Manuel Lora – The Libertarian Standard Property - Prosperity - Peace Wed, 27 Apr 2016 06:16:21 +0000 en-US hourly 1 A new website and group blog of radical Austro-libertarians, shining the light of reason on truth and justice. Manuel Lora – The Libertarian Standard clean Manuel Lora – The Libertarian Standard (Manuel Lora – The Libertarian Standard) CC-BY Property - Prosperity - Peace Manuel Lora – The Libertarian Standard TV-G Unipartisanship is the new bipartisanship Fri, 30 Nov 2012 22:05:58 +0000 Romney bans certain kinds of guns; Obama supports war and Bush-era doctrines; Romney enacts (even more) socialist-fascist health care; Obama has a near opaque administration in spite of the desire to be transparent.

The so-called “left” promotes a policy (say, universal healthcare or the individual mandate or the health care exchanges). The “right” opposes it. The opposition is usually superficial and us used as talking points to obtain votes. The object of power is power, after all. Assuming the policy becomes law, and assuming (as is often the case) it receives widespread support, the right becomes less vociferous about repealing the law. At best they want to reform; usually either nothing happens or the mildest of cosmetic changes are made, if only to appease the fringe party supporters. Today’s progressive, becomes tomorrow’s conservative. Already, for example, the financially devastating Obamacare that was such a hot topic a year ago is starting to go away in the eyes of most–that is, if you don’t have a business facing ever-higher health care costs. Soon the right will stop talking about repealing it or replacing it with something else. Florida governor Rick Scott, who initially opposed setting up the FL healthcare exchange, has changed his tune–how unexpected!

On the other “side” of the political spectrum, the totalitarian and warmongering right wing, whose most recent icon and trend setter is GWB, pushes for war and empire and crackdowns on civil liberties. The left claims to oppose it. When Bush II was in power the progressives, ever irate, regaled us with their smugness (and, as we now know, insincere) opposition to the Bush administration’s policies and tactics. Enter a democratic president. Oh my–what happened!? Suddenly Obama adopts and relishes in continuing core Bush doctrines as well as expanding into new territories of despotism: droning and NDAA come to mind. Today’s warmongering conservative is tomorrow warmongering progressive.

I for one welcome our new unipartisanship overlords.

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Republicans: Gays And Abortion Threaten Our Foreign Policy Wed, 29 Aug 2012 17:53:22 +0000 Just when you thought you had seen it all, this:

The effectiveness of our foreign aid has been limited by the cultural agenda of the current Administration, attempting to impose on foreign countries, especially the peoples of Africa, legalized abortion and the homosexual rights agenda. At the same time, faith-based groups – the sector that has had the best track record in promoting lasting development – have been excluded from grants because they will not conform to the administration’s social agenda. We will reverse this tragic course, encourage more involvement by the most effective aid organizations, and trust developing peoples to build their future from the ground up.

That is language adopted for the GOP platform. Funny that the effectiveness of our foreign policy, one that is not exactly gingerly and compassionately imposed, is according to conservatives being undermined by abortion and homosexual rights. Granted those are not issues to be taken lightly. However, given the extent and destruction caused by occupations, puppet regimes, satellite states, economic intervention, military dominion and theater diplomacy, it is nonetheless somewhat surprising that “the gay” pose such an existential problem to the federal thirst for blood! And, please, we can’t have foreign mothers killing their kids–that’s our job!

The platform also says that Republicans are “the party of peace through strength.” Make of this what you will [NSFW].

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“Close” Encounters Of The Cop Kind Mon, 30 Apr 2012 14:57:56 +0000 Over the weekend there was a small health expo at my local YMCA (which also shares a building with a public elementary school). A variety of organizations had stands and booths–from golf and swimming coaches to dietitians and chiropractors. And, like civilized people, they would pitch their goods and services to passers-by. Unfortunately, this peaceful demonstration of entrepreneurialism and voluntary market demand was tainted by the presence of the police.

No fewer than five “cruisers” lined the edge of the parking lot. About a dozen police officers, in full regalia (guns, tasers, cuffs, baton, military boots) interacted with children who would ask one question about another, their eyes glazed over by the “magnificence” of “our” public “servants.” But the “law and order” monopolists would still had a gem to show the community. Parked on the grass a B.E.A.R. military-style vehicle was the center of attention. Mothers and fathers, sons and daughters were taking turns climbing on the truck of mass destruction.

