Feedback on the Farm Bill? How about this?

The Agriculture Department is looking for feedback on next year’s farm bill; and they are closing the doors on the subject tonight. I guess they aren’t too anxious to hear our feedback. I left them some of mine anyway.


Stop the NAIS, the National Animal Identification System. If we start chipping the animals to keep track of them, how long before we’re chipping the citizens to keep track of them?

Why does no one understand that creatures aren’t born with an RFID tag attached, and consequently there is no way to guarantee that infected animals won’t intermingle without being tracked? This is a waste of time boondoggle of a program that sets an extremely bad precedent, profits only the large corporate farms; and it should be stopped immediately.


I probably should have said “Don’t pass one, other than to repeal the provisions of the previous ones” but I’m sure I would have been dismissed as a flake with a message like that.

Don’t pay farmers not to grow produce, or pay tobacco farmers to grow tobacco while at the same time paying for advertising discouraging smoking. What kind of weirdo is he…?

Dec. 25th, the end of the Soviet Union

Following the election of Mikhail Gorbachev, and the introduction of his reform policies in 1986, the Soviet Union began it’s slow breakup. The Berlin wall came down on November 9th, 1989; and the USSR officially ceased existence as a political entity on December 25th, 1991, with the resignation of it’s last president, the same Mikhail Gorbachev.

The soviet flag was lowered for the last time on December 31st, 1991.

Another reason to celebrate the holiday season. The end of the only constitutionally socialist state. I can’t think of a better reason, myself.

The Principles of ’98

Something else to celebrate this season. On December 24th, 1798, the Virginia resolution was passed. Most of the people who have the standard, sub-standard government school education will not know the significance of The Principles of ’98 or why they should be something we celebrate today.

The short reason is, because the principles of ’98 may be our only avenue of escape from the ever encroaching federal government; by providing a way for the states and their residents to nullify any federal law that they disagree with.

Want to know more? I recommend The Politically Incorrect Guide to American History by Thomas E. Woods, Jr. I found the audio over at Mises.org, but it seems to have rolled off. It’s as good a place as any to start, and it’s pretty entertaining if you are into history.

The Principles of ’98 are expressed in the Kentucky and Virginia Resolutions
which were drawn up and passed in direct opposition to the Alien and Sedition acts. Quoting the Wiki article:

The resolutions declared that the Constitution was a “compact.” That is, it was an agreement among the states. The federal government had no right to exercise powers not specifically delegated to it; should the federal government assume such powers, its acts under them would be void. Thus it was the right of the states to decide as to the constitutionality of such laws passed by Congress.

Anything the federal government attempted that was outside the direct verbiage of the constitution was an unconstitutional act; and it was up to the states to enforce this if the federal government failed to do so.

Time for these principles to be exercised again.

DRM: One More Time

I’ve been arguing DRM issues with several people of late. It’s a hot button for me. Several people have taken me to task for daring to disregard an agreement; I maintain it isn’t an agreement if I’m not given negotiating power, it’s a concession. The average user concedes that he is subject to corporate legal boilerplate if caught with his hands in the cookie jar. Case in point, iTunes has no legal basis on which to claim that I cannot modify my own files in any manner I deem necessary, but it’s in their contracts anyway. I can’t negotiate their unenforcible clauses out of the contract, so they remain in place. They’ll just have to catch me, I guess.


* Stealing Fair Use, Selling It Back to you

“Apparently, Hollywood believes that you should have to re-
purchase all your DVD movies a second time if you want to
watch them on your iPod.” That’s what we said last week,
commenting on the Paramount v. Load-N-Go lawsuit, in which
Hollywood studios claimed that it is illegal to rip a DVD to
put on a personal video player (PVP), even if you own the
DVD.

Well, this week the other shoe dropped. According to an
article in the New York Times:

“Customers who buy the physical DVD of Warner Brothers’
‘Superman Returns’ in a Wal-Mart store will have the option
of downloading a digital copy of the film to their portable
devices for $1.97, personal computer for $2.97, or both for
$3.97.”

So you buy the DVD, and if you want a copy on your PVP or
computer, you have to pay a second time. Despite the fact
that you bought the DVD, and you have a DVD drive in your
computer that is perfectly capable of making a personal-use
copy. Imagine if the record labels offered you this “deal”
for every CD you bought — pay us a few dollars extra, and
you can have a copy for your iPod. And a few more dollars,
if you want a copy on your computer, too! As LA Times
reporter Jon Healey puts it in his blog: “So from the
perspective of the studios and federal officials, consumers
have to pay for the privilege of doing the sorts of things
with DVDs that they’re accustomed to doing with CDs (and LPs
and cassettes).”

This latest bitter fruit from Hollywood is brought to you by
the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), which treats
“protected” content (like the encrypted video on DVDs),
differently from “unprotected” content (like every audio and
video media format introduced before 1996). Thanks to the
DMCA, Hollywood believes fair use personal-use copies simply
do not exist when it comes to DVDs.

Let’s hope Congressman Rick Boucher is listening and will
reintroduce his DMCA reform bill first thing next year.

