Friday, March 30, 2007

Another biting anti-statist Onion satire

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I reported a while ago about the Onion's article "New Poll Finds 86 Percent Of Americans Don't Want To Have A Country Anymore". Now the Onion has another anti-collectivist article, this time against nationalism and militarism, in "I'm Prepared To Give My Life For This Or Any Country":

As a true patriot, I would gladly die in battle defending my homeland. I love my country more than my own life. But I would also be more than willing to give my last breath in the name of, say, Mexico, Panama, Japan, or the Czech Republic. The most honorable thing a man can do is lay down his life for his country. Or another country. The important thing is that it's a country...

There comes a time when all of us, no matter who we are, heed the call to the battlefield. It is a call we cannot and should not ignore, no matter where it is coming from. And if I must die, in the service of this or that country, I only hope I can at least take as many of the enemy with me as possible before I fall and breathe my last. Unless of course, they're also fighting for a country. In which case, their deaths, at my hands, will have been honorable—because they, like me, would have died for a country.

Without nationalism, our deaths in the countless wars we constantly wage to defend our own nations against others defending their own nations against us would seem arbitrary, almost meaningless. But as long as we have a higher purpose—the love of whatever country we happen to be fighting for—we will always know we did not lose our lives in vain.

There is a Market Anarchist writing for the Onion, of that there is no doubt...

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

The Market Anarchist Carnival begins

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And so it begins!

Read the entries here.

Tuesday, March 27, 2007

If daycare employees have all these requirements... what about PARENTS?

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When not done by daycare providers, this job is done by parents. It makes sense, then, that you would want your daycare provider to take care of your child as well as you would do it yourself. But what I take away from this article is that many of us are woefully underqualified to be parents. If we apply the National Association of Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies standards to everyone, parents should:

Have a bachelor's degree, preferably in child development (Bye bye, parents who never went to college! Did you think this was a job for amateurs?)

Be trained in CPR (Always a good idea, but I doubt most parents are.)

Have criminal background checks (I guess you and your prospective partner could run checks on each other. But what if you both have a record?)

Have child care training (You did take a class before you had kids, didn't you? This isn't something you learn as you go, people!)

Have an appropriate provider-to-child ratio (There go those people I saw on the Discovery Channel who had sextuplets).

And don't forget having your home inspected for cleanliness and safety by the state!

WELL... WHY NOT? If we're going to admit as a society that raising children requires all these things, why do we let people get away with not doing them, just because they spurted these children out of their vaginas (or contributed sperm)? Why the double standard?

My opinion: because the family structure is complete and utter bullshit.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Friday, March 23, 2007

Radical Libertarian: Beat up the Little Man Edition

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Try to help your suffering by using marijuana? Forget it! We're gonna kidnap you instead, or starve you to death.

An American woman whose doctor has told her that marijuana is the only drug keeping her alive, has been denied the right to use it by a federal court. She could face prosecution on drug charges.

Angel Raich, a 41-year old mother of two from Oakland, California, sought an injuction to stop the government prosecuting her. She suffers from several serious medical conditions, including an inoperable brain tumour, a weight-loss disorder, seizures, chronic nausea and scoliosis (a spine deformity).

Raich takes marijuana every few hours, under her doctor’s advice, to control pain and give her an appetite. Her doctor has said without it she would “starve to death”.

If we can't starve you, we're gonna taser you, and it's perfectly okay, even if you're innocent! I always choke when a stupid statist tells me the police does not have a special status at all. How stupid can you get?
More than two dozen Houston police officers have shocked five or more people with Tasers — including two officers who have used the weapon at least 10 times — though none of those officers has faced disciplinary action for using the stun gun unjustifiably, according to a Houston Chronicle review.

In fact, no officer has ever been reprimanded for discharging the 50,000-volt Taser at a suspect, even though many of the suspects were never charged with a crime, according to the Chronicle's review of more than 1,000 Taser incidents since December 2004.

Monday, March 19, 2007

Orwell for President

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Some Obama fan has redone the 1984 Apple commercial.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Patents kill / Open Letter to the Legislature / Impact of Unionization

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Soon, patents will join the State's murder rap sheet. Could this be true?

YOU, or someone you love, may die because of a gene patent that should never have been granted in the first place. Sound far-fetched? Unfortunately, it’s only too real.

Gene patents are now used to halt research, prevent medical testing and keep vital information from you and your doctor. Gene patents slow the pace of medical advance on deadly diseases. And they raise costs exorbitantly: a test for breast cancer that could be done for $1,000 now costs $3,000.

Why? Because the holder of the gene patent can charge whatever he wants, and does. Couldn’t somebody make a cheaper test? Sure, but the patent holder blocks any competitor’s test. He owns the gene. Nobody else can test for it. In fact, you can’t even donate your own breast cancer gene to another scientist without permission.

Lyle Zapato issues an open letter to his local legislature, asking for a Wii.

I am writing to ask you to approve $100 of Washington State funds to help offset the $250 price of buying me a Nintendo Wii.

Before you decide, consider the positive impact on the local economy of my having a Wii: Not only would the state generate 6.5% sales-tax on every game I purchase (with additional tax revenue of upwards of 2.3% going to county and city tax districts), but a portion of the profits from those games would go to Redmond-based Nintendo of America, which employs over a thousand Washington State citizens. Could you honestly say to the voters that you were acting in the public interest if you turned down a plan that would increase both tax revenue and job opportunities for a mere c-note? I think not.

