"In the following pages I offer nothing more than simple facts, plain arguments, and common sense; and have no other preliminaries to settle with the reader, than that he will divest himself of prejudice and prepossession, and suffer his reason and his feelings to determine for themselves; that he will put on rather than off, the true character of a man, and generously enlarge his views beyond the present day." - Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Saturday, January 24, 2015

American Sniper: It Was Ok

Directed by Clint Eastwood, American Sniper is an action-drama depicting the life of Navy Seal Sniper Chris Kyle. Officially the most lethal sniper in US history, Chief Petty Officer Kyle amassed 160 confirmed kills out of 255 probable kills over the course of four tours of duty.

I've read some reviews praising the movie as a "cultural moment" and others ripping it as "pro-war propaganda" or a "hero-worshiping gag-fest." It has its flaws for sure, but I actually hated it less than I thought I would. I haven't read Chris Kyle's book, nor do I plan to, so I cannot say whether or not this or that actually happened, or even if the movie's Chris Kyle is an accurate portrayal of the real person. These are just my thoughts on the movie.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Charlie Hebdo Hypocrisy And Free Speech

For now I just wanted to talk about the elevation of Charlie Hebdo itself to a heroic level, as if it were some grand symbol of free speech and the power of western democracy over the
third-world savages. You've already seen media and governments all over the West using it as such, organizing massive marches through Paris, "I Am Charlie," and even a gag-inducing "display of solidarity" from a couple dozen blissfully rich, soulless oligarchs from around the world.

But Charlie Hebdo is not some group of hardcore, dedicated journalists hunted by authorities for exposing the crimes and corruption of those in power; though it's called satire, Charlie Hebdo is really just full of pointlessly stupid (stupidly pointless?) and crude cartoons published solely for their ability to offend certain people. And by "certain people," I mean everyone but Jews. And those marches and "displays of solidarity?" A bunch of useless, hot air from people who don't actually care about free speech when it matters.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

5 Awful Torture Methods Used By The US Government

I picked out a few of what I thought were the worst torture methods enhanced interrogation techniques used by our government and its agencies and contractors. It's extremely important to remember that most of the inmates at Guantanamo have not had any sort of trial or charges brought against them. Just because they're at Guantanamo doesn't make them guilty of anything. That said, let's get into it and see what we've paid for with our tax dollars.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

How Libertarianism Can Save The Whales And Prevent Overfishing

One common question I hear being asked is, "What can be done to prevent overfishing in a pure libertarian society?"

The question deals with over-consumption, and can be answered much in the same way as "what about the trees" and "who will protect animals?" The answer is, as usual: property rights and the non-aggression principle. Using GPS and latitude/longitude, let people parcel out and own a piece of the ocean like they would own a piece of land. Or, let people claim/buy the fishing/mining/whatever rights for a certain parcel of ocean. The point is: private property.

Saturday, August 9, 2014

Why Noam Chomsky Is Wrong About Libertarianism

For a man so renowned for his work in linguistics, Noam Chomsky certainly seems confused about the definitions of "libertarianism" and "anarchy;" and despite his accuracy on foreign policy, he's completely lost on economics and social policy. It's actually incredibly disappointing to see someone who so correctly recognizes so many problems in the world but consistently comes up with awful solutions.

In an interview with Michael S. Wilson, Chomsky comments:

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Libertarianism And Anarchy: The Simple Facts

For hundreds of years, political groups have used language to maneuver around each other. One group, claiming the mantle of “ideological purity,” would become fed up with what they viewed as inconsistency or inaccuracy of the ideas of the main group and split away from it. However, they would continue to call themselves by the same name of the original group in order to preserve their credibility.

This kind of philosophical warfare creates confusion, often intentionally. Classical liberalism of the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, based on small government and individualism, was gradually perverted into the modern, collectivist, government-obsessed liberalism we hear about today. The fracturing of the original socialist movement into dozens of groups illustrate the point just as well: you have Marxists, communists, Trotskyists, Chomskyites, Lenninists, Stalinists, Maoists, social democrats, liberal socialists, “libertarian” socialists, (misled) anarchists and anarcho-syndicalists, eco-/ethical-/religious-/regional-socialists, national socialists and blah-blah-blah socialists all claiming to be... well, true socialists. It's maddening.

Friday, July 18, 2014

10 Reasons America Is A Police State

What do you think of when you hear the term "police state?" Chances are you conjured up an image of jack-booted Nazis storming down the streets terrorizing people with German Shepherds; or maybe you thought of Soviet Russia? North Korea? Of Orwell's Oceania?

A police state can actually be a lot more familiar, but since we were born our heads have been filled with so much nationalist propaganda that we refuse to believe we're not the "freest" country in the world. The truth is, being "freer" than people in some other countries doesn't mean we 're actually free; it just means our masters are slightly nicer than theirs.

Here are ten legitimate reasons America is a police state:

Sunday, July 6, 2014

When I Was A Liberal: Statist To Anarchist

Until only about three/four years ago, I was the worst kind of hardcore liberal. I claimed to believe in socialism and Marx - and I had never read more than three pages of my copy of the Communist Manifesto. I made excuses for Soviet/socialist states all over the world, wanted the government to nationalize this industry, create that welfare program, stop teaching controversial beliefs in schools, and most of all punish the rich and those damn corporations for making so much money and keeping it all for themselves. Walking to class one afternoon in 2008 I overheard someone on campus talking about how he was going to vote for Ron Paul. I mentioned to my friend, "I heard Ron Paul's a creationist. And he thinks capitalism is good! What an idiot!" You get the point. I was the worst.

I thought if the government did not do something about *insert any political topic here*, nothing would ever get done because people are simple, lazy idiots (excepting myself, naturally, for I was the Che Guevarra T-shirt-wearing savior of the world and knew everything that needed to be done). I thought without any direction from our dear leaders, some of us would wander (most would sit) around until we starved to death, buildings and roads would crumble, and the landscape would turn to sand as the feeble remnants of humanity battled with makeshift firearms and dune-buggies.

Saturday, June 28, 2014

The Illusion of "Checks and Balances"

Remember back in grade school when you were taught about the three branches of the Federal government? Maybe you do, maybe you don't; in truth, it doesn't really matter. At the time, we were all instilled with this idea that our government is completely invulnerable to corruption; that the tyranny of one branch over the others is impossible due to the brilliant "separation of powers," by which each branch has certain "checks and balances" allotted to it in order to reign in the others. It's as airtight as rock-paper-scissors.

Or is it?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Guaranteed Universal Income = Guaranteed Universal Poverty

Another flawed, not-so-new economic idea to save the poor and middle class has once again started to gain popularity: a guaranteed universal (or basic) income. Basically, everybody is guaranteed a certain amount of money per month, courtesy of our overlords benevolent leaders. Anyone who earns above that amount gets taxed "in proportion." There are better ideas, but basic income advocates naively claim that their scheme would defeat poverty once and for all.