A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for August, 2012

Destroying Incentives to Provide Services

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What happens when a business owner, who requires the state’s permission to increase his prices, petitions to the state to increase his prices and is denied? He retires:

David Bryson, president of Champion’s Auto Ferry, blamed the MPSC’s refusal to grant a requested fare increase for his decision to retire and close the ferry service at a yet to be determined date.

[…]

“Our tariff was rejected even though we submitted detailed evidence that the traffic volumes were down 8% and that it has been almost 4 years since the last price adjustment,” Bryson wrote.

He said the commission refused to allow the ferry company to include pensions, leases, employee bonuses and legal costs in its operating expenses.

[…]

In his letter, Bryson also blasted the agency for publishing “Champion’s sensitive and detailed financial information on the internet, even though it was shared with you on a confidential basis.

“As a result of the Commission’s practice of applying ever more burdensome utility rules and standards to Champion, we find that we are essentially being regulated out of business and there is no longer any incentive to continue to provide this non-subsidized transportation service.”

Imagine that, when an individual is no longer able to make a profit on his work he no longer has an incentive to do that work. I’m sure Bryson’s announced retirement came as a shock to the regulators. In fact I wouldn’t be surprised if the regulators make a statement blasting Bryson for his “greed” and condemning him for taking away a “right” from the people he served. As much as I don’t like Ayn Rand’s philosophy she really did call it when it came to regulators destroying businesses.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 29th, 2012 at 11:00 am

Yesterday Demonstrated Why Nothing Will be Achieved Using the Political Means

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Yesterday, the Republican National Convention (RNC) demonstrated why nothing will every be achieved using the political means. Big wigs in the Republican Party finally demonstrated the extent they’re willing to go in order to keep out influence from “unpure” sources. Everything came apart when the rules were unanimously passed, and by unanimously I mean not at all unanimously. The rules, which prevented the entire Maine delegation from voting among changing other things to the establishment’s favor, was performed by a voice vote. I was listening to the convention via C-SPAN (yes, I have the C-SPAN app on my phone for these extremely entertaining events) and there was no way one could tell whether the yays or nays were in the majority but the Chairman declared the yays victorious and ignored all calls for division.

Slamming through rules in such a manner is made easier when you are able to keep a large portion of your opposition away from the convention. According to an e-mail sent out by the Ron Paul campaign, the entire Virginia delegation, which was planning to make a move against the new rules, was delayed when their bus was “lost”:

Morton Blackwell, a longtime conservative activist and RNC Rules Committee expert, found himself indefinitely detained – along with the rest of the Virginia delegation.

The RNC’s bus driver responsible for transporting delegates somehow “got lost” for well over an hour until a critical Rules Committee meeting adjourned.

Blackwell and the Virginia delegation were heading up the efforts to defeat new RNC rules proposed by Washington, D.C.-based insider attorneys.

This news was also reported elsewhere.

Calling it a nominating convention would be inaccurate, it was really a crowning of an already chosen king. As I noted previously, Ron Paul wasn’t allowed to speak at the convention because he was unwilling to endorse Romney (probably because Paul was running for the nomination himself). It seems nobody from Paul’s camp was allowed to speak because every speech was basically a talk about how great the Republican Party’s messiah, Romney, is. I think the terms religious experience and circle jerk would be fitting descriptions.

Needless to say the RNC went exactly as I expected. Rules were ignored, dissidence was crushed, and Romney was crowned emperor. Some lessons can only be learned the hard way, and yesterday’s crowning of Romney was one of those lessons. The lesson was simple: nothing can be changed through political means and if one does want to achieve change they must work through other means. Politics is made up primarily of sociopaths who want to hold power over their fellow man. These people are willing to go to any extent to obtain and hold onto that power. Thinking you can play fairly against them is naive.

It’s painful to see friends learn lessons the hard way but I think better things are in store now that the pain is over. Instead of wasting time campaigning for sociopaths, instead of donating absurd amounts of money to people who merely want to rule you, it’s time to ignore the state and use economics to achieve change. Start living free today, join the agorist “revolution.”

Written by Christopher Burg

August 29th, 2012 at 10:30 am

Huckabee is a Funny Man

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During an interaction with the press Huckabee demonstrated that he has quite the sense of humor:

“I don’t think they’ve been disrespected,” Huckabee told a gaggle of reporters as we walked through the convention center here near the Tampa Bay Times Forum. “Elections are about—you get numbers. I lost four years ago, and I didn’t feel disrespected as much as I felt defeated. You have to accept that the voters make a choice and the voters made a choice.”

