Archive for category: Libertarianism

The Iron Lady

08 Apr
April 8, 2013

Margaret Thatcher, the great Iron Lady, that led Britain through economic turmoil, the defeat of the Soviet Bloc, and the Falklands War died today.

My condolescences to those who mourn the loss of this Great Lady.

Friday Quote – 2/22/13

22 Feb
February 22, 2013
Useless laws weaken the necessary laws.

Charles de Montesquieu, 18th-century political philosopher

Weakening the necessary laws leads to selective enforcement. Selective enforcement leads to disregard and disdain of the law. Three felonies a day. That’s what the average American commits as they go through their lives. How many of us even think about that until we have a prosecutor throwing every charge they can think of at us in order for us to plead down. Or we commit suicide.

Friday Quote – 2/15/13

15 Feb
February 15, 2013
First they came for the blacks, and I spoke up because it was wrong, even though I’m not black. Then they came for the gays, and I spoke up, even though I’m not gay. Then they came for the Muslims, and I spoke up, because it was wrong, even though I’m an atheist. When they came for illegal aliens, I spoke up, even though I’m a legal immigrant. Then they came for the pornographers, rebels and dissenters and their speech and flag burning, and I spoke up, because rights are not only for the establishment. Then they came for the gun owners, and you liberal shitbags threw me under the bus, even though I’d done nothing wrong. So when they come to put you on the train, you can fucking choke and die.

Michael Z. Williamson, author

This quote came from this blog post. RTWT, because it rightly sums up how I feel when it comes to those considered to be “on the left” of our political spectrum.

When the Clinton AWB was passed, I was in the infancy of my awareness. I knew it was happening, but not how it would affect me. Now, I am fully aware of how the proposed legislation would affect me and those I care about.

Molon Labe, biotches.

Friday Quote – 2/8/13

08 Feb
February 8, 2013
We found that gun buyback programs have not shown to be effective….They’re rifles, shotguns, things like that. Less likely to be small handguns, which are really more likely the types of guns to be used in gun crime.

Matthew Makarios, assistant professor of criminal justice at the University of Wisconsin Parkside

The above quote was found in one of the local TV station’s investigation into the effectiveness of gun buybacks.

From the article:

We found that the vast majority of guns turned in aren’t the type of weapons typically used in crimes. We also found many cases where people turned in BB and pellet guns, guns that were visibly broken, and even a flare gun. At two Clearwater Police Department buybacks in 2011, 20% of the guns turned in were BB and pellet guns. The Largo Police Department held their buybacks jointly with Clearwater, and 12% of the guns they took in were BB or pellet guns.

If this was a private organization sponsoring these gun buybacks, I really wouldn’t care. The problems is that it’s the local law enforcement agencies. That’s my money being used to buy and then dispose of those guns. Why should I be forced to pay for a program that doesn’t accomplish its stated goal and serves little point except for propaganda for gun control and the police?

What’s worse is some of these people are selling their property at far below their value in this gun market when they could really use the money. On a purely anecdotal basis, I told one of my co-workers about the buyback and she wanted to take some unused guns down. I convinced her not to and to let me take a look at them. I was pretty sure she could get more for them than what was being offered.

If we’re going to have a gun buyback, shouldn’t they at least be forced to pay market value? Kind of make it like Antiques Roadshow, the firearms edition.

What do you mean I can’t call them “space marines?”

06 Feb
February 6, 2013

From BoingBoing, an article about Games Workshop going apeshit about other science fiction using the term “space marines.”

From MCA Hogarth who is quoted in the article.

I used to own a registered trademark. I understand the legal obligations of trademark holders to protect their IP. A Games Workshop trademark of the term “Adeptus Astartes” is completely understandable. But they’ve chosen instead to co-opt the legacy of science fiction writers who laid the groundwork for their success.

This is utter bullshit that Games Workshop will get away with until they run into someone with the resources to legally tell them to go to hell. Or someone who like Simon Singh will become a cause celeb for science fiction.

My first love is writing military science fiction. I have dozens of unpublished stories with “space marines.” The feisty part of me wants to rush one of them to Amazon to bait Games Workshop. My accountant mind is telling me that I just don’t have the resources to go into an extended battle with a well-established gaming company.

I’m not into the Warhammer 40K universe, so my boycotting them will have no effect. If you do buy their products, please take this into account when doing business with them in the future.

Friday Quote – 2/5/13

01 Feb
February 1, 2013

“No amount of belief makes something a fact.”

James Randi

This is one of those quotes I think falls easily into my atheism, my libertarian, and my gun rights beliefs.

