Stop vb. , to arrest the progress of; to hinder; to impede; to cease

State n. , a gang of thieves writ large; a territorial monopolist of compulsion and
ultimate decision-making (jurisdiction) which may engage in continual, institutionalized property rights violations and exploitation in the form of expropriation, taxation, and regulation of private property owners; the group within society that claims for itself the exclusive right to rule everyone under a special set of laws that permit it to do to others what everyone else is rightly prohibited from doing, namely aggressing against person and property.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Buncha Memes

Yeah, yeah, I know.  I'm a great big jerk and jerks like me will tear the liberty movement apart.  Heard it all before.



Thursday, March 29, 2012

Leaky Government Pipes

This is a leaky government pipe next to my house.  It’s been leaking a constant stream of water non-stop for several days since I noticed it.  I have no way of knowing how long it had been leaking before I found it.  Probably a few days.   You can hear the water smacking against the concrete from half a block away.  

I tried tightening those two valves.  No effect.  This will require further adjustments.  Probably not much.  Probably just some tightening of a few of those nuts.  But I’m not doing it.  I already pay part of the salaries of the government workers who are supposed to be out fixing this stuff.  They’re not very busy.  All the time I see them parked in their service trucks under shady trees while they listen to the radio.

You don’t have to live by this pipe to see this whole photo is of public property.  It looks awful.  The road, the pipe, the concrete, the grass - it all looks dilapidated.  It looks like it’s from the set of a dystopian sci-fi movie.

Go to just about any random private business and the environment will look much more attractive than this. 

The Wal-Mart in my town looks just as new and shiny as it did when they opened it nearly a decade ago.  It’s a work of art compared to this.  The owners of Wal-Mart have a financial incentive to preserve the capital value of their property.  Disney’s Magic Kingdom opened up in Florida over forty years ago and it looks better than ever.  Imagine what the anarcho-capitalist “private property order” Hans-Hermann Hoppe theorizes about would look like, a world where every piece of property is justly in the hands of private owners who care about preserving their property and will suffer losses if they don't

No one has any incentive to maintain the condition of public property.  You won’t enjoy any personal benefit, other than maybe a small bit of happiness, if you went out and tried to clean up the public property in your town.  You only own maybe a ten-thousandth of the property - and you really don’t even own that or else you’d be allowed to sell that share. 

I wonder how much this leaky pipe will end up costing the tax-slaves in my town.  I wonder how many other pipes are leaking like this around town.  I wonder how many government pipes are leaking like this all around America.  What would the bill for that be?  What would the bill be for all the leaky government pipes all around the world?  It must be bigger than the entire GDPs of a lot of countries.

The government has no incentive at all to fix this pipe.  They’re not paying for it, the tax payers are.  Government has no wealth of its own.  Everything it has was stolen from the private productive class at gun point.

I can’t wait to recycle this blog post the next time the Florida government institutes summer water rationing policies and tells us it all our fault because of our swimming pools and lawn watering.

Saturday, March 24, 2012

What’s Wrong With This Picture?

I saw this on the internet this morning and feel obligated to respond.  It’s an attack on the market.  I’m a sworn defender of the market.  I’m a market Jedi.  This Sith creation must be destroyed.

The most obvious error of this photo is the omission of the fact that people have full control over their career paths.  The firelady voluntarily filled out the job application.  She voluntarily showed up to the job interview.  She voluntarily agreed to take the job.  She voluntarily agreed to accept the offered wage.  She voluntarily chooses to continue going to work.  She voluntarily chooses not to go look for better job offers (if this is what she even desires).  She has no one in the world to blame but herself if she’s unsatisfied with her career.

There are no barriers to entry preventing her from going into more appealing careers.  There is no reason she couldn’t try her hand at any career she wants – including acting, singing, kicking a ball as a professional athlete, or any other “overpaid” industry.  