He cracks me up. Elections are about votes? You just have to get the numbers? I guess that is true in a roundabout way. After the Republican Party threatened Nevada’s delegation with banishment if “too many” of them were Ron Paul supporters, had Ron Paul supporters arrested at a convention in Louisiana, invalidated Ron Paul delegates in Massachusetts, and prevented Ron Paul supporters in Maine from participating the vote certainly are in Romney’s favor.

It’s good to see that Huckabee isn’t bitter over his severe loss last election cycle and can still find the time to crack a joke or two at the expense of the political process.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 29th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Anything Less Would be Uncivilized

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Jeffrey Tucker truly makes for the best memes:

Written by Christopher Burg

August 28th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

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Apparently I’m Dirty Harry

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It would seem that, according to the New York Times, I’m Dirty Harry:

That’s right, according to the New York Times, I care one of the most deadly handgun calibers on today’s market:

The pistol used by a disgruntled designer to kill a former co-worker outside the Empire State Building on Friday is among the more lethal handguns on the American firearms market.

Police Commissioner Raymond W. Kelly said the shooter, Jeffrey T. Johnson, 58, used a .45-caliber semiautomatic pistol that held eight rounds.

Whereas Jeffrey Johnson carried a 1911 that held eight .45 rounds I carry a Glock 30SF, which holds 11 .45 rounds. How a low velocity 100 year-old cartridge can be one of the more lethal cartridges on a market with the .357 magnum, .44 magnum, and .50 action express is beyond me. What I do know is that the stupidity didn’t stop there:

“If you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re probably not going to be able to hit the broad side of a barn with it,” said Joseph F. King, a former United States Customs Service special agent. But, he added, “If you can put a round in center mass of the body, or the head, he’s probably not going to make it.” The firearm, powerful as it may be, is not the subject of much of the debate about gun control.

Really? So if I shoot somebody in the head with a .45 they likely won’t make it but if I hit them in the head with a 9mm they’ll be hunky dory? Is that what King is trying to say? Because if it is he’s a bloody idiot.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 28th, 2012 at 11:30 am

Bribery

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I’ve become convinced that the way to make an immoral act moral in the United States is to add a layer of obfuscation. Advocates of gun control often claim that shooting another human being, even in self-defense, is immoral yet having the police shoot an aggressor is moral. Mugging another person is an immoral act yet taking their money by voting to increase their taxes is moral. Bribery is treated no differently.

In much of the world bribery is considered a fact of life but here in the United States it’s viewed as an immoral act, at least if you bribe somebody directly. When you’re pulled over by a police officer and attempt to bribe them they can arrest you for that act alone or suffer later consequences if they accept your bribe. This is interesting because that same police officer can write you a ticket and a ticket is nothing more than a state sanctioned bribe. People don’t pay tickets because they feel they deserved to be punished for a transgression, they pay tickets to keep themselves from being locked in a cage. Effectively paying a ticket is nothing more than bribing the state in the hopes it won’t lock you in a cage. How does the act of bribery suddenly become moral when a layer of obfuscation is introduced? I would much rather be able to bribe a police officer directly.

Consider what a police officer is likely do with bribe money. In all likelihood a police officer is going to use that bribe money for personal satisfaction. He may use it to buy a boat, feed his family, or acquire some hookers and blow. None of these things negatively impact my life, unlike the purchased made by the state with bribe money. When the state obtains bribe money it use it to buy more police cars, hire more officers, and build more cages. Like the police officer, the state spends bribe money on personal satisfaction. Unlike the police officer, the state’s personal satisfaction negatively impacts my life. With more officers and more police cars available the chances that I can be issued a ticket go up and an increase in the number of cages allows the state to threaten more people with incarceration.

Why is bribery immoral when done directly but moral when done indirectly? It seems the amount of damage caused by direct bribes is less than the damage caused by indirect bribes. If I’m going to be forced to pay bribes at least let me pay those bribes to the entity less likely to cause more harm to my life.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 28th, 2012 at 11:00 am

You’re Paying for the Democratic and Republican Party Convetions

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Who’s footing the bill for the massive political conventions being used by the political minded to select new masters for everybody in the country? You and I are:

I encourage all Americans to tune into the Republican and Democratic conventions in the coming days, because, after all, you’re paying for it.

