Legalize Heroin–It’s the Christian thing to do | LibertarianChristians.com


Legalize Heroin–It’s the Christian thing to do | LibertarianChristians.com.

“But perhaps the best reason to legalize hard drugs is that people who wish to consume them have the same liberty to determine their own well-being as those who consume alcohol, or marijuana, or anything else. In a free society, the presumption must always be that individuals, not government, get to decide what is in their own best interest.”

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Why I will not be joining WordPress in the Fight For Net Neutrality


Brad S.:

net neutrality world logo

net neutrality world logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Being libertarian, and also a staunch supporter of private property rights, I’m totally against the whole Net Neutrality movement. Unfortunately i’ll have to revert to some simple analogies to make my points relatable to people that believe they have a right to others property (and vicariously their prosperity).

“The Government Invented the Internet, therefore, access needs to remain neutral”, is one frequent argument. NASA engineers invented the microwave oven, does that mean the public should be able to dictate how Amana or GE manufacture microwave ovens, and what is approved for cooking in those ovens? Of course not. Comparing the early “internet” used by the state to today’s internet is like comparing a tricycle to a Harley Davidson motorcycle. Yes they both have wheels, but, well, you get the idea.

“Those big, evil corporations will control, restrict, charge for, and otherwise dictate what and how content is streamed to you.” Yes, they built the pipes, manage the pipes, and provide those pipes all the way to your router. Dictating that they must grant blanket access to those pipes to all content providers is nothing less than taking their property. Stealing. Socialism.

“But what if they somehow compromise my access to my preferred content (Netflix, Pandora, LastFM, WordPress, etc.)?” Of course content providers want to have a free ride on highways someone else built. They can optimize their revenue stream and shareholder value and push the cost of doing business to someone else. How can that be a bad thing as long as you (the consumer) get your episode of Real Housewives at no extra charge?

And that my friends is the bottom line. It’s not really about restricted access, it’s about free riders. The content providers and the consumers don’t want to have to pay to play. All the “what if” scenarios fall by the roadside, because they are just fear-mongering used by master manipulators to push an agenda. You don’t like how Comcast is treating you and your preferred content? Then move to AT&T. And that’s the solution the the problem.

An internet that is responsive to the will of the consumer is one where the free market is allowed to operate, and competition between content providers, internet providers, and those in dual roles (like Google) are vying for advertisers and consumers. It will ultimately drive down costs, up quality, and increase access. To get there will require government to quit interfering, and people to stop using the power of the state to impose their will on others. Just because it’s popular (democracy) does not mean it’s right.

Originally posted on WordPress.com News:

“Net Neutrality” is the simple but powerful principle that cable and broadband providers must treat all internet traffic equally. Whether you’re loading a blog post on WordPress.com, streaming House of Cards on Netflix, or browsing handcrafted tea cozies on Etsy, your internet provider can’t degrade your connection speed, block sites, or charge a toll based on the content that you’re viewing.

Net neutrality has defined the internet since its inception, and it’s hard to argue with the results: the internet is the most powerful engine of economic growth and free expression in history. Most importantly, the open internet is characterized by companies, products, and ideas that survive or fail depending on their own merit — not on whether they have preferred deals in place with a broadband service provider. Unfortunately, the principle of net neutrality, and the open internet that we know and love, is under attack.

Net Neutrality under…

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“The Hysteria is Far From Over”: Maryland Teacher Writes Futuristic Novel About School Shooting . . School Board Sends Him For Evaluation While Police Raid His Home and Distribute His Picture


Brad S.:

In protest against this stupidity, I went ahead and purchased the Kindle edition of his book “The Insurrectionist” on Amazon.

