A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for October, 2012

Kurt Bills Appears to be Towing the Republican Party Line

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I noticed a handful of my friends posted a message that they purport to be from Kurt Bills (these friends are supporters of Bills so I have no reason to doubt them). The message really shows how that Bill is more about towing the Republican Party line than standing up for true liberty:

In June 2009 Norm Coleman conceded his Senate race to comedian Al Franken.

He lost the race, after 6 months of recounts and legal battles, by 312 votes.

In December 2010, Tom Emmer conceded his race for Governor after a similar recount, losing by fewer than 9000 votes.

Both races have something in common much more important than the fact that they ended after recounts: they ended with extremely liberal politicians taking power entirely due to the defection of Republicans to third-party candidates.

In a very real way, Democrats didn’t win those elections as much as Republicans chose to lose them.

In my mind, that is shameful. Do any of the Republicans who voted for Dean Barkley or Tom Horner really believe our state and our country are better off with Al Franken and Mark Dayton as Senator and Governor?

This really raises a pet peeve of mine; third parties continue to be blamed for the Republican Party’s losses. Who is really to blame? Are the voters who cast their ballots for third party candidates instead of Republican candidates to blame or is the Republican Party to blame for not fielding candidates its base found acceptable? Bills apparently blames the voters. He seems to think voters are too stupid or incompetent to know what’s best for them.

Norm Coleman was, at best, a middle of the road candidate. He flip flopped almost as much as Romney and he followed no understandable philosophy. It’s not hard to see why he lost. Tom Emmer started out sounding like a candidate Republicans would happily support but after he received the endorsement his statements started moving more towards the center of the political spectrum. I’m sure some campaign strategist took Emmer aside and said, “Listen Tom, you have the endorsement now so you don’t have to make the Republicans happy. Keep a low profile so you don’t put off the Democrats and you will win this election.” Needless to say he lost.

I don’t think the Republican’s failures is the fault of the voters, I believe it’s the fault of the Republican Party itself. Why do the party big wigs think they’ll get support for wishy washy candidates? They must feel entitled to support, which is ironic because they are the ones who speak out so adamantly against entitlement programs. It also appears that Bills believes people should vote for Republicans instead of liberty candidates. This doesn’t surprise me, he’s proving to be more and more of a party shill by the day. Even though the liberty movement in Minnesota is largely responsible for Bill’s endorsement he’s been quick to throw them under the bus.

I’m glad Bills is showing his true colors. Seeing who he really is now will dull the liberty movement’s pain if he gets into office (because once he’s in I’m betting he’s going to go full neocon).

Written by Christopher Burg

October 29th, 2012 at 10:30 am

Monday Metal: Beyond the Sun and Far Away by Vision Divine

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Another week, another metal song. This week it’s Beyond the Sun and Far Away by Italian power metal band Vision Divine:

Written by Christopher Burg

October 29th, 2012 at 10:00 am

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Agorism and Scamming State Programs

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A user on /r/Agorism posted a question asking whether scamming welfare was, according to agorist theory, acceptable. I thought this was an interesting question, one that could be expanded to include scamming any government program.

Let’s consider agorism for a moment. The foundation of agorism is brining an end to the state through counter-economics. States exist through expropriation in the forms of taxation, confiscation of property, fines, fees, etc. Agorists believe that the most effective way to stop the state’s reign is to keep it from expropriating resources. Without those resources a state cannot continue. Simply ending the state isn’t likely enough to prevent another state from growing out of the previous state’s ashes so there is another aspect I believe agorists need to address, educating people on the fact that the state isn’t necessary. Most people have spent their entire lives living under the state and have a hard time imagining how society could function without one. In order to prevent another state from filling the power vacuum left by the previous one agorists must show how society can function without one.

Scamming government programs, in my opinion, can fulfill one of the above goals but would likely be detrimental to the other. From a counter-economics standpoint scamming government programs is a good idea. Every dollar you’re able to collect from the state through welfare, unemployment, Medicare, Medicaid, etc. programs is a dollar less in the hands of the state. Those who can avoid paying taxes and fines but collect money from various government programs will take more resources from the state than they will give. Furthermore if you’ve been forced to pay into this programs previously one cannot make a good argument against using those benefits (you paid for them after all).

