Thursday, June 23, 2016


"You know how they say it's been a pleasure? Well, it hasn't."

 Mike Ehrmentraut of Breaking Bad, attempting to part ways with a pair of reckless drug dealers that have ruined everyone's good time.

I'm pleasantly surprised. Brexit succeeded. There was a lot of nay saying, and I agreed. Libertarians everywhere have permission to feel at least a little warm and fuzzy about this. As of this writing, Sixteen million individuals have said no to handing over their livelihoods to a distant, uncaring, and mostly unelected and unaccountable bureaucracy. Even if this quantity of voters lost, the quantity speaks for itself. I expected this to be very close, but I thought Bremain would win. It's never felt so good to be wrong.

What comes next? The elite and their henchmen insist the United Kingdom has brought about their own ruin. Ruin may be one such option, but who can say? The operating word is options. Options give choices, choices determine survival, ruin, or prosperity. The United Kingdom has all of these available.

Can we expect a domino effect? I don't think it's impossible. I'd say it's more possible today than it was yesterday. I'd imagine the powers that be might be a little alarmed at the results. Despite all of their attempts and machinations aimed to domesticate populations into obedience, this population said no.

What does this mean for everyone not in the United Kingdom? Ideally, inspiration. Saying "No" is still viable. If it can happen in Europe, where State Power seems to be the expectation, why not across the pond? If ever there was a growing frustration with a centralized power, we see it in the States. An outsider(ish) Republican plucked the nomination from the hands of the Koch Brothers, and the discontent in the Democrat party only seems to grow. Lest we forget, the Libertarian (that wasn't) is polling at roughly seven percent. There's obviously a demand for something different.

Decentralization gives the above three, and many other disenfranchised groups the power of options. What they say they want are things they can achieve through decentralization. Or, that naughty "S" word: Secession.

If San Francisco wants to put their utopian fantasies to the test, it's their right to secede and do these things. If Texas has decided that enough is enough, it's their right. If one subsection of any political entity decided they'd like to risk going it alone, why not?  For libertarians, this should be considered a goal. We may not achieve perfect liberty, but at least the options to pursue more liberty. Participating in a centralized power structure has yielded anything but.

In social circumstances, we do not chide the battered housewife for parting ways with her abusive husband. We don't demand that a husband remains with an unfaithful spouse. We don't even inhibit the child who has just achieved adulthood, and forges on alone to carve his own way.

But as is in all things Politics, the reasonable is considered heresy. Brexit has changed this conversation and challenged the norm. Now we get to wonder who's next.

Texas, I'm looking at you.

Friday, June 17, 2016

Libertarian support for The Joker, Cthulhu, and Gollum

Across the spectrum of Libertarian writing, there are a lot of ideas put forth on who to support this cycle. We'd think the answer is easy - support the Libertarian Party candidate. The LP would have to nominate a libertarian before I could consider this option.

As far as Johnson goes, I'm not convinced he's a good standard bearer. He's certainly better than his predecessor, Bob Barr, by libertarian measure, but so are a lot of people. Being better than a disaster doesn't make something good. When I hear him speak, he doesn't sound like a libertarian. He sounds more like a jaded Republican with an interest in marijuana, aiming to cater to the SJW crowd now that Sanders is out of the game.
Ron Paul was leaps and bounds better, while campaigning as a Republican, catering to a Republican crowd at that. His message only grew. 2012 was a better year for "Paul Awareness" than 2008, at least by anything I could see. Had there been a Paulian candidate in the Republican primaries this cycle, I can see the fight for the nomination going all the way until the end.
Instead, we have a wasted opportunity. If not for Paul, I'd say Johnson would be deprived of his current opportunity. I'd encourage Johnson to take a lesson from the great teacher - dilution doesn't make something better. If it didn't work for Rand it definitely won't work for Johnson.

