Posts

Social Media Regulation

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You don't promote free speech by empowering the government to "enforce" it. The first amendment, for example, specifically aims to demand the federal government "make no law" the the writers were correct to do so. The government has no sane way to determine what speech restrictions to enforce on social media, given that they have no way to write them into law. Additionally, the companies that have the money and clout to influence the content of any sort of "social media regulation" are exactly the companies that enjoy hegemony today. As will all regulations, the well-heeled players in the market will make the best of it by having the regulations impede small upstart competitors. The FCC, for example, is a major impediment to diversification in communications, which serves well the established players.Social Media must be regulated by the only entity that has any right to: The individual participants. May they all get their way. Maybe Facebook and …

Violence

There is nothing people working together voluntarily cannot do. It is bad enough to say that we must employ violence for the sake of exigency, but it is downright sinister to suggest that voluntary cooperation is incapable of doing those things.

Defense: It's you and your neighbor in the woods and a bear keeps getting into your camps. What do? You would grab your best weapons and team up to kill the bear. There you go, voluntary defense. And I'm supposed to believe that today's modern innovations in automation and productivity couldn't handle defense?  There. That's the hardest one.

Governance: It's you and your neighbor in the woods and you want to come up with rules that will define your interactions. Don't barge in, knock. Things like that. Well what do you know - individuals have mechanisms to reduce conflict. One modern example is the contract.

Courts: It's you and your neighbor in the woods. You say he stole your pig. He says he didn't - it w…

Holy Shit, Harry Truman!

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Found this little gem from the letters of Harry S. Truman:

 I think one man is just as good as another so long as he's honest and decent and not a nigger or a Chinaman. Uncle Wills says that the Lord made a white man from dust, a nigger from mud, and then threw what was left and it came down a Chinaman. He does hate Chinese and Japs. So do I. It is race prejudice I guess. But I am strongly of the opinion that negroes ought to be in Arica, yellow men in Asia, and white men in Europe and America.                                       --Harry S. Truman

How about that? Selections of that are in this meme: 









Holy shit!
See the whole letter here:
https://www.trumanlibrary.org/whistlestop/study_collections/trumanpapers/fbpa/index.php?documentid=HST-FBP_1-21_01&documentVersion=both

Net Neutrality

I say this to both sides:

1) The ISPs are total assholes. They buy political influence and use it to keep out competitors. You must pay them, even if you don't like their policies, or pay for even more expensive internet options, which is a real big inconvenience. I definitely agree that it's not ideal that these ISPs - these federal-, state-, and locally-empowered artificial monopolies - aren't exactly the ideal gatekeepers of the internet, so there's that. I have every expectation that someone will want to make money by peacefully side-stepping the bottleneck of the ISPs.

2) The US Federal Government are even bigger assholes. These guys are the source of the political power the traditional ISPs wield. You must pay them or you will be forcibly seized and put into a cage. They spend your money on mass murder abroad and intruding into our private affairs domestically.  I sure as hell wouldn't want the Feds to be in charge of the internet. The less, the better. They …

Counter-Protesting

How to address the issue of Nazis and Communists having ever more heated exchanges with each other: Counter-protest.

Normally, I'm not much in favor of protesting or counter-protesting. I don't think it should be banned or anything, but I think most of the time it's counter-productive and for most participants simply an opportunity to signal to all their great and indomitable virtue.  Plus things can get out of control as we saw with the recent Nazi/Antifa brough-ha-ha.

What I propose is a sort of un-protest. Picture this: 500 Nazis and 100 Antifa are set to clash in some public area. As tensions rise and knuckles turn white, thousands of people appear in the area. None of them are chanting. None of them have signs. They arrive and stand a safe and respectful distance away from any physical altercations and silently WATCH. No talking, no arguing, no chanting

Perhaps they record the event with their cellphones, or perhaps turn their backs entirely. If one of their own steps …

If it were a snake, it'd have bit you.

There's a phrase you hear sometimes, when you're looking for something and someone else finds it (or they observe you finding it), that goes, "It it were a snake, it'd have bit you."

This strikes me as an odd phrase. If it were a snake, it would not have bitten me, because I didn't once go near it.  More later, perhaps.

Tax Refunds and Obamanomics

Laissez-faire economics is NOT a zero-sum game, but socialists either think it is or pretend it is - so they're either being stupid or mendacious.

I like the parable of the group of men who go to lunch every day. I'll try to get the math right:

10 men go out to eat lunch at their favorite restaurant every day. The bill always comes to $100. They decided early on to divide the bill based on how much each of them earns: The investment banker earns the most money and pays $70 of the total bill. The lawyer and the doctor contribute $8 apiece. Then the architect and the small business owner pay $5 each. The next four men pay $1 each and the unemployed man pays nothing for his meal. Note that no one but the rich man pays more than his share of the bill - $10.

One day, the owner of the restaurant decides to reward his loyal customers with a discount. He offers to take $10 off of their bill: He pays out the refund as a percentage of each man's contribution. The rich man gets $7, the …