Why the Movie Studies and Record Companies Want to Kill Youtube – SOPA Ain’t What You Think It Is! By Jim March

The “Stop Online Piracy Act”, if passed, will allow “content owners” (studios, TV networks and record labels mainly) to order entire websites taken down if anybody posts “pirated content” there or even links to same. With so many videos being uploaded to Youtube and the like, monitoring or pre-approving videos is impossible and Google is on record as saying this bill will kill off Youtube completely.

The existing piracy controls are bad enough: the “content owners” can issue take-down notices when they spot piracy, but as long as Youtube or the like takes the stuff down (barring a counter-notification), Youtube can’t be held legally responsible.

The classic role of the record companies going back to the first years of rock was to sign up a good bar band, lock ‘em into a ghastly contract, get ‘em radio time, promote the hell out of their album(s), get ‘em concerts and pay them a relative pittance for the first few years. That was the norm.

That norm is breaking down because via Youtube and the like, brand new artists can connect directly with their audiences. The artist makes more money off of google adsense than they would as an obscure act on a large label, they can sell direct on iTunes or the like and they also sell CDs directly. Via the tracking on Youtube for number of views they build proof of their audience – which leads to either concert gigs and/or a contract with a record label that doesn’t rape them.

This is exactly what Justin Beiber did.

Here’s some other examples – pay attention to the number of views:

Ronald Jenkees  - almost 8 million hits on that one song and over a quarter mil subscribers to his channel.

Andy McKee  - 42 million views! He’s signed with a small label specializing in acoustic/folk, which is probably a much better deal than a major label.

This sort of thing is pure poison if you’re one of the execs at a big parasitic label. SOPA is how you stop it.

And it’s not just music – the same model is now breaking over into movies. The classic case so far is Freddiew – ever week he does a 2min or so video (usually “action”) and puts it on his Youtube channel, like so: Whose gun is it, anyway?

He has almost 3 million subscribers, over 500 million video views. He’s making enough cash off of google ads to pay himself and at least two others a full-time salary, plus finance the making of a full-length movie (in progress). He’s also gotten big enough to do web ads for the Battlefield games and did a spin-off of “Cowboys And Aliens” featuring the director of same.

In 10 years it’s a dead cinch Freddie will be directing more and better full-blown movies. No question. Will there be a studio as his “master”? I’d bet against it! He might well cut deals with direct-to-online outlets like Hulu, or sell exclusive-for-a-while rights to anybody from Netflix to DirecTV, and later break out completely into theaters.

THIS is the threat the major media sees out of Youtube – not piracy! They want to remain parasites between the artists and audience and will stop at nothing to prevent that…and they’ve bought off enough federal legicritters to be a threat to do it.

Note that this isn’t just “me talking” – researchers as highly placed as Harvard U are coming to very similar conclusions, at least as far as music goes.

PS: there is an alternate theory going around as to SOPA’s real ends that I think has some weight, but for reasons I’ll explain I think my theory is the more “dominant”. The other line of thinking is that “the powers that be” don’t like how much exposure of government abuses are being played on Youtube and the like.

I think this is a lesser factor, and might explain some quiet push being put on some of the legislators in the back rooms from the US-DOJ or the like. But it does not explain the fervent effort being put forward by all of the major media players in the music and movie industries. We know that’s where most of the money and lobbying for SOPA is coming from and again, this obvious connection between Youtube and the direct artist-to-audience links is a terrifying thing – for the parasites.

No Flags in Churches by Kaiser Leib

I’ve written before on the meaning of Romans 13, that chapter of the Bible which includes the admonition to “render unto Caesar that which is Caesar’s.” That chapter does not mean that Christians are to be ultimately beholden to their governments. In context, it is an indictment against violence, and a statement about the duties of government.

But today’s church ignores this. Today’s church is often a cheerleading platform for the state and the military as much as for God and for charity. The clearest examples of this are the flags which often stand behind the pulpit: the stars and stripes of the united states, and the Christian flag developed in the late 19th century. This represents a dangerous conflict of interest: are we to regard our allegiance to God as equal with our allegiance to the government?

