Saturday, September 7, 2013

What the hell happened to Martin Sheen and Sean Penn and Tim Robbins?

I've been super-busy at work for the last two weeks, so I'm shamelessly ripping off stuff from elsewhere.  This is Buzzfeed's list of prominent anti-war celebrities who have been missing since the end of the Bush administration. 
Please pray for them and their families, and also for their safe return to protesting against our upcoming war in Syria. 

1. Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow
“I think war is based in greed and there are huge karmic retributions that will follow. I think war is never the answer to solving any problems. The best way to solve problems is to not have enemies.”
— Sheryl Crow

2. Bruce Springsteen

Bruce Springsteen
“War. What is it good for? Absolutely nothing.”
— Bruce Springsteen

3. Martin Sheen

Martin Sheen
“But I am equally against the death penalty or war — anywhere people are sacrificed for some end justifying a means.”
— Martin Sheen

4. Ed Asner

Ed Asner
“I also think that there is a strong streak of racism, and whenever we engage in foreign adventures. Our whole history in regime change has been of people of different color.”
— Ed Asner

5. Sean Penn

Sean Penn
“I think we’re past that point in human evolution where there’s such a thing as winning wars.”
— Sean Penn

6. Tim Robbins

Tim Robbins
“It is very inspiring and amusing how many people have come out in this genuine and spontaneous way to embrace peace and reject war. It reminds us there is a human and gentle spirit out there in this world.”
— Tim Robbins

7. George Clooney

George Clooney
“You can’t beat your enemy anymore through wars; instead you create an entire generation of people revenge-seeking.”
— George Clooney

8. Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne
“American people always have to be tricked into going to war, they always have to be cajoled. I mean, there’s a long history of being lied to, of having things described in a particular way, in order to get them out of their sort of isolationist… prosperity mode and go to war.”
— Jackson Brown

9. Janeane Garofalo

Janeane Garofalo
“War is failure! When you are at war, you have failed!”
— Janeane Garofalo

10. Neil Young

Neil Young
“I don’t like war. I particularly don’t like the celebration of war.”
— Neil Young

11. Jessica Lange

Jessica Lange
“Let’s talk for a minute about these masters of war, these same men that are sending our sons and our daughters, our brothers and sisters, our mothers and fathers to fight an undeclared and unconstitutional and unwinnable war for them.”
— Jessica Lange

12. Barbra Streisand

Barbra Streisand
“You know, really good artists have a way of being relevant in their time — but great artists are relevant at any time. So, in the words of William Shakespeare, ‘Beware the leader who bangs the drums of war in order to whip the citizenry into a patriotic fervor.”
— Barbra Streisand

13. Danny Glover

Danny Glover
“The world has come together and said ‘no’ to this war – and we must stand with them.”
— Danny Glover

14. Susan Sarandon

Susan Sarandon
“Let us resist this war. Let us hate war in all its forms, whether the weapon used is a missile or an airplane.”
— Susan Sarandon
The only explanation for their continued silence must be a large, organized kidnapping. To whoever is responsible for their disappearance, please post pictures of them holding a recent newspaper so we know they’re okay. Maybe one of these:
Yours in peace,

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Why We Fight !!!

Many are wondering why we would consider going to war in Syria. 
Ok, it won't be a declared war, so let's take it down a notch. 
Many are wondering why we would do a limited police action in Syria. 
Ok, it won't be a limited police action.  There will be no "boots on the ground", so let's take it down a notch. 
Many are wondering why we would spend money and risk aviators by bombing Assad's people in Syria. 
Ok, we don't have a freakin' clue who we'll be bombing.  We're America, dammit, and we won't stand idly by while Assad's people execute their POW's. 

Oh.  Wait a minute.  The rebels are executing the POW's. 

Visit for breaking news, world news, and news about the economy

Well....we've spent a lot of money re-stocking our war arsenal, and there's no money in just letting the stuff sit there.  Economies are based on consumption. 