I approached and listened to the guy inside tell a kid that he was the one in charge of holding the bullet-proof shield when they have to go “serve warrants” and that the guy you see right there (pointing across the parking lot) was the one whose job was to break doors open. Another officer (dressed in camo and looked like a military soldier but was a local cop) told a girl that they were there to help the good ones and take care of “the bad guys.” Meh.

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Reporters Warned By TSA Not To Report On Scanner Failures Fri, 09 Mar 2012 15:04:07 +0000 The agency that is “tasked” with keeping flights “safe” is warning reporters not to report on scanner failures. You see, if terrorists were to find out these weaknesses it could jeopardize the security of passengers and indeed national security.

Via Slashdot:

“When anti-TSA activist Jonathan Corbett exposed a severe weakness in TSA’s body scanners, one would expect the story to attract a lot of media attention. Apparently TSA is attempting to stop reporters from covering the story. According to Corbett, at least one reporter has been ‘strongly cautioned’ by TSA spokeswoman Sari Koshetz not to cover the story. If TSA is worried that this is new information they need to suppress to keep it away from terrorists, that horse may have left the barn years ago. Corbett’s demonstration may just be confirmation of a 2010 paper in the Journal of Transportation Security that concluded that ‘an object such as a wire or a boxcutter blade, taped to the side of the body, or even a small gun in the same location, will be invisible’ to X-ray scanners.”

One of the first things that the state eliminates under the guise of national security are freedom of the press and of speech. Good thing that the Internet still manages to remain decentralized and largely uncontrolled (though this is sadly changing as well). Here’s the YouTube video that apparently kicked off recent TSA frenzy.

Bastiat Weeps For The Billionth Time Wed, 25 Jan 2012 20:19:19 +0000
@pablodPablo Defendini
LOL self-pub is the new piracy! “@DigiBookWorld: Heard at #dbw12: Self publishing costs publishers $100 million in opportunity”

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Unions + Cops = Bad Tue, 06 Dec 2011 18:21:57 +0000 From The Herald Tribune:

Thousands of Florida officers remain on the job despite arrests or evidence implicating them in crimes that could have landed them in prison, a Herald-Tribune investigation has found.

Even those officers with multiple offenses have been given chance after chance through a disciplinary system that has been reshaped in their favor by the state’s politically influential police unions. As a result, officers around Florida carry personnel files that are anything but heroic.

Looks like “our” public “servants” are, once again, given resources that normal people do not have. Imagine committing a crime and be not just sent home (“administrative leave”), sometimes with full pay, but sent back to your job and life as if nothing had happened. Yes, they do work for us indeed.

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“I don’t agree with his theories” Mon, 28 Nov 2011 17:09:51 +0000 Not long ago when we had friends and family over it came up that I was a political “atheist,” someone who opposed the existence of the state and wished for political power and authority to disappear so that the prosperity of the market can bring us ever higher standards of living. “I don’t agree with his theories” a family member said. Fine. This is to be expected. After all, the radical libertarian anarchist view is an extreme minority opinion. Yet the vast majority of people with whom we interact are clueless and wobbly on their own views.

At first the statist position seems to be coherent: the power of the many to benefit the few, the respect for the government, the love for law and order, the supremacy of democracy–essentially a rehash of the status quo becomes mainstream reply. Still, one must ask: what, then, dear vulgar citizen, is your hopefully coherent theory? It would necessarily have to be one that allows more or less the same things that exist now because the vast majority of folks though they complain about the details of the political establishment they don’t oppose the basics. For example, in my encounter with left-liberals I find it particularly interesting that often the primacy of democracy is seen as a goal but other times it is a means. Or when the same folks complain when people vote “the wrong way.” Over the last few years the issue of homosexual marriage has come up for vote. If the vote fails, does this mean that democracy has failed? Rarely (or, at worst, barely–there is still support for that institution). What if the courts fail to recognize that issue as a right? Should courts be abolished? Nah, they will say–more political action and education is needed, or reform the court. Most of the remedial proposals have to do with changing not the underlying system (the one that nonetheless perpetually frustrates everyone) but to change everyone and everything else.