The traditional separation of the church from the state in this country serves not only to keep religious law from interfering with the laws of the land, but also to protect religions from the state. Remember, the early Puritans, the ‘Pilgrims’ of the Thanksgiving story, fled England to escape the British crown’s oppression of their faith. While kings and governments are ordained and permitted by God, our universal submission to them is not; witness the children of Israel, resisting Pharaoh, and King Herod’s fear and persecution of Jesus.

When we stand the battle flag of our country in a church, we endorse an unholy union between the church and the state. No longer can we say “Go ye therefore unto all the world;” no, we say “Worship the government of this country.” We endorse all the wars and taxes and evils committed in the name of the state, claiming that they are done in the name of God as well.

The Bible tells us that we are in the world, but not of the world (John 17), and that man cannot serve two masters (Matthew 6:24). When we place the flag of any nation in our churches, we make a statement that we are of the world, and that we choose that state as a master, not only for ourselves but for our entire church.

So fly the flag, if you wish, in your home. Place a flag bumper sticker on your car. But by flying the flag in church, you set up another master as equal or superior to God, and you must be wary of that.

Distraction via False Dichotomy by Kaiser Leib

The Federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms willfully delivered firearms into the waiting hands of the Mexican drug cartels. You may speculate as to their reasons for doing so, but these activities were certainly illegal and immoral. Knowledge of this operation, called “Fast and Furious,” reaches at least as high as the United States Attorney General’s office, and therefore the current Attorney General, Eric Holder, should be made to answer for his wrongdoing.

Holder is a Democrat, as could be expected in a Democrat’s administration. This leads some Republicans to blame “the Democrats” for BATFE’s wrongdoing.

Arizona’s SB1070 is perhaps the most racist piece of legislation authored so far in the 21st century. This bill allows unreasonable search and seizure without basis at the discretion of police officers. Arizona State Senate President Russel Pearce, recently removed from office in a recall election, was a lead sponsor of this bill.

Pearce is a Republican, as might be expected in a state full of Republican voters. This leads some Democrats to blame “the Republicans” for Pearce’s wrongdoing.

George W. Bush was president during the invasions of Iraq and Afghanistan and the first part of the latest market downturn, so these things are his fault, and by extension the fault of the Republican party. Barack Obama was president during the implementation of the latest bailouts, the NATO invasion of Libya, and the economically ridiculous “Cash for Clunkers” program, and so of course everyone who carries a (D) ought to be burned at the stake for those crimes.

“The Republicans” want to ban gay marriage, boo and hiss. “The Democrats” want to increase taxes and redistribute wealth, for shame. And if only we’d all see the evil of one party or the other, then the right people would gain power, and we’d see real change and Utopia, right?

The Occupy movement, much like the Tea Party before it, has been co-opted and turned into a partisan distraction. Popular anger is inappropriately redirected against the other half of the population, rather than against the ideas of government which have brought us to this state. By continuing to blame figureheads and people instead of institutions and ideas, we guarantee that the future will be as bleak as the present. I weep for future generations.

One Nation Under Occupation by Chris Dates

“Now something must be done about vengeance, a badge, and a gun”
-Zack de la Rocha

The picture above is probably the most powerful picture I have seen in a long time. As my mind dissected this picture, I had a thousand thoughts, and not one word. I had read the caption under the picture so I knew this young man’s name was Scott Olsen. I know he is a 24 year old Marine Veteran, and he had served two tours in Iraq.
This man is laying bleeding from his head in the arms of people he has probably never met. He has part of his military uniform on, perhaps a uniform he was issued. It looks like he has some kind of military pack on. The pack is splattered with blood, and his hair is matted into the blood on his forehead. This Marine is badly in need of medical attention. As this young man lay horizontally in the arms of strangers, his unbuttoned camouflage blouse had draped to either side of him. Under that blouse was a black undershirt with a white dove pictured on it. I stopped and focused on that dove for a minute. The photographer had managed to place it almost directly in the middle of the picture. My eyes were stuck on that dove as I wondered what events had taken place in his life that drove him to be an advocate for peace. Words can not accurately describe the power of this picture, so I won’t even try. If it was up to me, one of these pictures would be handed out to every returning soldier with these two words, “welcome home.”