I once believed that we should get involved in Iraq because Saddam gassed 90,000 Kurds. 
I was wrong. 
Perhaps there should be some sort of humanitarian intervention, but it shouldn't come from us. 
We just aren't very good at it. 

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

The Greatest Collection Of Libertarian Links EVER

A genius called Nobody25864 over at Libertarian Reddit has put together the best collection of Libertarian links that I've ever seen.

It's a monument to unselfish generosity. 

And since there is no such thing as generosity without a recipient, I have stolen it and posted the entire thing here so I can find it later for my own selfish self. 

It would've been the perfect reading companion to fill up the sober moments of my Labor Day weekend, had I seen it sooner. 

Images - Inspirational quotes, cartoons, memes and funny pics

30 Day Reading List Challenge - A good collection of libertarian articles to get you familiar with theory!

The Law by Frederic Bastiat - A fantastic look at the proper place of the law and how it has been perverted into legal plunder, as explained by Bastiat in 1850. Highly recommended.
Anatomy of the State by Murray Rothbard - An explanation of what the state is not, what it is, and how it functions. Highly recommended.
The Science of Justice by Lysander Spooner - Spooner talks of some implications of self-ownership.
The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible - Libertarian morals broken down into kid stories!
The Philosophy of Liberty
The Philosophy of Liberty: Property
The Philosophy of Liberty: Plunder
Pirates and Emperors
George Ought to Help
You Can Always Leave
The Non-Aggression Principle
Make Mine Freedom
Milton Friedman - Greed
I, Pencil
For a New Liberty: The Libertarian Manifesto
The Ethics of Liberty.

The Production of Security by Gustave de Molinari - The first anarcho-capitalist book ever written. Highly recommended.
No Treason by Lysander Spooner - Possibly the greatest argument for anarchy ever written. A scathing attack on the Constitution, Spooner reveals how the Constitution fails all the requirements for a legal contract, concluding that it is a Constitution of no authority. It does presume a bit of familiarity with legal principles though. Highly recommended.
The State is Not Great by Jacob Spinney
The Market for Security by Robert Murphy
The Tale of the Slave by Robert Nozick - Does voting turn slaves into free men?
If You Were King
Law Without Government - Highly recommended.
The Machinery of Freedom: Illustrated Guide - Highly recommended.
Why Libertarianism is Dangerous - The "horrors" of anarchy!
Top 10 Reasons Why the Mafia Would Be Better Than the State
But Wouldn't Warlords Take Over?
Common Argument Topics

