A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘You Can’t Cure Stupid’ tag

We’re All Victims Now

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For the longest time self-identified rightists have been referring to anybody they identified as leftists as special snowflakes who are constantly seeking opportunities to be victims. The irony in this is that those rightists are constantly seeking opportunities to be victims:

That said, Hanlon is right to bemoan the rise of a “cottage industry of outrage” related to conservatives on college campuses. Whether or not their frustration stemmed from legitimate grievance, the conservative student movement is increasingly, and loudly, playing the victim—with an energy as palpable as the left’s. Too many right-leaning student groups have lost interest in inviting speakers who are knowledgeable about philosophy and policy: they would rather score easy outrage points with provocateurs.

I suspect that some of this is not just a reaction to the left’s hysterics, but rather, a convergence. Many of the forces that incentivize leftists to seek victim status—Title IX guidance, administrative bloat, changing ideas about safety in the K-12 system, helicopter parenting, concept creep—apply equally to rightist students.

As is often the case, in their constant struggle against leftists the rightist have become the very thing they hate. At one point identifying as politically right in the United States meant you were an opponent of socialism, advocate of self-reliance, and absolutist on free speech. Now rightists are just as much of socialists as leftists (but are dishonest about it, unlike most leftists), supporters of the nanny state, and flip their shit whenever somebody exercises free speech in an unapproved manner.

The rightists and leftists in this country deserve each other.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 21st, 2017 at 10:30 am

The Wonders of Socialism

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Socialism ensure that everybody is equal..ly poor:

In a new sign that Venezuela’s financial crisis is morphing dangerously into a humanitarian one, a new nationwide survey shows that in the past year nearly 75 percent of the population lost an average of 19 pounds for lack of food.

The extreme poor said they dropped even more weight than that.

The 2016 Living Conditions Survey (Encovi, for its name in Spanish), conducted among 6,500 families, also found that as many as 32.5 percent eat only once or twice a day — the figure was 11.3 just a year ago.

How can the people of a nation with such plentiful resources end up starving? Through the wonders of socialism!

Venezuela is yet another example in a long, sad list of examples of centrally planned economics failing. As Ludwig von Mises explained so thoroughly, centrally planned economies are always doomed to fail. It’s not possible for a handful of individuals to accurate determine the wants and needs of millions of people. Especially when the wants and needs of every single one of those millions of people are constantly changing.

The only question here is whether or not the Venezuelan government will do the decent thing and disband itself or if the people will have to rise up and overthrow it.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 21st, 2017 at 10:00 am

Where Does Trump Buy His Drugs

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Where does Trump buy his drugs? Asking for a friend.

President Trump thinks drugs cost as much as a Snickers or Butterfinger.

“Drugs are becoming cheaper than candy bars,” Trump said at a news conference Thursday.

Could drugs cost less than a candy bar? Perhaps, if the government wasn’t investing so many resources into wielding violence against peaceful drug manufacturers, sellers, and users. But risk increases prices and the war on unapproved drugs adds a lot of risk for participants in the drug market.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 17th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Someone Would Do That? Just Go On the Internet and Tell Lies?

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I admit that my bullshit detector isn’t perfect but I think it’s pretty well calibrated. One of the things that always raises a red flag on my bullshit detector are stories that seem to be a little too perfect for a group or individual. When the news broke that immigrants were running rampant and sexually assaulting women in Germany the story raised a few red flags. It just fit too perfectly into the alt-right’s narrative. Of course I had nothing but a gut feeling to go on since I can’t read German (yet) so I was relegated to the sources available to me. As it turns out, my bullshit detector wasn’t wrong:

But police confirmed on Tuesday to the Frankfurter Rundschau that their investigation of the allegations had led them to believe that they were spurious.

“Interviews with alleged witnesses, guests and employees led to major doubts with the version of events that had been presented,” the police said.

“One of the alleged victims was not even in Frankfurt at the time the allegations are said to have taken place.”

The police were indeed unequivocal in how they understood the events to have unfolded.

“Masses of refugees were not responsible for any sexual assaults in the Fressgass over New Year. The accusations are completely baseless,” the police said.

Before the Bild report, no sexual assaults were reported to police from Fressgass over New Year.

I’m sure the alt-right will either completely ignore this story or explain it away as a conspiracy by the police to coverup immigrant crime.