What about the other goal? Scamming government programs, in my opinion, can be detrimental to demonstrating the unnecessary nature of the state. One of the most common criticisms of Ayn Rand by non-libertarians is the fact that she collected welfare. They argue that Rand was inconsistent because she relied on welfare while claiming welfare was immoral. Libertarians will point out that Rand was forced to pay into welfare so she was merely taking back what was rightfully hers but non-libertarians still see Rand’s actions as hypocritical. The same argument could easily be applied to agorists who scam government programs. Statists can point to such scams as proof that the scammer is dependent on the state and from there argue that the state is necessary. People tend to give consistent individuals more weight in debates. What could an agorist do to demonstrate the state is unneeded? Separate themselves from the state as much as possible. It’s difficult for a statist to argue the necessity of the state if you’re not using state provided goods and services. If an agorist with medical issues, instead of relying on state services like Medicare and Medicaid, relied on mutual aid from fellow agorists it would send a powerful message.

It’s not my place to rule on whether scamming government programs is the right or wrong thing for an agorist to do. I personally avoid scamming government programs because I believe the most powerful way to promote a philosophy is to live that philosophy. On the other hand I acknowledge the damage taking money from the state causes and thus believe scamming government programs is entirely acceptable. There are many paths to liberty and we much each choose the one we want to travel. Some will choose to fight the state by demonstrating it’s unnecessary. Others will choose to fight the state directly by actively taking resources from it. Neither camp is wrong.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 26th, 2012 at 11:30 am

Unintended Consequences of Prohibitions Against Texting While Driving

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Individual states across the country are passing laws that prohibit texting while driving. How have these laws fair? Not well, in fact these bans have been followed by an increase in accidents:

It’s perplexing for both police and lawmakers throughout the U.S.: They want to do something about the danger of texting while driving, a major road hazard, but banning the practice seems to make it even more dangerous.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety says that 3 of every 4 states that have enacted a ban on texting while driving have seen crashes actually go up rather than down.

It’s hard to pin down exactly why this is the case, but experts believe it is a result of people trying to avoid getting caught in states with stiff penalties. Folks trying to keep their phones out of view will often hold the phone much lower, below the wheel perhaps, in order to keep it out of view. That means the driver’s eyes are looking down and away from the road.

One thing statists and other authoritarians never seem to learn is that making a law against something doesn’t stop people from doing it. Theft, murder, smoking marijuana, and tax fraud are all illegal yet people still steal, murder, smoke weed, and commit tax fraud. What happens when a law is passed that prohibits an action is that people keep performing that action but they try to do it in secret. Thieves move to robbing homes during average working hours when the owners are unlikely to be there, murders come up with complex and sometime absurd plots to avoid being caught, producers and consumers of marijuana have created a very successful black market, and people develop ways to shuffle money around in order to confuse the state’s tax collection goons. In the case of texting while driving people are more apt to hold their cell phone lower, which will entirely remove their eyes from the road and thus increase the chances they’ll get into an accident.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 26th, 2012 at 11:00 am

How Jill Stein’s Green New Deal isn’t Green

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The Green Party runs on a platform of environmentalism that is often mixed with socialist ideas. Hearing Jill Stein, the Green Party’s 2012 presidential candidate, talk about a “Green New Deal” wasn’t surprising but her plan opposes both environmentalism and the socialist idea that capitalism promotes waste:

Like the first New Deal, Stein’s Green New Deal is essentially Hamiltonian, aimed at preventing deflation. Not only does she propose solving the problem of underutilized mass-production facilities with Michael Moore’s expedient of retooling underutilized GM factories to produce high-speed trains, but she calls for an official “full employment” policy based on direct government creation of jobs on a counter-cyclical basis. At present that would mean government creating 25 million public sector jobs, with hiring administered through local employment centers, to guarantee full employment at a living wage.

This Hamiltonian approach is just the kind of thing genuine greens used to object to. It works on exactly the same principles as planned obsolescence and the permanent war economy — that is, it generates enough waste production to guarantee the existing stock of labor and capital will be fully utilized at a target price.

Such proposals are just a greenwashed version of mid-20th century, mass-production capitalism.

Stein wants to promote environmentalism and guarantee full employment. Unfortunately, because of her reliance on the state to accomplish her goals, her ideas are necessarily oppositional to one another. The only way the state could guarantee full employment is to either pay people for not working, draft unemployed individuals into the military, or pay people to produce goods that may or may not be purchased.