All of these thoughts quickly disappeared when I thought to myself, why is this man not on a stretcher? Why is this man being cared for in this manner? Why is he being carried around like this?

 Then I watched the video….
That is a War Zone.

That young man was in a war zone. Many things have been said about the OWS protesters, and they have been called many names. I’d like to add one more name to the protesters who got this young Marine the hell out of there: Heroes.
It’s not everyday that your average American works up the courage to run into a situation where flash-bang grenades are being used; where tear gas canisters pop all around them; where they are being fired upon with rubber bullets and bean bags by those who have sworn to protect them. To watch that video is to witness bravery in action. I do not want to give commentary on the video, because like the picture above, it speaks for itself. Please take notice of the flash-bang grenade that is thrown by a member of law enforcement into the crowd of courageous folks who went back into harm’s way to try and rescue this man.

One word came to my mind when I watched that video: chaos. Chaos caused by jack booted thugs under the authority of the state. Chaos is the reason most folks I talk to reject the stateless society. They are unable to see that it is the state that causes chaos. Authority without accountability is chaos. It’s always the same excuse, chaos will ensue if we have no government. To those who would say this, I would ask this question; what the hell do we have now? It sure ain’t order.

If there is one thing the OWS movement has been good at it’s pointing out the real occupation force in this country: American Law Enforcement.
This essay was written from occupied territory.
Resist.
“Badges don’t grant extra rights”
-Copblock

21st Century Abolitionists by Chris Dates

Editor’s note: Chris has a sense of serendipity, and has supplied another insightful essay while Bill and I are occupied at Libertopia. If you’d like to contribute an essay, please email them to kaiserleib@gmail.com. We may edit your essay for mechanics, but never for content. -KL

“No man can put a chain about the ankle of his fellow man without at last finding the other end fastened about his own neck.”
~Frederick Douglass

This essay is a follow-up to my last essay that was posted here at ZeroGov. I don’t think I properly got my point across, and I do not want to appear as a man who does not take freedom seriously enough to take the time to explain how it would work. Please allow me this opportunity to explain myself a little further.

I have read many books, essays, and such explaining how the people will have to be shown concrete alternatives to the state apparatus before they have the courage to abandon it. They will have to be shown how they would travel, and not just traveling by automobile, an explanation has to be given for air travel and air traffic control also. They need to be explained how they would receive justice in a free society, or shown examples of how justice has been handled in the past and present absent the state. Certainly the problem of pollution cannot be left up in the air when trying to explain why a free society would be better. These are only a few problems that exist now, and will undoubtedly exist in a voluntary society. Somehow we will have to show working alternatives to every one of these problems before the people throw off the shackles they have placed upon themselves. And this is the reason why we will fail at this monumental task of trying to explain freedom, although our minds are free, our bodies are not. We can build in our heads, but we lack the right to build with our hands.

The abolitionists of the past did not know of companies like, John Deere, Kubota, or International Harvester. They would never witness the invention of the tractor and all of the wonderful implements that can be attached to them that make life on a farm so much easier. They would never witness the fabulous invention known as the internal combustion engine, or the introduction of hydraulic systems that make all of this technology possible. They were not concerned with any of this, they did not care about what would replace the slave; they only fought to end the horrible institution of chattel slavery. This is the root I was trying to strike with my last essay. I only wish to abolish slavery. I see something as wrong, I should not have to devise a working model as an alternative to this wretched practice. Is it not enough to expose the slavery in the system to get my fellow humans to throw off their shackles? Do I have to tempt them with new systems? Chattel slavery, although practiced for many, many centuries, is now seen as a horribly immoral institution. Slave owners of the past were not presented with cost benefit analysis, or return on investment sheets. The moral argument was presented, and it was supported with the fact that man is a self-owner, no matter the color of his skin.