I don’t know who the guy on the right is, but he probably worked extremely hard to get where he is.  He isn’t just a guy who kicks a ball; he’s a guy who kicks a ball who is so extremely good at it that people are literally willing to pay money to watch him do it against other competitors.

He probably played sports all throughout grade school to develop his skills - not getting paid for any of this hard work.

Now that he’s a top professional he’s probably had to make training a full-time job in order to maintain this status.  

Yeah, he kicks a ball.  He kicks a ball forty hours a week and it’s probably all the guy thinks about.  He probably has to hire expensive trainers to push him beyond what his own willpower is capable of.  That’s intense.  You can count me out of living that kind of life.

The implications of this picture are:                                                 
1)      That the market is immoral.  It rewards the undeserving more than the deserving. 

This view leads to

2)      The market must be replaced by a system that will reward people more correctly. 

It is essential to point out this system can only involve some kind of oligarchy of central planners and bureaucrats that will use force to accomplish this goal – this force being carried out by armed government enforcers and the threat of being locked up in prison.  

The implications of the picture add up to the conclusion that armed enforcers should take a bunch of the rich athlete’s money and give it to the firelady, throw him in jail if he resists this, and kill him if he resists being jailed.

It demotivates me to realize that the more success I garner as a result of my hard work, the more I’ll have to share my success with people who did not work for it, and if I don’t go along with this program then some IRS agent will arrest me and if I resist arrest he’ll likely murder me in front of the whole world and get away with it – he may even get a medal.

The reason the athlete makes so much money is because there are so few people in the world willing to invest all their time, for years and years, into becoming a world-class athlete.  He’s rare.  Very few possess the skills he’s developed.

The firelady is not rare.  There is no shortage of people capable of being a fire fighter.  Any able-bodied adult with average intelligence can become a fire fighter.

The demand for the athlete’s services is great.  Sports are extremely popular all around the world.  There are entire television networks dedicated to bringing sports entertainment to people 24/7.  Stadiums exist in all the big cities so tens of thousands of people can gather to view the sports in-person.  

The demand for the fire fighter isn’t very big.  People are surprised and shocked when a fire destroys a building.  This is good.  This means fires aren’t very common over all.  Sure, they happen, but they aren’t an epidemic.   We have the producers of private fire sprinkler systems, private fire extinguishers, and private fire alarms to thank for that.

Maybe one day there will be a technology that will forever end the problem of unwanted fires and we can completely stop having to pay for fire fighters.

The athlete receives his income through voluntary exchanges.  People voluntarily choose to spend money on tickets to the game.

The firelady is likely paid out of coercive taxation.  The government forces other people to pay her against their will.  The government doesn’t give them the choice to buy or not buy this service.  The government also outlaws private competition.   Consumers are denied the option to voluntarily shop around for different service providers.

Friday, March 23, 2012

9 Things That Happen When You Film Police Encounters

This article originally appeared at the heroic  March 9, 2012

Thanks very much to John Kurtz for having me on his great radio show to discuss the article
                                          Part 1

                                           Part 2

Anyone who has ever filmed a police encounter and put it on YouTube has received some, or a lot, of negative comments for their actions. This is mostly due to a lack of understanding among the general public as to why someone would want to film police as they are detaining or arresting someone.

To explain, here are nine things that are achieved by filming police:

1. You’re exercising your right to film police.  You do have the right to film cops.  This right is codified in the Constitution under the First Amendment.  In the past year, New England’s highest Federal court ruled that filming cops is protected by the First Amendment.  You don’t need any special reason for doing so.  You don’t need permission from any bureaucrat.  You don’t have to work for a big media outlet.  Get a camera and a YouTube channel and you are officially media.  Congratulations and film away.  If you don’t exercise your rights, they atrophy.  Exercise them.

