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Midweek links

I’m online more than expected this week — coordinating on the website-to-be, thanking wonderful donors, chasing rainbows, keeping ahead of runaway trucks. You know, the usual. So I figure you guys might as well benefit from some extra posting while I’m at it.

  • Three years — or more — for possession of an eeeeevil BB gun? Only in New Jersey. I hope this poor schmuck’s fight goes well. (H/T DB)
  • I’ve always admired Peter Theil. So libertarian. So out-of-the-box. So creatively cheeky. But I didn’t realize he was the founder and chief investor in the ghastly, government-sucking, privacy-raping, Tolkein-savaging Palantir. Ugh. Why would a supposed “libertarian” do such a thing to the rest of us???
  • Even these mainstreamish political semi-libertarians are better than that!
  • Speaking of doing it to us: the latest nooz on iris scans.
  • Oh yeah. That’s some “hate group” you got there. How long is it going to be before the dumbstream media wises up to the SPLC’s phony tactics?
  • I’ll believe it when I see it. But this is one of the more interesting predictions about rising gold prices.
  • So even if you’re a hermit in the woods, you now know that a game called Pokemon Go is The Most Important Thing Ever To Happen In America, Seriously EVAHHHH. What fewer people are talking about is how it makes money off players while savaging their privacy. (Yes, even after its token well-publicized privacy corrections.)
  • Sit down, Science. We need to talk.
  • NSFW, but an absolute must for the too-bad-to-be-true category: Has this ever happened to you? (Note: For those who didn’t catch too-bad-to-be-true, this is a parody)
  • No, darnit. I cannot find the iPhone. Where the heck is it? (H/t Jim B. in comments)
  • Per jed in comments: Too funny. If dogs had 911.


  1. jed
    jed July 20, 2016 2:04 pm

    No, I couldn’t find the damn phone either. Hell, sometimes I can’t find my own phone.

    And, OMG. I’m just visualizing how those dough tubes expand when you crack the seams. [SHUDDER]

    Hadn’t heard of Palantir. Well, don’t know much about Thiel either. Not really surprised at an entrepeneurial type taking govt. support to launch a new venture.

  2. Joel
    Joel July 20, 2016 3:03 pm

    I saw the phone! What do I win?

    Never heard of that guy Thiel until the conclusion of the Hulk Hogan trial, which I thought was funny as hell. But no matter how libertarianish a billionaire may be, I’m never surprised to see it empowering and/or enriching itself on government. Because that’s how you get to be a billionaire.

  3. Fred
    Fred July 20, 2016 3:58 pm

    I love this blog because, even though I’m Christian, ya’ll have a better understanding of the natural law than is taught in the American church. It’s frustrating. I’ve been iris scanned. (no background will be provided) Ya’ll know at a core, internal level that this is something to be resisted. You’re right. And so must the, so called, cashless society. Right? How do you know this?
    Does this still sound like the ravings of a lunatic, 90 year old man, in exile (comfy prison) on a small, controlled, isolated island who claimed to have spent 3 years with G-d while walking around Jerusalem and vicinity?
    “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
    Does it? Believe or no, you must resist. I’m not giving up my guns, i’m not going to any camp, I’m not going to renounce Christ, and I ain’t taking that mark.
    What does the American church say (he asked sarcastically); “well, the police state said it’s for the best, after all, you know, the children.”

  4. jed
    jed July 20, 2016 4:30 pm

    Looked again, and wow, saw the phone right off. Well, pretty sure, anyways. If that’s not it, then it isn’t there.

  5. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner July 20, 2016 5:16 pm

    What gave the phone away for me was the rear-camera-and-flash opening on the case back, which is very out of place.

  6. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner July 20, 2016 5:22 pm

    BTW, is a parody site, they appear to specialize in stories about things exploding in body cavities during Walmart shoplifting attempts.

  7. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner July 20, 2016 6:03 pm

    I think libertarianism as a philosophy is fast approaching a watershed. We have opponents and detractors, but then we’ve always had those. What is starting to happen now is a change in the technological and cultural foundations of society that may make Liberty not only irrelevant, but impossible. I’m talking about automation, here, not the growth of the custodial state, although the two go together.