How an Economy Grows and Why It Doesn't by Irwin Schiff - A comic about cavemen that invent economic interaction, going from there to developing a more modern economy, and how the government messes this all up. Highly recommended.
Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt; Video series version (currently ongoing!) - Inspired by Bastiat, Hazlitt explains the economics behind some key political issues.
That Which is Seen and That Which is Not Seen by Frederic Bastiat - The article that inspired the above.
The Candlemaker's Petition by Frederic Bastiat - Bastiat writes a fake petition from the producers of light in France for the government to ban the sun.
Defending the Undefendable - Block looks at different occupations that are frowned upon in society, but are consistent with libertarian principle.
Lessons for the Young Economist by Robert Murphy; a high school textbook for austrian economics.
Economics for Real People: An Introduction to the Austrian School - Brought in by comment by /u/LetThemEatWar32's suggestion! As the title says, its an introduction to the Austrian School.
Capitalism in One Lesson - An explanation of what capitalism is with tons of resources to learn more.
Praxgirl - A cute girl explains basic praxeology.
Fight of the Century: Keynes vs. Hayek Round Two (this is a sequel to "Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem)
Deck the Halls with Macro Follies
Trade is Made of Win
The Broken Window Fallacy
-Methodological Individualism
That Mitchell and Webb Look - Football - A comedy sketch explaining what's wrong with the excessive use of the word "we".
Friends - A Selfless Good Deed - A clip from Friends in which Joey explains why all purposeful action is selfish as everyone necessarily acts to complete the goals they value most highly, even when this end is normally dubbed "selfless" or "altruistic".
- Money
What Has Government Done to Our Money? by Murray Rothbard - Rothbard explains what money is, how government messes it up, and gives a brief history of money in western civilization. Highly recommended.
What is Money? by Frederic Bastiat; audio version - Bastiat explains in dialogue form the many evils that come from confusing money with wealth.
The American Dream - A cartoon looking at the problems of the Federal Reserve and fractional reserve banking.
- Austrian Business Cycle Theory
"Fear the Boom and Bust" a Hayek vs. Keynes Rap Anthem
The Austrian Business Cycle Explained
America's Great Depression by Murray Rothbard - A bit more lengthy, but definitely worth looking at if you're interested in a simple explanation of business cycle theory and a history lesson on the causes of the Great Depression.
The Privatization of Roads and Highways by Walter Block
Streets and Roads by Murray Rothbard
- Environmentalism
Law, Property Rights, and Air Pollution
Can Hunting Endangered Animals Save the Species?
Tragedy of the Commons
Ghostbusters Hates the EPA and So Should You
-Intellectual Property
Against Intellectual Property
History of Copyright
- Healthcare
How Government Solved the Healthcare Crisis
A Four-Step Healthcare Solution by Hans-Hermann Hoppe
Healthcare as a Right
- Minimum Wage
Edgar the Exploiter
How the Minimum Wage Creates Unemployment
Jeff's Story
Critique of Objectivism
Ayn Rand on Libertarianism
Mozart was a Red by Murray Rothbard
The Sociology of the Ayn Rand Cult by Murray Rothbard

eEconomics and the rest - A fantastic video series
Be a Cop
Clint Webb
Pledge of Allegiance
Teachers Union
Moon Bears
Nerf Nuke
- Yes Prime Minister
Leading Questions
If the Right People Don't Have the Power
- Penn and Teller
Corn Subsidies
On the Second Amendment
Wealth Redistribution

Harrison Bergeron by Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - The horrors of egalitarianism. For a bit of expansion on it, read Rothbards' Egalitarianism as a Revolt Against Nature
1984 by George Orwell - The ultimate in dystopian literature.
Animal Farm by George Orwell - An allegory for the rise and fall of soviet communism.
Anthem by Ayn Rand - Miraculously, Rand did produce a short fiction story that has a nice look at individualism. A man in a socialist world rediscovers the lightbulb.
The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein - A science fiction story of the moon revolting against the rule of Earth.
Time Will Run Back by Henry Hazlitt - The world has been taken over by socialism, and the son of the dictator of the Won World Government is suddenly thrust into a position of power in which he accidentally rediscovers capitalism step by step.

Just the Recommended Ones
The Law by Frederic Bastiat
Anatomy of the State by Murray Rothbard
The Adventures of Jonathan Gullible
The Philosophy of Liberty
The Production of Security by Gustave de Molinari
No Treason by Lysander Spooner
How an Economy Grows and Why It Doesn't by Irwin Schiff
Economics in One Lesson by Henry Hazlitt
What Has Government Done to Our Money? by Murray Rothbard

It always flows downhill

Monday, September 2, 2013

A Climate Change Parable

I was reading some silliness about Global Cooling or Global Warming or  Climate Change on The Guardian's website, and came upon this little parable by someone named CloutPerson.  It beautifully captures why there are so many skeptics and denialists remaining in the reality-based community.

(Another reason for our skepticism is that we all own thermometers.  Read the article in the link.  The author is distressed and bothered because the thermometers aren't agreeing with the theories.) 

Enjoy.  I've changed a few of CloutPerson's obscure British references to equally obscure Texas references, and I've thrown in some helpful pics at the end. 

Here's Mr. CloutPerson's parable.   