When comparing slavery and the state, some may think it’s a bit over the top, or is meant to invoke emotion. I assure you that the comparison is accurate and correct. To be a self-owner, one needs to believe in self-ownership. If one believes in ownership, then one also believes in possession. Let me give you an example: let’s say you find someone’s keys in a parking lot, and you pick them up. At this time, you are in possession of the keys, but they are not yours. The owner comes along and makes a claim on his property; he can stake an ownership claim. You being the good and helpful person you are gladly hand this man his keys, because he is the true and rightful owner. Let’s turn the tables, you have lost your keys, and you find a man in possession of them in a parking lot. As you approach this man you give him your gratitude for finding the lost set of keys, but instead the man runs away. He runs because he understands that you are the rightful owner, and he is merely in possession of the keys. It is not his property and he knows it. He is the wrongful owner.

Humans understand this concept with just about all property, except for their own bodies, and more specifically their labor. This principle also, and most importantly, applies to your body. Either you own it, or you are only in possession of it, and someone else can make an ownership claim on it. The law of the excluded middle works for ownership. Your labor would not exist without you, so it is only logical that it is yours. Either you own yourself and therefore your labor, or you don’t. There is no middle ground here. The difference between chattel slaves and 21st century slaves can be measured in degrees. Just as slave owners staked ownership claims on their slaves, the government stakes an ownership claim on you. The two masters are exactly the same in the fact that both wish to only extract your labor, the state just found a more efficient way of doing it. By claiming ownership of your labor the state has staked an ownership claim on to your own body.

Let’s go back to the guy running off with your keys. He now has to be on the look out because he is afraid that you will come looking to collect your property and violence may ensue. He still knows that he is only in possession of them and he is not the rightful owner. If you catch him, you will not accept only one key, or two keys, no you want the whole ring of keys, they are yours. The only way this man can keep your keys is through force, or the threat of force. He can pull out a gun to try and defend his possession, but the reason he has to pull the gun in the first place is because he is not the owner. This is the exact reason why the state has to employ the use of force to extract your property, they are not the rightful owners of it. The only rightful way property can be exchanged is through voluntary interaction; this is the only true way ownership can be transferred. Just as the chattel slave owners used shackles and chains, the state uses the same thing, but they have tricked us into putting them on ourselves and our neighbors. A happy slave is a more productive slave. The reason Marxism will never work is because it uses the negation of ownership as it’s principle; possession. The reason why capitalism does and forever will work is because it uses ownership as it’s principle. It’s time for us to abandon the middle, just like Marxism all of the lite flavors of it will also not work. It is false.

I’ll tell you the reason I do not feel the need to have to explain how freedom might work. Look back at the last couple of hundred years. Look at the explosion in technology. Look at the advances in the medical field. Look at the marvels taking place in the computing world. My goodness, look at the Internet itself. Everywhere we look we see human genius at work. This boom started to happen right around the same time chattel slavery was abolished in many countries. Do you think this is a coincidence? When men could no longer own other humans, and force those humans to labor, they had to come up with alternatives. Necessity is the mother of invention, and when you own slaves, there is no need for invention or innovation. This is the reason why I consider myself a 21st century abolitionist, I only have to look to the recent past to know that the abolition of slavery leads to amazing things. This is why I do not spend time explaining freedom, I spend my time explaining slavery. Along with being an abolitionist, I am also a capitalist. I have been fond of saying, “I have my ideas, but they are mine.” If you need some advise on how to live your life without the use of slaves, I’ll start a business called the “Freedom Consulting Firm”, and then you can pay me for my ideas.

When my son was very young, he would grab his toys from his cousins and say “MINE!”, we can grasp these concepts at a very young age. It’s time for us to look at the state and simply say, “MINE!”

