A Geek With Guns

Chronicling the depravities of the State.

Archive for the ‘You’re Doing it Right’ tag

Once You Post Something Online It Exists Forever

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The University of California Berkeley posted 20,000 lectures online for free and there was great joy. Unfortunately, two students from another university decided to ruin the jovial atmosphere by brining a lawsuit against the university claiming that the videos weren’t accessible to everybody and therefore posting them was a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The university ended up pulling the videos offline. While the two little bitches may have high-fived each other after their apparent victory, they were obviously too stupid to realize that the Internet is forever:

Today, the University of California at Berkeley has deleted 20,000 college lectures from its YouTube channel. Berkeley removed the videos because of a lawsuit brought by two students from another university under the Americans with Disabilities Act.

We copied all 20,000 and are making them permanently available for free via LBRY.

This makes the videos freely available and discoverable by all, without reliance on any one entity to provide them (even us!).

The full catalog is over 4 TB and will be synced over the next several days.

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how the Internet works.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 22nd, 2017 at 10:00 am

Without Government, Who Will Plow the Roads

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If you live somewhere that gets hammered by frequent snow storms, you’ve probably heard some statist tell you that the government is necessary to plow the roads. After all, without government, who would plow the roads? It turns out that porn websites will:

When Boston plow truck drivers get to work clearing snow during tomorrow’s big storm, they’ll have some help—from Pornhub.

Pledging to assist anyone who “wants to get plowed,” the adult entertainment site says it is sending out a fleet of branded trucks to clean the city’s streets and parking lots for free.

“The Pornhub team understands that by this time of year, most cities have run up their budget in snow removal,” Pornhub Vice President Corey Price tells Boston, “and we thought we’d lend a hand in getting our fans plowed.”

[…]

The trucks will also be available on demand to clear lots owned by small businesses, Price says. Requests for a plowing are being accepted via email at phubplows@gmail.com. They are not offering to plow driveways, he says.

And unlike government, Pornhub won’t force you to use its service or steal your fucking property if you refuse to pay it for services you’re not using.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 15th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Uber’s Self-Defense Strategy

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Last week it was revealed that Uber developed a self-defense strategy against the State. Needless to say, this upset a lot of statists who were posting the #DeleteUber hashtag even harder than they were before. But those of us who don’t subscribe to the insanity that is statism can learn a lot from Uber’s example:

“SAN FRANCISCO — Uber has for years engaged in a worldwide program to deceive the authorities in markets where its low-cost ride-hailing service was being resisted by law enforcement or, in some instances, had been outright banned.

The program, involving a tool called Greyball, uses data collected from the Uber app and other techniques to identify and circumvent officials. Uber used these methods to evade the authorities in cities such as Boston, Paris and Las Vegas, and in countries like Australia, China, Italy and South Korea.

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Uber’s use of Greyball was recorded on video in late 2014, when Erich England, a code enforcement inspector in Portland, Ore., tried to hail an Uber car downtown as part of a sting operation against the company.

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But unknown to Mr. England and other authorities, some of the digital cars they saw in the app did not represent actual vehicles. And the Uber drivers they were able to hail also quickly canceled. That was because Uber had tagged Mr. England and his colleagues — essentially Greyballing them as city officials — based on data collected from the app and in other ways. The company then served up a fake version of the app populated with ghost cars, to evade capture.”

How brilliant is that? The company identified a significant threat, government goons who were working to extort the company, and then screwed with them, which made their job of extortion more difficult.

This is a strategy more companies need to adopt. Imagine a world where services such as Facebook, Gmail, Google Maps, iCloud, SoundCloud, and other online services identified government goons and refused to work for them. It would be a tremendous strike against the quality of life of many government employees. In fact, the hit might be powerful enough to convince them to seek productive employment.

Companies like Facebook and Google have built their fortunes on surveilling customers. Why not use that massive store of data for good by identifying government employees, or at least the regulators that make their lives difficult, and either screw with them or outright refusing to do business with them? There’s no reason anybody should be expected to do business with extortionists.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 7th, 2017 at 11:00 am

You Gotta Pump Those Numbers Up

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With Hillary running for president and Obama occupying the White House, last year was a good year for the firearm market. Gun sales were up, ammunition sales were up, and the number of issued carry permits were up. Even a socialist paradise like Minnesota saw a record number of issued carry permits:

Law enforcement issued more than 71,000 permits to Minnesotans allowing them to carry a firearm in public, a record one-year total and a sharp increase from 2015, state officials said Wednesday.