The first casualty of politics is language. The second is the truth. Usually the former is used for the latter. But sometimes the truth is killed by good old fashioned lying.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 16th, 2017 at 10:00 am

More Security Theater at the TSA

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The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has a sordid record when it comes to airport security. Since airport security is the agency’s primary job and it hasn’t been doing an effective job at providing security you might expect it to, you know, try to improve its capabilities. Instead the agency has been doubling down on security theater. But the best part is that the agency realizes that its efforts are theater:

If you’ve ever suspected that the TSA’s airport behavior screening (where it looks for visual signs of lying or stress) was just another example of ineffective security theater, you now have some science to back up your hunches. Thanks to a lawsuit, the ACLU has obtained TSA files showing that the organization has pushed and even expanded its “behavior detection” program despite a lack of supporting evidence. While the TSA maintains that it can detect signs of shady activity through fidgeting, shifty eyes and other visual cues, studies in its files suggest just the opposite — you’d have just as much success by choosing at random. And those are in controlled conditions, not a busy airport where anxiety and stress are par for the course.

The TSA hasn’t thwarted a single terrorist attack since it was founded. It hasn’t even done anything noteworthy in the field of security. The only thing the agency has managed to do is bolster the profits of bottled water manufacturers by stealing air travelers’ water and forcing them to buy more inside of “secure” areas. Yet this agency continues to exist. It continues to exist because the government that established it believes stealing your money and giving it to one of its entirely ineffective agency is fiscally responsible.

The next time some statist dipshit tells you that taxes aren’t high enough remind them that a ton of tax money is being irresponsibly dumped into agencies like the TSA.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 9th, 2017 at 11:00 am

He Had Won the Victory Over Himself

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I admit that the aftermath of this election has been fascinating. While the current occupant of the White House means almost nothing to me (it means a little bit to me simply because the occupant gives me a lot of blogging material) I do enjoy seeing people’s reactions to the election.

The political left has been entertaining because they suddenly found a love of firearms, suppressing free speech, limiting the State, opposing war, and other political positions that they were entirely against during Obama’s reign. Likewise, the political right has been busy throwing out their supposed principles by finding a love of executive orders and suppressing sedition.

But the most entertaining crowds, in my opinion, are self-proclaimed libertarians an anarchists. It has been fun watching Stefan Molyneux transform from a minor cult leader with anarchist leanings into a full blown statist with a huge chubby for keeping foreigners out of his beloved fatherland. Christopher Cantwell has gone from a loud and obnoxious but mostly harmless libertarian to total fascist with a fetish for helicopters. But nobody has provided me with more entertainment for my buck than Alex Jones. Alex Jones, a humble water filter salesman, was once obsessed with the idea that the governments of the world were creating a new world order that had the express purpose of enslaving all of humanity. Now? Now he’s willing to lay down his life for his reptilian shape shifting overlords:

ALEX JONES (HOST): Trump is so fire-breathing, so energetic, so cunning, so real, and he’s having results so amazing that it just makes me endeared to Trump – I’m ready to die for Trump, at this point. And I’m already ready to die for America, it’s the same feeling I have for America, because he is America, you’re America.

But it was all right, everything was all right, the struggle was finished. He had won the victory over himself. He loved Big Brother.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 9th, 2017 at 10:00 am

The New Secretary of the Department of Government Indoctrination

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Betsy DeVos was confirmed as the Education Secretary yesterday:

WASHINGTON — The Senate confirmed Betsy DeVos on Tuesday as education secretary, approving the embattled nominee only with the help of a historic tiebreaking vote from Vice President Mike Pence.

The 51-to-50 vote elevates Ms. DeVos — a wealthy donor from Michigan who has devoted much of her life to expanding educational choice through charter schools and vouchers, but has limited experience with the public school system — to be steward of the nation’s schools.

The only thing newsworthy about this is the fact that it was getting so much goddamn media coverage than even I heard about it. Why did the nomination of a secretary to a government department get so much media coverage? I have no idea. But I hope other nominations don’t have the same coverage because there are far more interesting things going on in the world.

Still, I’m entertained by the aftermath. People genuinely cared about this nomination. Those who didn’t support DeVos are genuinely upset over her confirmation.

