Archive for April, 2017
The forests in Canada are owned by the government of Canada. The forests in the United States are in some kind of marketplace, no matter how compromised. Therefore, subsidized Canadian lumber can be sold cheaper than American lumber. This is especially true when it comes to very useful soft wood.
Predictably, Trump is already accused of starting a trade war. Predictably, Reason and CATO will do what they always do, and scream that this is government interference in the marketplace.
I’ve devoted a large part of my life to promoting the Austrian School of Economics. Ludwig von Mises and Hayek are the Plato and Aristotle of that school. Their contention is that the laws of the marketplace are based on an accumulation of personal choices. These operating principles work at any level of economic activity.
That means white market, gray market, black market. Any market.
That means these laws are not the monopoly of agorism or any other radical counter-economic ploy.
The classic texts of the Austrian School are largely about the above ground economy. That means the topic I’m advancing does not require immediate references to Alongside Night or New Libertarian Manifesto. It requires something else, about which more anon.
So, back to my epiphany.
The high-profile defenders of the “free market” are the Reason and Cato Gestapo. They can’t use the word “Trump” for more than a paragraph without also using the word “Tariff.”
After decades of listening to these empty suits, I finally realize they need a new definition of American Capitalism, since the original Austrian School completely failed to anticipate what has happened at the macro level.
Here is the new paradigm for the above-ground economy.
American Capitalism is defined as the purchasing of products from Socialist Countries.
Any attempt to interfere with the purchase of foreign Socialist goods is itself Socialist.
Therefore, the only way to preserve Capitalism is a de facto monopoly of only doing business with Socialists.
Bye bye, Austrian School in the above-ground economy — which is what the actual Austrian economists really cared about.
Later American non-Austrian Austrians are not the point of my epiphany.
As for anyone trying to be a patriotic American and a supporter of free markets at the same time, lots of luck.
–Author/publisher/filmmaker Brad Linaweaver, in a privately circulated email
Brad Linaweaver understates his case. He’s too moderate.
A free market is by definition a market comprising free traders — traders who own private property and are making unregulated trades with other private property owners.
No State or collective of States is a free trade partner. All States have acquired anything they offer for sale by criminal activity.
Whether it’s by mercantalism, Opium Wars, slave trade, gunboat diplomacy, fiat money, trade cartels, “free trade” treaties, etc., nothing a State or cartel of States does promotes or supports free trade. The only thing a State or cartel of States can do to promote free trade is self-destruct.
The Canadian State is preventing private Canadians from purchasing dairy products from private U.S. sellers. This is restriction of trade to protect Canadian dairy producers and keep their prices up against competition from American dairy producers.
The American State, acting on behalf of American dairy producers being excluded by the Canadian State from selling its products to willing Canadian consumers, is retaliating by imposing tariffs on the sale of soft Canadian wood to American buyers. That this wood being made subject to an American State tariff is owned by the Canadian State itself only makes more pointed that we are not dealing with free trade. It would be true even if the Canadian State was merely using trade barriers to disadvantage American lumber producers by subsidizing its own producers.
The White House press conference today with U.S Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross used dishonest and loaded language. “Dumping” a commodity is false statist language. In private sales it’s called “discounting” and there’s nothing wrong with that.
But there’s no private seller here so the language of “trade war” is invoked because “war” is how States typically interact with each other.
I favor a free market but we’re not discussing here anything to do with one. This is a tactical war move by one State against another State, as much as a troop movement or dispatch of an aircraft carrier.
If self-impoverished socialist Canada thinks it can win any war against the far-more-capitalist United States with Donald Trump in charge it’s not lumber they’ve been smoking.
Donald Trump is a capitalist who, like Brad, favors free trade but is not uncomfortable with using the superior position of the Unites States if trade barriers disadvantage those Americans he’s pledged to place First.
Those libertarians who don’t agree with Brad on that are either lying or stupid.
Today, Earth Day 2017, thousands of people without a clue about what the scientific method is are “Marching for Science!” with picket signs reading, “THERE IS NO PLANET B.”
It’s a clever pun on “Plan B” — a back-up plan.
These signs are being carried by people who are aware of an obvious truth and a less-obvious lie.
Here’s the obvious truth: Earth is a wonderful planet, home to the human race.
Here’s the less-obvious lie: Earth is both the cradle and the grave of the human race.
“There is no Planet B” is a phrase that could only be uttered by a “mundane” too flat-headed even to have taken seriously an episode of Star Trek, much less have read a science-fiction novel by Robert A. Heinlein, Arthur C. Clarke, or Isaac Asimov.
It’s a political slogan engineered by plutocratic liars (who won’t even admit that Pluto is a planet) to promote the pseudo-science of man-made climate change to scam people who don’t understand that the ecology of Planet Earth is based on carbon dioxide being converted by chlorophyll-based plant life into oxygen breathed by animals, who then exhale carbon-dioxide that goes back to the plants.
And around and around and around she goes.
These scientific-illiterates call carbon dioxide “pollution” and spread the propaganda that carbon dioxide is a “greenhouse gas” — which would only be true if earth was a greenhouse without chlorophyll-based plant life like our neighboring planet, Venus.
Not A Greenhouse
On yesterday’s Real Time With Bill Maher the scientifically illiterate / imagination-challenged Bill Maher did a rant against those visionary businessmen who want to establish a human colony on Mars. “Fuck Mars!” the scientifically-illiterate / imagination-challenged Bill Maher said to wild applause from the scientifically-illiterate imagination-challenged mundanes in his studio audience.
Here’s a word for you, Bill Maher: terraforming. I won’t make you go to the brain-straining effort of looking it up in a dictionary. It means “earth shaping.” This is a word long-known to people who read books — you know, smart people. Terraforming means using science and engineering to take someplace dead and unfriendly to life and making it alive and friendly to life — literally making more Earths.