Originally posted on JONATHAN TURLEY:

mclawpatrick-mclaw-investigation-book-coverThere is a bizarre case out of Maryland where school officials sent teacher and novelist Patrick McLaw, 23, to an emergency medical evaluation for publishing, under a pseudonym, a novel about a school shooting. That’s it. A language-arts eight grade teacher at Lane Middle School writes a book about a school shooting and he is put on leave by the Dorchester County Board of Education, investigated by the Dorchester County Sheriff’s Office, and sent away for evaluation. “The Insurrectionist” happens to be set 900 years in the future but the board couldn’t just wait for the shooting to occur and had to act. What is striking is that all of these steps have been taken and McLaw has been effectively treated as a danger to children but no one has said a thing beyond the novel that is the basis for the actions. Was there something else that raise…

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Of Course the People Don’t Want War


“Why of course the people don’t want war… That is understood. But, after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine the policy and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the peacemakers for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country.” – Hermann Goering, Nazi officer

Or you can denounce the peacemakers as “isolationists”. That seems to work as well.

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August 14, 2014 · 9:35 am

The Hill: Democrats Have Raised Impeachment Some 20 Times More Often Than Republicans


Brad S.:

You need to understand what should be considered an “impeachable offense” before you argue for or against impeachment. High Crimes and Misdemeanors are not necessarily limited to simply breaking the law by the POTUS. Learn more here:

http://www.constitution.org/cmt/high_crimes.htm

Originally posted on JONATHAN TURLEY:

260px-capitol_building_full_viewI recently wrote on the issue of impeachment that has been reportedly so widely in the media. As I noted in the column and in prior interviews, there is no serious move toward impeachment by the Republicans and most of the impeachment talk has come from the White House and Democrats, including in fund-raising campaigns. Indeed, I was critical of the Washington Post column after one of the hearings in which I testified on executive over-reach. While the issue of impeachment was mentioned only a handful of times and usually to dismiss it as an option, the column was entitled “Republicans see One Remedy for Obama — Impeachment.” It seems that even denying impeachment as an option still constitutes discussing impeachment. Now The Hill newspaper has looked at the congressional record to see who is raising impeachment more often. The result was that Democrats raised the issue 20 times more…

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Failing to note the connection (there is plenty of historical evidence that it takes only one small miss-step or incident to trigger global conflict).
http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/feedburner/voxpopoli/~3/jOjb_sQQrBo/failing-to-note-connection.html

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August 7, 2014 · 12:19 pm

Israel-Palestine — An Alternate Christian View


Brad S.:

An article worth spending some time to dig into. Excellent resources at end.

Originally posted on gospelbbq:

Whose side should Christians take in the Israel-Palestine conflict?

by Joel McDurmonM

July 2014

Readers who have learned their lessons well will, of course, see the title question as a fallacy—the fallacy of a complex question. Nevertheless, I keep getting variations of that question; some fallacious and others not—and so I decided to make a few comments.

AThe answer to the above question is “neither.” Both sides are in the wrong in certain ways, and America should have no entangling alliance with either, and no obligation to either. Those who understand biblical laws for warfare and foreign policy will have no problem with this. But many are still confused, largely because of a few factors:S

1) their eschatology mistakenly informs them that modern-day “Israel” is something special;

2) their facts are delimited by one major news outlet or another (often of genus Vulpes), or filtered through end-times

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New York Port Authority Claims Ownership Of Skyline Image in Latest Trademark Abuse


Brad S.:

If the State can own the rain that falls from the sky, hits your roof, and eventually finds its way into the local sewer, then certainly they own the photons that reflect off the buildings, and stream into your camera lens!

Originally posted on JONATHAN TURLEY:

NYC_Top_of_the_Rock_Pano

Warning: the image above may get you sued by the New York Port Authority. We have long discussed the insane evolution of trademark and copyright laws. Now, Fishs Eddy, a housewares store in Manhattan, has been hit with a cease-and-desist letter from the Metropolitan Transit Authority (MTA) over dishes that merely show the skyline of the city. The MTA claims that the common silhouette of the city includes some of its “assets” and that the store must destroy all of its products with the images and promise never again to sell images of the skyline. It is reminiscent of the English decision finding that taking photographs of London icons are also violations. Here the authority is claiming ownership to skyline images and 9-11 images even in silhouette.

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3 Business Lessons From The Sinaloa Drug Cartel (Revisited)


English: Money seized during "Project Cor...

