Elizabeth Higgs passed this image on to me–she was alerted to this by a European friend who used a site called TV Shack to watch American TV and found the image above. The center seal, from the National Intellectual Property Rights Coordination Center, is creepy and fascist-looking. And no wonder–the NIPRCC is a program of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is itself the largest investigative arm of the Department of Homeland Security. This was apparently part of a crackdown by ICE that seized domains from nine websites engaged in the “criminal theft of American movies and television.” “Officials also seized assets from 15 bank, investment and advertising accounts and executed residential search warrants in North Carolina, New York, New Jersey and Washington….”
The DHS–protecting us from terrorism… and copyright infringement! Notice to all foreign nations who don’t crack down hard enough on patent and copyright infringement: you’re either with us, or you’re agin’ us!
FDR #1688: Stefan Molyneux’s opening speech at Porcupine Freedom Festival (PorcFest) on “Language as the Ultimate Government Program” (June 26 2010; video below). It’s a fascinating, audience-participation talk about how the state uses euphemistic language to disguise and cover up the evil that it does–and how we can fight it. Also interesting–listen to crowd cheer at about 1:00 to the introductory speaker explaining that Molyneux does not use intellectual property for his books etc.–awareness of the evil and statism of IP is growing in our movement, even among the political type/activist type libertarians. This is quite something (Molyneux and I had a good conversation about IP a few months back here.) Also interesting: at about 43:00 he talks about why it’s futile to waste time evading the census; and at about 56:00 he’s asked, regarding, say, civil asset forfeiture laws, whether it’s time to shoot the police. Molyneux answers that it cannot be said that it’s immoral to shoot men in blue uniforms who are commiting crimes against you–but that in today’s situation, it’s suicide and futile; that our battle has to be one of ideas. Also funny is at 45:00 where he discusses libertarian Jan Helfland, who while he is good in interviewing politicians and catching them in inconsistency and hypocrisy, still believes in the state and apparently told Molyneux in a debate that anarchists should be driven into the sea with tanks.
FDR #1509: Stefan Molyneux’s interview with the guys behind The Motorhome Diaries–Pete Eyre, Jason Talley and Adam Meuller, who who spent seven months in a bus looking for freedom in America. Fascinating interview–at around 42:00 they say that around the country, in addition to Molyneux’s program, the biggest influences they heard people talk about were FreeTalkLive, LewRockwell.com, and Mises.org. Also: at around 33:00 they discuss the book they have planned, and explicitly say that they do not believe in intellectual property and will release a free version online. They also give a fascinating account of their arrest in Jones County, Mississippi, based on trumped up charges by the local pigs.
As an aside, I have to say, I’ve been a bit negative in the past about libertarian activism (see my The Trouble with Libertarian Activism). But cases like the Motorhome Diaries guys and Molyneux’s heroic activism for liberty and his reception at the PorcFest event are inspiring and give me a smidgen of hope. And it seems like we are reaching a point where most libertarians are recognizing IP as the statist evil that it is. This must be driving the Randian libertarians nuts. I think we just need 10-15 years of generational change to wash out these holdovers and relics in a Kuhnian revolution in libertarian consciousness…
Several months ago I made the decision to apply for a permit to carry a concealed weapon, because I wanted to have another level of protection for me and for my family as we go about our business around town.
I will not talk about the permit process, whether you should get one, or about any libertarian implications of licking the state’s boot to obtain permission to carry metals and chemicals on one’s person. You are on your own about that. Instead, I will simply, and briefly, go through the various trials and tribulations that I went through.