That’s about the size of it

Indeed, since the development of the political state, human history is incomprehensible on any hypothesis other than that people hate and fear their freedom. On the hypothesis that everyone aspires to freedom, it is difficult to explain why we are continuously subordinated. … We want the government to guarantee our health, deflect hurricanes, educate our children and license us to drive; we want to be told what to eat, what to smoke and whom to marry. We are justly proud of the fact that no enduring society has ever incarcerated more of its people. Noting that the policeman has a pistol, a club, a stun gun, a can of pepper spray and a database that includes us, we feel happy and secure. Our submission is absolute: We want to be operated like puppets and provided for like pets. (via Radley Balko, who adds a thing or two)

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The Philosophy of Liberty

Takes the top spot on the left-side column. Click on it. If you truly know and understand the philosophy underlying genuine liberty (only about 1 in 10,000 do), you should enjoy it. If you don’t know, that’s fine. Here’s your chance. Review often. Show it to kids. If you don’t believe in genuine liberty, then I hope you’re dismayed by the fundamental simplicity of it. Then I hope you die young (painfully).

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Judgment

I was laying in bed ’round 6 a.m. this morning when I heard this: Male voice: “Yeah. Hi. I’m on the 106th floor of the World Trade Center. We just had an explosion on the, on the like 105th floor … We have smoke and … it’s pretty bad.” 911 Operator: “Sit tight. Do not leave, OK?” I’m not going to get on anyone’s case, here. I’m confident that 911 operators are well trained, professional, and provide generally good, tried & true advice for most situations most of the time. But people, 911 operators aren’t accustomed to taking calls from exploding skyscrapers. If you called a 911 operator to tell them that there was an explosion in one part of your house and that it was burning, would they tell you not to leave? No, of course not. Naturally, neither the operator, or anyone, had the slightest inkling that the buildings would come down. They probably reasonably thought that the safest place was to stay put. Then again, the guy was there. The operator wasn’t. I’m just sayin’. You know, even when someone sounds authoritative, it doesn’t necessarily mean they know what they’re talking about, so you’re never really relieved…

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March Report Card

The Bulls come out at the last minute and suck away most of my profits for the month. Profit $1,598.60. A 3% return on risk for March. Preliminaries: February Report Card. Yea, March was a bit disappointing, especially since I was in Vegas for some fun the Wednesday and Thursday before expiration of the March options on the SPX. I ended up monitoring the market pretty closely until 1pm PST each day. But it’s silly to complain. I got a higher return than most investors average in a month, and but for those last two days, it was mostly like watching grass grow for 5-10 minutes each day. Serious. My trading style requires very little time, attention, or stress for over 90% of the trading month. Those tense times are fun. It’s a love, hate sort of thing. When my positions are attacked, I get all uptight about it. Then, I analyze, and when I act, I do so swiftly and decisively. Thus far, I’ve always come out not only protecting my ass on each roll of a position, but profiting more. Then, I sit back, light a smoke, and reflect on the combat and resolution. So, here’s the March…

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Oh, What the Hell

A comment, from my last post by Dawn Benko. With all the energy illegals displayed over the weekend during their rallies to demand rights they cannot claim, I can’t quite understand why they can’t use that same energy to change things in their own countries. The problem is that you’re drawing false distinctions. If these so-called “rights” cannot legitimately be claimed by “illegals” (I assume you are referring to certain “entitlements”), then they can’t legitimately be claimed by “legals” either. Why? Because they aren’t rights. You have no right, either directly or through your gun-and-lethal-syrynge-backed agents, the government, to be “entitled” to anything of mine–not a single cent or second–that I don’t voluntarily consent to allow you in gift or trade. Understand: I’m not defending their snuggling up to the public teat–with its milk a product of the cannibalization of productive people in bits and pieces–I’m condemning yours, or if you don’t yourself partake, your advocacy for others on the arbitrary basis of their having been born here or survived some gauntlet-maze set up to get in here that hasn’t a thing to do with me, my property, or my time. I’ll not dispute that many of them are just…

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Immigration and The Stupid Party

“The Stupid Party.” That’s what I, and others, call the Republicans (Democrats are “The Dishonesty Party,” “The Evil Commies,” “The Jerry Springer Party,” or whatever else I can think of at the moment; in case you were wondering). The main reason republicans are so stupid, politically, is that they have accepted each and every commie premise of the left–only, they’ll be “better commies” than the left. I dunno; I suppose they’ll let you make you go to church on Saturday or Sunday (you know, it’s about FREEDOM!). But that’s for another day. I’ve been blogging a lot lately about the notion that “the law is the law.” You know, the idea that if we’re being consistent about it, like those of The Stupid Party insist we must, we should be executing people who, after repeated warnings and citations, continue to habitually and defiantly exceed the speed limit. It is the law, y’know. OK; well, then we should at least lock them up, right? as potential dangers to society? No? OK; then how about deportation? Look, the clear and observable fact of the matter is that speed-limit laws, as an example, are completely and totally unenforceable. Everyone knows it. Everyone speeds…