Here’s another word for you, Bill Maher: Panspermia. It’s the hypothesis that life didn’t originate on Earth but is widespread throughout the universe and came here from somewhere else.
Maybe even Mars.
But it doesn’t stop there. If Bill Maher has ever read a book written by anyone who can see farther than their own hood he’d have learned that scientists and engineers — people he’s never read nor apparently ever talked to — consider it not only possible but necessary to create space-based human habitats and industry to gather additional resources — including minerals and solar energy unfiltered by the earth’s atmosphere — to maintain the long-term ecological health of the Earth and preserve its life.
Wikipedia: “physicist Gerard K. O’Neill in his 1976 book The High Frontier: Human Colonies in Space proposed the colonization of space for the 21st century, using materials extracted from the Moon and later from asteroids.”
You might start your education with Jerry Pournelle, PhD’s book A Step Farther Out.
There’s not only a “Planet B” but an alphabet soup of planets, not just in this solar system but around stars just being looked at for the first time by telescopes scientists and engineers have launched to look from orbits above the earth’s atmosphere … and by probes that have taken closer looks at the other planets, moons, asteroids, and comets in our own solar system.
You live in Beverly Hills, Bill Maher. That’s a short drive to Caltech/NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena. You might have the show you produce Vice take you on a visit.
Or you might just take a look at the lovely photo of Planet Earth that accompanies this article. It was taken by humans who flew a rocket to outer space.
Note: I have just purchased the domains PlanetBSociety — org, com, net, and info as a site to encourage human exploration, colonization, and industrialization outside the Earth’s atmosphere, including a near-future human homestake on Mars.
I’m looking to hand the creation of the Planet B Society and development and management of these domains to someone robustly committed to this goal, and in particular as a repudiation to those mundane custardheads demonstrating today for this planet, as wonderful as it is, to be the cemetery for the human species.
J Neil Schulman
Remember 1997′s movie Con Air, about a prisoner-transport flight?
A few years later after 9/11 all commercial airlines became prisoner transport flights.
I once was offered a free travel voucher for a future flight to give up my confirmed seat. I pocketed the voucher and took my existing ticket to another airline and was in the air within two hours.
That said, we have to stop acting as if an airline ticket is any sort of “contract.” It isn’t. There’s no such thing as a contract where one party has rights and the other party has none. What exists today in the commercial airline industry, pretending to be contracts, are weasel words written by lawyers that promise precisely nothing. Airline ticket boilerplate language is adapted from railroad ticket boilerplate which also promised absolutely nothing. These non-contracts are enforced by government at all levels, capriciously arresting any passenger who asserts his rights.
United Airlines doesn’t have a leg to stand on even by its own convoluted rules. See United Airlines’ Contract of Carriage Document. It turns out that the United flight wasn’t “oversold” as originally claimed and that United’s own procedures do not include mandatory disembarkation of already boarded passengers but only apply to ticketed passengers denied boarding on oversold flights — neither condition applying in the case of a seated passenger violently assaulted by rent-a-cops at the demand of United employees.
United employees and their goons, whether government cops or rent-a-cops, need to go to prison for aggravated assault on and false arrest of Dr. David Dao.
So let’s recognize how United and other commercial airlines treat paying passengers for what it is: corporate-statist horseshit meant to dominate the passenger who has zero legal rights.
The commercial airlines are not operating in a free market but are a restricted-trade cartel with the FAA, the TSA, and municipal airports enforcing the mercantilist rules. No free-market entity would be able to oversell the seats for a flight — competitors would immediately appear to sell tickets to the overflow and a market equilibrium would appear with flights departing under 100% capacity.
Airlines would have to compete for passengers not only with discounts but also more spacious seating, better food and beverage service, comfortable rest rooms, Internet access, electric power, and in-flight entertainment.
But airlines don’t have to compete for passengers because the competition is locked out. The FAA is in collusion with the commercial airlines to restrict competition:
Back in the 1960′s when I started flying an economy seat on a Boeing 747 had more spacious seats, gave access to a passenger lounge, and served meals and snacks superior to First Class service today.
Screw the commercial airlines. Screw any government-guaranteed mercantilist cartel.
Here are a couple of outfits that want to do to the commercial airline cartel what Uber and Lyft did to the medallion taxicabs:
Betty Shelby is a Tulsa, OK, police officer about to be tried on manslaughter charges for shooting a passive, unarmed man named Terence Crutcher.
Shelby is a middle-aged white female.
Crutcher was a middle-aged black male.
Of course every talking head on TV is talking about this case through the lens of race.
I don’t think this case about about race.
I think this is about size and gender.
Betty Shelby couldn’t confront a man who towered over her and outweighed her without her service handgun. Despite the man she was attempting to bark orders at not attacking her but moving slowly away from her with his hands raised, she saw him as a lethal threat. So when they reached an angle when she could not see his hands for an instant — and in her fevered imagination thinking he was reaching into his car for a weapon — she shot and killed him.
There was no gun in his car for Terence Crutcher to be reaching for. Betty Shelby shot and killed Terence Crutcher because she panicked.
Do I need to say it? Maybe this death would not have happened if grandmothers were not given guns and badges with the expectation that a small woman is equally as enabled to bark control orders at a large man as — oh, I don’t know — another large man.
I’m 6’2″, obese, and have mobility issues. If Officer Shelby ordered me to my knees my failure to obey might well cost me my life because I’m not capable of complying and she would have panicked.
I don’t know who should be sent to prison for this manslaughter of a slow-moving, non-threatening, and unarmed man — Terrified Little Grandma Shelby or the idiot who hired her as a cop under the moronic theory that giving a mouse a gun makes it qualified to subdue a bear.