Archive for May, 2012

Owen, the Gunsmith

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check out the gunsmith →

Kiss Kiss Bridge Bridge

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Photography != Reality

Found this, from a google search. It’s from a Macworld article, last year.  Wise, wise, absolutely correct words from Ben Long.

 

Obviously, when I say a photo is realistic, I mean that it’s astonishingly realistic. Nevertheless, it is still an abstraction that’s a long way from the reality that you experienced when you took the picture. Understanding that photography is a form of abstraction is critical to being a good photographer.

Your visual perception is influenced by what you hear, smell, and feel—as well as what you’re feeling emotionally—as each of these things guides your focus through a scene, and impact your emotional response to what you’re viewing.

One of the Cool Ones

 

 
 

I’m an anarchist. But one of the cool ones. I’m not one of those that likes to break buildings. I actually like buildings!

 

 

We Are The Peacemakers

Less Antman, anarcho-capitalist, gave a speech at the Libertarian Party’s National Convention on May 5th this year. I am no longer part of the Libertarian Party — my gateway drug to libertarian ideas back in late 90′s. In many ways, the party has lots its relevance and radicalism. Nonetheless, Less Antman’s speech is wonderful. I highlighted my favorite parts. You can view the video below. The state is always at war. No more wars.

Antiwar is the Health of the Anti-State Movement by Less Antman, reprinted from Anarchy without Bombs.

Five years ago, almost to the day, the Libertarian movement exploded into the public consciousness. As someone who joined the Libertarian Party more than 32 years ago, when our party and platform already supported marriage equality for gays while the big debate in this country, including the Democratic Party, was over gay imprisonment, I can tell you that the first 27 years were the hardest. We had an appealing message of liberty that for some reason just didn’t catch fire with the public. Until May 15th, 2007. And there is one man we have to thank. Rudolph Giuliani.

On that day, the one-time 1988 Libertarian Party nominee for President, who I believe is still an official member of our party, was attacked by Giuliani for expressing the absurd idea that the 9/11 murderers, and let’s be clear that they are murderers, were motivated to kill Americans because of US military intervention on top of cruel trade sanctions in Muslim countries. Giuliani, as you know, is a foreign policy expert because he lived close to the World Trade Center and wore a hardhat on 9/11. Oddly enough, not only the CIA but the 9/11 Commission, which supposedly included Giuliani, AGREED with the man Giuliani attacked. As for the man he attacked, anyone who is an advocate of peace, whatever disagreements they might have on other issues, should join me in saying, God bless you, Ron Paul.

We have all heard Randolph Bourne’s famous quote “War is the health of the state”. War is the four letter word that lets government officials who are mere mortals, almost as human as you and I, place themselves above the rule of law, above due process, and above habeas corpus because, of course, all’s fair in love and war. [emphasis mine]

War is such a useful concept to politicians that they declare wars on everything. The war on terror, the war on drugs, the war on ignorance, the war on poverty, the war on pornography, and even the war on trans-fats. You see, we can’t afford to respect life, liberty and property… WE’RE AT WAR.

Drowning people in fear is the key to power. But we also learned five years ago that antiwar is the health of the anti-state movement. And even if we do nothing other than end ALL the wars, real as well as metaphorical, we will be well on our way to a free society. And millions are ready to rally around that banner. [emphasis mine]

But only one party can be the Party of Peace, and it isn’t the Republican Party, which will only nominate a candidate who passes two tests. First, they must be pro-life. Second, they must want to kill lots of foreigners. It isn’t the Democratic Party, which has rallied around a man who now holds the record for most children killed by a Nobel Peace Prize winner. [emphasis mine] And it isn’t our good friends in the Green and Constitution parties, who understand the importance of military nonintervention but not the equal or greater importance of free trade, which the late libertarian, Joan Kennedy Taylor, called the necessary foundation for world peace. The Libertarian Party is the only Party of Peace.

Libertarians love strategic alliances … between people. Trade, travel, migration and cultural exchange build both prosperity and friendship throughout the world. We oppose strategic alliances between governments. They lead to war, terrorism, and a blind eye toward violations of life, liberty and property by those allied governments. [emphasis mine] When it comes to politicians, friends don’t tell friends to respect human rights. And with friends like that, we create enemies.

Libertarians believe in humanitarian intervention… by volunteers who are supported by others who volunteer their money. The most positive image of Americans is our personal generosity after natural disasters in other parts of the world. We oppose humanitarian intervention by governments, whose decisions are influenced by what President Eisenhower called a military-industrial complex that profits from finding crises, and whose arrogance causes them to fancy themselves experts about another country and culture simply because they viewed a YouTube video. [emphasis mine] Of all humanitarians, the US government is the one whose past record of horrible unintended consequences and distorted intelligence has most earned itself a “time out” in its own corner of the world. It’s time for some humanitarian nonintervention. Bring ALL of our troops home from around the world to their families, treat their wounds, and stop creating new ones.

 

City Silhouettes

These have been around for a while now. Regardless, they’re good.

See the rest by Jasper James →

 

Start A State 1-2-3 Instruction Kit!

Robert Higgs gets to the basics.

Want to Rip Off Your Neighbor? Form a Government by Robert Higgs, reprinted from Independent Institute.

Facts of the case: My wife and I live in an area with one neighbor nearby. One day, I knock on my neighbor’s door and demand that he give me $10,000. He wants to know what the devil I am talking about.

I explain that the people—most of them, in any event—in our area have seceded from St. Tammany Parish, the state of Louisiana, and the United States of America and formed a new government whose territory comprises his property and ours. We have also written and ratified, with our own votes of approval, a constitution for the new country, which we have decided to call Southland. We have also conducted elections in which a 2/3 majority of the eligible voters elected Elizabeth and me to fill all of the new government’s offices, including tax collector (I won this vote myself).

My neighbor protests that he has never heard of any of these developments and wants nothing to do with them, to which I reply that he has no choice in the matter because the constitution of Southland gives its government the power to tax, I am the duly elected tax collector, and he is at fault for not following the news more closely and not participating in public affairs. Moreover, the constitution provides for an army to enforce Southland’s laws (I have been duly appointed chief of staff), and if he refuses to pay his tax, the authorities will have no choice but to use violence against him to compel payment.

He protests that this whole scheme is madness, that I have gone mad, too, and that he will not give us a dime. Elizabeth and I then form up the ranks of Southland’s army: I constitute the infantry, armed with my trusty shotgun, and she leads the army band, which consists of herself with her flute. We march to our neighbor’s house and threaten to kill him if he does not give us the $10,000 tax (authorized in a statute enacted by Southland’s new government). When he decides that a $10,000 loss is better than being killed by violent maniacs, we march home to the Treasury (it’s at our house) with our revenue—a sum whose use will be determined by the Southland legislature, in which Elizabeth and I are the duly elected lawmakers.

Question for the student: Except with regard to scale (and voting by a woman), how does the preceding account differ in any essential way from the situation brought about by the formation of the United States of America? (Hint: look up Whiskey Rebellion or read something that challenges the orthodox history of taxation.)

Small Hands

 

Off to Europe, We Go!

A text message conversation/poem.
 
 
 

Would you go with me to Portugal, Spain and Greece, rush into the most dangerous of places, take notes on Europe’s demise, and with that, prepare for our own decline?

Are you paying?

A Drugged Self-Portrait in a Car

While intoxicated, parked, sitting in my car, listening to some Iron & Wine, equipped with my handy-dandy Hipstamtic.

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Notes: Always be fashionable. Enjoy yourself.