Women in Combat

31 Jan
January 31, 2013

Earlier this week, Defense Secretary Panetta announced that some combat positions would be opened up for women. One of my co-workers asked me what I thought about this. Should we let women in combat?

I have radically changed my opinions on several issues after watching over a decade of war. One is that nation building is utter bullshit. It’s a lesson we should’ve learned with Vietnam, but we keep making it over and over. Another is that the traditional battlefield no longer exists. The battlefield is wherever the military is operating in theater.

So what do I think of women in combat? FSM, they’ve been in combat for a decade. One of my former roommate’s ex-girlfriends was a former Marine injured in Iraq by a mortar attack. Supply convoys have been ambushed and female officers and NCOs have been leading their troops in some nasty battles. They’ve already proven they can fight. So why not allow them into combat teams now? That way we can get the regs and training meted out before advances in power armor truly level the playing field between men and women.

My caveat to this is that I would expect a female infantry soldier to meet the same basic requirements as a male infantry soldier. To do otherwise would ruin unit cohesion at best, and put combat teams at risk at worst. I would also expect that women should either be forced to sign up for selective service, or more appropriately abolish this relic of a bygone time.

Friday Quote – 1/25/13

25 Jan
January 25, 2013
Everytime something really bad happens, people cry out for safety, and the government answers by taking rights away from good people.

Penn Jillette

There was the temptation to use Franklin’s quote concerning liberty and temporary security, but that’s been overused to the point that it’s become background noise or such a canned phrase that you’d need a Turing test to determine if the user is human and not a spambot.

If there’s one thing I’ve become more and more annoyed with, it’s the idea that we can make the world safe for humanity. To put it bluntly, that is utter bullshit. There’s a risk for living on this planet. It comes from the flora, the fauna, other humans, the planet itself, and from the cosmos that the Earth lives within.

From my observations, humans thrive the best when they have the liberty to do as they see fit and a strong rule of law to ensure that they suffer the consequences for their actions. For their actions. Not for the actions of others. Collective guilt is one of the tools to divert power from the individual to the authority. To strip liberty under the auspices of the “greater good.” To make humans less than what they could be.

Currently, this quote rings true surrounding the current debate about guns. Yet, what about the other intrusions. Frank-Dodd, Obamacare, the PATRIOT act, Sarbanes-Oxley…the list goes on and on. With the crisis immediate, the people are willing to sacrifice their freedoms for the promise that the government will prevent such things from happening again.

But do we get our freedoms back when those promises are broken? Please?

What Price Gouging?

29 Dec
December 29, 2012

I keep seeing charges price gouging by the some of the major Internet retailers. I also see pictures of stores stripped of evil black rifles and their associated paraphernalia. These two claims are contradictory. If we are asserting there is an unusually high demand that has resulted in a low supply of AR’s and parts, we shouldn’t be surprised that the prices would have go up, sometimes dramatically. We understand this when we see prices go up for gas in an emergency (Hurricane Sandy being the most recent), but seem oblivious to it when it affects our hobby.

Sure we can complain “oh it’s just a simple piece of aluminum/plastic with a spring,” but there’s a scare supply. Brownells went through what would normally be a three year supply in three days. So, if some retailers have adjusted their prices to match the hyper-demand with low supply, that is not price gouging, that is how prices are determined. What will the market bear? If we as consumers believe these suppliers are charging too high a price, then we choose not to buy at high-priced dealers. When the supply increases or the demand (panic) decreases, those retailers will be forced to decrease their prices or not be able to move their inventory.

This is economics, not a conspiracy.

Whose money is it anyway?

12 Dec
December 12, 2012

The UK Parliament and Exchequer has their panties in a bunch that some corporations are not sending them as much money as the Queen’s government thinks these corporations should. And worse of all, it’s all legal. How much cash are we talking about? So much cash that high-level representatives from these corporations are being dragged in for a public flogging questioning. After all, it’s immoral for corporations to utilize legal means to keep their tax bills as low as possible.

The outrage from the British government is ludicrous. First and foremost, no corporation, like any individual, has a moral imperative to pay one pound more in tax than is legally required. Second, the corporations will bring more value to subjects of the British government by keeping it rather than following the dictates of the British Governments extortionists.

The outrage is also a bit hypocritical considering the Brits’ solicitation for the French wealthy to relocate in order to escape the new French taxes.

The last point is that the politicians seem to forget most often. Corporations do not pay taxes. The firms may write the checks, but the funds to pay the tax bill came from the firms’ customers and investors. Higher taxes on the corporations means either higher prices to the consumers and/or lower dividends to the investors to put money into the hands of the British government. The same government that says higher taxes and more government spending is austerity.

Can we please leave the money in the hands of individuals and firms that actually understand economics?