Abstract of Economic Impacts of New Unionization On Private Sector Employers: 1984-2001

Economic impacts of unionization on employers are difficult to estimate in the absence of large, representative data on establishments with union status information. Estimates are also confounded by selection bias, because unions could organize at highly profitable enterprises that are more likely to grow and pay higher wages. Using multiple establishment-level data sets that represent establishments that faced organizing drives in the United States during 1984-1999, this paper uses a regression discontinuity design to estimate the impact of unionization on business survival, employment, output, productivity, and wages. Essentially, outcomes for employers where unions barely won the election (e. g., by one vote) are compared with those where the unions barely lost. The analysis finds small impacts on all outcomes that we examine; estimates for wages are close to zero. The evidence suggests that-at least in recent decades-the legal mandate that requires the employer to bargain with a certified union has had little economic impact on employers, because unions have been somewhat unsuccessful at securing significant wage gains.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Taking down the little man

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Two great examples of the State saving us by taking down the little man only trying to do some good:
The agents informed the Wetzels that they were interested in their car, a 1986 Volkswagen Golf, that David Wetzel converted to run primarily from vegetable oil but also partly on diesel.

Wetzel uses recycled vegetable oil, which he picks up weekly from an organization that uses it for frying food at its dining facility.

"They told me I am required to have a license and am obligated to pay a motor fuel tax," David Wetzel recalled. "Mr. May also told me the tax would be retroactive."

Since the initial visit by the agents on Jan. 4, the Wetzels have been involved in a struggle with the Illinois Department of Revenue. The couple, who live on a fixed budget, have been asked to post a $2,500 bond and threatened with felony charges.
Since 1992, when Goodridge bought his first Subway restaurant, he has allowed his employees a free meal of a sandwich, chips and a drink every shift they work.

"A $5 meal on a daily basis really helps them out a lot," he told News 8.

However, it turned out all that goodwill was taxable.

During a routine audit last month, Maine Revenue Services informed Goodridge that all those free meals at his 12 stores are subject to the state's use tax.

Goodridge said he couldn't believe it.

"I throw away bread every day that we don't use, and I don't pay tax on that," he said. "But if I give it to my employees, I have to pay a use tax on that. It just doesn't make sense."

Goodridge now must pay $2,500 in back taxes, interest and penalties for three years' worth of free meals.

Praise the State!

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Postal Service "fixed" / Anti-Globalization is like Flat Earthers

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Postal Service fixes long waits by removing clocks

The Watson Post Office is one of the nation's 37,000 post offices in which clocks have been removed from retail areas as part of a "retail standardization program" launched last year. The effort is designed to give the public-service areas a more uniform appearance, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported in Thursday editions.

"We want people to focus on postal service and not the clock," said Stephen Seewoester, Dallas spokesman for the U.S. Postal Service.

Like Debating Whether or Not the Earth is Round

A very short and eloquent letter from a law professor. "Only entertainers and politicians could be unaware of the straightforward starting points for solving Africa's many problems."

Saturday, March 10, 2007

The Machinery of Freedom episode 14- The Market Anarchist Morality Test

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Wherein I discuss the Broken Windowpane fallacy, talk about unintended consequences, and go through the Market Anarchist Morality Test, as well as how to answer to objections and how to use the Test.

Songs: George Bush is an Islamic Fundamentalist ~ Oingo Bongo- Only a Lad

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Thursday, March 8, 2007

World Hates Bush

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Yay! Bush is currently traveling across Latin America and people aren't happy:

Experts in Latin American affairs are saying they aren't surprised at the negative reaction President Bush is receiving as he begins a seven-day tour through the region to push for an ethanol alliance with Brazil.

"His real challenge, however, is that there is an enormous rejection of U.S. foreign policy in the world and America," said Arturo Valenzuela, director of the Center for Latin American Studies at Georgetown University.

"In other words, there is very little affinity for the president's policies in Iraq and the ways in which he has conducted international relations over these years."

That was the good news. Here's the bad news:

Despite the protests, the United States still wields enormous influence in Latin America, a potential plus for Bush.

"He's still the president of the United States," said Dan Restrepo of the Center for American Progress. "He may be the lame-duck president of the United States, but the U.S. is the most important trading partner for virtually every country in the Americas."

Isn't it great how the government has to stick its thumb in every pie?

But the worst news is the violence. Considering the worldwide opinion of Bush, just about any city he visits outside the US will have civilian-police violence upon his arrival. Sao Paulo residents took to the streets to peacefully protest Bush's visit, and police in response fired some tear gas and cracked some skulls:

Riot police fired tear gas and beat some protesters with batons after more than 6,000 people held a largely peaceful march through the financial district. And in the southern city of Porto Alegre, more than 500 people yelled, "Get out, imperialist!" as they burned an effigy of Bush outside a Citigroup Inc. bank branch.

In response to the protests, a White House spokesperson defended Bush's tour of Latin America:

"The trip is to remind people that we care."

For some reason, I'm not totally sure that this trip will convince Latin America of that.

Monday, March 5, 2007

The Market Anarchist Blog Carnival begins!

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The Carnival of Liberty may be gone, but I've stepped up to the plate to start our very own Blog Carnival. See the introduction post at Check Your Premises for more information.

Saturday, March 3, 2007

Machinery of Freedom ep 12

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The Machinery of Freedom episode 12- Economics 101

Wherein basic principles of economics are explained, from opportunity costs to the nature of prices.

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