    What happens when machines can do so much of what now requires human labor, or even human creativity and ability to make decisions, that entrepreneurship can’t absorb the numbers of people made redundant? There’s no frontier left, even if we developed fast space travel tomorrow. The technology would go with us. Do we have some vast Malthusian die-off? Do we institute that basic living stipend people are discussing? Whence Liberty, when almost everyone is a ward of the state? Can we maintain our independence? Should we try?

    I’m depressing myself, and worse, tempting the Savage Sword of Libertarian Purity to appear and ravage our gracious hostess’s peaceful garden. Somebody please convince me I’ve got it all wrong.

  8. jed
    jed July 20, 2016 6:17 pm

    @RG: The current state of homo sapiens (and I use that term loosely) is such that those sorts of stories are believable. Isn’t it great that we have the world wide web to bring us such entertainments?

    I’m afraid I haven’t much to offer in the way of rebuttal, except that drug-resistant microbes are on the rise. Cheery thought, eh? One vision of the coming apocalyptic future is some pandemic which is survivable only by those who developed an immune system by actually playing in the dirt as children.

  9. Claire
    Claire July 20, 2016 6:47 pm

    “BTW, is a parody site,”

    … and note I said “too bad to be true.” 🙂 Just in a wicked little mood today.

  10. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner July 20, 2016 7:12 pm

    Jed: Now I have an excuse to go sit in the corner and eat worms.

  11. Fred
    Fred July 20, 2016 7:38 pm

    RG, you’re freaking me out. With reference to my prior post; I was looking forward to spending these days in a foxhole with atheist libertarians while “clinging to my bible and my gun”. Now what?

  12. Pat
    Pat July 21, 2016 12:15 am

    (If you find an “i” missing in this comment, I apologize. My computer “i” is sticking badly; I’ve tried hard to edit it, but may have missed some.)

    In this day of spreading the libertarian philosophy so thin, it’s not surprising that Thiel leads Palantir. Politics and corporatism have compromised true libertarianism for years. “Libertarianism” ceased to have meaning when the Libertarian Party came into being.

    There is a direct relationship between conservative-libertarian talk and technological advancement/data mining. Unless one is a dyed-in-the-wool ZAP libertarian, most “libertarians” are more than willing to work _in some compromising degree_ with government, big companies, and/or the military in order to “keep America strong,” or just keep it going.

    Thus a full-monty libertarian is the only Brexit factor left in America – and until we realize that, libertarianism will never gain ground.

    Nor will we ever maintain our own terminology; libertarian words have been re-defined by the compromisers for years and so we’ve lost our power to explain ourselves. (While Johnson tries in some instances, he falls far short in most cases. It would be better if he ran as an Independent, and left “libertarianism” to the rest of us.)

  13. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner July 21, 2016 1:24 am

    @Pat: People compromise because they are people, and because ZAP Libertarianism doesn’t scale, and is every bit as utopian as communism. Libertarianism gains little ground because the pure quill does not play well with others.

  14. idahobob
    idahobob July 21, 2016 3:30 am

    The lame stream media will never “wise up” to the SPLC’s bullshit. They are all a part of the incestuous relationship and controlled by TPTB.

    Not “conspiracy theory” just the facts.


  15. Pat
    Pat July 21, 2016 5:36 am

    “Libertarianism gains little ground because the pure quill does not play well with others.”

    I understand this. But who are the “others” you speak of – “them” or “us”?

    There has to be a standard to judge anything. (And we DO have the right to judge actions.) Good… by what standard? Ethical… by what standard? From the gun-grabbers, we hear “They’re not safe”… by what standard is “safe” allowed to protect the criminal but not me?

    What makes God a god if not “the pure quill?” Libertarianism is not perfect – no ism is; ZAP has its weaknesses, too. (We would have “started a revolution” long ago if we hadn’t been waiting for them to make the first move.)

    Libertarianism gains little ground because we do not understand ourselves; we have allowed the definition to get away from us. It’s a cliche that we are preaching to the choir – but in fact, it is the choir that is the weakest, it is the choir that needs the preaching, it is the choir who shortchanges its “god” by thinking it can compromise. Libertarianism is our standard, and it must stay always in front of us or compromise *becomes* the standard.