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It’s the Law, You Know

Here’s what I said the other day, here: He’s facing conviction and execution for the crime of converting to Christianity. It’s the law, you know, and as moronic commenters to other posts on this blog have been pointing out, to obey and enforce the law is always of paramount concern. As an Afghan Christian, he’s “ILLEGAL.” Today, via Billy Beck, I get Jay Jardine saying the same thing, only in a far more clever way. So where on earth does this Rahman character come off thinking he’s above The Law? Look: it says right here that “Afghanistan is an Islamic Republic” and that “In Afghanistan, no law can be contrary to the beliefs and provisions of the sacred religion of Islam.” The document opens with “We The People of Afghanistan” does it not? Surely Rahman’s squiggy is on there somewhere. Forget all that mystic, inherent rights B.S. some libertarians will try and sell you on. Everyone knows that rights are social constructs – We As A Society sit down at a big table and decide together what rights we are going to have. So why should Rahman be allowed to shirk his duties as spelled out in the Social Contract?…

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“Paris Burning”

I don’t recall whether or not I blogged about the riots in France last November–I was in San Francisco for the week–and I’m not inclined to search around, but I did follow the goings on pretty closely. I lived in France for a coupla years in the early 90s. What the hell happened? I read news stories about what’s going on now and I ask myself who are these people? I mean: sure, they’re commies alright–just as are most people here in the U.S., nowadays. But I hadn’t taken them for utterly insane, in a completely-unable-to-function sort of way. As a legacy of this long tradition, the choice in France now is between popular legislation — that is, useless legislation — and the street. Thus the paradox at the heart of the protests: Those who want power exploit the mobs to maneuver themselves into position, but having gained power cannot use it to achieve anything worthwhile, lest the same tactics be used against them. The fear of the mob has created a cadre of politicians in France who are unable to speak the truth and thereby prepare French citizens for the inevitable. No one in France — not one single…

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Proof of Concept

I’ve seen a lot of videos of various robot concepts over the years–on Discovery channel and such–but none I’ve ever seen come anywhere close to this thing. Go read about it right here. And, if nothing else, you absolutely must check out the video of this guy in action. The key, of course, is four legs, which means that you have at least two feet on the ground at all times–versus the “infinitely” more difficult problem of a two-legger, where you have significant time with only a single foot on the ground. Perfecting this will probably pave the road to a two-legger much faster. That would be my bet. They also need to come up with a power supply that’s quieter than a reciprocating engine. (via my bro, in email)

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“Free Speech”

I am on record as having generally applauded the Danish cartoon hubbub. I like to see false idols toppled, particularly since virtually all idols are false. However, so far as I can tell, “free speech” was never at issue there. The newspapers and magazines appeared to be always free to publish or not publish. Deciding against offending someone, for whatever reason, does not mean that you have been “censored,” by which I mean: forcibly muffled (typically, by the state). Andrew Sullivan, in an article called Hey Chef, these guys are killing free speech seems to think that this South Park vs. Scientology ruckus is an issue involving free speech. And so we are back where we were with the Muhammad cartoons. Someone somewhere won’t let you see the Scientology episode of South Park. You can go to the Comedy Central website and view it on the internet — the last refuge for free speech. But you won’t see it on television. In a battle between satire and religion, although some deny that Scientology deserves that moniker, religion wins again. Take note. Whenever someone says “someone” in this sort of context, it’s because he has no argument. He is essentially claiming…

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The Morning Glory

Ever heard of The Morning Glory cloud (arcus cloud, commonly referred to as a roll cloud)? Perhaps not, unless you’re way into meteorology, or you fly hang-gliders or sailplanes. Here’s a pretty good photo of some guy soaring The Morning Glory. When it forms over northern Queensland, Australia, it can stretch for as long as 600 miles, continuous, and a hang-glider or sailplane can soar along its windward side just as if it was a beach cliff or mountain ridge. Here’s another cool photo of a roll cloud that formed over Missouri this last January. And here’s more info on The Morning Glory.

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“The Constitution of No Authority”

Want to consider something important that not one in 10,000 people in this country have ever considered in their whole lives? It’s been 15 years now since I came to the complete and thoroughly consistent understanding that the U.S. Constitution (every word and amendment) is utterly bogus and without the slightest sliver of moral authority. Of course, the American patriot Lysander Spooner identified the quintessential argument in this regard 131 years ago. Get started right here. Then here.

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Hopeium

That’s a neologism I’ve recently become acquainted with. Traders in the stock, options and futures markets use it to refer to those who violate their own trading and money-management rules and either enter or hold a losing position on no “basis” but that of hope. “…or, you could just take the hopeium and see what happens.” When I heard of the pacifist rescue story today and read Billy’s blog on the subject, amongst other thoughts, I was just trying to figure on what most fundamental basis these people operate. And that’s what I thought of. Billy — Ok, I get it; the distinction. And, speaking of trading–to answer the emails–I’m busy at a conference in Sacramento at the moment but my March Report Card will be up in a few days.