2. In the case where you are recording someone else’s police encounter, like a neighbor or friend, you are significantly reducing their chances of being the victim of police misconduct.  Police will be less likely to perform unwarranted searches, plant drugs, beat the person, rape the person, murder the person, or arrest them on trumped up charges if they know there are cameras around recording their every move.  You’re reducing the extent to which the predatory armed enforcers are likely to harass their prey.  Police-accountability activist Antonio Buehler was possibly facing years in prison for allegedly assaulting an officer until he later obtained video evidence from bystanders that refuted the claims of the cop.

3. In the case where you are recording your own police encounter, you could be saving yourself from a potentially life-destroying event.  You could be preventing yourself from going to prison.  Anyone who thinks they are not at risk of being arrested is quite oblivious to the number of “laws” on the books, as well as the vagueness of those laws and the ability of the state to interpret those laws however they want in order to put you in a cage.  Every American is now at a palpable risk of being arrested and jailed at some point – unless you’re a cop.

My friend Tj was pulled over by police a year and half ago over a malfunctioning tag light.  Immediately the gang of cops went into overkill mode and began ordering him out of the vehicle, were pulling on his door handle, and suspiciously claiming he dropped something out of the car window.  Eventually the police began threatening to pull TJ out of the vehicle and claiming that he might be a danger to the officers (cop language for “get out or we can kill you”) – all over a tag light.  You can see the video for yourself to see how Tj recording the encounter with his cell phone quickly deterred the cops from perpetrating further harassment.

4. You inspire others to stand up to cops and demand accountability.  Standing up to cops is scary.  They can quite literally kill you and get away with it, as well as everything below killing.  When you film cops and deter them from engaging in misconduct you become a beacon of peaceful resistance to the police-state for other people to emulate.

5. You remind the cops (allow me to put on my minarchist hat) that they are our servants and we are their masters.  We pay the police with our tax dollars to provide security and protect our rights.  We are the employers and the police are the employees.  We have every right to monitor our employees to make sure they’re doing their job right.  This is especially essential now that police have become routine rights violators and are far more likely to violate people’s rights than private criminals are.

The state watches us, reads our emails, listens in our phone conversations, and is putting more and more cameras around to surveil us in public places – is it really that unreasonable for us to watch the watchers a little bit, especially when they are actively looking for ways to put anyone they can into cages?

6. You are exercising the only real check we have on the police-state besides civil disobedience (which is becoming more appealing everyday) and armed rebellion.

Police investigate themselves and are the arbiters of disputes involving themselves.  How does the average person stand a chance against that?  Bad cops are very rarely found guilty for their crimes and when they are found guilty the punishment they often receive is a modicum of what the average American would receive.

In the fall of 2010, Orlando Copwatch did a lengthy investigation of an incident where OPD officer Travis Lamont body-slammed an 84-year-old man onto pavement and broke his neck – simply because the old man committed the heinous crime of touching Lamont’s shoulder.  Despite the fact that numerous witnesses called the police station in outrage and spoke to the media about the horrific behavior of Lamont, Orlando Police Chief Val Demings and six other senior officials cleared Lamont of any wrong doing and he lurks the streets of Orlando to this day.

The only effective method we have for dealing with bad cops is filming them in the act and putting it on YouTube so they can receive the shame and ostracism they deserve.  If someone had been able to capture footage of Officer Lamont’s actions that night and put in on YouTube for it to go viral Lamont may have ended up in prison where he truly belongs.

7. You are preparing cops to get used to being filmed.  Every year the price of cameras goes down, the quality goes up, the size of cameras goes down, the ability to conceal cameras increases,   we now have the ability to upload live footage to websites like, and there is a growing movement of people happily willing to use these tools to keep police accountable.  There is nothing the cops can do about it.  The bureaucrats can write whatever laws they want to stop us, but the market will help us get around them.  When you get out there and start filming cops you’re giving police a friendly reminder that soon every cop’s every move will be monitored by the tax payers and that they better start acting more civilized.  You’re stimulating a feeling among police that they are being watched.

8. You’re standing up for your rights and your fellow citizen’s rights and will feel damn good about it.  You’ll be able to look back and know that you didn’t submit to the police-state like some slave.  The preservation of your dignity and spirit is worth the risks of filming cops.