“The labourers have the most enormous power in their hands, and, if they once became thoroughly conscious of it and used it, nothing would withstand them; they would only have to stop labour, regard the product of labour as theirs, and enjoy it. This is the sense of the labour disturbances which show themselves here and there. The State rests on the – slavery of labour. If labour becomes free. the State is lost.”
~Max Stirner

I Recant: Confessions of an OWS Opponent

Yet, clever people fall for far more dangerous ideas of the exact same form. In Philadelphia, a group of remarkably intelligent men came together to form a government. These men had seen full-grown governments before, had in fact just freed themselves from one. Yet here they were, feeding and nourishing a small baby government, playing with it, considering it so cute and adorable that they just had to have one.

-Joshua Katz, “Don’t Buy a Tiger

My previous piece was an attempt at a polite hatchet job on the OWS movement. That was hypocritical and wrong. I apologize, more to my friends who read it and agreed than to the OWS types who (like the rest of the world) remain largely unaware of the existence of ZeroGov.

I stand by my criticism of the unfocused nature of the protests. I agree with the sentiment of frequent ZeroGov commenter mot, who wrote:

“They ask evil to protect them from evil….” That’s the old Biblical example of trying to cast out Beelzebub in the name of Beelzebub. It simply doesn’t happen.”

And I still oppose the sentiment of this young man and those like him who, rather than being upset that the fruits of their labor has been wrongly appropriated by those in power, instead demand a share of the spoils.

But these protests are, so far, spontaneous order without coercion or force (although there are some disturbing omens that the will of the many might soon be imposed on the few). Until force is used, until laws are imposed and enforced, these protesters are absolutely doing the right thing. The protesters are respectfully using and maintaining the “occupied” property. This is anarchism in action by any reasonable definition: that no person or group imposes its will on another.

I am still worried that OWS, like the Tea Party before it, will be co-opted by new or existing powers. I do not like the rumblings of a coherent demand for increased regulation instead of the removal of existing Protectionist, Corporatist and Crony Capitalist government policies. I do not like the near-complete absence of anti-war sentiment among the protesters on the Youtube videos and articles I’ve seen.

But popular anger at a system of power that has done harm, I like. Spontaneous order and cooperation without coercion, I like. And so I hope and pray that this movement does not coalesce into Soviet communism, Nazi fascism, or American imperialism. I hope that anger at the powers that be, anger at the tax collectors and Apparatchiks and banksters does not devolve into a cult of personality around the elites who make false promises.

I hope, that is, that my last essay was wrong.

HL Mencken and the Occupation of Wall Street by Kaiser Leib

“Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.”

-H. L. Mencken

In the etymological sense, all societies are democracies. No government could remain in power, even with the support of the police and the military, if every citizen were simply to pick up a rock and throw it. Therefore, any government which remains in power has the tacit consent of the people, or at least a plurality of motivated people.

It seems that the American government is losing this tacit consent. The Occupy Wall Street protests and the copycat movements across the country are evidence of that. These protesters are not a majority of the people. They are not a plurality of the people. They do, however, represent one majority opinion: that the nature of the present relationship between government and high finance is intolerable, and must be changed.

The rest of the protesters’ message is unclear, because it is unfocused. Polling would indicate that the protesters want more government regulation, but determining the nature of that regulation would be left to existing powers – leaving us exactly where we are now, albeit with shiny new lipstick on our pig of a financial system. And what of the wars, against “terrorism” and “drugs?” Have those been forgotten, or are the prison-industrial and military-industrial complexes simply a smaller threat to our well being than the undefined greed of the “1%”?

The Occupy Wall Street movement is composed of people who have every reason to be angry. Their property has been appropriated, their opportunities are repeatedly limited by government interference. They’ve been sold a package of unjust wars, useless education, and dubious protection from threats less real than the Bogeyman. To be sure, crony corporatists and congressman have colluded to commandeer the future of this country, and of the entire world. But OWS doesn’t seem to be about that. OWS asks for more regulation, more government meddling in our affairs. They ask evil to protect them from evil, and don’t understand the similarity between the 1% of high finance and the 1% of government.