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Your Mind or Your Life

That’s apparently the choice being offered to the repatriated Afghan, Abdul Rhaman, who moved back to Afghanistan from Germany after, you know, we made it a “free country” and all. He’s facing conviction and execution for the crime of converting to Christianity. It’s the law, you know, and as moronic commenters to other posts on this blog have been pointing out, to obey and enforce the law is always of paramount concern. As an Afghan Christian, he’s “ILLEGAL.” He does have a chance at being spared, though, by being declared insane. So, either he has to die, or suffer the indignity of being a mental case. Afghanistan’s constitution is based on Shariah law, which is interpreted by many Muslims to require that any Muslim who rejects Islam be sentenced to death. The state-sponsored Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission has called for Rahman to be punished, arguing he clearly violated Islamic law. The case has received widespread attention in Afghanistan where many people are demanding Rahman be severely punished. “For 30 years, we have fought religious wars in this country and there is no way we are going to allow an Afghan to insult us by becoming Christian,” said Mohammed Jan,…

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The Stupid Party

Well, that’s taking it lightly. I’ve been calling them that for a while, now, so it’s a multi-purpose term. The way things are going, I’ll have to start calling them commies pretty soon, although, I’ll then have the issue of how to differentiate them, as commies, from the democrats–who’ve been commies for decades. But it’s a small distinction: getting smaller and smaller every day. I really don’t know what to say, at this point. I’m at a loss for an intelligent insight. So: you’re a fucking moron if you vote for these vermin. How’s that?

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I Told You So

It was on March 3, to be exact. Right here. On the 11th, The New York Times reported on Wafa Sultan and according to the article, she has received numerous death threats by telephone and by email. Yet, she remains undaunted, emboldened even. Today, thanks to an unusually blunt and provocative interview on Al Jazeera television on Feb. 21, she is an international sensation, hailed as a fresh voice of reason by some, and by others as a heretic and infidel who deserves to die. […] “I have no fear,” she said. “I believe in my message. It is like a million-mile journey, and I believe I have walked the first and hardest 10 miles.” What amazing courage.

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“V for Vendetta”

Haven’t read the book, but based on this excerpt,I might have to go take a look at the movie. Although, poking around, I see the movie version has been disowned by the book’s author. No surprise there.

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The First Annual Occam’s Razor Game

Announcing the First Annual Occam’s Razor Game. To be in the Occam’s Razor Game, you have to be somewhat familiar with friar William of Ockham and his Razor. The object of the game is to see if you can get a comment posted that both mocks the post you’re commenting on and indirectly teaches Occam’s Razor. The trick is, you have to get it past the moderator and it has to stay posted. OK, here’s the first target. Cosmic DNA. Oh, God. Anyway, here was my entry, just in case my comment doesn’t show up: The other day, we were at the top of the Palms Casino in Vegas having a fine meal at Alizé. One of the people in our dinner-party is dying of an inoperable cancer. We took photos at the end of the meal, right in front of the windows overlooking the Vegas strip. To everyone’s stunned amazement, there it was, right over our sick friend’s head: a cross in bright lights and a halo. Of course, it could have also just been the reflection of the camera’s flash. (Inspired by Billy “cabbage-cloud” Beck)

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Amen

Hooray for the Catholic Church, the courage of Roger Mahony, and any other such organizations–religious or otherwise–that figuratively tell the government to F off. “It is none of the government’s business who and how religious people serve,” says the Rev. Dr. C. Welton Gaddy, president of Interfaith Alliance. “Would the U.S. Congress have told the Good Samaritan not to help a stranger in the ditch?” Cardinal Roger Mahony in Los Angeles, who leads the largest Roman Catholic archdiocese in the nation, created a stir recently when he said he would order priests under his supervision to defy any federal legislation that requires churches or other social organization to press immigrants for legal papers before giving them help. The rhetoric over immigration reform has become inflamed of late. A coalition of religious leaders has said the legislation the House approved in December reflects “hysterical” anti-immigrant sentiment. I’d just like to see one hell of a lot more of it, on hundreds of levels.

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Extreme Vegas

So here we are in Vegas. Because it’s only an hour flight for me, I usually make it at least a couple of times per year. I like the town, but it has nothing to do with gambling. Reno is my hometown, and gambling has just never been much of an attraction to me. At a point, about 12 years ago, I got interested in craps. Even spent a week in Reno playing. I treated it as a business, and after a week of gambling many hours per day, often late into the night–with the noise and smoke and standing on my feet–I netted $1,100 after room and meal expense. I was playing mostly with $10 and $25 chips. Money management is the key to the whole deal. Establish rules, stick to them, and when the table isn’t going your way, leave, no matter. Never take “hopeium.” Anyway, it sucked, and since then, I’ve probably gambled no more than a few hundred bucks total over the last dozen years, just for the occasional diversion. I love Vegas because it’s a place where I feel that my fellow human beings are somewhat more habituated towards minding their own fucking business. It’s…

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