Yes, the U.S. Treasury last year cut a $17.7 million check to the Committee on Arrangements for the 2012 Republican National Convention, and a check for an identical amount to the 2012 Democratic National Convention Committee.

That’s $35.4 million taxpayers are paying for things like balloons, speech prep, liquor, newspaper subscriptions, hotel rooms,as I wrote last year. It’s not security spending. Perusing the convention committee’s spending records shows what you’re paying for.

Isn’t it great? Money is taken from you at the point of the state’s gun so the state can spend it on massive spectacles meant to boost the egos of politicians and make everybody involved in the political process feel special (and thus connivence them to continue throwing away time and money on political campaigns). Politics really is a sucker’s game.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 28th, 2012 at 10:30 am

Advocates of Liberty to the Back of the Bus

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Reading this story leads me to believe the Republican Party doesn’t want the liberty advocates making a ruckus at the Republican National Convention (RNC):

The GOP is shoving the Ron Paul Revolution to the margins — of the Tampa Bay Times Forum.

The Republican National Convention seating chart, obtained by POLITICO Sunday, shows the delegations from Nevada, Louisiana, Maine, Minnesota and Oklahoma all located on the outer fringe of the convention floor. Each are states with significant Paul followings.

The delegation for the Northern Mariana Islands, on the other hand, is right in front behind the gang from Michigan, birth state of Republican nominee Mitt Romney. Other groups with pretty good seats include those from the U.S. Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and American Samoa. None has electoral votes that can impact the outcome of the election.

I’m sure this is just a massive coincidence because I’ve been told time and time again that the Republican Party is the party where members truly have a say. Shoving off dissenters would be akin to censorship and we all know the Republican Party would never do anything like that.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 28th, 2012 at 10:00 am

Protecting and Service the Crap Out of You

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It’s a good thing New York City has such strict gun control laws. Without those laws potentially dangerous individuals may be able to carry firearms. Imagine the insanity! A minor scuffle could turn into a wild shootout with innocent bystanders being gunned down by crazy gun-totting lunatics. Fortunately this isn’t the case because Mayor Bloomberg has ensured dangerous individuals can’t obtain firearms. What’s that? Gun control laws don’t apply to police officers? They only apply to you and me? I guess that explains this:

All nine people injured in Friday’s Empire State Building shooting were hurt as a result of police fire, New York’s police chief has confirmed.

During the incident, which was captured by surveillance cameras, police officers shot dead a gunman who had just killed a former work colleague.

Commissioner Ray Kelly said bystanders had been hit by bullets or fragments of bullets striking objects.

[…]

“It appears that all nine of the victims were struck either by fragments or by bullets fired by police,” said Commissioner Kelly.

This is one of the reasons why gun control laws are idiotic. Advocates of gun control demand that firearms be taken away from nonviolent individuals while letting violent state thugs keep their firearms. In essence individuals who are basically immune from consequences resulting from misdeeds are allowed to carry firearms while individuals who have to suffer the consequences of their misdeeds are left defenseless. This case shows what happens when legally shielded individuals who couldn’t care less about the lives of individuals employ firearms, they throw caution to the wind and act as though any caused damage is irrelevant. An individual beholden to the law, that is to say people like you and me, are generally far more careful because we realize employing our firearms can result is negative legal consequences on top of the potential loss of lives.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 27th, 2012 at 12:00 pm

Ron Paul Remains Principled

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Rand Paul and Kurt Bills both ended up endorsing Mitt Romney for president. Rand Paul, as Ron Paul’s son, demonstrated his willingness to betray family in order to make a political gain. Kurt Bills, as one of Ron Paul’s endorsed candidates, proved his principles are easily set aside for a political gain. Thankfully Ron Paul hasn’t followed in their footsteps and refused to endorse Romney:

Mr. Paul, in an interview, said convention planners had offered him an opportunity to speak under two conditions: that he deliver remarks vetted by the Romney campaign, and that he give a full-fledged endorsement of Mr. Romney. He declined.

“It wouldn’t be my speech,” Mr. Paul said. “That would undo everything I’ve done in the last 30 years. I don’t fully endorse him for president.”

Ron Paul’s unwillingness to put politics before principles is why he’s one of the very few politicians I will support (the other person on my short list is Vermin Supreme because I want a free pony damn it). Needless to say I congratulate him on refusing to endorse Romney for political gain. It’s too bad his son and endorsed candidate couldn’t have done the same.

Written by Christopher Burg

August 27th, 2012 at 11:30 am