Paying people to not work will promote unemployment. Why would somebody seek employment if they knew the state would pay them to not do anything? Most people probably wouldn’t and thus everybody would seek state payment to do nothing and the entire economy of the country would collapse (which would make it impossible for the state to continue paying people to do nothing and thus such a scheme is self-defeating).

That leaves us with military drafts or paying people to produce goods. I think the downside to a military draft is fairly obvious. In order to continue paying individuals in the military the state would have to find some way to expropriate wealth from elsewhere. What better way to expropriate wealth than to invade a foreign country using the giant military you have on hand thanks to the draft? Drafting everybody into the military would, in all likelihood, lead to more wars as the state found itself needing to take more wealth from other countries to pay for it’s drafted military members.

So we’re left with paying people to produce goods. This option seems to directly clash with Stein’s other goal of environmentalism. Most environmentalists view the consumption of resources at being environmentally unfriendly and therefore advocate for reducing what they view as waste. Reducing waste involves consuming less natural resources, which requires producing less goods, using less fuel, reducing the amount of consumed electricity, and many other things that oppose increasing the production of goods. On top of that no guarantee exists that people would purchase the goods being produced as the state doesn’t have the market feedback mechanism to know what is and isn’t in demand.

This is the flaw in most progressive environmental systems. One cannot uphold a great number of socialist ideals, such as guaranteed full employment, and environmentalism.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 26th, 2012 at 10:30 am

Support the Troops, Bring Them Home

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When I express my opposition to the United State’s wars I’m sometimes met with accusations that I don’t support the troops. This attitude baffles me. How can you better support troops then to remove them from a dangerous place where they regularly run the risk of being stabbed, shot, or blown up? War is Hell. Soldiers from different sides try to kill one another in the name of an ideology or flag. Furthermore the consequences of war don’t stop after the shooting ceases. For many soldiers the aftermath of fighting in a war is so great that they find themselves unable to cope with what they’ve experienced and decide to take their own lives. In fact the number of military suicides in 2012 exceeded the number of military fatalities:

The number of suicides among U.S. Army active duty and reserve personnel in 2012 is higher than the total combined military fatalities from Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan over the same timeframe.

While many people will say that this proves the need for more counseling they aren’t addressing the root of the problem. People end up having to do heinous things in war, things humans have a natural tendency against. A soldier may find himself having to shoot an armed child, call down artillery strikes on areas populated with both enemies and civilians, or even torture suspected enemy combatants. These things take a psychological toll on most people and no amount of counseling can repair such mental scars.

Removing soldiers from the battlefield is the only way to effectively put an end to the ever increasing number of military suicides. If you really want to support the troops advocate an end to these needless wars.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 26th, 2012 at 10:00 am

The Amazing World We Live In

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Yesterday Apple announced new products which means a bunch of people who hate Apple’s products have been busy furiously writing about all the stupid decisions Apple apparently made. They claim that the iPad mini is inferior to the Nexus 7 because the former’s Wi-Fi only model lacks a builtin Global Positioning System (GPS) whereas the latter doesn’t. Many angry paragraphs have been written about how horrible it is that all of Apple’s products, minus the slowly dying Mac Pro, have mobile Graphics Processing Units (GPU) and therefore are worthless for gaming. An almost uncountable number of keyboard strokes have been further spent complaining about the price Apple charges for their devices.

Why is everybody spending so much time complaining? If you think the Nexus 7 is a superior product to the iPad mini then get the Nexus 7. Do you want a gaming machine with the most powerful GPUs on the market? Build one or buy one from a company that sells a computer with the specifications you want. Is Apple charging more than you want to pay for their products? Buy products from a company charging what you think is appropriate. We live in a wonderful world where great products can be found everywhere. When you’re buying a tablet device you have to decide if you want the Apple iPad, Samsung Galaxy, Google Nexus, Amazon Kindle Fire, or a tablet from another company. Hell you can even buy multiple tablets. The biggest problem facing consumers is deciding which amazing product to select.

We really do live in the future. Information can be easily and freely obtained thanks to the large group of interconnected computers we call the Internet. Data can be sent, almost like magic, through the air to most parts of the country thanks to cellular networks. Literature, music, and movies can be stored on laptop hard drives, tablets, and portable media players freeing us from carrying bulky books, CDs, and DVDs everywhere we go. I can access the largest information repository in the world from almost anywhere via a device that is so small it fits in my pocket. How fucking awesome is that?