For this post and related links:

http://www.breitbart.com/news/2006/10/13/309-10132006.html

To: Assignment Desk, Daybook Editor

Contact: Rory Davenport of Qorvis Communications, 202-448-9292 or rdavenport@qorvis.com

News Advisory:

What: Press conference to address issues related to online music distribution and erroneous piracy characterization by U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab.

When: October 17, 2006

4:30pm (London)

11:30am (Washington, New York)

8:30am (Los Angeles)

Where: Online

Special access will be granted to a reserved section on http://www.allofmp3.com

To participate, journalists must send an email to Rory Davenport at rdavenport@qorvis.com. Reporters will receive a confirmation email with the link to the press conference location. Only pre-registered reporters will have access to the press conference. Registration will close on Monday, October 16 at 8 pm (Washington time).

Subject: Mediaservices will address issues related to a business dispute with the major record labels over the online music site AllofMP3.com.

Universal (V), WarnerMusic (WMG), SonyBMG (SNE) and EMI (EMI.L) have repeatedly mischaracterized the company as part of a campaign to secure a more favorable royalty structure. Those companies and their agents, the British Phonographic Industry (BPI) and Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) have enlisted the British and U.S. governments as part of their business campaign.

Mediaservices is convinced that its business model is legitimate and that it maximizes demand for music and spurs consumers to buy more music. The company believes that everyone wins, record labels, artists and distribution companies when the market is broader and deeper. Relying on a handful of artists for the majority of sales is an outdated business model and recipe for disaster for the music industry.

Note: A transcript of the press conference will not be available.

Press

Contact: Rory Davenport, Qorvis Communications, 202-448-9292 or rdavenport@qorvis.com

http://www.usnewswire.com/

Why I am a Libertarian – Liberator Article

I’m rehashing an old subject here, trying to update it for publishing in the Austin Liberator. As I pointed out in the recent blog post The Vote, I pulled the lever next to “L” again this year, just as I have for the last 10 plus years. I do this because I vote my conscience, rather than worry about wasting a vote.

The only wasted vote is the vote cast for a lesser evil, rather than being cast for a greater good. I vote and refer to myself as a Libertarian, and I do it with pride.


I am a libertarian because I believe in the concept of limited government. When I mention this fact to someone, I usually get the response “But you’re really a Republican, aren’t you?” Nothing could be further from the truth. I tolerate conservatives, but I’m not one of their kin.

Before I discovered the Nolan chart (http://www.theadvocates.org/quiz.html) and through it the LP, I was a staunch yellow dog Democrat, like my parents and grandparents before them. I believed that government was there to help, and that social freedoms could be taken for granted under the Democrat’s benign rule. However, I was at a loss to explain why the drug war persisted (with tacit Democrat support) or why the term “Politically Correct” was ever coined (by a Democrat) Even when the Democrats dominated the legislature and Democrats held the Presidency, social liberty never increased.

When the Republicans came to power, they talked of reducing the size and expense of government. My fellow Democrats cried over this, but I could not understand how reducing government, and the tax burdens on the people, was necessarily a bad thing. Having more of my money to dispose of as I wished seemed like a good thing to me. Having less government interference in my life was one of my goals, as well. I thought I might have something in common with Republicans after all.

Strangely, the cost of government never got smaller, even when the Republicans dominated the legislatures, and a Republican held the Presidency. The Republicans did reduce taxes, but the debt burden passed on to the next generation of Americans went through the roof. I started to think that the politicians were not being truthful with us, and if they were lying to us about their intentions, then what else were they lying to us about?

When I was told “read my lips” and then watched taxes rise anyway, and when I heard “It depends on what the definition of is is” used as an excuse to cover the questionable activities of a president (activities that were the least egregious of the impeachable offenses that he could have been charged with) I began to see the truth that I know today; If a politician has words coming out of his mouth, he’s most likely lying.

I discovered something else in the course of nearly 30 years of following politics: Government is a weapon. It is a loaded gun that you point at wrong doers to make them stop what they are doing. That is the only help that government can give; and it doesn’t even do that cheaply. If you want government to do something for you, then you are employing force to get it done.

Everything that government does can be done by private industry better, faster and cheaper. The fewer government run programs, the less force that is present in our system; less force means more freedom.

Jefferson, Adams and the others who founded this country understood this. The Democratic party (I was told) was the party of Jefferson. Because of this, I was a Democrat. What I did not realize was that the limited government principles of Jefferson and the founders were abandoned by the Democrats in the 1940 election. this brings us back to the Nolan chart and the LP.

Chart the beliefs of the founders, and nearly to a man they will turn up Libertarian. Jefferson was solidly so. When I took the test, I too charted as solidly Libertarian. It has been more than 10 years since I took the test, lodging protest votes against the two major parties, discussing issues with fellow libertarians, and it’s been only recently that I have come to the realization that I was indeed a Libertarian in belief, not just a political misfit.

Ask any libertarian why they are what they are, and you will get a different story. Some are former Republicans and some, like me, are former Democrats. Most of them are of the younger generation, fresh out of college and worried about the future they face at the hands of an ever-expanding federal government.