Mencken’s snide dismissal of democracy is too kind. These common people, these “99%,” don’t really know exactly what they want. Unfortunately, the getting will be just as “good and hard” regardless.

Conversations with Normal People: Part One by Chris Dates

“You have rights antecedent to all earthly governments: rights that cannot be repealed or restrained by human laws….” ~ John Adams

As I have mentioned before, I am an Auto Mechanic. As part of my job I test drive customer vehicles to verify a complaint, and to recheck my work when it’s completed. The other Technicians I work with do the same thing, so when Law Enforcement has set up a speed trap, or are actively running radar in the area where most of us test drive, word spreads like wildfire.

But this time was different….

My buddy walked down to me and explained to me that he had just got stopped by the cops. I thought to myself that he must have been speeding, or committed the heinous crime of rolling through a stop sign, or some other arbitrary traffic infraction so I asked him what he had done. He told me that he had done nothing wrong, but a roadblock had been set up, and he went through it. He told me that the road was blocked off in either direction, and they were stopping both sides of the road. He explained the roadblock was rather large, and it was a collaboration between Local and State Law Enforcement. I asked if any Military was present, he said no, but said they sure did look and act like the Military.

He was not in his personal vehicle when they stopped him, and he was also wearing gloves.  Technicians wear gloves to protect themselves from chemicals, and other substances that could cause harm. He was asked to produce his license and registration. He pulled out his license, and held up the work order explaining to this Jackboot that this was not his vehicle.  He pointed to the Honda emblem on his shirt, and also pointed out the rest of his uniform.  The Officer then asked if there was anything in the van that he should know about. My buddy responded, again, that this was not his vehicle, and he has no idea what’s in the van. The Officer then noticed that he was wearing gloves, and for some odd reason became very alarmed. The officer asked him why he was wearing gloves. He said it’s for protection from oil, brake clean, and other harmful fluids in the shop. The officer then asked him if he was sure that was the reason he was wearing gloves. My friend, at this point puzzled, responded with yes. The Officer then took his license and work order and walked away. He came back in about two minutes and told him he was “cleared to leave”. It’s important to note that the armed State Employee who was busy interrupting the daily commerce of everyone who happened to drive down that road was concerned by my friend’s uniform. How bizarre, an armed man standing in the middle of the road with the rest of his armed gang was alarmed my a man trying to fix this person’s vehicle.

I asked him why they were stopping people, and he said they were looking for suspended licenses, expired registrations and vehicle inspections. I asked him if that was the official reason, if that was the story he had gotten from the cops.  He said no, but many of the numerous cars that were pulled over on the side of the road had expired vehicle inspections, and registrations(he is a State Inspector, it’s part of his job to notice these things). I asked him what he thought of the roadblock, and he told me he didn’t mind it, because he wasn’t doing anything wrong.  At this point the Activist in me wanted to grab my Best Friend (who I work with), and my camera to go and film this Tyranny, but the Father in me told me it was a bad idea, and that I was sure to end the day in a cage. Besides, we had started to build quite the audience of people anxious to hear about the roadblock. I thought to myself what a great opportunity to inject some freedom principles into the conversation.

After the story was retold we all sat around discussing what happened. The usual grumbling ensued, you know, the kind that usually follows any cop story. I asked the group if the cops have the right to do this, and EVERYONE responded with a yes. They said basically, yeah, it sucks, but they believe it has to be done for protection against drunk drivers and “illegals”.  I asked about the Bill of Rights, specifically the fourth amendment, and everyone gave me a blank stare like they were waiting for me to tell them what their rights were as human beings, so I did….