9. You are reducing the amount of tyranny that your kids will live under.

Yes, filming police is dangerous, but day-to-day life in the totalitarian Amerika that will develop as a result of our apathy will be far more dangerous.  Now is the time to film cops; not later.  The police-state will only get more severe if we don’t act now, which means it will only get harder to keep police accountable if we back down.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

The "Rand Paul Sucks" Meme Post

Here's Rand Paul giving an insultingly demagogic answer to one of his much smarter constituents asking why the freshman senator voted to forcefully screw with Iran's economy and starve innocent people who have never harmed a single American. This snake claims he did it to avoid a war, showing he's either too stupid to realize or too much of an evil liar to acknowledge that sanctions are an act of war - either way he's of no use to libertarians.

Now here's Ron Paul giving one of many speeches on why sanctions are entirely evil and don't even work.

For more on Iran see my previous article on this issue here.

Rand Paul needs a good thrashing.  At the best, a backlash from the liberty movement against him could turn him around (at least for a little while).  At the least, it will show future politicians who seek to parasitically use the momentum of the Ron Paul R3VOLUTION to serve their own ends and get elected that we have absolutely no tolerance for war mongers and that, yes, we'll even take down Ron Paul's son when he sells out.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

The Market Provides

I received a lot of emails after my last Mises Daily article.

Here's a really good one and my response:

"Hi Austin,

I enjoyed reading your article in the Mises Daily email today and have been doing a lot of reading and pondering over the last months.  Slowly I’m gaining a better understanding of Austrian economics.  I do struggle a bit when I start thinking about what central and local governments should be doing (there’s generally a lot of emphasis that governments are doing too much but not specifically on what the core role of the government is), and the water supply issue in your article is an example.  I’m not trying to criticise, just trying to understand in my own mind some of the practicalities.  In a free market with multiple water vendors, surely there’s still only a single system of pipework to deliver the water to my house, so I wouldn’t actually be getting the water produced by my vendor of choice.  Also, as it wouldn’t make sense for each vendor to lay their own piping, how can there be a competitive situation with the piping system?  Is that not where the government needs to play a part?

Sorry to get into details, and this is a bit off-topic from your article, but I’d be interested to hear your thoughts.

thanks & kind regards,


Ron, I have absolutely no idea how a free market water distribution system would work.  People want water and entrepreneurs would be clamoring to provide them with water because entrepreneurs want to make money.  I have full faith that an efficient, high-quality system would smoothly emerge.  I don't see why there couldn't be multiple pipe systems, but who knows, it might turn out that using underground pipes isn't even the best method of delivery.

The good news is that if a water-delivery entrepreneur did a lousy job he would go out of business; government doesn't go out of business so we're stuck whether they do good or bad.

Just thinking about government water services I have to conclude that they're are doing a completely terrible job.  Where I live nobody drinks the tap water.  It has dangerous levels of chlorine, fluoride, sulfur, dirt, etc.  If people are trying to avoid a product instead of happily consuming it, I have to conclude that it's not a very good product.

Fortunately, the free market provides.  We can go to any supermarket and find entire isles of pure, clean water from all different sources of the world and even in different flavors.  The market also provides us with great filters that we can use to treat the government water for drinking and you can even get filters for your shower. 


Monday, March 19, 2012

Done With Hacktarians

Former Orange County, FL mayoral candidate Matthew Falconer is running for office again.  This time the Falconer seeks to swoop down and win the position of state representative in Florida’s 44th district.  

Right on cue Falconer is already out promoting himself to local libertarian groups such as the Orange County Campaign for Liberty organization, hoping to dupe some of them into exhausting their time, energy, and money into a campaign entirely devoid of any libertarian principles.  Fortunately, the Orange County Campaign for Liberty members are likely either to focused on the Ron Paul campaign or to burned-out on elections to give Falconer much attention.