As of Wednesday, the total number of valid permits in Minnesota was 265,728, the highest total ever reported in the annual release from the Department of Public Safety’s Bureau of Criminal Apprehension. Roughly one year ago, that total was 217,909.

Of course, those are rookie numbers and, unfortunately, I’m expecting that number to drop. Politicians who favor gun control are the best thing going for the firearm market. When people are told they won’t be able to buy something in the near future they rush out and buy it. Standard capacity magazines will fly off of the shelf when politicians start whispering about passing legislation restricting magazines to 10 rounds. AR-15s and AK-47s will fly off of the shelf when politicians start whispering about banning modern rifles. The best way to bolster the sale of something is to get a politician to threaten to ban it.

Written by Christopher Burg

March 2nd, 2017 at 10:00 am

Getting the Right Idea

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Yesterday I wrote a post about some neoliberals threatening to homeschool their children. Homeschooling isn’t the only anti-state idea neoliberals are getting though. Some are now claiming that they won’t pay their taxes because Trump was elected president:

Andrew Newman always pays his taxes, even if he hates what the government is doing with them. But not this year. For him, Donald Trump is the dealbreaker. He’ll pay his city and state taxes but will refuse to pay federal income tax as a cry of civil disobedience against the president and his new administration.

Newman is not alone. A nascent movement has been detected to revive the popularity of tax resistance – last seen en masse in America during the Vietnam war but which has been, sporadically, a tradition in the US and beyond going back many centuries.

Bombing children in the Middle East, having the highest prison population in the world, widespread unwarranted surveillance, civil forfeiture, and a plethora of other horrible government programs weren’t enough to convince them to not pay their taxes. But Trump getting elected? That warrants such action.

This is me not really giving a shit about their tax protest.

Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate that they’re finally understanding why us libertarians are so opposed to government power. But their protests ring a bit hallow when it’s obvious that the only thing they’re upset about is who is in power, not what people in that position of power has been doing. I’m sure these same people would gladly pay their taxes if Hillary was in power regardless of what horrible shit she was doing because the only thing that matters to them is the party, not the actions.

While I do appreciate their sentiment I must also admit that I look forward to seeing their reaction once they realize that taxation, regardless of what they have previous claimed, is backed by the barrel of a gun.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 17th, 2017 at 11:00 am

It’s Happening

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The aftermath of this election is the gift that keeps on giving. After eight years of loving Big Brother and mocking anti-state ideas, neoliberals are suddenly espousing anti-state ideas. The appointment of Betsy DeVos has a lot of neoliberals upset because they think she is going to destroy the public education system (I wish that were true but it’s not). Some of them are so upset that they’re considering a formerly crazy libertarian idea:

In protest of school choice advocate Betsy DeVos becoming the next education secretary, some liberals threatened to homeschool their children. Lost on them, apparently, is the irony of that threat.

As I mentioned, the Education Secretary doesn’t matter if you don’t put your children into a government indoctrination center. Apparently this point has sunk in with a few neoliberals.

Granted, I know these people will have a change of heart when their team is in power again but it’s nice to see that for at least four years some neoliberals will be open to a few libertarian ideas. Perhaps one or two of them will take the ideas to heart and permanently overcome their statist tendencies.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 16th, 2017 at 11:00 am

Good People Exist in This World

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With all of the terrible shit that happens in this world I periodically need a reminder that there are some really good people out there. Take Mohamed Bzeek, for example:

The children were going to die.

Mohamed Bzeek knew that. But in his more than two decades as a foster father, he took them in anyway — the sickest of the sick in Los Angeles County’s sprawling foster care system.

He has buried about 10 children. Some died in his arms.

Now, Bzeek spends long days and sleepless nights caring for a bedridden 6-year-old foster girl with a rare brain defect. She’s blind and deaf. She has daily seizures. Her arms and legs are paralyzed.

Bzeek, a quiet, devout Libyan-born Muslim who lives in Azusa, just wants her to know she’s not alone in this life.

I have nothing but respect for Mr. Bzeek. Taking in and caring for children that are terminally ill is a tremendous emotional burden but it makes the last days of those children more comfortable. The world would be a far better place if it had more Mohamed Bzeeks in it.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 14th, 2017 at 10:00 am

Secession is Good for the Soul

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If nothing else, Trump’s election has taught a lot of people, albeit only temporarily, about the dangers of a power government. The responses to this newfound knowledge have been all over the board. On the minor end a lot of people have stated that Trump isn’t their president. I welcome them to the club of those of us who don’t have presidents. But the minor end of the scale is dull. On the more fun end of the scale a lot of people are talking about secession. Surprisingly enough, the state talking most loudly about secession is California:

A proposal for California to secede from the United States was submitted to the Secretary of State’s Office Thursday.