Amendment IV

The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

I then explained how this roadblock was a violation of individual rights, and completely illegal. I then heard a voice say, “Oh, no it’s not, it’s completely legal”, it was a co-worker of mine who is a former Sheriffs Deputy, he was walking up with three other men. At this point the conversation had swelled to more than ten individuals. I was anxious to hear this man’s explanation on exactly how this sort of thing is “legal”.  He said as long as there is a pattern, and not random, it’s legal. He said as long as Law Enforcement was stopping every third car, or every red car, or every truck, it was legal. He said this is how it was legal to set up DUI checkpoints and still be Constitutional. He explained to the group that driving was a privilege, and that you give “implied consent” the moment you enter your vehicle and motor onto public roadways. Anyone who has read my articles knows I hate the phrase “implied consent”, and I was itching to question him on his logic. I asked him if it was legal for Law Enforcement to search every red house or every third house. He said that was different, because driving requires a license, owning a house does not. I asked him if I could opt-out of the mandatory tax that goes to fund the roads I am privileged to drive on, and he told me no. I wanted to clarify for the group, so I repeated, “so, let me get this straight, I am forced to pay for these roads under penalty of law, but it’s a privilege that I get to use them?”  I then asked, “tell me, how can an Officer force me to produce my license when I have done nothing wrong? Isn’t that unreasonable?” He said the reason this is legal is because the State issued that license and it’s really not mine, it’s State property. I then questioned the need for drivers licenses, since I can be made to hand over State property at any given time, do I really need to have it?

When I questioned the need for licenses the crowd kind of mumbled, and some started to question where I was going with this, I mean, licenses make us safer, right? I posed a question to the former Sheriffs Deputy, “if the State licenses me to drive a vehicle, and I prove myself unfit to operate that vehicle,  I crash and severely injure a person and destroy property, can the State be sued?”  He said no, that’s a job for the insurance companies to handle. I then asked, “OK, so what’s the purpose of the license?” He said, “Well, it’s just needed.” I pressed on, “No, why do we need them? If a private company is the entity that takes care of rectifying the loss of life or property, why do we need the damn license?”  He said, “well, insurance companies won’t insure you without a valid license.” I then asked, “isn’t that called Fascism?” I then addressed the group, “can anyone give me one good reason for the licensing of drivers?” I also reminded them that they were all Auto Mechanics, and that they needed no licensing when spinning wrenches, even though what we do, or fail to do could kill people. I could see the light bulbs starting to turn on at this point.

I returned to the point I was trying to make about the searching of houses. I asked the group what would happen if they stopped paying their property tax. Most of the group responded that if the failure to pay went far enough, the property would be seized by the county. I then asked, “well isn’t this a privilege then? Isn’t owning a house a privilege?” All that’s needed now was the license, and bang, the State could randomly search your house, and it would be completely legal. The former Deputy chimed in and said, “all these Officers were doing was following orders.” I was waiting for that old line to come out. I reminded this man that he once took an oath to defend the Constitution, and not to enforce the laws that dance around the Bill of Rights. I am an anarchist, and I see the Constitution as nothing more than a blueprint for a perpetual slave machine, but when it comes to freedom, I’ll take what I can get. I asked one more question of the former Deputy, “there are more than 20,000 gun laws on the books even though 2A clearly states–shall not be infringed– if a law was passed where you were made to turn in your guns, would you?” He reluctantly said, “yes….if it’s the law, I must respect it.” I said, “no you don’t have to respect it, the Bill of Rights does not grant you rights, it merely protects the rights you naturally have.” He said he was “impressed”‘with my knowledge of the Constitution and we both agreed to finish the conversation over a couple of beers.

I told the group that we are losing our rights one by one. One man spoke up and said, “we are not losing our rights, they are just trying to protect us so that we have more rights.” I asked him to enumerate just one right that he thought we were not losing, he couldn’t name one.

How can we say we are losing our rights if the majority of Americans don’t even know what rights they have? How can we say we are losing America if the majority of of Americans don’t even know what the idea of America was?