I greatly admire and am grateful for the Orange County Campaign for Liberty group.  For several years it has acted as an umbrella organization for many different methods of libertarian activism including heroic civil disobedience, holding criminal police accountable, informing thousands of jurors about jury nullification at the Orange County courthouse, protesting the TSA at Orlando International Airport, and organizing the annual Florida Liberty Summit three years in a row – bringing in not only Ron Paul to speak, but Misesians Tom Woods, Tom DiLorenzo, Laurence Vance, and Yuri Maltsev.

However, the group, or perhaps only the group leadership, has repeatedly made the error of cozying up to and even actively promoting scumbag politicians who care nothing about the principles of liberty and pay only limited lip service to the word in order to get invited to Campaign for Liberty events.  Such freshmen politicians are parasites seeking to recruit the labor of the CFL activists – knowing full well that they will likely betray the activists once they are no longer needed.  

Take the example of the blatantly statist theoconservative state representative Scott Plakon.  For several years, Florida CFL tolerated his statist, unlibertarian views.  They invited him to speak and share the stage with the great Ron Paul two years in a row at the Florida Liberty Summit.  They allowed him to promote himself at the smaller local meetings.  They got him stage time at a big Tenth Amendment Center event alongside great libertarian thinkers like Tom Woods and Tom Mullen.  

The idea was that even though he’s not a libertarian (at all), through extensive flattering from libertarians he would eventually be won over and converted to libertarianism.

How did that investment pay off?  This past January, Plakon endorsed Rick Santorum, perhaps the most grotesquely statist presidential candidate, for the Republican nomination instead of Ron Paul.  Talk about a failed plan.

In 2009, much of the Orange County CFL group was seduced by Falconer, who has claimed to be a libertarian, into working hard for his mayoral campaign.  Included in Falconer’s original platform was a particularly disturbing plan to greatly expand the already totalitarian Orlando police-state.  

As Paul Watson detailed then, the primary plank of Falconer’s platform was starting a Nazi-Germany-like youth law enforcement program where a thousand young people would be hired to patrol neighborhoods and report suspicious activity to police.  You’d think a libertarian-leaning political candidate would at least be campaigning on a message of reducing the presence of government in people’s lives, not expanding it. 

I can only conclude that Falconer is a liar when he promotes himself as some sort of saint of fiscal sanity and small government as he was simultaneously promoting this kid cops program that he himself said would cost Orange County taxpayers an additional $2.5 million a year (no explanation as to how he arrived at that number was ever provided).

I must also conclude that Falconer is a liar when he claims to be a well-read student of economist Friedrich Hayek, but said, as part of his sales pitch of this program, that this hiring of a thousand people into parasitic government jobs would alleviate unemployment.  (See Tom DiLorenzo on this subject here.)

So what is Falconer’s platform this time?  It consists of three issues.

First, he supports improving the efficiency of government as a step towards lowering taxes. There is no mention at all of abolishing or reducing parts of the government nor is there any explanation of how exactly he would make government more efficient.  I must conclude that his first plank is bunk.  Socialism can’t be made more efficient and government can’t be run like a business.  As Murray Rothbard notes:

A government service can never be run as a business, because the capital is conscripted from the taxpayer. There is no way of avoiding that.  Secondly, private enterprise gains a profit by cutting costs as much as it can. Government need not cut costs; it can either cut its service or simply raise prices. Government service is always a monopoly or semi-monopoly.”

Second, Falconer plans to “restore faith in government” by introducing an “ethics reform bill” that will bring integrity back into politics.  Brilliant!  Write up a piece of paper telling politicians to stop being corrupt, get it passed, and they will immediately turn into angels!  Don’t basically all politicians in America already take the oath of office and swear to uphold the Constitution and all that?  Doesn’t seem to work very well.

Third, Falconer will “improve education by driving more dollars into the classroom.”  No mention of abolishing public schools, lifting regulations off private schools, or even a sell-out voucher program.  Nope, we just need to tinker around with the public education bureaucracy a little bit.  Simply pay administrators less and teachers more and all will be fine. 