If there is a core libertarian belief, then this is a good portion of it; that government at least return to constitutional limits, and be responsive to the people who fund it. That force not be employed except in response to force. That we are all capable of governing ourselves, just as has been done throughout our history.

These were the beliefs of our nation’s founders, and because I claim these same principles as my own, I must be a libertarian.


Editor’s note.  I am no longer libertarian. I reject the label, and most of the philosophy behind the label.  The reasons for this are complex, and I haven’t quite worked it all out and written it down yet.  Still, I’m certain that Libertarians are aspiring to something that I see as dystopic in nature.  But that is another story. I hope I get around to writing it.

Loose Change: the Other Side of the Story

And speaking of conspiracy theories….

I’m regretting ever mentioning Loose Change in a previous blog post.

I should have realized that there was no evidence for 9/11’s of the claims made in the film. If you refer to one of the many sites that address the holes in the theories (Loose Change Guide, for example) it becomes quite embarrassing to have ever referred to the film in anything approaching a positive light.

…Which is not to say I endorse the gov’ts claims, either. Much like Pearl Harbor, it’s possible for the gov’t to have had no direct hand in the attacks themselves, while at the same time creating fertile ground for the attacks.


I have eaten a Big Bowl of Crow since publishing this and other thoughts on many subjects.  If you didn’t come here from this post, you probably should go check that one out before drawing any conclusions.

Gingrich Wasting His Time

Keith Olbermann has done it again, this time lambasting Newt Gingrich for trashing the first amendment in a bid to become the Republican’s next presidential nominee.

“I am not ‘running’ for president,” you told a reporter from Fortune Magazine. “I am seeking to create a movement to win the future by offering a series of solutions so compelling that if the American people say I have to be president, it will happen.”


Newt Gingrich sees in terrorism, not something to be exterminated, but something to be exploited.

MSNBC (via the Wayback Machine)

I hate to break it to this aptly named lizard of a man, but he’s wasting his time. In more ways than one.

He’s wasting his time because the average American, who acts like a bull in the china shop when it comes to demanding government programs, which trash the Constitution, on the one hand; will overwhelmingly reject any proposal that appears to limit their ability to obtain instant gratification, especially one that trashes the parts of the Constitution they want to keep. He might as well have cut his own throat, literally.

Talk about cluelessness when it comes to reading what’s in the wind.

He’s also wasting his time is because the most likely Republican Presidential nominee is someone from the President’s administration. Newt is so far out of favor with the President that I can’t even begin to imagine what sequence of events might end in his being nominated by his party; let alone elected to the presidency.

No, the most likely Republican nominee is still the youngest, highest ranking member of W’s cabinet. And that person is still Condoleeza Rice. Which makes it Rice Vs. Clinton in ’08.

You heard it here first.


Editor’s note, 2019. Hindsight. Hindsight makes so many things clearer. I remember wondering, as we moved in on the 2008 election, before the crash of 2008 which clinched the election for the Democrats, why Dr. Rice didn’t even try for the nomination. She was single-handedly the brightest light in the Bush II presidency. Why wasn’t she even considered as a candidate?

From the perspective of the 2016 election, it all becomes clear. Ah, she was black and she was a woman. In 2006 I hadn’t even heard of the Southern strategy. I didn’t know of Nixon’s betrayal of the historic stances of the GOP and his embracing of white nationalism as a winning strategy. It was the GOP reaction to Barack Obama’s (no-drama Obama) presidency that made me realize just how racist the average Republican really is.

The GOP would never nominate anyone from either of those categories, much less a member of both of them. At least, not before the majority of racist white nationalists that make up the current GOP are smashed in a few elections and they realize that their racism and misogyny really has become a liability that they can no longer afford.

That day cannot come soon enough for me.

US Mint Closes Liberty Dollar Accounts

Bernard von NotHaus revealed on FMNN’s eRadio last Friday that the US Mint has apparently taken action against NORFED behind the scenes as well as publicly.

To go along with the harassment that the Liberty Dollar and NORFED are enduring in the press, as well as the false accusations posted on the Mint’s website, Bernard revealed on the podcast posted Monday that the US Mint has acted to have bank accounts associated with NORFED and the Liberty Dollar closed, making it extremely hard for the American Liberty Dollar to conduct business.

This ratchets the battle between ALD and the US Mint up another notch.

Where it goes from here is anybodies guess. As Bernard states, CBS’ hatchet job on the subject suggests that it’s a crime even to possess ALD (it categorically is not a crime to own silver or ALD) much less use it. I’m quite certain that if they intended to arrest anyone for using ALD, they would have done so already. Silver is up again today, once again going over 13 dollars an ounce, spot price. My suggestion is, buy silver.

Here’s the issue of Liberty Dollar News that discusses the latest developments. As an aside, the Associate of the month, Jon Roland, is a personal friend of mine. Wander by Constitution.org and check out the volumes of work that Jon has put in on the subject of liberty and the Constitution.