  16. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner July 21, 2016 6:26 am

    @Pat: The “others” the True Libertarian does not play well with is anyone other than the True Libertarian. I used “Savage Sword of Libertarian Purity” earlier, because we are harsh to those who disagree with us but harshest to those who almost agree with us, except on some small detail. You know the kind, the ones who curse you for a socialist and cast you out at the first sign you are Not Of The Body.

    We compromise because we have no other choice if we wish to be relevant. A Libertarian society is a theoretical construct requiring theoretical people to make it work at any but the smallest real-world scales. To actually apply to the real world, we will be populating it with the people we have, and that experiment would fail.

    What we can do is look at Liberty as a direction rather than a destination, and when there is a choice of solutions, choose the one that most respects individual rights. We have to accept that we will never arrive at the Libertarian Millenium, though. The law of diminishing returns will see to that.

  17. R.L. Wurdack
    R.L. Wurdack July 21, 2016 6:34 am

    Sounds like New Jersey is due for a little Jury Nullification.

  18. Kent McManigal
    Kent McManigal July 21, 2016 7:55 am

    If I can’t find something on a floor, I put my ear against the floor and look out across the floor with my eye closest to the ground. It’s so instinctive I tried to do that with the picture on the screen. Note to self- that doesn’t work.
    I did find it, though.

  19. RSaunders
    RSaunders July 21, 2016 11:56 am

    The phone us to the right of the right front leg of the table. The pattern on the case is completely different from that on the rug.

    Never saw the rear-camera-and-flash opening ’til you pointed it out RustyGunner. Thought it was dust.


    “I put my ear against the floor and look out across the floor with my eye closest to the ground. It’s so instinctive I tried to do that with the picture on the screen. Note to self- that doesn’t work.”

    It would work with a three-dimensional screen. ;>)

  20. Shel
    Shel July 21, 2016 12:46 pm

    Thanks, RS. I hadn’t been able to find it. I think I was not paying attention to the border areas (kind of like our government).

  21. Pat
    Pat July 21, 2016 1:24 pm

    RG said, “We compromise because we have no other choice if we wish to be relevant. A Libertarian society is a theoretical construct requiring theoretical people to make it work at any but the smallest real-world scales. To actually apply to the real world, we will be populating it with the people we have, and that experiment would fail.”

    Whoa! That sounds hopeless – you have little faith in libertarians determined to construct a free society. You may be right – but we have a better chance of succeeding if we try than if we don’t try.

    I think compromise is what killed America’s spirit over the past 240 years. You believe that theory/idealism will not accomplish anything in real time. I see the theoretical approach as the best way to keep our eyes on the freedom goal. You see a practical approach as the best way to reach real-life goals. Neither is wrong (unless it involves the involuntary inclusion of others). But how we see the role of libertarianism to accomplish our goals determines the methodology we should use. Let’s agree to disagree – but work together if our paths cross.

  22. RustyGunner
    RustyGunner July 21, 2016 3:22 pm

    @Pat: I fully agree that libertarians trying to build a free society might succeed, if they are choosy about the libertarians involved and assuming everyone is very clear about the ground rules and underlying assumptions. I don’t think it would work on a very large scale.

    Where the real problem come in is that freeing American society involves hundreds of millions of people, very few of whom are libertarians, or want to be one. They live here, too, with the same rights we enjoy, and might not want to live in our idea of paradise no matter how we explain it to them. So, we submit our ideas to the marketplace, where we contend with the vote-buyers who promise goodies, and the ideologues who promise that the people who agree with them will be top dogs, and various other collectivisms, and we take our chances. The alternative is to impose a zero-aggression society by force, and there are a couple of problems with that idea.

    If it was just a matter of educating people the task would be tough enough, but a great many Americans have made the conscious, deliberate choice to support the various tribal affiliations they do, for reasons that they feel are sufficient. We can argue that they are shortsighted or bad at math, but we must accept that they want the benefits that membership in this or that tribe offer, and that to win their support we must offer something that will appeal to those mindsets with those expectations, and the Libertarian Ideal is a hard sell.

    I don’t believe we could accomplish that nationally. Even the effort to affect the politics of one small state failed. Maybe an island somewhere.

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