Proudly displayed in the media section of his website is his photo and endorsement from war-mongering, police-statist, New Deal-praising Newt Gingrich.

Can we stop supporting these phony, creep politicians already?  Think of all the millions of irreplaceable labor hours and hundreds of millions of dollars forever wasted on these hacktarian politicians’ campaigns.

The only use the political system has to the libertarian movement is the spotlight it can provide one with to spread the philosophy of liberty.  If a candidate is either not spreading the philosophy or is spreading a watered-down, unrecognizable version of it, they are not worth anybody’s time.  Turn down the offer to work on the campaign and just read Man, Economy, and State instead – chances are goods you’ll be smarter than 90% of politicians after the first three chapters.

We need to completely ostracize politicians from the liberty movement.  Get these scumbags the hell away before they cause it to sell-out even more.


Responses to Common Objections

1)       “We’ll be able to control the politicians if we’re the ones who got them elected.”

No, you won’t.  The overwhelming majority of politicians are either stupid, corrupt, evil, self-interested, dishonest, power-hungry, sociopathic, egotistical, or all of the above.  The only reason why they would ever even pretend to care what you think is so you’ll donate all your time, money, and energy to them.  Once the politician is in office his need for you will be just about non-existent.  Most politicians are incumbents for a good long while and don’t go anywhere but further up the political ladder.  It is also once the politician has been elected that the bribes and blackmailing come in - exponentially raising the temptation to sell out.

If the hyper-active Ron Paul Revolution couldn’t stop Rand Paul from voting for sanctions on Iran, then you don’t have a chance in the world of influencing some creep like Matthew Falconer once he’s in there.

Libertarians who believe they can somehow become the puppet masters of non-libertarian politicians, or even libertarian politicians, are completely fooling themselves – especially if you’re not wealthy.

2)       “Well, they may not be libertarians… but they’re the best we have!”

How this is even a legitimate qualification is beyond me.   Political-process-libertarians may as well say “Well, he may not be Ron Paul, but he is the best guy we have in the Nazi Party right now.  We need to pour all of our resources into getting this guy elected so we can take control of the Nazi Party and come 0.01% closer to turning it into a party of radical libertarianism.”

Yeah right, dude.  The lesser of two evils is still evil.

Thursday, March 8, 2012

What About When the Government Does Good Things?

by Austin White

Consider the occasional scenario where the police actually do catch a bad guy or reacquire a person’s recently stolen property.

Libertarians are so used to discussing the evils of the State that we can often be left speechless when the government actually does something good. Statists quickly respond “See! Government isn’t evil!” New libertarians may be left questioning the philosophy of liberty, concluding that there may be holes in it.

These scenarios are not examples of government doing good, but simply examples of government acting less evil.

If A steals B’s TV, B is perfectly justified in using force against A to get the TV back. B may hire a private investigator to aid him in tracking down A and B may ask people to voluntarily contribute money to fund this operation. B may not, however, compel C to help pay for his cause – B may not tax C. B may not lock C up in a dungeon if C doesn’t agree to contribute. B may not kill C if C resists being locked in a dungeon.

Apply this logic to government and it is quickly revealed that even when the government does something good, it first must commit the evil act of taxation to fund the procedure. People who resist paying the taxes will be jailed and those who sufficiently resist being jailed will be killed.

On top of funding its activities with violent taxation, government prohibits private institutions from fully entering the security and justice markets.

Sure, we have private security agencies like the ones that patrol big parking lots, gated communities, and Disney Land – in fact, the majority of all security in America is private and funded with voluntary user fees - but they are entirely subordinate to the government monopoly on security and adjudication. Private producers of security in America are only permitted to act within the small boundaries that the State allows them to. Because of these imposed restrictions by the State, no private security firm is currently capable of providing truly adequate services or else they would be shut down.