Here’s the thing, the Education Secretary doesn’t matter if you don’t put your children into a government indoctrination center. A lot of people figured this out some time ago. Instead of letting the government brainwash their children under the guise of providing an education they opted to enroll their children into a private institution, homeschool their children, unschool their children, or chose some other means of providing their children with an actual education.

There’s a valuable lesson in DeVos’ nomination for those who are upset that she’s not running the Department of Education. If you place your children into a government indoctrination center they’re going to be indoctrinated by whoever is currently controlling the government. If your political opposition controls the government then they will be indoctrinating your children.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 8th, 2017 at 10:30 am

Republicans Move to Sell Land They Don’t Own

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I’ve seen quite a few friends flipping out over this news:

Now that Republicans have quietly drawn a path to give away much of Americans’ public land, US representative Jason Chaffetz of Utah has introduced what the Wilderness Society is calling “step two” in the GOP’s plan to offload federal property.

The new piece of legislation would direct the interior secretary to immediately sell off an area of public land the size of Connecticut. In a press release for House Bill 621, Chaffetz, a Tea Party Republican, claimed that the 3.3m acres of national land, maintained by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), served “no purpose for taxpayers”.

What amuses me isn’t the face that I have friends flipping out over this, it’s that they believe the government has any right to the land in the first place.

The State, being an illegitimate organization, cannot legitimately own anything. Yet it claims ownership over a great deal of land in the Western United States. Now it believes it has the right to sell that unowned land. And for some reason people are not only happy to play along with this charade but they’re upset that the State is planning to sell the land because they want it to remain in the State’s hands!

This is why I don’t give a shit about politics. Politics isn’t an act of legitimate parties trying to resolve disputes. It’s an act of two sides arguing over things neither of them have any right to involve themselves with in the first place. This issue is a prime example. Two sides are arguing over whether or not the State should sell a particular chunk of land. One side says it should sell the land and the other side says it should keep the land. But neither side has any right to decide what should be done with the land because they don’t own it.

In order to involve yourself in the political process you must first accept falsities. Why waste time arguing over falsities?

Written by Christopher Burg

February 2nd, 2017 at 10:30 am

We’ve Always Been at War with Eastasia

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The hits seem to keep coming. First Trump issued an executive order to build a multi-billion dollar wall that will serve no meaningful purpose. Then he issued an execute order banning people from victims nations the United States is bombing from traveling to their tormentor’s realm. Now it appears that he’s planning to issue an executive order to boot out poor legal immigrants:

Now, with the huddled masses yearning to breathe free taken care of, the Trump administration is coming for your tired and your poor. Or so a draft executive order obtained by Vox and the Washington Post seems to suggest.

[…]

But the Trump administration’s draft order would change that, by instructing the Department of Homeland Security to bar immigrants from the U.S. if they are likely to receive any means-tested benefit at all.

More radically, the order would subject visa holders who are already in the U.S. to deportation, if they use public benefits above a certain threshold. And — just in case that isn’t enough to keep non-wealthy foreigners away from our shores — the order would require the friend or family member who sponsored the deported immigrant to reimburse the federal government for the cost of the benefits he or she used.

While opponents of Trump flip out about is executive orders anybody who is well read on history or has ready Nineteen Eighty-Four knows exactly what’s going on here. The health of the State is fear. Fear is what allows the State to continuously expand its power. Without an enemy there is no fear. What Trump and his administration are doing is the same thing previous administrations have done, they’re creating an enemy.

Before the collapse of the Soviet Union the enemy was always communists. Before the enemy was communists it was always the Jews. Before it was the Jews it was always the Chinese. United States history, and the history of almost every nation on Earth, is a constantly changing stage of boogeymen.

I doubt Trump or anybody in his administration has any real feelings about immigrants one way or another. All they know is that immigrants are outsiders and outsiders always make a good enemy.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 1st, 2017 at 11:00 am

On Immigrants and Freedom

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Neoconservatives, the alt-right, and even a lot of libertarians are unable to contain their enthusiasm for Trump’s order to build a wall between Mexico and the United States. Why would these supposedly fiscally conservative individuals cheer on the construction of a multi-billion dollar wall that won’t accomplish anything? Because they are under the mistaken belief that a mass migration of immigrants into the United States will cause a loss of individual liberty. Like the boogeyman, this is an entirely imaginary fear as Dr. Robert Higgs so eloquently explained on Facebook:

Written by Christopher Burg

January 31st, 2017 at 11:00 am