Let's say Johnson does succeed, and attracts enough attention to put the big tent of libertarians in the spotlight. What does this do to the expectation of Libertarianism? Does it necessarily help libertarianism, or include elements that aren't libertarian, giving us something different entirely? It's not hard to imagine the Libertarian Party becoming the "Jaded Republican with a Liberal Twist" party after a few more cycles, if it isn't already. Maybe next cycle they'll nominate John McCain? He fits the Fiscal Conservative/Socially Liberal descriptor perfectly.

We can't expect Johnson to quote Mises, Rothbard, Rockwell, or Block - it doesn't sound like he's familiar with anything outside of Libertarianism besides the easy stances we're known for. When Johnson stumbles on libertarian stances, he doesn't just stumble. He tumbles into the briar patch. Some might say I sound nit-picky, but consider just two stances where Johnson suspends conviction on two core libertarian principles that likely define much of what Libertarianism is.

  •  Freedom of Association: Johnson has stated that a baker should be required to sell a cake for purposes said baker finds distasteful. To what ends would a libertarian dismiss the basic right of non-participation? If there's a requirement, there's likely a penalty for non-compliance. This is an initiation of aggression both in forcing participation, and penalizing non-participation. There's no justifiable wiggle room for a libertarian argument on this answer. This stance resembles the worst result of Cultural Marxism. 
  •  War: If you can't say "Under no circumstances, ever" to atomic devastation, what can you say no to?  I'm surprised this wasn't the deathblow to his campaign, and it says much about the state of the Libertarian Party that this was passable. I've never heard of a libertarian of any variety that couldn't say no to atomic or nuclear warfare. This stance resembles the worst result of the Warfare State.

But, the Libertarian Party insists, "He's our guy!".

This takes me to Trump. He's definitely no libertarian, contrasting to Johnson's "almost Libertarian on maybe something". But, Trump's also not trying to tell me he's a libertarian either. He isn't pandering for libertarian applause, like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz did. Trump also doesn't seem interested in making terrible things worse, until we talk about additional interventions on the free market. Any of the nasty things he talks about doing in any arena are things I can picture Clinton doing, and maybe Johnson. Should Hillary get her hands on these arenas I imagine she could only do worse.

Trump also appears to be honest to a fault. Honesty doesn't make a person good though. We don't applaud the mugger for his honesty when he holds someone at gunpoint and demands their wallet. I at least know what Trump is thinking. His thoughts change quick though. Even now he's reconsidering his stances on elements in the Gun Control debate - admittedly his stance is only likely to move further from liberty. But take this to the broader conversation - Who knows what else he could reconsider, whether for better or worse? Maybe he chooses another inexperienced (I consider this a good thing) politician for his VP, or someone with minimal experience, ideally someone very sobering. Imagine Peter Schiff as president of the senate for a minute. Unlikely, sure. I wouldn't call it impossible, and this might even be worth suggesting to the proper ear.

I don't have a dog in this fight, but if I had to choose to lend support to the Libertarian That Wasn't, or the Statist that could change his mind on any number of things - and at least seems very uninterested in nuclear fisty cuffs with Putin, I'd probably lean towards the latter - even if the rest of his statist policies pan out to horrific fruition. This gets twice as scary when we see who Trump chooses to associate with, including Rudy Giuliani and Chris Christie. Unfortunately, Johnson's lack of libertarian principle put that bad of a taste in my mouth.

Trump may even be a fraud entirely, I couldn't say. It's very possible, even Bush Jr. came out against nation building during his 2000 campaign. We got the complete opposite. This would all be rendered moot, if the LP candidate was in fact a Libertarian. There's something to be said of the Libertarian candidate that struggles to convince another Libertarian. I was hesitantly leaning towards Johnson, until his major errors - and Weld got onto the ticket. Weld alone could drive me away from supporting Johnson.


All of this goes to say, there isn't a libertarian alternative this cycle. I can't help but think the opportunity was wasted. Everything Ron Paul and the Rothbardian wing of Libertarianism warned about is actively happening, and it's only just begun. How many curious and eager minds are out there wondering if there's a better way? How many of them would have become unapologetic libertarians, as we've come to know them, had someone like Ron Paul got nominated?

