be the first time the federal government has authorized killing of one species to help another. California sea lions that feast on threatened salmon in the Columbia River have been killed in recent years after efforts to chase them away or scare them failed.


Just how many barred owls would be killed and where remains undecided, although officials said hundreds of birds are likely to be killed with shotguns.

This post isn’t so much about environmentalism as it is about the fact that states only know how to wield violence to solve perceived problems. They have decided that the dwindling population of spotted owls is a major problem meaning there must be something that can be killed in order to help the population recover.

Whether the problem be drugs, poor foreign relations, or endangered animals the only solution is to wield violence until the problem goes away.

HF 1467 has been Sent to Dayton’s Office, Start Calling Him Now

I’ve gotten word that HF 1467, the Minnesota omnibus gun rights bill, has been delivered to Dayton’s office. You know what this means, right? It’s all or nothing, we need to start hounding Dayton’s office even more than we already have.

Take a few minutes to call Dayton’s office at either 651-201-3400 or 800-657-3717. After you’re done with the call it would be a good idea to pen a real physical dead tree letter to his office. Letters can be sent to:

Governor Mark Dayton
130 State Capitol
75 Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55155

Why stop there? You can then send a free fax via FaxZero to the Governor’s office at 651-797-1850. Finally navigate your browser to the contact form on the Governor’s website and hit his inbox up with a letter urging him to sign HF 1467.

We need to be heard so Dayton realizes that his veto of the bill will mean Minnesota gun owner’s veto of his job come election time.

Why are you still here? GO GO GO!

We Won’t Pay

People in Greece are finally coming to terms with the abusive relationship they have with their government. While some have opted to riot in the streets others are looking at a far more peaceful, and effective, solution to the problem: starving the beast:

The people who could ultimately give Greece the coup de grace are not the kind to throw stones or Molotov cocktails, and they have yet to torch any cars. Instead, they are people like 60-year-old beverage distributor Angelos Belitsakos, people who might soon turn into a real problem for the economically unstable country. Feeling cornered, he and other private business owners want to go on the offensive. But instead fighting with weapons, they are using something much more dangerous. They are fighting with money.

Belitsakos is a short, slim and alert man who lives in the middle-class Athenian suburb of Holargos. He is also the physical and spiritual leader of a movement of businesspeople in Greece that is recruiting new members with growing speed. While Greece’s government is desperately trying to combat its ballooning budget deficit by raising taxes and imposing new fees, people like Belitsakos are putting their faith in passive resistance.

The group’s slogan is as simple as it is stoic: “We Won’t Pay.”

An elegant solution if I do say so myself. The business owners are pissed and have decide they’re no longer going to pay the state for services that aren’t being delivered. Good on these people. Violent actions against the state seldom succeed because the state specializes in violence. Trying to take on a specialist rarely succeeds unless you are also a specialist. Looking at the riots in Greece, namely the unspecified nature of the rioters’ aggression, allows one to see that the people of Greece are not specialists in the use of violence, they aren’t even capable of targeting the entity that is responsible for the current economic hardships. On the other hand the state can only wield its capacity for violence so long as they can continue paying those it employs as agents. When money is no longer flowing into the state’s coffers they will eventually be unable to pay the military and police, at which point their threats of violence against the people become meaningless as they can’t be backed.

The problem with refusing to pay the state comes in getting a large enough base of taxpayers to sign on; something that can be difficult when the state threatens violence against those who don’t pay the demanded tithe. If these business owners succeed, if they get a large enough percentage of the population refusing to give the state money, they have an opportunity to resist the present austerity measures being imposed upon them. I wish these people luck. The government of Greece violated the coercive contract it foisted upon the populace so there is no argument to be made for the people complying with the government’s demands.

Are You in an Abusive Relationship

Those in abusive relationships often don’t realize it. It’s sad and difficult to bring up when you believe one of your friends is in an abusive relationship because you know the potential for cognitive dissonance is high. I think it’s important for all of us to take a few minutes out of your life and see you’re encountering any of the 10 signs that you’re in an abusive relations… with your government:

When you think of an abusive relationship, what adjectives come to mind? Controlling? Violent? Humiliating? Jealous? Obsessive? Go figure, it doesn’t take a huge stretch of the imagination to apply these same adjectives to many of the world’s governments throughout history and certainly the absolute states that emerged in modernity with their absolute warfare, constant surveillance, and obsessive control of every aspect of their citizens’ lives from cradle to grave– the federal government of the fifty American states being no exception to this unfortunate state of affairs.



Yeah, we’re in an abusive relationship with our government. The problem with abusive relationships is that it’s hard for the person in them to see that they’re in one. They make excuses for their abuser. They believe that their abuser really loves them and has their best interests at heart. They think a real change is always just around the corner, and the abuser takes advantage of this by perpetually promising to make changes and get better, promises that are never kept– the abuse just keeps going on and getting worse. Of course the first step is acknowledging that there’s a problem, that we’re in an abusive relationship with our government, and while a lot of Americans are starting to reach that point, it seems we’re not yet at a critical mass. We need to keep spreading the message and helping the people in this country to see just how abusive, violent, controlling, and malicious their government is.

I’ve acknowledged the abusive nature of my relationship with the government and have been trying to get out of it. Sadly it’s not easy. For our entire relationship the government has been claiming they only hurt me because they love me. When I ask the government to show me it loves me it will talk about all the people overseas that it’s killing, claiming that those people wanted to harm me. The government will also point to the roads I used every day and tell me it provides them because of its love for me, then reminds me that nobody else could possible provide me with such a luxurious lifestyle. I’ll bring up the fact that the government doesn’t let me leave without permission but it assures me that requiring a passport to leave and come up is absolutely necessary for my protection.

The hartest part is admitting the relationship is abusive. Once you’ve admitted this you can work on getting help. I’ve tried begging, discussion, and counseling to no avail. At this point I think the only option is to entirely end this relationship and send the government packing. Unfortunately the government claims ownership of my home and has friends in the court meaning my chances of kicking the government out of my life are slim at this point. Knowing others are in the same position I’ve started a support group for victims of government abuse and we’re trying to support one another until we can get out of our current predicaments.