Using the State to Crush Competitors

What do you do when you’re a large pharmaceutical company and some new product comes to market that challenges your supremacy? Get your friends in the state to regulate that competitor out of existence:

This fall, the European Parliament considered new rules regulating e-cigs. E-cigarette manufacturers, of course, lobbied like crazy to block the proposal, and it seems they won. But the drugmakers fought for stricter regulations, for obvious reasons: E-cigarettes compete with prescription drugs that are supposed to help people stop smoking.

GlaxoSmithKline sells Nicorette gum and Johnson & Johnson manufactures nicotine patches. The New York Times reported these companies helped lead “strong opposition” to e-cigarettes.

In the U.S., the Food and Drug Administration is about to announce new proposed rules on e-cigarettes. Big Pharma’s shadow hangs over the rule-making.

It’s a time honored tradition that has been used by monopolists since the beginning of statism. Here in Minnesota there is already talk of regulating e-cigarettes the same as tobacco cigarettes. Why would a far safer alternative be regulated the same as a far more dangerous product? Because the far safer alternative stands to cut into the profits of some very powerful lobbyists and the state is generally quick to protect those that have scratched its back.

One Hawaiian Politician is Taking the State’s War Against the Homeless to a New Level

The state has been waging war against the homeless for some time now. But one Hawaiian politician is taking matters into his own hands to make the lives of those with nothing even more miserable:

WAIKIKI (HawaiiNewsNow) – State Rep. Tom Brower has taken a sledgehammer and a novel approach to Hawaii’s homeless problem.

“I got tired of telling people I’m trying to pass laws. I want to do something practical that will really clean up the streets,” he said.

In his spare time he scours streets and parks in his district, looking for shopping carts homeless use to store and move their belongings. He returns good ones to stores and destroys others with his sledgehammer.

“I find abandoned junk, specifically shopping carts, and I remove them. I also create a situation where those carts can’t be pushed around the city. I think it’s a good thing,” he said.

Once again I feel the need to stress the fact that the state isn’t going to solve the problem of homelessness. Politicians don’t see the homeless as individuals in need of help; they see the homeless as vermin whose lives must be made miserable so they move on to a different city, county, state, or country. If we want to help the homeless we will need to roll up our sleeves and do it ourselves. In fact we’ll have to fight the state in order to help the homeless as it is determined to make helping the homeless illegal.

3D Printed Firearms and the Undetectable Firearms Act

Talk about a panty wadding combination of events. Firearms that can be printed on 3D printers are becoming more advanced and the Undetectable Firearms Act is set to expire on December 9th of this year. That can only mean one thing. Chuck Schumer is going to step up to the plate and attempt to perform the impossible act of prohibiting the advancement of technology:

ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — As the technology to print 3-D firearms advances, a federal law that banned the undetectable guns is about to expire.

U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer says he’s seeking an extension of the law before it expires Dec. 9.

He said the technology of so-called 3-D printing has advanced to the point anyone with $1,000 and an Internet connection can access the plastic parts that can be fitted into a gun. Those firearms can’t be detected by metal detectors or X-ray machines.

I don’t think Schumer realizes how incredibly stupid he sounds at the moment. He states, truthfully, that firearms that are undetectable by metal detectors and X-ray machines can be created on 3D printers. Then he claims that the Undetectable Firearms Act must be renewed to prevent these firearms from becoming available. Of course the law hasn’t expired yet and the plastic firearms are already being created. In other words, the Undetectable Firearms Act is pointless. People are already creating firearms that cannot be detected by metal detectors or X-ray machines even though the law hasn’t expired yet. Renewing the law is a moot point.

To borrow a famous Taoist saying, no one rules if no one obeys. The advancement of technology is leaving the old hierarchy in the dust. We are outpacing their ability to control us. While people like Schumer are arguing for a need to extend the Undetectable Firearms Act people are already creating firearms that violate that act. To make matters better, the people creating the blueprints for these unlawful firearms can remain anonymous. Creating one of these firearms carries little risk since it can be done by a single individual from the comfort of his or her own home. Without a target to attack the state cannot enforce its decrees. Since the threat of state violence is beginning to become less of an issue fewer people are seeing a need to obey, which means the state’s power is slowly crumbling.