We won't know. Instead, their frustration with the establishment found a home in Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump. Sanders lost, and I can't imagine what his supporters will do - but their minds are made up, they believe in Socialism and we'll be dealing with their belief for a long time. Regardless, this fall we'll be hearing from The Joker, Cthulhu, and possibly Gollum (I'll let you decide which is which). Though a subject for another writing entirely, some might say shame on me and other disappointed libertarians for not participating and putting forth an alternative candidate, and they might be right for the wrong reasons.

The ideal candidate wouldn't even need to win - just change minds, change conversations, and show a better way. Ron Paul did this.

Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Does anyone else smell that?

The entire thing stinks to high heaven. I speak of course, of the Orlando shooting.
I don't like promoting conspiracy theories as a whole. I like focusing on things that I can prove true or false - so I like looking at the facts behind them and choose to make the discussion about these. It accomplishes the same thing while keeping "Official Narrative Defenders" off of the defensive.
Like San Bernardino and several other shooting scenarios, multiple gunmen were reported by witnesses. This fell down the memory hole after about eight hours.
What I find most interesting is the interview Megyn Kelly did with the individual that held the door closed.  His name is Luis Burbano.
He describes a bullet "sticking" out of a victim's leg. This bullet is allegedly pretty long.  Luis begins his description of the effects of the .223 bullets in question at the 3:08 mark in the video, this continues until just under four minutes.
I'm no Wizard, but I'm not ignorant either. I'm familiar with firearms, their use, and what makes them work.

1. I have never heard of a bullet "sticking out" of a victim's leg. These things are designed to penetrate - flat head, hollow point, or "plinking" round, how deep depends on the material it's getting shot into, the caliber, the head of the round itself, and less interesting factors such as trajectory, distance, and velocity. Unless this round hit a mystery steel plate in someone's leg, I'm not convinced that the observer is accurately describing what he saw. This shooting took place in a very confined space.
2. Burbano describes this bullet. It's really long, he shows us by utilizing negative space between his thumb and index finger. It's a few inches . A .223 bullet is not that long. A .223 round might be that long, if described from memory by someone with little to no firearm experience. What I find really interesting is that when inexperienced observers describe firearms and firearm accessories, they do so from the vantage point of someone that's never seen one in person, let alone operated one. They assume the entire round is what comes out of the gun, brass casing and all. Perhaps he filled the gaps in on his own, on the spot. If a round that large was "sticking out" of someone's leg, my first question would be:

Are we describing an AR-15, or a 20mm cannon? An anti-material rifle? Anything larger than a .223?  Okay, maybe someone did some gunsmithing on the weapon, and re-bored and re-chambered the weapon for a different caliber entirely. I doubt it, as I can't picture the AR-15 standing up to the blowback of such a high caliber round - certainly not long enough to kill 50 people and maim countless others - after two magazine reloads and a phone call. This would also require some serious work to turn the AR-15 into something it's not, and we wouldn't be talking about an AR-15 in the mechanical or the aesthetic sense. We'd instead be talking about DIY Firearm Manufacturing.
Objects in motion can ricochet based on velocity and trajectory, but when they penetrate they penetrate, until they lose momentum from resistance or a secondary movement via ricochet. Maybe this round hit bone? Allegedly this same round split someone's arm down the middle, under similar penetration conditions (in the same club, a confined space) as the individual that has a very long .223 bullet sticking out of his leg.

This aside, the bullet that comes out of an AR-15 isn't multiple inches long. The round that goes in is comparable to that, if described by someone that's never seen them in person regularly. I reiterate, it's common for an inexperienced firearm commentator to assume the entire round is what comes out of the gun. What comes out is far less impressive in size.
It begs to question: What did this guy actually see?

Somethin' ain't right. Either there were more actors on this stage with more powerful equipment than what's being said, or this Burbano's entire testimony is in dispute.

Speaking of actors, it's a shame when a stellar actor falls victim to piss poor script writing. It's getting harder and harder to wave off accusations of crisis actors in real tragedies.

It's pretty stinky in here.


There are now reports that the rifle used was not an AR-15. It was allegedly a Sig.  Despite this, many of my points still stand.