I Would Dance on Your Grave

Submitted by Bill St. Clair on Mon, 22 Mar 2004 13:00:00 GMT
# SavvySurvivor.com has lots of practical information on survival gear, especially firearms.

# L. Neil Smith at The Libertarian Enterprise - Story of the Year - why thermal polymerization ("Anything into Oil") didn't make Discover magazine's list of stories of the year, and why the Busheviks are still making war to secure oil when with a little work we could make all we want right here in the good ole U.S. of A. Changing World Technology's web site is still up, but there's been nothing added to their news page since December of 2003. [tle]

The part I like, well, second best is that they were cranking out the goo for half the world oil price a year ago, and aiming for a third sometime around the end of this year -- not counting recent price hikes generated by the marching morons in the White House. I don't know where that would put the price of the stuff today, relative to dinosaur juice, but we sure wouldn't be paying nearly two bucks a gallon.

We shouldn't be paying that much, no matter how you slice it. What percentage of the price of gas is taxes? A third? Half? As one of the basic necessities of living -- food, clothing, shelter, self-defense, and transportation -- in a humane society, gas shouldn't be taxed at all.

What do I like first best? Simply this: as everybody with more brains than a paramecium knows by now, once you strip away the lies about confronting terrorism and avenging the events of September 11, 2001 -- and overlooking the fact that most of what's going on now is for no better reason than augmenting the personal wealth and political power of a coven of ancient and decaying frat boys you wouldn't leave your children alone with -- everything the United States government is doing in the Middle East, according to straight-from-the-shoulder realpolitikers like Dick Cheney, is about securing America's oil supply.

As I recall, this noble doctrine is expressed, "Kick their ass and take the gas!" -- a philosophy fit for rapists, murderers, thieves. Note that it's not "their" gas. A common street mugger never demands, "Give me your money." That would be confessing to himself what he is.

# Ron Beatty at The Libertarian Enterprise - How Do We Win The War On Terror? - there will always be terrorists, but if we stopped creating them wholesale, there would be fewer. And: [tle]

That solution is to count on the people of America to protect themselves! Don't just allow, but ENCOURAGE people to be armed, to get training, even offer training from counter-terror specialists. People would pay for this, or if the CT specialists were military, they get paid no matter what. Heck, our Special Forces teams are trained to teach others how to fight terrorism. We're paying for them already, why don't they teach US? Either way, it wouldn't cost the government a penny that it isn't spending already, and far less than it is spending in the current war on terror! This would also have the side-effect of causing a tremendous drop in crime, making our streets, schools, and playgrounds much safer for our children, and ourselves.

# anti-state.com - George Potter archives - don't miss Ghost, Part I and Part II, the story of Mr. Potter's three day stay in hell, aka the Cook County Jail. [clairefiles]

From somewhere, the words come to me. It is not a conscious decision -- it is pure emotion that speaks with my voice -- and I hear it say:

Oh lord, if hate were a gun

You'd be dead and buried so deep.

Your mother would cry,

Your children would weep,

but I would dance on your grave.

There is an odd silence. At first, I expect derisive laughter from the Lock Downers. Then comes an answer, in a voice that echoes with respect, and I receive one of the finest compliments of my life. "Damn, dawg . That's some cold ass shit."

# Roderick T. Long - praxeology.net - I found Mr. Long's website via a Google search for "praxeology", a word which appears frequently in Murray N. Rothbard's Man, Economy, & State. I haven't looked around much yet, but it looks interesting.

# Roderick T. Long at The Libertarian Nation Foundation - The Libertarian Case Against Intellectual Property Rights - Bill Stone has been writing a series of articles at tle about the absurdity of the concept of intellectual property. I chose not to link to his third installment, since I didn't see anything new there. Here's another take.

Personally, I am still undecided on the issue. My software work is almost entirely intellectual, and I feel some sense of ownership, but I realize that ideas are not like physical objects. Two people can both have the same idea at the same time, whereas if I have a car or a boat or a house, you most definitely cannot simultaneously have the same car, boat, or house. [praxeology.net]

The status of intellectual property rights (copyrights, patents, and the like) is an issue that has long divided libertarians. Such libertarian luminaries as Herbert Spencer, Lysander Spooner, and Ayn Rand have been strong supporters of intellectual property rights. Thomas Jefferson, on the other hand, was ambivalent on the issue, while radical libertarians like Benjamin Tucker in the last century and Tom Palmer in the present one have rejected intellectual property rights altogether.

When libertarians of the first sort come across a purported intellectual property right, they see one more instance of an individual's rightful claim to the product of his labor. When libertarians of the second sort come across a purported intellectual property right, they see one more instance of undeserved monopoly privilege granted by government.

I used to be in the first group. Now I am in the second. I'd like to explain why I think intellectual property rights are unjustified, and how the legitimate ends currently sought through the expedient of intellectual property rights might be secured by other, voluntary means.


But what if I do go ahead and market your work without your permission, and without offering you any share of the profits? Is there nothing wrong with this? Can nothing be done about this?

In the case described, I don't think what I've done is unjust. That is, it's not a violation of anyone's rights. But it's tacky. Violating someone's rights is not the only way one can do something wrong; justice is not the only virtue.

But justice is the only virtue that can be legitimately enforced. If I profit from pirating your work, you have a legitimate moral claim against me, but that claim is not a right. Thus, it cannot legitimately use coercion to secure compliance. But that doesn't mean it can't be enforced through other, voluntary methods.

A good deal of protection for the creators of intellectual products may be achieved through voluntary compliance alone. Consider the phenomenon of shareware, in which creators of software provide their products free to all comers, but with the request that those who find the program useful send along a nominal fee to the author. Presumably, only a small percentage of shareware users ever pay up; still, that percentage must be large enough to keep the shareware phenomenon going.

There are more organized and effective ways of securing voluntary compliance, however. I have in mind the strategy of boycotting those who fail to respect the legitimate claims of the producers. Research conducted by libertarian scholar Tom Palmer has turned up numerous successful instances of such organized boycotts. In the 1930's, for example, the Guild of Fashion Originators managed to protect dress styles and the like from piracy by other designers, without any help from the coercive power of government.

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