Second 3D Printed Metal Gun Unveiled

Solid Concepts, the company that brought us the first 3D printed firearm made out of metal, have unveiled their second 3D printed metal gun:

Solid Concepts announces the successful creation of the world’s second 3D printed metal gun. Our second iteration is composed entirely of Inconel 625, a material that is stronger than Stainless Steel (and a bit heavier) save for the springs which were not 3D Printed. The gun is once again composed of thirty-four 3D Printed components. Our second gun will be stress relieved and post processing will be by hand once again.

Inconel 625 is a harder, stronger alloy than 17-4 Stainless Steel. We modified the geometry for this second iteration to incorporate different tolerances in order to make hand finishing sufficiently easier. With our first prototype, we had to hand sand to perfect a few tolerances, but our tweaks to the design should remove the need for such sanding. Our first gun is now up to 700+ rounds.

Once again I feel that it’s necessary to stress two facts. First, 3D printers capable of working with metal are extremely expensive. Second, as the technology of printing with metals advances it will also become cheaper. It is only a matter of time until 3D printers capable of working with metals become affordable to small groups of individuals. Gun control, never an attainable goal anyways, is now all be entirely dead. Once small groups of people can afford 3D printers capable of working with metals gun control will be entirely dead.

As the technology of 3D printers advance gun control advocates will almost certainly resort to attempted censorship. But that battle is already lost. The Internet was designed as a mechanism to share information. It’s very good at that task. What it isn’t good at is restricting the flow of information. Any attempt to censor information on the Internet is a lost cause from the word go. In other words, gun control cannot succeed because in this day and age the only tool in its arsenal, controlling access to firearms, is a pipe dream.

Advocates of Gun Control Create a Sandy Hook Shooting Simulator

I guess the imminent demise of gun control is starting to get to some of its advocates. They’ve apparently suffered a mental snap and have decides to create a game that allows players to reenact the Sandy Hook School shooting:

A new pro-gun-control game allows players to reenact last year’s Sandy Hook elementary school massacre.

The game, The Slaying of Sandy Hook, has players to carry out a bleak, stylized version of the shooting, which took the lives of 20 children and six adults. Players take on the role of Adam Lanza, the perpetrator, and text boxes prompt them to pick up a Glock pistol, move into the bedroom of Lanza’s mother, Nancy, and shoot her four times, just as Lanza did in real life. They are then directed to pick up an AR-15, ammunition, and Nancy Lanza’s car keys.

The game then moves to Sandy Hook Elementary where players have an 11 minute time-limit to kick in classroom and bathroom doors and slaughter students and teachers as they flee or cower on the ground. There are no voices or music; the only sound effects come from gunfire and bullets impacting bodies. When prompted, players may also end the game by committing suicide.

I’m not sure what the message this game is trying to send is. After first I assumed it was simply a cry for gun control. But the fact that the game has a “gun control mode” that allows you to slaughter students just as handily has the “uncontrolled gun mode” leads me to believe otherwise:

The game also has a “gun control mode,” which allows players to attempt to carry out the massacre using a katana—after sarcastically challenging the player to open a gun safe—and suggests that Lanza would have been able to break into the school anyway if a sledgehammer “happened to be . . . available.”

Maybe the message here is that gun free zones are ineffective. It makes sense. Without a means of responding to initiators of violence schools are at the mercy of anybody with violence in their heart. It doesn’t matter if an evil doer walks into a school with a gun or a katana, they effectively have free reign until police arrive. That message seems detrimental to the mission of advancing gun control so I can only assume the creators of this game suffered a lapse of judgement.

We Need a State to Protect Us from a State

Stop me if you’ve heard this one before. While discussing anarchism a statist pops in and says “Guys, if we don’t have a state some war lord is going to take over and enslave everybody!” The anarchists look at the statist baffled. One of the anarchists looks to another and asks “Did he just say we need a state to protect us from a state?” The other anarchist slowly nods his head and response “I think he did.”

