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Thursday links

  • Another terrific one from Ken at Popehat. How to spot (and counter) covert advocacy of censorship.
  • I’ve never downloaded anything from a torrent site. I’m against any form of piracy that deprives creators of the rewards they’ve earned. Still … The Pirate Bay has panache.
  • The usual anti-gun and “hate group” suspects band together to promote ballots over bullets. Um, yeah. Good luck with those ballots when you’re being threatened by thug government.
  • The liberation of Dachau and the righteous rage of the liberators.
  • “Oh, my gold!” Yet another company tries to do what egold did. (The poster says BitGold isn’t available to U.S. residents; I poked around the BitGold site and didn’t see anything about that. But I don’t doubt that avoiding all U.S. entanglements is a good start on surviving in this kind of business. Never mind that it would take a huge chunk out of your market.) (H/T Y.B.)

If you’re not up on your Internet memes, this new Delta Airlines safety video will leave you going “HUH???” If you are a meme-ista, see how many you can spot. (Hint: They’re listed behind the “see more” link.)


  1. Pat
    Pat May 21, 2015 9:57 am

    I really can’t fault the “rage of the liberators.”

    I think of being there, seeing what they saw, feeling as they felt — and I’m sure that that “heat-of-the-moment violence” was pure, searing anger and revulsion at such inhumanity to man! Not something that will die down so quickly after a few days or even weeks, when those soldiers are constantly seeing, hearing, and smelling the results of such evil activity. Truly “righteous indignation.”

    I’ve read several book and article accounts of what was done to the Holocaust victims in Dashau, Buchenwald, and Auschwitz (Poland), and still can’t imagine how it would be to walk through one of those camps *as it was just happening.* Under those circumstances, if it didn’t change Wilsey, I suspect he would not have a conscience.

  2. Laird
    Laird May 21, 2015 10:14 am

    Good article by Ken White. “Freedom of speech” isn’t an absolute, but it’s just about as close to one as we’re ever likely to see.

  3. Brad R
    Brad R May 21, 2015 10:39 am

    Claire, FYI, BitTorrent is also used to download “legitimate” files. I’ve downloaded several of the more obscure Linux distros this way, from developers who can’t afford the bandwidth to offer direct downloads. For these developers, torrent is a way to “crowdsource” their server costs.

  4. Claire
    Claire May 21, 2015 10:45 am

    Brad, don’t worry. I did know that there are legit uses for BitTorrent. I was just making the point that I don’t know anything about that process other than what I’ve read about it.

  5. Kristophr
    Kristophr May 21, 2015 1:03 pm

    Bitgold is being forced to avoid US entanglements because of FATCA.

    Congress has made US persons pariahs for banking abroad. Which is what they want. If you want a bank account under your own name outside the US, you have to either renounce, or have a non-US entity hold the account for you.

    You might want to investigate an Estonian e-residence and set up an LLC and bank account there if you want to use this service.

  6. LarryA
    LarryA May 21, 2015 7:16 pm

    The “ballots over bullets” folks will be a lot more convincing when they can cite BLM’s history of generous “democratic compromises.”

    Oh, but wait…

    I just got back from a long plane trip. (Texas to Hawaii & return) We had the traditional lecture over the intercom while attendants demonstrate program.

    The airports were worse than the planes. The “stay with your bags” announcements come every three minutes or so. There was a sign “Just For Kids” in the TSA queue. If you’re under 5 you don’t have to take your shoes off. Of course the sign was on top of a fence post, two or three feet too high for a five-year-old to read.

    I’d swear off flying if there was any other way to visit the grandkids.

  7. Bill St. Clair
    Bill St. Clair May 22, 2015 4:46 am

    The Ballots Over Bullets folks appear to have forgotten that government is force. Yes, the BLM would love for the mine owners to leave willingly. But without armed defenders they would already have sent armed enforcers to the place and forced everyone out.

  8. Kyle
    Kyle May 22, 2015 9:17 am

    Claire, when you wrote, “I’m against any form of piracy that deprives creators of the rewards they’ve earned,” does that mean you believe in the legitimacy of intellectual property? If so, do you sincerely believe that copying is theft?

  9. Claire
    Claire May 22, 2015 10:06 am

    Kyle — I’ve gotten into that discussion several times over the years and it never goes well. I won’t engage on the topic. But the short version is that I do not “believe” in IP as it’s practiced within the movie and music industries. But OTOH, I abhor the “philosophy” (which doesn’t even deserve the name) that everything produced by the mind, labor, and investment of creative people somehow automatically belongs to the masses.

  10. Ellendra
    Ellendra May 22, 2015 10:23 am

    Kyle, I think you’ll find most writers do.

  11. Paul Bonneau
    Paul Bonneau May 24, 2015 1:24 pm

    “But it’s harder to detect the subtle pro-censorship assumptions and rhetorical devices that permeate media coverage of free speech controversies.”

    Eh, it ain’t that hard to detect. Remember McCain-Feingold? Only “official” media gets to advocate on one side or another, for an election? The newspapers lined up in support of it: “Free speech for me, but not for thee.” No wonder they are going out of business these days. Good riddance.

    But thanks for that article, a good collection of these “tropes” (cool word!). Free speech is one of those things like any other – you get it by doing it, not by begging the ruling class for privileges such as “free speech zones” (how absurd).

    [I’m against any form of piracy that deprives creators of the rewards they’ve earned.]

    I’m neither against it nor for it. I think it is up to authors and creators to control their stuff, any way they want – up to but not including the initiation of force or the utilization of governments as their hired guns. Short of that, it is none of my business. I certainly don’t believe such “tropes” as “information wants to be free”. Information does not think or act.

    “The Founders viewed unrestrained democracy as just as great a threat to liberty as monarchy.”

    A reliable conservative “trope”. Only problem with that is, if you compare the two, the ruling class model is almost always worse than the direct democracy model (I make no real distinction between “monarchy” and “republic”, because there is none). Just recently the Oregon legislature passed a $15/hr mandatory minimum wage, and passed what amounts to a gun registration measure as well (no more private, unchecked sales – if people bother to obey the law, which would be crazy). Oregon has both direct democracy and ruling class democracy, and the latter is both worse and substantially more prolific in bills passed.

    At least with the new Oregon gun law, maybe conservatives are starting to understand how ridiculous it is to say, “It’s the law!” The law is an ass, as Dickens put it.

    “Historians have described the massacre of dozens of SS guards at the hands of American GIs as arguably the most shameful episode in American involvement in WWII.”

    Then historians are idiots. Some people just need to be killed. It would have been better for the GIs to hand their rifles to the Jews for the executions, though. I imagine that did happen, some.

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