Friday, January 23, 2009

Congratulations, President Obama!

I just wanted to congratulate President Barack Obama in his performing that grand rite of passage for American Presidents. No, not any such silliness as his first bill or executive order. I meant something much more important. Today, President Obama ordered his first murder.

So, while you can look into the loving eyes of your own beautiful daughters, somewhere in Afghanistan, a grieving family will never look into the loving eyes of three children again.

Free Talk Live

My favorite radio show hands down is Free Talk Live. It is consistently pro-liberty, and the hosts, Ian and Mark allow callers to talk about whatever they like. I called in last night and talked a bit about race (about 1:35:00 into the show).

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Libertarian Papers

Libertarian Papers is now online! The welcome text below is taken from the site.

Welcome to Libertarian Papers!

To Authors, Readers, and Potential Libertarians:

A new libertarian journal—a new type of libertarian journal—is born today. Libertarian Papers is an exclusively online peer-reviewed journal. Its home is this elegant, fast, easy-to-use website. Please feel free to browse around.

Monday, January 19, 2009

Prank Call - Social security Check

Watch that sharing spirit go away if you threaten to cut that check.

Anthropomorphizing the American Civic Religion

Obedience to the state is a form of idolatry. The American civic religion, as it is often called, is the American denomination of this faith, which is common around the globe. In some places, the state religion, and the older, more authentic varieties, have been merged into something which confuses both the faithful and their opponents. In America, no such merger has occurred. This does not, however, mean that America is immune to the sort of religious savagery which grips much of the world.

The American civic religion, in stark contrast to that of much of the world, has never has an unambiguous instantiation upon which large portions of the populations could agree. America has always fancied itself a "melting pot," blending together people of disparate cultures, races and religions. This is not an entirely accurate notion, but this variety of backgrounds from which Americans originate has proven an important impediment to state power. Southern Baptists, Lutherans, Jews of varying levels of religious fervor, and Catholics have never been able to agree on enough to begin a campaign of terror on those who differ, even if they had those among them who would be amenable to such an arrangement. American disunity has been of major import in maintaining domestic peace.

Now America is threatened, not from disunity or lack of patriotic fervor, but something quite different. America, its people and ideals face a grave threat from the very civic religion which their disunity has previously neutered. Barack Obama represents a grave threat to America, though not through any particular fault of his own. Indeed, George Bush is perhaps the man most responsible for the threat, as the extraordinary disillusionment with his Presidency has sparked a yearning in the hearts of many for a rescuer, a hero, a messiah. The national consciousness has been captured by Obama in a way I have never witnessed in my life. His ascension as the state god now made flesh should be alarming to all who oppose the state and its predations.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Political Correctness and the Death of Dialog

I was watching television and an old episode of The Jeffersons came on: Jenny's Low. Jenny is a biracial girl, and the episode addresses her long lost brother, Allan. Allan, unlike Jenny, can "pass" for white. This has caused a great deal of jealousy in Jenny. I found it very interesting that a program, made in 1975, was much more frank in both addressing genuine racial issues, but was also considerably less politically correct than shows we see today. The show's protagonist, George Jefferson, is not afraid at all to use the "n-word," as it is usually referred to in polite company.

The show fearlessly addresses issues both of race and skin shade, which has long been an extremely important cultural phenomenon among blacks. That level of frankness is a much better way to improve relations both among and within races than the fear and avoidance commonly witnessed today. The risks the speak frankly, even controversially, have put The Jeffersons into the collective American consciousness in a way that more modern, PC programs simply cannot match. Over 30 years later, the issues of race and class brought up by shows such as The Jeffersons and All in the Family are as relevant as ever.

The years since that time have largely been marked by television which is far less risky. Television producers may claim the title of "controversial" through cheap trickery such as sex and violence, but few, if any, will actually address significant issues in an even handed way. They are perfectly willing to upset people who will never watch a program at all, but few are willing to challenge the audience itself. Fewer still are willing to challenge the powers that be. Political correctness is the order of the day, and we are all the worse for it.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Stand up for your rights

In the words of legendary singer/songwriter Bob Marley, "Get up, stand up, stand up for your right." The heroic Andrew Carroll decided to stand up for his in the city of Keene, New Hampshire. As expected, the police arrived shortly thereafter. Note the onlookers' apt description of the situation in which this peaceful young man is "getting arrested for touching a plant."

Carroll was charged with a misdemeanor and released.

Sharing all your music with Firefly Media Server

I have a cross-platform household. My wife and daughter use Windows, I use Windows for work and Ubuntu for meaningful things ;). I have a lot of music and audiobooks, mostly in mp3 format, but a few things in ogg, flac, and mp4. Everyone likes to listen to something, but how to share all the files? There are many solutions, of course, but the most convenient one for me was the one which allowed my wife to easily access the music with iTunes. The solution was the Firefly Media Server. Installing this under Ubuntu could hardly be simpler. From a command line, as root, type:
apt-get install mt-daapd ffmpeg
This will get you the software you need. After the packages are installed, edit the /etc/mt-daapd.conf file and change the location of your media files to wherever you keep them. After saving the file, issue
/etc/init.d/mt-daapd restart
I have occasionally found cases where Ubuntu starts services immediately after installing them. Restart means it will stop the process first, if there is an active one.

Wait a couple of minutes, for Firefly to scan your media files, and they should be accessible via DAAP. iTunes will discover the new server automatically, if the computer is on the same subnet as the server. I am told that Songbird works well with Firefly as well.

Friday, January 9, 2009

The Miseducation of the Negro

Brutus weighs in on the state vs. blacks:

"There is some discussion whether Officer Mehserle shouted racial slurs before he shot Mr. Grant. The racial dimension to the Grant shooting masks the true culprit of this crime. It is almost an incontrovertible fact that blacks and police are eternal enemies, but unfortunately blacks have misunderstood the nature of Leviathan. The elimination of racism in the police department would not end the violence and abuse police officers visit upon the public. This is because the State is a territorial monopolist of ultimate decision making. It is the ultimate judge in all cases on conflict including conflicts involving itself. Thus, it has an incentive to provoke conflict and judge the matter in its own favor."