English: Money seized during “Project Coronado” by the DEA. Going in “La Familia Michoacana” article. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

An article posted by Devin Liddell on  Co.Design has a sub-title “Innovate Like a Syndicate”, but the conclusions of the article show a huge leap in the application of legitimacy to a business model that is wholly illegitimate.

To sum-up the articles main points:

  • There are cartels that have out-lasted traditional brick-and-mortar business for generations
  • Cartels have insanely high margins on products
  • Individuals working for cartels have a huge profit per employee when compared to traditional businesses
  • Profits happen despite efforts of governments and law enforcement to shut down cartels
  • Cartels achieve all the above due to a superior culture when compared to Fortune 500 companies

Let’s address these points using some basic economics and common sense.

Cartels, much like monopolies, are in business due to government participation, not in-spite of it. Were it not for the State restricting competition, as well as restricting the supply of products, prices and profits would plummet. Therefore it’s in the best interest of the cartels to persist the adversarial role of the State. The State restricts competition by making it extremely costly to get involved in illicit businesses, and winnows out the weak by raising the cost of entry into the marketplace through police power. This serves to maintain the established cartels position of power and prominence.

Cartels don’t have the compliance burdens imposed by the State, nor the tax burdens – giving them a much greater profit margin potential only dreamt of by most brick-and-mortar companies.

But lets talk about the main points of the article, ” these culture-driven brands have three key attributes”:

  1. Credo: “Actionable and authentic values” whereby these cartels “have distinctive rituals, symbols, and artifacts to express their credos”, giving them some kind of supposed “authenticity” (unlike corporate motivational posters). Like most hierarchical models of business, the corporate culture is designed to insulate those at the top from competition from those below, while at the same time concentrating wealth and power in the hands of the few at the top. It’s the same for cartels that exist outside of traditional law and cultural mores. Unlike traditional corporations, violation of these “Credos” is not just fatal to your career, but to you and your family. Very motivational!
  2. Improvisation: To sum up, find ways around impediments to your distribution network, then diversify your income streams. Sounds like basic business strategy to me.
  3. Small-but-big: While I agree that small and agile is good given my background managing software development and agile methodologies, the structure implemented by cartels is more likely due to risk mitigation. When the police show up and bust your operation, they only capture an isolated cell, leaving the vast bulk of the operation intact and productive. It’s merely a byproduct that this structure can also very efficient.

In  summary, Mr. Liddell makes the following statement, ” legitimate businesses wish they had the cultural clarity and business results of these underworld organizations”, and I’m sure some do. More to the point, it’s about results. To get similar results, but to do it in a fashion that does not use the illegitimate power of cartels (or the State) will require an environment for business close to what the cartels operate under. How about the following as a start:

  • Minimize or repeal all corporate taxes
  • Relieve businesses of the incredibly burdensome compliance requirements from all the alphabet-soup of state and federal agencies
  • Understand that cultural values are inculcated from society, not corporations, and good citizens and workers become so because they are raised that way – not at the point of a gun
  • Get the State out of business, as it creates massive economic distortion wherever it interferes

Oh, and there’s only one way to defeat those pesky cartels, and that’s to take away their government enforced monopoly.

The original article is here.

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Has Rand Paul been right all along about Israeli independence?


Brad S.:

This has been my position for many years. Israel does not need our largesse, and it gives too big a voice to the parasites in Washington over matters that they know little or nothing about.

Originally posted on Rare:

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) has argued in the past that the U.S. should explore cutting aid to Israel because a more independent Israel would be better off.

As the fighting intensifies in Gaza, Israel is starting to realize what independence means, Breitbart reports.

“Israel is acting with greater independence than it has in decades, ignoring Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry as they push for a ceasefire that most Israelis see as premature,” Joel B. Pollak writes. “In previous rounds in Gaza, the Israeli government had to weigh carefully the risk that it might alienate the White House if it pressed too hard for victory. By now, however, there is no risk: the Obama administration is effectively on the other side.”

Rand Paul’s notion of a more independent, and thus stronger, Israel, is not unheard of even among Israelis. The Daily Beast’s Eli Lake writes:

Ironically, the United States may…

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