Claiming that we need a state to protect us from war lords is circular reasoning. Consider what a war lord is. A war lord is nothing more than a man with an army who goes from area to area and uses his army’s capacity for violent to coerce people into obeying him. In other words a war lord is nothing more than an individual who uses coercion in an attempt to acquire a monopoly on the use of force. What is a state? An organization that uses coercion in an attempt to acquire a monopoly on force.

After hearing that reasoning the statist is likely to rebut with the claim that his or her preferred system of government is somehow different. A vast majority of the time the statist will be advocating for a currently or historically existing form of government that has already proven his or her claim false. Fans of constitutional republics will claim that a properly written constitution will protect the people form a tyrannical government. The United States is proving this claim false every day. Even though a large majority of fans of constitutional republics claim the Constitution is a properly written document it has failed to protect us and people abroad from government tyranny. Socialists will often jump in and claim more democracy will fix an problem. But when they say more democracy they almost imply that too much democracy will be detrimental. You see, a society where every person has an equal vote in matters is a form of anarchy and that’s possibly work. But if people are allowed to vote on certain governmental positions and certain laws then tyranny can be avoided. Just ask the former Soviet Union! Then there are the fans of limited socialism. These are the statists that aren’t ballsy enough to jump into the deep end of the socialism pool and too scared to take a dip in the constitutional republic river. In their mind striking the right balance between socialism and republicanism will solve all of the world’s ills. Norway is the commonly cited example of a functioning social democracy. Of course advocates of social democracy often overlook Norway’s foreign engagements. I’m sure things will become even more interesting once Norway’s vast oil supply runs out.

How are war lords supposed to protect us from war lords? I guess one could argue that a slightly less violent war lord is preferable to a more violent war lord. But history has demonstrated that most of those less violent war lords become more violent once they have conquered their competitors. Whenever you hear a statist claim we need a state to protect us from war lords just remember what he or she is really saying: we need a war lord to protect us from war lords. I’m sure there’s some way to use fire to protect one’s self from fire but the outcome seems to be little but ashes either way.

Lots of Money, Little Effect

The Government Accountability Office (there’s an oxymoron of a name if one ever existed) has finally announced what most of us have known since 2001. All of the money being spent to fund the Transportation Security Administration’s (TSA) Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program has been wasted:

The federal government may have wasted $1 billion on a TSA program called “SPOT” that profiles people who may be “bad guys” at airports by talking to them, the Government Accountability Office reported Wednesday. There is no evidence that it works, it said.

The Transportation Security Administration’s Screening of Passengers by Observation Techniques (SPOT) program relies on training personnel to recognize indicators like fear, stress or deceptive behavior that can be used to identify persons who may pose a risk to aviation security. Those who exhibit those indicators are subjected to additional security screening.

Polygraphs, better known as lie detectors, are an instrument that fail to perform the act they claim to excel at. This is because there are no known human responses to lying. SPOT was doomed to fail for the same reason. There’s no consistent way to detect through observation, that science is currently aware of, a person who is either being dishonest or planning something violent.

Go Home Drone, You’re Drunk

I guess this drone had a little too much to drink:

LOS ANGELES — The Navy says an aerial target drone malfunctioned and struck a guided missile cruiser during training off Southern California, causing two minor injuries.

Lt. Lenaya Rotklein of the U.S. 3rd Fleet said the accident on the USS Chancellorsville happened Saturday afternoon while the ship was testing its combat weapons system off Point Mugu.

Also, it seems kind of concerning that a naval vessel was unable to prevent a target drone from hitting it. That seem to indicate a vulnerability in the ship’s defense capabilities.

Boom or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb

I have a sick fascination with nuclear weapons. They symbolize both the creative potential of humanity as well as its destructive capability. The fact that no country has used nuclear weapons since the United States bombed Hiroshima and Nagasaki is also a testament to our species ability to exercise some amount of restraint in our pursuit of destruction. I came across a really interesting time lapse video of every nuclear weapon detonated in the world:

It really does look like a giant dick waving competition between the United States and the Soviet Union.