Instead of getting angry over somebody buying a product that doesn’t fit your needs just enjoy the device you bought that does fit your needs. When Apple, Google, Samsung, Amazon, etc. release a new product let’s cheer the fact that we have so many choices available to us. We all have different needs and people are trying to ensure as many of those needs are being fulfilled as possible. The future is here, it’s awesome, and we should be celebrating that fact instead of fighting about it.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 25th, 2012 at 11:30 am

The Obama Administration Plans to Continue Murdering People After the Wars are Declared Over

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Obama and his supporters are making claims that the president will work to end the war in Afghanistan. Judging by Obama’s bloody history this promise is as empty as any other that he’s made. But if the war is ended Obama and his administration want you to know that they still plan on murdering people there for at least another decade:

Based on interviews with “current and former officials from the White House and the Pentagon, as well as intelligence and counterterrorism agencies”, Miller reports that as “the United States’ conventional wars are winding down”, the Obama administration “expects to continue adding names to kill or capture lists for years” (the “capture” part of that list is little more than symbolic, as the US focus is overwhelmingly on the “kill” part). Specifically, “among senior Obama administration officials, there is broad consensus that such operations are likely to be extended at least another decade.” As Miller puts it: “That timeline suggests that the United States has reached only the midpoint of what was once known as the global war on terrorism.”

When the “conventional war” is concluded names are going to continue being added to Obama’s kill list for “at least another decade.” I didn’t realize there was a difference between “conventional war” and ongoing targeted assassinations. As far as I know it’s considered war whenever the government of one country kills people of another country. War is peace I guess.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 25th, 2012 at 11:00 am

How the Obama Administration Justifies Murdering a 16 Year-Old

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When confronted about the murder of Abdulrahman Anwar al-Aulaqi, Anwar al-Awlaki’s 16 year-old son, by drone the Obama administration defended the their actions with one of the sickest justifications I’ve heard:

ADAMSON: …It’s an American citizen that is being targeted without due process, without trial. And, he’s underage. He’s a minor.

GIBBS: I would suggest that you should have a far more responsible father if they are truly concerned about the well being of their children. I don’t think becoming an al Qaeda jihadist terrorist is the best way to go about doing your business.

It was Abdulrahman’s fault for being assassinated by a United States drone because he had an irresponsible father. I guess that means the Obama administration is going to start murdering a lot of children because there are a lot of irresponsible fathers out there. The current administration is made up of some truly sick sons of bitches.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 25th, 2012 at 10:30 am

The Power of a Restraining Order

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Advocates of gun control are very adamant about disarming everybody but the state. When self-defense advocates ask what a woman being targeted by an abusive husband is supposed to do to protect herself gun control advocates usually say she should get a restraining order. While the concept of a restraining order may sound nice on the surface it’s quite literally a piece of paper that holds no actual power over human beings as the recent shooting in Wisconsin demonstrated:

At a restraining order hearing Thursday, the wife, Zina, begged the court for protection, saying her husband would surely kill her.

With her voice shaking, she outlined how he’d threatened to throw acid in her face. How he accused her of cheating on him. How his red hot jealousy terrorized her “every waking moment.”

“Things have gotten so bad. We need to separate,” she said at the hearing, according to a recording obtained by CNN affiliate WISN. “We need a divorce before you hurt me. I don’t want to die.”

The judge sided with her. Haughton was ordered to stay away from his wife for the next four years. He was forbidden from possessing a gun.

She was issued a restraining order yet it proved ineffective:

But on Saturday, he bought a .40-caliber handgun from a private seller. Wisconsin law only requires background checks for purchases from a dealer.

And he waited.

The next day he took her life.

Of course the gun control advocates are pointing out that the shooter was able to avoid a background check because he purchased his firearm from a private seller. What they don’t stop to consider is that it’s unlikely the issued restraining order would have appear on a background check as it was issued Thursday and the gun was purchased Saturday. Things move slowly in the state’s bureaucracy and something issued by a judge rarely shows up in a federal system two days later. More importantly it wouldn’t matter if Wisconsin prohibited private sales since the shooter was planning to commit murder and there is no evidence showing he was unwilling to commit the additional crime of buying a firearm illegally or stealing one.

Laws are not a method of protecting individuals. Like the restraining order a law against private sales only stops those who are concerned about remaining lawful and somebody planning to commit murder is not concerned about remaining lawful.

Written by Christopher Burg

October 25th, 2012 at 10:00 am