The proposed “Calexit” initiative – its name borrowed from the UK’s “Brexit” departure from the EU – would ask voters to repeal part of the state constitution that declares California an inseparable part of the U.S.

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Secretary of State Alex Padilla said the group behind the proposal, Yes California Independence Campaign, was cleared to begin attempting to collect nearly 600,000 voter signatures needed to place the plan on the ballot.

“In our view, the United States of America represents so many things that conflict with Californian values, and our continued statehood means California will continue subsidizing the other states to our own detriment, and to the detriment of our children,” the Yes campaign’s website says.

Over a century and a half ago the states learned what happens when you try to secede from a powerful federal government. But what happened so long ago shouldn’t dissuade people from trying again today. Secession is something worth fighting for. It’s the beginning of something that could be beautiful. First states could secede from the United States. Then counties could secede from the states. Then townships could secede from the counties. And finally, individuals could secede from the townships. Going from one federal state with 50 vassal states, which is all the 50 states really are at this point, to 320 million separate states would be wonderful.

Although California is not a place I’d want to live, if it starts the chain reaction of secession I will forever give it its due credit.

Written by Christopher Burg

February 2nd, 2017 at 10:00 am

The New York Civil Liberties Union Hates Cops

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Our brave boys and girls in blue are out there everyday putting their lives on the line! They are they only thing that stands between us and anarchy! Knowing this, how can we stand idly by while organizations like the New York Civil Liberties Union spew their hatred of our glorious officers by demanding they abide by the Fourth Amendment:

The New York Civil Liberties Union is pushing a new state bill that would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant prior to deploying a cell-site simulator, or stingray. The bill also includes other new restrictions.

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The bill, which was first reported by ZDNET, doesn’t mention stingrays specifically. However, it specifically forbids law enforcement from accessing “electronic device information by means of physical interaction or electronic communication with the device” unless they have a warrant. There are a few narrow exceptions, such as exigent circumstances.

Requiring a warrant before a search can be performed or a wiretap put into place? What is this world coming to?

I’m sure there are cop apologists out there who believe this restriction is a terrible affront to law enforcers. But cell-site simulators are both searches and wiretaps wrapped up into one convenient package. Historically warrants have been required before law enforcers could perform a search or install a wiretap. For some reason that requirement was seen as unnecessary when the searches and wiretaps could be done wirelessly. I’m not sure what the logic there was other than it was slightly different therefore the rules must not apply.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 26th, 2017 at 10:00 am

But Who Will Build the Schools

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Without government who will build the schools? It’s a stupid question since nongovernment schools have existed for ages but it’s a question statists love to ask. They seem to think that single question justifies the existence of the State. So I’m going to answer it. People who are sick of the poor quality of education will build the schools:

A libertarian businessman based in Raleigh, North Carolina, Luddy made his fortune as the owner of the nation’s leading manufacturer of commercial kitchen ventilation systems. CaptiveAire has factories in six states, and its 2016 revenues were $400 million. But what does fabricating stove hoods and building HVAC systems have in common with turning out successful students? More than you might think.

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In 2007, he decided to take a more radical step by creating a non-profit network of schools called Thales Academy. Influenced by economist Albert Hirschman’s classic 1970 treatise on political science, Exit, Voice and Loyalty, Luddy conceived of Thales as a way to give families “exit.”

“‘Voice’ is [when] you go to vote [or you] express an opinion…Exit…is like Uber…where someone comes up with an entirely new idea, they bypass the existing industry, and they get amazing results.”

The first thing statists are likely to complain about is that Thales Academy charges tuition. Supposedly schools that charge tuition put education out of reach of poorer families. But as anybody who has been to a school in a poorer neighborhood knows, even though every family is forced to pay tuition for the school (although they use the euphemism of taxes) the quality of education is usually subpar (and that’s being extremely generous). In other words, the complaint is equally applicable to both private and public schools.

What should be considered is that even though public schools they are so bad at providing an education that Mr. Luddy still decided to invest a portion of his wealth to build an alternative education system. That right there speaks volumes about the quality of government schools.

Written by Christopher Burg

January 24th, 2017 at 11:00 am