“When men yield up the privilege of thinking, the last shadow of liberty quits the horizon.” ~ Thomas Paine

 

Winners and Losers in Libya and on Earth by Kaiser Leib

Foreign intervention is the pride of American policy. It has been our raison d’être for a century, beginning with the Spanish-American war in the late 1890s and continuing without meaningful interruption. The people of these united States are amenable to these constant entanglements, it seems, because our enlightened system of democracy allows us to decide what is best for the rest of the world.

Our latest humanitarian effort is the destruction (and forthcoming rebuilding) of Libya. Our intervention in Libya is justified by international consensus, the dictator’s evilness, access to natural resources, and perhaps the specter of weapons of mass destruction. For this reason it is different and more justified than our entanglement in Afghanistan, which was justified by international consensus, the Taliban’s evilness, access to natural resources, and the bad acts of a wealthy Saudi; or our invasion of Iraq, which was justified by international consensus, the dictator’s evilness, access to natural resources, and the specter of nonexistent weapons of mass destruction.

Libya, I am told, is in Africa, a continent full of people who cannot be trusted with their own governance. This is obvious due to how poorly they’ve behaved themselves when conquered, ruled, armed and raped by Europeans. Furthermore, Africans are incapable of conducting successful revolutions without outside help; this is evidenced by the terrible situation in South Sudan. For this reason, it was absolutely necessary for the Western nations to render the rebels assistance against the Gadaffyduck regime, which had been previously armed by Western nations. After the promised short days (not weeks) of fighting, Gadaffyduck is deposed, and NATO forces have left the country.  This all occurred in March, several months ago.

The new Libyan government will be democratic, in the spirit of Afghanistan, Iraq, and the first French Republic. This will guarantee that the human rights of the Libyan people will be respected, and that the NATO powers will have uninterrupted access to Libya’s oil reserves. The National Transition Council (NTC), Libya’s interim government, is largely Muslim; this meets with popular approval after years of secular rule. Muslim populations ought to be allowed to select Muslim leaders, except in Palestine and Iran.

The Korean war persists into its sixth decade, complete with military bases and US troops. Okinawa and Rammstein remain occupied, just in case. Our boys at Guantanamo Bay remain ever-vigilant against the Spanish threat of the 19th century. Poland is a member of NATO, which still has a purpose years after the dissolution of the Warsaw pact. The sun rises, the sun sets, and hastens to the place from which it rose. Still I Hope for Change.

London Glaziers Praise Youth for Economic Stimulus by Kaiser Leib

The Worshipful Company of Glaziers and Painters of Glass has released a statement in support of the economic stimulus activities undertaken this week in London. “Over the past three nights,” said guild spokesman JM Keynes, “The brave young people of London have taken it upon themselves to guarantee the economic health of our city for years to come.” Keynes went on to explain that the Glaziers expect a 10,000% increase in demand for new glass windows over the coming weeks, which will employ hundreds of new glassmakers, who are paid as much as six francs for each new window produced.

Shopkeeper F Bastiat took a rather dimmer view of the stimulus package, citing its cost to his business. “Look here,” he said, gesturing to his store’s broken window. “They broke that, broke the door, came in and took things right off the shelves.” Bastiat expects that his insurance will cover some of the damages, but that much of his inventory will be a total loss. “I had a year’s profits tied up, just in what was on the shelves,” he explained. “And some of it they just destroyed! This television was too heavy to steal, I suppose, so they just smashed it.”

Bastiat’s selfishness, though, is not representative of most Londoners.  In addition to creating jobs and increasing private spending, the stimulus is providing an increased standard of living for some participants. “I got tones of stuff todayyyy!” explained one of the stimulus agents via twitter, ” … whop whop … wat ev;; it was free so i took it ennit,, didn’t get caught so[.]”

The London Olympics, set for 2012, could bring economic stimulus to countries the world over. “Just imagine,” said Keynes, “What would happen if some of these elite athletes had their possessions appropriated by another stimulus, or if they were injured? And there’ll be millions of attendees, too! All these people will have to buy replacement goods and seek health care upon return to their home nations. Everyone will benefit!”

Bastiat could not be reached for further comment at press time.