I was engaged in my favourite hobby of jumping up and down the other day, when a fellow up-and-down jumper sidled up alongside me and said "Do you realise that jumping up and down will cause the ground to collapse? If we don't stop jumping up and down we'll all fall into an enormous chasm and be killed."

"Really?" I answered. "In that case why are you still jumping up and down?"

"Didn't you hear what I said?" he hissed. "It's known as ground-collapse theory - GCT for short!"

"I heard you very well," I answered. "But you haven't answered my question. I'm still curious as to why you keep jumping up and down if it is going to cause the ground to collapse."

"You fool!" he spluttered. "Don't you realise that 95% of scientists are convinced that GCT is real!"

He pointed. "Look!" I followed his finger, and saw a large group of people. By their appearance you could tell that they were all eminent scientists.  They were wearing white lab coats and were jumping up and down with thick academic studies that proved that jumping up and down was going to cause the ground to collapse.  And yet all of them were jumping up and down with varying degrees of vigor.

"You still haven't answered my question," I said. "Surely if all these eminent scientists are convinced that GCT is real, they would stop jumping up and down."

"Idiot!" he spat out the word. "Stupid, blinkered, denialist!"

"Actually, you still haven't answered my question," I responded mildly. "If I was as convinced of the reality of GCT as you seem to be, and I wanted everybody to stop jumping up and down, then I'd probably stop jumping up and down myself first. Otherwise my argument might seem rather less than compelling -"

"SHUT UP!" he interrupted me with an apoplectic scream, his face contorted with rage and hatred. "It should be a CRIMINAL OFFENCE to deny the reality of Ground Collapse Theory! You're worse than a MURDERER! You should be in JAIL along with all the other RACIST SWIVEL-EYED DAILY HEIL READING NAZI UKIP FACISTS!"

(UKIP is the United Kingdom Independence Party - Libertarian, non-racist, limited government - all the usual insults.  I think the Daily Heil is a reference to London's Daily Mail.  Somebody on that side of the pond, please help us out in the comment field....) 

And with these final words he took his leave, frothing and purple.

"But why are you still jumping up and down?" I called after his disappearing form....

Good stuff, right? 
Earlier this weekend, our Secretary Of State, John Kerry, put on one of his longest of long faces and declared that Climate Change "science" is clear.

"It is irrefutable and it is alarming," Kerry told a climate conference in Majuro in the Marshall Islands in a video address from Washington.
"If we continue down our current path, the impacts of climate change will only get worse."

Here are pics of John Kerry's houses, getaways, beach cottages, mansions, townhouses, and cabins.  If John Kerry wants anyone to believe his bullshit, he needs to stop jumping up and down.
Most of the pics came from here. 

This is the Kerry Karbon Footprint in Beacon Hill. 

Here's Kerry's small, sensible, ecologically sensible Georgetown residence

Fox Chapel, Pennsylvania.  A carbon footprint big enough to negate all the recycling you'll do for the rest of your life. 

The little beach cottage in Nantucket

The Ketchum, Idaho ski getaway

If you believe Kerry's Chicken Little-ism, or Al Gore's, by all means send them money.  Pay for factories to reconfigure to reduce emissions.  Give Gore and Kleiner-Perkins money to plant trees to offset your carbon footprint. I respect your right to be gullible. 
But please don't tell anyone that these guys believe a word they're saying.  In a world of people who are now afraid that the ground is going to collapse, they're the ones jumping up and down the hardest.  

Happy Labor Day, from the organizations that brought you ObamaCare

"In what is being reported as a surprise move, the 40,000 members of the International Longshore and Warehouse Union (ILWU) announced that they have formally ended their association with the AFL-CIO, one of the nation's largest private sector unions. The Longshoremen citied Obamacare and immigration reform as two important causes of their disaffiliation."

Go here to read the whole thing.  It just never seems to work out well when you want to make other people spend their money on what other people think would be good for other people, does it?  It is enough to make you think that some of those guys don't really have your best interests at heart.