Legislative matters like gay marriage is just one issue. Going deeper, things become even messier. How does one measure the value of the good that a piece of legislation imparts on society? What if that good is a bad for some? What if the good is not as good for everyone to the same extent? What if people change their minds? What if they change their minds right after an election? Were it subject to quantification, what if one person has 100 units of displeasure and 99 people have one unit of pleasure each? How can we measure the greater good? What is “the” good? These might seem contrived questions, and yet they are the core of it all. Not only is the mainstreamer advocating and justifying the existing system in a vulgar, offhanded, manner but also insisting that the social and economic calculations necessary to bring about general prosperity can be performed. And regardless of whether such a calculation is possible, the fact that the advocate of the existing system so vehemently opposes the libertarian view while barely offering a sensible grounding shows intellectual laziness. It is the equivalent of saying “this is what exists, therefore it is what should exist.” As the saying goes, LOLWUT!?

I am reminded of what Murray Rothbard once said: “It is no crime to be ignorant of economics, which is, after all, a specialized discipline and one that most people consider to be a ‘dismal science.’ But it is totally irresponsible to have a loud and vociferous opinion on economic subjects while remaining in this state of ignorance.” In my opinion Rothbard’s sentiment applies to politics as well.

Oh The Things (And People) I Own! Wed, 16 Nov 2011 19:32:50 +0000 In one of my first posts on this blog I mentioned the usage of “the” as a catch-all term to include a variety of government-“offered” “goods” and “services” that people in general refer to offhandedly (“the” schools, “the” roads, etc.).

The Florida Department of Health has launched a campaign to eliminate second hand smoke from bars, parks and other public (or should that be “public”?) spaces. And what better way than to get folks behind this campaign that to be as inclusive as possible. Thus, the marketing/propaganda material uses “our” as much as possible. “Make our bars smoke-free” says one. Another one: “Make our public spaces smoke-free.” And — because we care about “the” children — “Make our parks smoke-free.”

Democracy, the devil that triumphed.

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Super-statists Love The Super State Mon, 05 Sep 2011 18:35:30 +0000 After a horrific and murderous weekend in NYC, Mayor Bloomberg, frustrated that folks determined on committing crimes are ignoring those magical incantations and spells enacted by local legislators, does what must necessarily follow in the mind of the statist: call the feds.

“We cannot tolerate it,” Bloomberg said while speaking at the Christian Cultural Center in Brooklyn. “There are just too many guns on the streets and we have to do something about it.”

New York has the toughest gun laws in the country, but Bloomberg said the city alone cannot stop the onslaught of shootings. “We need the federal government to step up,” he said.

The problem of crime is that it finds a way. And prohibitions are, at best, marginal; but they are totalitarian nonetheless and have no place in a free society. To try to control the means of the few by subjecting the entirety of society to the dictate of a despot is a symptom of desperation. After all, not every place experiences the same level of overall crime or the same numbers of crimes committed by firearms.

And then there is the elephant in the room. As Robert Wicks points out, “‘getting guns off the streets’ is just code for ‘getting poor urban minorities to disarm themselves.'” Indeed, NYC’s own government report on crime shows that minorities both commit and experience a higher percentage of crimes. Yet because most minorities are not criminals but potential victims, gun disarmament leaves minorities in a greater situation of peril. Of course, politicians do not understand economics or how incentives work so they would never think that ending drug (and gun) prohibition, welfare, taxes, zoning and licenses, rent control and compulsory education would radically lower crime across the board.

As for Bloomberg, his policies, and the policies of Albany, are–let’s face it–pretty much an epic fail. The last thing anyone needs is the federal government coming in to “fix” things.


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The Market Is Awesome. News At 11. Mon, 29 Aug 2011 13:39:49 +0000 Yesterday I found myself on the grocery store parking lot with a dead car battery, a trunk full of perishable and a toddler in the back seat. The following times/events are taken from my phone’s history.

  • 10:03am – Called my wife to come get us.
  • 10:05am – Called roadside to get a jump.
  • 10:24am – Service dispatched. I get a text meesage with contact info for the company coming.
  • 10:40am – Service arrives
  • 10:43am – Battery checked. Totally dead. Car is started.

Then I drive across the street and buy a new battery at an auto parts store. Within seconds of purchase it gets installed. I am back home shortly after.

Too bad trying to get things done within the government system of bureaucracy is nowhere near as pleasant or efficient.